Category Archives: What’s in a Name 2021

In Review October 2021

 Monthly Recap Time!

Total of 13…

Count from the library =  SIX, one book was for my monthly Audible credit and finished with Libby; five purchased, and another library for both eBook and Hardcover

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My favorite read of the month is The Soul of Kindness by Elizabeth Taylor. [Link to Review]

These books took me on visits to Colorado, NYC and outer space. I saw the US and some views into Canada. I was in UK-fantasy land. USA again and a half century away in rural England. OPKS was where I lived in the first book (and I’ve lived there in my history, so YAY KANSAS) and ended up in Sweden for the last book of the month.

Five nonfiction – if I count the poetry?) One of the books I read this month is “loosely-based memoir” fiction: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeannette Winterson. SO GLAD to have enjoyed this which had been on my tbr for a long time.

Two featured LGBTQ+, three by POC, one in translation, four classics. Seven female-identifying authors (I might be guessing/assuming) to six by male-presenting.

and…… The Tournament of Favorites was fabulous! The winner is Tsar of Love and Techno over Version Control in the finals. Great fun, much fun, warms the heart and stimulates the brain. I love the tournaments as much as I love pie. Bring on the Long List! Any day now… I haven’t read too many on on the possibly contenders list. Books pub’d this year include: Fugitive Telemetry SF, Meet Cute Diary TransRomance?, Yoga Pants Nation MomLit, (oh yea, I read all the Summer Camp books, too!)

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Pie! NINE books out of 13 mention pie.

I made Cranberry Pear Pie, Pumpkin, and some Dutch Apple crumb pies.

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What was YOUR favorite book of October?

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.

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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
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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.

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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.

COMPLETED ♦ What’s in a Name Challenge ♦ 2021

The What’s in a Name 6-Category Reading Challenge is hosted by Andrea at Carolina Book Nook. The image below will link to the Challenge Sign up Page.

  • One/1  – Anna Quindlen’s One True Thing  
  • Doubled word – I have two options here:   Apologize, APOLOGIZE by Elizabeth Kelly or The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire Lazebnik
  • Reference to outer space  – Walter Kirn’s Up in the Air   I also read Klara and the Sun which would fit, as well.
  • Possessive noun – The Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet   
  • Botanical wordThe People in the Trees   and I was also wondering if I could count Ella Minnow Pea?    (In my signup post, I shared my hope to read one or both of these:  The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock or Alan Drew’s Gardens of Water   and I still just might.)
  • Article of clothing:  Pauli Murray’s Proud Shoes  

This is one of my favorite challenges!

And this year is one of the first where I have actually finished the books I said I would when I started the challenge. AND that I’m not scrambling to finish in December.

My list in goodreads.

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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.

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.

Apologize, Apologize!

Thoughts by Elizabeth Kelly, Twelve/Hachette Book Group 2009, 230 pages

Challenge: 20 books of Summer, What’s in a Name: Double Word

Genre/Theme: Contemporary Lit/Quirky Family

Type/Source: Tradeback/Gift from a friend

What It’s About: Wealthy family, rebel unconventional parents, two sons and an uncle. MANY many dogs. A house on Martha’s Vineyard Mass and a cold grandfather in Boston. The youngest son is the favorite, the oldest son is trying to find his way.

Thoughts: Sentences are crafty. The characters are quirky but unfortunately, not charming. The plot takes forever to chug into any direction and I got bored. I flipped to the end and found I actually did miss some big developments but couldn’t care enough to go back and find my footing in the story to make the puzzles pieces fit. Abandoned.

Thank you Gail for bringing this to a book club meeting for share. Sad that I couldn’t connect to it. Another one I’ve carried around since 2009.

Rating: __2__slices of pie. I didn’t note any pie mentions. But please, this is only MY reaction – goodreads average score is 3.2 so if you like quirky family drama, give this a try. If Gail doesn’t want the book returned, I am glad to send it on.

 

What’s in a Name host site: Carolina Book Nook

 

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.

