Paperback Thriller

Thoughts  Paperback Thriller: A Novel of Suspense by Lynn Meyer, Random House 1975, 150 pages Hardcover

FOR:  The What’s in a Name 5 Challenge: Find in a Pocket category.

I guess I wanted the book in case I got thoughtful. These transition can be tough, and people find themselves asking difficult questions. I was tired enough to be vulnerable and I didn’t want to have to face the kind of question that might arise: Can a thirty-five-year-old, divorced vegetarian feminist psychiatrist with two lovers and an Angora cat find happiness and fulfillment?  Better to read a not too demanding book, get through the flight and leave that sort of doubt to a time when the energy level is higher.

FIRST SENTENCE: What is normal?

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  A psychiatrist returning from a conference decides to pickup a paperback in the airport bookstore so that no one will bother her on her flight home. However, she reads about an office being broken into and the description is exactly like her home office; to the artwork on the wall, the unique items on her desk and her baby blue file cabinets.

She becomes a bit unglued. And starts her own investigation.

WHAT’s GOOD:  The first chapter is brilliant in the setup, the intrigue, the feeling of being extremely unsettled and violated. Our protagonist, Sarah Chayse, is feisty and independent. The characters were interesting and the dialog believable. For a book set in 1975 it is both amazing in how relevant many cultural mentions still are and also sad that we haven’t come further in terms of racial and gender equality.

WHAT’s not so GOOD: The book loses some steam after the fabulous first chapter and slows down during the chase to figure out who and why. It becomes so obvious when our girl is going to get into some serious trouble that there is never quite that big surprise moment. The worse of it, however, is when the author drops the name Friedrich Nietzsche into way too many discussions and unfortunately, I do not have a concept of his philosophy. This proved distracting and frustrating. I even went to Wikipedia hoping to get one nugget that would help me get over these speedbumps but knowing his ‘God is dead’ quote only confused me.

p. 68:  “Is there anything else that might be helpful to me?” I asked. “Not for my conclusions, but for my decision really as to whether to drop it. Anything you think I ought to know that fits, or that surprises by not fitting?”

            “He talked,” Herndon said, “a lot about Nietzsche.”

p.100:  Modesty and gentleness are worth all of Nietzsche.

FINAL THOUGHTS: However, I did enjoy it well enough and was especially keen on the Boston setting. I had purchased this book on a day a friend and I went into town to do the May Beacon Hill Garden Tour. The character traveled many of the streets I had just walked on and that was really fun for me.

RATING:  Three slices of pie. With extra whipped cream.

WORDS

rarebit – p.140 – “I went off to fix myself a rarebit.”  First attempt to look up this word, I found out it is a Welsh rabbit. HUH? She is a vegetarian! So I explored further and found it is a dish of melted and seasoned cheese on toast, sometimes with other ingredients.

Who hasn’t read a book on a plane to avoid conversation?

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Copyright © 2007-2012. 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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Monday, So Let’s Talk Mailbox

I have stuff to talk about, yay me!  I had a lovely day on Thursday when a friend had invited me into Boston to go to a Garden Tour Luncheon. We kinda skipped the actual Garden Tour but we did snap a few lovely photos of lovely flowers and the lunch was fabulous.

 Melon and mint soup! The beverage concoction is a Garden Martini of blueberry vodka and some kind of cucumber something I don’t recall – surely not a liqueur but maybe another vodka? It was quite tasty. The photo will link to the restaurant, 75 Chestnut’s website or click here.

AND, while walking through Boston, we discovered Brattle Books where I proceeded to let a few $1 books jump into my arms:

 Paperback Thriller by Lynn Meyer, published in 1975, under 200 pages

and

  The Importance of Being Oscar: The Life and Wit of Oscar Wilde by Mark Nicholls. I think of Jenny when I think of Oscar Wilde. I hope she finds that flattering?

