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Susan

Philadelphia, PA, United States | Member Since 2010

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 24 ratings
  • 406 titles in library
  • 46 purchased in 2014
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  • The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Denise Kiernan
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (191)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (172)

    At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, consuming more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, the town did not exist. Thousands of civilians - many of them young women from small towns across the South - were recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Kept very much in the dark, few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed each day in the hulking factories in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains.

    CBlox says: "Important story of this secret city"
    "Tales of the Oak Ridge Mud Flats"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Girls of Atomic City in three words, what would they be?

    Ants with purpose


    What other book might you compare The Girls of Atomic City to and why?

    No book that I have personally read.


    What about Cassandra Campbell’s performance did you like?

    Yes, she did an excellent job!! You really got the first person narration.


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

    Yes, it was enthralling and well woven. It might have taken two sittings!!


    Any additional comments?

    I am thankful for the exploration of the contribution of this bustling community to the war effort. I wish there would be more followup of whether atomic energy has done more good than bad!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Summer: America, 1927

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1479)
    Performance
    (1337)
    Story
    (1322)

    One of the most admired nonfiction writers of our time retells the story of one truly fabulous year in the life of his native country - a fascinating and gripping narrative featuring such outsized American heroes as Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, and yes Herbert Hoover, and a gallery of criminals (Al Capone), eccentrics (Shipwreck Kelly), and close-mouthed politicians (Calvin Coolidge). It was the year Americans attempted and accomplished outsized things and came of age in a big, brawling manner. What a country. What a summer. And what a writer to bring it all so vividly alive.

    Mark says: "Why 1927?"
    "Speaking Bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about One Summer? What did you like least?

    I loved the idea of zeroing in on a particular time period. I've read some other Bill Bryson and liked it ok. I haven't seen the book which I hope to get from the library. I can't believe it was written as badly as it was spoken.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of One Summer?

    It was amazing to think that back in those days tens of thousands of people would come out for a celebration of a "hero". I also liked the descriptions of Fordlandia!


    How could the performance have been better?

    A better reader would have done wonders for the book.


    Did One Summer inspire you to do anything?

    Yes. It inspired me to look up Sacco and Vanzetti and perhaps someday(way down the list) to delve into Hoover(Herbert and J.Edgar).


    Any additional comments?

    Bill Bryson should be informed that he is not a reader!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Nathaniel Philbrick
    • Narrated By Chris Sorensen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (98)

    Boston in 1775 is an island city occupied by British troops after a series of incendiary incidents by patriots who range from sober citizens to thuggish vigilantes. After the Boston Tea Party, British and American soldiers and Massachusetts residents have warily maneuvered around each other until April 19, when violence finally erupts at Lexington and Concord.

    Rick says: "Another Fantastic Story by Philbrick"
    "Stellar Delight"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Bunker Hill the most enjoyable?

    I thought I knew a little about this piece of history.....NOT REALLY! Things were not always as our 5th grade history books said they were. This book served to fill in a few holes but may have caused some bigger ones!! The truth of history is like the layers of an onion or a box of chocolates, if you prefer! Chris Sorensen is a seamless reader and the writing is superb. It was not a good idea to start listening at night!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bunker Hill?

    The death of Dr. Warren, the Adams' own family physician has always stirred an emotional response and gut wrenching remorse at the untimely demise of such a stalwart and useful member of society? Now, i wonder if he was such a man or a horse of a different color?


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Poor Josiah Quincy sailing back and forth to England in such a precarious state of health!


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

    Yes....I almost made it but it is long. I wonder why I am a little tired today!!


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book that every high school student should absolutely read! (and everyone else mature enough for the true stuff of war).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Gary Greenberg
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    For more than two years, author and psychotherapist Gary Greenberg has embedded himself in the war that broke out over the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the DSM) - the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) compendium of mental illnesses and what Greenberg calls "the book of woe". Since its debut in 1952, the book has been frequently revised, and with each revision, the "official" view on which psychological problems constitute mental illness has changed.

