Category Archives: Book Giveaway

Wide Sargasso Sea #ccspin

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, Norton 2016 (org 1966), 174 Pages

Introduction by Edwidge Danticat (read last, though, of course. I adhere to a strict policy of never reading Intros until I read the text. Ahem)

Challenge: For this month’s Classic Club Spin.

Genre: Fan-Fiction? Carribean Historical Fiction, an Anti-Romance, perhaps.

Type/Source: Tradeback / I finally had the opportunity and forethought to plan for a shopping trip to an Indie Bookstore who to my excitement and delight had a copy for me to purchase!

Will ship to anyone interested – just let me know your opinion of Jane Eyre.

_ ____ ________________

For those book-readers-and-pie-lovers who don’t already know, this work of fiction is the back story to one of the characters in Jane Eyre. Jane is the plucky poor governess who woos Rochester to marriage but then finds out that he is already married. And this first wife is living in his house, chained up in the attic! Sorry if I spoilt that for you, but I am truly shocked when I encounter people who don’t know what Jane Eyre is about. Book readers, even. How, I ask, do some college educated people I am friends with actually not know about Jane Eyre! A diverse world we live in; I keep finding out.

Anyway, Jean Rhys had read Jane Eyre and wanted to know more about this first Mrs. Rochester and so she put her ideas into this short novella.

I probably should reread it. It is atmospheric and confusing. It is stream of consciousness and vivid. It provides narrative on the lady’s childhood (tragic) and then switches to a time right after she is married to an Englishman and is this part is from this unnamed guy’s perspective. We know this is Rochester.

And he comes off as an asshole. The first part is rather straightforward and we sympathize greatly with Miss Antoinette and her sad mother and her scary circumstances – poor and friendless in hostile territory, a failed plantation on a Caribbean island. It is sketchy exactly how her fortunes turn but mother somehow remarries money… more tragedy happens and then Part 2.

Rochester marries Antoinette for her money, but doesn’t really remember everything cuz he gets the fever for a few weeks while all this is happening. Antoinette seems happy and crazy in love but Rochester is bewildered and befuddled and then finds out Antoinette’s true father was a drunk and much worse, her mother is ‘mad’, crazy, a whore. Rochester is filled with rage. He’s been tricked!

Antoinette also becomes enraged to find out this guy is a total jerk. Partly because he starts calling her Bertha – or was that before he got pissed off, I forget; but it was odd to me why he did that (and it is just so hard to think of the name Bertha as a “pretty” pet name – so confusing.) And THEN! He sleeps with a servant, UGH! and basically treats everyone like the asshole he is.

Part 3 is in England, to scenes familiar to those of us who know the setting and storyline of Jane Eyre.


Yikes… so rather than reread just yet, I post this and invite any of you to share/correct me on these thoughts.


I would love to take a class on Jane combined with discussion of this story, the history it depicts, the themes throughout both, and the motivations of both authors. Fun stuff!

The Introduction is excellent, too!

Four slices of pie. Alas, no pie nor pastry mentioned in Wide Sargasso Sea.

Cross another classic off my 50. Thank you Spin for the prompt to get this read.

I am on to my next: Vanity Fair – a classic I know little about (and what I might think I know seems to be wrong.) I know that Becky Sharpe is a famous conniving female character of literature and so far, Thackeray is entertaining in a Dickens kind of way…

[insert copyright note here and book cover image at top when I get back to a PC – I can’t figure out how to do that with this device…]

Big Little Lies

Thoughts bllbylm Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, Amy Einhorn Books / Penguin Group 2014, 460 pages

WHY I read this now:  Cuz I saw that Lisa of Lit & Life was reading it so it might be considered a case of a stalking-readalong. ha! I needed something different and fun to contrast while reading Atlas Shrugged.

FIRST Sentence/s: “That doesn’t sound like a school trivia night,” said Mrs. Patty Ponder to Marie Antoinette. “That sounds like a riot.”

What’s it ABOUT: Parents who meet at Kindergarten Orientation end up choosing sides over a bullying issue that ends up with someone being MURDERED!!  We know at the start that someone dies, but we don’t know who.

