I’ve Hit My Yearly Reading Goal! Already?!

Well. Lookie here. I completed a goal with 3 months remaining in my year. Huh.

What do I do now?!   YES!  We go for it – we attempt to read 25 more books in the next 91 days. Who’s with me?  What 25 things can you do in 91 days? (Insert bright big smile emoji here.)

While we’re here, let’s look at the book I just finished to complete my goal.

Audiobook by Wallace Stegner, Blackstone Audio 2010 (orig 1976), 7 hours 51 minutes

Narrated by Edward Herrman

Rating: FIVE slices of pie.

I want to talk about this book. But I don’t know how. I loved it. Old irascible cantankerous ponderous old Joe. Actually he isn’t any of those words.

Such sadness, some regrets, some true dedicated endearing enduring love.

I guess this book just stirs up the ol’ vocabulary. I loved it.

and WOWZA! I think this would be a really cool book club book!  I do. Cuz it’s got some zinging wild stuff. Lots of good stuff, lots of OMG stuff.

Did I realize Mr. Herrman was reading this book? Nope. (huh) and it was OK. It really is a good thing I didn’t realize until I was already a few hours in. He did a fabulous job, of course. (I could NOT listen to him read The Boys in the Boat for some reason! I was so totally distracted on that…)

And with this, Stegner moves into a lofty spot in my top tier of favorite authors. He inspires me to read more Kent Haruf and to get back to my Marilynne Robinson. And Tracy Kidder. I have a few more of his books to read before I’ve read everything.

Next up, either a post on A Gentleman in Moscow, one on The Haunting of Hill House or one big September Summary.

My last pie was making the Rhode Island Coffee Milk Pie again.  YUM.

**** My attempt to learn the new (cough, cough HATED) WordPress block editor to link this recipe as a page.

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Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Ducks, Newburyport

Thoughts by Lucy Ellman, Biblioasis 2019, 1001 pages

Challenge: Personal
Genre: Literary Fiction
Type/Source: Purchased Online, probably from Amazon :/  Made up for that by buying one from RiffRaff in PVD.
 Why I read this now:  It had to be read.

MOTIVATION for READING: The Main Character – referred to going forward as “MC” (I don’t even know if we get her name) – bakes pies to sell to local restaurants to help the family finances. Her signature dish is Apple Tarte Tatin – something I have yet to attempt. Apparently they can be tricky.

, according to Stephen Hawking the human world will end within 1000 years, but I think it could be a lot sooner, and my response to this is to make more pies and read recipe books,

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  This book is the streaming consciousness of MC, a mother of 4 who has had some serious health challenges and misses her mother who died when her own daughter, her oldest, was a toddler. Her husband is a professor of structural engineering and is a bridge expert. He is the father to the 3 youngest kids, step to the oldest — of course the first husband is not ideal, though she would never speak ill of him in front of their daughter. MC rambles in her head about her memories of which she constantly claims she cannot remember, her siblings, her upbringing, tragedies that happen in the world, her pies, her mothering challenges, politics, her doubts and fears, her grocery lists, the old movies she watches while she bakes, her chickens, her childhood pets, her childhood travels – all the houses and places she lived in. She hates Trump, is anti-gun, is polite to a fault and is shy around people; cripplingly-shy. She loves her husband dearly – he’s a good man. All the kids are cute as a button and have their own wants, needs, interests which she enumerates for pages at a time. That’s a fact! It’s her day to day to day to day in her head ramblings.

Every so often, the story shifts to a mountain lion momma of three and her travels around the state of Ohio. Lots of geography, topography and history of Ohio. Their paths intersect of course and it was tense, I tell ya!  of exactly HOW that might play out!  oh, it’s a thriller, truly. It was maddening trying to imagine where the book was going.

THOUGHTS: This is not a book I would recommend to just anyone. I only know a few people who would like it, love it, as much as I did. I am pretty sure, my IRL friends now know that I’m a really strange reader when I would LOVINGLY describe the book and how long it was taking me to read. They would back up slowly, wide-eyed, quietly muttering, “hmmm, ok, sounds interesting. not.”  I started it in April. I finished near the end of August. I sometimes would let weeks go by without turning a page. Sometimes, I would read one or two pages a day. Then conquer over 100+ in a weekend.

,the fact that I think a lot of people think all I think about is pie, when really it’s my spinal brain doing most of the peeling and caramelizing and baking and flipping, while I just stand there spiraling into a panic about my mom and animal extinctions and the Second Amendment just like everybody else,

RATING:  So why am I only giving this four slices of pie? I fear that sometimes, I give 5 stars to a book as a reward for getting me to read it. I think we (by which I mean “ME”) get brainwashed that we must actually be loving the experience of submerging so much time and energy into a chunkster that we MUST justify it with a high glowing review.

