The Zero

Thoughts  by Jess Walter, Harper Audio 2006, 10 hours 40 minutes

Narrated by Christopher Graybill

Challenge: What’s in a Name:  Title that starts with the letter Z
Genre: Thriller, 9-11 Aftermath
Type/Source: Audiobook/Audible
 Why I read this now:  Typically, I select an audiobook based on how many hours it will take. Ten seemed a good number. Remember when I used to choose the loooooonnngest ones? yea, those days are gone. I no longer have lengthy chores (no lawn to mow!) nor long drives very often. Bummer.

MOTIVATION for READING: I have been wanting to read more by this author. I really enjoyed Beautiful Ruins – which I also had the pleasure of listening to (the narrator’s voice is gorgeous; Edoardo Ballerini)

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Brian Remy is a retired cop and he is having memory gaps. He keeps ‘waking up’ in a new scene of his life and can’t recall how or what happened prior to that moment. For the reader, it is like turning the page and thinking a page has been skipped. Both protag and reader are in the dark as to what the heck is going on. We both attempt to fill in the gaps and create a story, a timeline to what Remy is experiencing. It is quite unsettling.

“Maybe every couple lived in the gaps between conversations, unable to say the important things for fear they had already been said, or couldn’t be said; maybe every relationship started over every time two people came together.”

And darkly funny. But a sad funny because what he is messed up with isn’t going well and lives are at stake.

“Guterak looked over. “Hey, you got your hair cut.” “Yeah.” Remy put the cap back on. “What made you do that?” “I shot myself in the head last night.” “Well.” Paul drove quietly for a moment, staring straight ahead. “It looks good.”

WHAT’s GOOD: We (OK, “me” – the reader) get the idea that Remy might be having split personality syndrome but we root for the guy. The Remy we are privy to is the ‘good’ Remy, and we ache and yearn for him to figure it out so all can end well. But hey – we doubt that will happen. I mean, it is the aftermath of 9-11, so we have all the patriotism, all the say-I-love-you-to-your-loved-ones, the courtesy and slowing down, but also the conspiracy theories, the chase to find the terrorist cells responsible, the aching sadness experienced and shared collectively by those who lost someone, the always-shared stories of where-we-were and somebody-I-know-was-supposed-to-be-there.

All that came back to me as I listened to this story. And, it felt… OK. Okay good.                 I never felt that this story was manipulative or disrespectful. It was vague and confused, like everything was at that time.

There was a lot of imagery and absurdity. Walter is a very good author; he has a deft hand at dark humor without ever being over the top. I look forward to reading more. I had to look if this book was a part of the TOB from the year 2006 but, no. I would have loved to read the commentary and judgments of having this in the Tourney.

What’s NOT so good:  I have nothing to fault, other than I am both glad it was audio and not; knowing that because it was audio, I wonder if I might have missed something. But, I do think it was pretty good at the gap shifts when listened to. Would I recommend this? Yes, to those curious readers who like feeling disoriented while reading. I don’t think I know many of those kinds of readers.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I will read more books written by Jess Walter.

RATING:  Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned that I noticed.

On a different note, here are the audiobooks I just purchased and hope to get to soon:

May brings us the nonfiction mini-TOB by The Morning News. The three books I voted for are the ones they selected so I guess I have to participate. Priestdaddy is one; Hunger by Roxane Gay and Educated by Tara Westover the other two. I thought a quick funny Graham memoir would fill in for when I need snippets of listen…

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2018. 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.
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It’s On! #TOB18

DD6C3A25-EDDE-4695-A8D5-69E447393C54I am on vacation and today kicks off the Tournament,

Round 1. 

(Edited that 3/7 was Play-in Round; Opening Round is 3/8)

I am writing this on my phone so I might be challenged with links and stuff. (No, looks like I managed it, click on “Round 1”.)

I managed to read the first third of Lucky Boy and am enjoying it. Gotta love ✈️ travel for dedicated reading time.

And, sorry Ruthiella – I might (probably) DNF Savage Theories. It’s entertaining in a way but also exhausting. Since it won’t be advancing…

The Idiot moves on!