What’s GOOD: Everything? Funny and insightful balanced with serious stuff. Moriarity has the best characters and they say the darndest things. The plot placing with the slow reveal is excellent. I never quite had a grasp on who I could trust – it was always a bit unsettling and yet had many laughable moments. All the unknowns get settled and though murder doesn’t suggest a happy ending exactly, this one was satisfying.

What’s NOT so good: I can’t think of a thing. Having read Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret earlier this year, I can confidently say that this one is even better.

FINAL Thoughts: Do not dismiss this as chick lit. The tendency might be to think this is light whodunnit — chick lit? Pretty cover? I think this does fit the women’s fiction category. Oh bother. WHO CARES? Why the genrefication crap? Anyway — Moriarty tackles heavy stuff in this without ever being heavy-handed. I LOVE books that do the balance well.

Make me laugh, be snarky & smart, tackle something important. Add a few feisty princesses and BINGO.

Other REVIEWs:

Michelle at That’s What She Read says, “Ms. Moriarty deftly combines the serious with the frivolous to make her story enjoyable without losing the impact of her key messages.”

Melissa at Avid Reader’s Musings concludes, “The author makes the characters come alive. She can deal with dark subject matter without making the whole book feel dark.”

Write Meg! gives it a 4.5 out of 5: “This is contemporary, domestic fiction that shimmers and shines; it’s engrossing, well-written, effortless to read. “

RATING: Five slices of pie. Five slices of Pink Lemonade Vanilla Pie with Salty Potato Chip Crust. Oh. Yea.

Breyers Summer Spring recipe shoot click on the pretty picture above to go to the recipe…


Did I convince you to try this? Anyone want me to send my copy? I will have a drawing if more than one of you wants it.




Copyright © 2007-2015. 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.

Color: A Natural History of the Palette

Thoughts cbyvf Color by Victoria Finlay, Random House Trade 2004 (orig 2002), 448 pages

Satisfies the COLOR category of the What’s in a Name 8 Challenge.

“Up until then I had always believed that the world was getting better and better and more and more clever. But that day my tender theory about the Evolution of History fell on its head, and it has – for better or for worse – never been quite right ever since.”  p. 1

Wow – what a wild ride! This book is nuts.

I learned a lot and I marveled at what the author went through to gather stories to fit into this book. She wanted to find India Indigo so she went there. She wanted to find Tyrian Purple, so she went to Lebanon. She just had to see the blue Lapis Lazuli mines of Afghanistan, so off she went. Think about that last one…

She is fearless!

My only complaint might be that she really is all over the place at times and I wondered why she would mention that. (off on a tangent much?)  I had to go look up SO MANY THINGS. It is hard – she mentions this, too – it is very hard to describe colors with words.

This is a 4 slice of pie book. fourpie If you like travel books and author-involved nonfiction adventures, I recommend. If you are an artist and are curious about how artists got their colors, you must read this book.

I still have my receipt from purchasing this in 2010. Why? What prompted this book then? I have no records except the date. HOWEVER, in looking for other reviews out there in blogland, I found that Eva of A Striped Armchair was extremely enthusiastic about this book, so that is a clue. And since I seem to be on a linky-love binge, I should include Fyrefly’s discussion of another Finlay book that am now wanting to read next/soon/someday.

Colors are fascinating; this book makes me crave the colors of the entire world and makes me wonder what others really are looking at – do we see the same thing? Is the blue I see the blue you see? What color of purple do you think Cleopatra dyed her sails? And how exactly did she do it? So many mysteries.

Tyndall’s explanation of why the sky is blue is one of the best ever. Page 305.


Lots of Copley Connections for me, too.  Of course, she mentions Simon Garfield’s Mauve which I read in 2009. Or the mention of the English town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne being known for its beer exports. (I read all about that in Hops & Glory.) And then on page 384, Finlay describes a cave with a ‘millenia of snail trails’; surely those of you who read All the Light We Cannot See, recognize Marie-Laure and her hiding place?

Do you have any nonfiction books about colors to recommend? Just one more of my favorite things to learn more about, I guess. AND, I will send this book to anyone who comments and says they want it. If more than one person wants it, I will select somebody at random. Must comment before Valentines Day.





