All posts by Care

About Care

I read books. I bake pie. I have an obsession with lobster things. I tweet a lot.

One True Thing

Thoughts by Anna Quindlen, Delta 1994, 289 pages

Challenge: 20 books of Summer, What’s in a Name / “ONE” Category

Genre/Theme: Contemporary Lit / Child-Parent Relationships

Type/Source: Tradeback/Gift from a friend

What It’s About: Ellen is young and ambitious, making her father proud. But then her Mom gets sick and her father basically orders her to quit her job – her career – her life to move home and care for Mom. She does but she does it to prove a point to her dad more than because she even slightly wants to do it.

But her Mom is the smartest and the bestest of them all. Ellen has to figure it out the hard way.

Your father was better at it. Much better,” she looked at me and added, “I’m sorry.”

That’s all right, I said, a little mystified because I was not sure what the apology was for. For so long I thought about myself as a girl who walked away from her mother’s life, that it would be a long time before I would start to think about the other part of the bargain, how easily she’d let me go.

Thoughts: Wow – what a story! Heart-wrenching. Not only does Mom die a horrible death by cancer but then Ellen is accused of murdering her. She spends a night in jail because . . . apparently Dear Dad didn’t even know about the arrest. The trial, the aftermath, the reconnection. Just wow.

I loved it.

Thank you Trish of Love Laughter Insanity for sending this book to me in 2012.

Rating: __5__slices of pie. Cherry once and pumpkin twice!

I cooked and cleaned and read; I simmered casseroles and made pies.

 

What’s in a Name host site: Carolina Book Nook

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Six in Six in Six Tries! With Pie

How did I miss this book blogging event? Oh well, better now than never? Thank you to Joann for bringing to my attention. I needed a post idea. The six tries refers to my trials and tribulations with getting the Block Editor to work the way I want it to. Perhaps, my theme and the editor are incompatible. I did a few iterations…

Choose SIX books from SIX categories:

from Jo at the Book jotter. (Nice to meet you Jo!)
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Six new to me authors
Lily King – Euphoria
Louise Gluck – A Village Life
Raven Leilani – Luster
Susanna Clark – Piranesi
Rumann Alam – Leave the World Behind
Douglas Stuart – Shuggie Bain


Six authors I have read before
Liz Moore – Long Bright River
Yaa Gyasi – Transcendent Kingdom
Brit Bennet – The Vanishing Half
Lydia Millet – A Children’s Bible
Carol Shield – Swann
Hari Kunzu – Red Pill


Six books I have enjoyed (not a ranking! just the first 5 slicers I grabbed from the list)
The Resisters – Gish Jen
The Complete Pie Cookbook – Farm Journal
The Cold Millions – Jess Walter
It Shouldn’t Have Been Beautiful – Lia Purpura
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – Bill Martin
Jack – Marilynne Robinson


Six books with the best pie mentions (yeeaaaaaahh… the BEST?! oh dear)
Breasts & Eggs – Mieko Kawakami
Memorial – Bryan Washington
The House in the Cerulean Sea – TJ Klune
The Green Mile – Stephen King
Salvage the Bones – Jesmyn Ward
The Resisters – Gish Jen


Six books that took me on extraordinary journeys
Blind Dog – Caroline Levin
Interior Chinatown – Charles Yu
The Down Days – Ilze Hugo
The Library Book
Proud Shoes
Murderbot – Martha Wells


Six books I must mention that don’t fit nicely into any category
The Green Mile – Stephen King – readalong !!!
Tender is the Flesh – Augustine Bazterrica – TOB!
Stephen Florida -Gabe Habash – OK, this is just INTENSE
Whereabouts – Jhumpa Lahiri – translated from Italian
Detransition, Baby – Torrey Peters – trans knowledge fun
Telephone – Percival Everett – can you say, versions?

For my thoughts on any of these novels, please enter title in the search upper right -OR- page through my Books-Done-Read page. Thank you. Thank you for visiting. Have a super-dooper fabulous reading rest-of-the-year!

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Day the World Came to Town

Thoughts by Jim DeFede, HarperCollins 2021 (orig 2002), 261 pages

Challenge: Book club

Genre/Theme: Nonfiction / September 11th

Type/Source: eBook / Libby to Kindle

What It’s About: This short book is packed with heart-warming stories involving the challenges to the town of Gander, Newfoundland, in dealing with unexpected “guests” due to planes not being able to land in the US when the terrorists attached the World Trade Center on Sept 11, 2001.

We get a little bit of history on why Gander, an exploration of Newfoundland culture, and glimpses into lives of passengers and residents, all the many varied interactions. We even meet some animals!

Thoughts: I teared up a dozen times or more. This was a wonderful read about the goodness of humanity in facing the consequences of evil tragedies. This edition is great in that it gives updates to the friendships made; a ‘where are they now’ look, 20 years hence.

Rating: Four slices of pie. Homemade pie.

