Category Archives: Classics

All Quiet on the Western Front

Thoughts by Erich Maria Remarque, Random House Trade 2013 (orig 1928), 227 pages, translated from the German by A.W. Wheen

Challenge: for Classics Club 50 list #2, #WiaN2023 – Category QXZ in title

Genre/Theme: War – WW1

Type/Source: Trade Paperback / Library

“We are little flames poorly sheltered by frail walls against the storm of dissolution and madness, in which we flicker and sometimes almost go out…we creep in upon ourselves and with big eyes stare into the night…and thus we wait for morning.”

What It’s About: Paul is 20 years and realizing his time on the front will permanently impact any hopes of his having any “normal” life, assuming he survives the horror, the filth, the lice, and the inhumanity.

“This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war.”

Thoughts: This was beautifully written and struck me hard.

Rating: Five slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

“We are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves. From our life. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces.”

Copyright © 2007-2023. 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.

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The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Thoughts by Kim Michele Richardson, Sourcebooks 2019, 309 pages

Challenge: What’s in a Name 2022: Category Person with Description

What’s in a Name Challenge: Description category

Genre/Theme: Adult Fiction; history, pack horse library, blue people of Kentucky

Type/Source: Tradeback / Purchased at Half Price Books, I think

What It’s About: This story focuses on the last of the Kentucky blue people and how our protagonist worked to make her own journey in the world, as a Pack Horse Librarian, during the Depression. The story isn’t light – it contains disturbing violence, racism, and death. There are also tender moments and some humor.

Thoughts: I actually allowed myself to get swept away in this and it could be because I needed a hero to truly cheer for after a struggle with NightBitch, I’m not sure. It certainly is more plot and story and not the introspective contemporary snob-literature that I often find myself really falling for. I didn’t notice, for example, all the melodrama and the repetition of her being blue, over and over again until I read it in a review. Oh. Yeah, perhaps. Maybe it was all the references to pie. It surely gained it an extra slice on the rating for pie being a many-mentioned element.

And I also agree that the ending was … a bit much. Too much for only a few pages! WHAT JUST HAPPENED? Good thing I didn’t have a chance to go read reviews before I finished which is what happens when I have doubts mid-way. But I just kept trucking with the story until the last page.

“The first Friday in June, Troublesome always held its pie bake dance, a pie auction to hitch unmarried folks.”

page 60

Rating: Four slices of pie. Because of the pie and the fast flow.

“Winnie‘d been … the only one to bring a pie and sit with me one long Sunday, and then the next, reading to me while I recovered.”

page 73

Question: Will I read the second in the series? The Book Woman’s Daughter, published in May of this year. I don’t know. I’m not rushing out to get it, and I rarely read series books… I probably won’t, to be honest.

 

 

A View of the Harbour

Thoughts by Elizabeth Taylor, Virago Modern Classics 2006 (orig 1947), 304 pages

Introduction by Sarah Waters

Challenge: Buddy Read with Laila of Big Reading Life; Set At or By the Sea Category of #ReadICT

Genre/Theme: Adult Fiction; quiet small British seaside village post-WW2

Type/Source: Tradeback / Purchased at Watermarks Indie bookstore

What It’s About: This story focuses on the inter-relationships of the neighbors living directly on the harbour; from the doctor’s family, the pub workers, the widowed proprietor of a tourist wax museum, the librarian, the vicar, etc. The pivot view to all begins with Bertram, a painter who has moved to the area for the season: to catch the right light off the sea, to capture the perfect seascape, to be “an artist”. He fancies himself a man-of-the-people as he rudely? comically? insinuates himself into the neighborhood. A lot of life happens in this book.

“Always intelligent, often subversive, and never dull, Elizabeth Taylor is the thinking person’s dangerous housewife. Her sophisticated prose combines elegance, ice wit and freshness in a stimulating cocktail – the perfect toast to the quiet horror of domestic life.”

