2740 pages, 25.78 hours | 24462 total pages, 196.1 hours for the year so far
I have had a rollercoaster of an emotional month. But I read these! And they were all 4 or 5 slicers of pie reads: I gave 5s to World Piece, Address Unknown (a short story about how seemingly nice people buy into evil rhetoric and then join radical movements that justify other people as subhuman), and Fidelity. The rest got 4 slices. I didn’t even know who Tom Morello was – interesting guy. I do love the Audible musician stories. I wish I had read + listened to the Cruz, but that is all on me. I recommend it; definitely a terrific immigrant story with humor and love.
I had an increase in blogging, too. Thanks for the comments and support there.
October was the BRING BACK of audiobooks. I listened to some. I have a new job that gives me drive time in the car.
Of course, World PIEce had pie. And The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek had a lot of pie, too. How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water featured pastelitos, a fried handpie of goodness on many Dominican menus.
November is another month; I hope it brings you HOPE. Hope is the belief in things unseen.
What was YOUR favorite book of October? ARE YOU PLANNING ON READING FOR NONFICTION NOVEMBER? Tell me your recommendations.
Thoughts by Julie clark, Blackstone Audio, 7 hours 18 minutes
Challenge: For October Book Club
Genre/Theme: Mystery Thriller
Type/Source: Audible! On an INCLUDED list until 10/31 <click here>
What It’s About: We know early that there is a plane crash. This story involve two characters desperate to escape their lives by running, by taking on new identities. With an unfolding that is told “6 Months Before the Crash” and “2 Days Before the Crash” back and forth between Eva and Claire, we learn what is happening in their lives that propels the story and to their meeting.
We know on one side that it is not a random encounter but we do not know how they are linked. The unfolding is definitely edge of your seat action and drama. Did she get on that plane?!
“I’m not very good at forgiveness.” Liz nodded. “Not many people are. But what I’ve learned in life is that in order for true forgiveness to occur, something has to die first. Your expectations, or your circumstances. Maybe your heart. And that can be painful. But it’s also incredibly liberating.”
Thoughts: I enjoyed this. We meet strong females braving against the odds, we experience the best of women friendships. We also see domestic violence, drug trade machinations, powerful men being evil and controlling.
I usually don’t like mystery thrillers but this one didn’t happen to annoy me. I had to know how Eva found Claire! What was the missing link? All explained to my satisfaction despite the ending being vague and open to question. Should be a good club discussion. (Better than the Evelyn Hugo book anyway…)
Rating: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned.
“You know, life is long. Lots of things can go wrong and still end up all right.”
When this title was brought up for consideration, the library copy count was adequate but someone wondered out loud, if the audiobook was available I was super chuffed to check Audible and see it was “on special”! I recommend you hurry, if you do have an Audible subscription and think this one sounds good.
Collection #3 by Jacqueline Woodson, Puffin Books 2016, 366 pages
“Nothing in the world is like this- a bright white page with pale blue lines. The smell of a newly sharpened pencil the soft hush of it moving finally one day into letters.”
“I am not gifted. When I read, the words twist twirl across the page. When they settle, it is too late. The class has already moved on.
I want to catch words one day. I want to hold them then blow gently, watch them float right out of my hands.”
“Even the silence has a story to tell you. Just listen. Listen.”
This has been the longest collection of poetry I have read yet; spanning March to August. I loved every page, every poem, every thought expressed. Five slice of pie and YES! It had pie. (but the new goodreads layout has hidden my updates so I don’t know the page nor full passage. Also, sad to say, I no longer have the book – did I misplace it? give it to a friend? sell it to the Half Price Books so I can buy more books? I can’t recall.)
Collection #4 by Grace Paley, Farrar,Straus and Giroux 2008, 83 pages
I forget the names of my friends
and the names of the flowers in
my garden . . . my friends remind me
Grace . . . it’s us . . . the flowers just
stand there stunned by the sun
I very much enjoyed this collection. She’s smart and sharp, even as she describes blanks in her mind and her memory. It’s about living, living through what you have to but not necessarily being happy about it. Rather, determined.
*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.
Thoughts by Maggie O’Farrell, Blackstone Audio, 7 hours 18 minutes
Genre/Theme: Adult Fiction; Sisters
Type/Source: Tradeback / Purchased at Half Price Books, I think
What It’s About: Told in flashbacks and from the perspective of three characters: Esme – the youngest sister, Kitty – the eldest, and the granddaughter Iris. Esme has been locked away since she was 16 and now 60+ years later, while Kitty is suffering from dementia in the nursing home. Then there is Iris, the only living relative who owns a vintage clothes shop and pines for her married step-brother. It gets even more complicated when Iris is contacted about Esme when her facility is being shut down. Iris has never heard of Esme and didn’t realize Kitty was not an only child.
