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Elizabeth B. Brandt

  • 27
  • reviews
  • 56
  • helpful votes
  • 94
  • ratings
  • Map of the Heart

  • A Novel
  • By: Susan Wiggs
  • Narrated by: Christina Traister
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 229
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 212
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 215

Widowed by an unspeakable tragedy, Camille Palmer has made her peace with the past and settled into the quiet safety of life with her teenage daughter, Julie, in a sleepy coastal town. Then the arrival of a mysterious package breaks open the door to her family's secret past. In uncovering a hidden history, Camille has no idea that she's embarking on an adventure that will utterly transform her.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not vintage Wiggs, but better than some of her more recent books

  • By Elizabeth B. Brandt on 09-17-17

Not vintage Wiggs, but better than some of her more recent books

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-17-17

I thought Susan Wiggs's early books were really great. In this book she gets back towards those early efforts. The book is not as formulaic as some from her Lakeside series. But it still lacks the gritty real life characteristics of her first novels.

The narrator is weak. I was able to continue listening. But she doesn't have very good read them or sensitive matching her voice to the level of intensity of the passage in the book. And her male voices need a lot of help.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Janesville

  • An American Story
  • By: Amy Goldstein
  • Narrated by: Joy Osmanski
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 339
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 289
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 291

A Washington Post reporter's intimate account of the fallout from the closing of a General Motors assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin - Paul Ryan's hometown - and a larger story of the hollowing of the American middle class. This is the story of what happens to an industrial town in the American heartland when its factory stills - but it's not the familiar tale. Most observers record the immediate shock of vanished jobs, but few stay around long enough to notice what happens next, when a community with a can-do spirit tries to pick itself up.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • How did I miss this one in 2017?

  • By NMwritergal on 11-25-18

This book will shake your foundations!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-30-17

The book is a powerful commentary on the impact of job dislocation, the difficulties of addressing it and the incredible resiliency of some people.

The Island at the Center of the World
    The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Russell Shorto
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        L.J. Ganser
    
    


    
    Length: 14 hrs and 56 mins
    1,132 ratings
    Overall 4.1
  • The Island at the Center of the World

  • The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan
  • By: Russell Shorto
  • Narrated by: L.J. Ganser
  • Length: 14 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,132
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 627
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 631

Nearly 40 years ago, a New York State Library archivist discovered 12,000 pages of extraordinary records from the original Dutch colony on Manhattan. After decades of painstaking translation, the documents became the primary source for this breathtaking history of early New York.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Wealth of Information, but Continual Repitition

  • By Steven on 05-31-05

Very Interesting Listen

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-29-12

I really enjoyed this book. The early history of NYC was fascinating. The narrator was especially good and did an excellent job with Dutch surnames and places. The only thing that bugged me was that the author was a little to obviously intentional about the fact that this history is just emerging and he was one of the first to tell it. i just wanted to hear the fascinating story. It was a small flaw however, in an otherwise excellent listen.

  • The Reservoir

  • By: John Milliken Thompson
  • Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
  • Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9

The author of numerous works of historical nonfiction, John Milliken Thompson put his extensive researching skills to good use when penning his critically acclaimed first novel, The Reservoir. Based on real events in 1885 Virginia, Thompson’s gripping tale is the story of a pregnant woman found floating in the city reservoir - and of the shocking details that emerge during the subsequent investigation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good Book, Great Narrator

  • By Elizabeth B. Brandt on 11-27-12

Good Book, Great Narrator

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-27-12

Tom Stechschulte has been one of my favorite narrator's for years. I bought this book because Stechschulte was reading. It was very good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Devil in the White City

  • Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
  • By: Erik Larson
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 14 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,461
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,823
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,855

In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Also available abridged.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Impossible to stop listening

  • By Michael on 05-26-12

Great Book -- Great Listen

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-05-12

This book was fascinating. The combination of a mystery and the history of the Chicago fair worked for me. I really enjoyed Scott Brick. If you like listening to popular histories, this is worth your time.

