2020 in Review

I read 102 books. 

 Total pages 14,320. Hours ~124

Female/Male:  51/49 

Fiction/Non: 78/24 

New to Me Authors: 91 /  Repeat Authors: 11 

This year, I read my 6th Shirley Jackson. I read a 5th book by Elizabeth Strout. Four authors, I read for the 3rd time:  James McBride, Wallace Stegner, Drew Rozell, and Toni Morrison. The rereads included an author that was both a first for the year and then read it with my ears for its second intake: Becoming Duchess Goldblatt. I reread The Sellout for the TOB Super Rooster and I read two poetry collections by Billy Collins. I read 4 authors for the second time:  read another by Ta-Nehisi Coates but the second was fiction. I read the next in a series to catch my second by Hilary Mantel. Michael Pollan’s Caffeine was my second of his. 

Classics: didn’t have the patience to figure this out; oldest book The Picture of Dorian Gray 1890. Only 2 books published before 1900. Books published in 2019 = 20, in 2020 = 23.

Shortest book:  Not figuring this out because I read so many poetry collections that were < 100 pages and plenty of novellas, and I couldn’t decide how to handle exceptions to not. Plus I read a lot of kids books. 

Longest book: Ducks, Newburyport at 1020 pages. Took me months. 

Longest Audiobook: Ok, here’s where I admit that I didn’t keep track this year. And more truth is that last year, I created my track sheet in December! So, it is just not going to happen where I present all the stats and show pretty pie graphs. Maybe 2021. Maybe.

The longest audiobook was likely We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry, at 14 hours and 44 minutes. And it was too long. Fun! but too long. Not typical that I didn’t have any chunkster audiobooks!  You might suggest it would be lack of a commute and thus no listening while driving time?  But I rarely listened to my audiobooks on commute to work. Not sure…  

LIke last year, I took advantage of Audible’s monthly freebies quite often.

This is last year’s pie chart just because this post needs some color. LOL

Comparing… THIS YEAR, I upped my 5 star givings to 34%! Four stars were given to 33 %, three stars to 38%, and 4% got 2 stars. No ratings of 1 star.

Which is interesting… Because I don’t feel like I had a really tremendous feel-good reading year. Maybe this actually supports that I can’t quickly think of my top reads? Too many?

Favorite poetry:  Mad With Yellow by Lisa J. Starr

I didn’t do any readalongs. I didn’t do any reading projects. (Tho, @Bybee might think different?)

WAIT! not true. My poetry was a personal reading project and it was wonderful. I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams to read a poem every day. Did it change my life? Maybe. Maybe

I did do the Super Rooster and am quite pleased with myself.

My blogging could be described as “fits of bursts”; I’m okay with what I managed to post.

I finished the What’s in a Name 2020 Challenge earlier than usual. All good.

I read 4 (2 to completion) books in 2020that were on the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die: Tender is the Night, Club Dumas, Cry the Beloved Country, Treasure Island.

My first time to read 100+ books but I feel like I cheated, to be honest. Yea, yea, I know that the book police ain’t out to get me or anything but the challenge to make it doesn’t sit right with me. I honestly have taken that last 3 weeks off. I can feel it in my brain that I’m not reading — yet I can’t seem to sit and READ. It’s such the weirdest thing.

Hoping the flip of the calendar page, will truly bring a renewed motivation and thrill with reading. But yowza, I hate to DNF. 

Finally, PIE:                               

and, drumroll please for the 2020 Pie in Literature Award, the WINNER of my best book with pie for this year is  Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman!

The fact that it’s important not to despair though when you’ve got pies in the oven, …, the fact that you have to have mercy on your pies, be there for your pies, and in return they will be good dutiful pies and serve you, …

Honorable Mentions:  Oh, goodness. I read so many more pie-themed books this year! I read a pie cookbook (wait, I do that every year, don’t I?). I sought out pie-themed books, truth

I hail Ladybird, Collected (and NO – not just because it mimics Ducks with that comma) but because I want everyone to read it and have it get picked up for national distribution. Please visit HERE or HERE to get your copy.