But I had some issues. I had an issue with the dog and probably should research if this is based in fact. (The fact is…) and I had issue that they – the stupid zoo people – that they didn’t realize or WATCH the     (SPOILER ALERT!!!!  hover over to reveal the white colored text so as not to spoil anything: Really?!  they didn’t realize that this momma was the 3 kittens mother and they didn’t watch the reunion? I don’t believe and if I ever read about a review from a big cat zookeeper reading this book – if you do! please share….)

So four stars for a quibble but I did love it. I will never not associate Ducks, Newburyport with the pandemic. That is reason enough not to give it 5 stars. Or maybe that is reason, actually, to anoint it 5 stars? Whatever.

So much pie. So much wonderful pie! so many terrific pie mentions!!! I probably should give Ellman the coveted Pie in Literature award for 2020 and call it done.

I would HATE it if they ever attempt to make a movie from this book. OMG, I would see it day one if they do. It’s a deceptively simple book in plot but wowza finding it! (Are they making movies yet?!)

The fact that it’s important not to despair though when you’ve got pies in the oven, …, the fact that you have to have mercy on your pies, be there for your pies, and in return they will be good dutiful pies and serve you, …

I really hope I reread this book someday.

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Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

2020 brings us THE SUPER ROOSTER!

Announcing…

SO excited!  Though I haven’t read any of the possible zombies (the challengers from years prior to 2013), I CAN’T WAIT for October!

I think I am going to cheer for The Good Lord Bird by James McBride.

Oh, this is going to be fun!

By the way, this won the Summer Camp TOB:

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The cool graphic at the top of the post links to the details of Super Rooster TOB in October. . .  Think they will announce how to buy the tee shirt soon?

 

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Online Book Club aka Care’s Books and Pie. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club aka BkClubCare.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Pie As Art

Thoughts by Laura Rene Baker, 2020, 91 pages

Challenge: Pie Cookbooks
Genre: Pie Cookbooks
Type/Source: Spiral-bound, from the author (piebakerlady.com)
 Why I read this now:  I started reading as soon as I opened the package after arriving on my doorstep.

MOTIVATION for READING: I know the author; we’re friends from college.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  The author not only created the recipes, baked all the pies, wrote the copy, took the photos, PAINTED the artwork OF the pies, and likely assembled the books; she is probably responsible for the mailing of all of them out to her adoring fans.

I used the Peach Pan Pie as my inspiration for Peach Plum in my Cast Iron Pan:

THOUGHTS: I am thrilled for my friend!

RATING:  Five slices of pie.

I will give away a copy of this book to a random selection from the people who leave me a comment here on this post or like my tweet of this review plus follow @PieBakerLady and Retweet something she posted there or comment on my Instagram post or Litsy. Thus, you have multiple opportunities to win! Max of 5 entries; deadline August 4th midnight EST.

Book only; not the pie plates…

I’m not doing this to market myself, only to highlight my friend Laura’s accomplishment.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Becoming Duchess Goldblatt

Thoughts  by Duchess Goldblatt, 2020, 224 pages

Challenge:  none
Genre: Memoir, Social Media
Type/Source: Hardcover, Scuppernong Books
 Why I read this now: It arrived.

MOTIVATION for READING: I follow Duchess Goldblatt on Twitter. I wish I could remember how and when I found her but when I did, I was enthralled and had that feeling of wanting badly to be one of her pet subjects. I honestly didn’t think I had the writing chops to respond to her appropriately but when she called for dog photos and pie photos, I was IN with abandon.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  from gr blurb:

Becoming Duchess Goldblatt is two stories: that of the reclusive real-life writer who created a fictional character out of loneliness and thin air, and that of the magical Duchess Goldblatt herself, a bright light in the darkness of social media. Fans around the world are drawn to Her Grace’s voice, her wit, her life-affirming love for all humanity, and the fun and friendship of the community that’s sprung up around her.

@DuchessGoldblat (81 year-old literary icon, author of An Axe to Grind) brought people together in her name: in bookstores, museums, concerts, and coffee shops, and along the way, brought real friends home—foremost among them, Lyle Lovett.”

THOUGHTS:  I loved it. As much as I had been looking forward to reading this and knowing cerebral-ly what the book was to be about, I was unprepared for the emotional impact and the inspiration, celebration, and relatability I would find within the pages.

RATING:  Five slices of pie. Shout out to Ladybird Diner in Lawrence KS for naming a pie after the Duchess.

Close your eyes and visualize the best possible outcome. When it’s not looking, grasp it by the neck and fling it into reality.

 

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Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

First Book 2020

For Sheila’s Book Journey New Year Reads Initiative. #FirstBook2020

 

 

 

pieratingCopyright © 2007-2020. 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.

