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Susanne

Nurse. Yarn snob. Bookworm. Cat lover. Color enthusiast. Fabric collector. Gardener

Elkins Park, PA, United States | Member Since 2010

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 132 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • And the Mountains Echoed

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Khaled Hosseini, Navid Negahban, Shohreh Aghdashloo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2524)
    Performance
    (2228)
    Story
    (2221)

    Khaled Hosseini, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.

    FanB14 says: "Does the End Justify the Means"
    "A Breathtaking, Multigenerational Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved how the story spanned generations and linked characters across time. I also really enjoyed the incorporation of local Afghan folklore - fable-like stories that paralleled the characters' own lives.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by the narrators?

    I would. Initially, I had trouble with Shohreh's and Navid's accents as they affect the way I heard certain words. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this narration for listeners who have hearing difficulties.


    Any additional comments?

    Another stunning novel from Khaled Hosseini that takes the reader on a long and winding journey over decades, across landscapes, and in and out of the lives of extraordinary individuals.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Me Before You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3574)
    Performance
    (3240)
    Story
    (3258)

    Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life - steady boyfriend, close family - who has never been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life - big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel - and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy - but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected.

    Michael says: "Who or What defines Quality of Life?"
    "Not Mere ChickLit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Me Before You the most enjoyable?

    I quite enjoyed the different narrators and how the pace of the story changed with each character.


    Any additional comments?

    I was originally surprised by myself for choosing this book as I thought it would be mere ChickLit - something I tend to avoid at all costs. The story was beautifully crafted and I found myself relating to Louisa more and more as the narrative progressed. The characters seemed so tangible and solid - no the one dimensional ones in most other books of this nature. I was truly moved by the story and was sad to see it end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Jennifer Worth
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1700)
    Performance
    (1516)
    Story
    (1530)

    At the age of 22, Jennifer Worth left her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London’s East End slums. The colorful characters she met while delivering babies all over London - from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lived to the woman with 24 children who couldn't speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city’s seedier side - illuminate a fascinating time in history.

    Kathy says: "This is one I didn't want to put down!"
    "A Wonderful Companion to the TV Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I was initially annoyed by the soft voice of the narrator. Her narration seemed to ebb and flow, speeding up and slowing down, and it was aggravating in the beginning. Given that this book is a reflection on and contemplation of Jenny's life, I soon found the narration to be appropriate. I am a fan of the BBC tv series and found that the book gave me further insights into the creation of the show. I am also a nurse and felt a sisterly connection to Jenny. The stories she recounts are heartwarming and entertaining but also a window into the sadness, poverty, and desolation of post-war London.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Michael Moss
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1117)
    Performance
    (981)
    Story
    (974)

    Every year, the average American eats 33 pounds of cheese (triple what we ate in 1970) and 70 pounds of sugar (about 22 teaspoons a day). We ingest 8,500 milligrams of salt a day, double the recommended amount, and almost none of that comes from the shakers on our table. It comes from processed food. It’s no wonder, then, that one in three adults, and one in five kids, is clinically obese.

    Michael says: "This is all too real, and YOU are the victim."
    "Informative AND Engaging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Salt Sugar Fat again? Why?

    Yes! I found the information in this book to be so accessible. The sheer amount of research undertaken to write this book is phenomenal, yet Moss works through it in a very systematic way with engaging anecdotes to keep the reader interested and on track.


    What other book might you compare Salt Sugar Fat to and why?

    The Omnivore's Dilemma, Fastfood Nation


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

    I was kind of disgusted by some of the information presented in the book. I felt myself adopting a rather cynical view of the food industry (which, I suppose, is the goal of the book). Even though I thought I knew quite a bit about the machinations of the food industry, I could not help but feel hoodwinked by the lengths that corporations will go to to keep consumers coming back for more.


    Any additional comments?

    I think that this book is a fantastic listen if you have any interest at all in the politics that surround food manufacturing and consumption in America. I found it to be very enlightening and the information I took in will certain guide my choices in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Seven for a Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Lyndsay Faye
    • Narrated By Steven Boyer
    Overall
    (145)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (135)

    From Edgar-nominated author Lyndsay Faye comes the next book in what Gillian Flynn calls, "a brilliant new mystery series." Six months after the formation of the NYPD, its most reluctant and talented officer, Timothy Wilde, thinks himself well versed in his city's dark practices - until he learns of the gruesome underworld of lies and corruption ruled by the "blackbirders," who snatch free Northerners of color from their homes, masquerade them as slaves, and sell them South to toil as plantation property. The abolitionist Timothy is horrified by these traders in human flesh.

    Amy says: "A Solid Sequel to Gods of Gotham"
    "Timothy Wilde - On the Case Again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Seven for a Secret the most enjoyable?

    Steven Boyer does a wonderful job giving individual voices to the characters in the story. Each character appears as a unique person to me with the way he can distinguish between each one with the change of his voice.


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

    This performance was just as wonderful as that of God's of Gotham. I felt as if I had picked up just as I left off in the first novel.


    If you could take any character from Seven for a Secret out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    As much as I love Timothy Wilde, I would have to choose his brother, Val. I am forever intrigued by him - at once disgusted by his brutish nature but then charmed by his gestures of kindness.


    Any additional comments?

    Another fantastic mystery from Lyndsay Faye set in the bustling 19th century metropolis that we've come to know as Manhattan. I quite love envisioning Manhattan as the bubbling cauldron of people and animals and lawlessness that it was in the 1800's. How quickly things seem to change in only a century!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cold Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Charles Frazier
    • Narrated By Charles Frazier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (606)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (232)

    One of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory, Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain is a masterpiece that is at once an enthralling adventure, a stirring love story, and a luminous evocation of a vanished America in all its savagery, solitude, and splendor.

