Speculating on the Tournament of Books 2017 #TOB17

Hello Friends!

Michelle wants me to post my brackets. Oh Bracketing-schmacketing! Oh, how dost this exercise tax me…

Here goes. This first bracket is my WISH of FAVORITES. I did not think at all about possibilities of winning; only went with my heart. Do know that the Zombies are impossible to predict! I can’t fathom how to do that part. I hope you can read this? Is it too small? I can always save them to a GoogleDocLink.


I want My Name is Lucy Barton to win it all. Do I think it will win, could win?! No.

I just attempted to include a list of all the books in the order that I ‘liked” and I couldn’t even accomplish THAT! Some I rank higher now than I did when I star-rated them and I bet my feelings/rankings would change tomorrow – I’m so fickle. And the issue that I still need to finish High Dive, The Sport of Kings, and The Nix. I *think* I will really like The Nix; I am liking High Dive but find myself NOT picking it up and doing anything else which is wrecking my mojo. The Sport of Kings is one I am dreading because of page count (560 but comparing this to The Nix’s 628 collapses my reasoning.) See? I cannot defend my bracket!


For my shaky tentative guess as to what may happen:


I don’t really have any faith that The Underground Railroad is a lock here but, something has to win… I haven’t read The Nix yet (as I have already mentioned for the gazillionth time), but I would be pleased if it could go on to claim the Rooster. I wouldn’t really be upset if any of these books won the Rooster. Surprised perhaps, but not unhappy. (After writing and editing this post, I already want to change my mind on a few spots… sigh)

I look forward to the lively commentary and reviews! Always a good time. Watch for it on March 8th.

To create your own pretty bracket speculation chart, click –> here <– and follow the links.


Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Care’s Gift Idea Guide

EXCITING GIFTS to get me YOUR LOVED ONES this Holiday or anytime, really.

  1.  thecommonArrange for a Postcard from a Favorite Author!   The Common Foundation is raising money for a good cause (encouraging emerging novelists, etc.) by arranging personal postcards from a variety of impressive writers. CHECK IT OUT!  (and quickly, this only has a week to go.)


2.  Photo Stamps! oande I have created custom stamps for years and they make great gifts. There are many companies that are licensed to do this but I’ve used PhotoStamps.com and like their simplicity of creating and ordering.

3. Books. Books are always a good idea. Gift cards to bookstores? books


4. Pie supplies. What are “PIE SUPPLIES”, you ask? Well, my favorite are cute mini-pie cropped-img_6296.jpg dishes of ceramic. And I love my flour flourwand shaker wand (I own two so I don’t need another). You could get someone a pastry scissors or cutter tool for making fancy lattice strips. ayofpbyae Or pie books, of course. And gift cards to places like King Arthur Flour…  I have also given “Pie Coupons” away but sadly, rarely ever get them redeemed. I think they forget. Which is why just baking a pie and thrusting it upon others is the best way. That’s how “those people who live near me” get treated in my neighborhood. I also support and recommend Beth Howard’s Pie-Evangelism and she has two books available. Click on her logo to find out more –> twnmp



5. DONATIONS in someone’s name. I have done this, especially when I don’t know if they need anything. I would be honored if someone made a donation to a charity that is close to my heart OR their heart. Just as long as a good deed is made, that’s cool.  I have given to food banks in the towns where my loved ones live so that their town is blessed. And I have purchased water buffaloes and chickens through Heifer waterbuff International. I have given to my parents’ church so they get their name in the bulletin – usually to donate flowers for the alter at their anniversary. I am considering donating to the library that they frequent.



6. Pizza. Pizza is pie, right? Easy-peasy to give online gift certificates from a pizza place in their town so no mailing involved whatsoever. I always think this is a great idea – who doesn’t love a pizza party? Especially good for a family gift all at once.


What kind of gifts do you like to give when thinking of that right something is difficult?






Copyright © 2007-2016. 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.

Big Magic

Thoughts bigmagic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Riverhead Books 2015, 273 pages

Challenge: for Boat Friends Summer Reading Club

“Measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures.”

Genre: Self-help, Creativity
Type/Source: Hardback / Purchased at Indie BookStore
 Why I read this now:  Summer means Boating

MOTIVATION for READING: I have a friend, our next door boat neighbor, who inspired us to have a “bucket list summer” and one of the challenges was to read this book, together.

“Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest.”

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  Ms. Gilbert’s personal thoughts and her own exploration of how to be creative, how to MAKE art, why to make art. And art is totally subjective; whatever art is in you. Let that idea chase you down and find you to be its partner.

