What’s Care Been Readin’ Lately?

Thoughts

I have had a slow down. Not a slump! but a definite lack of time spent reading, it seems. I did attempt a re-listen to Lincoln in the Bardo but I didn’t finish it. I was looking listening for a pie mention that I thought happened.  PLEASE ANYONE!! If you read or will read the eBook version — do a search pretty-please?

This week, I have rediscovered my ability to read read read. I am half through the 14 hour audiobook of Warren Zanes’ bio of  Tom Petty. Wow, do I love biographies of interesting artists. I do.  Mr. Zanes is an interesting character himself and he has an appealing literary quality to his writing. He has quoted Karen Blixon and Russell Banks and a few other authors I know of (but haven’t read.)

I’m still trudging through  The Disappearing Spoon and not that it’s not interesting, it’s just that I have been not picking it up. You know what I mean? What interesting characters these scientists can be…

And finally, on the heels of the Pulitzer announcement of Colson Whitehead winning for The Underground Railroad, I decided to check if my library had a copy of The Intuitionist They did and now I’m reading it. It’s got a scientific quirky vibe. Enjoying it very much so far.

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I finally watched Far From the Madding Crowd with Carey Mulligan and Martin Sheen  and it was wonderful! I loved it. If you loved this romantic triangle story with one fabulous independent woman lead, you should read my review of the book/audiobook…  You should read the book first. Film was a fun adaption, in my opinion. And visually stunning. Oh! the costumes!! And I miss reading classics. I need to get back to my Classics Club 50. “It is my intention to astonish you all.”

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I made pie for Easter.

The not so pretty but still rather interesting Carrot Pie and the Italian traditional ricotta cheese pie called Fiadone:

centered?

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I miss not having a book review to post on this now-dusty blog… Soon, though. Hope everyone is reading something good. TELL ME! What are you reading?

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

West With the Night

Thoughts wwtnbybm by Beryl Markham, orig 1942 – rereleased in 1983, 294 pages

BackToTheClassics2016 Adventure Category

Challenge:  Latest Classics Club Spin Selection (But I’m late – it was due by Dec 1st)
Genre:  Adventure, Airplanes/Flying
Type/Source: Tradeback / Local Indie Bookstore
Why I read this now: Was late for the Spin but wanted to read it anyway.

MOTIVATION for READING: I can’t recall why exactly I put this on my Classics Club 50 but I was further enticed by the historical lit recently published by Paula McClain about Ms. Markham. I wanted to read the “true” version first. 

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WHAT’s it ABOUT: These are the stories of Ms. Markham; how she grew up in British East Africa now called Kenya, learned to train race horses, learned to fly airplanes, attempted to be the first to fly East to West from England to the US (managed to ‘safely’ crash in Canda), and and and… Nothing about her husbands and supposed multiple love affairs, darn it.

WHAT’s GOOD: What a way with words! I found it very easy to fall right into like relaxing into a gigantic bean bag to let the world fall away and allow me to be transported to another place and time.

What’s NOT so good:  The prose is beautiful yet she can seem detached and aloof; she barely reflects that she is a woman doing more typical man things. This was both refreshing and almost frustrating. Other things were more frustrating and interesting (racist/classist) view of how the English colonists viewed the Africans. She also seems to scorn the practice of elephant hunting but was a full participant in the profit of it.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Not at all the dry and boring text I had imagined. It was lovely and tragic, poetic and appalling all at once. Certainly a remarkable woman.

RATING:  Five slices of pie, of which I noted no mention.

Has anyone read a biography of Beryl Markham? If I enjoy the McClain (and I sincerely hope I do since I did not care for The Paris Wife), I might continue indulging my fascination.

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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.

The Double Helix: Annotated and Illustrated

Thoughts dhbyjw by Dr. James Watson, Simon and Schuster 2012 (orig 1968), 368 pages [Edited by Alexander Gann and Jan Witkowski]

Challenge: Classics Club 50
Genre: Science History
Type/Source: Hardback / Library

MOTIVATION for READING: I love science.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: How Watson and Crick used models to figure out how DNA was structured.

WHAT’s GOOD: I did not expect the breezy style. It is very readable.

