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Susan

Nonfiction Maven

Seattle, WA, United States | Member Since 2005

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 22 ratings
  • 215 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • The Inheritance of Loss

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Kiran Desai
    • Narrated By Meera Simhan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (354)
    Performance
    (113)
    Story
    (115)

    In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga lives an embittered old judge. He only wants to retire in peace, but then his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The judge's chatty cook watches over her, but his thoughts are mostly with his son, Biju, who is hop-scotching from one New York restaurant job to another. A novel of depth and emotion, Desai's second, long-awaited novel fulfills the grand promise established by her first.

    Bob says: "Gorgeous prose but grim"
    "Great story--MAGNIFICENT narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Meera Simhan deserves an Academy Award for her fabulous narration of this book. The story captivated me quickly, but although it is a good tale, it is the narrator who makes this audiobook shine like no other. Simhan's total command of dozens of accents (from Delhi to New York) carries you from the exotic to the mundane, but they are always easy to understand. I have never been so intrigued with Indian accents before, but Simhan's lilting voice made me want to imitate these wonderful dialects. I could listen to this over and over just for the fabulous narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Maisie Dobbs

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jacqueline Winspear
    • Narrated By Rita Barrington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1542)
    Performance
    (961)
    Story
    (959)

    Maisie Dobbs isn't just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligence - and the patronage of her benevolent employers - she works her way into college at Cambridge. After the War I and her service as a nurse, Maisie hangs out her shingle back at home: M. DOBBS, TRADE AND PERSONAL INVESTIGATIONS. But her very first assignment soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.

    A User says: "A delightful discovery"
    "Feel good story+sharp heroine+rich detail onWWI"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Maisie Dobbs rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In top 10%. Not higher only because I feel guilty listening to fiction rather than "serious" books on science or social issues. But among the fiction books I've listened to, this is definitely in the top 5%. A cliffhanger I did not want to put down.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Definitely Maisie. Inspiring heroine.


    What does Rita Barrington bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Different accents, good delivery without overdoing it, brings characters to life.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. Very hard to stop!


    Any additional comments?

    This isn't a heavy philosophical book. It's a feel-good story with an inspiring heroine and lots of details about what it was like to be a young woman in London and France during WWI. Loved it. Now I'm hooked on the entire series. I predict that PBS will come out with a Masterpiece Theatre series based on these books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Man Who Loved China

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Simon Winchester
    • Narrated By Simon Winchester
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (309)
    Performance
    (113)
    Story
    (114)

    In sumptuous and illuminating detail Simon Winchester chronicles the extraordinary story of Joseph Needham, the brilliant Cambridge scientist who turned his eccentric genius on the study of China.

    David Ewing says: "Great for Winchester Fans"
    "A MASTERPIECE!"
    Overall

    I would give this 10 stars if I could. I have read three other books by Winchester and was honestly rather disappointed with them. But in this work, he has exceeded all his other efforts put together. I was transported into Joseph Needham's world of Cambridge in the first half of the twentieth century. This brilliant man reached the pinnacle of achievement in science, languages, and history. After a remarkable career in biochemistry, he switched to the history of science in China in his late thirties. He not only mastered the Chinese language, but became the world authority on the history of science in China. He recognized that the Chinese were often far ahead of the rest of the world in science. His objective was to write "a" book about the topic, but it soon grew to some 17 major volumes that took 5 decades of his life to complete.
    I relished every word of this wonderful work and can't imagine anyone who wouldn't be equally enthralled by this tale. An absolute winner.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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