My Failed March Magics Post

I can’t finish this book. I’m so sad. OK, better truer words:  I won’t read this? I am “choosing to not continue” to read this. I just want to fall into a story and get swept away and this one is making me think too much about whether or not I should keep reading. I find myself carrying the book around and then never opening or maybe reading 2 pages slowly and not paying attention. OBVIOUSLY this book is not for me.

(I still might gift it to my niece. I hope she likes it. I trust my good reading friends who adore DWJ will find this to be a successful resolution to this problem.)

Fire and Hemlock fahbydwj  FIREBIRD / Penguin Group 2012 (orig 1985), 438 pages

DNF’d – could not abide the bad spelling even if it was supposed to be like that. Ugh! I can’t translate bad spelling into what the words are supposed to be and then SO DISTRACTED and bothered. Also, couldn’t figure out the two memory thing. DWJ is just not for me. I have not the DWJ-appreciation gene; NOT that I don’t admire and respect her talent and success. I will let others enjoy her work.

Attempted to read for #MarchMagics because so many lovely readers I admire love DWJ.

Will be gifting to my Middle-School-aged niece.

Also, bad parenting. UGH again. (in the book, not referring to my niece!)

pierating

 UPDATE
So. I am substitute teaching mathematics to HS freshman in two classes and to HS seniors in another class. Plus I have a “home room” of 3o minutes with about 20 kids. Two weeks down, one week to survive til one week of totally glorious spring break and then 3-4 weeks after and then the teacher I am subbing for comes back. It’s fun, it’s exhausting, it’s overwhelming. I’m making mistakes, I’m beating myself up, I’m falling in love with the lil cherubs, I’m learning slang and other stuff, the staff is amazingly professional and inspiring, and I couldn’t have walked into anything better right now. I am trying to counter the “I’m so exhausted” thoughts with more energetic ones; but as they say, it takes 21 days to make a habit. I’m working on it!

I haven’t finished a book in what feels like forever and I am totally bonkers for the Tournament of Books. BONKERS, PEOPLE!!! I just started an audio of The Sympathizer and I think it will be a good one. I’ve also embarked on a readalong  with Book Chatter Ti of The New World to my surprise (what am I thinking trying to add something new now to my plate?) – but it is super-dooper intriguing because it is a phone app and I don’t know what to expect, really, but it’s a terrific book for #Weirdathon.

What else? I’m sorry I’m not visiting y’all’s blogs or responding to comments but thank you. And a big thank you to all those who have written me personal hand-written (and typed!) letters and postcards this past week! I got quite a bit of nice mail in that box at the end of the driveway and I love it. I’m so blessed.

Have a dynamite wonderful book-filled week!

pierating

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.
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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Thoughts ftmufbyekAtheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster) 2013 orig.1967, 172 pages

For the latest Classics Club Spin. I’m also counting this for the Kids Classic category of the Classics Challenge.

Loved it!

Claudia is a 6th grader who wants to run away so her family will miss her and thus appreciate her. She gets caught up in the planning – she is a very good planner. Smart, too. She ends up taking her little brother Jamie with her, and not just because he has plenty of cash to fund the adventure (though the money does prove helpful) but because he is just a good kid.

The adventure takes a turn when Claudia falls in love with the statue Angel which may or may not be a work of Michelangelo. She cannot return home until she KNOWS!

Fun book. Very quick to read. Four slices of pie. fourpie

“Jamie bought a cheese sandwich and coffee. After eating these he still felt hungry and told Claudia she could have twenty-five cents more for pie if she wished. Claudia, who had eaten cereal and drunk pineapple juice, scolded him about the need to eat properly. Breakfast food for breakfast, and lunch food for lunch.” [Phooey on that – I’m with Jamie. Pie for breakfast is CERTAINLY acceptable and appropriate.]

Another favorite quote from page 151:

“Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place, but there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around.”

Winner of the Newbery Medal.

TELL ME IF YOU’VE SEEN THE MOVIE!