What’s NOT so good:  Well, you may or may not like Dr. Watson at the end but he does tell a fun story, even if bits are regrettable. He was young and determined. He shares more than just the science, but also other activities these youthful scientists were up to – where and what they ate (gooseberry pie has a mention!), the girls they tried to meet, the famous people they encountered and traveled to visit. He talks about his troubles with the sponsor for his time abroad and quite a bit about the personalities of everyone he works with.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I am so glad to have read this. The big question:  did Rosalind Franklin get screwed out of the discovery and subsequent Nobel Prize. Question Mark. Let’s just say, it’s complicated and that I could say yes, but. It very much feels like facts happened and one’s viewpoint is X and the other is Y. This and that. Perspectives. And when you start to get snarky, it gets very ugly fast. Did circumstances make it difficult and thus makes it a helluva story? Oh yes.

She deserved more accolades and unfortunately she is getting it now and not in her lifetime. It is sad that she died so young. Was Watson a _____ (insert whatever nasty/relevant word you want here, but my answer is “he was a man”.)

And NOW:  I get to read more about Rosalind Franklin:

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RATING: Four slices of gooseberry pie. If you are going to read this, I suggest the annotated illustrated edition.

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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.

Brighton Rock

classicsclub1

Thoughts brbygg by Graham Greene, Blackstone Audiobook 2011 (orig 1938), 9 hours 48 minutes.

Narrated by Richard Brown.

BackToTheClassics2016

BAILED. I just found myself avoiding it. And when I did have it on – usually while driving –  I didn’t pay a bleep of attention to it.

Guess not the right time for this and I suspect the right time won’t come around in my lifetime. Sorry Mr. Greene – will have to try something else you’ve written; hope that’s OK.

The narration was only so-so for me.

No Rating. DNF.

IMG_1668 BristolHorse IMG_1665 IMG_1672

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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.

Classics Club Spin #14

And the SPIN NUMBER IS…  numone
classicsclub1

Here are my 20 books in anticipation of the soon to be announced CLASSICS SPIN:

On Monday, the powers that run the Club will pick a number. I will read the book that falls at that number in this list:

1. West with the Night – Beryl

2. A Handful of Dust – Waugh

3. The World According to Garp – Irving!

4. The Ox-Bow Incident

5. Jude the Obscure – Hardy (have in house, hardback)

6. Candide – Voltaire

7. Stoner – John Wms

8. The Double Helix – Watson (currently in the house, from library)

9. The King Must Die – Mary Renault

10. One Fine Day – MPD

11. Charlotte Sometimes – Penelope Farmer

12. The Hunter – Parker

13. Cold Comfort Farm – Gibbons

14. Love in a Fallen City – Chang

15. Love in a Cold Climate – Mitford

16. The Dud Avocado – Dundy

17. Twelve Years a Slave – Northup

18. Gravity’s Rainbow – Pynchon

19. Orlando – Woolf (currently in my Audible tbl, and eBook!)

20. The Bird’s Nest – Shirley Jackson

Are you playing?

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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.

 

Murder Must Advertise

Thoughts mmabyds by Dorothy Sayers, Harper & Brothers 1933, 344 pages

Challenge: Classics Club 50
Genre: Murder Mystery
Type/Source: Hardback / Library
 Why I read this now:  I think because it felt like a good companion read to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. Maybe.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: I think I’ll share the official blurb from goodreads. Oh – do know if you don’t already, the book cover above links to goodreads.com…

When advertising executive Victor Dean dies from a fall down the stairs at Pym’s Publicity, Lord Peter Wimsey is asked to investigate. It seems that, before he died, Dean had begun a letter to Mr. Pym suggesting some very unethical dealings at the posh London ad agency. Wimsey goes undercover and discovers that Dean was part of the fast crowd at Pym’s, a group taken to partying and doing drugs. Wimsey and his brother-in-law, Chief-Inspector Parker, rush to discover who is running London’s cocaine trade and how Pym’s fits into the picture–all before Wimsey’s cover is blown.

WHAT’s GOOD:  The energy, the cleverness, the humor. The dashing always amiable and capable Lord Wimsey. The setting of London and the descriptions of what life was like after World War I but before the Great Depression. It’s quite daring and had much to reflect on for how times are now as well as consideration of what is different in law enforcement these days compared to then. But who knew ‘drugs’ were so ‘bad’ then – if felt very modern.

p.78 “Everybody is picking up the body and exclaiming over it, when in walks our friend, innocently, from the lav. It’s as simple as pie.”

