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Susan

Nothin' like a good book & a lazy day.

San Francisco, CA, United States | Member Since 2010

85
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 27 reviews
  • 51 ratings
  • 502 titles in library
  • 127 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
9

  • The Lawgiver: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Peter Riegert, Zosia Mamet
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (26)

    At the center of The Lawgiver is Margo Solovei, a brilliant young writer-director who has rejected her rabbinical father’s strict Jewish upbringing to pursue a career in the arts. When an Australian multi-billionaire promises to finance a movie about Moses if the script meets certain standards, Margo does everything she can to land the job, including a reunion with her estranged first love, an influential lawyer with whom she still has unfinished business. Two other key characters in the novel are Herman Wouk himself and his wife of more than 60 years, Betty Sarah, who, almost against their will, find themselves entangled in the Moses movie .

    Amazon Customer says: "OMG, Herman Wouk is still brilliant at 97!!"
    "Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. It's creative, one of a kind, and fast paced. About movie-making, the behind-the-scenes process. The Moses story, although alluded to, which is just enough but not too much for non-religious readers, yet compellingly told by an intelligent assortment of creative types, all represented in the book via the emails, faxes, voice mails, letters, and other various & sundry modes of modern-day communication. A 21st century novel of letters, about Moses et al.


    Any additional comments?

    The woman representing the screenwriter, her voice is much too young and, even more important, inexperienced in the ways of Hollywood, even to the extent as described by her character (which is not especially experienced). But there's an important tone that's missing from her voice, and it's about basic life experience. It's missing. For Moses' sake, let's give such a writer a Woman's voice, not a girl's, not even a grown up girl.

    4 of 5 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
    (939)
    Performance
    (840)
    Story
    (842)

    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.

    38 of 45 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
    (67)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (65)

    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
    (11)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    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 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
    (2515)
    Performance
    (2339)
    Story
    (2349)

    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
    (580)
    Performance
    (318)
    Story
    (317)

    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
    (128)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (74)

    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
    (242)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (150)

    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
    (1055)
    Performance
    (954)
    Story
    (955)

    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
  • The Sins of the Mother: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Danielle Steel
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (129)

    Every woman makes choices. And no one has made more difficult choices than Olivia Grayson. The enormously successful businesswoman missed out on much of her children’s lives while she built her legendary home-furnishings empire. In Danielle Steel’s character-rich novel, Olivia faces the past, tries to balance the present and make amends where due, while still running her vastly successful business. As a way of making up to them for time lost, Olivia spends months each year planning a holiday that everyone in her family will enjoy.

    Jan says: "Loved it"
    "Not the best outta D.Steele . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story and narration, together, boggle the mind. Yet having heard it right out of an unexpected gallbladder surgery, it'd be an equally perfect (read, 'perfectly insipid' - and, yes, sometimes 'insipid choices are 'perfect' for the right circumstance) - oh darn, I've just moved above my own ability to think right now. Just don't buy it unless you're trying to find the right book to tear apart in one of your beginning creative writing courses. "What is this book missing? Or after so manner better books, why would Steele even bother (money . . ., to get over a back relationship, who knows, who cares).

    But if you're over 15 or intelligent or if you like to learn something while you're reading, please don't shed your shekels on this young girl's fantasy-come-true (which doesn't even emerge until, well, near the bitter end, I believe) . . .

    In short, spare your money. Instead get, 'The Cottage', if you're wanting a story showing growth (I guess you could call it 'growth') - a much better D. Steele. Or, if you haven't yet read 'The Walking Series' books, by Richard Patrick Evans, give it a go. Talk about having an author touch your heart (altho he skimps out a bit around book 4 or so, with the shorter books. (Note: Just make sure you start from Book 1 - read some 'reviews' to find out.)
    Or my fave, by Evans, 'A Winters Dream' narrated by the incomparable Fred Berman.

    That's it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Maisie Dobbs

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jacqueline Winspear
    • Narrated By Rita Barrington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1536)
    Performance
    (956)
    Story
    (954)

    Maisie Dobbs isn't just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligence - and the patronage of her benevolent employers - she works her way into college at Cambridge. After the War I and her service as a nurse, Maisie hangs out her shingle back at home: M. DOBBS, TRADE AND PERSONAL INVESTIGATIONS. But her very first assignment soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.

    A User says: "A delightful discovery"
    "Psychologist pedigree + detective's nose"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was going to say that this is a grownup Nancy Drew for the young and mature - especially those who are fascinated by a mix of WWI-era history, the plight of vets (who survived that war, and there weren't many) - yet as Maisie gets her Investigation biz underway, using her Cambridge education, her nursing experience on the front lines of war (poise) & her years of psychological training by a Freud-like elder (perception & intuition) - she hires one of these surviving vets, Billy, who's young, streetsmart, no real formal education but perfect as the right-hand, investigative-trainee to Maisie. A good team, and she's definitely got the lead role, which she earns compassionately, shrewdly, and via networking with the Inspector Chief of Dectives of the Police Dept. Imagine what intelligence that took in the early 1900s. But above all, Maisie's one dogged, tireless worker.

    The book's focus, mainly, is about finding people, finding who done what, etc. - and a healthy mix of family & romance. But mostly work, like any new entrepreneur. Romance is seemingly just around the corner, and that corner is approaching. But Maisie is wise beyond her years due to great advice and being open to it, plus she wants a good job. And as most wise women know, if you don't get your own career in place BEFORE you get married or seriously attached, you're not likely to meet the partner (and I do mean partner, not master/mistress) of your most contented dreams. Or she dates, has crushes, and more I dare say. But like any serious biz-building person, her nose is to the proverbial grindstone. And she loves what she does!

    Maisie Dobbs is one character who evolves from book to book; she learns from her clients, as the best people do, at their best. I admit, gladly, being swept away, delighted, even captivated by both the author & this cluster of 3D characters circling around this young woman, nurse-veteran of WWI, psychologist by training from the best in the field (not the coke-addled, client-abusing Freud, who's never mentioned but is around at this same historical time. In fact, Freud meets Carl Jung via letters around 1911, so it's very contemporary to the WWI era.)

    There's so much in this story, yet it's effortlessly revealed, because, as in all the best work, the 'art is concealed'.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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