Category Archives: Dogs

Posts that feature mention or show my dogs and/or posts on books that feature a dog story.

Status ⬥ The Month After July ⬥ 2022

 Monthly Recap Time! August

  • 7 books; 72 for the year
  • 2740 pages, 28.5 hours | 21128 total pages, 169.3 hours for the year so far

“… a party being made better because of the pie you brought…”

LESSONS in CHEmistry
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Pie for the win. EVERY BOOK I READ HAD PIE! Pretty impressive..

“Maria helped herself to the last bites of Eddie’s apple pie and unfolded her notes on the table, but instead of Devil’s Bargain she found herself thinking of the scale model of Mercury.”

– MERCURY PICTURES PRESENTS
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And my audiobook game has returned. THREE audiobooks finished and meaty books, too — not just a 1 hour created-for-Audible nibble.

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My favorite was Bonnie Garmus’ Lessons in Chemistry. Hands down, my kind of book. Strong female character, touches all the ugly bits of reality yet balanced with love and humor, plus a cool dog. Some reviews recommend print over the audio, though I didn’t catch the mispronunciations or chemical terms …. oops. I did notice a long “e” sound for the word “been” and something else with an eeeee sound that to me should be more of an “i” sound like “bin”.

I read French’s The Searcher for book club. It was good but not my favorite of hers. And another book that suffered I HOPE! from bad mood and poor timing, was Anthony Marra’s Mercury Pictures Presents. I want to try it again someday.

“He finds a café and gets himself a slice of apple pie and more coffee to pass the time till his laundry is ready.”

the searcher

Perhaps, August was just meant to be devoted to nonfiction? I really liked Destiny of the Republic by Candace Millard. She’s good! and she wrote a lovely tribute to David McCullough, a favorite of mine for readable fascinating enjoyable history, who died August 7. I’ve not read near enough of his oeuvre and now I need to add all of Millard’s.

I read The Sum of Us. Fascinating and sad how systematic racism is sneakily argumented away and seems invisible to sum. Why don’t towns have a city pool? because they didn’t want to share with ALL the citizens of the town. Stupid. Evil.

Which brings me to share that I finally finished brown girl dreaming by the lovely Jacqueline Woodson! Here memoir in verse, my mid-year, many months, poem-a-day project. LOVELY.

“…Remember the time, they ask,
when we stole Miss Carter’s peach pie off her windowsill,…”

brown girl dreaming

Then I listened to Taste by Stanley Tucci, because I think celebrity memoirs are a great way to break a slump. Plus, the lack of audiobooks in prior months meant I had credits to burn. I have a print of this at the library to pick up so I can get the recipes. (His cookbooks have hold lists but this I got right away.)

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What was YOUR favorite book of August?

September has a couple of pie days. The 15th is Butterscotch Cinnamon Pie Day! (A healing pie in the video game UnderTale.) Sept 23 is Pot Pie Day (Lessons in Chemistry has pot pie! and a terrific explanation of pie pastry. KFC’s chicken pot pie is decent, too. Look for a coupon.) Sept 26 is Key Lime Pie Day – read a book set in Florida! LOL — and Raspberry Cream Pie Day is Sept 28.

Today, as I write and prep this post, I’m contemplating a Grape Galette. You can see a photo (it’s readable! perhaps I should add a link to my pie page… Hmmmmm) of my recipe in a post from 2017; enjoy.

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.

The Sentence

Thoughts by Louise Erdrich, Harper 2021, 387 pages

Challenge: TOB 2022

Genre/Theme: Adult Literature

Type/Source: eBook / Library

What It’s About: This is the story of Tookie, a Chippewa woman in Minnesota who works in a bookstore. The book starts with how she came to commit a crime, be sentenced and serve time in prison. A former teacher sends her a dictionary and so begins a love of reading. This same teacher helps her get the job at the bookstore once she is released from prison. This is also the story of how one of the bookstore’s most loyal customers dies and begins to haunt Tookie when she is at work. The story is timely; we see the dates approach March 2020 — the start of the pandemic. And June, when George Floyd is murdered at the hands of the cops. And the subsequent protests.