What’s NOT so good: I do think this wasn’t the best book FOR ME to be introduced to Lord Wimsey – I knew nothing other than he is beloved. I wish I had more background to his ‘story’ and that is my fault because I generally eschew ‘knowing too much’. I also have trouble relating to the ‘charm’ if you will of the class system in England as humor. (I have trouble with PG Wodehouse, too – just don’t think his madcap hilarity is all that funny.)

FINAL THOUGHTS:  It was a fun read and I thought I knew whodunit but didn’t really, it was almost like the big reveal was a slow realization that you doubt than wonder why – it was all spelled out, really. I guess that means that I thought it fell flat at the end but really, I did enjoy my time with this book and could be talked into having a bit of a crush on Wimsey – he is a charmer.

RATING: Three slices of  GOOSEBERRY pie.

Another “simple as pie” and a humble pie; quite a few lobster mentions, too.

p.84 “She thinks I’m the world’s eighth wonder. Absolutely the lobster’s dress-shirt.”

 

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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.

Care’s Classics News – August 2016 Edition

Classics: A Meme, an Announcement and Updates

classicsclub1  <– Links to this month’s Classics Club Meme

GerminalButton2 <– Links to Melissa’s Announcement Post

August Meme: Question #44: A meme rewind from November 2012: What classic piece of literature most intimidates you, and why? (Or, are you intimidated by the classics, and why? And has your view changed at all since you joined our club?)

War and Peace would be the one that most intimidates me because I’m really not a fan of the old dead Russian author books. I struggled through Anna Karenina and have been warned off of the Brothers K. I’m truly not that interested. There are SO many books out there, I think I can be allowed to skip one or two. I also feel like it is a show-off book which isn’t a nice thing to say, I suppose, but I’m trying to resist that impulse to be a book snob. [It’s hard, actually!]

I had been intimidated by Moby Dick and managed that – and enjoyed it a lot! I seriously recommend the audiobook if anyone else needs a gentle push.

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READALONG TIME!  We will be tackling Zola’s Germinal and to be totally honest, if I had any clue about this book, I probably would skip it. It doesn’t sound very heartwarming and uplifting… But I put it on my 50 list so I might as well. People have claimed it to be their favorite book EVER! so it must be good, right?

The whole month of September:  hashtag #GerminalAlong

Why, you ask, did I put it on my 50 list?!  I don’t know…   I probably heard somebody gushing all over it and I had never heard of it.

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My Classics Club 50 Update List shows I’m on pace with classics but not with the original list. And I’m OK with that. The rules allow…  I’ve read 22 out of 50, 13 from the list.

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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.

Go Tell It on the Mountain

Thoughts gtiotmbyjb by James Baldwin, Blackstone Audio 2013 (orig 1953), 8 hours 45 minutes

Narrated by Adam Lazarre-White.

BackToTheClassics2016

Challenge: Back to the Classics
Genre: American classic, coming of age
Type/Source: Audio/Audible
 Why I read this now: This was the only audiobook I had on my phone at the moment I was ready to listen to a new one.

MOTIVATION for READING: I am curious. Baldwin is mentioned as an important writer and I had yet to read any of his work.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Not at all what I expected. I thought it was a going to be an essay on race relations in America. It’s fiction! I did not know it was fiction. I did not know it was semi-autobiographical. I was not prepared at all for this.

It is a story of a family and an individual family member grappling with his destiny against family history and expectations and cultural storms. It captures a certain place and time but the theme is universal.

WHAT’s GOOD: The writing blew me away. Here’s the blurb from goodreads; bold red font emphasis is mine:

Go Tell It on the Mountain, first published in 1953, is Baldwin’s first major work, a semi-autobiographical novel that has established itself as an American classic. With lyrical precision, psychological directness, resonating symbolic power, and a rage that is at once unrelenting and compassionate, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy’s discovery of the terms of his identity as the stepson of the minister of a storefront Pentecostal church in Harlem one Saturday in March of 1935. Baldwin’s rendering of his protagonist’s spiritual, sexual, and moral struggle of self-invention opened new possibilities in the American language and in the way Americans understand themselves.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Powerful.

RATING: Four slices of pie. The narration is excellent.

“after dinner, they brought up the pie and coffee and cream…”

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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.