    NYNM says: "Disappointment"
    "The Book of Whoa!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Book of Woe better?

    The fact that Gary Greenberg is only a psychotherapist and not a psychiatrist immediately raises the red flags that he has his own agenda to promote. He does. He has divorced himself from the whole sorry mess and does not use any codes or bill insurance companies. He does say that he tries to be benevolent in his billing scale. He further advocates for boys who want to be girls and vice versa and helps his patients to rationalize whatever behavior they choose.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Gary Greenberg again?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another one of David Drummond’s performances?

    Yes


    What character would you cut from The Book of Woe?

    This question is not really applicable to this book, but I suppose that I would have found the book more acceptable, if he hadn't pushed his own agenda so obviously.


    Any additional comments?

    I agree wholeheartedly that the DSM-5 is a book that no one really needs to buy and that the entire practice of psychiatry and psychology is pseudoscience.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Fred Anderson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (110)

    Apart from The Last of the Mohicans, most Americans know little of the French and Indian War, also known as the Seven Years' War, and yet it remains one of the most fascinating periods in our history. In January 2006, PBS will air The War That Made America, a four-part documentary about this epic conflict. Fred Anderson, the award-winning and critically acclaimed historian, has written the official tie-in to this exciting television event.

    Michael says: "A thorough and absorbing history"
    "History Trumps Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The War That Made America in three words, what would they be?

    This book masterfully tied up some loose ends in my knowledge of pre-revolutionary North American History


    What other book might you compare The War That Made America to and why?

    It was written in the woven style of Chernow in Washington: A Life. George was a key figure in the French and Indian war,also.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Simon Vance should be cloned. He is an excellent narrator who moves to French with ease and whose cadence is perfect.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Blood and Gore for a Winning Score


    Any additional comments?

    I appreciate the intrigues of the Iroquois League much better. What better way for Quakers to fight than to have Indians do it for them!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • In the Face of Jinn

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Cheryl Howard Crew
    • Narrated By Bryce Howard
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (43)

    Two American sisters, Christine and Elizabeth Shepherd, are on a silk-buying trip in India for their business in California. After Elizabeth mysteriously disappears, Christine is compelled to challenge the ineffectual U.S. and Indian bureaucracies and venture alone, with various strangers as guides, to find her sister. Disguised in the traditional female garb of some Islamic cultures, Christine continues her search in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She navigates the mysterious tribes of the Pashtuns, has a dangerous encounter with the Taliban, and learns to fear the "Jinn", the devils that dominate the superstitions of the people she must understand in order to survive.

    Lisa says: "Don't waste you time or money"
    "Jinn is not a person's name"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about In the Face of Jinn?

    It was about ten times too long, and too fantastical to be believable.


    What could Cheryl Howard Crew have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I read this book hoping that even though I want nothing to do with genies that I might gain some insight into the plight of women who really live under Sharia law. I did accomplish that, in part. The rest of the story was trash.


    What three words best describe Bryce Howard’s voice?

    Most excellent intonation


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Sadness...not because the story evoked the emotion, but thinking about the real women that are bound to such imperious men turns my stomach.


    Any additional comments?

    NO

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Rob Gifford
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (397)
    Performance
    (159)
    Story
    (157)

    National Public Radio's Beijing correspondent Rob Gifford recounts his travels along Route 312, the Chinese Mother Road, the longest route in the world's most populous nation. Based on his successful NPR radio series, China Road draws on Gifford's 20 years of observing first-hand this rapidly transforming country, as he travels east to west, from Shanghai to China's border with Kazakhstan. As he takes listeners on this journey, he also takes them through China's past and present while he tries to make sense of this complex nation's potential future.

