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Susan Mather

Good books and peaceful days...

San Francisco | Member Since 2015

112
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 29 reviews
  • 53 ratings
  • 518 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
13

  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robin Sloan
    • Narrated By Ari Fliakos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3017)
    Performance
    (2715)
    Story
    (2701)

    The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything....

    Susan says: "Fun, thought-provoking, mysterious.... and FUN !"
    "4.5+. Google employees, tech folk & book-mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore?

    Google employees, computer geeks (from low geek to high geek, on the geek scale), a solid story I'm glad I read but after this one, you've just got to read Peter Clines' 14. They're both good, and 14 is definitely 5 stars (just in case you only have 1 credit left). Or you could Exchange a book you just couldn't read after buying it.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Semi-edge of my seat, yeah. It's been a week or so but I really really liked this one, narrator, characters, and unique, hi-tech references (but nothing that you won't understand, yet enough to whet your appetite).


    What about Ari Fliakos’s performance did you like?

    He fits his character, which is a compliment; it means the narrator didn't stand out, instead you focus on the story which is the better (by far) than concentrating on a narrator's crummy accent or whatever. No whatever's here.


    If you could rename Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, what would you call it?

    Are you kidding? Title's are the hardest; and besides, I liked this title. It's one of the.reasons I bought the book. It fits somehow.


    Any additional comments?

    It's much better than reading those romance novels where women fall for these controlling men, geez. Don't women know by now that control is the opposite of love? No, the guys in this book, they're way more cool, well the main one is. Enjoy. And then read "14".

    30 of 32 people found this review helpful
  • The Mistletoe Promise

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Richard Paul Evans
    • Narrated By January LaVoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (74)

    A new holiday story from the best-selling master of the Christmas novel. It isn’t Christmas without a Richard Paul Evans novel. Ever since he wrote the book that inspired the genre, The Christmas Box, his best-selling holiday stories have become a beloved literary tradition.

    Sue says: "Great escape book"
    "Heartful Author & Narrstor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What can I say... I feel touched by this author's somewhat sappy stories. And I'm so glad I am (touched, ha).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Motive: An Alex Delaware Novel, Book 30

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Jonathan Kellerman
    • Narrated By John Rubinstein
    Overall
    (203)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (170)

    Even having hundreds of closed cases to his credit can't keep LAPD police lieutenant Milo Sturgis from agonizing over the crimes that don't get solved - and the victims who go without justice. Victims like Katherine Hennepin, a young woman strangled and stabbed in her home. A single suspect with a solid alibi leads to a dead end - one even Alex Delaware's expert insight can't explain. The only thing to do is move on to the next murder case - because there's always a next one.

    Bruce Kent says: "Figured it Out Too Early!"
    "Not great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Narrator had very good command of various male characters but needs to work on two-dimensional female voices. The author didn't help with the depiction of females... Not worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Profiler's Daughter: Sky Stone, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By P. M. Steffen
    • Narrated By Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1200)
    Performance
    (1080)
    Story
    (1079)

    The Profiler's Daughter is a psychologically haunting thriller that combines murder mystery, love triangle, and family intrigue in one satisfying page burner. Sky Stone was born into the wealth and privilege of Boston's oldest Brahmin family but chooses instead to follow in the footsteps of her deceased father, legendary FBI profiler Monk Stone. In the chilly morning hours before the Boston Marathon, when a beautiful university student is found strangled and mutilated, her body left at the base of Heartbreak Hill, Sky returns from self-imposed exile to investigate.

    Irene L. Culkeen says: "What a great find"
    "Great title, poor production value"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some wrongly believe you need to suffer through the entire performance, because that's what an audiobook is, before rating it. I couldn't get that far. I'd like to encourage Audible editors to keep its acquisition standards 'high', if not 'higher' to avoid narrators who are terrible at the accents they're attempting, to protect Audible customers from low-quality production values where, for example, the audio editor doesn't take the time to erase the sound of a narrator swallowing between each sentence or dramatically stating each and every sentence to such an extent that it all becomes the same over-dramatized pitch, etc. When Audible does this, we can be more assured of quality (like Breakfast at Tiffany's, say). Because even with the exchange policy, our time is worth something that can not be replaced. Please Audible, be discriminating, offer more guidelines, whatever, but protect us from the poor execution of books.