I Capture the Castle

Thoughts ictcbyds by Dodie Smith, Audible Studios 2006 (orig 1948), 12 hours 20 minutes

Narrated by Jenny Agutter – fabulous narration. A new favorite.

Challenge: Classics Club SPIN!
Genre: Classics, Romance, YA, Coming of Age
Type/Source: Audiobook, Audible
 Why I read this now: classicsclub1Spin Time …

MOTIVATION for READING:  Lucky for me, this was my spin number.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: A writer’s family takes up residence in an English castle but finances have dwindled while the writer no longer writes and his now ‘of age’ daughters desperately need options – and food and clothes and basic necessities of life. Whatever do you know! but a couple of eligible (and rich) young men happen to drop by.

Mayhem ensues. Sort of:  this phrase implies madcap hilarity and that doesn’t quite happen, but certainly the plot moves and spins and hops along nicely.

WHAT’s GOOD: Cassandra Mortmain is a dear.

What’s NOT so good: Not a damn thing.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Truly unequivocally charming.

I must warn you that if you are to read most synopsisesses (how do you plural synopsis?!) you might roll your eyes and respond with a weary “really?”. I know, I did. I have had this on my tbr forever and only put it there because other wonderful astute wise and worthy readers said I should read it. They said I would love it. Yea, yea, whatever. It took a LOOOONG time for me to really wonder if I truly would enjoy this sappy little kid romance. That’s what I thought it might be. But she’s NOT a little kid anymore! Cassandra is wonderful!! READ it.

And how did I not realize that Dodie Smith wrote other wonderful things? I had never heard of her and thought this was her one-trick. Stupid silly me. It’s a shame this book is obscured by a silly sounding premise. I don’t even know why I think the premise sounds so silly but it does and it’s a crying shame. Great read. Most enjoyable. I want to read it again. And I never re-read books. So I’ll content myself to watch the movie and watch it again, and again. And again.

RATING: Five slices of pie.

Ms. Jakes had sent up stew and apple pie. “Oh good. Stew is so comforting on a rainy day.” (and so is pie!)

NEXT:

 

Link to Wiki which has links to other nifty stuff…

 

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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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Classics Club Spin 12 #CCSpin

Updated to say that the Spin picked I Capture the Castle and here’s the link to my review.
I joined the Classics Club because I wanted to participate in the spins.

classicsclub1What’s a spin? When they announce SPIN!!! like it’s “Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck, GOOOSE!!!” and you have to list 20 books from your list of 50 that you want to read and they spin the wheel to pick a number and you have to read whichever book is listed at that spot. The spin number is announced March 7 and you have to read the chosen title by the first week of May. Fun, huh?

I’m making a new list this time around: (ALPHABETICAL)

1 And Then There Were None / Agatha (I might have read this when I was a teen…)

2 Brighton Rock / Graham Greene (this also counts for WiaN)

3 Charlotte Sometimes / Penelope Farmer

4 Cry the Beloved Country / A Paton (I had attempted this once and abandoned; let’s try again. This will from now on be a MUST-HAVE-ON-SPIN-LIST title.)

5 The Double Helix / JD Watson

6 The Dud Avocado / Elaine Dundy (Our friend Jill read this recently; would be awesome if she sent it to me. HINT HINT)

7 The House of Seven Gables / Hawthorne (I recently read The Map of True Places which referenced this title a LOT.)

8 I Capture the Castle / Dodie Smith

9 Jude the Obscure / Tom Hardy (I own a copy)

10 The King Must Die / Mary Renault (I saw this once at a dusty ol’ junk shop downtown and didn’t buy it. Still kicking myself for that missed opportunity.)

11 Love in a Cold Climate / Nancy Mitford

12 Love in a Fallen City / Eileen Chang

13 Naked Lunch / Burroughs

14 Orlando / Woolf (this has been on my tbr for FAR TOO LONG)

15 The Ox-Bow Incident / WVT Clark

16 Rabbit, Run / Updike (I have never read this author, have you?)

17 Stoner / John Williams

18 The Way We Live Now / Anthony Trollope

19 West with the Night / Beryl Markham

20 Wide Sargasso Sea / Jean Rhys

I’m cheering for  1, 2, 8, 9 and 14 while hoping that 12, 15, and 19 are NOT chosen. Basically rooting for the single digits 1-10 and not the last half of the list. Just cuz, no real reason. Whichever number the ball falls on is fine…

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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.