Possible Spoiler; I have a question… I totally failed to find the link between the attorney and the kids – he was the kids’ grandfather!? I was a bit gobsmacked at the end with this minor plot point revelation. But I didn’t let it diminish my enjoyment.

pieratingsml

 

Copyright © 2007-2015. 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.

Final Thoughts — Flowers for Algernon #MayFFA

Thoughts ffabydk Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, Bantam Books 1968 (orig 1959), 216

algernon

So much for trying not to be SPOILED and thus it was ruined anyway. This would be the BEST book to have been warned thoroughly about what it IS about. (Maybe? Jenny could/should have sent me an all-caps email that said PLEASE YOU MUST READ THE ENDING FIRST! YOU WILL THANK ME.) This is NOT one to be in the dark for. Now, you want a totally-blind know-nothing-read then go try Life After Life by Kate Atkinson or We Were Liars by E.Lockhart. These two should definitely be books to go in COLD.

But NOT Flowers!

This is a cautionary tale of how an incorrect misleading spoiler (or just an untruth!) was misunderstood and how my over-imagination caused much confusion.

It’s just too hard to have classics be totally spoiler-free and over-hyped. I shouldn’t try. It also did not help that I had this confused with Harrison’s Flowers because I seriously SERIOUSLY had thought for many years that it was a war torn love story. And when that bubble burst, I somehow got the impression this TRULY had space aliens!  I thought I accidentally saw a spoiler that the mouse was an intelligent space alien!!! Where I got this, I can no longer ascertain. Apparently, I was hoping for Ralph of The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

So, yea. DISAPPOINTED.

I’m thinking I need to write some fanfic for this book involving mice-driven spaceships and romances ripped apart by the savageness of war.

ncspaceshiphouse  Outer Space or Outer Banks NC House… Supposedly the 2nd most photographed building in North Carolina)

According to Wiki, Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginative content such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes and extraterrestrial life.  Come on, Care, you are SMARTER than to assume all SciFi is aliens and outer space. IKR!?  Well, this did not feel like science fiction. Perhaps because it was based in the past? I’m so out of my league when discussing the SF genre, right? Just because I’ve read Neuromancer and Snow Crash and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I *think* have a grasp on this slippery genre?! Go ahead, banish me from the club. I deserve it. I wish I hadn’t known that it won the Hugo award nor the Nebula Award. Pretty cool that it won, but I wish I didn’t know it.

pieratingsml

OK, then. What is this about? It’s about how a science/medical team attempted to ‘fix’ a low IQ in order to make a human being smarter but they all failed to grasp the consequences on an emotional level. Sometimes, I thought this was expressed well and was quite nuanced in the telling. Other times, I was annoyed at Charlie and often thought he was rude and disrespectful, to women especially; but I have to realize that he learned too much, too fast and the whole point was that he didn’t have the gradual maturing to navigate and understand relationships. Life is complicated… yes, it’s extremely complicated. The story IS sad.

Please read Bellezza’s review, and/or Athira’s Halfway Post.

Two or three slices of pie depending on how I feel when you ask me. I don’t recall any pie mentions.

BIG THANK YOU to ATHIRA and TRISH for reading & tweeting along with me!

freprosys

Sickness Quotient: 76% — Your “Sickness Quotient” of 76% indicates therapy may be useful.
Detailed Diagnosis

  • Interpersonal Insights: Your sense of self-entitlement means you’re probably the kind of person that pulled the wings off of butterflies when you were little. You think everyone is out to get you, and you’re absolutely right. It’s because you’re an awful person without any redeeming qualities.
  • Job Performance & Attitude: Your work is of so little value they should just put a shredder in place of your Out basket You frequently mention terms like “core competencies” and “paradigm shifts” while at work. Stop acting like such a tool.
  • Personality Insight: Your personal motto is “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” You must not have been saying this for very long.

ouch.

Copyright © 2007-2015. 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.

