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Suzn F

Fletcher, VT, US | Member Since 2013

3434
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 183 reviews
  • 828 ratings
  • 685 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2018
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
1134

  • The Keepers of the House

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Shirley Ann Grau
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    Overall
    (526)
    Performance
    (377)
    Story
    (375)

    Abigail was the last keeper of the house, the last to know the Howland family's secrets. Now, in the name of all her brothers and sisters, she must take her bitter revenge on the small-minded Southern town that shamed them, persecuted them, but could never destroy them.

    Chimigi says: "very enjoyable"
    "Complex yet Somehow Unsatisfying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has kept me thinking for three days now after finishing the story. What I'm thinking about is exactly how I feel about this book. And I'm just not sure. There were some parts of this book that were really quite amazing and worthwhile and yet overall I just couldn't warm to the book. As I write this review perhaps I'm figuring it out, the crux of it for me is the word warmth. I just couldn't warm to even one character, they were all wooden somehow. Although Ms. Grau gives the listener/reader several complex interesting characters who were in many ways well fleshed out, yet not one I can think of showed very much humanity or compassion, just no warmth. Grandfather William was distant, quiet, firm and efficient. The main character Abigail (William's granddaughter) is at times strong and yet submissive, angry and self serving; Abigail's mother is distant and depressed. Margaret (William's second partner, his first wife died early in their marriage)is the most interesting character; she is silent and strong yet she is very removed while always present. Abigail's husband John is just plainly a self serving ass. Then I ask myself is it essential for the characters in this book to have exhibited warmth? Of course the answer is no, not every character must be warm and fuzzy. However most or at least some people do show that they care for others especially within their family, so I guess I just couldn't totally buy it the way it was served up in this book. The narrator did a wonderful job narrating. So this one sure is an interesting mix.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Lily and the Octopus

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Steven Rowley
    • Narrated By Michael Urie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (947)
    Performance
    (876)
    Story
    (872)

    When you listen to Lily and the Octopus, you will be taken on an unforgettable ride. The magic of this novel is in the listening, and we don't want to spoil it by giving away too many details. We can tell you that this is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can't live without. For Ted Flask, that someone special is his aging companion, Lily, who happens to be a dog.

    Franca says: "Dog sighs...."
    "Our Dogs Are People......Right?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've had the pleasure to live with and love a dog, this book will bring to you both laughter and tears.
    Mr. Rowley introduces us to Ted and Lily (bean, nut, baby, little, puppy, etc, etc) in this sweet novel.
    Ted loves his Lily wholeheartedly. They are quite the duo; sharing happy times and sorrow.
    Ted quotes the following when things become so difficult for his Lily.. his family and friends not fully understanding what he is going through with his little pup... "Yours is by far the harder lot but mine is happening to me."
    Be prepared to get out the hankies and enjoy this lovely book.
    And truly huge kudos to Michael Urie who brings both characters to life in such a delightful way; Mr. Urie I'm certain loves his dog too!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Commonwealth

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5689)
    Performance
    (5175)
    Story
    (5180)

    One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny's mother, Beverly - thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.

    J says: "A Must Listen for Patchett fans"
    "Hang in There"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Initially I found this book to be disjointed and had difficulty staying with it. I'm not sure if it's just the nature of the audio version, but the going back and forward in time and the many characters and with which family they belonged, at times felt like maybe it just wasn't worth it.
    Then the story came together and I found a pace and got into it. All progressed well until near the end when the plot unraveled and once again became disjointed. Overall this book certainly has redeeming qualities but I just couldn't commit.

    18 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • The Life We Bury

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Allen Eskens
    • Narrated By Zach Villa
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37920)
    Performance
    (34648)
    Story
    (34574)

    College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same. Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran-and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.

    Lori says: "Good listen!"
    "Great Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a solid good book. The story held my interest throughout. It is expertly narrated and the characters have depth and texture. Although not fine literature it is a good mystery that is worth a listen.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The People in the Trees

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Hanya Yanagihara
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey, William Roberts, Erin Yuen
    Overall
    (246)
    Performance
    (228)
    Story
    (228)

    In 1950, a young doctor, Norton Perina, signs on with the anthropologist Paul Tallent for an expedition to the remote island of Ivu'ivu in search of a rumored lost tribe. They succeed, finding not only that tribe but also a group of forest dwellers they dub "The Dreamers," who turn out to be fantastically long-lived but progressively more senile. Perina suspects the source of their longevity is a hard-to-find turtle but he soon discovers that its miraculous property comes at a terrible price.

    Danimike says: "A dazzling, fundamentally flawed excursion into the grotesque"
    "Not So Much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was okay. The first part of the story was tedious then when the plot picked up a bit it was still lacking. There were several superfluous characters that served to distract from the plot and flow. Even though there were interesting moments, it was just that really.
    It's a surprise that this is the same author who wrote "A Little Life", such an epic masterpiece.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Hidden Bodies

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Caroline Kepnes
    • Narrated By Santino Fontana
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5510)
    Performance
    (5119)
    Story
    (5105)

    Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past 10 years, this 30-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he's heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him. In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can't stop looking over his shoulder.

