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Susan

I like to listen to classic literature while I'm on the treadmill at the gym. The deep meaningful thoughts drown out the inane pop music.

Member Since 2010

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 71 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
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  • Cranford

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gaskell
    • Narrated By Prunella Scales
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (53)

    A portrait of the residents of an English country town in the mid-19th century, Cranford relates the adventures of Miss Matty and Miss Deborah, two middle-aged spinster sisters striving to live with dignity in reduced circumstances.

    Carl Smith says: "throughly enjoyed this"
    "Absolutely charming!"
    Overall

    After having seen Cranford and Return to Cranford on PBS, my daughters and I were interested in hearing the original story. We were delighted! What a wonderful book to listen to by the fireside as we did this winter. We're great fans of Elizabeth Gaskell now.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mary Barton

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gaskell
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (51)

    When her father assassinates Henry Carson, his employer's son and Mary's admirer, suspicion falls on Mary's second admirer, Jem, a fellow worker. Mary has to prove her lover's innocence without incriminating her own father.

    Amazon Customer says: "Narration as Brilliant Performance Art"
    "Fast-Paced for Gaskell"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a great fan of Elizabeth Gaskell since I listened to Cranford, and Mary Barton served only to increase my admiration for her story-telling. This one was surprisingly fast-paced especially toward the end. She really had my heart racing with the suspense of it all! And Juliet Stevenson does it again with her agile reading. It just amazes me how she can switch so rapidly between characters with such different voices and accents.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Hand of God: A Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Bernard N. Nathanson
    • Narrated By Kevin Charles Minatrea
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (8)

    As director of the world's largest abortion clinic and the nation's most prominent abortionist, Dr. Bernard Nathanson presided over 60,000 abortions. As co-founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League, he helped make abortion legal. Then, in a conversion that made headkines and astonished both sides of the abortion debate, he renounced his profession to become a pro-life advocate. But Dr. Nathanson's journey was not over.

    Susan says: "A Vast Perspective on the History of Abortion"
    "A Vast Perspective on the History of Abortion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is not easy listening, but it is important listening. Dr. Nathanson was a very erudite and educated man and his vocabulary and literary references are rich, but his story built my understanding of the thinking process that took place in the early days of legal abortion and how it became entrenched in the minds of Americans. It also covers the history of abortion from ancient times to the present and shows perspectives on both the pro-choice and pro-life sides. It was also difficult to listen to the parts of the book that dealt with the horrifying details of abortion techniques, but the truth of that must be told. I was especially interested in the story of Dr. Nathanson's lifelong quest for God, a quest he didn't even know he was on until very late in life. The happy ending of the story in St. Patrick's cathedral when he was baptized by Cardinal O'Connor brought a tear to my eye. What surprised and puzzled me the most about this book, however, is how anyone could still be in favor of legal abortion after Dr. Nathanson's story was made known in the 1980s. He was one of the people whose influence most turned the tide toward widespread abortion, but his voice was all but drowned out when he cried out to stop it. Overall, this was a riveting tale of a tragic life which ended in spiritual triumph.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey Across the Life Line

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Abby Johnson
    • Narrated By Abby Clark
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Unplanned is a heartstopping personal drama of life-and-death encounters, a courtroom battle, and spiritual transformation that speaks hope and compassion into the political controversy that surrounds this issue. Telling Abby’s story from both sides of the abortion-clinic property line, this book is a must-have for anyone who cares about the life-versus-rights debate and helping women who face crisis pregnancies.

    Susan says: "Increased my Understanding"
    "Increased my Understanding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    My greatest take-away from this book was the insight and understanding it gave me toward people who work in the abortion industry. I have been praying on the sidewalks in front of abortion centers for 18 years, but the people who work in the centers have been a mystery to me for the most part. Abby gave me a look inside their world and inspired in me greater feelings of compassion and understanding for them.


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

    Abby Clark has a youthful vivacious voice that sounds like the young college student with a heart for helping others that Abby Johnson was.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The description of how Abby Johnson felt when she saw the ultrasound abortion, her account of the day she left Planned Parenthood, and her story of suffering through a medical abortion all were riveting and revealing moments.


    Any additional comments?