    M. Dunn says: "Cold Mountain (Unabridged)"
    "A Metaphor for Many Journeys"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Cold Mountain to be better than the print version?

    I only perused the print edition that my mother owns so I can adequately speak to which is better. I very much enjoyed Charles Frazier's reading of this book and his voice made the characters feel more real and tangible to me.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I fell in love with Inman. Perhaps it was even a crush. I was astounded by his bravery and the lengths he took to return to his home and Ada. Ruby was another favorite with her tenacity and good sense. I found myself wishing I could be like her with her strength and knowledge of how to survive with even the most meager of provisions.


    Any additional comments?

    This book captured my imagination and had visions of the Blue Ridge Mountains dancing in my head. I especially loved the vivid descriptions of the pastoral Southern landscape. I could clearly see the plants and winding lanes, the misty blue mountains, and the little house where Ada lives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6905)
    Performance
    (6251)
    Story
    (6251)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "Beyond Thinly Veiled Historical Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved that the story alternated between the viewpoints of Sarah and Handful.It was like looking at the same picture but through two different lenses. The voices that the narrators lent to each character really made the story come alive for me.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Handful was probably my favorite because of her rich imagination and strong sense of spirituality.


    If you could take any character from The Invention of Wings out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I would most certainly want to dine with Angelina Grimke - she has such a fiery spirit and had views that were considered quite "advanced" for her time.


    Any additional comments?

    I really adored this book. The narration was just wonderful and really had me excited to listen again and again. Though built on some key historical details, this book was so richly imagined and stands quite well as its own body of work rather than an attempt to merely color in the handful of details provided by history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Caleb's Crossing

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Geraldine Brooks
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ehle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (572)
    Performance
    (415)
    Story
    (423)

    In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold, Brooks has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure. The narrator of Caleb's Crossing is Bethia Mayfield, growing up in the tiny settlement of Great Harbor amid a small band of pioneers and Puritans. Restless and curious, she yearns after an education that is closed to her by her sex....

    Mary Sue says: "Another good entry into fiction!"
    "Little Known History Brought to Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Caleb's Crossing the most enjoyable?

    Brook's descriptions of the land and the sea.


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed learning about the first Native American to attend Harvard and imagining what life might have been like in an early American colony. I particularly enjoyed the way Bethia's demeanor changed when she was in her element, describing nature and the things she loved. Those passages made the story really come alive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Spectacular Now

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Tim Tharp
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (209)
    Performance
    (194)
    Story
    (194)

    "So, my beautiful fat girlfriend, Cassidy, is threatening to kick me to the curb again, my best friend suddenly wants to put the brakes on our lives of fabulous fun, my mom and big sister are plotting a future in which I turn into an atomic vampire, and my dad, well, my dad is a big fat question mark that I'm not sure I want the answer to."

    Sash & Em: A Tale of Two Bookies says: "Wouldn't recommend to everyone but great story!"
    "Not as Spectacular as I'd Hoped"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Spectacular Now in three words, what would they be?

    Melodramatic teenage saga.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I thought that the plot was fairly flat until Sutter meets Amy. Things pick up after that, but I felt that nothing much happened along the way. The story seemed to be more about Sutter's inward emotional journey as influenced by Amy.


    Which character – as performed by MacLeod Andrews – was your favorite?

    I liked Sutter as voiced by Andrews the best. I think he imbued him with the perfect amount of nonchalance and devil-may-care attitude.


    Any additional comments?

    I took a chance on this book after hearing a review of the feature film on NPR. At first, I felt like the story was being read to me by a southern frat boy. The plot was so dry and meandering and I felt that I was going to be stuck in Sutter's head for 6+ hours. However, having recently been a teenager myself, I do remember the constant navel gazing that takes place at that age when one is trying so hard to distinguish themselves from the pack. In the end, though, the book just made me incredibly sad because Sutter is seemingly left in the dust.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Orchardist

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Amanda Coplin
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (615)
    Performance
    (527)
    Story
    (522)

    At the turn of the 20th century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a reclusive orchardist, William Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots as if they were loved ones. A gentle man, he's found solace in the sweetness of the fruit he grows and the quiet, beating heart of the land he cultivates. One day, two teenage girls appear and steal his fruit from the market; they later return to the outskirts of his orchard to see the man who gave them no chase. Feral, scared, and very pregnant, the girls take up on Talmadge's land and indulge in his deep reservoir of compassion.

    Marcia says: "Beautiful, rich, sweeping tale, not a fairy tale."
    "An Unsentimenal Look at the Power of Relationships"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Orchardist the most enjoyable?

    The lyrical way in which the author writes about the American West on the brink of modernity, on the brink of losing its agricultural way of life as the 20th century barrels toward the orchard.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Orchardist?

    The way Talmadge, a very solitary man, unfolds the hard layers of his personality and opens his long dormant heart to the possibility of forging new relationships with Della and Jane.


    What does Mark Bramhall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I think it would have to be his slow, deliberate voice. He was always steady, never getting carried away with the emotion of the language which really painted a very specific picture of the main character for me.


    Any additional comments?

    I fell in love with this book. The author's prose, her descriptions of the landscape and its people were so beautiful that I could fully imagine the orchard in my mind's eye. I liked the slow development of the plot as this really allows you to come to know the characters, to wonder about their motives, to form relationships with each of them. This book is meant to be savored rather than devoured as you contemplate Talmadge's quest to create "family" despite the trouble it invites into his life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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