Unplugged Serenity

or madness, take your pick.

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I will be taking a break but you have my review of Flowers for Algernon to look forward to and also the kickoff post for MISERY in JUNE.

I will be reading Heart of Darkness (on the advice and guidance of Trisha), Station Eleven because it won the Tournament of Books, Mindset – the New Psychology of Success: How We Can Learn to Fulfill Our Potential by Carol Dweck (because it is THE book mentioned in ed reform and PD lately), and The Aviator’s Wife which was just selected for my book club.

I’m listening to the Selected Readings from the Portable Dorothy Parker.

I need to apply for jobs.

I just might be instagramming with the hashtags #Griffology and #Imonaboat.

Do have a memorable and solemn remembrancing kind of weekend. IMG_2691 IMG_2693 IMG_2687 Be safe.

See you in June.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2015. 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 Bookseller of Kabul

Thoughts tbokbyas The Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne Seierstad, Back Bay Books 2002, 288 pages, tB

“The most intimate description of an Afghan household ever produced by a Western journalist… Seierstad is a sharp and often lyrical observer.” -New York Time Book Review

MOTIVATION for reading: This month’s selection for my local library fiction club – – which is wonderful! (not sure if the library just gives to us or we choose. AND, I’m not sure I will be able to attend the meeting if I find a sub job.)

What’s in a Name Challenge 8 – CITY category

FIRST Sentence: “When Sultan Khan thought the time had come to find himself a new wife, no one wanted to help him.”

What’s it ABOUT: The author is a Norwegian journalist who met Mr. Khan at his book store the month after Sept 11, 2001. She struck up a friendship, found him ‘interesting’ and pitched the idea of living with his family to write this book. He had no objections. She writes about the family dynamic and the goals and dreams of the ones she has most conversations with – the ones who can speak English but she also puts together the mosaic of all the family members; each chapter is presented as a vignette with an event or a person.

WHAT’s GOOD: Ms Seierstad is a talented journalist – an observer and reporter able to convey the emotions involved AND appropriate distance in what appears to be the daily lives of her subjects, because as she explains in the Foreword, she is “regarded as some sort of bi-gendered creature”. She traveled and ate with the men as well as took part in female-only activities. She was “able to circulate freely between the groups”. THIS was the most fascinating piece overlaying the entire book. I kept wondering how she accomplished it and why they accepted the arrangement.

What’s NOT so good: I have no complaints with the story-telling. Truly, the world these women inhabit is heart-breaking, unless they are lucky? Even the ‘lucky’ ones have zero to little freedom.

Sultan Khan is a business man and he manages to do well despite the politics of who is in power. He has sons. He has two wives. He is in control. We meet his sons – his oldest speaks English but his youngest is made to work in the shops and is NOT sent to school. We do manage to see slices of life that occupy people of any culture – cooking and feasting, weddings and babies, carving a living in an uncertain economy, hopes and dreams. We meet a variety of personalities; we wonder. I wonder. I wonder if people just suck. Why can’t we all just get along?

FINAL THOUGHTS: I felt for Leila. She is/was the capable and bright youngest sister of Sultan who waited hand and foot  on the men of the family. Her mother was elderly and her other sister was just … well, we might assume she was of limited capacity, intellectually and physically. Leila was educated and knew English. She had dreams to be a teacher, to have something of her own, an outlet of expression and worth, an opportunity to have some kind of independence.

It is hard to imagine that in the 80s, Afghanistan women lived lives of ambition and movement and fashion. To look at photos then and now, is astonishing. And even as the Taliban was pushed out of power just before the time Seierstad wrote this book (~2002) and thus women were no longer restricted to live their public lives hidden under a burka, they don’t quite feel comfortable without it, for reasons understandable and better explained by this review at Rhapsody in Books. And I really have no idea what might have happened since then and even if it is possible to figure it out. My American privilege and ignorance is showing.

RATING: Four slices of pie-in-the-sky*.

Fascinating, heart-breaking, devastating.

 

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* pie-in-the-sky was the only pie reference I ran across in this text.

 

Copyright © 2007-2015. 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.

Qtr and Half Way on Flowers for Algernon

SPOILERS AHEAD LIKELY – EVEN IF I GET THEM WRONG because they might only be guesses...

You have been warned.