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I managed to read all but Joan, Cyborgs, Steve FLORIDA (where I am right now, escaping Storm Quinn), and DNFing Savage. I’m OK with it. You? Did you read ‘em all and if not, are you OK?

I didn’t fill out a bracket…

See ya in the commentary!

Cruel Winter

Thoughts  by Sheila Connolly, Crooked Lane Books 2017, 320 pages

Challenge: What’s in a Name: Season category
Genre: cozy mystery
Type/Source: Tradeback / Barnes & Noble
 Why I read this now: I purchased this as a gift for a friend because I though she might like it. We don’t often share literary tastes. I discovered this book on a library list that Laurie sent me over the Holidays and I liked that the title would satisfy the WiaN Reading Challenge.

MOTIVATION for READING: The title! I needed a season book for the Challenge.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: An American who is new to managing a pub in Ireland that she inherited is stuck with a few of her customers during a threatening snowstorm. While there, they decide to rehash a twenty year old murder case from the area as entertainment. They all manage to survive and live to see another day having made new friends and created more work for the gardaí (police) department with their ideas…

WHAT’s GOOD: It’s a quick read and the main character is likeable.

What’s NOT so good: It’s not that exciting. And it tended to the over-explaining side of telling.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  Not my favorite kind of book, though it is pleasant enough. It is part of series which felt obvious with references and hints to other minor character’s bigger stories later or prior;  this story stood well enough alone. I am not a series reader but if you are, check out this author.

RATING:  Three slices of pie. I’m counting the apple crumble which is really just a square (or oblong) crumb-top pie, right?

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2018. 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.

Letter Month Ten Days In

I am a letter-writing crazy person! Having fun going through my postcards and stationery and matching my fondness for friends and family, letting what thoughts pop into my head to guide me as to which person will get what and when. I probably have sent an average of four pieces each day so far. Yep, the math works – I’ve sent 41 pieces so far.

The website still has some kinks to work out and I have yet to join the FB group (I only applied this weekend) so I don’t feel connected, yet? If any of my friends knew me in the first years of LetterMo as “Care”, you will now need to find me as “Care_BooksandPie” at http://www.lettermo.com.

I know of one bookish friend participating. Are you? I am replying immediately to ever piece I receive so if you want mail, send me some or let me know…

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2018. 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.

Must Read in a Lifetime

My friend Sheila over at Book Journey has invited me (and you) to answer this question:

What Do YOU Say Is A Must Read In A Lifetime?

And I couldn’t figure out a quick answer…  If you click on the button above, you can go read her post on her idea to create a list of these books as generated from her book friends. She is allowing us 3 or 4 suggested titles.

What are my TOP TEN? My most favorite books or those books that still delight me when I see on other crazy book lists of must reads?        I can’t decide! Having given myself a few days to think upon this, I’ve still been unable to create a short list of my own. So, I’m just going to start typing titles that pop into my head:

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
The Book Thief by Mark Zusak
The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
Beloved by Toni Morrison
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut (or would it be Cat’s Cradle? I need to reread and find out.)

I would love to say It by Stephen King but I just can’t. I would say the film Shawshank Redemption would be a great one for a movie list like this, though. I haven’t read the short story the movie is based on… But I do think something by Stephen King should be on such a list.

pieratingsmlI have 974 READ books on goodreads. How many of those did I give 5 stars? 205.

From that list, I skim off some more I think could fit this category of MUST READ in a LIFETIME…

Perhaps I should pose the question differently; reframe it as “Which books, had I not read, would have made my life less? less bright, not as enriched?”

pieratingsmlH is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Far From the Madding Crowd by Tom Hardy
Looking for Alaska by John Green
The Count of Monte Cristo – Dumas
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters
Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane! – Kate DiCamillo
The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
The Year of Pies by Ashley English
The Secret Life of Lobsters!!! yes, gotta have this one. Trevor Corson
The Sparrow by Mary Russell Doria
Waiting for Columbus – Tom Trofimuk
Seabiscuit – Laura Hillenbrand
Love Begins in Winter – Simon Booy
James McBride’s The Color of Water
A Tale of Two Cities – Chuck Dickens
Woman by Natalie Angier
Atonement by Ian McEwan

Olive Kittredge by Elizabeth Strout? Or did I love Lucy Barton more?