    Roberta says: "An Outstanding Book on China"
    "Brilliant Underview of China"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I was so sad when this book ended that I had to play it again. Rob Gifford was a China based journalist so he can sniff out a story. He started out across National Road 312 with a few contacts in his cell phone but no master plan. This allowed him to be open to those he encountered such as a Daoist Monk, in a remote cave who surprised him by coming out in shorts and a tank top and who gave him his cell phone number for future contact. Really!
    The old sins of gambling,prostitution, and drug abuse have crept back into the country where they where once eradicated by deadly force. China,today,might be compared to the Robber Baron era in America. The wealthy get wealthier and the peons work extremely hard to maintain their tenuous existence.

    It probably helps if you have been to China to really appreciate this book, but Mr. Gifford does an admirable job of creating an excellent picture of the land. His predictions for the future are couched in" maybes" but the future is left up to God.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Maybe the funniest story(but true) was about the author's attendance at an Amway meeting which is like one might have been in America 30 years ago and still exists in a variety of forms for"magnificent nutraceuticals". The head of the organization does actually have more cars than he can drive and a big house and a maid. Everyone else doesn't realize that their hard work is paying to it!


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no, but he is an excellent narrator, and I wish he would read Peter the Great since I had to return that book due to the narration.


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

    In Hunan province, 20 years ago,farmers and their families began selling their plasma or extra cash. The needles were probably not clean and the blood all went into a common vat. the cells were returned to the donor's bodies, but the cells were all mixed up so if a person without HIV got CD4 cells that were infected, they suddenly had a retrovirus that could kill them with AIDS. They did in massive numbers. The government tried to cover it up, but the survivors now get a minuscule pension. Ugly.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A History of the World in 6 Glasses

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Tom Standage
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1523)
    Performance
    (1303)
    Story
    (1304)

    Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than just quench thirst. As Tom Standage relates with authority and charm, six of them have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history, becoming the defining drink during a pivotal historical period. A History of the World in 6 Glasses tells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the 21st century through the lens of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola.

    Stoker says: "Fun and Informative"
    "Life and Drink"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about A History of the World in 6 Glasses? What did you like least?

    It was a very interesting idea to follow the drinks that changed the world from beer to wine to coffee,tea,cola and now


    Would you be willing to try another book from Tom Standage? Why or why not?

    Yes. I will read the Victorian Internet sometime soon.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Sean Runnette’s performances?

    Yes..he was ok.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    NO


    Any additional comments?

    I thought this was a very unique approach to history, and it was fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Deborah Blum
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1382)
    Performance
    (911)
    Story
    (898)

    In The Poisoner's Handbook, Blum draws from highly original research to track the fascinating, perilous days when a pair of forensic scientists began their trailblazing chemical detective work, fighting to end an era when untraceable poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime.

    Aaron - Audible says: "CSI eat your heart out"
    "Cyanide,Arsenic and Other Delights"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Poisoner's Handbook the most enjoyable?

    I did not enjoy the reader.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dr. Norris, in corroboration with his chemist, was an excellent scientist of death back in a time when DNA was a new discovery. Working without mass spec using laborious chemical reactions which were scorned by


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Coleen Marlo?

    anyone


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, I learned a lot. Wood alcohol became a default in prohibition and may have killed hundreds of people. I found it very interesting and tangential to


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Tyndale: The Man Who Gave God an English Voice

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By David Teems
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    The English Bible was born in defiance, in exile, in flight, and in a form of exodus, the very elements that empowered William Tyndale to bring the English scripture to the common citizen. Being “a stranger in a strange land,” the very homesickness he struggled with gave life to the words of Jesus, Paul, and to the wandering Moses. Tyndale’s efforts ultimately cost him his life, but his contribution to English spirituality is measureless. Even five centuries after his death at the stake, Tyndale’s presence looms wherever English is spoken.

    Susan says: "Inspiration"
    "Inspiration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Tyndale the most enjoyable?

    I think the author did a good job of filling in the background of the time


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is true! I view my precious Bible in renewed light!! Tyndale was awesome and a great servant of God.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    I always appreciate a good reader with goo inflection and good pace


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

    Tyndale was betrayed by a horrible man and sent to prison. He died..twice...well..that wasn't really possible, but it was clear that his enemies wanted him dead. He was strangled and burned.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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