Category Archives: Book to Movie

All Quiet on the Western Front

Thoughts by Erich Maria Remarque, Random House Trade 2013 (orig 1928), 227 pages, translated from the German by A.W. Wheen

Challenge: for Classics Club 50 list #2, #WiaN2023 – Category QXZ in title

Genre/Theme: War – WW1

Type/Source: Trade Paperback / Library

“We are little flames poorly sheltered by frail walls against the storm of dissolution and madness, in which we flicker and sometimes almost go out…we creep in upon ourselves and with big eyes stare into the night…and thus we wait for morning.”

What It’s About: Paul is 20 years and realizing his time on the front will permanently impact any hopes of his having any “normal” life, assuming he survives the horror, the filth, the lice, and the inhumanity.

“This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war.”

Thoughts: This was beautifully written and struck me hard.

Rating: Five slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

“We are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves. From our life. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces.”

Copyright © 2007-2023. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.


Status ⬥ The Month After July ⬥ 2022

 Monthly Recap Time! August

  • 7 books; 72 for the year
  • 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.”


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.”

the searcher

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.

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Because I am out of practice

Hello Dear Reader WhereEverYouMightBe!

I am out of practice.

And BECAUSE, I am out of practice. (see? My first self-doubt question is to wonder if I need that comma after my all-caps “BECAUSE”. I don’t, do I. Not a question, but now I have to leave it or you wouldn’t have much of a clue what I was talking about. )

Because I am out of practice, I need to just open a blank post and start free-associating.

So this is what I am doing!

First (since the above is epilogue) I will shout out a big WOO HOO to Amy for being a super dooper book friend by text.

We just texted and had a lovely conversation about books and doing-what-makes-you-happy and somehow after that, the convo devolved to Twitter and capitalism.

How do you spell SAY-Lah-VEE. ?

How old were you when you discovered that french words were very much not what they looked like spelled?!

I still recall the day when I found out what “hors d’oeuvres” were/was/WHAT?!

I knew then that I would NEVER learn French.

Ok, where were we? Trying to get the CARE back to putting words into the internet! I miss it! Yet everytime I sit to write a post, I just can’t. I can’t remember the steps, I can’t recall the process, I don’t desire the whateveritwas. The ooomph, motivation and the want to… THERE. but not the mechanics, and the overcoming of the hump of just-doing.

I really can’t quite figure it out.

I loved LOVED City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I have loved her authoringabilities since that book that everyone hated that I can’t at this exact moment recall. WHAT IS THAT?! Peace Love Pie? no…. Love Pray Eat? EAT PRAY LOVE! ok, whew

I thought that was total wonderfulness.

SO I especially, vocally veraciously loudly follow Elizabeth Gilbert because she is T.A.L.E.N.T-ed in the kinds of books I like to read. I don’t know how else to describe them but I’m gathering a list of authors that fit my MUST-READS: Ann Patchett, Elizabeth Strout, Rachel Joyce, Kate Atkinson, Liz Moore, Kate DiCamillo, … oh, I’m SURE there are MORE. (Tell me who I’m missing.)

April 28 is Blueberry Pie Day

Just heard that Elizabeth McCracken has a movie rights optioned on her book The Giant’s House which I have yet to read. Might have to put that on my May —- no! June list.

Here is my May list:

OK then myFriends, let’s encourage each other to contribute when we can and validate our thoughts and opinions of beauty and art cuz, GOLLY, it can be a struggle with the evil Putin being evil, and other mind-boggling disregard for humanity.

ok, then. I’m working on finishing 2 more books this month and then writing an April recap. Be kind!

They Were Sisters

Thoughts by Dorothy Whipple, Persephone Editions 2012 (orig 1943), 455 pages

Challenge: Classics Club 50

Genre/Theme: British Women’s Fiction, pre-WW2, the Middle Class, Family Dynamics

Type/Source: Tradeback, Library (ILL Omaha NE, 3 week loan)

What It’s About: “Three sisters marry very different men and the choices they make determine whether they will flourish, be tamed or be repressed. Lucy’s husband is her beloved companion; Vera’s husband bores her and she turns elsewhere; and Charlotte’s husband is a bully who turns a high-spirited naïve young girl into a deeply unhappy woman.” (From the online catalog.)