(I also bought a $3 book published* in 1885 about the state of Kansas  which I am sending to my brother as a belated birthday present but don’t feel sorry for him because he seemed to hit the birthday bonanza from me this year; he also received a paper pop-up card that was super nifty (imo) and a BN giftcard…)

MORE! Upon the drive home out of Boston, we stopped at a Barnes & Noble which gave Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones the chance to jump on my back and insist I purchase. Darn pushy books.

I’m not done…

I also ordered The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones which came in the mail first of last week and I promptly sat down with but interrupted to read Cranford for my book club and then returned to. This has really hit the blogs hard lately – I read it because of Jeanne and have been discussing with Amused and now I see Ms Nancy the BookFool read it about the same time I did. She, however, has been able to find time to write about it.**

Plus, that same Nancy sent me a book, Molly Peacock’s The Paper Garden. Supposedly it is full of flower porn. Woo hoo! Thank you, Darlin’.

I have books to send out in the mail:  that Kansas book and I promised 1Q84 to my friend Jessica over at The Bluestocking Society.  I have a book to return to a bookclub-bud: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson, so that will be reviewed soon. Yikes! I have 4 reviews to write? In order (as my reminder) Cranford, The Univited Guests, BIGTS, and Paperback Thriller. Stay tuned! As you can see, it was a book-filled week for me.

* The copy I purchased is old and dark mossy green cover is faded and spotted, but I liked this cover shot – shown above – I found on goodreads.com. Which means this book is still in print? or recently printed which impresses me. My book has the editor’s name, Horace E. Scudder, more prominent than the author, Mr. Leverett W. Spring. I love the old names! Anyway… Of course, my bro doesn’t read my blog so the package will be a surprise. I love surprises, don’t you?

Tell me about a book that has surprised you recently.

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Copyright © 2007-2012. 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.

Saturday

Thoughts  Saturday by Ian McEwan, Anchor Books 2005, 291 pages

FOR:  Just another one for the calendar category of BethFishReads’ What’s In a Name 5 Challenge?  [I’m still searching for the fits-in-a-pocket category, just sayin’.]

BECAUSE:  I have some kind of crush on Ian McEwan. Because I like books that are set entirely within a 24 hours period. Because I heard somewhere that McEwan wrote this as his take on Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and I loved that book. But do know —  I did not like Mrs. Dalloway upon my first reading. I adored it on my second reading. It sold me on the value of re-reading. I used to never re-read books. I give a ton of credit to a few of you bloggers who love to re-read and have expressed your dismay that I never did. So… Thank you. I hope you know who you are. (ok, I’ll send you a poke/link/tweet to make sure!)

CREDIT DUE:  to FizzyJill. FizzyJill was not so enamored by this book and apparentlly not by all that is IMcE. I do not judge her nor fault her but only thank her for buying this book, reading it, posting on it, and then sending it on to me because I begged her to. She even included $5 and change* to thank me for taking it off her hands!  Crazy chick. *SMILES*

POSSIBLY WORTHY OF A REREAD?  Yes.

FIRST SENTENCE:  “Some hours before dawn Henry Perowne, a neurosurgeon, wakes to find himself already in motion, pushing back the covers from a sitting position, and then rising to his feet.”

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  Henry wakes early on a day that is officially a day off but  is full of stuff that has to be done because his daughter and father-in-law are flying into town.

We are privileged to be IN HIS HEAD with almost every thought. How much he loves his wife, reminiscing of how they met, why he chose neurology, how much he enjoys his work. We learn how conflicted he is about politics; what to think about the world and terrorism and poverty vs. wealth. He visits his mother who is far gone in terms of old age senility. We participate in a squash game and feel the competitiveness and loathing of what aging does to our bodies in term of keeping up to what we want to do, what we used to do. He thinks about his kids and reflects on his childhood. Are we smarter in ‘middle-age’? Do we settle for life as we know it, lose our ambition or ability to dream, or do we end up living lives within the constructs of the possible futures of our children? Weighed against what our parents were able to accomplish? Are our entire lives a question? Is the answer eternally elusive because the parameters keep changing.

