Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea

Thoughts aytvimcbych Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler, Gallery Books 2008, 264 pages

FIRST Sentence: I was nine years old and walking myself to school one morning when I heard the unfamiliar sound of a prepubescent boy calling my name.

TRUTH: Her first essay in this collection was my favorite, Blacklisted. About her amazing ability to embellish and think grandiose stories on a dime, Chelsea demonstrates her ability to talk and cajole and invent wild entertaining tales.

It went downhill after this.

I just got bored with her inane over-the-top depravity.

DEPRAVITY: quality of demonstrating an evil and immoral character.

So maybe, evil is a bit strong and misleading. I really wouldn’t call her evil – it’s just all sex and raunchy and well, . . . boring.

Maybe ‘debauched’ is a better word?

DEBAUCHED: to lead away from virtue* or excellence.

Yea, whatever.

I admit. I’ve only seen her show a few times. I thought she was funny. This book wasn’t that funny. Occasionally, a situation was chuckle-worthy but overall, if I chose to dwell on such concepts like ‘regret’, I could easily regret the time I spent with this book.

By the way, a few antonyms for DEBAUCHED are elevate, ennoble and uplift. I need to spend more time with these kinds of words.

Have a nice day!

Enjoy these flowers from my garden: FullSizeRender

pieratingsml

* I am in the THICK (~86%) of the ‘speech’ that is looooong in Atlas Shrugged. Might have something to do with my mind-boggling contemplations of virtue and morality, at the moment.

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.

Six in Six Meme

Jo at The Book Jotter suggests the Six in Six meme:  Summarize the first six months of your reading year into six different categories.

Six new-to-me authors:

Rachel Joyce

Liane Moriarty

Theodore Dreiser

Patry Francis

Roxane Gay

Michael Parker

Six tried-and-true authors:

Thomas Hardy

Stephen King

Sarah Addison Allen

Frances Hodgson Burnett

James McBride

Margaret Atwood

Six classic novels:

Sister Carrie

Far From the Madding Crowd

Heart of Darkness

Flowers for Algernon

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Winesburg, Ohio

Six Nonfiction titles:

Five Days at Memorial

The Bookseller of Kabul

Science Tales

Color

Bad Feminist

Yes, Please

√ Six in Translation Not Set in the USA:

Heart of Darkness

Far From the Madding Crowd

The Bookseller of Kabul

The Luminaries

Big Little Lies

Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (except I just started this in July – oops!)

√ Six Newer Novels:

Big Little Lies

Love Song of Queenie Hennessy

Station Eleven

The Boston Girl

Dept of Speculation

Even If the Sky Falls Down (the only one pub’d in 2015)

I borrowed Joann’s categories but was woefully unsuccessful with the translated one, so modified it. THEN I looked at Jo’s categories and now I wish I had rechecked that first!! Oh well. It was fun to do.  Actually, the most interesting thought upon reflecting on my Jan-June reading this year is how many TRIED & TRUE authors I have enjoyed AND how many authors I have read more than once already. I usually always have 90+% of new-to-me authors. Is this a new trend for me? 

pieratingsml

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.

Big Little Lies

Thoughts bllbylm Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, Amy Einhorn Books / Penguin Group 2014, 460 pages

WHY I read this now:  Cuz I saw that Lisa of Lit & Life was reading it so it might be considered a case of a stalking-readalong. ha! I needed something different and fun to contrast while reading Atlas Shrugged.

FIRST Sentence/s: “That doesn’t sound like a school trivia night,” said Mrs. Patty Ponder to Marie Antoinette. “That sounds like a riot.”

What’s it ABOUT: Parents who meet at Kindergarten Orientation end up choosing sides over a bullying issue that ends up with someone being MURDERED!!  We know at the start that someone dies, but we don’t know who.

What’s GOOD: Everything? Funny and insightful balanced with serious stuff. Moriarity has the best characters and they say the darndest things. The plot placing with the slow reveal is excellent. I never quite had a grasp on who I could trust – it was always a bit unsettling and yet had many laughable moments. All the unknowns get settled and though murder doesn’t suggest a happy ending exactly, this one was satisfying.

What’s NOT so good: I can’t think of a thing. Having read Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret earlier this year, I can confidently say that this one is even better.

FINAL Thoughts: Do not dismiss this as chick lit. The tendency might be to think this is light whodunnit — chick lit? Pretty cover? I think this does fit the women’s fiction category. Oh bother. WHO CARES? Why the genrefication crap? Anyway — Moriarty tackles heavy stuff in this without ever being heavy-handed. I LOVE books that do the balance well.

