Links Roundup LitPie-Style

Hello,

I’m going to try and create a links round-up of the fun and feisty articles and posts from around the web.  Scratch that, “there is no try”, let’s do it!

My first entry is from a 7th grade Reading teacher in Wisconsin. She’s a go-getter and I am always inspired by her words and ideas. This time, she’s explaining how she introduces POETRY to her students. And since 2017 is Care’s Year of Poetry, I had to share.

A great quote: “You are a 10-year-old explaining to a theoretical physicist how time travel might work.” Did you know I can’t resist a good time-travel book?  Now go read this article if you are interested in actively participating in the Anti-Racism Campaign.

Favorite book bloggers who post about pie!  Rhapsody Jill and Stefanie of So Many Books. Did I miss anyone?

Another fun pi + pie video.

Link to The Morning News Tournament of Books 2017 because I can’t get enough of it so there.

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE ANNOUNCES WINNERS FOR 2016 AWARDS!!!!!   (Link to Finalists Announcement. Curious that there were two books about loneliness in the Criticism category? I am. Has anyone read a book in this category? Again, me = curious)

Occasionally, I’ll google-search for “Pies in Literature” or some such nonsense just to see what comes up. This blog (ME!) shows up in SECOND SPOT for today’s look-see at what the webs are finding. Nothing too recent, but there are actual articles from 2015 about finding pie in a certain book. Fun, right? oh yea.

Savvy Verse and Wit has the Monthly Poetry Challenge Sign Up ready. I admit, I’m delighted every time I see a bit of poetry somewhere, here and there. I still don’t quite know how I should track my 100 poems in 2017 but I am proud of what progress I am building towards an awareness and appreciation for how poetry can impact a day in a good way.

Shout out to other bloggers who do EXCELLENT with providing Link Up posts:  Jenny who always reads the ends of books first, and, and, and…  I couldn’t find any recents ones so please provide me your suggestions!  Thanks.

Finally, a poem about pie:

(click on the image to go to the poet’s Twitter page…)

Have a great weekend!  I’ll have Dublin and Joyce books to chat about next week. I need to get back to reading books…  I need to read The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George by Tuesday.
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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Pi Day Pie Day and #TOB17 Check

I had friends over to celebrate Pi Day on Tuesday. We made pie.  I failed to get a photo of the pies that everyone made! I don’t know how I forgot to do that. I’m hoping someone did…

I made an apple pie and I made a grape pie. The grape pie, being a novelty, was a devoured! Nothing left of that one. I think everyone loved it. Here’s the before the grape pie went in the oven – so you can easily see the design of the kite and the Greek letters for our sorority: Kappa Alpha Theta. This was an official (fun) meeting for my local Alumnae Chapter. It’s a great group – we have a lot of fun. [If you want to support a REALLY GREAT CAUSE to help children be fully represented in the courts, our philanthropy is CASA/GAL, please click on this link.]

 

ok. That’s done. [Claps the flour off my hands… I looked for the right GIF but alas, nope.]

To the TOB:

I have decided to attempt a ranking of the 17 books I read for TOB. A snapshot of my favorites as of today, because I find my appreciations are changing as the rounds play out.

FAVORITE to LEAST:

