June 2020 Mini-Reviews of Books and Pie

Thoughts

I read Drawing Down the Moon by Shawn Keller Cooper for an online book club and it was OK. About 3 sorority sisters who meet have 20+ years who failed to keep up with each other, hashed out a few misunderstandings from college, got caught up and supported each other once again. Setup for sequels, for sure. Mostly a reminder that we ladies need our women friends. It was OK. It mentioned pie!

A light pale yellow like the inside of a coconut cream pie.

I was recommended to read Summer of a Thousand Pies; a middle school story of family, new connections AND PIE! and it was terrific. What I didn’t like is that I had to download a unique reading app (Glose?!) to get it read; involving sign up of accounts and new passwords, annoying, time-consuming. Ugh.

So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. Read it. (I listened to it but want to reference the print version.) Do I want to talk about race? It’s uncomfortable, it’s scary, I know I have bias and it is troublesome. I usually do NOT want to talk about it and I want to be prepared when I do.

I’ve got less than an hour on my audiobook from the library, How Not To Get Shot And Other Advice From White People and I’m learning more than I expected and reinforcing what I do already know and appreciate. Honestly didn’t realize who the author is — D.L.Hughley — and it was interesting to dissect my own reaction to my own question, “why did I choose this?” Why not?  I think that is why I got it. Because I wanted variety and views from all spectrums. (And it was available first.) I recommend.  And he mentions pie!

A Thousand Mornings is my latest poetry selection that I completed. I admit, I had high expectations and she might have suffered for that. Very good, but not as good as I wanted? No pie.

But how weird that almost half of the books I read this month had THOUSAND in the title?

June means Strawberry Rhubarb Pie!

June 9 actually is Strawberry Rhubarb Pie! Day but the restaurant we went to for dinner was not with the program, apparently. So I had to settle for this amazing Banana Cream Pie:

Get ready for July Pie! We will see a few pie holidays, beginning with Pecan Pie Day on July 12. The Pi Approximation for us math geeks is 22 July and Pie & Beer Day is July 24th.

 

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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.

So You Want to Talk About Race

Thoughts by Ijeoma Oluo, 2018, 7 hours 41 minutes

Narrated by: Bahni Turpin

Challenge:  Personal Challenge to Get Uncomfortable and Reflect
Genre: Civil Rights
Type/Source: Audiobook/Audible
 Why I read this now: Current BLM Events

MOTIVATION for READING: I follow Oluo on Twitter; this was on the highly recommended for NOW reading list.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Oluo shares personal stories and her work experiences about having difficult conversations on the topic of race and racism. She directs her points to all audiences and explains all dimensions and nuances of the topic.

THOUGHTS: Very good. I am getting my own printed copy and I am getting a copy for our work library. I see it being a fantastic resource to visit again and again.

RATING:  Five slices of pie.

Highly recommended. Highly recommended to not just read but to allow (push?) inspiration of action.

 

 

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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.

Bring Up the Bodies

Thoughts by Hilary Mantel, 2012, 14 hours 38 minutes

Challenge:  Personal (and TOB-driven since Wolf Hall is in the Super Rooster)
Genre: Historical Fiction
Type/Source: Audiobook/Audible
 Why I read this now:  Just its time, I guess…

MOTIVATION for READING: Second book in the Thomas Cromwell series and I very much enjoyed Wolf Hall.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  This second in the series was mostly all about the Anne Boleyn marriage years/tenure of the Henry VIII reign.

THOUGHTS: Still all Cromwell being incredibly adept at reading people and able to strategically tap-dance to the whims of the right people. He is so entertaining. And Mantel makes him come across so likeable! Amazing.

RATING:  Four slices of pie. Sadly, I dare say that an English setting like this SHOULD have pie mentioned but I didn’t note one. It’s enough to drive me back into the rhythm and pie of Ducks.

pierating

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.

“I Should Be Reading” – January 2020 Update

I am suffering from “too-many-books-started” paralysis right now so let’s update my January stats, shall we? I combined the results of the poll from previous post. Thanks for playing.