I bring to your attention to We Ride Upon Sticks – some good pie mentions; make me smile just to think on. And well, sure, of COURSE:  Summer of a Thousand Pies, Enemy Pie, and Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe.

Finally, the pies I made yesterday and today! 

Harvey Wallbanger Pie for Dad’s birthday and the Spinach Ham Gouda Quiche made today for Happy New Year!!

Be kind, be readin’, give me a book rec. Let’s chat this year, yes? 

 

 

 

It’s no small thing, feeling that we matter, that we couldn’t just be any diner and it couldn’t just be any pie.        – Ladybird, Collected 

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Review 2019

Copyright © 2007-2019. 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 Club Dumas

Thoughts by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Phoenix Books 2009 (orig 1993), 6 hours 2 minutes

Translated from Spanish by Sonia Soto, Narrated by David Warner

Challenge: none
Genre: Literary Thriller
Type/Source: Audiobook, Audible
 Why I read this now:  A friend recommended at just the right time.

MOTIVATION for READING:  As I explained right above this, I have a friend – one of those amazing friends who has that crazy skill to make everything you say or do to be acknowledged as just the right thing. Too good for my ego?! She’s one of those people who is uplifting to be around and talk with. So when she asked if I had read this one, I paid attention and almost immediately raced its place up my tbr to number one spot. Yea, I think I did do just that when I realized, “hey, I am not listening to an audiobook right now and I need to be listening to an audiobook and the ones I got, aren’t inspiring me.”  Into my ears, it went.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: A mercenary book dealer is hired to find authenticity on a few rare manuscripts and discovers that the two tasks are related. Along the way, he meets interesting characters that resemble characters in famous stories – and are even named as famous characters in celebrated tales and behave likewise! One intertwined story line is about a chapter in Dumas’ The Three Musketeers. The other book is a possible survivor of a trio of banned books that commune with the devil. Maybe Dumas communed with the Devil?

Our protagonist is named Lucas Corso. Our narrator also tends to break the third veil [upon researching if I had this right, I did not. It’s the THIRD WALL] or whatever it is called when the narrator talks to the reader.  [I could totally be misremembering.*] Corso meets one character who remains an enigma still.**

THOUGHTS: It was good. It was fun! It’s a literary literary thriller!! There are terrific quotes to start each chapter. There are music interludes for the audio version. I just found out while prepping this post that the book is on the 1001+ Books to Read Before I Die. LOVE when this happens without me orchestrating it.

THANKS S.O’N!

RATING: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned. I rarely catch or note if I do, when pie is mentioned in an audiobook. There might have been a tart…

I would be very pleased if Audible and Goodreads would collab and capture notes...

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*  Footnote #1 – It was an audiobook. I am usually yelling at Esther to stop eating acorns or goose poop or I am getting interrupted by my free walking app that tells me when I’m at half-mile + time per mile + calories burned. SHUT UP ALREADY. (I’ve since turned her off since she talks over my audiobooks. No more. Bitch.)

**   Footnote #2 – I had first thought that ‘the girl’ aka Irene Adler (ahem) was Corso’s daughter. I think we (readers) are supposed to imagine she is The Devil.

Copyright © 2007-2020. 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.

Classics Club Spin Nov 2020 #ccspin #MyCCSPINList

Time for another Spin! – I love these so much. It’s one of the reasons I joined the Classics Club in the first place.

Click the image above to go to the announcement post.

“Before Sunday 22nd November 2020, create a post that lists twenty books  that remain “to be read” on your Classics Club list.”