I started reading on May 1, Friday. I then tweeted my progress and I was persuaded to blurb my  impressions;  I got to 25% in only a few hours of a work day. [Hey! I was subbing —  the scholars had independent study!] If you don’t want to know ANYTHING about this book, I suggest you move along.

Now.

 

SO, this will be a two part half way post.

What has happened so far:

25%

Page 53 ends a chapter so this is a good time for me to calculate that 53 pages out of 216 is indeed 24.5%.

CHARACTERS: We have met Charlie, a 32 y.o. male who has worked at a bakery doing clean up and deliveries for 17 years [page 16]. His IQ is low, 68 (where the “average” has been ranged at 90-109 per Wikipedia) [page 7]. He has been attending a Special Needs class (page 3 uses the banned word ‘retarded’ – always a clue that this is written prior to many,many years ago); Charlie really wants to learn how to read and write. He is said to have MOTIVATION. He thinks that if he is smarter, he would have more friends because they could talk about topics he could finally understand.

Dr. Strauss and Dr. Nemur:  The doctors who have experimented with brain surgery on mice to make them smarter. Huh. They disagree on how best to handle Charlie; we only learn this through Charlie’s observations and reports that he is writing — so far, the book is unfolding entirely through these reports, in his own words.

Bart: Tester and Lab Assistant who introduces Charlie to Algernon, a mouse who can finish a maze tremendously fast.

Alice Kinnion: Charlie’s teacher that recommended him for the ‘experiment’.

PLOT POINT/S: The ‘experiment’ is some kind of brain surgery that might increase Charlie’s intellectual capacity. This all happens in the first 10 pages!

Charlie’s writing begins to improves considerably. He finally is able to remember;  remembering how to spell, remembering his childhood, remembering times when his friends were actually not being very friendly. He is also finding out about love and attraction. Oo la la!

Punctuation, is? fun!

As his ability to learn and gain knowledge increases, his fears do, too. His ability to trust diminishes. He becomes suspicious and anxious. He begins to crave privacy when he used to assume that becoming smarter would allow him to have more friends.

 

MY OWN THOUGHTS: Hmmm. Where are the space aliens?

I seem to recall IQ being a hot topic when I was young. I do NOT recall the idea of brain surgery as the answer to mental retardation! But I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this has been tried. Yes? No? Does anyone talk about IQ anymore? It’s all about being ready or having the resources and support to nurture young brains. Now it seems to be all about economics…

I am a bit skeptical about how fast his intelligence is increasing – the surgery was March and the 25% point is May 1 – that’s six weeks or so. He’s reading The Great Gatsby and An American Tragedy. (some kind of foreshadowing?!)

I do know I want to keep reading!  pieratingsml

 

Reading on…

What has happened so far:

50%

We decided to stop for this break a little after the Half Way mark but at a good stopping point ~page 115.

Charlie is SMART now. Off the charts smart! He has learned multiple languages, is reading texts and research conducted around the world in the original language and is smarter than the PhDs who are working on ‘his’ project. He has the smarts but not the experiences to understand context and emotions and relationships.

Personally, I finding it rather tedious. I’m finding Charlie as tedious as I think he coworkers now find him! So perhaps that is the point. But it doesn’t make for favorable reading experiences.

Still not sure about Algernon’s role in the story…

NOTE:  We have found out that there are two editions of Flowers for Algernon; one is longer by almost 100 pages and I don’t expect it is because of a larger print font. Of course, the goodreads clue on the longer edition that states WARNING! is a pretty big clue. Apparently?  This was revised for an adult version and a ‘kids’ version?  In my curiosity to find out the differences, I thought I saw a spoiler and I SHUT-er-DOWN (the Wiki page).

Perhaps my imagination is getting the better of me.

 

Copyright © 2007-2015. 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.

Movies Based on Books – May 2015 edition

The husband worked late and I carved out some free time or reward time for activities accomplished so that I could actually watch a movie that I want to watch. Alone. LOVE!

But I wasn’t sure which movie. I thought about asking the Twitterverse but thought that might take too long — or worse, get zero response and so I watched trailers to see which one would choose me. I reviewed all the books I’ve read recently for ideas. These were the ones I ‘researched':  Sister Carrie, Beloved, My Antonia, Possession, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Slaughterhouse Five, and Like Water for Chocolate.

