Archive for November, 2008

GR8FUL

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Happy Thanksgiving!

WIshing you a wonderful weekend full of pie and happy laughter!    Blog at ya next month.   – Care

I’m thankful for books, book-blogs, book-blog-buds, impressive book-to-movie adaptions, receiving books in the mail, a reliable US post, the ability to read, the ability to type, my eyes that I can see, a sense of humor, freedom, clean air, clean water, trees, flowers, gardens, art, my camera, Southwest Airlines, my family, my dog, the wonderful place that takes care of my dog when we travel, the freedom to travel, neighbors who watch my house/get my mail/put rubbish to the curb, friends in fun places, nieces and nephews, my in-laws, my mother-in-laws incredible assortment of goodies that await us, health, that it’s not blizzarding, sunshine, …  lots more stuff but I got to go!

Vocabulary Lesson / Christine Falls 

Review  cfbkcvr Christine Falls by Benjamin Black (also known as John Banville)

Year published 2006, 340 pages.

Quick Synopsis:

A dead woman’s file in the morgue is tampered with – then the body disappears!   The pathologist can’t let go of the mystery until it has totally upended his life  as well as the lives of everyone he seems to know.    Set in Dublin and Boston in the 1950′s, this novel explores family relationships, identities, and saving souls.

Reasonably well-written, believable dialog, flawed characters you like anyway and some to really really dislike; overall impression – just OK.

Also try  DEWEY’s Review.   Her post has a link as to why Mr. Banville uses a pen name for his mystery thrillers.   (I won this book from Dewey; THANKS DEWEY!  She’s got a few more book giveaways going this holiday season, check it out.)


DId I learn any new words? YES!

p.52 – elevenses  -   “Mulligan the registry clerk was taking his elevenses.” a break?   Nope!  a snack!   A British term: “a snack that is similar to afternoon tea, but eaten in the morning.”

p.155 – palaver – “chatter: speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly”

p.161 – gaff – “This your gaff?”  Mr. Punch asked him. his home?  Another Brit term:  one’s private residence.

p.168 – phthisic – “A wasting disease of the lungs, the term was also applied more generally to various lung or throat infections.”

p.177 – lascar – “An East Indian sailor, army servant, or artillery trooper, or seaman.”

Any of these words new to you, too?

Weekly Geek 26

Weekly Geek 26 – Visit New Book Blogs!  and find something in common, link it up, make new friends…

(Please visit Dewey to find other geekers…)

1. Using the WeeklyGeeks category here in my blog, find 5 Weekly Geeks you don’t know. The easiest way is probably to look at the Mr Linkies in my weekly Saturday posts.

2. Visit each of your 5 new blogpals and snoop around their blogs to find at least one thing you have in common.

3. In your blog, write a post, linking to your 5 new blogpals, about what you have in common with them.

4. Come back and sign Mr Linky.

5. As you run across other Weekly Geek posts (or deliberately seek them out) if you see anyone mentioned who has something in common with you, pay them a visit.


FIVE NEW-TO-ME BOOK BLOGS:

Marineko:   Dreaming Out Loud – I love postcards, too!   Although, I really don’t have a collection.  I just like mail and love that postcards cost less to send.   I do make my own sometimes, and am attracted to those stands in bookstores and tourist traps that have funky, funny and unique postcards.     I try to mail postcards to my next-door neighbor kids when I travel to thank them for collecting my mail and taking out the trash.    (seems we always travel on trash day!)   Marineko?  If you would like a postcard from my next travel states: Nebraska, KCMO, Arkansas or where I live: Massachusetts, let me know…

Sherri at Just Books! – Although Sherri and I don’t have much in common at FIRST GLANCE – we aren’t participating in any of the same challenges, etc., we obviously do share a love for reading!   AND reading memoirs/biographies.  I’m impressed that she said she didn’t even really like Sinatra but went ahead and read a book about him.   Her enthusiasm for the Library Challenge is making me think I should join this…  Then we would be reading for the same challenge!

Book Dads – I can’t say I have much in common here (I’m not a dad) but I think this is a tremendous resource blog for dads who read to their kids.   And I can always get good ideas for books for my nieces and nephews.   We obviously share the enthusiasm for Weekly Geeks, and that has to count for something, too…  Nice to meet you, Book Dads!

Terri’s Reading, Writing and Retirement – Not sure (I’m sorry!) if I’ve ever visited the blog but I know FER-SURE that I’ve seen Terri’s lovely smile in comments at other places!     [maybe you've just changed your blog since you are NEWLY retired?!?!     congrats on that, how's it going? ]    I love that Terri reads quite a lively mix of books – not all recently published…    We share quite a few recent reads (ie The Heart is a Lonely Hunter) and I am just about to embark on The Road over the holiday (something to REALLY make me feel grateful for my life?!)