Thoughts: Despite the showing of audiobooks this month, I’m still not at my former levels of audio-focus. That or this one just starts confusing, gets muddled and wilding messy in the middle, and might also suffer from cultural unknowns. (Like, what WAS that red cord?! What that MEAN? Do I really know how it ended? I have made assumptions that work for my interpretation of the story, but this would be a terrific one to discuss. With a Scottish person!)
But boy do I love the feisty old ladies. Both of them had feistiness and secrets and regrets and ambition. No excuses for Kitty, but Esme and Iris could have benefited from asking and expressing and having a true exchange of what was going on. Of course, the plot wouldn’t have thickened if they were able to truly share and connect.
She has no idea that her hands and eyes and the tilt of her head, and the fall of her hair, belong to Esme’s mother.
We are all just vessels thru which identities pass. We are lent features, gestures, habits and then we hand them on. Nothing is our own.
We begin in the world as anagrams of our antecedents.
Rating: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned; a fabulous story idea and not quite convincingly executed. Though a fun ride anyway, I think this one is likely better in print. The stories just bounce between narrator and time with no introduction — it was hard to tell when those changes occurred.
I read this because… I think it was an Audible freebie by an author who has a new book out that looks phenomenal, The Marriage Portrait, which follows a successful Hamnet. Possibly a writer that will go on my “must-read-everything” list.
Thoughts by Kim Michele Richardson, Sourcebooks 2019, 309 pages
Challenge: What’s in a Name 2022: Category Person with Description
Genre/Theme: Adult Fiction; history, pack horse library, blue people of Kentucky
Type/Source: Tradeback / Purchased at Half Price Books, I think
What It’s About: This story focuses on the last of the Kentucky blue people and how our protagonist worked to make her own journey in the world, as a Pack Horse Librarian, during the Depression. The story isn’t light – it contains disturbing violence, racism, and death. There are also tender moments and some humor.
Thoughts: I actually allowed myself to get swept away in this and it could be because I needed a hero to truly cheer for after a struggle with NightBitch, I’m not sure. It certainly is more plot and story and not the introspective contemporary snob-literature that I often find myself really falling for. I didn’t notice, for example, all the melodrama and the repetition of her being blue, over and over again until I read it in a review. Oh. Yeah, perhaps. Maybe it was all the references to pie. It surely gained it an extra slice on the rating for pie being a many-mentioned element.
And I also agree that the ending was … a bit much. Too much for only a few pages! WHAT JUST HAPPENED? Good thing I didn’t have a chance to go read reviews before I finished which is what happens when I have doubts mid-way. But I just kept trucking with the story until the last page.
“The first Friday in June, Troublesome always held its pie bake dance, a pie auction to hitch unmarried folks.”
Rating: Four slices of pie. Because of the pie and the fast flow.
“Winnie‘d been … the only one to bring a pie and sit with me one long Sunday, and then the next, reading to me while I recovered.”
Question: Will I read the second in the series? The Book Woman’s Daughter, published in May of this year. I don’t know. I’m not rushing out to get it, and I rarely read series books… I probably won’t, to be honest.
Actually, truth be told, I DNF’d Liar’s Club because I just couldn’t deal with any more Texasness and I skimmed to the end of Nightbitch because it just wasn’t what I needed at this time. It took me to Sept 24 to finish the first book(!!!)of the month. WHOA.
And my audiobook game faltered. Sigh. I listened to what is probably called a “Short Story”: Dispossession, a well done Audible Original by Tayari Jones . (It was good! and filled an entire dog-walking session to the minute. Jones is on my list of authors to read whenever I get the opportunity.) I’m 2/3 through my October Audible credit now and have a Libby audio lined up for after so I think October numbers will be better for print AND audio. I might even do a review post of that last book I read because it satisfies a What’s in a Name category. Amazing. (Nightbitch does, too, but I’m hesitant to use it since I really didn’t give it 100%)
I enjoyed Evelyn Hugo but it had that separation of author-to-reader, where I know I’m reading a book, rather than being immersed within the story. Book club discussion on Tuesday. My favorite was Lucy By the Sea by my favorite Elizabeth Strout.