My original intent for weeks has been to watch carrie52film Laurence Olivier and Jennifer Jones in Carrie based on the Theodore Dreiser Sister Carrie novel but … it just didn’t feel right. The winner was Possession starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart. I really loved the book and remember being startled by how much of a thriller AND a romance it was when I had feared it to be academic and dense. I heartily recommend that you not be intimidated by Byatt and read it. And you have my permission to wallow in the lovely odd poems -or- skip them. I think I did both depending on the mood I was when I hit those pages.

The first half of the movie was gorgeous and paced well. possbyasb The second half, or just the third quarter? felt rushed but it was because they were trying to cram a lot into it. The story on screen was exactly like what I remember from the book! So I think it was well done overall; it had flaws that my mind is indecisive how to describe (the tedious bashing of Eckhart’s character being American, the bland turtleneck wardrobe sported by Ms. Paltrow), but I enjoyed it. I would give it 4 slices of pie.

I do wonder if I would not have been impressed if I didn’t already know the story. The ultimate conundrum – it can never be unseen nor redone in the reverse sequence, yaknow? Was the book better? Sure, but I have had enough time pass between the reading and the screening, so all good.

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lwfcf THEN, with time left over, I was able to select another movie to watch!  This time, I went with Like Water for Chocolate. SO GOOD. SO GOOD!!  Read it, watch it. Big fun.

What movies have you watched recently after reading the book?  Which movies are you needing to see?

My list of movies to see next/soon, in addition to the ones listed above and in no particular order, are:  Far From the Madding Crowd, The Book Thief, Labor Day (maybe…), Mockingjay, The Yearling (another maybe, even tho I liked the book — I’m not sure I need to see this), Unbroken (maybe really not), Life of Pi, and Divergent…  so many more, most likely – oh, The Count of Monte Cristo?!  YES. I will be chatting here soon about the book Flowers for Algernon and am now VERY CURIOUS about the film Charly. charly (The first curiosity is why they spelled his name that way?)

I was able to talk the husband into watching Gone Girl a few weeks ago – loved it. I loved the book, too. And a few months prior, I talked him into East of Eden. I say skip it and just read the book.

HHHH

Copyright © 2007-2015. 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 Luminaries

Thoughts tlumbyec The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, Little,Brown and Co 2013, 848 pages. Ebook + Audible = Whispersync

Narrated by Mark Meadows; 29 hours, 14 minutes (if anyone wants me to One-Book this to them, let me know.)

Hokitika = Around. And then back again, beginning.

The blurb from goodreads.com:  It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky. Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, The Luminaries is a brilliantly constructed, fiendishly clever ghost story and a gripping page-turner.

A book that was exciting! and then sometimes, not.

A book that was complicated; and sometimes almost boring.

“Devlin sipped his whiskey. The taste was smoky and slightly musty; it put him in mind of cured meats, and new books, and barnyards, and cloves.”

A book that had my full attention! until it went over my head and I didn’t care enough to figure it out. (see Astrology:  Each chapter had a title about signs and moons and such. It also included a quick list of what would happen to whom which actually was helpful but I never could figure out the connexions to signs and symbols.)

A book that both tried to inspire me to work harder at getting it!  and then flip-side, had me quite impressed with myself for comprehending what I did.

A book that will likely become one of those books that I can say I’m proud to have read and may one day (but I doubt it) be able to say so at a cocktail party, “Look at me! I read The Luminaries!! I have also attempted Ulysses and loved Les Miserables!  I’m such a good reader. Hhrmpph.”

I’m a lousy ‘reader’. Whatever.

I didn’t get any of the astrology. I just don’t get it. I am a Gemini and the only thing I know about it is that my sign is the twins. And I think maybe this is actually significant to the story in The Luminaries but … well, I’m not sure.

Actually, this aspect (the astrology) is easy to gloss over and really didn’t frustrate me in the least.

I was entertained once I got into the rhythm of the story and finally got the characters straight in my head. I think the narrator did a MARVELOUS job with voices and was even going to commend him for the female voices until the end when I began to think Lydia Greenway was just a little too-too vampish.

I bet I haven’t talked you into reading this, am I right? Ah, if you already have given thought to wanting to read this, please don’t let me talk you out of it. It has many merits and maybe you will love it? Go for it. I’m thinking of getting it for my Dad for Father’s Day…

“A woman fallen has no future; a man risen has no past.”

This was in last year’s Tournament of Books if you want to see how it fared. I tend to agree with the judging mostly.