Valerie martin

Thoughts: I love this author. True, her stories do not have a lot of action exactly, but they have drama! and depth and comedy, beautiful sentences and interesting glimpses into every character – the good and the bad, the endearing, the appalling. Ah, not really! not that much appalling exactly. Well, maybe. (One more reason I love classics – humans have always been dastardly and behaved badly, amiright?)

“I know who to,” Beth said, shocked to find herself ending with a preposition. But she was much thrown out by the surprise of it all.”

Rating: Four slices of pie. LOTS of whipped cream. Shepherd’s Pie mentioned

“Forking up shepherd’s pie with an expression of contempt.”

 

 

Update March 2022 in Review with Note on #TOB2022

 Monthly Recap Time!

  • 10 books; 32 for the year
  • 2759 pages, ~31.5 hours | 8 597 total pages, 92.5 hours for the year so far
    • By Type:
      Hardcover – 0
      Tradeback 3
      eBooks 3
      Audiobooks 4
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My favorite was … Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore, followed by the delightful Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley, a classic novella from 1917.

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Locations and travels:

  • Odessa TX in the 70s (Valentine)
  • San Francisco, also in the 70s (We Run the Tides, for #readICT)
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks links to WRtT because both were set in exclusive high schools, this one in Massachusetts (#readICT)
  • Parnassus on Wheels traveled New England in the early 1900s
  • London both now and 1700s in The Lost Apothecary (book club)
  • Puerto Rico and Brooklyn NY in Olga Dies Dreaming
  • The Stand-In took me to Toronto
  • Wintering took place in England (WiaN)
  • The Alchemy of Us covered history across many maps

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UPDATE on #TOB2022

  • My least favorite Klara and the Sun took the Rooster in March’s Tournament of Books
  • I can confidently state the The Trees captured the hearts for favorite of the Commentariat so that is the book I’m most recommending as “THE BEST”; my personal favorite is The Sentence
  • I read ALL THE BOOKS! and you can see my rankings in my February recap.
  • Am inspired to read a new translation of Beowulf by Maria Dahvana Headley, one of the judges this year. MANY if not most of the judgments were excellent.
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Pie was mentioned in four of this month’s reads. A history of PYREX mentions pie, all kinds of pie and multiple paragraphs cover a summer expedition to eat pie across the country, squash pie in Parnassus on Wheels and this from WRtT:

piroshkis are meat pie

April 3 is Chocolate Mousse Pie Day, April 5 is Empanada Day, April 28 is Blueberry Pie Day! I don’t think I made any pie in March. I just wasn’t feelin’ it.

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What was YOUR favorite book of March?

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.

Giovanni’s Room

Thoughts by James Baldwin, Vintage Books/div of Random House 2013 (orig) 1956, 169 pages

Challenge: Classics Club 50, part 2 & #BookSpin for January

Genre/Theme: Adult Fiction / Americans in Paris

Type/Source: Tradeback / Purchased Indiebookstore

What It’s About: Wow.

Since I have no idea how to approach a review, I’m going to provide the Jhumpa Lahiri quote on the back of the book:

A novel of unique emotional intensity and exceptional beauty, hypnotic intimate, harrowing. A portrait of a man torn between a woman and another man, groundbreaking for its time, it remains a transcendent novel.”

Thoughts: Gorgeously written. So many layers.

Rating: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

 

 

What’s in a Name Challenge 2022 Sign Up Post

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.

In 2022, choose 6 books that have titles that contain a:
(Click on the links for more examples and info)

My choices from the first look at my physical and goodreads digital tbr.

  • Compound word 
    • The Island of the Colorblind by Oliver Sacks
  • Speed
    • The Slow March of Life by Heather B Moore
  • Person and their description
    • American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
    • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
    •  
  • Mythical being
    • The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Season
    • Wintering by Katharine May
  • Color
    • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
    • The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

More choices possible on my list in goodreads.

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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.