Thoughts: As I attempt the above paragraph, I find my appreciation growing for how Erdrich accomplished all of the personal and broad storylines, as well as weaving in the love of reading. There is a grappling of balancing political issues and getting involved and this was successfully done (to me) — effectively paced with empathy, love, and respect; everything I love in my literature. I would even say she manages a balanced lightness with heavy topics and was able to bring some humor to the humanity.

I found that I could not read just any book. It had gotten so I could see through books—the little ruses, the hooks, the setup in the beginning, the looming weight of a tragic ending, the way at the last page the author could whisk out the carpet of sorrow and restore a favorite character. I needed the writing to have a certain mineral density. It had to feel naturally meant, but not cynically contrived.

Rating: She even included pie! Rounding up to 5 slices of pie. A book lover’s book: the author provides a list of all the books mentioned in the text.

I grew up in Rondo and that was a warm neighborhood, full of kindness, pie, elderly folks, kids, craziness, and sorrow. It was a place to belong. All my life I’ve missed it, but never understood until now.

 

PS I voted this for my TOB Zombie.

 

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.

These Precious Days

Thoughts  by Ann Patchett, HarperCollins 2021, 320 pages

Challenge: I have love and adoration for AP

Genre/Theme: Memoir/Essays/Nonfiction

Type/Source: Hardcover / Purchased as a ticket for a virtual event (which I missed…)

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  Ann Patchett is a successful prize-winning novelist (Her latest, The Dutch House, was nominated for the Pulitzer) who also owns a bookstore in Nashville TN. This writer-plus-bookshop-proprietor was a magazine article writer in order to support her fiction writing habit; she published a collection of these called This is the Story of a Happy Marriage in 2013 between two best-sellers State of Wonder (2011) and Commonwealth (2016). She pub’d this one, this year and it’s a heartbreaker, consisting of goodness.

WHAT’s GOOD: I love her.

Here’s what I said in my review of This … Happy Marriage: “From word one, I fell hard into this and couldn’t stop enjoying, thinking, relating, pondering. I had no idea what to expect; I really didn’t know anything more about Ann Patchett other than the first fact:  1) she wrote Bel Canto and the second, that 2) she owns a bookstore. I am now a fan . . . “

So this new collection is also just a few random essays but the title one refers to her friendship with an artist, a friendship that began slowly and by a series of cogs, levers, acts of this and then that and THEN the pandemic. I cried with this essay, but I also cried on the very first essay and it was about .. oh, well, OK. It was about death. That essays don’t die. I cried at a few other lovely essays, too.

Maybe I should get my thyroid checked again. I cried lovingly.

What’s NOT so good: I have no criticisms.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I find AP inspiring. I want to reread this book already. I’ve put Updike on my tbr. I have added Eudora Welty to my tbr. I have placed a book called Barking to the Choir by Gregory Boyle on my tbr.

RATING: Five slices of pie.

“That was when I started cutting frozen butter into pea sized chunks with a frozen knife in my frozen hands to make a pie crust..”

pierating

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.

The Day the World Came to Town

Thoughts by Jim DeFede, HarperCollins 2021 (orig 2002), 261 pages

Challenge: Book club

Genre/Theme: Nonfiction / September 11th

Type/Source: eBook / Libby to Kindle

What It’s About: This short book is packed with heart-warming stories involving the challenges to the town of Gander, Newfoundland, in dealing with unexpected “guests” due to planes not being able to land in the US when the terrorists attached the World Trade Center on Sept 11, 2001.

We get a little bit of history on why Gander, an exploration of Newfoundland culture, and glimpses into lives of passengers and residents, all the many varied interactions. We even meet some animals!

Thoughts: I teared up a dozen times or more. This was a wonderful read about the goodness of humanity in facing the consequences of evil tragedies. This edition is great in that it gives updates to the friendships made; a ‘where are they now’ look, 20 years hence.

Rating: Four slices of pie. Homemade pie.

 

 

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.

Tender is the Flesh

Thoughts by Augustina Bazterrica, Scribner 2020, 211 pages

Translated from the Spanish by Sarah Moses

Challenge: TOB

Genre/Theme: Contemporary Lit, South American Lit, Dystopia, Cannabalism

Type/Source: Tradeback/Indie bookstore

What It’s About: What does cannibalism look like? This book offers imagery and description, a generation after the Transition.