Have fun!

Rating:  Three slices of fish pie.  “…where he ordered one portion of fish pie – the perennial lunchtime special – and one glass of lemon cordial.”

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Copyright © 2007-2015. 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 Making of a Marchioness

Thoughts tmoambyfhb The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Persephone Book #29 2005 (orig 1901), 308 pages including Preface by Isabel Raphael and Afterword by Gretchen Gerzina, author of a biography of Burnett.

This was for the latest Classics Spin. classicsclub1 The latest spin was #2 and this was the book on that slot of my list.

What’s it ABOUT: The book is in two parts. In the first, a “not quite as young” lady is helping out at a party designed to introduce a wealthy bachelor of rank to his many options (cough, cough) pretty young things of marrying age, and yet some how, the guy falls for our girl – she TOTALLY didn’t expect it! Sweeeeet. Good for her.

The second part is how the new Marchioness, because she now is becoming accustomed to wealth and privilege is at risk of being taken advantage of…  OR WORSE!!  Drama!  PREGNANCY!  Sorry, THAT word nor description of said condition but only bare possible mention of the idea is allowed. What is our girl to do?!  

As someone not intimately familiar thus lacking in the nuances of the English class system during the Victorian age, I don’t quite know if it is accurate to say that our heroine of this Making story was brought up ‘well’ but happens to be unlucky. May I introduce Miss Emily Fox-Seton. Apparently she has no family or no family obligated to take care of her and she somehow missed getting married at a proper marrying age, so she must find odd jobs to survive. I still don’t quite get where she is on the stratosphere (class) of what is supposed to have happened to her or who – what rank? – she was supposed to marry, but the striking thing here that is MOST important to the story is that she is not glum about any of it. She may be fearful for her future, on the whole she is rather plucky and certainly extremely positive in her attitudes to find the best in every situation.

She is ingenuous. She is NOT clever. Clever being a word of different definitions from the 1900s and now. I think of clever now as a word for someone who may not be conniving but very smart to turn any situation into an advantageous one. Then, clever meant, what I think now of ‘bright’. As in smart but also aware of the world and not naive. Emily is not bright and is naive. She is ingenuous. (How often do you use this word? Never? Me, neither. I lost count how many times this word was used in these 300 pages. Sigh.)

She is so grateful to everyone for being SO kind to her and everyone IS kind to her because she is just so darn easy to like!

This book has many interesting issues discussed or danced around or blatantly tossed about that… well, it’s just very interesting. I also found how the author described Emily as saying she talked in italics. I can see how it actually could have been scandalous – even as it avoided the mention of pregnancy. “She was ill.” And for the racism it has been attacked for, it might also be tempting to forgive it for the awkward apology of racism by mentioning the issue as it introduces it? (maybe not.)

I appreciated most the Afterword by Gerzina in highlighting Burnett’s motivations and background and suggesting what she was trying to do in the story. Classism, racism, ideas of love and marriage and abuse, gender roles somewhat but not really, etc. The Afterword is what made me decide to rate this four slices of pie. I just found it very interesting and the two discussions included (I read the Preface after the Afterword, of course) contributed to making this a fun enjoyable educational reading experience for me.

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Favorite quote:  “He did not snub people; he cut the cord of mental communication with them and dropped them into space.”

Photo of me the day I purchased this book: IMG_1646

 

Copyright © 2007-2015. 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.

Announcing Flowers for Algernon Read

“April showers bring May flowers!”  IMG_1561 (from my neighborhood)

And so I cannot think of anything more appropriate than to take the last day of April to announce a May reading of a book with flowers in the title.

Athira of Reading on a Rainy Day and I are going to read Flowers for Algernon in May. VERY informally, right Aths? She’s busy with exciting new life-changing events in the near future and I am about to start substitute teaching in a school district with 128 schools. May 1 – bring it on. Don’t worry, I’m easing into it with a half day at the nearest high school so I’m not quite sick to my stomach with butterfly nerves. Yet.

This came in the mail today from bookmooch: ffabydk (and did you know that the movie Charly is based on the book? I don’t even know about a movie called Charly – I am THAT clueless. I thought/think this book is SciFi? Yea, I so hate even reading the blurb*.)