She understood as never before that God helps those who help themselves. It was not, as she used to interpret it, that God will only, he can only help those who help themselves. It was true of human help too.

Thoughts: Yowza.

I’ve had this book on my tbr for awhile now. Since I first discovered Persephone and thus discovered Whipple. Compelling. Comforting. Real. I have a friend I tried to arm wrestle to send this to me and I promised I would send it back to her unharmed, unmarked, as pristine as I found it but she wouldn’t part with it. Couldn’t take the risk. (I don’t blame her!)

Then/When I decided to check the Interlibrary Loan option at my library and wa la! They could get a copy! Unfortunately, it came in with 3 other books on 14 day loan that I had requested for TOB. SO I had to read those first, giving me only 1 week to finish this before it’s due date. But committed I was, emboldened to finish on time! AND, I was daring myself to read it with enjoyment in mind and not just to be done with it.

I gave myself a 65 page daily read consumption requirement — having a weekend helped a lot. And I finished it a day early; two days actually, if by due date, I have til end of day to return? I’m so proud of myself.

I did enjoy it, I wanted to sit and read. I managed to read through exciting television blasting in the room, I read in the car as a passenger, I read in 10 minute breaks here and there and I read while eating lunch. I know, I know, most readers do these things but I was on a mission and I enjoyed it so much.

Her vanity extended beyond the grave. Oddly enough, she was younger by several years than people had thought.

Lucy was the glue, the worry wart, the person who selflessly cared for everyone else. They married off the youngest sister — no, they “didn’t stop” Charlotte from being besotted to a jerk; she wouldn’t be told he was not a good catch. The pretty sister married someone who she thought she could walk all over and burn his money. Lucy married someone she could be friends with, that she was comfortable with and was a decent guy overall, if not the most impressive. (He could be … insensitive and unsupportive in voice but allowed Lucy to be Lucy and supported her decisions in action.)

Let the train-wrecks reach their doomed conclusions. Lucy could only pick up the pieces.

Immense forces of evil were at work in the world, but the well-disposed, those who wished for good were passive.

At the start of the 4th quarter… I mean, at about 75%, I realized that this is TOO OVER THE TOP! I mean come on. How could these 3 be sisters? of the same mother and father and environment, yadayadayada. They were SOOOOOO different from each other and they didn’t TALK to each other?

I don’t have sisters. I would assume that sisters would share more hardships and advice. Maybe not. “The Times!” Heck, I don’t know. Private business was private business. But I think DW went a bit to the extreme to capture everything that can go wrong in a marriage, all fault to everyone. Mainly, she just wanted to shine a light on the hardships and trapped feelings and realities of women, methinks, to not realize their strengths, to subsume to the society expectations and patriarchy. But, again, YOWZA. And sadly, SADLY, we still see these situations.

It was a fascinating look into the internal monologue of bad decisions. And love, there is still love and hope in this story.

Rating: Four slices of pie and extra real whipped cream. The only pie mentioned was pork pie. Because British.

“I can’t write fiction. Fiction seems trivial. Fact is too terrible.”

From DW’s diary while attempting to write this novel.



In Review January 2022

 Monthly Recap Time!

Total of Twelve!