Books in the House

I thought I posted this! Oooops. I’m going through my post drafts.

photo-85

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – FINALLY. And links well to my Bryson A Walk in the Woods (doh – hiking.)

James and the Giant Peach – gift from a friend, read and probably won’t review

Out of My Mind by Sharon M Draper – YA, loaned by a friend

Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Winner The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Thanks Fizzy! I’m a bit intimidated, actually.

Home by Marilynn Robinson, because I was so impressed with Gilead. Purchased at an Independent Book Store Bargain Shelf “Previously Read”.

East of Eden – Readalong!!!

The Secret Life of Violet Grant – selected solely on loving the name/color Violet.

pieratingsml

More random stuff about books and reading:

I have pushed on with my audiobook of The Count of Monte Cristo and despite the. halting. odd intonations. of. the narrATOR! I am quite swept up in the story and even dreamed about Royalist vs Bonapartist ideology. Yikes, right?

“Oh the heartless scoundrels!  … Is the world filled with tigers and crocodiles?!”

I downloaded the audiobook for East of Eden. Ready to go!

A long time ago which I failed to note with my not quite established habit to secure a post-it note in the front cover of books loaned to me, MBR gave me Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. I have dipped into it often but it never ‘took’. Finally, I left it at the treadmill and have been regularly reading as I walk the Weight Loss 2 setting (30 minutes, ~1.72 miles) and now I’m on a push to finish the damn thing. I’m on to the Massachusetts chapter, about 25% remains. Though I have heard it is SO FUNNY, I’m actually finding it quite sad. The Park Service has limited funds or misuses it, the aphids are eating the hemlocks, unsolved brutal murders…  I have no ambitions to hike the AT but I am inspired to visit Mt. Greylock in Mass.

Side note: yesterday, I read about his visit to Harper’s Ferry and, of course, the name John Brown was mentioned. That is more motivation or a clue to get McBride’s The Good Lord Bird. (If any of my family is reading this, think Christmas present.)

School started two days ago. I will be alternating between feeling successful that I finished a project on time and stressing about doing such  — over the next four weeks. Right now I’m on the happy side of that pendulum. I have nothing due for two days and it is only commenting/responding. I suppose I should read what will come after that…

I got me a new laptop! A Microsoft Lenovo ThinkPad just so I can practice on this style – nothing more embarrassing than to sit at somebody’s computer and not know how to work that crazy mouse. I need to be fluent in all kinds computers for my job. I’m excited to play with it. I will create a nutty picture doing my homework surrounded by a Macbook, a ThinkPad, two iPads and an iPhone just to search the internet. I’m SO prepared. Bring it on.

Also yesterday (yesterday was a kick ass day overall – did lots of good things), I read on Iris’ blog that she has exceeded the 100 book count on the list of 1001 Books to Read Before You Die and it occurred to me that I didn’t know MY count. According to my shelf in goodreads, I’m at 50. But that might not be all on the READ shelf, so I am astonished at 100+. Way to go!

OK, this was supposed to be a short update post. Gotta run.

loveCare

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Thoughts tmjofetbykd The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, Candlewick Press 2006, 200 pages

I read this because a friend in my Instructional Design course was going to write a technology integrated reading comprehension lesson unit based on this story — unfortunately, she had to scrap the idea and eventually worked on a math assignment, instead. But the point is, I was hooked by her description of the tale. I decided my Illinois N&N would like it as an Easter present so I bought this tkdcc collection for them. First, I had to read the book about Edward the Rabbit and his journey. I didn’t end up reading the other three stories – maybe another time.

This is lovely. DiCamillo can write. She can really warm you up to a character, take you along on the adventures and set you up to feel ALL THE FEELINGS, as somebody here in book-bloggerland has so eloquently stated. I cried. In a good way; the way a good book makes one have a good cry. It’s possible that the stress of schoolwork contributed to that good cry so let’s hope it was cathartic.

I loved this book and rate it 5 slices of pie. But maybe not rabbit pie.

 

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Copyright © 2007-2014. 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.