I should mention that he has a minor crash in his Mercedes and thus meets some loathsome characters. He cooks dinner but it gets interrupted. I would have loved his fish stew and crusty bread and red wine.

Feel free to read Softdrink’s review and wonder if I’m saying anything different. Except I LOVED IT. I knew I would love it and I relish the questioning quizzing of how I would know I would love it and yet not be disappointed by over-expecting? Life is just odd. Play along.

I’m still in love with IMcE.

RATING:  Four slices of pie.

WHY NOT FIVE?  I rolled my eyes just a few times with the predictableness of the story. It’s not what happens; it’s how McEwan describes what happens.

RECOMMENDED TO:  Those who love London and recognize streets and landmarks. I’ve never been but it was heavy on the London setting. Those who love being in a character’s head. Those who love books set in a single day. Those who have a crush on Ian McEwan.

* Softdrink didn’t really send me any money. But she offered! But then realized I am truly a bit insane with my IMcE crush so paying me to take this book off of her hands was entirely unnecessary.

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Copyright © 2007-2012. 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.

Cloud Atlas; Final Thoughts

Melissa of THE AVID READER’s MUSINGS and I want to thank you for joining our little cloud party this month!

She’s posted her final summary and I have yet to read it; I wanted to get my thoughts down and out before I am imfluenced by her sure to be impressive summation. SO. Have you already been there and are now coming here to see what I have to say? or will you go there first?  or have you read Softdrink’s thoughts?  Goodness, choices choices…

[update: I’m now reading Melissa’s BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED review!  APPLAUSE!!  mine here is jumbled thoughts…]

This will be full of spoilers; I assume you’ve read the book.

Please admire Nancy’s photo of clouds of London:

Clouds of London, photo courtesy of Nancy the BookFool

OK, not to say that I was disappointed in this book, but I was let down a little in the second half. I wanted more! What more I wanted exactly, I can’t pinpoint. I don’t think I would have said that I thought Mitchell was a bit too ‘clever’ but now that Softdrink has put the words in my mind, I would have to agree with her. I do know that I tweeted something about Mitchell TEASING us with mild put downs of this all being ‘new age crap’. [Cavendish section 2]

And Trish asked about Whoah from the Sloosha section. Um, wha? huh?  Yea, this confounded me, too.

“Yay, the Prescients’d whoah strict rules ’bout barterin’ with us.”

I decided it was an adjective and started substituting AWESOME while reading. So, to translate this sentence, it would be like saying the Presients’ had awesome strict – or very strict – rules about trading with less civilized societies. Like on Star Trek. This whoah = awesome substitution worked for me. A few times it didn’t work, but most of the time, it seemed to.

I was miffed at myself that I allowed Halle Berry to implant herself in my head as I read the Meronym storyline. I was able to keep other actors out, thankfully. I do want to see the movie – do you?

I was happy that the Cavendish section worked out happy. I liked that ol’ guy. This was a humorous story line and I know I laughed often.

I was also relieved that Luisa survives. BUT. How did mean guy know to put a bomb in the safe deposit box!?  I could not withdraw my disbelief. And why did he go to the party at Luisa’s mom’s house? I missed something.

I also missed how Rufus’ boat was in the same marina with the Prophetess until we were back into the second Adam Ewing section. DOH!

I was annoyed that I saw the word ‘ordure’ again. He used this word at least THREE times. Just use manure, ShowOff. He used ‘adze’ twice, too.

One more technical issue and I’ll try to get at some meat. During most of the Sonmi sections, he spelled the -ight words as -ite but then I caught a ‘light’ and yet on the very next page ‘lite’ again. [pages 317-318]. POINTS FOR ME! ha. Editing…

I had the fortune of substitute teaching for one of my favorite High School English teachers and we studied Fahrenheit 451. Melissa  had mentioned some similar themes and these really stuck out for me; especially the government needed a scapegoat; to punish ‘the enemy’ in order to create social cohesion. Some elements of the future dystopian society also reminded me of Margaret Atwood. Anyway, I think Sonmi knew what she was doing but I was a bit in shock about how that ended! Didn’t see that coming.