Make me laugh, be snarky & smart, tackle something important. Add a few feisty princesses and BINGO.

Other REVIEWs:

Michelle at That’s What She Read says, “Ms. Moriarty deftly combines the serious with the frivolous to make her story enjoyable without losing the impact of her key messages.”

Melissa at Avid Reader’s Musings concludes, “The author makes the characters come alive. She can deal with dark subject matter without making the whole book feel dark.”

Write Meg! gives it a 4.5 out of 5: “This is contemporary, domestic fiction that shimmers and shines; it’s engrossing, well-written, effortless to read. “

RATING: Five slices of pie. Five slices of Pink Lemonade Vanilla Pie with Salty Potato Chip Crust. Oh. Yea.

Breyers Summer Spring recipe shoot click on the pretty picture above to go to the recipe…

 

Did I convince you to try this? Anyone want me to send my copy? I will have a drawing if more than one of you wants it.

 

pieratingsml

 

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.

Lost Lake

Thoughts llbysaa Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen, St. Martens Press 2014, 294 pages

I am seriously behind in reading the wonderful books by this lovely author! How did I allow to this happen!?

So, there is just something about an SAA book that I know I will love and I always do. Nothing out of place, always gives me all the feels, and I can be safe in knowing that my time inside the pages of these books will be wonderful.

There. I don’t really need to say any more.

If you don’t know of Ms. Allen (or Ms. Addison Allen – not sure if I need that middle name or not? Feel free to correct me to which form is best.) IF you don’t know of this author, click on the book cover and see what the goodreads folk have to say. Or do your own research or jump in and try one.

Have a lovely day.

Read for book club – meeting next week.

pieratingsmlRating:  Five slices of vanilla pie.

p.228 – “Eby laughed before she could stop herself. It was so pie-in-the-sky, like some great scheme a child would make up.”

p.280 – “Doctors rarely traveled to the End of the World, because payment was never a given, not even in the form of vanilla pie or a burlap bag of walnuts.”

Have you had vanilla pie? Do you have a recipe to recommend? I don’t think I’ve attempted a vanilla pie, I MUST try one, I must! (I suppose it is really just a banana cream without the bananas…)

Ken Haedrich has a Vanilla Cream Pie in his PIE book… piebook

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

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.

Station Ten and One Half

Thoughts and Ramblings

I don’t have time to write a review of Station Eleven. OK, I have been avoiding writing a review of Station Eleven.

Bear with me as I share all sorts of other stuff instead.

I had consciously decided that I wanted to read Station Eleven when it came to battle against Roxane Gay’s An Untamed State in the Tournament of Books*. I really was impressed by the phrase ‘higher thread count’ to describe excellent writing. (See the winner and moderator comments here.)

However.

I seem to have that ‘distant admiration’ for the author. I recognize how very smart she is and how well she constructs a novel, links complicated plot points believably, builds a world, and develops characters. And yet. I still feel that I am a bit detached. Something bothers me that I can’t explain and even pinpoint. It moves in my brain when I try to focus on it.

I don’t want to see the wizard behind the curtain; but I sense there is one.

I read Mandel’s debut novel The Last Night in Montreal and praised it highly! SO GOOD!!! And yet. Something about that book bugged me even as I recommended it. I now only remember that the ending was POW! and that I considered the author one to watch.

I give Station Eleven 5 stars. And yet … now want to rethink it and pick it apart and possibly downgrade because a few things don’t make sense now that I’m outside of that world and away from the characters.

I do like Roof Beam Reader’s review.

I also like Book Journey’s review (with links to a spoiler page).

pieratingsml

To change the subject…

I’m reading/listening to Atlas Shrugged and it is a mind-boggling icky-feeling thought-provoking ordeal. It’s part of Ti’s readalong through August.

I started Lost Lake and just love Sarah Addison Allen! It is always a pleasure to fall into her books.

June ended with me being ahead of my goal of 65 books /year and I’m doing excellent at challenge-accomplishing. I need one more for What’s in a Name – usually in December I’m trying to cram two or three reads in to finish! I only need the animal book.

and CLASSICS!  Oh – just pat me on the back and tell me how awesome I’m doing reading classics! Cuz I am. Awesome.

Was going to make a nectarine lavender pie but I’m running out of time. My first niece is getting married tomorrow and I have things to do to be ready! Like, that idea to give her my personal favorites pie recipe book…   I think she’ll have to get that for Christmas now. SHHHHhhhhhhh, don’t tell her.

Have a great weekend, chat soon and tweet ya on Twitter!

 

 

 

pieratingsml

 

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 Orphans of Race Point

Thoughts toorpbypf The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis, HarperCollins 2014, 524 pages.