* Copley Connections are the random connections and coincidences that link books that I have read.


Copyright © 2007-2015. 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.

Washing Cars and Wasting Time

Thoughts wcawtbyjco Misadventures at a Family-Run Car Wash by John C. Oliva, Orange Hat Publishing 2013, 144 pages, tradeback

Gift from Jennifer of Relentless Reading (or perhaps I won it in a giveaway?)

This is exactly what the title and subtitle suggest – short vignettes about what it meant to own a car wash in the 70s. Nothing too outstanding, not terribly exciting, either. He met interesting people, both horrid and wonderful; the stories offer views of ‘slice of life’, coming of age, and challenges in running a small-business. Well-written, plenty of absurdity and told with a touch of humor.

Rating: Three slices of pie. No pie was mentioned in the course of the book.

Copyright © 2007-2014. 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.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Last week, I said I would draw randomly from comments on a post offering a book giveaway so, without further delay, the bloggers and the book they have won!  I will be contacting you via email for logistics…

Kathy – BermudaOnion WINS  Nickel  & Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

Kim – Sophisticated Dorkiness WINS  The Human Bobby by Gabe Rotter

Laurie C – Bay State Readers Advisory WINS  French Leave by Anna Gavala – (I’ll deliver this in person.)

Congratulations, Winners!!


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.

Nickels, Dimes, Humans and French Leaves

Quick Thoughts…

Nickel and Dimed  by Barbara Eirenreich, A METROPOLITAN / OWL BOOK Henry Holt Company 2001, 221 pages (Sent to me from the wonderful @TriniCapini)

I’ve been wanting to read this for years and my announcement (on Twitter?) that the High School had selected it for Summer Reading must have been why Trish sent me her copy. Thank you, Trish! I love these kinds of nonfiction memoirs – the kind where the author is an integral part of the experience. Some might call this genre “stunt nonfiction”. I enjoyed her story of moving to three different towns (Key West FL, Portland ME, Minneapolis MN – all places I have visited and enjoyed) to see if she could find a place to live and a job, the kind requiring little to no qualifications: using ‘mother returning to workforce/no experience’ as her background rather than announce her PhD in Biology. Set in the year 2000, it does take some mental time travel to remember even in just 10 years the economic difference between now and then; it still is an eye opener how difficult to start from nothing and ‘make it’ – to earn enough money to secure a safe place to live and actually enjoy some time off. It is hard work. A liberal slant is evident and I don’t claim to understand how exactly either of the main government parties truly hope to address and fix/help with this stuff but I found myself quite moved as well as fearful for the people who are trying not only to stay afloat but gain. And not just gain, but to afford healthcare, eat an adequate diet, and put away for emergencies and the future. Is there the book where a journalist moves to a new city and rather than look for a job and suitable housing, stands in line at the welfare office to see what can be gotten?  I don’t know. I can’t help but wonder why this book was advised for our high schoolers?  To encourage them to seek financial security by studying for well-paying careers or will it only succeed in them pulling their sweatshirt hoods up and hiding in their parents’ basement?


The Human Bobby  by Gabe Rotter, Simon & Schuster Paperbacks 2010, 289 pages (gift from the amazing Jenners who reviews it -> here <–)

Right off the bat, I must direct you to Jenner’s link above or to BermudaOnion-Kathy’s review because these two enthusiastic reactions to The Human Bobby had me chomping at the bit to read it, too! But I wasn’t as impressed. Could it have been me? my mood? I don’t know, but I really REALLY struggled through this, twice almost abandoned and was urged to continue. I didn’t exactly guess the outcome but I wasn’t moved or surprised or swept away in the least. I couldn’t help thinking it just not nearly as much fun and wild as Gone Girl – perhaps that is unfair comparison, but Gone Girl would win. BUT, don’t you agree, when people disagree on a book, you actually want to read it and see for yourself?

BEST QUOTE:  C’mon, I’ll give you some pie. Pie always helps.