Our protagonist Marcos is skilled at what he does – problem solve. But he hates his job, hates his life, hates the world. He has suffered personal loss – his son has died of what I assume was SIDS, his wife has left — taken her grief home to her mother, his father suffers from dementia in a nursing home. Marcos must work to afford his father’s care and protection.

His job is right hand man to the chief of one of the best of the “special” meat processing plants – humans bred and slaughtered specifically to be a food source. The book explores the language, the conspiracy theories, the adjustment of society to the eradication of diseased animals (or so says the government) to embracing the new protein delicacies, the fear of birds, the need for Scavengers to be a balancing cog in the food chain. It’s all quite revolting.

Thoughts: The author skillfully brings the reader into a sympathy with Marcos; we share his disgust and feelings of being trapped. Will he, can he escape?

Rating: Three slices of pie. Four possibly for story-build but … I just can’t say I enjoyed this one. No pie mentioned.

SO. Possible Spoilers? The other night, we watched an episode of The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, Beyond the Pale, and I reflected on what happens at the end of this book in relation to that story; of a soldier in England who sends for his English wife who cannot have children of her own. The social and cultural entanglements and justifications, surrogate motherhood, acceptance and scandal, bias and deep-seated beliefs concerning classism and race. That’s all, just got me thinking.

and why doesn’t my end quote copyright show up in the tiny print I want??

Update Feb 28 2021 Sunday

Monthly Recap Time!

I finished _9_ books in February. This makes 15 for the year so far.

Total page count (including print page count for books I listen-read) = __2736__, + 1485 Jan = 4221 TOTAL pages for the year so far. 35% of yearly goal? wow.

The three audiobooks summed to _~42__ hours. (and 18 minutes)

Hardcover = 2

eBook (Kindle or Libby) = 2

Tradeback = 2

Count from the library =  _3_, remainder purchased or given to me.

My favorite was Piranesi.pieratingsml

Seven featured a pie mention: 2 Apple, Strawberry Tart, lots of generic “pie”.

I visited California a few times, New Mexico, a few days in Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania and possibly New England (woot! for a Newport RI mention); international travels took me to Japan, Scotland and England, and possibly another out of this world dimension (Piranesi)

Most published in 2020 – all for the TOB. One in 2017, the one nonfiction; memoir/humor.

Cherry Pie Day was February 20th and here a photo of the meringue crust: then I filled it with cherry pie filling (from a can) and then, finally a slice of it:

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Stats for LetterMo:  I thank the many of you who wrote me! WOOT. I received _28_ pieces of correspondence. My tracking is usually suspect but my official chart says I mailed 112 pieces, averaging to 4 per day.

Mailed to 28 states and three countries: UK, New Zealand and Germany.

I mailed 3 books – one to RI (Deacon King Kong to Sarah), one to ME (The Vanishing Half to Auntie Lil), and one to NJ (Telephone to Ellen of the Garden State).

Happy Chocolate Soufflé Day! Banana Cream Pie Day is March 2nd.

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Online Book Club aka Care’s Books and Pie. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club aka BkClubCare.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Update Jan 31 2021 Sunday

January Recap! Going to make this a habit. Maybe I create the last-day-of-the-month posts in advance and add to each with each book completed?  Always a goal, right?

I finished 6 books, have 3 underway right now.

If I count the hardcover page count rather than hours in my sums when I consider the books I listen-read, I get a total of 1485. Otherwise it is 901. I’m still wrestling with my attempt to keep THIS page count accurate with whatever goodreads calculates — they don’t do great at accurate hour counts for audiobooks.

The two audiobooks summed to 17 hours.

One in hardcover, one eBook (Kindle), two tradeback. Three library loans, three purchased.

My favorite has to be Luster by Raven Leilani. All were pretty worthy and enjoyable, recommendable. Memorial was my least favorite. Of course, A Village Life as a poetry collection received a high rating; quite moving and intense.

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Three of the six featured a pie mention: Apple, Caramel, Chitlin. I visited Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Texas, California and Georgia. Mostly US-centric but one hopped over to Ghana for a few scenes. Four books had black protagonists; one of these shared MCs with a Japanese American. This same title would be LGBTQ+.