I liked the Sloosha section once I got used to the language; I really am in awe of Mitchell’s ability to pull off the time/place/languages throughout.

I was sad for Robert Frobisher and quite anxious for Adam to surive, too. But what did it all mean?

I don’t know. That humans are bad? That greed will destroy us all? That as individuals we all have worth but we must fight corruption at every turn? That groups will always splinter into us vs. them and another reminder that power corrupts and absolute powers corrupt absolutely?

I’m giving this 4 out 5 slices of pie. I really did enjoy and appreciate the reading of this with others.

I now share some quotes:

“Funny, thinks Milton. Power, time, gravity, love. The forces that really kick ass are all invisible.”

“Travel far enough, you meet yourself.” -p.320

“So, I asked ‘gain, is it better to savage’n to be Civ’lized?
List’n, savages an’ Civ’lizeds ain’t divvied by tribes or b’liefs or mountain ranges, nay ev’ry human is both, yay. Old Uns’d got the Smart o’ gods but the savagery o’jackals an’ that’s what tripped the Fall. Some savages what I knowed got a beautsome Civ’lized heart beatin’ in their ribs. Maybe some Kona. Not ’nuff to say so their hole tribe, but who knows one day. One day.
“One day” was only a flea o’hope for us.
Yay, I mem’ry Meronym sayin’, but fleas ain’t easy to rid.  -p.303

“Once any tyranny becomes accepted as ordinary, its victory is assured.”  -p.363

*

and VOCAB!

p.233 – samizdat – the clandestine copying and distribution of literature banned by the state, esp. formerly in the communist countries of eastern Europe.

p.202 & 330 – conurb – short for conurbation – an extended urban area, typically consisting of several towns merging with the suburbs of one or more cities.

p.367 – zazen – Zen meditation, usually performed in the lotus position.

p.367 – petrine – 1 Christian Theology of or relating to St. Peter or his writings or teachings.• of or relating to the authority of the pope over the Church, in his role as the successor of St. Peter.2 of or relating to Peter I of Russia.

p.368 – wazzock – a stupid or annoying person.

LINK to Half-Way Post Discussion
LINK to Cloud Atlas Vocab Post

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Copyright © 2007-2012. 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.

Angels and Insects; The Conjugial Angel

Thoughts  Angels and Insects TWO NOVELLAS by A.S. Byatt, Vintage 1994, 337 pages

For Challenge:  What’s in a Name 5 – Creepy Crawly Category

“The Conjugial Angel” – novella the second

[Please click the previous post “Morpho Eugenia” for novella the first.]

The second novella will satisfy all of you who like ghost stories. And poetry. Or poetry. Set in Victorian-era London, we jump between various characters who have been brought together by sharing seances. Oh, and this could also fit my definition of Historical Fiction because it fictionalizes real people: Alfred Tennyson and his sister Emily.

Remember this for R.I.P!

We first meet Mrs. Papagay, my favorite character by the way, who isn’t quite sure she is a widow because her husband may or may not have been lost at sea. Then we meet a young lady who seems most susceptible to communications with the dead. Now that I type this and rethink the story, we never do get in the heads of the men…  Hmmmm. Anyway, we meet Tennyson’s sister (and must I be embarrassed and appalled that I have to describe her as such? Because Byatt doesn’t. It gets teased out in the story and I had to do my own Wiki studying but truly, she is one interesting (and dare I say, creepy) character in her own right. She just happens to be the sister of a famous poet.) So, we meet this sister, Emily Jesse, who was engaged to the best friend of her brother’s but he died before they got married. The brother, famous poet Alfred Tennyson, wrote a huge poem called In Memoriam to the best friend / dead fiance of sister and it is hinted in vague subtle ways that perhaps Alfred and his BFF could possibly have been MORE than friends (ifyouknowwhatImean). Emily wants to contact this long lost love.

It’s a ghost story! with SEANCES!! And communications with the DEAD!!! And quite a few little humorous asides and situations, I thought. It ends well, too. I liked how it ended.