Merry Christmas 2020

Merry Christmas!

May you get your favorite piece of pie! From top to bottom:  Apple Cider Cream Pie, Apple Pie, Golden Dream Pie and Rhubarb Meringue Pie

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I Completed my Classics Club 50 (with substitutions) #cc50

I did it!  I (sort of) did it!!  I DID read over 50 classics in 5 years!!!

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On Dec 19, 2014, I listed 50 classics that I wanted to read by Dec 19, 2019. I defined ‘classic’ as anything over 25 years old.  This was the list.

HOWEVER, I allowed myself to swap in books to replace my original and since I can’t find any language on the Club site that endorses or expressly prohibits this, I’m going with it. Hey  –  as far as I know, there aren’t any ClassicsClubPolice, so…

[PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give the golden trophy anyway!  please please?!?!]

I will admit I didn’t review every book. Sorry. I invite you to search any titles  via the search tool on my blog (upper right corner) if you want to see if I have read a specific book. You can also check bkclubcare on goodreads.

Here I list the substitutes only and then list the few I did not get to from my original 50. Sound fun? Ok, let’s go. For an overall list, click here on my update page.

The 17 (Runner Ups) that were not “Original 50”:
The Winter’s Tale / Shakespeare – Jan 2015
The Making of a Marchioness / FHBurnette – Apr2015
The Talented Mr. Ripley /PHighsmith June2015
Atlas Shrugged/Ayn Rand July2015
Brave New World – Jan2016
Go Tell It on the Mt/JBaldwin May2016
TKAM/Lee Sep2016
The Four Million/O.Henry Dec2016
The Summer of My German Soldier/BGreene Apr17
The Grand Sophy/GeoHeyer Aug17
Waiting for Godot/SamBeckett Sep17
Angle of Repose/WStegner Oct17
A Wizard of Earthsea/LeGuin Apr 2018
Jane Eyre/Bronte Apr18
O Pioneers/Cather Jun18
A Clockwork Orange  Aug19
Now in November / Josephine Johnson Nov 2019

The ones (count: 13) I still need to read, maybe, someday:
48. The Three Muskateers – Alex Dumas – have ready on audio!
46. Jude the Obscure – Hardy – I own a copy, in a box, buried
44. Rabbit, Run – Updike – yea, rethinking if I have to …
42. Cry the Beloved Country – Alan Paton – DNF’d once, own a copy
31. Dead Souls – Nikolay Gogol
26. Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
24. Confederacy of Dunces – JKToole
23. Twelve Years a Slave – Solomon Northup
22. The Way We Live Now – Trollope
19. the Counterfeiters – A. Gide
14. Eileen Chang’s Love in a Fallen City
13. They Were Sisters – Dorothy Whipple – difficult to find!
7. The King Must Die – Mary Renault – considering audio

Yes, I realize that 17 doesn’t quite equate 13. That’s OK, right? I read MORE than 50 classics in 50 years! yay me

Will I make a ROUND 2 list and commit to Dec 2024?  maybe. . .  [Updated 1/12/2020 with links to my next list of classics by Dec 2024!]

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2019. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The House of the Seven Gables

Thoughts by Nate Hawthorne, Kindle edition (orig 1851), 290 pages

Category  1. 19th Century Classic

I loved this!  The more I think about this wild tale, I fondly smile and reflect and think, “YEA!”

I had no idea. To be perfectly honest, (what a NUTTY turn of phrase is “perfectly honest…”), the first 20-25% should be considered an Introduction and read AFTER not before.

The story and the characters are quite endearing! Let’s see how much I recall from October . .  .

Old lady nearing the state of being house-rich + cash poor and …    tenuous at best. A dear sweet scary looking old lady who just needs a friend for pete’s sake!  (I know I would have LOVED her and could have made her a fast-friend) anyway…   Dear-sweet-old-lady opens a shop in her old house to sell crap and confectioneries to adorable little kids (ok, one kid – but what a lovely little rake, he is!) when “Distant Adorable Cousin” shows up to help and move in and get away from the country.

(This is obviously a condition of the times….  sweet cousin shows up and says “HI! can I stay here?” and they all say, “Sure, why not…”)

OH!  but drama.  And it was … cute!  fun! I don’t know…  not as scary as T-rumpville?!

Anyway, there’s a ghost, there’s family history, there’s house-history, there’s devious family members trying to usurp other poor family members and it was

a fun read.

But. WOW was that first quarter part a slog.

(Even if, in hindsight, it kinda sorta helped set up the fun of the rest of it…)

 

I rated this 4 stars.

“The wrongdoing of one generation lives into the successive ones and… becomes a pure and uncontrollable mischief.”

This just might have been my favorite of the books I read that count for the Back to the Classics Challenge…   maybe

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Copyright © 2007-2019. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.