Category Archives: World Citizen

First Book 2016


First Book is hosted by the lovely and talented Sheila at BookJourney. I will be reading Radio Shangri-La: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth by Lisa Napoli. Click on the book cover to go to

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Lisa Napoli was in the grip of a crisis, dissatisfied with her life and her work as a radio journalist. When a chance encounter with a handsome stranger presented her with an opportunity to move halfway around the world, Lisa left behind cosmopolitan Los Angeles for a new adventure in the ancient Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan—said to be one of the happiest places on earth.

A big THANK YOU to Nancy the BookFool who loaned me or gave me this book way back in May of 2011. I can now soon return it to her. This book will satisfy the country category for What’s in a Name 2016, is a book “in the house” and a loaner. Three happy checks right there.



Copyright © 2007-2016. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Little Bee

Thoughts   Little Bee by Chris Cleave 2008, 1st Simon & Schuster paperback ed. Feb 2010, 271 pages

MOTIVATION for READING:   For my book club;  I borrowed from another clubber.    Discussion to be May 20.

“We must see all scars as beauty.  Okay?  This will be our secret.  Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying.   A scar means, I survived.

In a few breaths’ time I will speak some sad words to you.  But you must hear them the same way we have agreed to see scars now.  Sad words are just another beauty.  A sad story means, this story-teller is alive. The next thing you know, something fine will happen to her, something marvelous, and then she will turn around and smile.”

WHAT’s is ABOUT:     Little Bee has escaped Nigeria only to be caught and detained in an immigration facility in England for two years.   She uses that time wisely, learning how to speak the Queen’s English.   When she finds herself released without papers, she calls on the only people she knows – a couple she met on the beach back in Nigeria who are shocked at having to relive the moments of that fateful meeting on a beach two years past.

WHAT’s GOOD:   This book is well written and evokes many emotions about the plight of immigrants who do not just want a better life in a ‘nice’ country but need to escape dire situations.    This is a serious somewhat unsentimental book, shining a fictional light on true-to-life horrible despicable situations most of us (those of us with ‘nice’ lives) prefer not to get too close to.     Little Bee is endearing;  this reader wants to fight for her success.

WHAT’s NOT so GOOD:    I just didn’t get as swept up as I had hoped.    I can’t pinpoint any faults.    I did like the book but I didn’t find anything to praise highly.   I actually appreciated the author thoughts in the back of the book – it added to my understanding of the conflicts in wartorn Africa.    I was not overly charmed by the little kid.    And the mom was not a woman I would probably like in real life but I found her believably portrayed.   I did love the title character Little Bee.

FINAL THOUGHTS:      This book will be a good one to discuss because I think we Americans (OK, me) do have a very insulated look – if we bother to look at all! – at the tragedies occurring in places around the globe.    I don’t doubt that the oil war massacres happen, have happened and happen again while governments deny or bury the news.    It’s tragic and the frustration of how to do one good thing to help is overwhelming.     So…   let’s watch American Idol and wonder if Kim Karsdashian has had plastic surgery, shall we?

I know that a few other clubbers did not enjoy the book so I hope we not only look at the plot but also the writing which personally, I enjoyed.   We will likely have some ‘moral dilemma’ discussion.

RATING:   THREE SLICES of PIE.    Key Lime Pie because whatshername (see?  I don’t even remember her name – eek!)   drinks Gin & Tonics and they usually have a lime garnish.

QUALIFIES for the AFRICA slot of the Read GLOBAL Challenge.  

P.S.  I originally had wanted to listen to the audio of this book because it has been said it’s a very good one to hear, for the voices.     Unfortunately, I didn’t pay attention to the fine print when I purchased.   I ended up with a disc that was unplayable in my car’s CD system so I had to send it back and find the actual book.    Be warned!  — read the true description!    I swear, I have the worst luck with audios…

P.P.S.  I love the publishers that include how the Library of Congress catalogues a book, don’t you?   I just don’t know if I should use these as tags on a post or at the beginning of the post, include at all or just what.   Any opinions?   I think I’ll add as tags…

As Charley says in her review at Bending Bookshelf, “a solid story with potential for interesting discussion.”


Copyright © 2010. 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.

