Tournament of Books 2018 Shortlist

Thoughts? I’m EXCITED!

It’s Rooster Obsession Time again – I’ll be trying to read the 15 books I have yet to read before the day in March when it kicks off.

Click on this button to go to the official announcement page: 

I’ve read Lincoln in the Bardo  by Geo Saunders, So Much Blue  by Percival Everett, and Pachinko  by Min Jin Lee. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any of these – all enjoyable and/or fascinating. At this point I do not have a favorite and won’t venture a Zombie vote.

The books I want to read next in no particular order:

I know Katie says Exit West is her fave so far, but I know Ruthiella was not so much a fan. The Animators is also a book that is getting love and not-so-much. I’ve seen scathing reviews of The Book of Joan but somebody must like it! All of which will make the commentary in March SO MUCH FREAKIN’ FUN.

I’m going to audiobook Sing Unburied Sing and maybe Exit West, too. I will be reading print of The Idiot because the audio sample was ear-aching. I really need to get that library card SOON!

I’m open to buying and trading. Anyone want to send me a book, I will send their choice back to them (after I read it.) LET ME KNOW – and I have a new address so please confirm – don’t just send me a book…

Happy times…





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World Book Night

Hi res WBN logo 2013
My friend Holly will be helping me pass out Still Alice sabylg by Lisa Genova. (clicking on this cover will take you to my review.)

wbnbookpickup Here’s the somewhat blurry pic I took at the World Book Night KickOff Reception hosted by the Berkley Public Library.


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Monday with #Sandy

More musings of a random nature to regale you with on this not quite an average Monday day. We are anticipating a visit from Hurricane Sandy; blustery gusty winds and likely power outages. I have all my electronic devices fully charged and am ready to tweet and comment as much as I can until all is calm again.

LOTS to chat about (since I still don’t have a book to review!)

Since last post, I made a pie. A plum pie that I found in the Better Homes and Gardens latest magazine. I even tried the vodka trick in the pie dough! But I must have worked it a bit too much, because I found it tough. THAT could also be blamed on the cup of gluten free flour I incorporated. But the pie insides were heavenly and I must say, plums are WONDERFUL to work with – cut in half, easily take out the pit, cut the halves into quarters and throw ’em in. See why I hate making apple pie? I really do not like peeling and slices apples…

I have fallen completely in love with Tolstoy’s epic Anna Karenina! I have less than 100 pages/few hours to go; should get it done today. And if we have power tomorrow, I will try to write a review.

It’s MENAGE Time at Citizen Reader’s, once again! I love her book menages. This round, we celebrate Shirley Jackson. I have already reserved the library copies of Jackson’s memoir Life Among the Savages, her short story collection Just an Ordinary Day, and a bio Private Demons by Judith Oppenheimer. Discussion to be the week of December 3.

Which means that I now have Bleak House to listen to, The Casual Vacancy to read (for my ‘real life’ book club) and now two selections by and on Shirley Jackson. I so wish I could participate in the Count of Monte Cristo over at The Estella Society but I just can’t commit to that much! I cannot!!

On Saturday, I attended the Boston Book Fest and had a fabulous time being ‘literary-minded’ with my friend Holly. We had the fortune of meeting up with Laurie of Bay State Reader’s Advisory for the session on The Short Story: featuring Junot Diaz, Jennifer Haigh and Edith Pearlman.

“Sometimes we want stories that confirm our lives and sometimes we want stories that distort.” (may not be word for word but quote by Junot Diaz. He was great, by the way. Actually this was my favorite session of the day and I cannot wait to read ALL of these authors. Note: I have read Oscar Wao…)

We enjoyed lunch together at the Boston Public Library Courtyard Cafe and then split up each to our own interests. I caught the Iliad session with Madeline Miller, the author of The Song of Achilles. Have not read this nor the Iliad (nor Odyssey! – I am clueless to all these myths and gods and ancient stories, alas.) Softdrink praised The Song of Achilles (click for her review) and so I, too, want to read it. Ms. Miller is sharp! And she reminded me of a good friend of mine who lives in Chicago. My friend Holly was turned away from the Brits and Books session (too crowded!) and so attened the one on the Economy – she said it was fantastic! Laurie will have to chime in on the Fiction and Religion session with Tom Perotta. I then ran off to the Edith Wharton: Real and Imagined event but was too late for a chair; sitting on the floor didn’t suit me. I admit, I skipped out a the question-time but do want to read the books featured: Irene Goldman-Price’s My Dear Governess, Jennie Fields’ The Age of Desire and Francesca Segal’s The Innocents. First, I need to read Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, I suppose…  I was attracted to this session because I am currently caught in the time frame of the 1870s with Anna Karenina. As Bonjour Cass so eloquently put it in a tweet, “There’s nothing New Englanders love more than tragic stories about New Englanders.”