    48 of 57 people found this review helpful
  • An Unconventional Courtship

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Scotty Cade
    • Narrated By Finn Sterling
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (73)

    Tristan Moreau loves his job as chief administrative officer and personal assistant to Webber Kincaid, President, Chairman, and CEO of Kincaid International. It would be the perfect job...if only he hadn't fallen in love with his boss as well as the work. After two years, he's still doing everything in his power to keep his feelings hidden-mostly because he wants to protect the reputation of his famous boss but also because he wants to keep his job.

    Libros Lover says: "Wonderful Romance"
    "Slow as Sludge"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This writer has the ability to make writing look as hard as it is, unfortunately for the reader. Yet he has great potential if he learns what dialogue to leave out. Right now it's as boring as the dialog between two kids in high school. That isn't to say it needs to be unendingly clever, either - but a happy medium between the two might suffice. The potential? He creates two characters that appropriately exhibit tension thru dialog, pauses - then again, it could be that I so wanted the story to take off that I felt anxious for the characters. And the narrator? He was split - good in his male voices yet every time he had to 'narrate' a female character, the voice suddenly turned into a caricature of a female, not a real person at all.
    Three stars for finishing. Now learn something from it and try again. Why? Because there's something there that hasn't yet been developed, called Voice. Don't stop. (Unless you're the potential reader.)

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Steve Stockman
    • Narrated By Steve Stockman
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck is a quick and easy guide that will make your video better instantly - whether you hear it cover to cover or just listen to a few chapters.

    Susan Mather says: "Excellent!"
    "Excellent!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some people are multi-talented, and this author is one! Plus he's got a self-deprecating sense of humor, which only the most confident people pull off (or even try ...). He describes himself as a filmmaker but then immediately humbles the title by saying, basically, in Los Angeles, EveryOne's a 'filmmaker'. His delivery is clear & basic but not so basic you want to tear your hair out, which is helped also by a steady pace when delivering new info. This is not a book about what cameras to buy or technical advice, but about basic yet hugely important info everyone must learn, practice, relearn and then deliver in order to create a video 'that doesn't suck'. For example, he says it's crucial to "use your feet" to get "the whites of their eyes" (two tips here - don't use your zoom, instead use your feet & always try to get so close to people that you can see the whites in their eyes). Many more tips too.

    This is a classy professional with a great sense of humor (he dedicates the book to his partner, adding, something like 'by now, you really deserve a statue' or something, instead of his dedication). His delivery is fun, not overdone. And if you're someone interested in learning more about the law of attraction in action, this guy's an example. You just know he focuses more on what he's grateful for than complaints, a worthwhile goal for us all. Sincere & fun-loving. I'd want to go on a shoot with this teacher, which, in part, is the 'likeability' factor in action too. But nothing superficial; nice.

    Just by listening, your mood will be lifted. Basically his book content is an example of his video philosophy: If you're bored with what you're shooting (or writing, talking about), then your audience will be bored too. When in doubt, cut it out. The tips he suggests ensure you will snag exciting content/images. So, tips that are timely and well worth repeated listening, plus you get a narrator that exudes a certain je ne sais quoi. Live, learn & keep editing to ensure your visual&audio memories, how-to's, and/or blockbusters just don't suck.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Crown Tower: The Riyria Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3054)
    Performance
    (2819)
    Story
    (2829)

    Michael J. Sullivan garnered critical raves and a massive readership for his Riyria Revelations series. The first book in his highly anticipated Riyria Chronicles series of prequels, The Crown Tower brings together warrior Hadrian Blackwater with thieving assassin Royce Melborn. The two form a less-than-friendly pairing, but the quest before them has a rare prize indeed, and if they can breach the supposedly impregnable walls of the Crown Tower, their names will be legend.

