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Susan

Fairbanks, AK, United States

86
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 64 ratings
  • 126 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Coming China Wars: Where They Will Be Fought and How They Can Be Won

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Peter Navarro
    • Narrated By Stow Lovejoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (234)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (37)

    China's breakneck industrialization is placing it on a collision course with the entire world. Tomorrow's China Wars will be fought over everything from decent jobs, livable wages, and leading-edge technologies to strategic resources such as oil, copper, and steel, even food, water, and air.

    Joe says: "Good Narration, Book Flawed"
    "Mom, China isn't playing Fair!"
    Overall

    China counterfeits! China counterfeits!

    Yadda, yadda, yadda. There are MUCH bigger issues than this. Navarro mentions "little" things like wars over oil, wars over water, Chinese imperialism and so forth, but he is incensed (and obsessed) with China's trade in counterfeit goods. Did you know they make Counterfeit VIAGRA?? How DARE they! What could be worse??

    Two hours about the horrors of counterfeit viagara and counterfeit Nike sneakers is more than I can take. Navarro could have done the same book in 5 to 8 minutes and made a better impression.

    32 of 40 people found this review helpful
  • Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Stephen E. Ambrose
    • Narrated By Cotter Smith
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (24)

    Adventure, politics, suspense, drama, diplomacy, romance, and personal tragedy combine to make this outstanding work of scholarship about Captain Meriwether Lewis, hand-picked by President Thomas Jefferson to explore and acquire the American West. Browse more Ambrose, including his latest, Nothing Like It in the World.

    Robert says: "Excellent book"
    "A life changing experience"
    Overall

    I bought this for my son, but thought I would listen to "a bit" of it while I cleaned house. Four hours later I was listening to the ending, still spellbound. The listener has been through all sorts of travails with Lewis, from planning the trip and reaching the Pacific and the long return. At long last, Ambrose gave Lewis his due. It took almost 200 years, but we finally see him as the hero and genius that he was. I was heartbroken by his suicide. Ambrose himself reads the very ending of the book, and he sounds like Jefferson himself listing the amazing traits that Lewis possessed and that made the great expedition possible. Behind Ambrose's aging but poignant voice, you'll hear Dvorak's "New World Symphony." It is a tour de force! I live in Alaska on a hill overlooking the great sweep of the Tanana River, with miles of wilderness stretching before me. I went out on my deck as the sun was setting and listened to Jefferson's tribute and the beautiful music and sobbed as hard as I have ever sobbed in my life. But it wasn't sadness. I was just in awe of the book, the journey, the greatness of Lewis, and the beauty of wild nature. I have recommended it to friends and they also said that it was an unforgettable journey for them also. I will never forget this audiobook! Get it, set aside some time when you will be alone to savor every word, and try to get to a spot of wilderness to listen to the ending. You will cherish the memory.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Unnatural History of the Sea

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Callum M. Roberts
    • Narrated By Callum M. Roberts
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Humanity can make short work of the oceans' creatures. In 1741, hungry explorers discovered herds of Steller's sea cow in the Bering Strait, and in less than thirty years, the amiable beast had been harpooned into extinction. It's a classic story, but a key fact is often omitted. Bering Island was the last redoubt of a species that had been decimated by hunting and habitat loss years before the explorers set sail.

    JOHN H. RUSSELL III says: "Fish for You"
    "Fabulous book, fabulous narrator..."
    Overall

    I love history and sea books and this is the best of both. The narrator has a delightful, rich English accent and clearly knows his history. It's a sad story, but we have to take a hard look at the worst "before a path to the better there be." Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Christopher McDougall
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4351)
    Performance
    (2141)
    Story
    (2174)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Want to join the “superhumans”? Luckily you don’t have to run to catch up with them, thanks to McDougall’s and Sanders’ inspiring (and motivating) journey through history, science, physiology, health, entertaining characters and unlikely friendships. Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure.