The first book I started to read on January 1, 2020 was Villette. I’m not yet done; put aside for TOB. Gulp. Go ahead and place bets whether or not I ever finish!?

The first book I completed in the new year was Mercy by Toni Morrison – this was part of my Super Rooster catch up. You can read my post here or by clicking on the book cover image. I gave it 4 slices of pie.

I then finished Treasure Island on audio. Again, an so on, click the cover Four slices.

Followed by The Day the World Ends poems (3 slices) and Heartland (3 1/2 slices). Click the book covers to see my posts.

Now for the non-reviewed and my favorites.  Jumping from poetry and nonfiction, I enjoyed Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous on eBook. Four slices. It was beautifully evocative. Such imagery! And enjoyed less Normal People by Sally Rooney. Three slices. The characters annoyed me and I just didn’t grasp what everyone seemed to love about this one. I can appreciate the writing but I couldn’t invest in the story. (Book covers do not link…)

I was captivated by the audiobook The Water Dancer  by Ta-Nahisi Coates – four slices and was even more enthusiastic for ebook Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha. This was my favorite fiction read and earned 5 slices of pie.

My last read of January was the poetry collection Debt to the Bone-Eating Snotflower because it was whimsical and science-y. The title comes from a celebration of a deep ocean worm called by its Latin name Osedax mucofloris and if you have even less than middling knowledge of Latin you might see the translation, yes?

Nine books – 1 nonfiction, 2 poetry, 6 fiction

3 Audiobooks, 3 Tradebacks, 2 eBooks, 1 Hardcover

27 hours 3 minutes

1393 pages

Only two with PIE:   

I made black bean and sweet potato empanadas:

 

 

 

 

pierating

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.

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.

 

pierating

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.

A Mercy

Thoughts by Toni Morrison, Random House Audio 2008, 6 hours 26 minutes

Narrated by the author.

Challenge: For the Tournament of Winners  : Tournament of Books
Genre: African-American Lit
Type/Source: Audiobook/Audible 

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  A stream of consciousness by many women and few peripheral characters and the lives they lead. The ‘main’ characters are all connected to Jacob, a Dutch self-made man in the style of the American continent in the 1700s. It explores all variations of “institutions” – slavery, indentured servitude, marriage, religion.

WHAT’s GOOD: It’s powerful, evocative, tragic. Eye-opening to a period of history. Morrison does make it very real, truly makes it come alive.

 What’s NOT so good:  I had first thought that Morrison was an excellent narrator but as I continued to come back to ‘the listen’, I decided she does have a staccato style that might be irritating. I really didn’t notice it through most of the narrative. However, in story — I got lost a lot. Characters would switch and it was very unsteadying, distracting. The characters blurred together. By the time my mind switched accordingly as to who was talking, I was switched to another. And I would get stuck on who the person was talking TO; mother to child, girl to twin, young woman to lover.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  I am very glad to have had this book be presented to me. I wish I had co-listened and read and fortunately, the library had an ebook I could borrow and it helped a lot. I could almost count this as two reads because I practically started at the beginning and scanned to the last part. Read that and then listened. Ended with Morrison’s interview which was very helpful to my appreciation. Recommended.

RATING:  Four slices

No pie mentions noted. Unless you consider this, ~10%:

D’Ortega’s wife was a chatterin magpie, asking pointless questions —

 

pierating

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.

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

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 Dutch House

Thoughts by Ann Patchett, HarperAudio 2019, 9 hours 53 minutes

Narrated by Tom Hanks

Why I listened:  Time for me to choose another audiobook and I had just read JoAnn’s endorsement that Hanks does a fab job with this wonderful story. And she was right.

What’s it about: A pair of siblings are kicked out of the house by the evil stepmom when Dad dies. They obsess about their mother, their father, their upbringing, the house and all of it for most of the rest of their lives.

Questions:  I wanted to know about the book cover. Did AP find a painting and was thus inspired? or what. Well, I found her answer!