A Mango-Shaped Space

Thoughts  amssbywm A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Moss, LittleBrown&Company 2003, 218 pages

A BOOKIES Book Club Book.

Well. I really did love this book as much as I realized that I was not quite the target audience for it. It is written and appropriate (I assume?) for a middle school aged reader.

A young girl, a middle-child, is diagnosed with SYNESTHESIA after managing to hide it from her family and teachers for many years. Once realizing that she is not alone with this condition, she embraces it and feels special rather than ‘odd’. However, she tends to allow this new found discovery of her ‘specialness’ to take over her attentions to the detriment of her best friend, her family and her beloved cat, Mango.

It is a lovely story of self-discovery and growth. I thought the story was well-developed; the plot proceeded on cue – a problem, a discovery, conflict and resolution. Likable characters and a balanced emotional touch.

Three slices of pie. I’ve actually made a mango pie once. It was very similar to a peach pie in flavor and consistency.

Today is book club but a few members are calling in sick, the weather is frightfully windy but thankfully not snowstormy and so venue has been moved closer to home and lower in key. Should be a nice affair rather than our raucous and rowdy tradition. Too bad but better fitting my mood.

Happy Low-Key-Days-of-Thoughtful-Moments-Between-Christmas-and-New-Years-When-All-I-Want-To-Do-Is-Listen-to-Music-Count-Downs, Write-Goals-&-Affirmations, and Summarize-My-Year-of-Book-Reading!

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Tuesday Topical █ November 8, 2011

Another Tuesday, another Tuesday Topical.

First, the most exciting news!  I received the name and address of the person I will be sending a Persephone to in the Holiday Exchange!  SQUEEEE!!!   Now, to choose the title.  Sigh – this is where it gets difficult…  Time to spy on the blogger and see what books s/he likes.

I will be sending clues.  I hope others send clues so that the SantEE doesn’t realize that I am the only one sending clues cuz that would give it all away.

Care

Second, I have a book to tell you about that I have NOT read (yet) but hope to give as gifts:

 Lobster Lady by Vivan Volovar, Flat Hammock Press 2007 (I usually try to have a link to goodreads from the bookcover but goodreads isn’t cooperating.  I will fix once the site is up again.)

yes, a KIDs BOOK.

I didn’t buy it when I saw it, but I wish I had.  They only had one so I thought to myself, I’ll just order online and get a copies for ALL the N&Ns!  So this post is my reminder to do so.

I might have to get one for myself, too.

Care

Third, Fourth, Fifth, etc…    I am so annoyed at goodreads.com today – every search I make results in an ERROR  BAD # msg, GRRRrrrrr.  I can get very distracted with Pinterest.  I have a book review of The Killer Angels to post soon. I’m currently reading A Visit from the Goon Squad and have to read The Paris Wife before Nov 17’s BookClub meeting. That’s all, have a beautiful Tuesday and rest of the week.

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2007-2011. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Secret Garden

“Perhaps, the beginning is just to say nice things are going to happen until you make them happen.”

Thoughts    The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, first published 1911, under 300 pages.

   

I cannot remember what the cover of the book I read looked like!   I usually select the appropriate book in goodreads.com when I do finally read something that has been on my to-be-read list, but in this case, I don’t think I did.   I have since sent this book to my 9 year old niece so can no longer refer to the copy, which is also why the publisher info/page count is not included above.

But I loved this story!     (Also explains why I sent it to my niece.)