  • The Chosen

  • By: Chaim Potok
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,494
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,140
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,147

Though they've lived their entire lives less than five blocks from each other, Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders exist in very different worlds. Reuven blends easily into both his secular Jewish faith and his typical American teen life, while Danny's conservative Hasidic clothes and appearance make him stick out in any crowd. Their improbable friendship teaches them that the differences separating people through cultures and generations are never as great as they seem.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • truly rates overused "classic" label

  • By connie on 11-05-08

How wonderful to revisit an old friend!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-31-12

I first read The Chosen as a teenager. I loved it then. Listening to it now, 40 years later after raising children of my own, it had even more meaning to me. Jonathan Davis does a terrific job with the narration. The story of two Jewish boys in NYC at the close of WWII and the birth of the state of Israel is a compelling narrative of friendship, family and culture, with world politics woven in. The passage of time since the book was first published has only served to underscore its importance.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • The Worst Hard Time

  • The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
  • By: Timothy Egan
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor, Ken Burns (introduction)
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,994
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,245
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,257

The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Fascinating History

  • By Sara on 02-02-14

Incredible Book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-17-12

There were times listening to this book that I was jut torn apart! It was a riveting story of survival, perseverance, the failure of government. Incredible story.

I have listed to Patrick Lawler read fiction and really enjoyed him. And his narration here was solid and sometimes good. But something about it wasn't right -- I thought he possibly over-dramatized. Not sure, but...

  • The Great Escape

  • By: Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  • Narrated by: Shannon Cochran
  • Length: 14 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 962
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 829
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 828

Instead of saying "I do" to Mr. Irresistible, Lucy Jorik hitches a ride on the back of a beat-up motorcycle with a rough looking, bad-tempered stranger who couldn't be more foreign to her privileged existence. While the world searches for her, Lucy must search for herself, and she quickly realizes that her customary good manners are no defense against a man who's raised rudeness to an art form. Lucy needs to toughen up - and fast. Her great escape takes her to his rambling beach house on a Great Lakes island. Here, she hopes to find a new direction...and to unlock the secrets of this man who knows so much about her.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • good story but narrator ruined it for me

  • By Linda on 07-14-12

Vintage SEP

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-17-12

I enjoyed this book. Its vintage SEP -- not her vest, but still funny and interesting. I see from other reviews that folks are struggling with the narrator. After Anna Fields for so long, its hard to adjust. this is particularly true when the book involves characters from other stories (as this does) and the characterization is different. that said, i thought it was a solid narration. My biggest criticism is that this narrator does not do kid's voices very well.

  • The Circus Fire

  • A True Story of an American Tragedy
  • By: Stewart O'Nan
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 172
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111

In 1944, the big top of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford caught fire during the middle of an afternoon performance. Nine thousand people were inside. In seconds, the big top was burning out of control. The toll of the fire, and its circumstances, haunt Hartford to the present day. But it is the intense, detailed narrative - before, after, and especially during the panic under the burning tent - that will remain with listeners long after they finish this book.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Harrowing and brilliantly detailed

  • By P. M. Morris on 09-14-08

Intriguing and Interesting -- Goes on a bit long

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-17-12

I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting and intriguing. The narration was excellent. I gave the book a 3 because I think the writer takes too long to resolve a couple of the story lines.

  • To End All Wars

  • A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918
  • By: Adam Hochschild
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 16 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 382
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 314
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 308

World War I stands as one of history's most senseless spasms of carnage, defying rational explanation. In a riveting, suspenseful narrative with haunting echoes for our own time, Adam Hochschild brings it to life as never before. He focuses on the long-ignored moral drama of the war's critics, alongside its generals and heroes. Thrown in jail for their opposition to the war were Britain's leading investigative journalist, a future winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and an editor who, behind bars, published a newspaper for his fellow inmates on toilet paper.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A story of personalities

  • By Tad Davis on 06-09-11

Wow! Incredible Listen!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-20-12

this book was riveting. I felt the author did a great job weaving many disparate threads into a seamless narrative portraying the failures and challenges of WWI from Britain's perspective. At first I didn't think I would like the narrator -- much more intellectual and not as much character portrayal than I tend to like. But he got under my skin and I really enjoyed his approach.