Amanda Michelle Steiner

Audible Editor

Amanda Michelle Steiner

As a former TV journalist and current books editor, Amanda is relieved that all of the antisocial activities from her childhood in Montreal ended up working out in her favour. She's particularly fond of complicated female protagonists, diverse stories, YA fantasy, and the odd psychological thriller. When she's not reading or listening, she's hanging out with her husband and her two cats, whom she not-so-jokingly refers to as her daughters.

Amanda's Recent Reviews

    • A Ladder to the Sky

    • A Novel
    • Written by: John Boyne
    • Narrated by: Richard E. Grant, Richard Cordery, Nina Sosanya, and others
    • Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 33
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 32
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 31

    Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for fame. The one thing he doesn’t have is talent - but he’s not about to let a detail like that stand in his way. After all, a would-be writer can find stories anywhere. They don’t need to be his own....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Worth Waiting For

    • By Anonymous on 2019-01-04
    • A Novel
    • Written by: John Boyne
    • Narrated by: Richard E. Grant, Richard Cordery, Nina Sosanya, Laurence Kennedy
    • Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
    • Release date: 2018-11-13
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 33 ratings
    • Unputdownable
    • I was so enthralled by John Boyne's 2017 novel The Heart's Invisible Furies that I picked up his latest, A Ladder to the Sky, without even reading the summary. What resulted was one of the best psychodramas I've listened to all year, enhanced by a four-person cast of narrators bringing an already captivating story into full colour.

      Maurice Swift, our perfectly hateable protagonist, is utterly talentless and yet absolutely dogged in his pursuit of literary fame at all costs. As friends and loved ones drop to the wayside on his journey to the top, Maurice's soul becomes ever more forfeit in this unputdownable spiritual descendent to The Talented Mr. Ripley.
    • Convenience Store Woman

    • Written by: Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori - translator
    • Narrated by: Nancy Wu
    • Length: 3 hrs and 21 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 8
    • Performance
      3.5 out of 5 stars 7
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 7

    Tokyo resident Keiko Furukara has never fit in - neither in her family, nor in school - but when at the age of 18 she begins working at the convenience store chain Smile Mart, she realizes instantly that she has found her purpose in life....

    • Written by: Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori - translator
    • Narrated by: Nancy Wu
    • Length: 3 hrs and 21 mins
    • Release date: 2018-06-12
    • 4 out of 5 stars 8 ratings
    • A strange, quirky tale
    • To be completely honest, I picked up The Convenience Store Woman because I was feeling nostalgic for the trip to Japan I'd taken earlier this year and the cover for this book gave me a craving for konbini onigiri. I was delightfully surprised by what I found: a strange, quirky tale that I've been turning over in my head for months.

      Keiko Furukara has never been able to fit in. But when she begins working at a convenience store at 18 years old, she finally finds one place where she can conform to expectations and fulfill a societal role to perfection. More importantly, she's happy. Eighteen years later, however, increasing external pressures make themselves known and Keiko ends up making choices solely to please the people around her. As an unusual woman attempts to bend herself into the shape people need her to be in order to satisfy their own expectations about the world, what follows is a lesson in staying true to yourself — even if you're a bit of an oddball.
    • Heart Berries

    • A Memoir
    • Written by: Terese Marie Mailhot
    • Narrated by: Rainy Fields
    • Length: 3 hrs and 45 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 25
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 20
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 20

    Guileless and refreshingly honest, Terese Mailhot's debut memoir chronicles her struggle to balance the beauty of her Native heritage with the often desperate and chaotic reality of life on the reservation....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Good read

    • By Amazon Customer on 2019-02-05
    • A Memoir
    • Written by: Terese Marie Mailhot
    • Narrated by: Rainy Fields
    • Length: 3 hrs and 45 mins
    • Release date: 2018-03-13
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 25 ratings
    • An arresting series of essays
    • ''My story was maltreated. The words were too wrong and ugly to speak. I tried to tell someone my story, but he thought it was a hustle.'' The opening lines of Heart Berries knocked me flat when I picked it up earlier this year. In an era that insists that women are free and safe to tell their stories — despite frequent evidence to the contrary — Heart Berries is yet another series of lessons in how difficult it often is to actually be heard — particularly if you're a woman of Indigenous descent.