    I am so very glad I heard this story. It has made me a better pro-life advocate with a deeper and more heartfelt longing to reach out to everyone hurt by abortion, including those who work in abortion centers. There are really no "enemies" in this culture war, only victims who need understanding, love and healing.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Northanger Abbey

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (618)
    Performance
    (346)
    Story
    (352)

    When Catherine Morland, a country clergyman's daughter, is invited to spend a season in Bath with the fashionable high society, little does she imagine the delights and perils that await her. Captivated and disconcerted by what she finds, and introduced to the joys of "Gothic novels" by her new friend, Isabella, Catherine longs for mystery and romance. When she is invited to stay with the beguiling Henry Tilney and his family at Northanger Abbey, she expects mystery and intrigue at every turn.

    Johnny says: "Awesome"
    "Awesome Austen Experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Northanger Abbey again? Why?

    Oh yes! And I have recommended it to my daughters to show them how important it is to avoid frivolously minded girlfriends.


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

    Juliet Stevenson is my favorite female reader. I am in awe of her ability to portray such different characters in rapid succession. She brings a life and color to the characters that truly does enhance the experience of a book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cheaper by the Dozen

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Frank B. Gilbreth, Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
    • Narrated By Dana Ivey
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    No growing pains have ever been more hilarious than those suffered loudly by the riotous Gilbreth clan. First, there are a dozen red-haired, freckle-faced kids to contend with. Then there's Dad, a famous efficiency expert who believes a family can be run just like a factory.

    Mary A. says: "Loved in print, even more in Audio!"
    "Entertaining and Informative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Cheaper by the Dozen again? Why?

    Yes, I would listen to Cheaper by the Dozen again, because it is amusing and gave me something to think about.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character was Mrs. Gilbreth because she is an example of a strong and capable woman and loving mother.


    What about Dana Ivey’s performance did you like?

    Dana Ivey's voice was full of fun and smiles and I felt that she was telling the story as if it were her own.


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

    I'm really too busy to do anything while sitting! I listened to this book while sewing and had to keep pausing my iPod during the noisy sewing machine tasks so that I wouldn't miss anything. I did keep sewing all day so that I could keep listening to this wonderful book! My daughters also listened to it and thoroughly enjoyed it.


    Any additional comments?

    A real treasure in this book for me was the fact that it was a primary historical resource for family life and societal attitudes in the 1920s. I'm making a personal study of the changing attitudes through the 19th and 20th centuries, especially as related to fashion tastes. It was informative to hear the family's reaction to the sudden change in clothes and

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Orthodoxy

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By G. K. Chesterton
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (65)

    A serious attack against Christianity by well-known newspaper editor Robert Blatchford in 1903 impelled Chesterton to seize the gauntlet of refutation. His reply was immensely successful and was the early formation of his convincing credo that is so brilliantly and cogently argued in Orthodoxy, a masterwork that was published just five years later.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Wonderful Narration, Important Work"
    "A Reasonable Reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Orthodoxy?

    Personally, my highest compliment given to a person is


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This book is not a narrative with characters. Rather Mr. Chesterton is discussing his own experience of life, so he is the main character. I came to like him very much from what I heard.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    Simon Vance is my favorite male reader. (Juliet Stevenson is my favorite female reader.) His voice and reading are wonderful, and especially impressive in C.S. Lewis's The Great Divorce. Orthodoxy does not have a variety of characters to portray, but Mr. Vance's reading of it was very satisfying indeed.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Princess and Curdie

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By George MacDonald
    • Narrated By Ian Whitcomb
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (31)

    In this sequel to The Princess and the Goblin, Curdie has returned to his life as a miner and has dismissed the supernatural happenings of the past, believing them to have been a dream. When Curdie callously wounds a pigeon, his conscience leads him to Princess Irene's mystical great-great-grandmother for help. She has him plunge his hands into a pile of rose petals that burns like fire. Extraordinarily, this grants him the power to see what kind of "animal" a person is at heart.

    Tom says: "Another wonderful George MacDonald book"
    "Good, but disappointing ending"
    Overall

    My three daughters and I enjoyed the adventure scenes and thought provoking observations on life in The Princess and Curdie, however the ending was quite disappointing. One of the main characters who we came to care about was summarily killed off at the end with no explanation. It seemed to have no point. Also, the author goes on to mention generations after the main characters who save the kingdom, and how those later generations destroyed the kingdom. It ended on a very dismal note, which did not seem to follow from the rest of the book. I don't think we'll read or listen to any more George MacDonald.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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