Here’s what goodreads.com provides for the blurb:

Mistress Mary is quite contrary until she helps her garden grow. Along the way, she manages to cure her sickly cousin Colin, who is every bit as imperious as she. These two are sullen little peas in a pod, closed up in a gloomy old manor on the Yorkshire moors of England, until a locked-up garden captures their imaginations and puts the blush of a wild rose in their cheeks; “It was the sweetest, most mysterious-looking place any one could imagine. The high walls which shut it in were covered with the leafless stems of roses which were so thick, that they matted together…. ‘No wonder it is still,’ Mary whispered. ‘I am the first person who has spoken here for ten years.'” As new life sprouts from the earth, Mary and Colin’s sour natures begin to sweeten. For anyone who has ever felt afraid to live and love, The Secret Garden‘s portrayal of reawakening spirits will thrill and rejuvenate. Frances Hodgson Burnett creates characters so strong and distinct, young readers continue to identify with them even 85 years after they were conceived. (Ages 9 to 12)

Such a delightful and magical novel!    The characters AND the gardens came to life in vivid extraordinary enjoyable ways.    I adored Miss Mary as a little tyrant and loved reading about her transformation into self-awareness.   I now understand how this became a classic.

FIVE SLICES OF PIE         X     

WORDS
p.55 – PALANQUIN – |ˌpalənˈkēn|
noun(in India and the East) – a covered litter for one passenger, consisting of a large box carried on two horizontal poles by four or six bearers.

p.201 – GRAIDELY – graidely means “good” in Yorkshire dialect

p. 265 – VERDURE –  |ˈvərjər|  (Which tells me that I have pronounced this incorrectly;  using a harder ‘d’ sound)
noun – lush green vegetation.• the fresh green color of such vegetation.• poetic/literary a condition of freshness.   (This is not the first time I have looked up the definition of this word;  sometimes I know a word and just like to test my knowledge against its use but since all I have noted is page and word, I can’t recall why exactly.)

This was a terrific book to read in Spring.   As the robin seemed to be saying to Mary, “Let us […] chirp, hop and twitter!  Come on!  Come on!”

.

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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.

Mixed Magics

Thoughts   Mixed Magics:  Four Tales of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones, Harper Trophy 2000, 193 pages

MOTIVATION for READING:  Diana Wynne Jones Week is was the First Week of August!    Thank you to Jenny of Jenny’s Books for her contagious enthusiasm and encouragement.

When the announcement of DWJ Week broke and I had never heard of the author, I asked for a recommendation.   I liked the suggestion of Eight Days of Luke being an influencer of Neil Gaiman (rock star) to write American Gods.   Unfortunately, I was asleep at the wheel when I was IN the library, the book was waiting for me, I failed to realize it!   I also didn’t have my library card* with me and it’s a fiasco to attempt to check out anything without it.   So the book was returned to wherever and I didn’t have it in time to participate in DWJ Week.   (*sniff*)

So, in the very middle of DWJ Week and I’m hyperventilating because I don’t have a DWJ book in hand and my brother and SIL are visiting (very rude, you know, to say, um-we have to go to the library and I really need to be reading…), I realize that my town’s library IS a TOURIST ATTRACTION!!!!     Hurray!   So I shove my Bro and SIL into the library to admire the paintings of General Tom Thumb and his lovely wife Minnie Bump as I scour the shelves for the shortest DWJ book:   Mixed Magics wins.    A collection; a variety of short stories with a range of subject manner all featuring Chrestomanci (doh.)

Have I bored you yet?   Oh well, that’s how I came to this book.

It’s charming.  If I had to choose one word to describe this collection, I would say ‘lively’.   It’s got beautifully drawn characters; from bad guys to kids with magic talents to the revered Chrestomanci.    I loved the humor and intelligence.    And now I need to read more Diana Wynne Jones and will likely buy for a few of my N&Ns.**

Please go to Jenny’s blog and see how successful her campaign was to get so many to read Ms Jones!   and I also must call attention to Villa Negativa’s excellent essay, The Hotties of Diana Wynne Jones, or Why Are All These Grown Women Reading Children’s Books?

“Very well. Thasper, son of Imperion, I reluctantly give you my blessing to go forth and preach Dissolution.  Go in peace.” (golly, I hope that isn’t a spoiler.)

RATING:    Three slices of pie.   Only because they were too short and I wanted a bit more.

* How do I go to the library without my card!??!   I don’t know.  #hangsheadinshame

** N&Ns = Nieces and Nephews

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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.