“We had kidney beans from a can and two hot dogs each, an I made an apple pie, and the day felt so cozy.”
lucy by the sea, pg 224
It’s been a month of full-strength blowing of the winds of change. I was given unsettling news about my job and it sparked a job search process which resulted in me getting an offer which I accepted. I start tomorrow. In other news, WordPress alerted me that it is bloggivesary time! I’m been yapping about books-and-stuff at this space for 15 years!
October has a couple of pie days. The 12th is Pumpkin Pie Day and Boston Cream Pie Day is Oct 23. Something I’ve always wanted to make a Boston Cream Pie Pie (rather than a cake.) It wouldn’t be that hard; make a cake layer in a pie crust and then layer some cream, — or maybe bake a round cake and split it horizontally, place on in a pie crust (blind baked, probably), layer in some cream, top with the second cake layer, and pour a chocolate ganache on it… MmmmmmmmMMMMMmmmmmm
Yesterday, I declared I would make Apple Pie today but I think I’ll post this and sit on the couch watching football, read my World Piece book by Beth M Howard (and is it FULL of pie as you would expect) and continue to think about maybe making pie this afternoon.
2740 pages, 28.5 hours | 21128 total pages, 169.3 hours for the year so far
“… a party being made better because of the pie you brought…”
LESSONS in CHEmistry
Pie for the win. EVERY BOOK I READ HAD PIE! Pretty impressive..
“Maria helped herself to the last bites of Eddie’s apple pie and unfolded her notes on the table, but instead of Devil’s Bargain she found herself thinking of the scale model of Mercury.”
– MERCURY PICTURES PRESENTS
And my audiobook game has returned. THREE audiobooks finished and meaty books, too — not just a 1 hour created-for-Audible nibble.
My favorite was Bonnie Garmus’ Lessons in Chemistry. Hands down, my kind of book. Strong female character, touches all the ugly bits of reality yet balanced with love and humor, plus a cool dog. Some reviews recommend print over the audio, though I didn’t catch the mispronunciations or chemical terms …. oops. I did notice a long “e” sound for the word “been” and something else with an eeeee sound that to me should be more of an “i” sound like “bin”.
I read French’s The Searcher for book club. It was good but not my favorite of hers. And another book that suffered I HOPE! from bad mood and poor timing, was Anthony Marra’s Mercury Pictures Presents. I want to try it again someday.
“He finds a café and gets himself a slice of apple pie and more coffee to pass the time till his laundry is ready.”
Perhaps, August was just meant to be devoted to nonfiction? I really liked Destiny of the Republic by Candace Millard. She’s good! and she wrote a lovely tribute to David McCullough, a favorite of mine for readable fascinating enjoyable history, who died August 7. I’ve not read near enough of his oeuvre and now I need to add all of Millard’s.
I read The Sum of Us. Fascinating and sad how systematic racism is sneakily argumented away and seems invisible to sum. Why don’t towns have a city pool? because they didn’t want to share with ALL the citizens of the town. Stupid. Evil.
Which brings me to share that I finally finished brown girl dreaming by the lovely Jacqueline Woodson! Here memoir in verse, my mid-year, many months, poem-a-day project. LOVELY.
“…Remember the time, they ask, when we stole Miss Carter’s peach pie off her windowsill,…”
brown girl dreaming
Then I listened to Taste by Stanley Tucci, because I think celebrity memoirs are a great way to break a slump. Plus, the lack of audiobooks in prior months meant I had credits to burn. I have a print of this at the library to pick up so I can get the recipes. (His cookbooks have hold lists but this I got right away.)
What was YOUR favorite book of August?
September has a couple of pie days. The 15th is Butterscotch Cinnamon Pie Day! (A healing pie in the video game UnderTale.) Sept 23 is Pot Pie Day (Lessons in Chemistry has pot pie! and a terrific explanation of pie pastry. KFC’s chicken pot pie is decent, too. Look for a coupon.) Sept 26 is Key Lime Pie Day – read a book set in Florida! LOL — and Raspberry Cream Pie Day is Sept 28.
Today, as I write and prep this post, I’m contemplating a Grape Galette. You can see a photo (it’s readable! perhaps I should add a link to my pie page… Hmmmmm) of my recipe in a post from 2017; enjoy.
1639 pages, ~0 hours | 18388 total pages, 140.8 hours for the year so far
What a great reading month! Quality over quantity? I think This Time Tomorrow has to be the most-recommendable but I liked Autumn AND Trust, too. Only the Tomorrow books had pie, sadly.
““And I thought ‘it’s the pie, it’s the pie’ so we had to establish a really firm rule about no pie during the week.” -Obama”
– Tomorrow Will Be different
Still no mood for audiobooks or maybe it is just too damn hot to walk the dog and that very much impacts (negatively) on my audio-listen time.