I’m not even listing those classics EVERYONE assumes are MUSTs…. Pride and Prejudice, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter… yikes.

Which 4 did I end up choosing for BookJourney’s list? Only she and I will know…

(y’all realize right? that whatever 4 I decide on will change tomorrow?!)

What can I say? I have eclectic tastes. AND, I need to read a lot more books.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2018. 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.

Time to Get Serious

Seriously, I must focus on my CLASSICS CLUB LIST!

Basically, if you do not know about the Classics Club 50, it is a challenge to read 50 books over 5 years. You can even decide your own definition of ‘classic’ (if I remember correctly; you can verify it at the official website here.) I decided any book over 25 years old was a classic.

You are also allowed to swap books off/on your original list – as long as you read 50 books in 5 years within your category of classic, you win! And by winning, I mean that you get the pride of accomplishment. A friend or two might give you an applause tweet — that would be lovely. It’s fun!

Reading is fun!! (My brother reading to me…)

I wanted to join because they have a fun activity a few times each year called THE SPIN. The Club Committee will post to announce THE SPIN, tell you to get a short sublist of only 20 books you still have to read, and later announce a number between 1-20. You have to read that numbered book from your list! I think you get 6 weeks or so to read it, so the challenge is really to be on the ball not to miss the announcement AND the spin number AND the deadline. Please let me know if you see the next one – I do NOT want to miss it this year…

My original list is —> here <—.  I have 29 books from my original list to read yet.

Don’t fret! Good news!! I have read 37 books over 25 years old in the last 3 years so that means I only have 13 books remaining. I hope to choose these from my original list, but who knows what will happen. And since this is my 4th year, I have 24 months to do so. Woo hoo

Here are the books I read last year that counted towards my 50 overall:

The Summer of My German Soldier (1973) by Bette Greene – Apr17
The Sweet Hereafter (1991) by Russell Banks – Jul17
The Grand Sophy (1950) by Geogette Heyer – Aug17
Waiting for Godot (1952) by Samuel Beckett – Sep17
Angle of Repose  (1971) by Wallace Stegner – Oct17

The books I read that were on my list were:

Orlando (1928) by Virginia Woolf – May
The Hunter (1960) by Richard Stark – April

And so far in 2018, I’m enjoying Stoner (1965) by John Williams and have a few from the list I’m committing to for the What’s in a Name Challenge: The Oxbow Incident, The Dud Avocado, and The House of the Seven Gables.

Ok, that’s my update. Til next time, keep reading and look for pie on every menu and in every book. Don’t forget to let me know if you find a great pie scene in your literature adventure.

Have you read any of these books I listed? What classic book are YOU reading now?

 

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2018. 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 a Name 2018 Kick Off Post

My favorite challenge! This button     will take you to the host blog, The Worm Hole.

Here are the categories (with hyperlinks back to host blog) and my possible choices:

The word ‘the’ used twice – From my Classics Club 50: The House of the Seven Gables by Nat Hawthorne.

A fruit or vegetable – I’m committing to Elaine Dundy‘s The Dud Avocado, also on my Classics Club 50.

A shape – SO EXCITED to announce another Classics Club 50 will fit this one:  The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilberg Clark. An ox-bow is defined as 

  1. a U-shaped bend in the course of a river.
  2. a U-shaped collar of an ox yoke.

A title that begins with Z – Darn that I read Z last year (book about Zelda Fitzgerald) so I’m going to try The Zero by Jess Walter – I absolutely loved his Beautiful Ruins.

A nationality – Not sure here. Had American War for this spot when it was on the TOB long list but since it didn’t make the short. I have a lot of great nonfiction options about women that history forgot and I might go that route. Or perhaps American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang which would be a graphic novel and I want more of these. Any other suggestions?

