Category Archives: Copley the Lobster

Brighton Rock

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

Narrated by Richard Brown.

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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.

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The Invaders

Thoughts tibykw by Karolina Waclawiak, Regan Arts. 2015, 236 pages

Challenge: Tournament of Books 2016
Genre: Literary Fiction
Type/Source: Hardback, Library
 Why I read this now: Next up in house book for the Tourney (Bracket here)

MOTIVATION for READING: Doh, the Rooster!

What I said on Goodreads:

Dark. This was a book about sad angry cynical violent depraved souls. And lots of public urination.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: The Invaders is a sweeping look at a wealthy ocean-side country club-marina community and also a close look into the private lives of a college-age son and his stepmother who reside there. The community is trying to keep the luxury all to themselves by eliminating any chance of riff-raff having access and our characters are trying to keep hold of their place within. It ain’t pretty.

WHAT’s GOOD: The author skillfully has the reader tentatively rooting for and cheering on Teddy “the son” and Cheryl the “now-aging-once-trophy-wife-stepmom” — or at least attempting to sympathize with them and their challenges of drug addiction and distracted self-pity. There are other sad/creepy  attempts at connection and a hurricane hits. The more distance I have from this the more I like what the author did here and how she told the story. I have to quote Ti in her review at Book Chatter:

I’ve never read a book that I liked and hated as much as this one. I’d flip a page and hate it and then I’d read a paragraph and love it again. I kept going back and forth like that throughout the entire book!

Though I don’t think I swung back and forth so far as love-hate, I was in a rush to read it and hated to put it down. It is quick reading. It is gaining my appreciation the more I think about;  pacing, tone, its ability to be unsettling…

What’s NOT so good: Tom Perrotta is quoted on the cover of the edition I have, “A gut punch of a novel – a scathing look at privilege.” And that is what I had a little bit of trouble with. No one in this community is shown any ability to be kind, or gentle or moral or considerate. As myself, a member of a marina community who could easily be assumed to be person who fits this privileged description — (and I am privileged, I know!) — I found it sad that it would be too easy to assume all people who live in nice places and belong to a club are horrible people. They aren’t. Don’t fall for that stereotype. Just sayin’. This book makes every single person who is a member of this club look depraved.

Perrotta also says “Waclawiak is a remarkable writer.” He may be right.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I wanted to like Cheryl. I think I give more sympathy to Teddy, poor kid. Wow, what a ride! A book club could have a field day with this.

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RATING: Four slices of pie. fourpie No pie was mentioned. But lobster was!

 

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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.

Sorcerer to the Crown

Thoughts sorcerer_front mech.indd Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, Ace Books 2015, 371 pages

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I wanted to read this when Aarti mentioned it. Not sure why exactly, it certainly isn’t my typical read, but I was somehow captivated and knew this would be my first book for #Diversiverse 2015.

I am so glad that I acted on this impulse – I loved it!

I loved it for the vocabulary. See below.

I loved it for the energy, the vivacity.

I loved it for the confounding character of Prunella. She was unique and I loved her power-forward attitude.

I won’t review it – you can read Aarti’s review, or Jenny’s or Olduvai’s.

I want to read the next in the series. Crazy, right? (Long time readers of this blog know that I am usually a one and done (or not at all a fan) on series…) And on that note, I can say that the ending is sufficient as a stand alone book. Whew.

I should probably look for a GIF to do that whew… (and a BIG thank you to Jenny – my favorite GIF-ologist – for the always appreciated assistance: the right-click on image trick worked…)

Maybe not quite the right whew but it is VERY IMPORTANT to me when a series book does NOT end on a crazy annoying cliffhanger. (Patrick Ness I’m looking at you.)

One more cool thing… The Faery King has a lobster courtier.  copleyl But, of course.

 

Question for those of you all in the know, this book would be an excellent gift for a 14 year old, yes?

And finally, a book connection coincidence link:  and I quote “Since the decision to become a parent is invariably self interested, it is my belief that a parents obligation is to the child, and the child’s obligation is to itself.” –> this reminds me of the issue that irked me in the book I reviewed prior to this one. I LIKE this quote.