I Like To Be Here When I Can – Jeannie and I love dogs!   Best wishes to Dixie for a full recovery.   This is not just a book blog – recipes!  recycling ideas!   I got lost over there and will be back.

Happy Weekly Geeking Everyone!
(also, if you happen to visit here and end up linking to me, pls come back and let me know – because the WordPress’ linking notification is out of whack… thx.)

Thought(s) on Interpreter of Maladies

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Having had too many thoughts spiralling through my brain cavity like wisps of smoke when you blow out a candle, I offer only this as my response to Lahiri’s short story collection:

A gentle, quiet  (hold breath –> exhale)  …

wow.


Review The Exes

The Exes The Exes by Pagan Kennedy

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
An excellent change of pace from what I’ve been reading lately – this is fresh, hip, set in Boston, about wannabe rock stars. Character driven and well-played against each other, this novel progresses in plot via 4 case studies of each member of a new band.   It was fun to be in their heads and see the different viewpoints, share their fears and dreams.

The title of this novel is also the name of the rock band.   The idea was that all the members had to be exes of each other and the movie Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice bctdinbed was mentioned as inspiration by the character, the lead singer, the promotion fanatic member of the band…  (not the author’s for the book.  I don’t think that story is this story.   I’m probably just confusing it all now.   Anyway.)

I’ve never seen this movie – have you?

Review The Mathematics of Love

Review  tmoled The Mathematics of Love by Emma Dawson

Advanced Reader’s Edition 2006, 406 pages.

I bookmooched this and can’t for the life of me remember who blogged about it and made me look for it!

It’s labeled as an ARE – so this was not TO ME by any publisher…   I don’t think I have ever read an ARE (ARC?) and was shocked how many typos I found.      The back says “If you’ve read the galley, I’d love to hear what you think.”   What is the galley? Do tell.     Also, when you are given an ARC (obviously I’ve shied away from this because I don’t want to give negative reviews! and want to stay under the radar thankyouverymuch), do they want you to point out typos and misspellings?   Just curious.

I didn’t like this book much.   I’m giving it two stars, for just ‘OK’.    It just didn’t add up!   (ha!   math joke, per title.)

I had to restart it because I was confused by the fourth page.    I did better in concentrating for the second attempt – part of it was early 19th century language and was able to stick with it but I found the back and forth point of views between time periods off putting.     In fact, I never did buy the relationship setup at all.

SPOILER ALERT…   The first story is an injured soldier officer (Major Fairhurst) who fought Napolean and his coming home to England to run the farm.    As landed gentry, he needs a wife but his memories of love found on his travels as a soldier prevent him from committing to love again.    He meets an independent young woman and fails to see the hand in front of his face as he corresponds with her.    Blah, blah, blah and quite a few gratuitous sex scenes and an undiscovered daughter; he FINALLY figures it out.

I did kind of like him…

In the meantime?   the second story is a teenage girl in the 1970s who goes to spend a summer with her uncle who happens to own the house that the officer lived in from the other story line.   She is given Fairhurst’s letters to read and feels a (poorly written) dejavu connection to him.   She has crazy shit to deal with; her batty grandmother is beating a 5 year old (is he her cousin?!) and the neighbor teaches her photography and then seduces her.

The photography explanations were quite good – having taken a class in photography, I could relate.  Although my memory of the process is hazy.     Now with everything digital and easier and yet NOT easier, it was a good discussion of photography as ‘art’.

Somehow these two story lines relate?   and the reader is swept away to consider all the crazy notions of love?    Lots of distracting connection clues given but never satisfactorily tied together enough for me.    I could be bad at math, but I don’t think so.

(I did finish this and this must count for something, right.   Get it?  count?!)

For a more positive review – check out Fyrefly’s. You can get to more reviews from there, as well.

Review Marley & Me

Review   mandmjgbkcvr Marley & Me by John Grogan

First Harper Paperback published 2008, 295 pages, movie due out Christmas Day…

WHY DID I BUY THIS BOOK? I bought this book for a few reasons, and one IS because of the cover!   [I usually don't care about the cover, really....]    I love to read books from which ‘they’ [by that I mean the Weinsteins?!] will soon release a movie.   The other reasons are personal recommendations (my friend Lisa) and my very dear husband.   Not that he has read it, but only that he thought I should.

Which brings me to my main reason?   I have owned and been owned by a yellow lab.

ABOUT MARLEY: This memoir is of a young couple who want to ‘practice’ before having human children to see if they are capable of caring for any living thing.   (They had a plant that died.)   So they succumb to the cuteness of lab puppyhood and bring home an adorable but slightly wild dog.   Mayhem ensues.