Favorite things:  That painting! the humor – so many laugh out loud of the kind of humor that delights me, Tom’s announcements of the chapters and parts, all of it.

Rating:  Five slices of cherry pie.

Future goals: I am hereby committing myself to reading all her books.

So far, I’ve read                                                                  Need to read
Bel Canto                                                                        Taft
State of Wonder                                                                Truth & Beauty
Commonwealth                                                                The Autobio of a Face
Run                                                                                  The Patron Saint of Liars
The Dutch House
The Magician’s Assistant
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage

 

 

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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.

The Woodlanders, A Clockwork Orange, and A Handful of Dust

Mini Reviews

Challenge:  Classic Club 50 and Back to the Classics

classicsclub1

  

This grouping of Brit classics comes to you as part of my effort to post on books that fit the challenge requirements for the 2019 Back to the Classics Challenge.

Audiobook, narrated by Samuel West, orig 1887, 14 hr 16 min

I read The Woodlanders and loved it. Gave it 5 slices of pie. And since it is British, of course it has pie. (I really need to make some meat pies to celebrate Brit pies!!!!)

So FIVE slices of Apple Pie for this lovely twisty crazy tale of infidelity and nutty triangles of DRAMA.  Published in 1887 — I swear, Hardy in now times would be a reality show writer but be sad about it.

Here’s what I wrote on gr:

I loved the language, I agree with others that Hardy delivers suspense and certainly drama, and he is a master at language. Oh, I said that already. He is becoming a favorite and I wouldn’t have guessed I would have said that since Tess about killed me. I adored Far from the Madding Crowd and that is still my favorite, but I delighted in this crazy tale of love gone wrong and twisty. (not THAT kind of ‘twisty’! get minds out of the gutter. No sordid descriptions of the dirty deeds in this tale, puhlease.) But this did have turns and unexpected conflicts and resolutions and just a ton of bad decision-making, as humans are wont to do. Such vexation!
I’m really not sure as to the ending, what really happened there. Was it a happy ending? If I hadn’t realized that the end was near, I might have been disappointed; but I knew the audiobook had only minutes to go and then = it stopped. Actually, I admire the framing that Tom did there with Marty at the beginning and at the end. Well done, Mr. Hardy! Huzzah

(the rating also reflects the comparison impact of the book I started immediately after which is Naked Lunch. These two stories couldn’t be more different…)

And for a pie quote:

Winterborne was standing before the brick oven in his shirt-sleeves, tossing in thorn sprays, and stirring about the blazing mass with a long-handled, three-pronged Beelzebub kind of fork, the heat shining out upon his streaming face and making his eyes like furnaces, the thorns crackling and sputtering; while Creedle, having ranged the pastry dishes in a row on the table till the oven should be ready, was pressing out the crust of a final apple-pie with a rolling-pin.

Back to Classics Category Fulfilled:  Classic Tragic Novel.  For an almost romance; no one has their HEA.

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A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, orig 1962, 240 pages

Back to Classics Category Fulfilled:  uh…. none?

Whatever, let’s tell you what pies it had anyway.

It was like some frozen pie that she ‘d unfroze and then warmed up and it looked not so very appetitish.

“Still, I drank and ate growling, being more hungry than I thought at first, and I got fruit-pie from the larder and tore chunks off it to stuff into my greedy rot.”

This took some getting into; the language guide is a MUST!  Then, once realizing that the author created an entire new language, it became fun. While also being demoralizing, frightening, scary, and sad. I like it much more now when I don’t remember all that much.

_________________________________________________________

Audiobook, narrated by Andrew Sachs, orig 1934, 6 hrs 43 min

I like the book cover of the edition because it does suggest the comedy. This is SATIRE people and it’s brutal. The divorce machinations are unwieldy and just off the top but what happens to poor Tony… yikes.

Satisfies the Classic Comic Novel category. √

And because it was audio, I failed to do my due diligence and record the pie quotes. It’s British. It had meat pie.

Rating 3 to 4 slices of pie.

 

 

 

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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.