This is my Spin List:

1 The Postman Always Rings Twice – JM Cain
2 Twelve Years a Slave – Solomon Northup
3 Confederacy of Dunces – JKToole
4 the Counterfeiters – A. Gide
5 Eileen Chang’s Love in a Fallen City
6 A Few Green Leaves – B. Pym
7 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – PK Dick
8 Under the Greenwood Tree – Hardy
9 The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler
10 At the Mountains of Madness – Lovecraft
11 The Three Musketeers – Alex Dumas
12 Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
13 Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
14 Steppenwolf – Hesse
15 Death Comes for the Archbishop – W.Cather
16 Rabbit, Run – Updike
17 All Passion Spent – Vita Sackville West
18 The Way We Live Now – Trollope
19 The King Must Die – Mary Renault
20 Jude the Obscure – Hardy

Here’s hoping all of these are immediately available at the library and that the spin  number result is a few-page-count title!  Please.  GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

pieratingsml

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Online Book Club aka Care’s Books and Pie. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club aka BkClubCare.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Tender is the Night

Thoughts by F.Scott Fitzgerald, 1934, 356 pages

Challenge:  Classics Club Spin
Genre: Classic
Type/Source: ebook, library
 Why I read this now:  SPIN!   

MOTIVATION for READING: I had read somewhere that this was his best work. I may have read that wrong. Could be it is still a topic of debate.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  LOTS going on in this book and to be honest, I didn’t give it my full attention (which might mean that I actually failed to finish. Shame on me! I am still counting it as read…)

Dick Diver is married. He and his wife make a lovely much-admired couple and live in an amazingly glamorous spot on the French Riviera leading a glamorous life. But really, he is a psychoanalyst married to a former patient (named Nicole, who seems perfectly lovely in the first half) and is now attracted (the Dick dude) to a cute young glamorous up&coming actress who throws herself at him. But really, I didn’t get much farther than that. I love that history shocks me – that WHAT?!          WHY young ladies don’t throw themselves at happily married men they meet on the beach AND admire the wives and yet still throw themselves at the husband anyway AND TELL THEIR OWN MOTHER?!  in the late 1920s?!  did they? Do they?

I would have never. (Told my mother.)

I put the book down and ten days later when I had the time and mindspace to jump back in, I found out that it was a 14 day library ebook loan and I FAILED. Oooops. It expired.

So I spent a few hours watching YouTube BookTube videos and caught myself up on the plot of what I missed.

Dick and Nicole’s marriage implodes. He does end up sleeping with the young actress apparently but the book takes a turn and shares how Dick and Nicole met in the first place; then Nicole sleeps with a friend, — apparently, they talk it out “LIKE ADULTS” (whatever that might mean) and it ends ambiguously with Dick being an alcoholic and Nicole hopefully have her HEA. I heard it had an ambiguous ending.

OK, maybe I kept zoning out on the less than 10 minute BookTube reviews. Sue me.

THOUGHTS: This book does seem to have CARE PIE written ALL OVER IT! But no, nope. I just didn’t quite get into that must-finish-keep-reading-it’s-past-my-bedtime-don’t-care state which I was wanting.

Should I have audiobooked it?!

oH yEA.  I will watch the movie. Hopefully sooner than later. Casting looks suspect in my distant future viewpoint yet the pretties and the settings look like it just might deliver.  Jason Robards, Jennifer Jones, Joan Fontaine?! and Jill St John. Adapted to the 1960s and made in 1962. Sign. me. up.

RATING:  Three slices of pie.

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2020. 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.

Classics Spin Aug 2020

Updated, copied directly from the Classics Club announcement: If you joined the game last week, find number 18 on your CC Spin #24 List! That’s the CLASSIC you are challenged to read by 30th September, 2020.