      But as author Therese Mailhot commits her trauma to paper in this arresting series of essays written while she was institutionalized for PTSD and bipolar II, she is finally able to seize control of her story; in doing so, she succeeds in taking back the power from her aggressors. Mailhot's prose is unlike anything I've ever encountered in memoir, and Cherokee narrator Rainy Fields brings it to life with intimacy and grace.
    • Foe

    • Written by: Iain Reid
    • Narrated by: Jacques Roy
    • Length: 5 hrs and 31 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 18
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 15
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 15

    In Iain Reid’s second haunting, philosophical puzzle of a novel, set in the near future, Junior and Henrietta live a comfortable, solitary life on their farm, far from the city lights, but in close quarters with each other....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Stick with it until the end

    • By Amazon Customer on 2019-04-19
    • Written by: Iain Reid
    • Narrated by: Jacques Roy
    • Length: 5 hrs and 31 mins
    • Release date: 2018-09-04
    • 4 out of 5 stars 18 ratings
    • Guaranteed to linger in your memory
    • What does it mean to be human? Iain Reid explores that core existential question in his sophomore novel, Foe — an eerie, suspenseful little thriller that I devoured in one sitting.

      Foe follows a couple, Junior and Henrietta, who live on a farm in the middle of nowhere sometime in the near future. When the couple learn that Junior has been selected to participate in a program that would take him far, far away, they are assured by the suspiciously genial government operative handling their case that arrangements will be made so that Henrietta is not left alone during Junior's time away. Reid's prose is haunting and strangely romantic as the tension ratchets up, leading to a conclusion that is guaranteed to linger in your memory.
    • Baby Teeth

    • A Novel
    • Written by: Zoje Stage
    • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
    • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 116
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 104
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 105

    Suzette knows her clever and manipulative seven-year-old daughter doesn’t love her. She can see the hatred and jealousy in her eyes. And as Hanna’s subtle acts of cruelty threaten to tear her and her husband apart, Suzette fears her very life may be in grave danger....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Had me hooked!

    • By Becky Jones on 2018-08-04
    • A Novel
    • Written by: Zoje Stage
    • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
    • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
    • Release date: 2018-07-17
    • 4 out of 5 stars 116 ratings
    • A tense debut
    • I'm a pretty voracious listener of psychological thrillers, but I often find that my standards for the genre aren't met to the point of recommendation. Oh, the husband is secretly a controlling emotional abuser, you say? Groundbreaking.

      Baby Teeth has restored my faith in the genre. Zoje Stage's tense debut is a dual narrative following a seven-year-old daughter, Hanna, and her mother, Suzette. To her father, Hanna is a gentle, loving, and precocious Daddy's Girl; to her mother, Hanna is a master manipulator, contemptuous to the point of violence. What follows is a taut back-and-forth between mother and daughter as Hanna angles to rid Suzette from their trio altogether.
    • Circe

    • Written by: Madeline Miller
    • Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
    • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 522
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 486
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 484

    In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child - not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring, like her mother....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Fascinating story, expertly read

    • By libragal on 2018-06-20
    • Written by: Madeline Miller
    • Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
    • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
    • Release date: 2018-04-10
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 522 ratings
    • Miller's prose is gorgeous
    • The long-awaited follow-up to Madeline Miller's 2014 Women's Prize-winning novel The Song of Achilles is another masterpiece of historical fiction. Circe follows the titular Greek goddess of witchcraft, a daughter of Helios who, feeling left out by her family and peer group, turns to the world of mortals for companionship. Ultimately it's a story about a woman who stops letting her destiny just happen, learning with time and growing confidence that there's all this power inside of her waiting to be wielded if only she could shake off the weight of other people's projected expectations and desires. Perdita Weeks' narration perfectly captures Circe's fears and anxieties, belied as they are by an undercurrent of incredible strength.

      Miller's prose is so gorgeous that it makes me furious and inspired in equal measure; her ability to capture what it means to be human while writing about gods and goddesses is seemingly beyond any mere mortal's level of empathy and care.
    • The Immortalists

    • Written by: Chloe Benjamin
    • Narrated by: Maggie Hoffman
    • Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 70
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 61
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 60

    It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children - four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness - sneak out to hear their fortunes....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • mediocre story, wonderful performance

    • By Elissa on 2019-01-18
    • Written by: Chloe Benjamin
    • Narrated by: Maggie Hoffman
    • Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
    • Release date: 2018-01-09
    • 4 out of 5 stars 70 ratings
    • An examination of human fallibility
    • In Chloe Benjamin's star-making debut, four siblings visit a psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die.

