East of Eden, Part 1 and then some

Hello,

I am LOVING East of Eden by John Steinbeck. As I have it on audio and it has been a fabulous escape from the real life, I have zoomed ahead and am into the last quarter of the book! I have 5 hours left on a 25.5 hours audiobook. I am in Chapter 42.

I am fabulously impressed. I don’t know why I was so reluctant to read this.

EastofEdenReadalong-1024x1024

“It would be absurd if we did not understand both angels and devils, since we invented them.” 


― John SteinbeckEast of Eden

That said, and if you are still here, allow me to tell you what is going on in the ‘real’ parts of my awake living (and some of my sleeping dreaming time, too.)

We are moving to North Carolina sometime this fall if all goes well. Which it should. No reason all won’t be hunky-dory but as moving is always an adventure, I will just share our new motto:  “We’ll figure it out.”

I have my final project due Sunday in my grad class that I’m taking right now. I have company coming this weekend. My husband is ‘on vacation’. I am trying to ready my house to list (I am cleaning and de-cluttering and then some). I am making phone calls and setting up appointments for painters and septic inspectors and lawn care and storage units, etc.) Oscar has pulled a muscle in his neck and yelps every time he moves.

Never a dull moment.

loveCare

 

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Humans

Very Quick Thoughts thbymh by Matt Haig, Canongate Books 2013, 304 pages, eBook

I liked this very much.

It had a fun premise – alien must come to earth and destroy some information that earthlings are not yet ready for. The alien decides that he actually likes these primitive people and must make a choice.

I really liked the philosophy. It was witty and warm and wise.

I loved the dog.

I appreciate my friend Nancy who told me to read this. You can read her review here.

Life is crazy for me right now; ask any questions if you have any. For example, QUESTION: ‘Hey Care, is this science fiction?’ ANSWER: ‘Ya know, I have such a tough time that question because I don’t know what frame of reference you are asking that question through. I can tell you that it is a very HUMAN book, more than a book about aliens.’

The book cover above (another cute dog on a cover!!) will link you to goodreads, if you need to know more.

Have a nice day!

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Books in the House

I thought I posted this! Oooops. I’m going through my post drafts.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – FINALLY. And links well to my Bryson A Walk in the Woods (doh – hiking.)

James and the Giant Peach – gift from a friend, read and probably won’t review

Out of My Mind by Sharon M Draper – YA, loaned by a friend

Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Winner The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Thanks Fizzy! I’m a bit intimidated, actually.

Home by Marilynn Robinson, because I was so impressed with Gilead. Purchased at an Independent Book Store Bargain Shelf “Previously Read”.

East of Eden – Readalong!!!

The Secret Life of Violet Grant – selected solely on loving the name/color Violet.

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More random stuff about books and reading:

I have pushed on with my audiobook of The Count of Monte Cristo and despite the. halting. odd intonations. of. the narrATOR! I am quite swept up in the story and even dreamed about Royalist vs Bonapartist ideology. Yikes, right?

“Oh the heartless scoundrels!  … Is the world filled with tigers and crocodiles?!”

I downloaded the audiobook for East of Eden. Ready to go!

A long time ago which I failed to note with my not quite established habit to secure a post-it note in the front cover of books loaned to me, MBR gave me Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. I have dipped into it often but it never ‘took’. Finally, I left it at the treadmill and have been regularly reading as I walk the Weight Loss 2 setting (30 minutes, ~1.72 miles) and now I’m on a push to finish the damn thing. I’m on to the Massachusetts chapter, about 25% remains. Though I have heard it is SO FUNNY, I’m actually finding it quite sad. The Park Service has limited funds or misuses it, the aphids are eating the hemlocks, unsolved brutal murders…  I have no ambitions to hike the AT but I am inspired to visit Mt. Greylock in Mass.

Side note: yesterday, I read about his visit to Harper’s Ferry and, of course, the name John Brown was mentioned. That is more motivation or a clue to get McBride’s The Good Lord Bird. (If any of my family is reading this, think Christmas present.)