 

VOCAB – I learned a lot in this book. About magic and fantasy terms, mostly. I didn’t note page numbers this time, sorry.

manumit – (a word that shocks me that I don’t know) – release from slavery; set free

demesne – land attached to a mansion; legal possession of land

emolument – the returns arising form office or employment, usually in form of compensation; advantage

lamia – female vampire

cantrip – a witch’s trick

sigil – seal, signet, sign to have occult power

stoichiometry – branch of chemistry dealing with application of laws of definite proportions and conservation of mass/energy

froward – habitually disposed to disobedience

asafetida – the dried fetid gum resin of the root of several west Asian plants; flavor or medicine

theurgy – art of compelling or persuading a god to do or refrain

prolix – using too many words!!!

redound – to have a particular result

bombazine – a silk fabric in twill weave, dyed black

thaumaturgy – the performance of miracles/magic (doh)

dogsbody – a person who is given boring, menial tasks to do.

louche – disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way.

putative – generally considered

dropsical – affected with an accumulation of an excessive amount of watery fluid in cells, tissues, or body cavities

bougie – a thin, flexible surgical instrument for exploring or dilating a passage of the body. OR urban dictionary: Aspiring to be a higher class than one is.

beldam – a malicious and ugly woman, especially old,  witch.

dido – perform mischievous tricks or deeds.

gutta percha – a hard, tough thermoplastic substance that is the coagulated latex of certain Malaysian trees

cant – lively, lusty

AND one that my i{Phone app for Merriam-Webster didn’t have (there were more but I didn’t capture)

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Books in the House

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

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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.

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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.

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YAY! It’s June

Hello, I could write some reviews – I do have a backlog, but thought I would just type up some stuff to post and call it good.

I had a fabulous May of reading and am proud to say I read 10 books. Or read five and listened to five. Yikes! FIVE AUDIOBOOKS in ONE MONTH!? Well, whuddya know. Only TWO were print books and the rest eBooks.

That is 74 hours listened…   1864 pages read (if I read 60 pg/hr = ~31 hours).

Wow.

In order of latest read:
Omnivore’s Dilemma / Michael Pollan (2006,16 hrs) **** Audio 39
A Good American / Alex George (2012,389) **** eB 38
A Survival Guide for Parenting Teens / Joani Geltman (2014,288) eB **** 37
We Were Liars / E.Lockhart (2014, 6’24”) Audio ** 36
The Yearling / Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1938,509) Classics/WiaN TB **** 35
Daughter of Smoke and Bone / Laini Taylor  (2011,12.5 hrs) Audio *** 34
The Delusions of Gender / Cordelia Fine (2010,338) NF eB **** 33
The Martian / Andy Weir (2012, 10’53”) *** Audio 32
Silver Sparrow / Tariya Jones (2011,340) TB ***** 31
The Sparrow/ Mary Doria Russell (1996, 15.5 hrs ) Audio, SciFi **** 30

Three were nonfiction. One was a READ-RIGHT-NOW-BEFORE-IT-GETS-SPOILED! which means I read it in the year published which is really a thing I’ve only recently been managing. I usually am not a bandwagon recently-released paying attention kind of reader. I did get in a few classics – The Yearling and what I assume will be a classic eventually, The Sparrow. Hey – both animals.

What is UP with The Yearling not being on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die?!  Answer me, that.

I found many linking opportunities and coincidences in my readings this month; mostly associated with eating/nourishment/survival.

One fantasy. Two sciency / science fiction. Put Omnivore’s Dilemma in the ‘sciency’ category, too. Seven female authors, three male. Six were 4 star reads, one a 5 star because it suited ME perfectly. Two 3 star, and a two star that has been extremely highly rated elsewhere by smarter readers than me – but I let overhype/crazy-expectations get the better of the experience.

If you have ever read/reviewed The Fault in Our Stars, are you experiencing LOTS of traffic for that post? I am. In anticipation of the movie which I think is coming out this week. I know I am looking forward to it, too, but I will probably wait for it to be available for home-viewing.