ABOUT MY LAB: My yellow lab was a female we named Lou.    Lou seemed like a good name to yell – we always practice yelling out a possible dog name, assuming that yelling will be part of parenting a dog.    LOU!!!!    yes, it passes the yell-test.    Her full AKC name was Princess Calliope Louise Boudreau.    Princess was the name the breeder gave her, Calliope was from a character on Days of Our Lives in the early 80s, Louise – cuz she was a girl!  and Boudreau was the last name of a famous guy named Lou who was a Cubs announcer back before Harry Carey.

We called her Lu-Lu, we called her Kangaroo-Loo, Louise-ER, wheezer, shithead.    She was all lab.

She was my first real dog.

She once ate 3 dozen sugar cookies shaped like our school’s mascot that I had iced in purple and white.    She inhaled a couple of pounds of hershey’s kisses – I left her at the vet’s overnight for that one.   She was fine but I didn’t want the mess of the remedy!    Hub swears she took a roast off the stove but I must have blocked that out in my memory.   Once at a friend’s house who also had a yellow lab, these two scoundrels managed to open a manila envelope full of candy that was to be mailed and it didn’t even look disturbed.    We found evidence of candy wrappers under the dining room table and checked the package.   Sure enough, these clever dogs had sucked out about half the candy and never moved the envelope from it’s spot!   It didn’t even look opened until you picked it up to find a gaping hole.

She destroyed a mattress, chewed more shoes than I can count (always MINE – she didn’t seem to like how the hub’s tasted), she ripped an expensive fancy silk blouse to shreds.    We woke up one morning to stifling QUIET and thought uh oh.   Then, a sound like galloping horses through the downstairs – she had whipped a big houseplant from it’s container and was running wild – we had dirt and plant fronds everywhere.    She found a little tear in our kitchen linoleum (we were trying to trap her in the kitchen when we weren’t home) and this little tear became half the room of shredded strips of linoleum.

Ah good times…

I loved her.  I miss her.    I should balance these paragraphs with why she was so wonderful but..  I can’t see at the moment.   Trust me, she was a dear.

AND that is why I dreaded to read this book.   I didn’t really want to relive all this and cry!    Marley’s story and Lou’s are quite similar.

And I have to stop now.   If you love dogs, reading about the love of dogs and how lovable they are despite thier shenanigans, do read this book.   It’s entertaining and endearing.

New Books in the House

I seem to be on a winning streak.   I won a book (I’m choosing Coraline by Gaiman) from the closet over at Softdrink’s Fizzy Beverage (I highly recommend this blog – great reviews, always a fun place to hang out.)

And I won The Road by Cormac McCarthy from Blake – if you like movie reviews, check this out.    I won this as a prize for participating in the Lit Flicks Challenge.

I won Christine Falls by Benjamin Black from Dewey’s The Hidden Side of a Leaf awhile back – I don’t remember what exactly that I entered – maybe just a regular good ol’ giveaway?  THANK YOU.   I think I will start this one next.

OH!  and I just won a book from Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness, too!   This is a lot of books…

But let me tell you about the book bonanza I scored last Friday!   I volunteer at a local nursing home;   Oscar my Wirehaired Pointing Griffon and I are a pet therapy team and we go just to visit and make friends.   Well, they needed someone to help clear out old books and restock with ‘new’ (discarded books donated from a couple of libraries).

I was allowed to take any books that appealed to me – especially if not large print.   So I brought home

J.M Cotzee’s Life and Times of Michael K (recognized it from the 1001 Books to Read Before Death)

Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood

Something Out There – short story collection by Nadine Gordimer

Dead Man Walking by Sister Helen Perjean (for Lit Flicks?)

and…

1909 Edition of Zane Grey’s The Last Trail

1901 Edition of The Poems of Henry W. Longfellow (cover BADLY torn/damaged)

I also found just a cover (only a cover;  no book)  that was kind of cool and I’m thinking of framing it – calling it ‘art’ but I have all sorts of silly notions and drawers packed with pics I’m going to frame some day, so… who knows.   I’ve scanned it in though for you to see.  What do you think?   Hang-On-The-Wall-Worthy?

(I just hate to throw it out – obviously, I’m somewhat of a pack-rat… But really, what good is this?!)

pigpenpete

I have to go back today to finish up.    I was only able to alphabetize A – H before I had to leave for the day.   So the last 30 minutes I had to just pull all the new books out of their boxes and place them on a shelf to get them off the floor!   I’m also going to take back the antique books – I have no reason to have them…  But I thought they were cool…

Don’t worry – I’ve got on my to-do list to buy them large print books in donation back.   I’ve already given them Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

Weekly Geek Week TWENTY FIVE

The theme for this week’s Weekly Geek (Dewey has ALL the details here) is to provide my own Book As Gift Gift-Giving Guide.  I’m looking forward to reading the other entries because I’m not thinking I will be too good at this, but in good Geek spirit, I’ll see what I can come up with…

[Just stop reading and go ahead and decide NOT to read further...   Instead, I recommend this:   Ali's List at Worducopia.]