One True Thing

Thoughts by Anna Quindlen, Delta 1994, 289 pages

Challenge: 20 books of Summer, What’s in a Name / “ONE” Category

Genre/Theme: Contemporary Lit / Child-Parent Relationships

Type/Source: Tradeback/Gift from a friend

What It’s About: Ellen is young and ambitious, making her father proud. But then her Mom gets sick and her father basically orders her to quit her job – her career – her life to move home and care for Mom. She does but she does it to prove a point to her dad more than because she even slightly wants to do it.

But her Mom is the smartest and the bestest of them all. Ellen has to figure it out the hard way.

Your father was better at it. Much better,” she looked at me and added, “I’m sorry.”

That’s all right, I said, a little mystified because I was not sure what the apology was for. For so long I thought about myself as a girl who walked away from her mother’s life, that it would be a long time before I would start to think about the other part of the bargain, how easily she’d let me go.

Thoughts: Wow – what a story! Heart-wrenching. Not only does Mom die a horrible death by cancer but then Ellen is accused of murdering her. She spends a night in jail because . . . apparently Dear Dad didn’t even know about the arrest. The trial, the aftermath, the reconnection. Just wow.

I loved it.

Thank you Trish of Love Laughter Insanity for sending this book to me in 2012.

Rating: __5__slices of pie. Cherry once and pumpkin twice!

I cooked and cleaned and read; I simmered casseroles and made pies.

 

What’s in a Name host site: Carolina Book Nook

 

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 Smart One and the Pretty One

Thoughts by Claire LaZebnik, 5 Spot/Hachette Book Group 2008, 288 pages

Challenge: 20 books of Summer

Genre/Theme: Fun Fiction/Sisters

Type/Source: Tradeback/Gift from a friend

What It’s About: Two sisters are reunited to take care of their mother’s health challenge and both grow up a bit while learning to appreciate each other.

Thoughts: Wow – that sentence above hurt me to write! Let’s see, let me start over.

The PRETTY-SISTER is irresponsible and unconcerned, loves fashion, has moved home from NYC back to LA and escorts Mom to chemotherapy as she battles a “minor case of breast cancer” (WTF?!)

The SMART-SISTER is overly responsible, hates all things girly, is consumed by being the consummate attorney. Smartie puts Pretty on a budget buying-ban; Pretty fixes sis up with an old family friend. Mayhem ensues.

OK, I do tend to overuse the “mayhem ensues”, I get it. I’ll stop. (no I won’t.) Pretty-Sister realizes she needs to be better with her finances and Smarty-Sis realizes that fashion *CAN* be fun.

It was a light and sexy read and I was glad to escape into the pages after too many months of reading more whacky or serious (or both) so I am happy to finally get to this.

But what happens with Mom? What happens to dud NYC-boy and his mom? A few loose ends, for me.

Thank you Lisa from Omaha for “winning” this book to me in 2009. LOL! 2009…

Rating: __4___slices of pie. I didn’t note any pie mentions. Might have to demote it to 3 slices…

 

What’s in a Name host site: Carolina Book Nook

 

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.

Klara and the Sun

Thoughts by Kazuo Ishiguro, Random House Audio 2021, 10 hr 16 min

Narrated by Sura Siu

Challenge: TOB Summer Camp

Genre/Theme: Science Fiction / Artificial Intelligence

Type/Source: Audiobook/Audible

What It’s About: Rather than tell you what it is about, I will tell you what happens.

SPOILER WARNING?

Klara has been hanging out as merchandise at the Artificial Friend Store, observing the sidewalk crowd and hoping to be chosen by a nice little girl. Klara is of a model that needs the sun’s rays to recharge her batteries.

Josie is a young sickly child who has had some vague something done to her to make her more exceptional and her next door neighbor boy hasn’t had this thing whatever it is. Josie begs her mom for an Artificial Friend.

Josie and Mom take Klara home.

Josie gets real sick, Klara strikes a bargain with the sun (we never get the sun’s perspective) to save Klara because Josie and her neighbor-boy-friend have the truest love and wa la! Klara manages to get a burst of sunshine directly on poor Josie at just the right time and she is saved!