Since I missed the announcement post, I have to grab 20 titles and then toss them into a randomizer to find which will be put in the 18th spot so I can read it! I love the SPIN…

The last time I “spun”, I had 19 books left on my original list:  Crossing off the ones I did read since then and adding in some from my NEXT batch of 50, I get this odd ball list:

  1. The Three Musketeers – Alex Dumas
  2. Jude the Obscure – Hardy
  3. Rabbit, Run – Updike
  4. Naked Lunch – Wm Burroughs
  5. Love in a Cold Climate – Nancy Mitford
  6. Dead Souls – Nikolay Gogol
  7. Candide – Voltaire
  8. Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
  9. Confederacy of Dunces – JKToole
  10. Twelve Years a Slave – Solomon Northup
  11. The Way We Live Now – Trollope
  12. the Counterfeiters – A. Gide
  13. A Handful of Dust – Waugh
  14. The Ox-bow Incident – Walter Van Tilberg Clark
  15. Eileen Chang’s Love in a Fallen City
  16. One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes
  17. They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple
  18. The Bird’s Nest – Shirley Jackson
  19. The King Must Die
  20. NEW: Tender is the Night
  21. NEW: Persuasion
  22. NEW: Madame Bovary
  23. NEW: Waves
  24. NEW: If Beale Street Could Talk
  25. NEW: Giovanni’s Room
  26. NEW: Pale Fire
  27. NEW: Villette

SO…. Then I copied the list into a google sheet and then used the function RANDOMIZE RANGE a few times. After all that, I looked which book title was in the 18th slot.

and…

TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F.Scott Fitzgerald

1 Waves
2
Confederacy of Dunces – JKToole
3
Jude the Obscure – Hardy
4
Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
5
Eileen Chang’s Love in a Fallen City
6
the Counterfeiters – A. Gide
7
They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple
8
Giovanni’s Room
9 Pale Fire
10
The King Must Die
11
The Three Musketeers – Alex Dumas
12
Twelve Years a Slave – Solomon Northup
13 Villette
14 Madame Bovary
15 Persuasion
16
If Beale Street Could Talk
17
The Way We Live Now – Trollope
18
Tender is the Night
19
Dead Souls – Nikolay Gogol
20
Rabbit, Run – Updike

 

I was hoping for Villette. I left off / paused, if you will, reading it right when the Pandemic hit and I just am not inspired to get back to it…

pieratingsml

 

Copyright © 2007-2019. Care’s Online Book Club aka Care’s Books and Pie. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club aka BkClubCare.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.ing

Treasure Island

Thoughts by Robt Louis Stevenson, Audible Studios 2017 (orig 1882), 6 hours 23 minutes

Narrated by the Philip Glenister, Daniel Mays, Catherine Tate, Owen Teale.

Challenge:  Back to Classics Challenge (Place, 19th C, Nature or Genre?), Classics Club
Genre: Adventure
Type/Source: Audio / Audible

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  A coming of age tale on the high seas, battling pirates for buried treasure. 

WHAT’s GOOD: Very fast paced, lots of dastardly deeds and swashbuckling. I enjoyed “young Jim”‘s mother who was full of love AND snark. Her only son craves a more adventurous life than running a seaside inn where the clientele is lowlifes and drunks but yay, that’s how they meet The Pirate. Well, the first pirate of many. So First Pirate dies and leaves a map that is discovered by Jim. Second Pirate attempts to steal map and threatens the life of the poor innkeepers but is thwarted. When Jim entrusts ‘gentlemen’ to secure a ship to voyage to the island where said treasure is suspected, we find out that the cook is our Third Pirate who declares mutiny. Jim is often dismissed as too young but then always exceeds expectations in every situation.

 What’s NOT so good:  Oh, it is perfectly fine if you like pirates and swashbuckling. The audio had long pauses between chapters which were a beat too long.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  I missed this in school but I can understand why this is often taught to middle school kids. I am curious why the fast food seafood chain decided to name it Long John Silvers. Took a risk there, donchathink? But maybe not. Well, come to think of it, I don’t even know if they are still in biz. They had a long run, though.

RATING:  Four slices

No pie mentions noted.