    Corey says: "Amazing read - even for non-runners"
    "FASCINATING + will save ALL of us many injuries!"
    Overall

    What a revelation this has been. I bought the book because the author said he started this research to find out why his feet hurt so much. How many of us can identify with that? He finds that the overly-engineered athletic shoes that do not allow our feet to adjust to the ground are the culprit! Lots of evidence presented to back it up. In the process of learning all that, you are also exposed to the fascinating Mexican Indians, the Tarahumara, to "ultra running" where people run 50 miles and more, and to evidence that humans were in fact "born to run." I did not get this to start a running effort (I thought that would be impossible due to chronic foot pain) but this is so inspiring, I just might try starting to jog again. Great book! I've abandoned my fancy shoes in favor of flipflops (!) & already feel much better. This has already lessened the pain of walking for me, and I can at least start enjoying hiking, walking and skiing again, not to mention getting up off the couch. Boycott athletic shoes! Way to go, McDougall!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Tracy Kidder
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (757)
    Performance
    (192)
    Story
    (196)

    Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy Kidder tells the true story of a socially conscious genius who uses his intellectual and personal gifts to solve global health problems.

    MikeInOhio says: "A Great Book"
    "The Power of One Person to change the world"
    Overall

    Reminds me of Bobby Kennedy's statement which I believe is: "Some see things as they are and wonder why. I see things that never were and wonder why not?" Paul Farmer seems to follow that in his daily life--he is a saint! He could be a wealthy Boston doctor, but instead chooses to spend his time fighting poverty and abysmal health care in Haiti and around the world. His story is fascinating, his impact immeasurable. Very inspiring tale, along the lines of Three Cups of Tea. A must for your audio bookshelf.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4543)
    Performance
    (1205)
    Story
    (1212)

    Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned 30, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be. To recover from all this, Gilbert took a radical step. She got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world, all alone. This is the absorbing chronicle of that year.

    Kerry says: "Witty and Wonderful"
    "Super rich girl seeks enlightenment"
    Overall

    I bought this because I love Italy and Italian so much, and she expresses this so well. What bothered me about the book was that she has the money to spend a few years traveling and seeking enlightenment in India and Indonesia and, although she does try to help a poor friend in Indonesia, overall the plight of the desperately poor in those countries does not even touch her radar screen. She can afford to live in her own world and seek deep truths without noticing those starving around her. As a result, two-thirds of the book feel like a travelogue with blinders on. I felt like an ugly American tourist just listening to her self-indulgence. Skip the last 2/3 of the book and it would be a five-star experience.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of India

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Michael Wood
    • Narrated By Sam Dastor
    Overall
    (215)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (77)

    Michael Wood weaves a spellbinding narrative out of the 10,000-year history of India. Home today to more than a fifth of the world's population, the subcontinent gave birth to the oldest and most influential civilization on Earth, to four world religions, and to the world's largest democracy. Now, as India bids to become a global giant, Michael sets out to trace the roots of India's present in the incredible riches of her past.

    Susan says: "Fabulous, sweeping journey through India's history"
    "Fabulous, sweeping journey through India's history"
    Overall

    This is one of my all time favorites. I started with the audiobook, then bought the paperback and the DVD set! Michael Wood's tremendous enthusiasm for the subject and the narrator's delightful British accent and perfect pronunciation of Indian names and places adds to the trip like a wonderful guide adds to a real journey. Considering that India will soon be the most populated country on Earth and will soon surpass the GDP of the US, it behooves all of us to know more about the subcontinent. This is so much more than a litany of facts; it is exuberant with the colors, tastes, smells, gardens and incredible longevity of this fascinating country's history. Pure joy from start to finish; now I must save money to go there myself and visit the places mentioned in the book. But if I never make it there, this is surely the next best thing!

