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Susan D

Somerset, NJ USA

28
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 165 ratings
  • 1262 titles in library
  • 75 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
2

  • The Post-Birthday World

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Lionel Shriver
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby Sirois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (18)

    Children's book illustrator Irina McGovern enjoys a quiet and settled life in London with her partner, fellow American expatriate Lawrence Trainer, a smart, loyal, disciplined intellectual at a prestigious think tank. To their small circle of friends, their relationship is rock solid, until the night Irina unaccountably finds herself dying to kiss another man: their old friend from South London, the stylish, extravagant, passionate top-ranking snooker player Ramsey Acton.

    Susan D says: "A terrific examinination of relationships"
    "A terrific examinination of relationships"
    Overall

    Unlike some other reviewers, I loved this book and thought the narrator was fine. Shriver's focus in this novel is the nature of relationships itself: how it is that so many of us seek happiness and cannot fully figure out when we have it, how we squander it, how we lose it, and how all of our choices, however small, change us. Who are we attracted to? How important is sex? How do we become different when we're with different kinds of people? Who, then, are we anyway? By examining parallel imaginative lives, this novel allows us to think harder and wiser about our own possibilities, decisions, and realities. Ironically, while the chapters end up shifting between 'black' and white' ??? as a way of dividing up the different lives ??? by the end, the entire conceit shows that while 'black' and 'white' are different, they're not about right or wrong, they're just about different paths. I might also add, that I got so addicted to listening to this novel , I also downloaded the Kindle version for the moments I had time to read even faster than I could listen.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Vacationers

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Emma Straub
    • Narrated By Kristen Sieh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (139)

    For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. The sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, its tapas and tennis courts, also promise an escape from the tensions simmering at home in Manhattan. But all does not go according to plan.

    Toby says: "Engaging beginning, but interest declines"
    "Fast & fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Vacationers?

    A highly entertaining read — clever & witty enough to occupy me for a day. Some readers apparently thought these characters were too predictable, but that predictability served the satire as far as I was concerned. And along the way, as in the best satires, I got to internally ponder questions that interest me like: what's it REALLY like being rich and owning a townhouse in Manhattan; do I need to spend some time in Majorca; can marriages survive infidelity; how do children deal with their parents and vice versa; what should you do with a 30 something son who's a lunkhead; should 55 year olds have babies; do people need to lose their virginity in Europe before starting college, why didn't I do that?, how do you cook a meal with very little in the cupboard; how do type A people who are fired for not being able to resist that provocative intern suddenly handle all that free time? You know - the serious stuff.


    What did you like best about this story?

    the shifting POV


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Raylan: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Elmore Leonard
    • Narrated By Brian D'Arcy James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (254)
    Performance
    (228)
    Story
    (231)

    With the closing of the Harlan County, Kentucky coalmines, marijuana has become the biggest cash crop in the state. A hundred pounds of it can gross three-hundred thousand dollars, but that’s chump change compared to the quarter million a human body can get you - especially when it’s sold off piece-by-piece. So when Dickie and Coover Crowe, dope-dealing brothers known for sampling their own supply, decide to branch out into the body business, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens to stop them.

    Roy says: "Justified"
    "Great for fans of Justified"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A fast enjoyable listen for someone who enjoys JUSTIFIED ??? and Leonard's particular gifts for dialogue, character, and off-the-wall plotting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (18201)
    Performance
    (16194)
    Story
    (16152)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Hated for it to end!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sometimes I read a long novel I admire but am still not pulled in enough and can't wait for it to end. And then there are those novels that I can't stop listening to but don't want to end. This was most definitely the latter. King's at the top of his game: serious ideas, great writing, great characterization. I very much appreciated his tribute to Jack Finney in his afterward. As someone who was 15 when Kennedy was assassinated, I also appreciated rethinking 20th century American history and consequences. As an English teacher, I have two central reactions: first, I'm ready to write the syllabus for a time-travel fiction elective, and second, I thank, King, for his tribute to teachers.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Year We Left Home

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Jean Thompson
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (35)

    It begins in 1973 when the Erickson family of Grenada, Iowa, gathers for the wedding of their eldest daughter, Anita. Even as they celebrate, the fault lines in the family emerge. The bride wants nothing more than to raise a family in her hometown, while her brother Ryan watches restlessly from the sidelines, planning his escape. He is joined by their cousin Chip, an unpredictable, war-damaged loner who will show Ryan both the appeal and the perils of freedom. will show Ryan both the appeal and the perils of freedom. Torrie, the Ericksons’ youngest daughter, is another rebel....

    Susan D says: "I LOVED IT!"
    "I LOVED IT!"
    Overall

    As there is only one other review written for this book by someone who didn't like it, I'm giving this five stars because I DID love it and it deserves more readers. I suggest that those of you who enjoy emotionally intelligent, historically wise, politically aware and psychologically astute well-crafted fiction (I'm thinking Elizabeth Strout, Anne Tyler, Mary Gordon, Allegra Goodman, Ayelet Waldman, Adam Haslett, Jennifer Haigh, or Jennifer Vanderbas) will find this as moving as I did. All the positive reviews on Amazon and elsewhere captured my reactions: I cared about the family, these people, and the way it rendered the experiences of multiple members of an Iowa family who, like all of us, change over time ??? partly because of our own natures, partly because of accident, and partly because of where we fit into the cultural/political zeitgeist. This novel captures the effects of two wars, the destruction of old farming families, the tech boom, and the real estate boom on a number of characters. It's not heavy-handed in its politics, but it doesn't ignore politics either. I could have gone on listening, and felt sad when this novel came to an end. Cassandra Campbell's narration was perfect. Highly recommended!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Lake Shore Limited

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Sue Miller
    • Narrated By Sue Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Four unforgettable characters beckon you into this spellbinding new novel from Sue Miller. First among them is Wilhelmina Billy Gertz, small as a child, fiercely independent, powerfully committed to her work as a playwright. The story itself centers on The Lake Shore Limited, a play Billy has written about an imagined terrorist bombing of that train as it pulls into Union Station in Chicago, and about a man waiting to hear the fate of his estranged wife.

    Susan D says: "Far better than a previous reviewer thought"
    "Far better than a previous reviewer thought"
    Overall

    I would usually reserve 5 stars for something on the order of a Jane Austen or Leo Tolstoy masterpiece, but in this case I'm giving Miller five stars to counter the previously deceptive review that told people not to read this book. It's far more deserving than that, and Sue Miller is an author who knows how to read her own work. If you need fast paced narrative this book may not be for you, and if you don't like intelligent, complex older characters who meditate on their lives - including their moral failures and emotional truths - you might prefer something else. But if you care about how people cope with loss, the amoral aspect of art and drama, the nuances and imbalances in relationships, you might agree with me and Michiko Kakutani (who too often trashes books) that this is Miller's best yet. It's certainly in the category of great novels that deals with the aftershocks of 911. It was certainly worth my time.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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