A seasonCruel Winter by Sheila Connelly. I purchased this book for a friend’s birthday because it sounded like something she would enjoy and she promised to let me read it after (and then I’ll give it back so she can loan to her mom.)

I have created a goodreads list of done-reads and possibles for my 2018 tracking here…

Happy Reading Challenges!  What is the challenge you are MOST looking forward to this year?

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Copyright © 2007-2018. 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 a Name is my Favorite (Challenge)

I completed a reading challenge. I’m quite happy about this. 

I was quite happy… until I realized I didn’t read any – none, nada, not a ONE, of the classics on my Classics 50 Challenge in the entire 12 months of 2017.

What?  HUH?!

Oh well. I don’t know why this really saddens me. But it does. It makes me sad. Not one?  REALLY?

Well. I already know I’m failing miserably at the Tournament of Books Long List. We know my book review posting has been pathetic since May. Yep, Ok. WE KNOW.

I know – or think I just MUST have – read one or two books this year that were published over 50 years (ok, maybe 25  years ago – let’s try that?) But I’m afraid to look.

SO, let’s be happy with KINDNESS. Let’s be happy with making a tremendous effort to not get bogged down by ‘the news’ – fake or otherwise (see? I’m already losing it) and let’s think positive fighting RIGHT humanity-minded equality-grounded love-centered thoughts and be kind to every person, every puppy. Cats, too. Why not.

And PIE. Let’s promote PIE because the World can use a PEACE. pieratingsml

Here are the books I read for the 2017 What’s in a Name Challenge:

Title with number (not spelled out): 

Building: 

Title with an X: 

Compass Direction: 

Cutlery: 

Alliteration: 

I love this time of year in blog world. Stats! Pie charts! Picking THE book to be the First of the Year! Going through my books to find ones that fit the next What’s in a Name Challenge!  Cheers

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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.

 

Kitchens of the Great Midwest

Thoughts on a Book to Complete a Challenge…

I FOUND IT!   What I wrote in my June Round UP:

Kitchens of the Great Midwest was terrific! I really enjoyed it. I was saddened to see gr reviews by friends who did NOT like this or read a review that convinced them they would not like it so are crossing off lists! I REALLY liked this book and found much that appealed to my reading emotional self. It’s all just crazy. That’s OK. Too each their own. But I would LOVE to make Joann read this and change her mind and then sit and discuss over wine….  (Wow – I don’t usually try twist peoples’ arms to read a book but it somehow keeps poppin’ up in my recall that she is thinking this won’t appeal to her…)  I think that what one reviewer found annoying, I found tongue-in-cheek amusing, so it made me chuckle where the other person reacted with DNF and/or chucking the book across the room. Funny, huh?

I thought I missed one book to complete the What’s in a Name Challenge; the the Compass Direction category. A little late in the year for me to start worrying about it, but #shrug. But anyway,  I decided to do a look-see through my goodreads My-Books Read list…  I searched “North” –> nope, nothing for 2017. I entered “South” –> nothing, again, for 2017. Then “East” –> sure enough –> nada. OK, only one more compass direction to look up, “West”.

AND DING DING DING!!!  We have a winner!

I did not do a dedicated review (in a timely manner, ahem) since I failed miserably at this task for most of the last six months. SO I am here now writing on to satisfy the challenge and give a little jig and celebrate a reading challenge for 2017. Kick up your heels and join me?

I give j.Ryan Stradal’s Kitchens of the Great Midwest Kitchens of the Great Midwest FIVE SLICES of APPLE PIE!

Did you have some successes in reading challenges for 2017 that I can help YOU celebrate?

 

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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.

Petty: The Biography

Thoughts  by Warren Zanes, Audible Studios 2015, 14 hours

Narrated by the author

Challenge: none
Genre: Rock Biography
Type/Source: Audioboo / Audible
 Why I read this now: I don’t remember why I purchased when I saw it, but I don’t regret it.

MOTIVATION for READING: I am fascinated by singer/songwriters. It was April. April was Poetry Month.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: All about Tom’s life and his band The Heartbreakers.