      Don't expect to find out whether the psychic was truly psychic; it doesn't matter. The Immortalists is an examination of human fallibility and our fruitless attempt to control our outcomes in an uncontrollable world, and the comfort that can be found in surrendering to fate, come what may.

      Narrator Maggie Hoffman expertly embodies each of the four Gold children in their search for meaning, making for a beautiful listening experience.
    • Red Clocks

    • A Novel
    • Written by: Leni Zumas
    • Narrated by: Karissa Vacker, Erin Bennett
    • Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 12
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 12
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 12

    In this ferociously imaginative novel, abortion is once again illegal in America, in vitro fertilization is banned, and the Personhood Amendment grants rights of life, liberty, and property to every embryo....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • In a not so strange reality

    • By Amazon Customer on 2018-09-13
    • A Novel
    • Written by: Leni Zumas
    • Narrated by: Karissa Vacker, Erin Bennett
    • Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
    • Release date: 2018-01-16
    • 4 out of 5 stars 12 ratings
    • For fans of The Handmaid's Tale
    • For fans of The Handmaid's Tale comes Red Clocks, which might as well function as a prequel to Margaret Atwood's seminal dystopian novel.

      It's present-day America, and abortion is once again illegal; in vitro fertilization is on the way out, and single would-be parents and same-sex couples are denied the right to adopt. As these freedoms are stripped, Leni Zumas' story is told through the lens of four very different women grappling with this new world order. Red Clocks isn't perfect — it doesn't do enough to integrate the experiences of marginalized communities who tend to fare even worse under circumstances such as these. Regardless, this book ended up being a 2018 favourite for the same reasons The Handmaid's Tale will always appeal to me: it's a reminder of the dangers of complacence, and how easily the ground women have gained over the past 100 years would be happily ripped away by those who would benefit from a return to subservience.
    • The Favorite Sister

    • Written by: Jessica Knoll
    • Narrated by: Ashlie Atkinson, Jenni Barber, Aja Naomi King
    • Length: 15 hrs and 37 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 11
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 10
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 10

    When five hypersuccessful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder....

    • Written by: Jessica Knoll
    • Narrated by: Ashlie Atkinson, Jenni Barber, Aja Naomi King
    • Length: 15 hrs and 37 mins
    • Release date: 2018-05-15
    • 3.5 out of 5 stars 11 ratings
    • A searing critique of modern-day feminism
    • If you need your female characters to be likable, this fast-paced murder mystery isn't for you. Above all, The Favorite Sister is a searing critique of modern-day feminism and the reductive idea that feminism means all women must like each other — the sort of rah-rah girl power that is more marketing intended to sell shampoo than an actual movement in service of advancing women's rights.

      I'll leave you with this passage, because it fairly sums up the vibe of Jessica Knoll's sophomore novel: "Telling women to help other women in a society that places us in a systemic competition with each other is a fool's errand. Two percent of the world's CEOs are women and yet we are expected to treat each other like sisters and not rabid hyenas thrown a carcass picked to the gristle by lions. Malnourish me, undervalue me, humiliate and harass me when I try to get my money anyway. But don't you dare tell me to go about it nicely."
    • The Hazel Wood

    • Written by: Melissa Albert
    • Narrated by: Rebecca Soler
    • Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 77
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 67
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 67

    Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice's life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Dark Fairytale

    • By Josie M. on 2018-08-30
    • Written by: Melissa Albert
    • Narrated by: Rebecca Soler
    • Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
    • Release date: 2018-01-30
    • 4 out of 5 stars 77 ratings
    • Captures the grim nature of fairy tales
    • Have you ever thought about how truly dark fairy tales can be? We're told the watered-down versions when we're young, but even those feature child-eating witches, bloodthirsty giants, murderous stepmothers, and more death traps as allegory.

      In The Hazel Wood, 17-year-old Alice and her mother attempt to outrun the uncanny bad luck that follows them wherever they go. Soon, Alice discovers that the fairy-tale world described in her grandmother's cult-classic stories is real — and it's closing in. Melissa Albert's debut captures the grim, no-takebacks nature of fairy tales — how terrifying, how life-threatening, and how unyielding they can be on their path to parable.
    • The Power

    • Written by: Naomi Alderman
    • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh, Naomi Alderman, Thomas Judd, and others
    • Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 72
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 69
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 69

    Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • makes you think

    • By Laura Anderson on 2019-02-14
    • Written by: Naomi Alderman
    • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh, Naomi Alderman, Thomas Judd, Emma Fenney, Phil Nightingale
    • Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
    • Release date: 2016-10-27
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 72 ratings
    • A total collapse of the patriarchy
    • "One of them says, 'Why did they do it?' And the other answers, 'Because they could.' That is the only answer there ever is."