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Smart One and the Pretty One

Thoughts by Claire LaZebnik, 5 Spot/Hachette Book Group 2008, 288 pages

Challenge: 20 books of Summer

Genre/Theme: Fun Fiction/Sisters

Type/Source: Tradeback/Gift from a friend

What It’s About: Two sisters are reunited to take care of their mother’s health challenge and both grow up a bit while learning to appreciate each other.

Thoughts: Wow – that sentence above hurt me to write! Let’s see, let me start over.

The PRETTY-SISTER is irresponsible and unconcerned, loves fashion, has moved home from NYC back to LA and escorts Mom to chemotherapy as she battles a “minor case of breast cancer” (WTF?!)

The SMART-SISTER is overly responsible, hates all things girly, is consumed by being the consummate attorney. Smartie puts Pretty on a budget buying-ban; Pretty fixes sis up with an old family friend. Mayhem ensues.

OK, I do tend to overuse the “mayhem ensues”, I get it. I’ll stop. (no I won’t.) Pretty-Sister realizes she needs to be better with her finances and Smarty-Sis realizes that fashion *CAN* be fun.

It was a light and sexy read and I was glad to escape into the pages after too many months of reading more whacky or serious (or both) so I am happy to finally get to this.

But what happens with Mom? What happens to dud NYC-boy and his mom? A few loose ends, for me.

Thank you Lisa from Omaha for “winning” this book to me in 2009. LOL! 2009…

Rating: __4___slices of pie. I didn’t note any pie mentions. Might have to demote it to 3 slices…

 

What’s in a Name host site: Carolina Book Nook

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Whereabouts

Thoughts by Jhumpa Lahiri, Alfred A. Knopf 2021, 163 pages

Translated from Italian.

Challenge: 20 Books of Summer, TOB Summer Camp

Genre/Theme: Contemporary Lit, Woman Thinking About Life

Type/Source: Hardcover, Library

What It’s About: Our unnamed main character narrates these vignettes of her days and the places these days take her. She excels at solitude.

“The tenderness he sets aside for me is enough.“

Her father was stingy, stingy at love and felt his family was a burden. Her mother never found her footing and took it out on the daughter. Each chapter seemed to have powerful last lines.

I mourned those wasted tickets, and that trip never taken, more than I mourned for you.

Thoughts: Provocatively written. Is provocative too strong a word? I could not stop reading; it was an insistent little book. It “evok[ed my] interest, attention, or and admiration in a powerfully irresistible way.” (the definition of compelling.)

Disoriented, lost, at sea, at odds, astray, bewildered, confused, uprooted, turned around.

I’m related to these related terms. These words are my abode, my only foothold.

(from Nowhere, page 153)

Rating: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned. However, there is a chapter that mentions pastry often and another had me searching for cat’s tongue cookies.

We say goodbye, separate. Then we, too, become two shadows projected onto the wall: a routine spectacle, impossible to capture.

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Peaces

Thoughts by Helen Oyeyemi, Riverhead Books 2021, 256 pages

Challenge: #20Books of Summer

Genre/Theme: Literary Fiction / Strange Dreams

Type/Source: Hardcover / Library

What It’s About: I don’t have a clue.

Otto and Xavier embark on a train ride for their honeymoon, but I’m not sure the train actually goes anywhere. Ava Kapoor is the owner of the train and Laura and Allegra are her… friends? Allegra is the train conductor. There are mongooses. They were cool; my favorite part of the whole book.

Ava will inherit a large sum of money if she can prove her sanity. This fortune may or may not be contested by the son of the man who willed it to Ava. The fortune belonged to Karel; he had employed Ava to play the theremin all night long for the son, name P’rem. I don’t think my blog has the right “r” that I mean by ” ‘r “. Could be part of Oyeyemi’s genius, not sure. What I am sure of is that WordPress block editor sucks, we can agree on that.

Ava can’t see P’rem. Does he exist? Is this book about unseeing people you love? Yea, way over my head. It really does make me think of that song, what a strange trip it’s been. At the end, Yuri aka P’rem aka a bunch of other names and representations of Otto and Xavier’s past lovers (right? it gets weird) shows up and holds Laura, Allegra, Otto and Xavier hostage but Ava can’t see it. Then somehow, in the escape attempts, and trying to get Ava to figure out what is going on, Allegra is rescued? I think? But Ava can no longer see Laura, Otto nor Xavier and they disembark from the train. She ‘unsees’ them.

Ava gets the money because she never admits that her sanity is in question. “There’s a pleasure in being mad that none but madmen know.”

Thoughts: I actually was enjoying the strange trip during the middle. I had convinced myself to roll with it and enjoy the language, the sentences, the imagery ;but by the end , my patience was gone and my motivation to think deep for what it all might mean was all used up.

Her phrasing. . . she wasn’t telling him I don’t understand what you’re saying. The sense of it came through as I am unable to determine the meaning of you.

Rating: Three slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

I said it all wrong. But the right words—what are they?

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Update June 2021 in Review

 Monthly Recap Time!