    Gretchen SLP says: "Approach With Caution, All Ye Who Enter Here"
    "Creepy Misunderstood Murderer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This sequel is engaging and fun and I think maybe better than "You", it's predecessor. (you should read "You" first though)
    Here we are in Joe's head, seeing the world through his eyes.
    Poor Joe is so misunderstood, he's just out looking for love (and a little revenge). And gee, the poor guy has the worst luck. His lovers fall short, he is bothered by police and when he thinks he's found true love, a family member (BTW I just loved Fontana's narration of Forty's voice... PERFECTION!) is so very irritating, treating poor Joe unfairly.
    So Joe has to make things right.
    The rest of us may shrug things off... but not Joe, he needs to eliminate people who get in his way or who hurt him or slight him.
    He's forced to take these actions he thinks.
    How fun it is to read/ listen to this series. I loved this sequel. I'm waiting for the next book Ms. Kepnes.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Underground Airlines

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Ben Winters
    • Narrated By William DeMeritt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2660)
    Performance
    (2466)
    Story
    (2463)

    It is the present day, and the world is as we know it: smartphones, social networking, and Happy Meals. Save for one thing: The Civil War never occurred. A gifted young black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter for the US Marshal Service. He's got plenty of work. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states called "the Hard Four". On the trail of a runaway known as Jackdaw, Victor arrives in Indianapolis knowing that something isn't right - with the case file, with his work, and with the country itself.

    Mark says: "Original and disturbing novel"
    "Good vs Evil in 2016?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The premise of this story sounded intriguing. However this book fell short. At times I had trouble following the storyline and even the characters, some having more than one name.
    This book seemed to avoid meaningful social commentary; it just didn't go deep enough.
    It's as if the author thought of a great idea for a plot and then couldn't figure out how to make it all work or flow.
    At times it was difficult figuring out who were the good guys and who were not.. This wasn't a credit to the book however.
    Here the main character is thinking about the slaves, their lifetime of servitude and suffering.....
    "What do you do with that fact? Do you hold it like a stone in your hand? Do you pitch it away from this great height and let it fall? Do you swallow it and feel it in your throat till the day you die?"
    This was the most "meat" the reader/ listener got from the main character. I wanted to know more about the characters but Mr. Winters withheld.
    It was an ok book. Not all that one might hope for.

    18 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • Purity: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs)
    • By Jonathan Franzen
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Dylan Baker, Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1731)
    Performance
    (1575)
    Story
    (1575)

    Young Pip Tyler doesn't know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she's saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she's squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother - her only family - is hazardous. But she doesn't have a clue who her father is, why her mother chose to live as a recluse with an invented name, or how she'll ever have a normal life.

    kurdis teed says: "Another excellent novel from Franzen"
    "Unfortunate"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love my mother, I hate my mother. I love and desire my lover, I hate and am repelled by my lover. The push and pull was tedious.
    The one dimensional characters were distasteful and boring. I didn't care what happened to anyone and kept listening only due to my own tenacity. This I regret. What a waste of time and a credit. Yawn.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • A Little Life: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Hanya Yanagihara
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8458)
    Performance
    (7851)
    Story
    (7857)

    When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.

    Angela says: "I had to call in SAD to work"
    "Oh This Book, It Will Stay With You"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yes this sad tragic lovely beautiful story is truly amazing in its entirety. I can't really add much to the other wonderful reviews except to repeat that this book is one that will make you feel. Maybe it will make you feel too much. Bravo to Ms Yanagihara! I cannot imagine how or what his author had to do to create this work but thank goodness she did because this is a work of great merit indeed.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The First Bad Man: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Miranda July
    • Narrated By Miranda July
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (795)
    Performance
    (712)
    Story
    (704)

    Here is Cheryl, a tightly-wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat. She is haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six, who sometimes recurs as other people's babies. Cheryl is also obsessed with Phillip, a philandering board member at the women's self-defense nonprofit where she works. She believes they've been making love for many lifetimes, though they have yet to consummate in this one.

    alan says: "The book we've been fighting for"
    "OK I admit... I Love this Author, this Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Quirky... YES! Weird...Maybe. And oh how I loved this book. The main character is a woman many of us have known in our lives. Perhaps we've wondered how this woman might live her private life. Ms. July fleshes her odd-ball main character out in a most interesting and loving idiosyncratic way. She treats each of her characters with kindness and exposes their vulnerabilities in a gentle way; she teases apart their edges and delivers to her readers (listeners) the essence of their soul.
    Some of my favorite lines from the book ..."She wanted it more than he did, this made her lower than him; there was no way to knock down a woman who was already lying on the ground"........"her face shaking with regret about things she had not nipped while they were still in the bud"
    Genius, right? Yea.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Sound of Glass

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Karen White
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer, Susan Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4495)
    Performance
    (4164)
    Story
    (4142)

    It has been two years since the death of Merritt Heyward's husband, Cal, when she receives unexpected news - Cal's family home in Beaufort, South Carolina, bequeathed by Cal's reclusive grandmother, now belongs to Merritt. Charting the course of an uncertain life - and feeling guilt from her husband's tragic death - Merritt travels from her home in Maine to Beaufort, where the secrets of Cal's unspoken-of past reside among the pluff mud and jasmine of the ancestral Heyward home on the Bluff.

    Jennifer says: "You'll LAUGH, LOVE, and maybe CRY a little"
    "Got Better in Last Half/ more like a 3.5"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As this book began I found it to be quite annoying. The narrator whispered every third word and the plot was frankly kind of stupid. I decided to continue listing and much to my surprise the storyline improved and the narrator stopped her irritating whispering. THANK GOODNESS!
    The characters came to life and the plot became plausible and even enjoyable. I can't say that I either laughed out loud or cried as some say they did, but overall I think this was an entertaining book.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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