That’s not all! We were treated to a hug and a smile from Dawn of She is Too Fond of Books. She was working the Women’s National Book Association Booth. Holly and I both keep saying we should volunteer at BBF. Maybe next year.

“The Iliad is football. The Odyssey is baseball. Think about that.”
– Quote from David Elmer. He is a Harvard classics prof and was the facilitator to Ms Miller’s book talk.

Happy Halloween!! 


Copyright © 2007-2012. 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.

BBAW Book Blogging Future Treasures

What a fun Book Blogger Appreciation Week it has been!   I’ve added only 12 books to my tbr but I was trying to refrain from going too crazy.   I have enjoyed visiting and reconnecting with book bloggers all over the world.

Thank you everyone who has stopped by and encouraged my little book club in my corner of bookblogosphere.    APPLAUSE to Amy and the entire team for the hard work to organize this.    My goals are to continue to have fun, explore literature, keep track of what I read, share my thoughts, and maybe read more poetry.    Here’s CHEERS to a prosperous reading life for everyone.

“There is no surer foundation for a beautiful friendship than a mutual taste in literature.”
HHHHHHH — P.G. Wodehouse

May I update that to say a a ‘mutual interest in and enthusiasm for reading‘!

See some of you at the Boston Book Festival, hopefully ALL of you at Dewey’s Read-A-Thon, Bloggiesta, various read-alongs, in, on Twitter, BEA/BBC? etc...


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Book Blogger Convention

I’m very excited to announce that I will be attending the Book Blogger Conference in NYC the day after Book Expo America, which happens to be in May.

AND, that I have found a book set in NY that entitles me to accept  the challenge sponsored by FizzyThoughts:   Typhoid Mary by Anthony Bourdain.


10.   NYC is  a fascinating city.

9.  NYC is where I spent a fun day with my friend JL – who is an excellent tour guide, btw.

8.  NYC is where the Book Blogger Conference is.

7.   I’m going to the BBC in May.

6.    I’ve run out of things.   I didn’t spend enough time on my one half day in NYC to know or remember or list anything else…

5.    It was a bit of a whirlwind day.

4.  We had great weather, what with it being December.

3.  Nice December in NYC during Christmas was very nice.

2.    The Charmin Bathroom was hilarious.

1.  I enjoyed it enough to know I need to go back.

So now, the to-do list creating and crossing-off to get ready for a return visit to NYC may now commence:

1.   Re-order blog-cards that show more branding (which means the PIE, yes?  but that means I have to draw a new one because the pixels aren’t right and I can’t get the file I do have to upload to the card making company…, so consider that step 1a.)

2.  Buy train tix – I’m thinking of hitting town around noon on Thursday – anyone else going to be at Penn Station about that time?

3.  Figure out non-wrinkly packable attire for this thing.   Ugh, what shoes!?   I need new shoes.

4.   Decide if I want to take my good camera or light simple easy one?

5.  Remember to turn texting on with my cellphone carrier otherwise, I expect the phone bill to exceed the hotel bill!      Have phone numbers already stored and ready.

6.  Visit other attendees blogs.    Meet my roomies online before I have to share a small space with them!!!      Too late – I’m committed and they will just have to put up with me.  (actually, I’m a great roomie:  cheerful, respectful, easy-going and I won’t hog the bathroom.)

7.  Prepare a blog post for my time away that reflects well on me.    (why does this one make me laugh?    any suggestions?!)

OOOOOoooooo!! I’m getting very excited for this.

My Take on Boston Book Fest


My friend Holly and I ventured north into the big scary city* to attend the Boston Book Fest on Saturday.  It was raining but not cold enough to deter us.   We bravely found a parking spot ($20 and right behind the Trinity Church on Copley Square – getting in was easy, getting back to the interstate was treacherous) and quickly scampered to the first event.     IMG_1638

The first session we chose was in the basement of the Trinity Church and it was a lovely venue, quite cozy.   The title was Book Worms and Net Crawlers and featured Ethan Gilsdorf, Ben Mezrich (I bought his latest book The Accidental Billionaires : The Founding of Facebook – A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal, but alas, I didn’t stick around to embarrass myself by asking for his autograph.)   I did take his picture – he’s on the right, Gilsdorf on the left.    IMG_1646(excuse my photo-taking skills – yea, whatever.   I thought Auto Setting was supposed to fix the blurries.)      Where was I?  OH!  David Pogue!   He.  Was.   Funny.     His book The World According to Twitter is a laugh riot, if it delivers more of the taste he gave us.     Gilsdorf’s book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks is about the World of Gaming and explores the literature roots of this craze (J.R.R.Tolkein) and I’m almost interested in reading it but I’m sure most of the book is beyond my understanding of this side of current culture.   I guess that is all the more reason to read it.     He discussed why seemingly normal people might want to disappear into these live re-enaction weekends to fight medieval battles – for the chance to have a ‘Magic Moment’ where the current world dissolves and they feel like they are truly back in time.     IMG_1643 The moderator, unfortunately, had a bit of a monotone and I was actually embarrassed by his lack of enthusiasm as he presented the panelists.   They made up for it, though and were all very entertaining.