School started two days ago. I will be alternating between feeling successful that I finished a project on time and stressing about doing such  — over the next four weeks. Right now I’m on the happy side of that pendulum. I have nothing due for two days and it is only commenting/responding. I suppose I should read what will come after that…

I got me a new laptop! A Microsoft Lenovo ThinkPad just so I can practice on this style – nothing more embarrassing than to sit at somebody’s computer and not know how to work that crazy mouse. I need to be fluent in all kinds computers for my job. I’m excited to play with it. I will create a nutty picture doing my homework surrounded by a Macbook, a ThinkPad, two iPads and an iPhone just to search the internet. I’m SO prepared. Bring it on.

Also yesterday (yesterday was a kick ass day overall – did lots of good things), I read on Iris’ blog that she has exceeded the 100 book count on the list of 1001 Books to Read Before You Die and it occurred to me that I didn’t know MY count. According to my shelf in goodreads, I’m at 50. But that might not be all on the READ shelf, so I am astonished at 100+. Way to go!

OK, this was supposed to be a short update post. Gotta run.

loveCare

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Emily and Einstein

Thoughts eaebylfl by Linda Francis Lee, Tantor Audio 2011 (orig 2010), 10 hours 54 minutes

Narrated by Dan John Miller and Cassandra Campbell.

Blurb on goodreads:   He was a man who didn’t deserve a second chance. But he needed one…

Emily and her husband Sandy Portman seemed to live a gracious if busy life in an old-world, Upper West Side apartment in the famous Dakota building.  But one night on the way to meet Emily, Sandy dies in a tragic accident.  The funeral isn’t even over before Emily learns she is on the verge of being evicted from their apartment.  But worse than the possibility of losing her home, Emily is stunned when she discovers that her marriage was made up of lies. 

Suddenly Emily is forced on a journey to find out who her husband really was . . . all the while feeling that somehow he isn’t really gone.  Angry, hurt, and sometimes betrayed by loving memories of the man she lost, Emily finds comfort in a scruffy dog named Einstein.  But is Einstein’s seemingly odd determination that she save herself enough to make Emily confront her own past?  Can he help her find a future—even after she meets a new man? 

 

Let’s Play a Game called WHAT IF…

WHAT IF… you encounter an Audiobook Sale?    

WHAT IF… you have to wait until the 1st of the month to get a new Audible credit?  

WHAT IF… you think you might want to listen to something light and quick?  

WHAT IF… there is a cute dog on the cover?    

WHAT IF… it features a character who works in book publishing?   

WHAT IF… you have always had your interest piqued by Alfred Einstein so its mention in the title causes pause?  √ 

WHAT IF… none of the other audiobooks on sale are books you have ever heard of nor interest you?  

WHAT IF… the goodreads rating per review count is over 3.7?  

WHAT IF… the protagonist turns to baking when she is stressed?  

WHAT IF… the book has a theme of a non-exerciser who takes up a goal to learn how to run? (reminds you of somebody…) 

YOU BUY IT, right?

WHAT IF… the setup is so overused and causes eye-rolling in the first few minutes? NOT that you weren’t warned, but still. (rich guy sees amazing strong woman and MUST. HAVE. HER.)

WHAT IF… in chapter 2, you hear this:

“… stopping just long enough to tuck a single errant strand of hair behind my ear.”  √  (send msg to Jill…)

 WHAT IF…  the strong woman becomes a puddle of  an indecisive unkempt mess – granted, she was grieving the death of her husband and of course, his family is mean to her, but she went soft. Really!?  

WHAT IF… despite the feel that the book had different elements to the same old format structure of lifetime movie chick-lit romance blah blah blah, you end up liking it OK and somehow give it a four pie slice rating? 

WHAT IF… thinking about all the flaws – the redemption was NOT believable, HE was an asshole, SHE was supposed to be stronger but comes off as the NICEST saint of a girl – you almost downgrade your rating just trying to write this post? 

WHAT IF… since it was a short audiobook and it got you through to the next round of Audible credits and you were driving to errands or mowing the lawn anyway, you really can’t call it a waste of time? 

fourpie

GAME OVER.

Care hopes you have enjoyed this audiobook review post.

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Readalong for July/Aug 14

EastofEdenReadalong-1024x1024

This is what I am going to attempt soon. I have the big thick tradeback version shown here: eoebyjs Penguin’s Centennial edition, 600+ pages, pub’d in 2002 (which doesn’t make sense to me since it has been 50 years not 100 years since original publishing date) which I have borrowed from my friend Marsha. I am also going to Audiobook this.