Fabulous reviews of Angels and Insects:  Eva at A Striped Armchair and JLS Hall at A Little Reading.

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Copyright © 2007-2012. 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.

Angels and Insects; Morpho Eugenia

Thoughts  Angels and Insects TWO NOVELLAS by A.S. Byatt, Vintage 1994, 337 pages

For Challenge:  What’s in a Name 5 – Creepy Crawly Category

“Morpho Eugenia” – novella the first

This SO satisfies the Creepy Crawly category of the What’s in a Name Challenge 5 that I am shocked that I am first to review it for that. In fact, given how smart all of you (you, all of you, my bright smart wonderful readers of this blog), I’m shocked I say, that not more of you have read this. I count only two reviews of this collection and we need it to be more. I just know many of you would LOVE these two stories even if creepy. Byatt is the bomb. I know why Eva has her in high regard.

Um, now is when I admit that I would have liked this collection more if I was smarter. So do forgive my inability to convey how great these are and forgive my 4 slice rating.

What’s this novella about? (I’ll talk about the other one in a later post.)

Consider those Victorian Brits. This one poor guy, William, wants to study bugs. He shipwrecks on return from a bug-study in South America but is rescued YAY!  But he doesn’t have his specimens BOO! so he is destitute. A wealthy dude who has been collecting dead bugs and other crazy artifacts from around the globe, hires him to classify his collection of crap and also be sounding board to bounce off theories of how to reconcile God and Darwin. Our poor bug boy, William, falls in love with daughter of patron. (Of course.) Her name is Eugenia. They marry, they have kids that look like Eugenia. Poor, poor William. William questions why he isn’t happy. He does get to set up ant colonies so the kiddies can learn about bugs but it’s not the same as exploring the tropics. Will I give it away if he falls into ‘friendship’ with Miss Matty, poor relation or something (relationship unclear) to Eugenia?  No, that doesn’t give it away AT ALL.  ha!

“For things are not what they seem, as you must always remember.”

Oh, you just have to read it.

Or?  You can check out the MOVIE!  

They made a flick of this!! I’m delighted and have sent my friend Holly in search of said DVD so we can watch it together. She’s the one who put this book into my hands – after I put The Children’s Book in HER hands (Another Byatt; I have yet to read that one but I own it.)

Do note that the title of the movie covers only the first novella. I call that misleading but whatever. Second novella “Thoughts” coming soon.

Fabulous reviews of Angels and Insects:  Eva at A Striped Armchair and JLS Hall at A Little Reading.

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Copyright © 2007-2012. 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.

Cloud Atlas First Discussion

Thoughts on pages 1-236 of Cloud Atlas  by David Mitchell, Random House Tradeback 2004

First, I understand that WordPress has changed their sign-in-to-comment process. I don’t really KNOW what you see if you are not a WordPress-Club-Member but do know that if Anonymous is available and you want to comment who you are instead, go for it. I hope no one has problems with the ability to leave a comment…

For those of you who enjoy the Basketball March Madness and yet ALSO LOVE BOOKS! You can play Out of Print Clothing’s BOOK MADNESS, although two rounds have been played already as I write this and likely all first rounds done by time this posts. Still, Cloud Atlas made the field!  [Do check on how your favorite book(s) are doing. I was happy so many books I’ve actually read were playing.]

Be warned; I am just jumping in and letting my fingers type whatever pops into my head as I think about this book so far. Be prepared for a bumpy ride. I will come back later and link up to other readalonger’s posts or please add in comment. Thanks.

So, has everyone figured out that this book is a sandwich of stories that are connected successively? HOW DID HE (is doing?) THIS! When I first encountered the part I shall call the “ABRUPT ENDING” of the Adam Ewing section, I thought I had found a printing error. But I was dee-lighted by the wit and humor of our dear Robert Frobisher. WOW – although, I was caught off guard for him being set in the era between the world wars – he sounded so… OscarWilde-ish?