I will bring my copy of Flowers to school with me, just in case it is a “students are to be quiet and work independently” kind of day. I’m thinking it is a tech class; I’m hoping it is a tech class. But it seems all the teachers get the same code so I admit I’m a bit confused. I won’t have anyone to ask until I get there. Subbing is NOT for the timid. They seriously throw you to the wolves and say, “Good luck; you’ll figure it out.”

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I have this on my Classics Club 50 list so that is why I want to read this. I keep getting it confused with a book/movie with Andie MacDowell called Harrison’s Flowers. Yep, I am as clueless as can be!

Read along if you want! We’ll probably be tweeting about it maybe and haven’t discussed a plan for blog posts or a hashtag. Anyone want to suggest?

 

* Which reminds me of the time I told someone I was just starting a book called Where the Red Fern Grows and the very next words out of this person’s mouth,Oh I cried so hard when the dog died!”  I didn’t even KNOW the book was about a dog. Grrrrrrrr.

 

Copyright © 2007-2015. 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 Lord Bird

Thoughts tglbbyjm The Good Lord Bird by James McBride, (2013,417 pages)

Do you like HISTORICAL FICTION?

Do you appreciate National Book Award Winners?

Did you ever read The Color of Water (and liked it)?

Do you appreciate wry humor and satire?

I recommend this book. Everyone in our club enjoyed it (though our discussion* was a bit boring comparatively.)

This is a fascinating rollicking-good time read that will make you laugh and learn a lot about an interesting event and personality in U.S. History: The Raid on Harpers Ferry by John Brown. You also get cameos of Harriet Tubman (vote for her to be on the $20 bill?) and Frederick Douglass.

I know of John Brown because of this raid but also because he was known for fighting for Kansas’ right to NOT have slaves in the border wars with Missouri before the Civil War. My club asked me if I studied John Brown in my Kansas schooling years but I can’t remember. How/why do I know of John Brown? Not sure.

I do think of a mural in the Kansas State House so maybe I saw it first on a tour? I really don’t remember if I did a school field trip to Topeka while in grade school, but I know I have seen this:

image

The narrator of the story is a very young black slave, possibly age ~10, that is “freed” by Brown in one of the Kansas raids and he stays with Brown because he really has no place else to go. The odd thing is, the Brown is confused at the beginning, thinking that our boy named Henry is actually a girl named Henrietta. So Henry keeps up the ruse for a variety of reasons. In fact, one of the themes explored in this, in addition to race and slavery, is identity. McBride is a brilliant author on many levels, in my opinion, and I will now read everything he writes. Or, I want to; he’s now on the list.     image

Do know, I am one of those that laughs when most inappropriate, I see the absurd in the sad situations to thus avoid the crying. So it’s not that I love laughing at serious subjects, but. I do, I guess. I think that is why I like satire. (when I get it!)

If you want something a little different, something historical (researching this, it seems the author was quite attune to many of the true facts while having a creative imagination for the rest of it.) READ this book!

Rating: Five slices of Buttered Apple Pie.

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Other reviews:  Naomi’s at Consumed by Ink and Rory’s at Fourth Street Review.

* Factoid that I didn’t know until book club:  a few of the ladies (of a generation (or two) prior to mine) started to sing a song “John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave” to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Apparently Julia Ward Howe wrote the lyrics to the Battle Hymn after hearing the John Brown version. Our book club leader passed out paperwork of her research and had us sing a few verses! Too funny.

Copyright © 2007-2015. 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.

Dewey’s Readathon and More, Sort Of

It’s Dewey’s Read-A-Thon Time! Click on this button to sign up / learn more:   lg-new-readathonbutton-border

I’m not officially signed up – don’t ask me why – commitment issues maybe? But I was feeling nostalgic and wanted to review my posts from readathons past and share.

My thoughts on the June 2008 CHEERING experience is –>HERE.<– (this one was my first readathon, the second that Dewey organized.)

My post on what Dewey meant to me is HERE. Another fond memory post will be amusing to Ti and Heather… (re: authors named John). “Weekly Geeks” – just saying those words together – gives me one of those odd feelings; a reminder to pause and appreciate. I have more fond memories –>here<– and I hope that Dewey will always be a top 10 — for what she inspired in me and in the world. I can’t find the words that express how in awe I am sometimes of this book blogging experience and the friends I’ve made.

If you are participating, READ ON!  WOO HOO!!! and if you are cheering, SIS BOOM BAH! Kick high and shake those poms!