  1. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout – voted out on 3/13
  2. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – moving to next round 3/16
  3. Black Wave by Michelle Tea – out on 3/9 (this was the take-me-by-surprise, loved-it-at-the-end book. PIE!)
  4. The Nix by Nathan Hill – a fun one for St. Patrick’s Day
  5. Mister Monkey by Francine Prose – battles Sudden Death 3/20
  6. Version Control / Dexter Palmer – kicks out my fave 3/13
  7. Grief is the Thing With Feathers – Max Porter – UNDERDOG? 3/15
  8. The Mothers – Brit Bennett – Mothers continues 3.14 (lots of pie 🙂 )
  9. High Dive By Jonathon Lee – out to the Mothers 3/14
  10. The Vegetarian by Han Kang – loses to the Birds 3/10
  11. Underground Railroad by Whitehead – steamrolling along 3/9
  12. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders – loved it and also seemed to fizzle out. Moving up the bracket 3/10
  13. Sudden Death by Alvaro Enrigue – Play-in round winner! 3/8
  14. The Throwback Special by Chris Bachelder – had some beautiful sentences. Bounced out in play-in round 3/8
  15. We Love You Charlie Freeman by Kathleen Greenridge – too much and too little.
  16. Sweet Lamb of Heaven by L Millet – wanted to love but just puzzled me. Had lots of pie! Voted off the island 3/16
  17. Moonglow by Chabon – the more I think about it, the less I liked it; me being curmudgeony.
  18. The Sport of Kings by CEMorgan – sadly didn’t read, might try via aBook

I’m enjoying AND participating some in the comments! YAY ME. I have added a few books mentioned to the towering toppling tbr, too.

Tomorrow is The Nix vs. We Love You Charlie Freeman! and be sure to wear green, it’s St. Patrick’s Day…
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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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 Nix

Thoughts by Nathan Hill, Knopf 2016, 628 pages

Challenge: My last TOB book, I promise

Also…  Satisfies the “Title with an X” category.

Genre: GAN? (why so uncertain? I am ALWAYS uncertain.)
Type/Source: Hardcover / a friend.
 Why I read this now: It was time and possession.

MOTIVATION for READING: I have had this book on my tbr since before the long list was announced, but I’m sure it was the TOB possibility list of 2016 published titles that put it on my radar. [Added to tbr on Nov 11, 2016 – hmmm, this sounds like I did NOT find it before the tob long list date…  darn.]

WHAT’s it ABOUT: The premise is enticing, no? A NIX is something you love that will ultimately destroy you. Or something like that.

It’s 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson—college professor, stalled writer—has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. He hasn’t seen her in decades, not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she’s re-appeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news, beguiles the internet, and inflames a politically divided country. The media paint Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high-school sweetheart. Which version of his mother is true? Two facts are certain: she’s facing some serious charges, and she needs Samuel’s help.

It’s just a fun, plot-ful, charged and funny read. It has internet-gaming addiction, college angst and student-entitlement issues, music + young love + best friend love + frozen TV dinners, history (I love learning about stuff from past real life via fiction), some travel, some odd interesting things about plants. I loved it.

WHAT’s GOOD: It was action-oriented and gave me history of Chicago – a favorite town. It has one of the most heart-breaking (to me) scenes of high school angst via Faye that I’ve ever encountered. It put raw-honesty words to some of my own life. It had many a crazy moments. It has a 13 page run on sentence! I just might re-“read” this by audiobook someday. [OK – you rereaders can go ahead and laugh because I probably never will.]

After today’s commentary, I have been asking myself if I liked this one more than Version Control. I think yes, YES, I did. But they felt similar to me in that they packed a lot of stuff into the plot.

What’s NOT so good: That same HS-angst that Faye felt didn’t quite jive with her freshman year persona. She was afraid of being noticed or thought wrong and yet did crazy-fearless things I would NEVER have done my freshman year in college and I couldn’t quite balance it. But I gave it a pass. People are always surprising. I read some critiques after I finished this book (always a GOOD sign when I read this AFTER – if read DURING, a bad sign…) and I am still thinking about the negatives others have shared. Let’s just say that THIS commentary on TOB round day will be captivating to me. Yes, I said CAPTIVATING.

Was this book sexist and misogynistic?  Gawd, do I have to go there?! I didn’t have those thoughts I.Get.It. if did/didn’t. It’s seriously exhausting to have that lens on all the time, give it a rest?!  Life is so fecking troublematic.

Was it… white bread privilege? Maybe. How could Faye make a living by creating a nonprofit to read books to children? How easy did that happen?! How was Sam going to make a living -*-*-*-*-*-SPOILER ALERT!!! -*-*-*-*-*- in the last half of the book? oh yea, he’s a writer with the best publicist ever.