French Leave by Anna Gavalda, Europa editions 2009, 108 pages • Translated from the French by Alison Anderson • (A gift from the creative and generous @JilleeBeene)

Softdrink sent me this and I didn’t even know I wanted to read it. A slim story about sibling relationships and familial love, growing up, avoiding and accepting responsibility. Almost snarky, somewhat sly, definitely out of my culture (country, age of protagonist), but sweet, too. And it’s a EUROPA!  Love the feel of these books almost as much as I love the kinds of books they publish.


And FINALLY, the thought I am most impressed with after writing all this is how GENEROUS my wonderful book blogger friends are!  ALL of these books were gifts. SO, in that spirit, I return the favor. Comment here if you want one of these books and I will draw a random winner, contact you if I don’t already have your snailmail addy and then send it off. Deadline this weekend sometime.


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.

What’s in the Mailbox?

Just a musings-Monday. Happy April Everyone!  Here’s a photo from the local garden store that I made my husband take me to yesterday so I would get out of the house:

And I can tell you that I got a book in the mail last week. Thank you Softdrink for sending me this after I begged for it.

I cannot decide what to read next and it is really irritating me. I think I will abandon The Invention of Clouds but every time I flip through it, I think, “OOOoooo!!  That’s cool.” and it has poetry!  and mentions of Jane Austen!!  but.  It’s due at the library. I might end up buying it for my brother as a gift. (SSSHHHHHH!  Don’t tell him.)

Our book club selected The Elephant Keeper and none of you blokes seem to have read it. What’s up with that?!  When I can’t find any review in Fyrefly’s book blog search, I get nervous. On the other hand, maybe I will love it and spark a blogfire of appreciation. THAT would be something fun that I haven’t ever done.

Having read the Literate Housewife’s groundbreaking project to amass a list of truly worthy (cough, not celebrity) audio book narrators, I am tempted to buy the audio of The Elephant Keeper. Roger May reads it. I have no idea if he is any good. (uh, thought – can these be sampled?) IF YOU HAVE LISTENED TO ROGER MAY and recommend, PLEASE let me know.

Or should I get the print version. Or the kindle version. OR see if the library has it?  I’m in a state of paralysis and indecision.

On the letter writing year that is 2012, I sent 46 pieces of mail in March for a grand total of 181 for the first quarter. I received 35 letters, I think. I counted but can’t find where I wrote that down. (probably in a tweet!) I bought some nifty cards and stationery at Marshalls – gawd, I do love the TJX stores.

I posted my Final Summary Thoughts on Cloud Atlas and recommend reading it – if not only because it is one of those books you want to say you ‘know’. But I enjoyed it, too! It’s one of the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die…

What else. I need to make a pie maybe today, maybe tomorrow, NOT yesterday as planned, of the SuperBerries I received on Thursday. Check it out on my tumblr page.

That’s it. To recap… NO WAIT!  I have a copy of Angels and Insects by A.S.Byatt to send on!  Who wants?  Leave me a comment here or on one of my review posts (click Angels or Insects) and tell me if you’ve ever seen a Javelina in real life!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:    One comment 

open internationally

deadline April 7, Saturday, 7 am EST (ie, NewYorkCity)

Recap:  I received Saturday in my Mailbox, I can’t decide which format to read/listen to The Elephant Keeper and I seek your advice, I write a lot of letters, Bloggiesta was awesome, I still need to bake a pie.  I have a giveaway.

Happy Spring!


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.

Loaned To Me Books

I am committed to reading these books this year because someone thought I should:

An Unlikely Angel by Ashley Smith – from my neighbor K.

Radio Shangri-La by Lisa Napoli – from Nancy

Fire Season by Philip Connors – from Nancy

Nemesis by Peter Evans – from Madeline – by the way, if you are reading this, Miss Mad – I promise Oscar and I’ll be back to visit you next week.  Tell ya all about it later….