Number of pages: 3159, number of hours: ~31 ♦ Total pages for year-to-date: 3159 ◘ total hours: ~31


Audiobooks: Five Tuesdays in Winter, Matrix, some of Beautiful World Where Are You? (back and forth with eBook), and When We Cease to Understand the World (4)

Hardcovers: The Sentence, Intimacies, The Mermaid Chair, The World Played Chess (4)
Tradeback: Giovanni’s Room, In Concrete (2)
Paperback: Sonnets from the Portuguese (1)
eBooks: Beautiful World, Our Country Friends (2)

I did not give Our Country Friends good due. In the throes of TOB chasing, I was impatient with what I wanted to read with the timing the library was throwing them at me. I attempted to read the first chapter, read the last chapter and flip through the middle but got lost and then frustrated. I got the sense I was supposed to like Vinod and I did like app developer (though the app? what WAS that? I couldn’t figure out how that was to work. Dark arts or black magic…) The MC, his wife, the Actor — blech. Ed seemed interesting. Long story short, I think I would have liked it if I was sitting by a pool, in a beautiful setting, with all the time in the world… I will have to read another book by this Shteyngart. (I have Lake Success and Absurdistan on my tbr.) Three slices of pie, YES to pie mentions! No flavors – just a “cutie pie” about a pregnant Corgi and a “slice of pie” reference.


I will share thoughts on Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets when I post the first edition of my Poetry Posts for this year. Right after I finish Rachel Long’s My Darling From the Lions.

I gave three stars to the translated work When We Cease to Understand the World. It’s supposed to be fiction but reads LIKE history, nonfiction. I listened to the audio which I believe helped me get through it. I may have struggled with print. BUT, that said, I might have rushed through the listen as I was wondering “what the heck *IS* this?” Pretty sure my spoof attempt of a review on goodreads was cynical and disrespectful. Maybe I was looking for the awe in all the wrong places. It’s a wild ride, for sure! Three slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

Intimacies by Katie Kitamura was a quiet introspective novel set in The Hague. I thought it captured a mystery of place, of people, of relationships, of risk in an off-balance slightly tense way. I’m not sure how memorable it will be in a few months, I’m still perplexed about some things. But I did not mind reading it. I did not need to jump to the end, jump around the middle, etc. I was a straightforward read. Whew! I’m sure I totally missed a ton of stuff and the TOB will set me straight. LOL. Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

But When the World Played was a read-the-first-then-the last attempt and it fit that method well enough. This was a book club book about a father that receives a diary from a Vietnam Vet that he met 20 years prior when he was in high school working construction. He reads the diary, reads about the horrors and the loss of faith the man experiences and at the same time, he is helping his son, a college freshman, deal with tragedy. I just didn’t have the time to read all the books from the library by their due dates. Giving this one three stars and don’t know if any pie was mentioned.


February is LetterMo. I’m thinking of applying an alphabet theme to each day required to send a note. I’m committing to using only paper/stationery/postcards in house. Additionally, I’m taking a Facebook/Instagram break. I have the TOB books and a Classic that came through from the ILL which I didn’t expect so soon, They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple. (YAY! but WHY NOW?!?!)

Currently listening to Libertie, currently reading All’s Well. Have Subdivision in the house (Thanks Jessica!), assuming I can get The Echo Wife easy enough (on hold at Libby, will probably drop tomorrow?), and will likely have to burn my Audible credit on The Confession of Copeland Cane. Should be able to be a #TOBCompletist, no problem.

Happy February! Happy #LetterMo!

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Mermaid Chair

Thoughts by Sue Monk Kidd, Viking 2005, 336 pages

Challenge: What’s in a Name: Mythical Being or #ReadICT: Mythology (6)

Genre/Theme: Adult Fiction

Type/Source: Hardcover / Library Bag Sale 2021

What It’s About: — An empty-nester SAHM is unhappy. She finds her place in the world diminished and unsatisfied. In the process of rescuing her mom who is suffering from odd behaviors, she moves back to her hometown/island, has an odd affair with a monk, solves a mystery or two, and discovers the artist within. Ultimately, she rescues herself and her marriage.

Thoughts: In my quest to read everything by Sue Monk Kidd, because I really enjoyed her thoughts about how she came to write The Book of Longings (my review May2021), I set this book as my First Book this year. Mostly because I had just lifted it off the shelf to fit the WiaN category. It fits my other big challenge so Big YAY.

I couldn’t quite bring myself to go that far — all that paddling around in the alphabet soup of one’s childhood, scooping up letters, hoping to arrange them into enlightening sentences that would explain why things that turned out the way they had. Revoked a certain mutiny in me.”