Uh Huh OK What Be? uh…

I think I will be at the Book Blogger Thingamajiggy Event in NYC on the Friday after BEA but have no concrete plans to make it happen so anyone who wants to offer support, please do.

I’m just too close NOT to and too many bloggy friends I want to meet and too much fear that I will regret if I don’t.   But don’t yet have any plans to formulate the ‘happenin’.     HELP!


I’m back.

Let’s recap:   I did not get a lot of books read.  I’m still in the middle of To the Lighthouse by Woolf and have yet to read ANY recap posts.   I have read and written a “thoughts” review of The Princess Bride…   (will post soon but want to see what Weekly Geeks gives us tomorrow), I am enjoying Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972 way more than I ever expected to (but want to do a ton of research to know my political history that it covers because it assumes a lot) and…

I have yet to check Twitter.

Book club was O.K.   But will be at my house in two weeks with a new book to discuss that Amazon promises will be on my door step SOON:   Benny and Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti.

I went to Phoenix.   It was none too wild, …     It was colder than I would have liked and I had friends to chat with so I didn’t get many books read.   I mentioned that…    I did NOT see Happy Gilmore.    I’m feeling better and those of you who know, know.   Thanks and SMILES.

Go SAINTS!!!!!

Multi Book Thoughts to Cross Off List

We Were The Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates, PLUME Penguin Grp 1996, 454 pages

I was given this by a friend whose maiden name was Mulvaney.   I had always wanted to read a JCO and could never quite pick which one to start with.   With this, the decision was made for me.         I did enjoy the author’s skillful descriptive style.    I can say that even if I suspected my emotions were being played, I loved it while in the middle of it.    However, about 3/4 of the way in, I wanted to un-invest myself of the characters but I was too far into it to quit.   I gave this 4 pie slices but in the end and now that I ‘m thinking about it, I was just glad the book was finally over.     I’m even tempted to say that JCO and Picoult have a similar feel to me – – or can evoke the same reaction from me:    not quite overwrought but skilled in emotional pull; tackling the heavy stuff but then leaving me not quite sure what to think about the experience when it is done.       As to the story?   I was extremely pissed off at the father.  and the mother, too.   and the poor girl turned out …   perfectly lovely and sweet?   too sweet.    I liked the narrator best.      The situation was just terrible, terrible.

Shooting the Boh   by Tracy Johnston, A Vintage Departures 1992, 256 pages

There is NO WAY I could ever have signed up to do what this lady did;   first humans down a river that even the natives won’t traverse?    Leeches and constant swarming of bees and FEAR of dying with no rescue plan in place?    NO.  WAY.    but she is a good writer.      I read this for Women Unbound and could also possibly count it for World Citizen since it is set in Borneo.

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury, Yearling Paperback 1999 (1stPub 1972), 145 pages

I read this for RIP IV and because my dear friend Nymeth sent it to me (and Chris sent it to her so it gets even more special!)    But.     As much as I recognize the talents of Mr. Bradbury, his style isn’t for me.   I enjoyed the clever wordplay but I’m too impatient for it.      Like too many toppings on a pizza – sure, they taste good and look pretty but but I can take them or leave them.   Sometimes you just want a simple cheese on the right crust.    Now I’m hungry.

I gave this book to the 10 yo boy next door and he told me HE LOVED IT.    If I ever pin him down to an interview, we will discuss this book.     He’s got a busy life, ya know…

The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera, Harcourt Paperback 2003 (1stPub 1988), 168 pages

I read this for the New Zealand Challenge in October but it spilled over into November so I want to count this for the Women Unbound Challenge, too.

This is about a girl who was born into a family that would have preferred a boy to carry on the traditions.     She ends up meeting a most amazing destiny and earns the love and respect of everyone.     I enjoyed this book but I loved the movie a bit more.    It’s been years since I’ve seen the flick so I’m ready to view it again.

The Mandarin by EÇa de Queiroz, 84 pages

WOW!   I loved this wonderful story (novella?) – it has drama and comedy and playful language!   and it has tragedy and loneliness and sorrow.      A moral lesson without any overhanded wham of a hammer to the head.  It is, and I quote from the back cover:

… told with Eca’s irrespressible wit and originality.

I’m still getting through the other stories; I want to savor them rather than rush thru just to get reviewed.    Thanks again to Nymeth for sending me this charmer of a book.     I’m still in awe that it was written in the 1800’s.