Martha, inc. by Christopher Byron – also from Madeline

Two Rivers by T.Greenwood – from Holly

Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard – WON in a giveaway, recommended by Rhapsody-Jill, I think

A Theory of Relativity by Jacquelyn Mitchard – another from Holly

Me and Mr. Darcy by  Alexandra Potter – again, from Holly

Save the Cat!  by Blake Snyder – WON in a giveaway by Trisha

Film School by Neil Landau with Matthew Frederick – I think I won this from Trisha

Moby Dick by Herman Melville – from my Father-in-Law

Please ignore the books on top.  I didn’t want to cut them out of the photo.  Copley the Lobster is a good book shelf accoutrement, dontcha think? He’s giggling because he thinks I do not know about his secret life. But I’ve already read that book.  (It’s VERY good, too.)

I will be reading Cloud Atlas in March and I abandoned Cranford last year but vow to get back to it.

I’m most excited about starting the two from Nancy, especially Fire Season, and then Emotional Geology.  I know I have a few from Holly coming soon;  I gave her The Night Circus for her birthday in December and now my book club has chosen it so I need it back.  She assures me that she just started it and will have it read by the weekend.  She’s a great friend.  She also insists I read Angels and Insects by A.S.Byatt.  I must oblige.

As I double check my bookcase for any I missed, I do see Lobotomy by that Ree loaned me, I think, I hope.  And I have a few other winnings – like the PIE book from Trish.  Probably more.  🙂

AND!  If YOU have sent me a book that is not listed here, please please administer the admonishments! Let me know. Thanks.

2012 PERSONAL CHALLENGE #1 – bring it on!


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.

Audio GiveAway Neverwhere

UPDATED:   Contest now closed.  Kim is the winner!

I very much enjoyed listening to the author (Neil Gaiman) narrate the audio of Neverwhere!  Maybe you will, too.     To enter this giveaway, just comment and answer the following questions/fill in the blanks:

1.   My favorite person to listen to read books in this format is_________?

2.   I recommend Care and her blog readers listen to ____________ by __________.  (or if you don’t have a favorite, share a favorite/upcoming REGULAR print book that you might LIKE to listen to, regardless if current audio available or not.)

3.  One book that Care and I have both read -OR- the book that Care has read/reviewed here at Care’s Online Book Club that I most want to read is __________.  (and “I don’t have anything to fill in the blank” is an acceptable answer.  This list is accessible from the header above or click here.  Comments on the corresponding review post will give you a bonus entry.)

4.  My favorite book blogger activity is:     Read-A-Thon, BBAW, Weekly Geeks, Bloggiesta, BEA/BBC, AudioWeek. or ________ (fill in the blank, duh.)

THANK YOU!     If you give your email in the WP entry form, that is good.  If I don’t get your email address from whichever way you comment here, pls provide or your @ Tweet handle.    I will pick a winner via random number generator on THURSDAY and announce here and Twitter.   Did I mention that I am willing to send internationally?  I am.


Copyright © 2007-2011. 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.

Tuesday Topicals • June 7 • 2011


topical • adjective • let’s stick to topical issues: current, up-to-date, up-to-the-minute, contemporary, recent, relevant; newsworthy, in the news. ANTONYMS out-of-date.

This is AUDIOWEEK, if you like or want to know more about that.  Just click here on the button to go to Devourer of Books Blog to learn more and participate:

I will be hosting a GIVEAWAY for an audio book in my next post.  If you are a fan of Neil Gaiman, I suggest you keep on eye on this piece of the interblogswebland.


I also promised y’all a chance to help me pick the book/s I will suggest for my next bookclub read.     You still want to vote and help me, right?!??

The big news in my life?   Why yes, I *do* have big news!

I start a job today as an Elder Care Companion, for just a few hours per week and I’ve very excited about it.     The location is only a 4 minute walk!   And the wonderful person I get to hang out with is a sweetie.


Question:  Do you like baseball?    we are hosting a Summer Intern for the Cape Cod Baseball League/Wareham Gatemen and she is a delight!  and a reader!   She’s been helping me organize my new bookshelf (gotta have  a photo, right?)  -or- she is indulging me as I hand her books and say, “You MUST read this one.”   etc and then some…

* This is actually my first Tuesday Topical…

QUESTION 2:  In honor of my friend Trish, do you think the word NEUROTIC can be a good thing?

and finally, totally unrelated to everything but connected to it all, you only have two shopping days.  Possibly, still time to put a card in the mail.



Copyright © 2007-2011. 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.