I didn’t get a good sense of what the 1968ers were protesting, compared to the protests going on now. It definitely had a pre-election feel to it and yet it also grasped that political party struggle of us vs them.

I think I am looking forward to commentary on this. And I seriously also hope that everyone who DOES comments reads the history of the TOB and takes a chill pill. I am totally speaking to those who have newly discovered the TOB and are throwing their opinions about how unfair and seriously flawed the thing is because THAT is the point. Take a step back. Pause, breathe, get a grip, laugh some, realize that I sound absolutely awful and I don’t care, think some about it all and BE KIND. Be kind. Please be kind. Love things, disagree with things, and smile because life can still be beautiful or what’s the point. The point is not which book wins the Rooster but that we have an opportunity to think about what we LIKE about books. Rant over. That is all.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Whew. The Nix. Was this the Next Great Amerian Novel? [I wish all the best to Mr. Hill.] I don’t know. I don’t think so, though.

RATING: I rounded up from 4.5 slices of pie to give this the honored 5-slicer because I enjoyed it.

Have a nice day.

BIG SHOUT OUT TO MY FRIEND Katie! who loves the TOB and reads voraciously and is the person I think about when I see anything related to hedgehogs, who sent me this book.

Here’s a photo from Ireland of a cafe called the Strawberry Hedgehog. Unfortunately, we were unable to stop and check it out.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Catching Back Up

I’m baaaaacccckkk!

I was in Dublin most of the time. Yes, I did manage a few peeks into the TOB but haven’t commented. Yet.

Happy with Sudden Death going forward, not surprised the Underground Railroad won, and my bracket(s) were blown up by All the Birds! So, oh well. One or both could still emerge victorious at the end but perfection isn’t to be. This thing ain’t over until it’s over.

And I can’t show you many photos because I can’t get my iPhone to talk to my PC to transfer photos. (very frustrating – why is photo org so maddening?!) These I had to email to myself:

Sophie’s view of Dublin
Of course we went on the Literary Pub Crawl!
Oscar Wilde

Me in my Rooster shirt.

I have a review of The Nix to give you and Pi Day is coming up very soon.

Stay tuned…

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Taking a Break

Taking a break from the digital world and all you lovely imaginary friends to explore some new-to-me physical world. Green things! Trees! Flowers! and maybe some old buildings! See you in a few days or longer. I’ll be back for Pi Day. Keep reading, keep learning, keep exploring. Be safe, be fierce.

Blogger-Unplugged-254x300

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Banana Cream Pie Day 2017

Happy Banana Cream Pie Day!  March 2nd…

Now, I know you all think I do everything by scratch but I don’t.

Here’s the before: img_6692 (yea, I had already deleted the pic from my phone and had to save the image off IG. I’m a dork.)

The after: img_6701

However, I can show off the pie I made yesterday for a friend’s birthday. This was my own pastry dough and I peeled/cut the apples and wove the lattice top, so YEA. Sometimes, I do it all.

img_6685

The next pie day is, of course, Pi Day, March 14. Then, the 4th of April brings us Chocolate Mousse Pie Day. Plan accordingly.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Born a Crime

Thoughts bacbytn by Trevor Noah, Audible 2016, 8 hours 50 minutes

Challenge:  No challenge involved.
Genre: Memoir
Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible (a freebie announcement I happened to catch.)
 Why I read this now: I needed an easy listen that was short.

MOTIVATION for READING: I love comedian memoirs on audio.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: A coming of age tale a few years before Apartheid in South Africa and years following.

WHAT’s GOOD: Fascinating look at a life and cultures of which I know little.

What’s NOT so good: I wanted to know more about how he came to America and got his start in television. Guess that part will be in his next book. Trust me, the ‘early years’ of Trevor Noah have plenty of drama!

FINAL THOUGHTS: Highly recommended. Narration is terrific.