I changed my header photo to a scene of an island in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. Not sure which island, though.

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Jill of Rhapsody Books has informed me that June 9 is Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day so I hope you all can benefit from this knowledge and on that day, have a pie celebration. Consider this advance notice and plan accordingly. IMG_2960 Thanks Jill for thinking of me!

I have enjoyed reading all the BEA posts though I have hesitated in commenting. Maybe I’m nostalgic. Maybe I want to go next year?

 

copleyl-1 June 15 is Lobster Day… photo-72 (Thanks Amy!)

And since, we started this post with the amazing announcement that I’ve been binge-ing on audiobooks, do know that I just downloaded Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes (released YESTERDAY, PEOPLE.) and Maya Angelou narrating her I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Shame that her death is what is prompting me to finally get to this. RIP

I am currently listening to The Good Earth even though it is not due for our book club discussion until late July. Another Pulitzer winner, I am pleased to say.  Did I read somewhere that JUNE is actually Audiobook Month? Well, I will have a few reviews to add anyway.

Anything pie-related or any fun reading experiences happening with you? Do tell.

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Copley in Amsterdam

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The highlight of Copley’s visit?  Meeting Judith!  Judith of Leeswammes’ Blog:  Books, Books, and Books

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She has a great photo of Copley sitting atop a few books…  She gave me The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin (I was MOST excited for this – what a treat!) and First You Try Everything by Jane McCafferty which we joked might be perfect for my celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary this year. I gave her Stewart O’Nan’s Songs for the MissingI haven’t actually read this myself but have been meaning to for years now. Anything by O’Nan, truthfully. I have another copy so I’m trying to set up a readalong. Anyone else interested?

After the yummiest risotto, we had pie; a lemon pie along the type of a key lime from Florida. IMG_1735

We talked a lot about books, as you might expect. And we talked about biscuits and other interesting cultural differences. But mostly about books.

And when the boys were let out from work meetings, we toured.

IMG_1679 View from our room at the Moevenpick Hotel, looking mostly northwest. IMG_1680 View lookingsouthwest? IMG_1683 Amsterdam Station.IMG_1690 Canal scene. IMG_1693 Street scene. IMG_1697 A lovely canal street cafe scene.IMG_1716 The famous Seven Bridges shot. IMG_1726 We had dinner at the restaurant on the top of this old oil rig. IMG_1754 Watch out for the bicycles! IMG_1769 The Flower Market. IMG_1776 The Rijksmuseum. IMG_1780 Where we saw this famous Rembrandt painting The Nightwatch.  IMG_1789 An Old Amsterdam Sandwich (featuring rocket and cornichons but I think it had a different spelling… Means pickles. Rocket is arugula.) IMG_1800 At the Heineken Experience. IMG_1812 A mosiac sofa.

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Copley in London

My husband had business that took him to London and I wasn’t about to let him go without me.

We were able to fly over a few days early and play tourist. (Copley was trapped in the hotel room; he had a nice view of the back of the FDR statue in the park across from the US Embassy.)

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We rode the Hop On – Hop Off Bus and I was not about to let cold and rain (mere drizzle) deter me from riding on the top!

IMG_1504 This is Regent Street.

IMG_1513 It was West-End Show Week which means they gave free concerts at… I think it was Trafalgar Square – the one with the tower of Lord Nelson. We heard a bit of Phantom of the Opera.

IMG_1522 Parliament and the Elizabeth II Tower

IMG_1540 Tower of London

IMG_1611 We didn’t ride the big Ferris Wheel but we took the Thames River Cruise (not impressed, except nice views)

IMG_1618 Buckingham Palace

and…

We ate PIE!  (meat pies) and we drank beer and we had dinner at a Gordon Ramsey restaurant where we had about 7 servers that didn’t talk to each other or know what the others were doing – or so it seemed. Five of us at a table that really should only have sat three. Still it was good and we had fun.