Didn’t you wonder about his friend? The one who was receiving these incredible letters? How generous he was to send funds and help with the book sales – which on a morality bent, what a scum for selling off books that didn’t belong to him. But I still found Robert Frobisher fascinating. He was/is my favorite character so far. Just saying out loud “Robert Frobisher” is fun. “Rufus Sixsmith” is fun to say, too.

And then we meet Rufus!  It is appropriate that I refer to these interlacing parts ‘sections’, yes?  First is the Adam Ewing section, then the Frobisher Zedelghem section, then Luisa Rey/Rufus Sixsmith section. (What a jarring violent thriller of a section that was.)

I cried when we met Javi on page 98. I have a feeling we will see Javi again even if that section and its later reference in the old guy’s incarceration section (Timothy Cavendish’s ghastly ordeal) suggests things did not end well for Ms. Rey. But I am so curious about the HALF-LIFE in the title and what the radioactivity angle will be.

Let’s discuss how each section ends. Of course the ABRUPT ENDING of the Adam Ewing section was noted by the reader AND Robert Frobisher in his section. [Aside – I did NOT pick up on the sinister dear doctor hooking our Adam on drugs – forehead slap! Thank you Robert Frobisher for that analysis.] But the Robert Frobisher section – perhaps because it was a letter and he signed off? I thought it a gentle break before starting the Luisa Ray section. Maybe it was also the happiness of meeting Rufus Sixsmith so it felt only a disruption in time and not necessarily and odd jump into Who-Knows-What. Which is what happened for me when we meet Timothy Cavendish. Of course Luisa’s car getting bumped off a cliff is appropriately called a cliff-hanger, yes?

And then we meet Sonmi-451. It was at this point that I actually stopped and read some more synopsis of Cloud Atlas per reviews,miscellaneous online reading guides and my own introduction post (which I skimmed, I really didn’t want to know ANYTHING going into this.) Mr. Mitchell goes all SciFi and dystopian on us, huh?!

I had to look up ORISON in the dictionary. New word for me. (means PRAYER, if you didn’t see my vocab post –> here <–.)

I did not care for Ms Sonmi-45; she lacked personality but I was amazed out the author’s ability to portray her like that. Or do you disagree? Does Sonmi have a personality; does she grow to have a personality? I actually wondered at times if she was a she.

WHAT ABOUT that birthmark?  I swear it was in mentioned in the Adam Ewing section but I still haven’t found it. I tweeted to the #CloudAltas readalongers to watch and note pages. (which I can’t find now where I wrote these page numbers down. Get back to you? Is it even important?!)

p.85 “She plays with that birthmark in the hollow of my shoulder, the one you said resembles a comet – can’t abide the woman dabbling with my skin. – Zedelghem section.

ANYWAYS!  I read somewhere that Mitchell even stated in an interview that the birthmark suggests that all these characters are reincarnations of the same soul!!!! or something like that. From my memory. (ever play ‘telephone’?) SO let me go see if I can find it.

Mitchell has said of the book: “All of the [leading] characters are reincarnations of the same soul … identified by a birthmark. … The “cloud” refers to the ever-changing manifestations of the “atlas”, which is the fixed human nature. … The book’s theme is predacity … individuals prey on individuals, groups on groups, nations on nations.”[2] BBC Radio 4. 2007-06. Retrieved 2008-04-19.

I had to look up PREDACITY, too. Even if it is kinda easy to guess the meaning, but I think it is NEW to me:
HHHpre·da·cious also pre·da·ceous (pr-dshs) adj.
HHHHHH1. Living by seizing or taking prey; predatory.
HHHHHH2. Given to victimizing, plundering, or destroying for one’s own gain

Alright Friends and Readalongers!  Discuss:

Are you enjoying it so far?

Can’t wait to begin the second ‘half’?

Fearful of reading more Adam Ewing?!

Picked up on any other themes or symbols?

The Sonmi section has some amazing wordplay, would you agree?

Are we having fun yet?

Was I really the only one to notice the birthmark thread in the stories before I read that quote above?

What else do you want to discuss that I should ask?