Care’s Guide to Giving Books

I love to read and my tastes and favorite genres are all over the place.   I do buy books however, so maybe I can approach this by describing my thoughts on what I buy certain loved ones in my life.   Maybe you can relate?

My dad LOVES to read.   He’s the guy that visits and reads 10 books in a week and still has time to converse and watch football/baseball/basketball/”ball”.    He’s very content to read most anything but he tends to read the crime fiction category – I think.   He reads so fast that he might read Russian Lit in between and I might not notice.    Last time I was home, I picked up the closest book laying around and read Gregg Hurwitz’s The Crime Writer ; Dad mentioned that he is a good writer – which means he’s read more than one!   He almost always reads library books and Mom has mentioned that she’s worried he’ll have read them all eventually, so that’s how I know it’s safe to buy for him.   I have to get recently published or … or he’ll have read it!

OK – I give up.   I have just been googling for New Releases – Books, Upcoming, etc and I haven’t gotten to a good website that should tell me what I can buy next week that is new to the bookstores… HOPEFULLY ONE OF YOU CAN POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION?!    OR?    Here’s my plan…   When it comes to buying my dad a gift, I will go to Borders and purchase the newest, latest, most recent crime drama by an author I hope to have heard of and that will be that.

Next, for my Mom?   She reads this blog so I can’t say anything but she likes the literary fiction stuff.  She and I often agree on the books we’ve both read…   (I was going to give her The Lace Reader, but I didn’t rate it a 5 star and then I loaned it to my neighbor…  I may not get it back?!)

My brother – if I’m to buy him a book, I usually get him nonfiction about the earth; specifically geology like stuff.    Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

SInce I won’t see any of my family this Holiday, I probably won’t buy books – shipping costs and all.   Or I might consider a gift card.     I’m flying back for Thanksgiving (will only see the in-laws), but again, books are heavy and not what I want to pack!

I’ve giving my N&Ns* the book “Leroy – The Ugly Dog”.   Please see this link to read how excited I was to find this!    I have them in hand – they did arrive.  :)

I’ll update this post as I visit YOU and find other guides that I know will help me think about this more.   Thank you in advance for any sugs you may for my Dad, Mom and brother.    SEE SECOND PARA.

* N&N = Nieces and nephews…



Menage, Anyone?

I am a happy lurker at Citizen Reader’s blog but sometimes I jump in and join the fray.

and, now I invite you!  if you happen to be reading this and are unfamiliar with Citizen Reader, allow me the  opportunity to make an introduction.    Citizen Reader used to be Nonfiction Reader Anonymous (NRA) and every post is enlightening and entertaining; never ever trendy but always timely.     She’s not exclusive to nonfiction, but is more often than not snarky* and spot-on-right;  blasting popular opinion and nutty authors and praising great thinkers and writers that I usually have never heard of.     The way I’m gushing on, you’d think I want something!

She’s cooked up a challenge called a Book Menage:   read two books and discuss.    The books for this fall’s event are How to Tell When You’re Tired – A Brief Examination of Work by Reg Theriault and Nobodies:  Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the Global Economy by John Bowe.

I was able to bookmooch the Theriault book and was disappointed when Borders seemed to be out of stock on the Nobodies book.   I was promptly [and gently - see comments!] reprimanded for not considering the LIBRARY!?   (oh yea**….) and have since ordered that to be delivered soon to the library nearest me.    Actually, the library nearest to where I often drive by.

I don’t often – maybe never – read social commentary nonfiction, so I am actually looking forward to these.     Commenting begins December 1.

Join us?    Have you read these?    Read anything similar?

* Did you know ‘snarky’ is one of the most googled terms?    It’s definition looks to be an insult but is by popular use increasingly being considered a compliment.   I mean for the positive definition to be used here:  “A witty mannerism, personality, or behavior that is a combination of sarcasm and cynicism. Usually accepted as a complimentary term.  Snark is sometimes mistaken for a snotty or arrogant attitude. ”   (Taken from the Urban Dictionary site.    I cannot source statistics to justify the first sentence – I attempted to follow that link but got into crazy-blinking-online-ad-world yuckiness.)

**  I am guilty of reserving books at the library and NEVER getting over to the library to pick it up before they un-reserve it for me.   RRRrrrrrrr.    The library is U N C O N V E N I E N T!   They are NEVER open, due to budget cuts.   Not open Monday nor Tuesday, sometimes open a few hours Sunday, only open one night past 6 pm.   COME ON!    It’s really sad.    I won’t discuss the issue of no parking.    Cuz I don’t mind walking. I do support my local library!  I do.   I just don’t often check out books.    Perhaps I am the BEST kind of supporter – I stay away but still give them my dollars.


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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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