WHAT’s GOOD: I love the anecdotes, I love her style, I love her encouragement. I really enjoy the quotes and writer references. I admire her unabashed go-for-it fierceness.

What’s NOT so good: The book is too short?! 🙂

FINAL THOUGHTS: So many quotes I could share. So many things that she stimulates in my head – ideas, past memories good and bad, smiles, the inspiration to try…

“Frustration is not an interruption of your process; frustration IS the process.”

(The REAL work is pushing through, keep on keeping on, manage the gaps between the glory bursts of inspiration.)

I am one of those who loved EPL and I also really enjoyed The Signature of All Things. If you don’t like her fine, but why exactly such hostility? I can think of so much worse things to be against than the work that EG is putting out there into the universe. To each their own — I can respect that; but let’s be kind and uplifting and supportive and creative!

RATING: Four slices of pie with extra whipped cream.

” It’s a simple and generous rule of life that whatever you practice, you will improve at. For instance: If I had spent my twenties playing basketball every single day, or making pastry dough every single day, or studying auto mechanics every single day, I’d probably be pretty good at foul shots and croissants and transmissions by now.”





Copyright © 2007-2016. 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.



Yes, yes, I *do* realize that I am somewhat running a readalong this month:  #FiremanAlong

But I am also going to attempt a disconnect from social media a teensy bit and that will mean Facebook, Instagram, Litsy, and Twitter.  (ha – maybe I will attempt snapchat as soon as most of you newbies get old to it!)

Give me 7-10 days off, if that’s OK. Carry on without me, if you can.

You can do that, right?

FWIW, I have 13 hours remaining on my audio of The Fireman which might be ~45% through? — I just got to the part where Harper is visiting John Rookwood to attend to his injuries after going to her house to retrieve the ace bandage. Is that a spoiler?

It is also right after mention of the following which I knew I just had to include somewhere and since youtube song mentions are NOT such a hit on the Twitter feed, I might as well put here:

I am disheartened, disillusioned, frustrated, and scared for my country this election year. I feel the polarization and the lunacy and what seems to be a tendency to be cruel rather than compassionate in relations with ‘others’ and I can’t process. I need some time to  commune with nature.

Call it self-care.

So I’m taking a break from the internet. In some ways, I feel like I know and value a wonderful diverse caring group of friends online but I also am assaulted by persuasiveness that leaves little sympathy and empathy and respect for a different viewpoint. I also suspect that the media is feeding the beast and is not to be trusted.

I’ll shut up now and look to the sunshine. I promise to wear my sunscreen.



Copyright © 2007-2016. 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 am almost ready for #FiremanAlong – Day 0


Hello Everyone!
I had no idea I was going to throw myself into this readalong like I seem to be doing. So exciting to have something to look forward to, would you agree?

Yesterday, I shared a Flares song “Burning Embers” to get everyone jazzed for July and today I appropriately (ahem) posted The Doors “Come On Light My Fire”. Today is Day Zero. Tomorrow is July 1! Fire on Facebook Messenger

You notice that I didn’t link the video songs above because I want to encourage you to go to Twitter and search (and save?) the hashtag #FiremanAlong and remember to look at it often. Share any fun quotes from your reading, RT and “Like” any fun quips that others are sharing. Let’s interact! SPIT SPOT

I have had questions about the LIST. I created a Twitter list of the participants so that you can quickly see who else you may know or not yet know and what they are up to.  This is one way to see people’s tweets without necessarily following (though I hope to follow all of you myself.)

Let me explain – subscribing and VIEWING the list won’t show only #FiremanAlong tweets – only searching and viewing the hashtag will specifically bring up tweets with that reference.

A LIST only displays ALL TWEETS – anything and everything by those people who are members of the list. So, if you are wondering what I am tweeting about when NOT tweeting the readalong stuff, you can see that, too. This saves you going to each member’s tweets individually. It’s a way to group like-minded people’s tweets. Everything but only those people. Does that make sense?

No, you cannot tweet just TO the members. It’s more of a way to spy and wonder, “So, what IS Care up to?”

It may or may not be useful to you and that’s cool. Just use the hashtag #FiremanAlong and you’ll be fine. I love lists and have a ton of them. I usually make one for every readalong…  (For example, my #StateOfWonder list only shows me Katie, Debbie and Stacy. Easy peasy to sort what they are up to and if they tweet something interesting.)

Someone asked about a schedule…  Once I get the print copy, I might break it down in weekly chunks – would that be useful? I find that once I start a book like this (and face it — it DOES feel like a King novel. So readable!!) they go SO FAST. Yep, 800 pages in a few days without even trying.