(early in the book, when her husbands suggests she talk to a therapist.)

Knowing that the reviews on this book are mixed, I went into it with lower expectations, with a certain curiosity versus and hope-to-enjoy, if that makes sense? I did feel to me, that she set up her plot and then made it happen, but it misses that spark of something created out of nothing. It felt like a collection of thoughts and then-this-happened, etc. Plus, the main character is hard to like or feel anything for, unfortunately. Her assisting cast also felt stereotypical. However, it was readable and I didn’t mind my time in the story. I was curious about her mom and what really happened to her father. The spiritual questioning and awakening stuff wasn’t very convincing yet at the same time, I appreciated how she created her sentences. I won’t deny her writing skills.

This is a sophomore effort, coming off her best-selling debut, The Secret Life of Bees, which I read pre-blogging. She has kept at it and, as mentioned above, her latest is terrific and very brave, original. Now I will dive into her memoirs — I think I might enjoy these the best.

Rating: Three slices of pie. No pie mentioned.



Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Thoughts by Susanna Clarke, Macmillan Audio 2005 (orig 2004), 32 hours 29 minutes

Narrated by Simon Prebble

Challenge: TOB Faves Long List

Genre/Theme: Historical Lit, Alternative History, Fantasy / Magic

Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible + eBook, Libby via Kindle

What It’s About: Two magicians bring magic back to England. The years is 1810 or so. One is a hoarder of all books on magic – about magic — with magic and the other is one of those guys who is just clueless, finds something he can do and so he does it. The first is miserly and mean and insecure but arrogant. The second is also arrogant. Both are oblivious.

Thoughts: Some readers love the richness of detail and the amazing adventures in this long long book. I get it, but it wasn’t for me. Much to admire but I honestly got to the 3/4 mark, listening to over 20 hours and then couldn’t take it anymore. I was thrilled to see that I could access the eBook from my library so I could skim to the end and find out what happened. I did need that closure but I just couldn’t carve out the 10 hours needed to do it through my ears.

That said, Simon Prebble did a great job. The audiobook was well done and for a book that has many footnotes, many that are stories in themselves, the audio was a great way to digest. Somehow, they didn’t really interrupt the flow. (When I switched to the eBook, I realized I was skipping right over them without even noticing — THAT very much interrupted the flow!)

Clarke must have had much fun writing this and I’m happy for her that it thrilled most of those who managed to read it all the way through. It just bugged me that the magicians would not realize that magic was happening right in front of them and just brush it off without nary a ‘”Huh, that’s weird.” Yay for Stephen – I liked him, the poor guy. And I liked Childemas and Vinculus. Though I did wonder why Childemas put up with Norrell for as long as he did.

And my final thought is best wishes for the fictional Arabella and Miss Flora – may they ever be happy together.

Rating: Two to three slices of pie. Pork pie.

“Pork pies dropped on the heads of the French!”


Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

September 2021 in Review

 Monthly Recap Time!

Total of 7…

Finished __ 1__ audiobook (~32.5 hours) 

Hardcover = 2

eBook (Audible/Kindle or Libby) = 2

Tradeback = __1__

Count from the library =  _4_, JS&MN was both my montly Audible credit and finished with Libby; 2 purchased, 1 I’ve had for a decade plus. Clearning those shelves! Clearning is a new word that means both cleaning and clearing off.


My favorite read of the month is Postcard Poems!

I visited the world and many interesting places in Griggs’ poetry collection. I was in NYC and some Long Island time, I was in corporate workspaces for DEI., and I visited a few airports in Up in the Air. Fun Home was in PA. Ella Minnow Pea is set on a fictional island off the coast of South Carolina USA and the Clarke book put me in magical spaces throughout England, the European Continent and Florence Italy.