Happiness would arrive one day and to hasten its arrival I did everything that a good Portuguese and a constitutionalist could do:   I prayed every night to Our Lady of Sorrows and bought lottery tickets, the cheapest available.

My Father’s Paradise

Review  mfpbas My Father’s Paradise by Ariel Sabar, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill 2008, 332 pages

FIRST SENTENCE:   I am the keeper of my family’s stories.

MOTIVATION for READING:     I’ve read some terrific reviews of this (VioletCrush, Ali/Worducopia, ) and I thought it sounded like a perfect memoir for me as I work towards the Minor Level (3 books) in Eva’s World Citizen Challenge.

WHAT it’s ABOUT:   A son attempts to understand his father by exploring his family’s cultural heritage.

WHAT’s GOOD:      Sabar really brings to life the events that happened to his grandparents and his father as explores every detail along the way to his own life as a product of these cultural changes.

WHAT’s  NOT so GOOD:     ONLY for a quick second, I was startled by the conversations and feelings Sabar imagined his ancestors having.   But I just rolled with it.       The first part of the book read like a novel.   A good novel but it was still a bit odd to think it was nonfiction and how Sabar had to take liberties with the imagined story.      In my opinion, his imagined account is riveting!

FINAL THOUGHTS:    Very good.     I was thoroughly fascinated by the clash in cultures that Sabar’s father experienced in growing up Jewish in Kurdistan, his abrupt move to Israel when he was 12, growing up in that brand new challenged country and then uprooting again to pursue graduate school in the US.    I am inspired to read more about other cultures and recent history (the last 50 years of so) of our world.

RATING:  Four pie slices.

Please, please please visit these reviews linked above – they are totally to blame for me requesting this book from the library (THANK YOU!!)

a few more, you want, yes?   Though I found these reviews AFTER I  had read the book, BermudaOnion and BostonBibliophile provide ever MORE insight and links to help you decide if you, too, want to read this.

New Books in the House

Any good books new to you and recently added to the pile in your possession?     Lookie at what I’ve got!

I’m a winner-chicken-dinner and I’m over the top excited to say I won Pride & Prejudice AND ZOMBIES!!! by Seth Grahame-Smith.   Thank you to Ceclia Bedelia over at her blog of adventures and her sister, too, who crafted an adorable book mark.    It’s a good thing I begged Stephanie to let me sign up late for her Everything Austen Challenge (not really — she offered; she tells me I’m the 200th person to participate) and I also must give a shout out to my friend Joanne over at Book Zombie – anything with zombies reminds me of this awesome blogger.

I was given three books by my impressive friend KB (I’m trying to get her to start a book blog…) and although I have only read two (and yet to rate any higher than 3 pie slices – which isn’t bad but won’t make my best of list at the end of the year) the third one is pulling strong:    Lost & Found by Jacqueline Sheehan.    I’m on page 100 or so.

and then, last week, I finally made myself go to the library!    and I checked out one book for the World Citizen Challenge:   My Father’s Paradise by Ariel Sabar, and two books for last month’s latest Book Menage at Citizen Reader’s – my vote for best nonfiction blog in the BBAW’s and I’m hoping CR will be a finalist:      Book Blogger Appreciation Week is in September! The Menage featured Population: 485 by Michael Perry and The Father of All Things by Tom Bissell.    This last I’m listening to the audio, a new experience for me and so this will make an excellent future post.   It also qualifies as a World Cit book since half of it is a travelogue through Vietnam.

Today, I was back at the library for my Tuesday Trig Tutoring and decided to glance at the sales carts wondering if a book might jump out and beg me to take it home.    Oh, me of little faith.   I should have known better…    I came home with The History of Love ($2) by Nicole Krause, A Reliable Wife ($3)by Robert Goolrick (please somebody tell me this is because I’ve been reading good reviews?!), Among Schoolchildren by Tracy Kidder (I’m beginning to collect Kidder books) and paperback version of Population: 485!!!    So expect a review soon with grand announcement of a ‘do you want this?’ offering.

I took this photo on my laptop and I don’t know how to flip it so it’s not a mirror of me that you can actually read the titles…  oh well!    A bit too much light, too.

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