    Tango says: "Delicious Icing on a Terrific Cake"
    "Argh..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Here's a new author who feels the need to introduce a Novel. Come on, man. Let your book speak for itself. And if you NEED to hear your voice, More, do it at the end, and let an Audible editor interview you. But don't stop our anticipation in its tracks to hear mundane stuff. That's like a character (on film) who suddenly breaks out of character and starts talking directly to the viewer by looking directly into the camera. Jarring! And then when we hear the 'important' reason why you decided to do this (Hamm), you then become irritating. Please don't ply us/the readers with your administrative decision making about whether or not the book is open-ended, or why, as a writer, you decided to resolve all the character's/s' issues! It not only breaks the flow, but forces, yes FORCES the listener to listen to, well, boring crud. From what the reviews show, the book really should be enough. Wait at least until the end of the book, except in cases where the reader truly must know your process as part of the introduction. Most of all, always, or LISTEN TO, your editor. Now I'll try to read the darn book, again.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Fancy Pants

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Susan Elizabeth Phillips
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (608)
    Performance
    (340)
    Story
    (339)

    For Francesca Day, it's not the end of her world, but close to it. She's London-bred, wealthy, and sophisticated, but fate leaves her flat broke and stranded on a back road in Texas. Now she's got to deal with reality without her rich girl props. How can she do it? In Dallas Beaudine, gritty and handsome, lies the answer. He stops his car to help Francesca, whose life needs a tune-up, as well as her car. Stopping could lead to the biggest mistake, or best time, ever.

    Donna A says: "Unlikable Main Character"
    "Texan Pro Golfer Meets English Lass"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This isn't a brand new series, but it's new to me. Here's my philosophy on choosing a book: Sometimes you just want to relax, not to work at learning a new skill or theory. And that's where Audible shines, esp when story & narrator merge so seamlessly as they do in this series. Fancy Pants is about a female who wasn't prepared for the world, at least not in a way that would allow her to function well as an independent, self-sufficient person. That's something many females can relate to, unfortunately. This author deals with this serious subject in a humorous, confidence-inspiring (well, it is fiction but it does/ can apply to our lives too). Yep, it's about the need to be self-sufficient as a pre-requisite to real, mature (and exciting) LOVE. But there's enough fun and intelligence, so much so that you just might not dwell at all on the underlying message. Love it. But the second book in this series, Lady Be Good, had me laughing out loud. First things, first tho. Start at the beginning, here, if you want some relaxation and delight. Over n out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • True Courage

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dee Henderson
    • Narrated By Tom Strechschulte
    Overall
    (136)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (82)

    In True Courage, multiple Christy Award winner Dee Henderson sends FBI Special Agent Luke Falcon on a desperate race to save lives. Just before fresh leads on an elusive serial killer pre-empt another date with Caroline Lane, she calls Luke to tell him her sister and family are missing. As day blurs into night, the specter of foul play soon tests the reality of the couple's faith in God and their love for one another.

    Raphael says: "Well Worth the Listen"
    "Great potential, but ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of those books that has a great story yet it's execution is lacking. I'd guess it's an example of the author who doesn't want to keep editing and re-editing - or writing and rewriting ... She stopped too soon. For example, after reading a few other books by this author, I noticed two similarities throughout all - even tho the characters have different names from one book to the other, all the male characters were essentially the same person. I believe this author was trying to model her male characters based on her idea of Jesus, really! Which means they were, well, as perfect as a human being can be in values, actions and emotional responses. That is, no chinks in their emotional makeup, no real signs of anger b/c the author seems to believe that for a man to express anything but a twinge of this or that feeling (shown only by subtle expressions, like clenched teeth or jaw, or whatever) would be a dreadful sign of weakness. Being 'real' isn't exactly valued here, with all the messiness that implies. But they do seem to be an idealized persona; and after all, this is both a mystery and romance with Christian foundations&aspirations. Each subsequent book in the series shows yet another person (of a small group of orphans who weren't chosen by adopting parents, and thus decided instead to form their own family) - who, one by one, find their way to Jesus. Born again. Actually, although I'm not a practicing Christian by any stretch, I still was drawn in by these characters and their story. My only complaint is that a writer with such a great story and characters didn't take the time or effort or get the feedback that might've helped her to truly make this a literary achievement. That is, to not rely on stereotypical characterization but instead to create 3D people, warts and all. Lastly, to not use a word so often that it brings attention to the word choice instead of the story it's trying to convey. Yeah, that one word for this author is ROILED. Great word but not six times b/c it stands out a lot. This roiled and that roiled. Now whenever I hear that word, I can't help but think of this author and smile.
    I do hope she keeps writing and honing her craft b/c she obviously has a talent for the hardest part of writing, for many: coming up with unique story ideas and creating characters that, intermittently at least, touch the heart. But hold the relish when it comes to 'roiled.'