And for all the bookies! After we were astonished by all that is Harrod’s Department Store (the pet section took up half the 4th floor and they had puppies for purchase! But it was the food floor that was amazing. I wanted to stay for lunch) but we scooted off (in a 30+ minute 15£ taxi) to Bloomsbury so I could do this:

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I meant to buy a Dorothy Whipple but left with a few postcards and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Making of a Marchioness.

Next post… Brighton!  Here is when I ask you for books set in Brighton, please.

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Copyright © 2007-2013. 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 Copley Series

Beginning now, I respond to Debi‘s request to regale her with Copley’s adventures overseas. He visited London, Brighton and Amsterdam. Here’s what he returned with:

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POSTCARDS!  Of course, I already knew Kelly would receive one, and I already sent Jill one. I got distracted by touring to send more (sorry! but I will) to  a few others but I did buy cards with YOU in mind. 😉

As to that inclusion of The Orchardist into this photo, a huge thank you to Judith/Leeswammes and more on that later.

The series?  A few photos to follow of our travels. Sadly, I actually forgot to pull Mr Copley out of the bag for pictures in cool places. uh oh.

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Also sadly, we failed to make it to the Patti Smith concert. (And total-fail, I didn’t get the photo of the concert poster that had me all aflutter with anticipation! Just imagine…) May that not be one of my regrets in life. “Oh well.” aka “gawd it sucks getting old.”

Shall we begin? we had a lovely time. Fabelachtig!

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The Adventures of Copley the Lobster

Remember this little guy?  copleyl  This is Copley the Lobster.

He started his travels in Portugal and ended up a permanent resident of Massachusetts USA.

copley0210 This is a visit to IKEA.

He found out that he likes books, so he visited the Boston Book Festival.

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The lure of books took him next to New York City to make friends at BEA. Copfriends

But his next adventure will be the biggest one yet!

Details to follow. Eventually.

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Copyright © 2007-2013. 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 Gargoyle

Thoughts tgbyad The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, doubleday 2008, 468 pages, Hardback

Loaned to me from a friend – took me 6 months to get to it.

FIRST SENTENCE: “Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, often violently, just like love.” 

WHAT’s it ABOUT: As an unnamed narrator endures the long process of healing from a fiery car crash, he meets a fascinating woman who tells him they were married in the 14th century. He is at first amused and skeptical but thoroughly succumbs to her charms.

WHAT’s GOOD: I was hooked from the start and it never let up. I loved the many stories within the story and enjoyed the piecing together of the plot. The characters were fascinating if a touch unbelievable but I never took the time to question if they were likable or not. And if you like descriptions of food, this book might have you craving exotic picnics.

WHAT’s NOT so good: What some cite as atrocious, I found comedic. Certainly some sentences’ alliteration and simile defy typical ‘good writing’ but in context with the character and the storyline, they made me laugh. It worked.

“When I finally was able to let go of the cliff’s wall, my fingers remained curled like the pincers of a frightened lobster.” -p.391

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Going in, I thought this book would be scary and dark. Not so. I was pleasantly surprised at the theme of the power of love. Interesting religious elements are dropped in as it references Dante’s Inferno; I have not read that but know enough of it to ‘get’ the references. I really enjoyed the stories inside the story and the many settings. Despite feeling like I *should* question and doubt the premise, I didn’t, I don’t now and must admit, I really really liked it. I don’t know why I am apologizing for it. I couldn’t find any of my blogger friends who DIDN’T like it.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I can see how this book might be one of those LOVE-IT-or-HATE-IT kind but I thought it fascinating, unique and very entertaining. A satisfying read.

RATING:  Four slices of pie. fourpie

REVIEWS:  The first review I read when I started to see what to post for “Other Reviews” and BY FAR the most entertaining! (even the author contributed) –> Literate Housewife’s reaction to EW (2008),

Leeswammes says “an interesting story, with a good mix of contemporary fiction and historical fiction.”,

Erika (aka “She”) at A Book Blog. Period. says it is engrossing and compelling. I agreed with every sentence of her post.

I liked Fyrefly’s haiku for this novel! She has insightful comments to add about religion. and finally,

Fyrefly’s Google Search Results for this title/author.

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Copyright © 2007-2013. 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.