Have fun. If you want discussion, please post on a blog if you think spoilers will happen — and let us know on Twitter. See you on IG and Litsy, too, most likely.

Oh, there is a group on Litsy reading The Fireman for book club. Check it out.

Fire on Facebook Messenger

Tomorrow will be another youtube clip. I’m so excited! You’re gonna love it!!!


Copyright © 2007-2016. 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.

Happy Pi Day 2016

Happy  π  Pi Day!

image Getting ready. I usually use the pie dough of butter + crisco from the A Year of Pies cookbook by Ashley English. Do notice Miss Jill, I used King Arthur Flour.


This is what the flour and fat combined looks like before I add the water.



This is me attempting a beautiful crimped edge. I need more practice. hrtbroke


I put my neighbors to work zesting the lemons and limes for the Lemon Lime Chess Pie.


A few (4) eggs, some juice, the zests and more butter  – into the crust and bake. SO simple. ~ 50 minutes at 350 degrees.



After the baking. Oh! The recipe calls for 3 Tbsp of cornmeal and I used a rather grainy one – almost the polenta coarseness. It really gave texture to the pie.


My neighbor insisted on whipping the whipped cream. She eschews such devices as Kitchen Aid mixers. Scoffs, even!



Piping on a bit of the cream for presentation. Wa la!  PIE.



I might try making this:



though I could only find Laffy Taffy rather than true saltwater taffy…




Copyright © 2007-2016. 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 2016 Day 5 – Don’t Worry Be Happy #BBAW


I’m in it for the long haul.

The question for today is…   What keeps me at this?

I feel very comfortable here. I figured out a long time ago that I do this for me and if an audience finds me, that is extra whipped cream on the pie slice that is this blog.pierating2 I just don’t worry about it.

I want to thank all the bloggers who have participated in BBAW this week, for the Twitter chats, the Superlatives, the visits and comments. I want to thank the organizers who are so extremely enthusiastic and dedicated and passionate for this community. I’m proud to know you.

Thanks to whoever listed my blog in the post “Literary Blogs“. Cool. I am humbled.

Group hug!

Perhaps BBAW, I thought, isn’t just one week in a year? Perhaps BBAW lives in the hearts of book-friends far and near…


Now go eat some pie. Tomorrow, Feb 20, is Cherry Pie Day. I don’t know who decided this and I don’t care. I will be making a Chocolate Stout Cherry Pie and you will see photos on Instagram…

Copyright © 2007-2016. 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 2016 Day 4 – Connect #BBAW


First off, I have an issue to ask about. gravatar What is it with Gravatar? If you use this to sign-in but when I click on it hoping to find your blog and it doesn’t have a link back, what’s the point?  Please do fix. Thank you. smiles

I love WordPress.com. wp I apologize if I don’t often comment on your Blogger blog because sometimes I just CAN’T – the ‘system’ kicks me out, requiring me to log all the way out of Google so that it will recognize my WP account. And I totally understand if you have difficulty commenting here due to the WP vs Blogger feud. Just sayin’. So let’s meet on twitt Twitter, okay?  or grlogo goodreads. I’m there every day.

Yep, I am often sharing photos of my dogs and books and dogs with books at igram Instagram. And PIE. pieratingsml Lots and lots of pie with hashtag #CaresPieShow. I am BkClubCare there, as well. Just following #bookstagram will suck much time but there are some awesome reviews and it is just like falling down that rabbit hole of early blogging days!

I am involved with the TLC Readers fb Facebook group started by my  first book-blogging friend Lisa… It’s a closed group but I can get you in if you want…

Guess what else I do to stay connected to my book friends!  2016-LetterMO

I do not have a Feedly or use anything due to my protest that Google Reader went away. I rely on memory & mood (call it WHIM or a Universe-Prodding) or my blog roll and/or Twitter plus your comments here to dictate who/when/what blogs I visit. I have no plan; works for me.

I usually cheer at Read-A-Thon, I’m a sucker for a readalong, I’m loving my recent involvement with the Classics Club, I try to visit every blogger who has visited me, and I try to comment a reply to every comment received here but forget to look to see if you have replied to my comment at YOUR blog… (And yes, I love that scene in Brooklyn when the boss asks our girl if she tries to wear panties every day.)

I LOVE YOU GUYS! Thanks for stopping by.

PS I love blogs that have the likebutton button…

Happy BBAW!



Copyright © 2007-2016. 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 2016 Day 3 – Blogger Influence

Hello. Welcome to Care’s Books and Pie Blog.  pierating1

I am writing this on Day 3 at 7 pm. 7pm

I have no excuse.

I just couldn’t approach today’s topic without a heavy heart so I avoided it.





