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Susan B.

Susan B.

Bay Area, CA | Member Since 2013

  • 34 reviews
  • 500 ratings
  • 603 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015

  • The Minotaur

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Barbara Vine
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    As soon as Kerstin Kvist arrives at remote, ivy-covered Lydstep Old Hall in Essex, she feels like a character in a gothic novel. A young nurse fresh out of school, Kerstin has been hired for a position with the Cosway family, residents of the Hall for generations. She is soon introduced to her "charge", John Cosway, a 39-year-old man whose strange behavior is vaguely explained by his mother and sisters as part of the madness that runs in the family.

    Susan B. says: "Top notch Barbara Vine"
    "Top notch Barbara Vine"

    Barbara Vine draws you along through the story, introducing history, bit by bit, the same way you get to know someone. By the end of the story you find yourself completely intrigued by the goings on. I wanted to listen to it again right after finishing it. Great for any fan of Barbara Vine/Ruth Rendell, one of the best of hers I've "read".

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Chris Hedges, Eunice Wong
    • Narrated By Chris Hedges, Eunice Wong
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Twenty-five years ago, when Pat Robertson and other televangelists first spoke of the United States being a Christian nation that would build a global Christian empire, it was hard to take such hyperbolic rhetoric seriously. Today, such language no longer sounds like hyperbole but poses, instead, a very real threat to our freedoms and our way of life.

    gerald says: "A thoughtful analysis"
    "Couldn't get through it"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I agree with the information in the book, but this was just too relentless. One gets tired of hearing the same thing over and over again.

    Would you ever listen to anything by Chris Hedges and Eunice Wong again?

    Probably not

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from American Fascists?

    I would have cut down on all the repeated information.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • What Is the What

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Valentino's travels, truly Biblical in scope, bring him in contact with government soldiers, janjaweed-like militias, liberation rebels, hyenas and lions, disease and starvation, and a string of unexpected romances. Ultimately, Valentino finds safety in Kenya and, just after the millennium, is finally resettled in the United States, from where this novel is narrated.

    Susan says: "A Story Aching to be Told"
    "Couldn't get through it"
    Would you try another book from Dave Eggers and/or Dion Graham?

    Don't know. Dave Eggers is really lauded as a great author, but I just couldn't get interested in the story or characters.

    What could Dave Eggers have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I don't expect Dave Eggers cares about making the book more enjoyable! Need to have a main character who is more relatable

    Any additional comments?

    This was a waste of the credit.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Dragon Bound: Elder Races Series #1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Thea Harrison
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Half human and half Wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the Wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their Dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful---and passionate---of the Elder Races.

    Amazon Customer says: "Woo Freakin Hoo!"
    "Bodice buster for those who like fantasy"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The book was fine. It was interesting enough to keep me listening. Not expecting to get any more books in the series. This was definitely a beach book!

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Next listen is the Emerald Atlas

    What does Sophie Eastlake bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    She reads the book well, but a good reader doesn't make a mediocre book good!

    Was Dragon Bound worth the listening time?

    It was OK

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Habitation of the Blessed: A Dirge for Prester John, Volume One

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Catherynne M. Valente
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister

    This is the story of a place that never was: the kingdom of Prester John, the utopia described by an anonymous, 12th-century document which captured the imagination of the medieval world and drove hundreds of lost souls to seek out its secrets, inspiring explorers, missionaries, and kings. But what if it were all true? What if there was such a place, and a poor, broken priest once stumbled past its borders, discovering, not a Christian paradise, but a country where everything is possible....

    Susan B. says: "Very interesting novel"
    "Very interesting novel"

    I think it's important that the reader/listener read the history of the Prester John legend, in order to understand how the story works. Go to Catherynne Valente's website and at least skim through Prester John's letter. This is the story of WHAT IF the Prester John legend were real? How would it have played out?

    I also think it's vital to understand that the story is narrated by Brother Hiob, and that he is copying 3 different and parallel stories from the Tree of Books. One is the story of Prester John himself, one is John's wife, and the 3rd is the nanny of Queen Abir's children.

    The narrator reads the book beautifully. However, I had a very hard time following the audio version. There were many new words I couldn't understand or spell, and there was no way to go back to figure them out. I've listened to many audiobooks, and this was one of the hardest I've tried to listen to (Dante being the most difficult). I actually had to buy the written version of the book to try to clarify the language.

    Once, however, I finally caught on to the story, the language, the creatures, I was captivated by the story and didn't want to stop listening to it. It was a disappointment that this was just the first of a trilogy and I'm anxious to continue the story.