[Photo of me and Holly;  she’s considering which session to attend next.]

You might be wondering who or what this adorable purple and red lobster is doing.    If you recognize the little fella, then you must have read my post about the package I received from Nymeth.    She told me he wanted to ‘see the world’.  What better an opportunity than to take him along to Boston!   IMG_1647 He came in handy, when he jumped up and down and yelled “DAWN IS TOO FOND OF BOOKS!!!   WHERE ARE YOU??”     And that is how we came to meet Dawn and wave happily to her before the next session held in the beautiful Old South Church.        Titled Hodgman / Perrotta, this event introduced Holly to the guy in the Mac commercials (she doesn’t watch much TV and swears she doesn’t know what I’m talking about and had never seen him in her life).  IMG_1650

Yea, I know.  FUZZY. sorry!

I had NO IDEA that John Hodgman had a literary background!    He is extremely quick-witted.   By which I mean he is very funny and fast on his feet in terms of thinking up quick funny things to say.      Which I’m not.     I’m really not that funny when I have time to think about it and even time to edit what I type.    In other words, I’m excited to try some of his books!    I didn’t get in line to meet him, either.   And I am just as excited to read Tom Perrotta’s books, too!     He was just as cool.    He’s just not as famously face-famous, as Hodgman might put it.     Anyway.

We missed Dawn in the mass exodus of the church, found ourselves in the cafeteria of the Boston Public Library and somehow Dawn tracked us down, the awesome and diligent gal that she is.     I blame the rain on the difficulties.


Dawn thought up the name “Copley” for the lobster since his first outing was to Copley Square!


In one of our Twittering exchanges, I amused myself with the clever concept to have a secret phrase to say when we met so we would ‘know’ each other:

“The book is wet when it rains in Tibet.”

Dawn, who is ever more clever and amusing and has my utmost respect since she didn’t ignore me nor make fun of me for my silliness, offered this:

“The book will freeze if it snows in Belize,” as her response.

Aint she cute?    And I swear, even though this was the first time meeting her IN PERSON, I feel like I’ve known her forever.    It was very fun to share lunch with her in the BPL Courtyard.

IMG_1657 Dawn had to rush off to her Writer’s Workshop, so Holly and I rushed over to the Power of Place presentation which featured Anita Shreve, Anita Diamont, Elizabeth Nunez, and Carolina De Robertis and hosted by Kim McLarin.    Unfortunately we missed Anita Shreve’s bit, IMG_1659 we were treated to the author’s reading selections from their latest work.    Nunez has a lovely voice and I now want to read Anna in-Between.    I apologize that we were sneaking in during De Robertis’ time but I’m so glad we got to hear about Anita Diamant’s new historical fiction Day After Night which features Israel in the days after WWII.

next, we decided to explore the beautiful Copley Hotel IMG_1666 and just check if the Tea with Catie Copley was really full or not – maybe they’d let us sneak in.   And they did!    Catie is a trained service dog and is the official greeter of the hotel.    I can’t resist a childrens book when it’s in my face, so I bought one; especially because of  the mention of Catie’s dog toy being a stuffed lobster!  I’m easy.    I’m going to send it to my niece Ada Mae for Christmas.      And of course, kids say the darndest things.    After the author read the book, one of the darlings asked her ‘Did Catie really do that?  Is it REALLY true?’

I chose the morning activities, so it was Holly’s turn to pick for the afternoon.     The crowd was growing and we were astonished to discover that the line for the 4 pm session to discuss The Obama Year (featuring Jack Beatty, David Gergen, Lani Guinier, Michael Porter and Tom Ashbrook ) was already snaking through the book stacks at BPL!    Sure enough, they turned away the people six spots ahead of us – we were SO CLOSE.     We looked in on the Thrillers and Killers session but didn’t want to sit on the cold marble floor and not see who were were listening to.    (Stephen Carter, Andre Dubus III, Joseph Finder and Jessica Stern)


So we sped back home.

Where I was greeted by the fabulous cooking skills of my incredible husband!   IMG_1675 IMG_1676 IMG_1677He smoked meatloaf and salmon and sausages, whipped up potato salad and chopped up the mix for cole slaw.    I only wish I could have enjoyed a beer but I had coffee instead.    I was ready to sit down to the computer and cheer my heart out for the read-a-thon.



* Holly went to school in Boston Proper but I am rather intimidated by the famously hellish driving conditions.  That’s why I took her along – she was supposed to be my guide and calmer-downer.       It wasn’t easy but we somehow did a u=turn over the T tracks in front of Northeastern to get back onto Mass Ave and eventually onto I-95 South.