I must admit, I do love the twittering and encourage anyone to see my list and search hashtag #CloudAtlas, but do realize that we are not the only ones discussing the book so far. And let me know if you want to be on the list – I may not have realized you tweet? Sorry to miss anyone.

Oh!  I’ll end with a share of favorite sentences encountered so far:

p.94 “Forgive me for flaunting my experience, but you have no conception of what a misspent life constitutes.”

p.168 “I elbowed my way into the grubby cafe, bought a pie that tasted of shoe polish and a pot of tea with cork crumbs floating in it, and eavesdropped on a pair of Shetland pony breeders.  Despondency makes one hanker after lives one never led.” 

p.60 “He whispers the verses as I recite, as if his voice is leaning on mine.” 

p.159 “I want you to evolve problem-solving intelligence and sell me a ticket to Hull!” 

p.64 “A half-read book is a half-finished love affair.”

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Copyright © 2007-2012. 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.

Cloud Atlas Readalong Announcement

Melissa of Avid Reader and I are hosting a Readalong of CLOUD ATLAS by David Mitchell. Join us?
Just click her name and you will be directed to the Mr.Linky signup.
We are ORGANIZED!! The first check in (pages 1-236) will be on March 17th HERE at Care’s Online Book Club and the second/final check in will be on March 31st over at Avid Reader.
You know you wanna. The book is on the list of 1001 books you must read before you die! And it also qualifies for the What’s in a Name 5 Challenge for the “something you’d see in the sky” category. It was nominated for the Man Booker in 2004 and the Arthur C. Clarke Award and WON the National Book Critics Circle Award (Fiction). I realize it has over 500 pages but only just barely so it’s on the shorter side of the chunkster scale and a lot of people seem to have enjoyed it.

Newsweek called it “… a wild, wonderful ride.

Here’s what the goodreads.com page for Cloud Atlas has to say:
From David Mitchell, the Booker Prize nominee, award-winning writer and one of the featured authors in Granta’s “Best of Young British Novelists 2003” issue, comes his highly anticipated third novel, a work of mind-bending imagination and scope. ✫ A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified “dinery server” on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation — the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other’s echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small. ✫ In his captivating third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity’ s dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.
YIPPEE!! Should be fun.
Tell everyone and post with our cool button:

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Copyright © 2007-2012. 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.

Model Home

Thoughts    Model Home: a novel by Eric Puchner, Scribner 2010, 360 pages

For the What’s in a Name 5 Challenge (house category) and February’s selection for my book club “THE BOOKIES” – discussion 2/22

FIRST SENTENCE:  “Two days after his car – an ’85 Chrysler LeBaron with leather seats and all-power accessories – vanished from the driveway, Warren Ziller crept past the expensive homes of his neighbors, trying to match his dog’s limp.”

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  Ol’ Warren, our protagonist, chased the dream of making big cash in the sunny land of California, moved his family and staked his claim & fortune in a property development project that ended up next to a toxic waste dump. Losing it all, but not quite his family; lots of shit happens when it all falls apart. And still, the family seems to, at least, still be talking to each other and attempting to move on.

Despite my innumerable (ok, only three) statements that this is ‘quite depressing’, I liked it more than I thought I would while I was being depressed by it all. Now that I’ve finished, now I can remind myself that “this is only.a.book.” AND, a book set in the long ago Eighties! That crap is over. Of course, we could say we now have the same only more current crap but don’t get me started…

I do know that I have no interest in moving to the sprawl of California. (the one described in this book.)

Which leads me to what is GOOD about Model Home.  It feels so authentic. The characters were flawed but not overdone. The situations sad but presented with a tiny thread of hope to pull on. Pull on that thread and would it all unravel more?!  or would it fall apart into solution and progress and growth and resolution?  yea, right.  It was life, very believable UNFAIR crappy life.