Then I decided to visit a few blogs that I know and love just to see what they were doing for Day 3 and would you not freaking believe it?! but each one of them mention me and I got all verklempt.

So thank you Trini and Jeanne and Laurie.



Then. I decided to go visit the official BBAW site for all the links to today’s topic and I saw this:

Conversely, what is a book(s) you’ve attempted to push on everyone and their mother? Was it a success or a failure? What book would you push on me RIGHT THIS MINUTE?

Hmmm, I can work with this.

I ask you, you Reader you, (which is why you are still here and reading THIS thus far, is because you must be a book lover or a lover of pie and I respect both): “Be honest, how do react when a book is suggested for book club that you have NEVER HEARD OF?”

Because we all KNOW all the books. ALL THE BOOKS.

What is your reaction when you get a book suggestion which is of a title you are unfamiliar with and/or  – if not a debut – an author you do not know?!  cuz you know, as a blogger, you are tuned in and know shit, amirite!?

Well, I will admit that I get suspicious. I usually have at least heard of or recognize ALL THE FREAKIN’ BOOKS, right?! Even if I don’t know all the details. [True story – I found out today that The Royal We – which I have dismissed as not-for-me due to pure snobbery – is written by the Go Fug Yourself duo which is a website I followed religiously way back in the day. Now I think I must read this book. Shannon’s endorsement just might shame my book snobbery, too, but whatever.]

FINALLY, I have a point.

Go read this:  dintgbyei

Death in the Garden was a neighborhood book club choice. I had never heard of it. I did not know the author. Goodness, the cover is NOT inspiring. So pale and …  pastel.

Whaddya know. I LOVED IT!!  And so did my friend who read it because I loved it and she loved it! so let’s give this book some book-blogger love!!  THIS is the book I wish for you to experience and see if you agree with me for its insightful feminism, intriguing mystery, lovely time and setting, and overall impressiveness. I dare you.

dintgbyeiI probably should just read more mysteries…

But truly, this is the only book I can think of lately that has entered or paraded my consciousness that I didn’t already know of or have heard of or whatever from somewhere else than blogs. One of the book clubs I joined here in NC has the entire year slated with 80% books I’ve already read and the other 20% on my tbr with me knowing the synopsis! [It’s the neighborhood bookclub I’m worried out… which is the one that introduced me to Death in the Garden. Read it.]

I really don’t get out much…









PS – Remember STICKY BOOKS? Those books that you loved and no one has ever heard of? Actually that isn’t the definition of  ‘sticky books’ but this is THE book I loved and have never ever met anyone who has read:  Out of the Flames. So go read this, too, ifyouplease. Thanks.

And a big shout out to everyone who has rec’d a book to me.   Happy BBAW!

Copyright © 2007-2016. 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 2016 Day 2 – INTERVIEW @baystateRA #BBAW


How exciting to be assigned to interview a blogger that I have actually met in “real” life! Though HOW exactly we began the conversation to meet, I don’t quite recall, I do know it was facilitated by Boston’s Book Festival. Maybe – read on to find out. (Her memory is way better than mine.)

LAURIE of Bay State Reader’s Advisory!

Here’s the proof: IMG_4098

It’s blurry – can’t find the original original. Laurie on the left, I’m on the right and my ever-so-wonderful friend Holly in the middle. (hi Holly!!) The year was 2012. The place was the Boston Book Festival. We had a great time, I remember that.


Q1 from Care:  Laurie, I’m embarrassed but I don’t remember how we first got introduced?!  Can you jog my memory? Let’s compare notes!  (Thankfully, she remembers and sadly, I do not!)

A1 by Laurie:  Our first contact was on Twitter, back in the spring or summer of 2012. I had a librarian/personal Twitter (@lacavanaugh) before adding a book blogger one (@baystateRA). I tweeted something about the Wareham Gatemen, a team in the Cape Cod Baseball League, and that’s how you knew we were located in the same area of Massachusetts at the time and that’s how we learned that we both had book blogs. You came and introduced yourself to me at the reference desk of the library in Wareham, where I was working at the time. The group selfie you took is from the Boston Book Festival in October 2012; we were both planning to go anyway, and you invited me to meet up with you and your friend Holly there. I was late, of course, but found you and cut in line to join you for whatever author program we were waiting in line for!   Ok, I *DO* now remember when I walked up to you at the Wareham Library and introduced myself! I loved that library…


Q2 from Care:  How many of virtual book friends have you met in real life? 