I have avoided this book a long time but many of you booknuts say it is awesome. I just read too much Steinbeck in High School.
Will there be SYMBOLISM in this?  Don’t tell me, I’ll wiki it after I finish…

Don’t tell me anything! I really don’t know anything about this. Although I’m already thinking it is about brothers and probably brothers up to no good? to each other?  Way to go, Readalong Button.

Join?

That spoilery button above links to The Estella Society, host of said readalong. The book cover links to goodreads.

I forgot to note the Twitter hashtag. I’m sure I’ll figure it out by then.

 

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Good Earth

Thoughts tgebypb by Pearl S Buck, Blackstone Audio 2010 (orig 1931), 10 hours 37 minutes

Narrated by Anthony Heald.

I’m at a loss of what to say here.

I don’t think just telling you what this book is about will capture the awe which might describe my reactions. I think that this might be one where all description will fall flat. Like comparing a TV view to a real view of a mountain or a beautiful sunset.

The real thing is just better. If I were to describe this book, I think I would risk making the book sound dull.

There’s a life force to this book that a review can’t capture.

Does this mean that I am going to recommend you run right out and read it? Nope. You’ll have to take the risk by yourself. But there is SOMETHING. Something to this book that is just impressive beyond knowing it is about a Chinese farmer’s life.

Did I like this farmer dude? Nope, not really. He had his moments but mostly, he was just a man. Now his wife? SHE WAS INCREDIBLE. Hellz yea, cuz she was a WOMAN.

Ok, that’s all I gots to say. But there is so much more to this tale, I realize.

We will discuss this in our book club at the end of the month. So far, I think everyone has liked it.

I know I was surprised to like it so much.

Click on the image above to go read about the book if you must have some kind of plot synopsis, etc.  Even better, click on Nymeth’s review and read all the comments (Just click here.)

I am very glad to have read this.

This concludes this audiobook review post.

Rating:  Four slices of pie.
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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Ms. American Pie

Thoughts IMG_2799 Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bold Tales From the American Gothic House by Beth Howard, Race Point Publishing 2014, 207 pages

[I was given this book by the publisher. I was going to buy it anyway and I knew I was going to LOVE it; I am a big fan of the author. I recommend her first book, a memoir. About grief and how pie heals. Click here to read my review of Making Piece, 2013]

Ms. Howard is no-nonsense. She doesn’t believe in tiptoe-ing around any delicate or fussy  ideas of the RIGHT way to make a pie.” JUST DO IT” is more her motto and her cookbook reflects this. So if you are intimidated by pie making but want or need some of that tough love to just jump into a bowl of flour and (quickly, gently) work in that butter, THIS is the cookbook for you.

AND she is nice about it, she can put one at ease. It just doesn’t matter how the pie might look! Pie is NOT fussy, pie doesn’t have to be pretty-pretty. Pies (almost) always taste fabulous. Ms. Howard gives all the right pointers to ensure you have fun while putting that pie together and tells you not to worry, it will all be fine.

Early in this book, we get Howard’s PIE-OLOGY which lists many lofty, true and good things about pie, finally stating, “Pie makes people happy and happy people make the world a better place.” She also busts most of myths surrounding pie lore. She answers a ton of often asked questions and offers plenty of how-to photos.

Pie is good.

So far, I have made the Apple (Pies to Heal, p. 45 for Memorial Day with using the Hand Pie technique described on p. 190) – I even made the caramel sauce. YUM! photo 4

I made the Cherry (another Pie to Heal, p. 50) IMG_3021 with the Gluten Free Pie Crust (p. 33) and it was fabulous! The Strawberry Rhubarb (p. 83) I made for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day (June 9) was absolutely perfect. I took the Shaker Lemon (Pie Recipes of the Pitchfork Pie Stand, p. 90) IMG_3123 to the boat crowd and everyone loved it. (I am embarrassed to admit that I’m somewhat proud of my edges on these two – you all know I’ve been making pies a long time and I give talk about how I should try to make the perfect crimp but then I think it wouldn’t look like a Care-Pie…)

My friend made the Spaghetti Pie on p.180 and RAVED about how awesome it was.