Josie grows up and goes away to college, neighbor-boy goes his way, Klara spends her retirement in a utility closet.

The End.

Thoughts: Blech.

If you love Ishiguro, you’ll likely love this, too. If you don’t like Ishiguro, this won’t convince you that giving him another chance was a good decision.

Rating: But there is pie so maybe two to 2.5 slices of 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.

Proud Shoes

Thoughts by Pauli Murray, Beacon Press 1999 (orig 1956), 282 pages

The Story of an American Family, part of the Black Women Writers Series

Challenge: My own education/ What’s in a Name: Article of Clothing category

Genre/Theme: History, Feminism, Civil Rights

Type/Source: Tradeback, purchased from an Indie bookstore

What It’s About: Pauli explores her ancestors’ lives; shares their struggles and triumphs throughout the 1800s. It is fascinating and a very personal look at the Civil War from a new lens – NOT historian’s but real people. The forward compared it to Alex Haley’s Roots and suggested it as a more important work, certainly as good.

“Slavery had done such violence to the human spirit that the very memory of it was intolerable long after people had outlived it. Even in my time many were trying to grow without roots at all, plucking their sustenance from the air about them.”

Thoughts: Six years ago, I had read John Ehle’s The Free Men about the civil rights campaign in North Carolina. I wish I had read these two books together due to the same setting and only a half generation apart.

“Was it not the promise of America rather than it’s fulfillment which had lured the men and women of so many nations to her Shores? Did not the common love of liberty create a new nation and hold it together in the hour of its greatest need?”

Rating: Fives slices of pie. Apple pie, peach pie, meat pie, pie.

The Big Quarterly… Tables and stands sagged under piles of fried chicken, roasted beef, barbecued pork, smoked ham, meat pies and dumplings, pickled pigs’ feet, fried fish, sausage puddings and scrapple. Almost as many white people came to observe the gaiety and buy meals from the stands as did colored people. It was the one time of the year when slavery and hard times were forgotten, and for a day at least even slaves felt like free men. (Wilmington DE, 1850s)

 

Link to host of the What’s in a Name Challenge: Caroline Book Nook

 

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 People in the Trees

Thoughts by Hanya Yanagihara, Doubleday 2013, 512 pages

Challenge: TOB Favorites (coming this fall)

Genre/Theme: Contemporary Lit

Type/Source: eBook / Kindle-Amazon

What It’s About: Inspired by true events and real people, this story is told via edited memoirs of a Nobel Prize-winning doctor whose first ‘job’ out of Harvard Med was with an expedition to a previously undiscovered peoples living in the jungles of a tiny Micronesian island. What he discovers and how his life travels from there is one heck of an unsettling tale.

… by twelve incompetents (one juror, as I recall, was a tollbooth clerk, another a dog-washer),

These memoirs are written while he is in prison for sexually abusing one, or more, of his 43 children. He had on subsequent visits over many years, adopted all of these kids from the island community he originally encountered on that fateful trip. The one resulting in his being first to publish findings of physical longevity attributed to eating a previously unknown variety of turtle. Eventually, the island life is destroyed; the community in shambles, the turtle extinct and no fountain-of-youth elixir.

 At night I dreamed of green, great floating blobs of it, morphing gently from one shade to the next, and in the mornings I woke feeling beaten and exhausted. During the day my thoughts returned to visions of deserts, of cities, of hard surfaces: of glass and concrete.

Thoughts: The last few paragraphs will kick you in the gut. You know it is coming, but the when and what and how is gobsmacking. Yet. Not? We were given all the clues, by the monster himself. I will only say that I found the guy a monster, an ogre, an egotistical misogynistic remorseless abhorrent individual.

So, the writing. She is successful at world-building, character-development, tone, pace, all that stuff. I really did almost give up because I just knew it was bleak but my curiosity won out.

Rating: Four slices of pie. Leech Pie

Owen and I were gathering a bucket of leeches that we planned to bake into a pie and then give to Ida, the part-time cook, a sour woman we both hated. My mother was dangling her feet in the stream.

 

What’s in a Name – Category Botanical

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.