 

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Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie. All rights reserved. This post is an original post by Care from Care’s Online Book Club aka Care’s Books and Pie.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Round Two of Classics Club 50 Challenge

I have decided to create my second #CC50 list on goodreads.

Book List 2

My idea for this list is to keep adding to it any book that fits the criteria and if by the date when 5 years is up (in Dec 2024, I’ll have read at least 50 of them.

Sound good?   

Starting with Villette by Brontë, my first book of the year. However, it’s looking like I will finish Treasure Island before that.

 

Help! My enthusiasm for Villette is waning! it’s so long. ugh. I better come across a pie reference soon…

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post is an original post by Care from Care’s Online Book Club aka Care’s Books and Pie.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

First Book 2020

For Sheila’s Book Journey New Year Reads Initiative. #FirstBook2020

 

 

 

pieratingCopyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie aka 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.

2019 in Review

I read 73 books. 

 Total pages 13,568. Hours 240

Female/Male:  40/33

Fiction/Non: 59/14

New to Me Authors: 59 /  Repeat Authors: 14 

This year, I read my 7th Ann Patchett. Two authors, I read for the 3rd time:  Thomas Hardy and Matt Haig. I read 11 authors for the second time. The only reread was Milkman, by Anna Burns, both this year – one by eBook and one by audio. I also read Say Nothing, a nonfiction view into the times and setting of Milkman. A themed combination that created a great reading experience.

Classics: 14; oldest book Candide 1759. Only 3 books published before 1900. Books published in 2019 = 20, in 2018 = 23.

Shortest book: No Small Gift, 110 pages. Poetry

Longest book: The Golden Notebook, 640 pages

Longest Audiobook: Wolf Hall (and the only series book?)  24+ hours

I took advantage of Audible’s monthly freebies quite often.

Highlights:

I completed the Classics Club 50 in 5 years!!!!!  

I also completed – for the VERY FIRST TIME – the Back to the Classics Challenge at the 9 book level.

I already mentioned my Milkman twice + Say Nothing “Reading Experience”. Wonderful. 

A renewed focus to blog and write reviews. Lots of Business/Leadership books = 5.  Three books with the word GOLDEN in it. Another year of no readalongs. And no Stephen King. Anyone up for The Green Mile in 2020?

I did a fair job of reading books for the March Tournament of Books – always a wonderful time of year. 

My top favorites to share are:

Finally, PIE.

and, drumroll please for the 2019 Pie in Literature Award, the WINNER of my best book with pie is  The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J.Ryan Stradal!

Edith would just as soon take another woman’s husband as another woman’s pie recipe, and she had the best husband in the world, so there you go.

 

Honorable Mentions: Where the Crawdads Sing for a boat named The Cherry Pie, and The Psychology of Time Travel for frozen butter pies on a stick.

Which reminds me, I read a few time travel books this year, too.

 

One more thing:

I read 8 books in 2018 that were on the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die: The Accidental, Candide, A Clockwork Orange, The Woodlanders, Naked Lunch, The House of the Seven Gables, A Handful Dust, Love in a Cold Climate

Happy New Year! Read and enjoy a slice of pie – in real life or in a book.

Diana frowned. “We told you, we don’t want cake, we want pie.”

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Review 2018

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Candide

Thoughts by Voltaire, Project Gutenberg 2006 via iBooks (orig 1759), <200 pages

For the TRANSLATED Category of the Back to the Classics, thus allowing me to claim 9 completions for the challenge!

Translated from French.

What is this book about? The adventures of a naive and mostly optimistic young privileged white boy who is brought up to believe he lives in the best of times. It is a satire. He is often beaten, robbed, swindled, abandoned, arrested, beaten up again. On the other hand, he is often rescued, meets many interesting people, finds true love and creates amazing friendships.

Yea, . . . I wasn’t in the mood and am pretty sure I did not “get” the divine meaning of this folly.

Basically, mankind sucks. Make the best of it, if you can.

pierating

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