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Salt: A World History

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Mark Kurlansky
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (841)
    Performance
    (341)
    Story
    (346)

    So much of our human body is made up of salt that we'd be dead without it. The fine balance of nature, the trade of salt as a currency of many nations and empires, the theme of a popular Shakespearean play...Salt is best selling author Mark Kurlansky's story of the only rock we eat.

    Karen says: "More than SALT"
    "Everything you ever wanted to know about salt"
    Overall

    I enjoyed Kurlansky's book, Cod, and expected to enjoy this as much. However, the extensive details on salt and its myriad uses and values over the centuries turned out to be more than I really want to know. It's a look at history through a salt lens, if you will, which appeals to me, but it felt a bit like a long list of facts rather than a connected, compelling story. I had to force myself to listen to it because I want to refer to it in my college class, but it was not one of those riveting stories you don't want to put down.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Sean B. Carroll
    • Narrated By Jim Bond
    Overall
    (87)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    Just 150 years ago, most of our world was an unexplored wilderness. Our sense of its age was vastly off the mark. And what we believed to be the history of our own species consisted of fantastic myths and fairy tales; fossils, known for millennia, were seen as the bones of dragons and other imagined creatures. How did we learn so much so quickly? Remarkable Creatures celebrates the pioneers who replaced our fancies with the even more remarkable real story of how our world evolved.

    Connie says: "A Remarkable Journey"
    "Good tales, not a good narrator"
    Overall

    I wonder why the author didn't read this himself. The narrator makes these tales sound like a text book with one declarative sentence after another, droning on and on and on. Carroll, whom I greatly admire, is a scientist, not a writer, and that shows in some places, but his enthusiasm for the subject matter would have brought these amazing stories to life much better than Jim Bond. I don't expect sing-song, but I do want a hint of enthusiasm in the reader's voice!! I doubt if many could stick with this all the way through with this narrator.
    Publishers: don't be terrified to have authors and women narrators. You seem to think the only acceptable narrator must have a DEEP monotone. Not true!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By William J. Bernstein
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (65)

    In A Splendid Exchange, William J. Bernstein tells the extraordinary story of global commerce from its prehistoric origins to the myriad controversies surrounding it today. He transports listeners from ancient sailing ships that brought the silk trade from China to Rome in the second century to the rise and fall of the Portuguese monopoly in spices in the 16th.

    Mark says: "Very interesting and Germane to Today's World"
    "Interesting book, B-O-R-I-N-G narrator"
    Overall

    I have another book narrated by Mel Foster and I will be SURE to avoid him from now on. Get this only if you prefer someone who speaks deep in his throat (I expect him to choke any moment) and uses a slow, absolute monotone that makes him sound like he's about to pass out. The listener will pass out also.
    Some narrators could read a phone book and make it sound interesting. Foster is just the opposite: he can read a thriller and make it SOUND like a phone book!
    Publishers are terrified to use female narrators. Maybe they should try someone new because this deep throat monotone does NOT work.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba...and Then Lost It to the Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By T. J. English
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (429)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (140)

    Havana Nocturne takes listeners back to Cuba in the years when it was a veritable devil's playground for mob leaders Meyer Lansky and Charles "Lucky" Luciano. Thanks to strong ties with the island's brutal dictator, President Batista, the mob soon owned the biggest luxury hotels and casinos and launched an unprecedented tourist boom. But their dreams collided with those of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and others.

    A User says: "Not for reactionaries"
    "Good book, but why THIS narrator??"
    Overall

    I have another book narrated by Mel Foster and I will be SURE to avoid him from now on. Get this only if you prefer someone who speaks deep in his throat (I expect him to choke any moment) and uses an absolute monotone that makes him sound like he's about to pass out. This listener will ready to pass out also. B-O-R-I-N-G.
    Some narrators could read a phone book and make it sound interesting. Foster is just the opposite: he can read a thriller and make it SOUND like a phone book!
    Publishers are terrified to use female narrators. Maybe they should try someone new because this deep throat monotone doesn't work.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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