      The Power takes place in a near future in which women have developed the ability to shoot electrical currents from their fingertips. This power leads to a cultural shift — suddenly, men are being told not to walk home alone and the responsibility becomes theirs to keep safe in a hostile world. Ultimately, Naomi Alderman's latest novel is an examination of the corrupting influence of power, no matter who wields it. Women are not necessarily the hero(in)es here, and not all of the metaphors are subtle. But if I'm being honest, it's not not satisfying to listen to a book that chronicles the total collapse of the patriarchy.
    • Our Little Secret

    • Written by: Roz Nay
    • Narrated by: Erin Moon
    • Length: 6 hrs and 18 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 62
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 57
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 57

    Angela is being held in a police interrogation room. Her ex's wife has gone missing, and Detective Novak is sure Angela knows something....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • What a terrible ending to a juvenile story

    • By darmstro on 2017-11-05
    • Written by: Roz Nay
    • Narrated by: Erin Moon
    • Length: 6 hrs and 18 mins
    • Release date: 2017-06-06
    • 4 out of 5 stars 62 ratings
    • A binge-worthy psychological thriller
    • Our Little Secret is a binge-worthy psychological thriller with all the hallmarks of a spiritual descendant to Gone Girl and In a Dark, Dark Wood: An unreliable female narrator, a maybe-murder, and a dense plot with an ending that will give you whiplash. The story follows Angela, whose ex-boyfriend's wife has just been reported missing. A main suspect in the investigation, Angela tells her story from the beginning to a skeptical Detective Novak — and a whole new set of suspects emerge.

      This debut novel from B.C.-based Roz Nay comes to life with narration from Erin Moon, who effortlessly inhabits a cast of characters from small-town Vermont all the way to London, England.
    • The Fifth Season

    • The Broken Earth, Book 1
    • Written by: N. K. Jemisin
    • Narrated by: Robin Miles
    • Length: 15 hrs and 27 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 225
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 210
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 209

    This is the way the world ends. For the last time. A season of endings has begun. It starts with the great, red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Fascinating world

    • By Blythe on 2018-05-03
    • The Broken Earth, Book 1
    • Written by: N. K. Jemisin
    • Narrated by: Robin Miles
    • Series: The Broken Earth, Book 1
    • Length: 15 hrs and 27 mins
    • Release date: 2015-08-04
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 225 ratings
    • Heart-wrenching and fascinating
    • In N. K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season, the people of the Stillness are victims of a malevolent Earth in constant flux as tectonic plates shift restlessly, catastrophically. However, not all are powerless: orogenes, those with the ability to manipulate thermal and kinetic energy, can fend off the seismic events trying to shake humanity from the Earth’s surface.

      The first in Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy follows three orogene women at different stages in their lives as they forge bravely ahead in a world that treats their gifts with fear and scorn. With a particular knack for world-building, Jemisin skillfully examines complicated intersections between class and race, making for a heart-wrenching and fascinating tale that is ultimately about powerlessness in the face of institutional injustice.
    • The Lonely Hearts Hotel

    • A Novel
    • Written by: Heather O'Neill
    • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
    • Length: 12 hrs and 2 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 86
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 81
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 81

    Exquisitely imagined and hypnotically told, The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Best novel of 2017

    • By Anonymous User on 2017-12-27
    • A Novel
    • Written by: Heather O'Neill
    • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
    • Length: 12 hrs and 2 mins
    • Release date: 2017-05-09
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 86 ratings
    • The audiobook that got me hooked on listening
    • To be completely honest, I was a pretty casual audiobook listener until I started working at Audible. Now I know that I just had to find the right performance.

      That performance was Julia Whelan's in The Lonely Hearts Hotel. At its core, Heather O'Neill's piece of historical fiction is a love story — between people, for a city — and all the pain that a great love entails. The narrative takes place mainly in Montreal and is set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, and Whelan does this sweeping story justice by expertly juggling the dual male-female points of view for a truly affecting and transporting experience. (And, I must admit, I'm a soft touch for any story about my city of birth.)