RATING: Five slices of pie.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

High Dive

 

Thoughts hdbyjl by Jonathan Lee, Knopf 2016, 321 pages

Challenge: Tournament of Books (16 of 18)
Genre: Historical Lit?
Type/Source: Hard Cover/Library
 Why I read this now: next in line (actually shorter of the two I was able to get from the library)

MOTIVATION for READING: TOB… starts March 8… Here’s the link to watch… (aw COOL. They have a countdown clock working. At the moment of my typing this sentence, we have 8 days yet to go.)

WHAT’s it ABOUT: High Dive is about the 1984 bomb that damaged the Grand Hotel, killing 5 and injuring 31. It is a fictional account of Dan who works (volunteers?) for the IRA as an ‘electrician’. He lives with his mother in Belfast Ireland and has two dogs. He has a torturous(-to-read-about) initiation “interview”. He prefers to work on the bomb creation side of the violence. The title High Dive is possibly inferred from the background of the second character we meet, Moose Finch. Mr. Finch used to be a diving instructor and is now Assistant to the General Manager for the fancy Grand Hotel in Brighton UK. He loves working with people, regrets not going to University when he had the chance, and is hoping he will be promoted to GM after the political conference being in October. Mr. Finch has a daughter named Freya. While trying to decide if she should travel the world or go on to Uni, she works the front desk of the Grand.

Dan checks in as a guest of the Grand Hotel three weeks before the conference so that he can plant a bomb under the bathtub in the room that Margaret Thatcher, the British Prime Minister, might be staying in. IMG_1665

WHAT’s GOOD: It’s a thoughtful book. It has a melancholy feel. Definitely character-driven not plot-driven.

What’s NOT so good: I kept getting distracted by wanting to look up more about the hotel, the IRA, Belfast, “the troubles”, RUC, maps of Brighton Beach – the Royal Pavilion – the train station. Saracens, Semtex, plimsolls. I slowly, painstakingly dragged myself through these pages at no fault of the book’s but of my distracted scatterbrained lack of ability to concentrate. Once I finally did manage to find focus, I fell into it and loved it.

This quote is on the book jacket:

A bold, astonishingly intimate novel of laughter and heartbreak, High Dive is a moving portrait of clashing loyalties, guilt and regret, and how individuals become the grist of history.

IMG_1659

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’ve been to Brighton. I think this fact kept me dedicated to this book and also could be to blame for the distractedness. I’ve been to the Grand Hotel. I didn’t know it had been the site of an assassination attempt on Thatcher. I only needed find a restroom, as a tourist wandering around the beachfront. My memory of that ‘situation’ is clear; but that it was the Grand Hotel that provided me that sanctuary, I am not entirely positive. I think so, I’m pretty sure (based on location and possible path from the train.) I didn’t take any photos of the place. I remember it was full of people. Full of school-age children. It was a cold brisk but sunny bright day and I have very positive fond thoughts of Brighton. It made me feel off-kilter reading this, knowing I had been there not quite 30 years later. I would have been one year older than Freya in 1984.

Here are a few of my Brighton photos:

IMG_1672    BristolHorseIMG_1668

RATING: Four slices of shepherd’s pie.

“He could reel off the first 200 digits of pi.”  p.142

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Speculating on the Tournament of Books 2017 #TOB17

Hello Friends!

Michelle wants me to post my brackets. Oh Bracketing-schmacketing! Oh, how dost this exercise tax me…

Here goes. This first bracket is my WISH of FAVORITES. I did not think at all about possibilities of winning; only went with my heart. Do know that the Zombies are impossible to predict! I can’t fathom how to do that part. I hope you can read this? Is it too small? I can always save them to a GoogleDocLink.

tobfaves

I want My Name is Lucy Barton to win it all. Do I think it will win, could win?! No.