Almost epic in scale, this interesting look at love versus romance versus obsession gives the full panorama of emotions, good and bad, and highlights all that is admirable about the human spirit while showing its ugly sides, too.

What’s it ABOUT: A pretty smart 9 yo girl helps a classmate find himself after a devastating tragedy — the effect of which they can never quite outrun. Or maybe, they do? I don’t think I can begin to tell you or figure out how to describe this! I was swept into this and in over my head very quickly.

The kids grow up. Things happen. Actions have consequences. Secrets are found out. Shit happens. Etc. Families are often created by love not blood. There are dogs to love and run the beach with. Who doesn’t like running the beach with a dog?

It didn’t hurt that I lived near this area of Massachusetts and it felt very Massachusettsian. If that isn’t a real word, too bad.

This book is good; the story is riveting and well-paced. It deserves more attention. I’ve read much worse books that got way too much attention; read this to fall in love with the kind of book that you want to tell more people about. I’ve already told Holly and I bet Gail would love this and probably MBR – shoot, I should get ALL of my Mass book club pals to read it!

I read this because another Mass book friend read and recommended but that doesn’t mean that you must be from or need to know about Cape Cod – I’m NOT saying that at all. It just has such a good sense of place, I guess.

Here are a few pictures I took myself of Race Point near Provincetown MA:

IMG_2338 IMG_2344 IMG_2351 IMG_2358  IMG_2364

I’m challenging myself to come up with THREE WORDS for every book. These are the first that popped into my mind. Probably not the best, but the first, so: gritty, sweeping, emotional.

RATING:  fourpie

Other REVIEWs:  Laurie at Bay State Advisory – “It’s literary fiction with a strong story line that touches on big ideas but focuses on the personal.”

SADLY, I only recorded that page 33 has a pie reference. I’ve already returned the book to the library (what was I thinking?!)

Here are two quotes to describe a FIRST KISS:

On page 96: “He took her by the shoulders and kissed her right there in the middle of the street. It was the shortest gentlest kiss imaginable but it pricked her, infected her, forever altered the colors of the landscape where she’d spent her whole life.”

On page 413: “Then he kisses me; even though neither of us have much experience, it’s the kind of perfect knock your bright yellow socks off kiss that changes everything. It happens right there in broad daylight.”

pieratingsml

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.

Tenth of December

 

Thoughts todbygs by George Saunders, Random House 2013, 254 pages

STORY COLLECTION

Highly praised; LOTS of literary awards including: nomination for Goodreads Choice for Fiction 2013, Paris Review Best of the Best 2013, Folio Prize 2014, Story Prize 2013, and National Book Award Finalist for Fiction 2013 (WOW! I’ve read the winner for 2013: The Good Lord Bird! woo hoo)

My favorite was the title story “Tenth of December”. In less than 40 pages, I was blubbering. Very moving, very touching.

My least favorite was one of the longest stories and to be honest:  I skipped the middle, reread the first few pages too many times and couldn’t make sense of the last 4 pages. That one was “The Semplica Girl Diary” – failure all mine; it has been critically acclaimed.

I do not read story collections in order.

I usually read the shortest stories first.

If there is a theme here, I will borrow/steal from Greg of The New Dork Review and say “the moving target of morality”. His thoughts and reactions (not a review?) are worth reading if you are intrigued.

It has been said in the blogosphere that these are rather depressing stories. Note.

I read this because The Socratic Salon mentions it. Click on this sentence to see their discussion of “Can You Learn to Love Short Stories?”

When I do bother to read a short story collection, I tend to LOVE most of the stories.

I don’t expect to like all of them. I just need to find some gold and some sparkle and some heartfelt provoked reaction.

Short stories are all good by me.

Four Slice of Pie fourpie

Pie Quote: “Guy never works a day in his life, just goes around stealing pies off windowsills, then starts yelping about his rights?”

Past Story Collections I Have Recommended:

Dorothy Parker!

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Simon Van Booy’s Love Begins in Winter

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

 

Click –> HERE <– for more reviews.

pieratingsml

 

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.

Bad Feminist

Thoughts bfbyrg Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, Harper 2014, 320 pages

I often feel like a bad feminist. I’m not doing it right. My example is piss poor. I often feel unworthy to declare my feminist label.

Which is why this book is fabulous. No one can be the ultimate perfect feminist!

I know many Christians who certainly aren’t perfect and yet have no doubts to claim being Christian. It really is almost the second line of the ‘faith profession’ if you think about it. “I have sinned; forgive me.” and wa la! GRACE. And not to say this excuses bad behavior, I know. This post isn’t to defend my Christianity (and I am one), the point is that I should NOT be embarrassed to stand up and say,

“Yes, I’m a feminist.”