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Laney Salisbury, Aly Sujo
    • Narrated By Marty Peterson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (258)
    Performance
    (164)
    Story
    (167)

    Here is a tautly paced investigation of one the 20th century's most audacious art frauds, which generated hundreds of forgeries - many of them still hanging in prominent museums and private collections today. Provenance is the extraordinary narrative of one of the most far-reaching and elaborate deceptions in art history.

    Andy says: "reads like a thriller"
    "Reads Like a Great Mystery!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Artist with two young kids, down on his luck, meets swashbuckling conman who charms the artist into copying less-known works by the masters, for his own personal collection, he says. But not long after, during a visit, the younger artist notices his paintings have disappeared from their prominant place on the conman's walls. It's awhile before this artist fully understands hat his new 'friend' is doing with his paintings, for which he's been given increasingly large(r) sums of cash. And when his wealthy, well-dressed, smooth-talking friend asks him to attend an auction at one of London's most ite art museums, he realizes and is stunned to learn that his friend has donated, as well as sold, many of this young man's forgeries, which have passed the watchful eyes of the art world's elite. An incredible, fast-paced story that explains how the stuffy art world was initially taken for millions, during which its 'provenances' were fabricated to such an extent that many still believe there are fakes out there being mistaken for real. Fortunately, these authors write much better than me. If you like art and a fine story, you won't want to miss this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connection, and Courage

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Brené Brown
    • Narrated By Brené Brown
    Overall
    (1718)
    Performance
    (1494)
    Story
    (1489)

    On The Power of Vulnerability, Dr. Brown offers an invitation and a promise - that when we dare to drop the armor that protects us from feeling vulnerable, we open ourselves to the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. Here she dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and reveals that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.

    Elaina says: "Wonderful!"
    "A Revolution for the Real!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Do you know what triggers your shame? And do you engage in a daily 'gratitude practice'? And creatively involved in something you love, too? In addition, do you get plenty of sleep, and also know what it means to regularly laugh, play, and prioritize friendship as well? Well, guess what the latest research shows? These are the similarities of people who choose, and experience high levels of happiness over following the conformist tendencies of the 'in' crowd.

    After a handful or so years of doing hours-long 'interviews' of research subjects, and picking out repeating themes in American life, researcher and professor Brene Brown's focus on shame, fear & vulnerability almost brought her to her knees -- until she realized another emerging theme: Authenticity. That is, among and within an epidemic of irresponsibility and blame (which have increasingly been our 'default responses' to the fear and insecurity brought on by 9/11, 2008's Wall Street meltdown, plus the corruption we see everyday in our so-called leaders), Brown was also able to identify and focus on a more positive trend leading us toward more authentic lives. Let's hope that the 'hundredth monkey' theory continues (see book with same name, by Ken Keyes) in which a small group of people can literally change the way we live!

    This small group of people who resist cultural pressures to conform, not only live a certain way (see paragraph one, above), but are happier than others because of their choices in bucking the stultifying trends toward falseness -- who, instead, embrace authenticity. Yet be forewarned because no matter what you've been taught, showing your feelings and learning to be/embrace vulnerability and authenticity is not a journey for the weak!

    In this hours-long taping of a live seminar where Brown speaks in her down-to-earth, often funny, manner with an audience of two-thousand mental-health professionals, she's more than able at reaching her audience, revealing her OWN cringe-worthy journey (which we can all relate to) from a tough Texan with a quick-draw ability to defend at all costs, to a woman, who, "saved by her data" and research, begins, and unashamedly continues, her own journey at being and teaching the how/when& why a 'whole-hearted life' is as good as it gets! But it's not an overnight scheme, nor a scheme at all. I've already listened to this fantastic presentation three times. My only request is that Brene Brown present & record ALL her material, even to the point of redoing the two books she's had others narrate. Because this is your main, and your most intimate, channel in which to reach the most people. Please do so, I beg you. Bravo. Bravo. Bravo. I can't say enough about the importance of Brene Brown's work. It's the antidote in this otherwise increasingly false world of ours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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