A2 by Laurie:  I attended one BEA Book Bloggers Conference and I was extremely shy about introducing myself to people and no one had ever heard of my book blog anyway! I sat with Mandy Boles, who at the time blogged at “The Well-Read Wife” (now http://MandyBoles.com) and her husband, but the only other book blogger I remember actually going up to and saying hi to was Sheila of Book Journey. It felt like meeting a celebrity!  Goodness – it wasn’t 2010, was it? Because I went to BEA BBC in 2010!!  I roomed with Celebrity Sheila; along with Kim the Sophisticated Dork and Esme of Chocolate and Croissants!!



Q3 from Care:  I know that as proponent of all things library, I sense a bit of a  disdain for goodreads. Would you like to share why you don’t do Amazon?  I get it, and I sympathize but I just have SO MUCH LOVE for Audible because it is 3000x easier than downloading any books from the library. I just don’t get why it is so freakin’ hard.  Multiple signins, inane searching, I can’t ever find what I want to listen to.

A3 by Laurie: Oh, oops! Does it seem like I have disdain for GoodReads? Yikes! That makes me a bad librarian, as we are supposed to be extremely open-minded and not snobby. I do prefer LibraryThing to GoodReads, but maybe not just for highbrow/snobby reasons! It seems more indie and less commercial to me than GoodReads, which is now owned by some megalomaniacal monopoly or other. Is it Amazon or Google? I usually favor the underdog, and LibraryThing is definitely the underdog! It’s a haven for book nerds who don’t want drama.
Audible is a great temptation, and I do use the Audible app for gift audiobooks. I actually had a problem with having two accounts, and the customer service people were very helpful in getting me access to all of my Audible content again finally. Although I did have to talk to one of the reps on the phone instead of being able to take care of it online, I do appreciate that it was good customer service! Amazon is trying to take over the book world — retail, publishing, and lending — and that worries me. Amazon doesn’t play well with libraries. When it looked like library users were starting to choose Nooks over Kindles because of OverDrive, which used the ePub format — Amazon decided to “lend” KindleBooks through OverDrive, but Kindle users had to borrow their OverDrive books from Amazon directly. If you have not tried the new OverDrive app for audiobooks on your phone or iPod, you need to give it a new chance! It is so much easier to use now, and the searching/browsing is better! For libraries to purchase ebooks and e-audiobooks, it’s much more expensive than for consumers to purchase them, so that is why the selection seems limited. Many libraries in Massachusetts are now offering additional ebook and e-audio lending options, too, such as Commonwealth Ebook Collections and Hoopla.
OK, Laurie, I’ll commit to another attempt. I will have to GO in person and ask a real librarian because I just spent an hour or two online this past weekend trying again. It was totally annoying –  search capability didn’t have title nor author options (WHA?!?!?)  It wanted to only  recommend choices by genre. It wasn’t Overdrive, either. Anyway, I’ll shut up.


Q4 by Care:  What is the ONE biggest positive you can name for blogging?

A4 by Laurie: The online community! Back in the early Internet days, listservs and online bulletin boards were how people with shared interests connected online. I did a lot of that back then, but book blogging is much friendlier, somehow. Maybe because book bloggers are not as anonymous. Maybe because the book blogging community is mostly women? Or maybe because readers in general –male or female! 



Q5 from Care:  Are you surprised with how blogs have evolved to include Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook, etc?

A5 by Laurie:  Short answer = yes. Long answer is yes and I hope we don’t spread ourselves too thin over too many platforms. We only have a finite amount of time in a day! I keep hearing that blogging is passé now, but I hope that’s not true. There are so many book blogs that I would love to keep up with more regularly, but I know it’s impossible, so I do the best I can. I do wish everyone would use WordPress for their book blogs to make it easier for me to read, follow, and comment! I wonder if all the Blogger users know how easy-peasy it is to switch to WordPress.com and how helpful the WordPress happiness engineers are during the process?  Oh yes, I love WordPress and have not had too many problems or issues to deal with. And I love Twitter. And Instagram… and even have a ton of Facebook friends from blog-world.

Laurie is a fabulous librarian – extremely knowledgeable about books and very involved with the Massachusetts literary scene. She rec’d a book to me last year, The Orphans of Race Point, and I’ve been successfully recommending it, too. REALLY good. Laurie often features recipes on her blog and I also happen to know that she is quite a dancer. If you don’t know Laurie yet, go meet her!

I answer some of these same questions at Laurie’s blog (CLICK HERE) and a few other questions she threw to me: Like, how/why I named my blog and where I might be taking it in the future. (CLICK HERE) And, what’s with the PIES?! and, other things. Visit her today. (CLICK HERE).

Happy BBAW!



Copyright © 2007-2016. 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.