And I usually do, but…

I REALLY enjoyed Gay’s collection of essays on her life and her thoughts, her complications and her contradictions. Her courage to say these things loudly and proudly.

This book made me think about a lot of things. Maybe ALL of the things. I didn’t always agree but I appreciate the new viewpoints on the issues. I learned a few words, I learned much more about Scrabble than I knew I needed to know, I was introduced to many cool sounding books* that have made it to my tbr, and thus,

FIVE SLICES of PIE.

pieratingsml

* Kate Zembrano’s Green Girl or Heroines, anyone?

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 Talented Mr. Ripley

Thoughts and unrelated random bits tTMRbyPHa The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith, Audible 2012 (orig 1955), 9 hrs 35 min

Narrated by Kevin Kenerly – admirable job. He definitely had the creepy voice to go with the creepy thoughts.

“Anticipation! It occurred to him that his anticipation was more pleasant to him than the experiencing.”

The Admission:  This book is much more sinister and creepy than the the last few Stephen King books I’ve read. THERE. I said it.

Oh, Tom Ripley! You are scary. And yet, so much more tolerable – which scares me, too – than Bateman of Am. Psycho. Shudder.

“Tom laughed at the phrase “sexual deviation.” Where was the sex? Where was the deviation? He looked at Freddie and said low and bitterly: “Freddie Miles, you’re a victim of your own dirty mind.”

They have the same in-my-head crazy. They have the same, “OH! WHAT will he do NEXT?!” fear; palpable FEAR.

I listened to this. I bought it when Audible offered a BOGO* deal.

What’s it ABOUT:  Tom Ripley has issues. THEN, he gets an opportunity to go to Europe on another’s dime. He schemes a way to get more of that dime in a sinister way. And he takes on a lovely tour of Italy! The issue is that he really does have pangs of guilt, sort of. He just prefers not to be Tom Ripley. This is one creepy dude!

“Tom envied him with a heartbreaking surge of envy and self-pity.”

The Question: Will I read more? This is the first in a series. Hmmmmm.

Another Question: Did I even see the movie? I thought I did but the whole time I listened to this book, I was imagining Leo DiCaprio as Tom and yet THE MOVIE HAS IT AS MATT DAMON! So now I must see the movie because my thinking I had seen it has me all confused.

FINALLY:  Don’t go see Kingsman. Disappointing.

And an admonition:  All of you who have read Bad Feminist, why have you not told me about Kate Zembrano? I want to read her books! Anyone up for a readalong of Heroines or Green Girl?

pieratingsml

* The other audiobook I chose was Heft by Liz Moore but I don’t think I will be listening to this until after Atlas Shrugged. IKR!?  What the heck am I doing attempting a 63 hour audiobook? Well, you know I love ’em. The longer the better.

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.

Misery Roundup and Playlist #MiseryRAL

mrbypslol2

Do tell: share your favorite of this readalong! Was it finding King in the button above, the songs (which song?), the NEW words (oogy!!) or __?___. I enjoyed making new friends. Was this your first Kingalong? Will you be looking forward to more? King is great on his own; but in my opinion, his books are just better with friends.

Let me know here or tweet at me if you have a review link for me to add:

Heather’s Book Addiction

Ti at Book Chatter

Laurie at Bay State Advisory

Jenni Elyse

Lisa Lit and Life

Trish at Love Laughter Insanity

The Friday Friends

Katie (not in) MA

Kristin at my little heart melodies

Michelle What She Said

Maree Life the Universe and Cats

SONGS:

Paramore: Misery Business

Daylight Misery – Silence 2013

Elliot Smity Miss Misery

Extrema – My Misery

The Maine – Misery

Ruby Gloom (Misery) – What’s the Big Deal?

Maroon 5 – Misery

Soul Asylum – Misery

Three Days Grace – Misery Loves My Company

Pink & Steven Tyler Misery

Peter Gabriel Sledgehammer (and I had no idea about the ax!!)

Fifth Harmony – Sledgehammer

Thanks everyone! I had a great time being your host. Put Salem’s Lot on the calendar for October! Should our hashtag be #SalemsLotRAL ?

Halestorm – I Miss the Misery

pieratingsml

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.

pieratingsml

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,712 other followers

Twitter Updates

Happy Birthday @krabka61 !! I think might be one of my best ever. 💐🎉🎈🎁

Goodreads

July 2015
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Copyright Notice

Creative Commons License
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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,712 other followers