Three nonfiction – if I count the poetry? One of the books I read this month had a connection to Jess Walter via Spokane but now I don’t recall which. Probably Up in the Air but I’m drawing a blank. No classics, no translated works. TOB adjacent but not directly attached or by/on purpose. But all unique! Two possible for Book-2-Movie: the Clarke and Up in the Air

I did finally watch Call Me By Your Name. Very good adaption, in my opinion. I posted my completion of the What’s in a Name Challenge with Up in the Air but still want to read a few more for the botanical category.

Once I cooked a Christmas feast in one, serving glazed ham and sweet potato pie to a dozen janitors and maids.

Pi’s just a number.

a few from Up in the air

Pie? Four books out of seven mention pie.

I didn’t make any pie this month but I enjoyed a Root Beer Float Pie created by my Mother-in-Law. AND I attended 2 pie workshops online presented by The Pie Academy.


What was YOUR favorite book of September?

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Up in the Air

Thoughts by Walter Kirn, Anchor 2002 (orig 2001), 320 pages

Challenge: 20 Books of Summer, Book to Movie, What’s in a Name: Reference to Outer Space Category

Genre/Theme: Air Travel – Road Warrior Lifestyle, Contemporary Lit

Type/Source: Paperback

What It’s About: Road Warrior Ryan is one week away with many flights scheduled to hit his one millionth mile on a specific airline’s mileage reward plan. He hates his job – which is delivering “empathetic terminations”, is paranoid about said job’s managers trying to take away his goodies, is also paranoid that the airline is conspiring to thwart his achievement, and along the way gets entangled with helping his family marry off little sister, publish a book, get a new job, and find true love. Scratch that last thing. But he certainly has dalliances in ‘every port’.

George Clooney played the character Road Warrior Ryan in the movie. I can’t wait to see it again.

(They did change up the script some. Where in the book, Ryan talks to the read; in the movie, he is saddled with a trainee, played by Anna Kendrick. Which I discovered by watching the movie trailer yesterday. I barely remember the film. I do remember Clooney.)

“Pi’s just a number,“ I say.“

Thoughts: This book broke my reading slump. This book amused me since I work in HR now. This book amused me because I have more than once in the past been a “victim of down-sizing”. I have followed a lot of the sales-pep and motivation industry. So much was relatable. And it has a cleverness.

I started reading his book on September 11, the 20th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade towers all over the news. Kirn first published this in July 2001 – before what we think of as when air travel was forever altered. Thinking this, I was startled that so much about air travel in this book was relevant and not quite outdated, so I have to say. I like reading books about other times because we always tend to think NOW is so New & Different from BACK THEN and so much really is really still all the same.

 “The magic works, almost all of it, to some degree, and that’s what the skeptics find so intolerable.”

The ending of this book brings so much together that it is almost anti-climatic. And yet, the sympathy get turned up high after thinking that Ryan is a pretty shallow dude. He’s hurting and dealing with things in the only way he knows how. We are all hurting.

Rating: Four slices of pie.

“Once I cooked a Christmas feast in one, serving glazed ham and sweet potato pie to a dozen janitors and maids.”.


Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

If Beale Street Could Talk

Thoughts by James Baldwin, Vintage 2006 (orig 1974), 197 pages

Challenge: 20 Books of Summer, Book to Movie

Genre/Theme: Civil Rights, Love Story

Type/Source: Tradeback, Indie Bookstore purchase

What It’s About: I’m rusty. I was on SUCH a good roll of writing/posting/sharing my book thoughts and now, I can’t think of thing to say.

This is the story of first love and family love. And heartache. Both for the young couple and because of the tragedies they are swept up in, for whatever family is and should be. The way Tish’s family supported her and Fonny, contrasted with how Fonny’s family (exception, his father) was not able to do the same. Sad and unfair. Nothing was fair.

“The only way anything gets done is when you make up your mind to do it.“

Thoughts: I was gutted at the end. I’m not sure I can recall a book that quite did what this one did AFTER the last page was read. I closed the book and sat and just welled up, welled over. And felt almost a physical sensation, shock-like.

Rating: Five slices of pie.

Sweetie pie.


Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.