WHAT’s GOOD: The literary style. I am craving the music. I also enjoyed the bonus material – the interview at the end where Zanes precisely articulates his motivations and goals for this project. I would read another book by Zanes.

What’s NOT so good: It does not go in chronological order so I would occasionally say to myself, “Hey Self, are we back in the 80s here are the 90s?” and I would answer, “Self, don’t worry about it. Just go with it.”

She’s a good girl, loves her mama
Loves Jesus and America too
She’s a good girl, crazy ’bout Elvis
Loves horses and her boyfriend too

It’s a long day living in Reseda
There’s a freeway runnin’ through the yard
And I’m a bad boy ’cause I don’t even miss her
I’m a bad boy for breakin’ her heart

And I’m free, free fallin’
Yeah, I’m free, free fallin’

And all the vampires walkin’ through the valley
Move west down Ventura Boulevard
And all the bad boys are standing in the shadows
And the good girls are home with broken hearts

And I’m free, free fallin’
Yeah, I’m free, free fallin’

Free fallin’, now I’m free fallin’, now I’m
Free fallin’, now I’m free fallin’, now I’m

I wanna glide down over Mulholland
I wanna write her name in the sky
I’m gonna free fall out into nothin’
Gonna leave this world for a while

 

FINAL THOUGHTS: I remember listening to Damn the Torpedos because it was an album my brother owned. After that, I must admit, I never listened to a Petty disc again –  only loving the many top hits that the radio would play year after year after year. I really didn’t have a good concept of how long and how strong he has been performing. I’m really not one of these music aficionados. I like what I like when I hear it but I don’t chase it like I do ‘books’.

But for some reason, I like musician biographies. (And comedian memoirs.) I  have read Patti Smith’s Just Kids, I own Bob Dylan’s Chronicles but just haven’t read it yet, I might be interested in Springsteen’s but I have never really jumped onto his bandwagon.

You know sometimes, I don’t know why
But this old town just seems so hopeless
I ain’t really sure, but it seems I remember the good times
Were just a little bit more in focus
But when she puts her arms around me
I can somehow rise above it
Yeah, man when I got that little girl standin’ right by my side
You know, I can tell the whole wide world shove it, hey!

Here comes my girl, here comes my girl
Yeah, and she looks so right, she is all I need tonight

Every now and then I get down to the end of the day
And I have to stop and ask myself why I’ve done it
It just seems so useless to have to work so hard
And nothin’ ever really seems to come from it

And then she looks me in the eye and says,
“We’re gonna last forever”
And man, you know I can’t begin to doubt it
No, ’cause it just feels so good and so free and so right
I know we ain’t never gonna change our minds about it – hey!

I do miss those leisurely days when I would put on an album and listen and listen again. Ya know, preteen and teenage years. I had April Wine (The Nature of the Beast), REO Speedwagon, and Styx (though, that might have been my brother’s too.) I loved Queen’s The Game. Wore that one out. But I was never a collector. True confession, my first album was Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hits…

But to hear how many albums Petty made with and without The Heartbreakers and Mudcrutch and The Traveling Wilburys! Wowza. I have a lot of music to listen to.

To celebrate April as Poetry Month, here’s the link to the amazingly long list of Tom Petty lyrics.

Well, I started out down a dirty road
Started out all alone
And the sun went down as I crossed the hill
And the town lit up and the world got still
I’m learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing

Now the good ol’ days may not return
And the rocks might melt, and the sea may burn

Now some say life will beat you down
Yeah, it will break your heart, steal your crown
So I started out for God knows where
But I guess I’ll know when I get there

I’m learning to fly but I ain’t got wings
But coming down is the hardest thing
Yeah, that’s

I’m learning to fly but I ain’t got wings
(I’ll tell you one thing, baby, I’m gonna learn to fly)
Coming down is the hardest thing
(Yeah, and fly over my troubles, fly over my worries)

I’m learning to fly but I ain’t got wings
(Yes, it is, yes it will, gonna work, fly)
Coming down
Baby, that’s the hardest thing

 

Rating:  Four slices of pie. No clip of pie mention that I could remember.

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What’s your favorite Petty song?

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.