If you are reading AND cheering, have fun!  * \ 0 /*     <– this is a cheerleader image, btw. Thanks Maree.

And if you are watching from the sidelines, may you still have a chance to read some this weekend and check in on Twitter to give a shout out of encouragement every so often, and think fondly upon this crazy wonderful community of book lovers. Cheers!

loveCare

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Copyright © 2007-2015. 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 Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessey

Thoughts tlsoqhbyrja The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessey by Rachel Joyce, Random House Audio 2014 (Bond Street Books 2014), 10 hours 36 minutes, Narration by Celia Imrie

Publisher’s blurb:  In this poignant parallel story to Harold’s saga, acclaimed author Rachel Joyce brings Queenie Hennessy’s voice into sharp focus. Setting pen to paper, Queenie makes a journey of her own, a journey that is even bigger than Harold’s. One word after another, she promises to confess long-buried truths–about her modest childhood, her studies at Oxford, the heartbreak that brought her to Kingsbridge and to loving Harold, her friendship with his son, the solace she has found in a garden by the sea.  

What’s it ABOUT:  Read the bit above.

Why did I read this:  BECAUSE I LOVED HAROLD FRY. Can’t help it. I did.

What’s the big deal:  You all know that book that sends some one over the-top enthusiastic for a lovely lovely charming deep made-me-cry book and OH SO CHARMING!  (I think I just like charming)  YOU BECOME WARY. Anyway, and then you read that same book and it’s GOOD, it’s maybe better than OK; but it didn’t light the pilot light of your gas stove, yaknowwhatImean, and you wonder what was wrong. Was it mood?  Was it a different odd energy connection?

I’m just going to say it but I think Rachel Joyce is now my new favorite author. Certainly one of my top 3 fiction writers and I now I can’t decide if I should rush out to buy/read her Perfect novel or wait. Do I wait?  Will the third-book-jinx strike?!  I seem to have a thing about the third book being disappointing.

And I do think it is because I’m so wrapped up expecting fireworks of amazement that I miss the comfortable hmmm-this-is-GOOD in a GOOD solid way?

I know that Harold Fry was a head-scratcher for some of my friends (and regular people on goodreads, yikes) and I know that Ti and I usually do NOT agree on books and we are both adoring fans of Harold. So… I don’t even know what that means.

OK. Here’s what it means.

I doesn’t matter. Sometimes a books is AMAZING and sometimes it is not but I love ALL of it. I even love my 2 star reads (because they make me feel smart?)

We don’t have to agree and we don’t have to apologize or feel bad for any reading experience, ever.

I do love my 2-star reads. [GOODREADS SAYS TWO STARs MEANs “It’s OK.”] I have only read one or two seriously disappointing books (one star or less) IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. Those incredibly bad but with arrogant authors that can’t be separated from any of their so-called prose; that made me all stabby and want to ban said author from any publishing world.

And I think that is a darn fine track record.

The books I read are not to impress you. They are to impress me. and IMPRESS doesn’t mean here TO THINK WELL OF, but to make some kind of IMPRESSION ON. Three star books are extremely valuable to me; they temper, they allow me to be super dooper impressed when the chemistry and stars align for the OMG-awesome books.

If Harold Fry didn’t wow your socks off, then I doubt you need to read Queenie’s journey. But if you love the deep and sad and the happy and touching and want to see if this delivers? Read Miss Queenie’s version (but read Harold first, due to spoilers) and I dare you not to cry. Then call me when you are done and we can cry together. Joy is not a feeling to be trifled with.

I love books that touch me like this one did. And I wasn’t sure it was going to until the end. (much like Harold’s book, actually). And yet. I know that there are more books for me to experience which just might top!  Isn’t that tremendously exciting? I’m totally showing off my book-geekness, I know…

AND. Oh do I dare say this? I did find flaws with this book. I did have some issues but they just paled compared the goodness I saw and felt.

Quotes:

“I realized that I had looked for these landmarks instead of saying goodbye. But sometimes, you don’t say the word because you think the thing is ongoing; when actually, it is already over.”

“They were a delicious bunch. But always forgetting the sensible things like food and daylight and only remembering the more intoxicating things like love and gin.”

“The sorrow is not gone, it just no longer hurts as much.”

The narration is wonderful.

Rating: Five slices of British Meat Pie.

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Copyright © 2007-2015. 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.

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Care's Online Book Club text & images by Care is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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