I have many many more to try.  pierating1
Rating: Five slices of pie.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PIE BOOK!

loveCare

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Thoughts ikwtcbsbyma by Maya Angelou, Random House Audio 2011 (1970 orig) 10 hours 12 minutes

Narrated by Maya Angelou.

Um, I had thought this book was a book of poetry. Perhaps because all I really thought I knew about Maya Angelou is that she was a poet? I really am not that familiar with her but have no reason not to admire her. This book proves that she is the product of some fabulous female influences and strong personal will to survive horrific and unfortunate experiences.

This is a memoir of her first 18 years. (In case anyone else also thought it was a book of poetry.)

I may not go out of my way to listen to her narrate any other works of literature but having her read her own words was just fine for me.

Rating: Five slices of pie.

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Literary Road Trip

I had the pleasure of attending a poetry reading in a lovely setting last week:  IMG_3199 The Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington CT. The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival is held Wednesday evenings throughout the summer. We enjoyed headliner IMG_3210 Frank Bidart, opening poet Benjamin Grossberg and music entertainment IMG_3192 Alien Folk Music.

“then the voice in my head said

WHETHER YOU LOVE WHAT YOU LOVE

OR LIVE IN DIVIDED CEASELESS
REVOLT AGAINST IT

WHAT YOU LOVE IS YOUR FATE ”
― Frank BidartIn the Western Night: Collected Poems, 1965-1990

Unfortunately, I didn’t take the opportunity to purchase Bidart’s book but it is on my wishlist and I encourage anyone to seek out and attend such an event with this poet. Mr. Bidart was fabulous at reading his poems and was a delight to experience in this beautiful setting. We had a lovely lovely time.

The next day, I visited the Mark Twain House in Hartford. IMG_3216 IMG_3217 IMG_3218 Now I’m inspired to read a Mark Twain. I *think* I have read Tom Sawyer but I really am not sure about that and probably should attempt Huck Finn but does anyone have a suggestion? He is one of those great American authors whose works are so familiar that it is difficult to decide what to read. I’m thinking that an audio experience might be the way to go.

“Go to heaven for the climate and hell for the company.”  (so many great quotes from Sam, yes?!)

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Gilead

Thoughts gbymr by Marilynne Robinson, Picador 2004, 247 pages, tradeback

In my unofficial accidental project to read all the Pulitzers, I found this on my shelf thanks to good friend Holly.

“The idea of grace had been so much on my mind, grace as a sort of ecstatic fire that takes things down to essentials.” p.197

I loved it. It is quiet but also toiling & boiling with emotion; It is one long letter from an old man to his very young son. So no, not a heavy action plot-pushed adventure, but shared thoughts on life and family and place based on experience and memories. Gildead is a fictional town in Iowa.

The father is almost 80 years old; his son is 7. The father is a Christian Reverend responsible and dutiful in gentle care of his congregation in small town America – in this tale it is Iowa but we dip often into Kansas and the history of abolitionism through the work of his grandfather.

(LINK!  Mention of John Brown and the border wars of Kansas and Missouri give me more points of motivation for McBride’s The Good Lord Bird.)

Maybe a lot doesn’t HAPPEN (except in memory) in this but a lot of heavy issues are explored and considered. Race and history, father and sons, friendship, and family expectations. Certainly a contemplative book but strong emotions are examined against the history of evolving relationships.

“This is an important thing, which I have told many people, and which my father told me, and which his father told him. When you encounter another person, when you have dealings with anyone at all, it is as if a question is being put to you. So you must think, What is the Lord asking of me in this moment, in this situation? If you confront insult or antagonism, your first impulse will be to respond in kind. But if you think, benefit is intended for me, first of all the occasion to demonstrate my faithfulness, the chance to show that I do in some small degree participate in the grace that saved me, you are free to act otherwise than as circumstances would seem to dictate. You are free to act by your own lights. You are freed at the same time of the impulse to hate or resent that person.” p.124

Words
p.71 crepuscular |krəˈpəskyələr| – adjective – “of, resembling, or relating to twilight.”

Rating: Five slices of pie.

“The women put the pies and cakes they had brought and the books that could still be used into our wagon and then covered the bed with planks and tarps and lap robes.”     (pie and books mentioned in ONE sentence, p. 95)

 

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

I prefer pi.

pieratingsml

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