I finished _13_ books in May. Total for the year: 62 (29 mention pie)

Total page count (including print page count for books I listen-read) = __2848__, 14967 TOTAL pages for the year.

Finished __4__ audiobook (~29 hours!!) 

Hardcover = 2

eBook (Kindle or Libby) = 4

Tradeback = __3___

Count from the library =  _7_, 4 purchased , 2 freebies

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My favorite was Jack.

A lot of really good 4-5 star reads, too. And only one 3-slice ratings that was a stellar book that just didn’t hit me right, perhaps. I stand by my 2 for Klara and the Sun.

I visited North Dakota, Spokane Washington (again), England, an invented Tropical island and the tropics of the South Pacific, St. Louis MO, an outer space planet, up a tree, around the globe and a bit of Mars with Helen Macdonald, and a college town with Ann Patchett.

Fave quote?

Had my heart an unbroken string, your touch would set it trembling.

from Jack by marilynne robinson

It was an amazing month. FULL on #20BooksofSummer!

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Pie? Stephen Florida had cherry pie, The House in the Cerulean had pie, Hamnet mentions pie as did Klara – but more reference to pie triangles. Jack has pie.

I made a Cherry Rhubarb Pie – for Father’s Day and an Apple Pie for some reason I forget.

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“Hate is loud, but I think you’ll learn it’s because it’s only a few people shouting, desperate to be heard. You might not ever be able to change their minds, but so long as your remember you’re not alone, you will overcome.”

From The House in the Cerulean sea

What was YOUR favorite book of June?

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Euphoria

Thoughts by Lily King, Blackstone Audio 2014, 6 hours 53 minutes

Narrated by the Simon Vance and Xe Sands.

Challenge: none

Genre/Theme: Historical Fiction/Jungle anthropology

Type/Source: Audiobook/Audible freebie

What It’s About: Imaginary (loosely based on) life of Margaret Mead and her marriage to an Australian anthropologist, while working with an English anthropologist.

The English guy (Bankson or Bateson? I could never tell and am too lazy to look it up) is ready to chuck it all when he meets Nell and Fen. Nell is serious and amazing, dedicated and impressive. Fen is an asshole. (WHY? she ever married him is beyond me.) They have escaped a study assignment where the people were mean and scary and Nell had had to flee. Fen begrudgingly followed her out — because Nell provides the funding, so yea. The English-Anthropologist convinces Nell and Fen to come to his study area of a remote hot tropical island and introduces them to a tribe no one is currently studying so they set up camp.

English-Anthropologist (E-A) is fascinated by how Nell approaches her work and whaddya-know! he falls in love with Nell. Nell isn’t possessive and believes in free-love so she loves E-A back, or at least while Fen is out and about. Eventually Fen does something stupid and they all, Nell and Fen and helped along by E-A, have to escape.

Thoughts: This is mostly about the love triangle and a lot of it is in E-A’s internal monologue. On a story level, it kinda sucked. But I was sucked in by the passions and by the narration. Simon Vance and Xe Sands are excellent; the words they spoke were entrancing to me.

It ends tragically, really REALLY bad. I think I have a another favorite author.

Rating: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Vesper Flights

Thoughts by Helen Macdonald, Recorded Books 2020, 10 hours 22 minutes

Narrated by the author. Winner of TOP FIVE Audiobooks by AudioFile magazine.

Challenge: none

Genre/Theme: Nonfiction, essays on nature

Type/Source: Audiobook/Libby

What It’s About: Essays on nature and birds and more nature and other stuff that interests the author. She’s a very good writer. My favorite of this collection has to be the one about her first job out of university, at a falcon incubator (?) farm in Wales.

Thoughts: Macdonald’s previous published title, H is for Hawk , is one of the very best audiobooks I have ever had the privilege of listening to. I read Vesper Flights on the strength of my admiration for Helen Macdonald.

Rating: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

All Systems Red

Thoughts Murderbot Diaries #1 by Martha Wells, Tor.com 2017, 155 pages

Challenge: 20 Books of Summer

Genre/Theme: Artificial Intelligence, Humor, Fun Adventure

Type/Source: eBook / Libby-Kindle

What It’s About: We meet “Murderbot”, an artificial intelligence device called a “construct” which is a company-controlled machine, hired to protect. Murderbot is the private name given to themself but is referred to as “SecUnit” by the humans, aka the clients of the company that is on expedition to an unknown planet. Murderbot is the security detail to keep the humans safe from hostile fauna and flora. I had somehow assigned Murderbot a feminine pronoun, others have assumed Murderbot is a he. (I discovered this when I started reading reviews… I found it interesting I assumed Murderbot is a girl.)

The planet has another expedition party on the other side of the planet and when their communications link goes dark, the crew of Murderbot’s party decides to go check out what happened, either to render assistance and/or discover a threat.

In the ensuing survival efforts, the humans and Murderbot, reach new understandings of what it means to be a construct and a human. They become friends. Sort of.

Thoughts: Great fun and lots of laughs. The kind of sly wit and funny asides, under breath mutterings and sarcasm.

Rating: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.