    I read a bunch of glowing reviews for this book. Valente writes some really spectacular prose, gorgeous and crystalline. However, some of the creatures are just distracting, and prevent you from focusing on what's going on. I think she loved the bar scene in the first Star Wars movie, and wanted to create some of her own creatures. She could have benefitted by better editing that sharpened up the story some.

    We read this for book club, and several folks couldn't get far enought to finish it. There also had to be some meanings behind some of the creatures, but we couldn't figure some of them out.

    It could have been a 5 star book with better editing, but it was still interesting, like traveling to Wonderland!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Gathering Storm: Book Twelve of the Wheel of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, struggles to unite a fractured network of kingdoms and alliances in preparation for the Last Battle. As he attempts to halt the Seanchan encroachment northward - wishing he could form at least a temporary truce with the invaders - his allies watch in terror the shadow that seems to be growing within the heart of the Dragon Reborn himself.

    D. Ramirez says: "I normally wouldn't, but..."
    "Terrible waste of a credit"

    It wasn't clear to me that you REALLY had to read the preceeding books. I listened to quite a bit of the book before I just gave up, I wasn't able to make sense of the characters and the situation.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • In Other Rooms, Other Wonders

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Daniyal Mueenuddin
    • Narrated By Firdous Bamji
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Pakistani author Daniyal Mueenuddin, an "elegant stylist with a light touch" (Publishers Weekly, starred review), crafts eight intricately connected short stories. Each compelling tale revolves around the life and legacy of K. K. Harouni, a wealthy landowner in feudal, corruption-fueled Lahore. In this cutthroat society, a servant girl can immediately gain prestige by seducing a powerful married man - and then lose it just as swiftly.

    Cariola says: "Difficult but Intriguing"
    "Can't relate to the characters"

    Read this book for book club, couldn't wait for it to end. Characters very unsympathetic. Can't imagine why this was an award winning book

    0 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Kid Nobody Could Handle

    • UNABRIDGED (28 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By David Strathairn

    Told in Vonnegut's signature absurdist style, "The Kid Nobody Could Handle" is the story of a music teacher who reaches out to a disaffected foster child by giving him John Phillip Sousa's trumpet.

    Daryl says: "Not narrated by Strathairn, but worth your time"
    "The price was right"

    one of those sweet little stories about a dedicated teacher making a difference in the life of a disaffected kid. wasn't particularly compelling or memorable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Brass Verdict: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles

    Things are finally looking up for defense attorney Mickey Haller. After two years of wrong turns, Haller is back in the courtroom. When Hollywood lawyer Jerry Vincent is murdered, Haller inherits his biggest case yet: the defense of Walter Elliott, a prominent studio executive accused of murdering his wife and her lover. But as Haller prepares for the case that could launch him into the big time, he learns that Vincent's killer may be coming for him next.

    Jeff says: "Five Star Book; Three Star Narration"
    "The Brass Verdict; an entertaining read"

    I thoroughly enjoyed The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly, so I was pleased that the protagonist, Mickey Haller showed up in another book. While I enjoyed the story, it didn't warrant the 5 start rating earned by the first book. First of all, this new book suffers by not having Adam Grupper narrating it. This newest story suffers a bit by Connelly twisting the coincidences as much as he needs to in order to make everything "come out in the wash". That being said, I enjoyed listening to it. If you are a fan of Connelly's you will probably enjoy it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gift of the Magi

    • UNABRIDGED (14 mins)
    • By O. Henry
    • Narrated By Wesley Mann

    Jim and Della Dillingham Young are a couple very much in love. But they can barely afford their one-room apartment. What sacrifices will they make to buy each other the perfect Christmas gifts?

    Debra says: "Gift of the Magi (Unabridged)"
    "Touching Christmas story"

    Who doesn't love this story, and it's surprise ending the first time you read it??? It's hard to put a finger on what was missing in the narration, though...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Teacher Man

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Frank McCourt
    • Narrated By Frank McCourt

    Now here at last, is McCourt's long-awaited audiobook about how his thirty-year teaching career shaped his second act as a writer. Teacher Man is also an urgent tribute to teachers everywhere. In bold and spirited prose featuring his irreverent wit and heartbreaking honesty, McCourt records the trials, triumphs, and surprises he faces in public high schools around New York City.

    Susan B. says: "Frank McCourt is an entertaining writer and reader"
    "Frank McCourt is an entertaining writer and reader"

    Listening to McCourt makes me want to write! This is a great follow-up to his other memoirs. One of the memoirs I've most enjoyed listening to since he's an engaging narrator, as well. If you enjoyed his other books, you will enjoy this one. I feel like it's a real bonus to get to listen to an author read his own work.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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