I just attempted to include a list of all the books in the order that I ‘liked” and I couldn’t even accomplish THAT! Some I rank higher now than I did when I star-rated them and I bet my feelings/rankings would change tomorrow – I’m so fickle. And the issue that I still need to finish High Dive, The Sport of Kings, and The Nix. I *think* I will really like The Nix; I am liking High Dive but find myself NOT picking it up and doing anything else which is wrecking my mojo. The Sport of Kings is one I am dreading because of page count (560 but comparing this to The Nix’s 628 collapses my reasoning.) See? I cannot defend my bracket!

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For my shaky tentative guess as to what may happen:

tobguess

I don’t really have any faith that The Underground Railroad is a lock here but, something has to win… I haven’t read The Nix yet (as I have already mentioned for the gazillionth time), but I would be pleased if it could go on to claim the Rooster. I wouldn’t really be upset if any of these books won the Rooster. Surprised perhaps, but not unhappy. (After writing and editing this post, I already want to change my mind on a few spots… sigh)

I look forward to the lively commentary and reviews! Always a good time. Watch for it on March 8th.

To create your own pretty bracket speculation chart, click –> here <– and follow the links.

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Moonglow

Thoughts mgbymc by Michael Chabon, HarperAudio 2016, 14 hours 46 minutes

Narrated by George Newbern.

Challenge: TOB shortlist
Genre: fiction-memoir, speculative-memoir?
Type/Source: Audio/Audible Credit
 Why I read this now: Finished The Bone Clocks; this was up next.

MOTIVATION for READING: One thing that recommends this besides it being TOB is that it is written by Chabon. I have only read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and want to read more.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: I’m deferring to a few bits of the goodreads blurb because it is excellent. To read the whole blurb, click on the cover above because even though it is the button for the audio and I probably should link to Audible.com, I believe you would prefer access to the goodreads reviews rather than Audible. Am I wrong? Feel free to comment.

 …  the latest feat of legerdemain in the ongoing magic act that is the art of Michael Chabon.

Moonglow unfolds as the deathbed confession, made to his grandson, of a man the narrator refers to only as “my grandfather.” It is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and desire and ordinary love, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at mid-century and, above all, of the destructive impact—and the creative power—of the keeping of secrets and the telling of lies. A gripping, poignant, tragicomic, scrupulously researched and wholly imaginary transcript of a life that spanned the dark heart of the twentieth century, Moonglow is also a tour de force of speculative history. (edited/cut) Chabon devises and reveals, in bits and pieces whose hallucinatory intensity is matched only by their comic vigor and the radiant moonglow of his prose, a secret history of his own imagination.

WHAT’s GOOD:  The unraveling, layering, building. The metaphors, the descriptors, the confident prose. I am almost certain that if you had me read a few pages of a book without identifying the author, I could pick out Chabon’s style and phrasing.

What’s NOT so good:  See above. Unfortunately, I feel like I can dip into and skip around and know that even as am surely ‘missing something’, I won’t miss it.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  If I wasn’t in such a gosh darn hurry to get these books crossed off the list, I would listen to every word and marvel. I would be entertained, enthralled, captivated, etc. I think I’ll just put another or all of Chabon’s books on my tbr and hope to read them someday.

SPECIFIC to TOB:  Due to the narrative structure and question of memoir vs fiction, I really wish this book was slated to compete against Black Wave. What a discussion that could be!  What a syllabus for a college class: these two books, add in A Million Little Pieces by James Frey, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein and everything by Mary Karr. But what do I know? I haven’t read any of those…

RATING: Four slices of pie. And I did hear a mention (as in, a list of desserts brought to a party) but I failed to capture the specifics.

[Updated, near the end of the book, about an hour left…  TARTE TATIN!  French Apple Pie.]

fourpie

Moonglow collapses an era into a single life and a lifetime into a single week. A lie that tells the truth, a work of fictional non-fiction, an autobiography wrapped in a novel disguised as a memoir, Moonglow is Chabon at his most daring, his most moving, his most Chabonesque.

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.