I liked poor Warren. I do think that if we had only a few more pages we would have read about his heart attack but thankfully, Puchner knew to stop when he did.  I liked his wife Camille and understood her conflict, her dilemma, her attentions and neglect. I really rooted for Lyle (real name Delilah) though I was not at all like her in her need to ‘experience’ – she was much more brave than I. Dustin? I disliked Dustin most of all, but even he, too, comes around to push my buttons and make me cry the hardest in his saga of pain and possible redemption. And nutty weird strange Jonas – can ya blame him?!

My favorite character is Mr. Leonard. He’s the dog. Even that storyline could have melted into melodrama, but for me was spot on.

I think Mr. Puchner did an admirable job in this debut novel. When people mention it is funny (DARK-FUNNY), I probably would disagree. But then, I did laugh at times.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  If I would put this into a category, it would be “you’ll probably not exactly like it while you’re reading it, but. It is well written. It’s possible that it will be one you remember much longer than that last book you loved but can’t recall the title.”

RATING:  Three stars for “I liked it.” If I could give it three and a half, I would. Three slices of Sour Cream Raisin Pie. Pick out the raisins…

Other REVIEWS:  Check out Ti’s fabulous review here, Sandy was ‘swept away by this family’s story’, Lori at she treads softly said, “Puchner is certainly a talented writer…”

VOCABULARY:
p.23 – SOTTO VOCE – in a soft voice
p.310 – COROLLA – (Nope, not just a Toyota!) – the petals of a flower – “A mansion, flowering into a corolla of rooms…”

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2007-2012. 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.

Saturday Stuff 02.04.12

My husband is obsessed with soup. Every Super Bowl, he makes soup to represent the the teams (or cities) of the Super Bowl to have our own SOUPer Bowl.  This year it is a no brainer; at least for our Patriots:  New England Clam Chowder. But what to do for the NY Giants?!

He’s got cookbooks spread out all over the kitchen. He has print outs of recipes he’s found on the internet. He’s considered Manhattan Clam Chowder (I say, too many clams!) or Matzo Ball (my vote because I’ve never had it) or White Corn with Pork (can’t remember why that qualifies) or a Red Bean White Bean with Blue Corn Chips (colorful). We have to decide VERY SOON because we only have today to go to the grocery store to get all this done.

In the meantime, I have wonderful news to share and some photos as well!  I completed Book Two of 1Q84! Yippee!! Which means that I can take a break. I’m treating 1Q84 like a trilogy and pretending I have to wait for the third installment to be released. I do have to wait until my readalongers catch up anyway. Expect a Book Two post sometime next week.

I have already jumped a few pages into Model Home by Eric Puchner. A book club selection; discussion will be February 22.

I get to go on a trip this month!  Woot. I do enjoy travel. Not to anywhere particularly BEACHY or SUNSHINY-WARM but that’s OK. Hopefully, some culinary adventures await.

Regarding “February is Letter Month“, all is going well. But then, I’m planning on doing this all year long and I’m still excited about it AND I have been rather organized. I have a ton of envelopes pre-addressed which makes it go VERY FAST. Grab and write and mail. Done. Plus, I’m trying to send February birthday cards and Valentine’s cards so ALL GOOD. Here’s is a photo essay of where I do my letter-writing magic:

The SPOT. I bought this desk for $15. Great find, huh?
Every shelf has a purpose...
My letter writing CAMPAIGN box
Cards for any occasion
The Birthday Box
The Postcard Box
The Miscellaneous Envelope Drawer (poor things)

I also make my own envelopes out of cool paper, sometimes.

The 'Just Paper' Drawer

Finally, here’s a pic of the pups. I have since draped a quilt over the entire sofa so they won’t get dirt and dog hair all over it. The one in the foreground on the blue blanket is Esther. Oscar is probably looking at the fire (as he thinks, “Crap, Mom’s got the camera out again.”)

Gots to go work on my Super Bowl dessert – nope, not pie. I’m making a Patriot Swoosh Fruit Pizza!  Sure, I’ll take some pics. 😉

GO PATS!  GO GRONK!  GO WELKER!  GO BRADY!!   

Happy Weekend Everyone!

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2007-2012. 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.