Maybe my favorite was Autumn, a buddy read with Nancy the Book Fool. We are avid penpals and both had this book on our shelves. Ali Smith intrigues me; I had quite a Twitter thread going of all the things I googled that were mentioned. It was almost historical fiction! Lots of stuff from a scandal in the 60s (or was it the 70s? either way, I wasn’t aware of any of it but made for interesting rabbit hole travels).
If you read Trust, stay with it! In fact, I would encourage you to watch some of the interview videos on Youtube of HD discussing his motivations. I like him. I might have to go see if his first book (OMG – he has only written 2 books?!?!?!) is available at the library.
I didn’t make any pie. Can’t even think if I ordered pie in a restaurant. WAIT! Yes, if you count empanadas. AND I DO COUNT THESE AS PIE, yes of course. We drove to Maria Empanadas in Aurora Colorado and picked up a 12 pack. Too hot to bake otherwise.
FYI Today, August 1, is Homemade Pie Day and also Raspberry Cream Pie Day. Get some if you can!
But, maybe instead of pie, we should give $5 – $10 – $15, the price of a pie (or more), to the charities working hard to fight fires, rescue stranded residents of areas affected by floods, and address other wrongs throughout our country and world. On August 2nd in Kansas, I’m voting no. Abortion in healthcare. Do not change our state constitution.
OK, [the SECOND] the reason I wanted to post today is because I was triggered by something that happened this weekend. It set me on an exploratory path. Triggered? y..e..a..h… it really is interesting and annoying how many words involve gun-related language, would you agree? I’m stalling, I get it, I really want to make sure you are following along on this ride before I share what I really am giggly-goo to do.
I was checking Litsy over the weekend and someone posted on the book Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny.
I read this. That was my thought. Do I recall what it is about? No. No, I didn’t have much if any recollection.
So what do you do if you are a book blogger? You go to your blog and search. (well, sometimes I do go to Goodreads first but that is usually when I want to know WHEN I read something and this was an IF question.)
Sure enough, I did read this. In 2018!
Let’s get on with this, shall we?
If you were with me in 2018, I offered up some video reviews and recaps.
I – HAD – FORGOTTEN!!!
Huh, looked ’em up, checked my YouTube account, blah blah blah, why not try again? here ya go:
Enjoy! ( I amuse myself sometimes. LANDSCAPE VIEW!??!?! OMG – they *DID* change things… SIGH)
2940 pages, ~3.3 hours | 16749 total pages, 140.8 hours for the year so far
My favorite was Either/Or. Or, at least according to scores given and slices of pie (and I don’t even think this book HAD pie?!)I also gave 5 slices of pie with no pie mentioned to Choice by Jodi Picoult. I’m just baffled and boggled and sad about what the SCOTUS is up to these days…
Morning is smarter than night.
(Updating this entire post the next morning! LOL had to include this because for me, it is very true.) TRUE BIZ, pg 205
The Miranda Obsession
How High We Go in the Dark
Sea of Tranquility
Hearts & Minds
All of the above QUITE GOOD AND I might even say GREAT!
Sorry Friends, I just haven’t had the motivation to write. I’m sad; I love this blog and I was doing SO WELL through MOST of the pandemic and now? I am feeling the changes. LOL. HA
I didn’t even use my audio credit this month. yikes. If you want to see what I’m hoping to read in July, you’ll just have to visit Litsy. Whatever.
Same as in May, I read both of the Litsy Spin Books and completed one *BINGO*. My list of 20 for July includes many if not most of the what I had on the last list. Still reading for #CampLitsy.
“Ms. Sweet Potato Pie costumes wait for no woman.”
True Biz, Pg 203
I don’t even care about checking on how many books had pie. I can’t seem to keep it easy to figure out. Or maybe TRUST that I really accounted and tracked accurately? I would be THE WORST accountant! check again, double check triple check and doubt some more. According to my google sheet tracker, I noted that pie was mentioned in two of this month’s reads. In fact, in How High We Go in the Dark, it was mentioned a LOT. CONTENDER for PIE BOOK OF THE YEAR?! (I also said this in my notes for True Biz! [Updated to Add])
Maybe my favorite was How High We Go? It won #CampLitsy book for June. (nifty)
“- how they’d come to my door with their pies and casseroles, ask for my help capturing their children or spouse as they used to be.”
HHWGitD, pg 285
I made Strawberry Rhubarb Pie as promised in June. I have to! It’s June 9’s Pie Day! Keep watching that hashtag, cuz I continue to use the #CaresPieShow hashtag at Litsy.