Four published in 2020 – all for the TOB. One in 2009, one in 1999. One nonfiction; about dogs. One poetry. Only one author of the male gender, as far as I know.

I made a few pies – including the Elvis Pie I made for Christmas. See this post on my First Book 2021 (Long Bright River).

I made a RhuBlue (BlueRhu? RhuBerry?) for my mom’s birthday:

MR are her initials.

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Bring on February where my focus will be LetterMo. Write me a letter and I must reply in kind.

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Online Book Club aka Care’s Books and Pie. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club aka BkClubCare.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Blind Dog Stories

Thoughts by Caroline D Levin, 1999, 100 pages

Challenge: Personal
Genre: Nonfiction, Special Needs Dog
Type/Source: Tradeback, Library
 Why I read this now:  Came in to the library

MOTIVATION for READING: Oz, our new baby:

We adopted Oz a few days before Christmas  —  the breed group on Facebook had a post telling of his predicament. His human had died, the widow was unable to care for him. With him only a few hours away, we swooped in and took him home with us.

Come to find out, after treatment for his intense ear infections, after grooming all the mats out of his hair, after his anxiety of being in a new place with new people and with a not-so-welcoming ‘older sister’, he has SARDS. Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome. The vets shrug – nothing to do.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  I read these stories of blind dogs – all sorts of overcoming and inspiration because it was written by the same author, a veterinarian, who has a Guidebook about caring for blind dogs. That one I have to purchase; the library didn’t have a copy.

Shared joy is double joy, shared sorrow is half sorrow. -Swedish Proverb

THOUGHTS: Yes, I cried. But in a good way. Blind dogs get along fine and they can be trained. The challenge will be worth it.

RATING:  

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2021. 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.

Ducks, Newburyport

Thoughts by Lucy Ellman, Biblioasis 2019, 1001 pages

Challenge: Personal
Genre: Literary Fiction
Type/Source: Purchased Online, probably from Amazon :/  Made up for that by buying one from RiffRaff in PVD.
 Why I read this now:  It had to be read.

MOTIVATION for READING: The Main Character – referred to going forward as “MC” (I don’t even know if we get her name) – bakes pies to sell to local restaurants to help the family finances. Her signature dish is Apple Tarte Tatin – something I have yet to attempt. Apparently they can be tricky.

, according to Stephen Hawking the human world will end within 1000 years, but I think it could be a lot sooner, and my response to this is to make more pies and read recipe books,

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  This book is the streaming consciousness of MC, a mother of 4 who has had some serious health challenges and misses her mother who died when her own daughter, her oldest, was a toddler. Her husband is a professor of structural engineering and is a bridge expert. He is the father to the 3 youngest kids, step to the oldest — of course the first husband is not ideal, though she would never speak ill of him in front of their daughter. MC rambles in her head about her memories of which she constantly claims she cannot remember, her siblings, her upbringing, tragedies that happen in the world, her pies, her mothering challenges, politics, her doubts and fears, her grocery lists, the old movies she watches while she bakes, her chickens, her childhood pets, her childhood travels – all the houses and places she lived in. She hates Trump, is anti-gun, is polite to a fault and is shy around people; cripplingly-shy. She loves her husband dearly – he’s a good man. All the kids are cute as a button and have their own wants, needs, interests which she enumerates for pages at a time. That’s a fact! It’s her day to day to day to day in her head ramblings.

Every so often, the story shifts to a mountain lion momma of three and her travels around the state of Ohio. Lots of geography, topography and history of Ohio. Their paths intersect of course and it was tense, I tell ya!  of exactly HOW that might play out!  oh, it’s a thriller, truly. It was maddening trying to imagine where the book was going.

THOUGHTS: This is not a book I would recommend to just anyone. I only know a few people who would like it, love it, as much as I did. I am pretty sure, my IRL friends now know that I’m a really strange reader when I would LOVINGLY describe the book and how long it was taking me to read. They would back up slowly, wide-eyed, quietly muttering, “hmmm, ok, sounds interesting. not.”  I started it in April. I finished near the end of August. I sometimes would let weeks go by without turning a page. Sometimes, I would read one or two pages a day. Then conquer over 100+ in a weekend.

,the fact that I think a lot of people think all I think about is pie, when really it’s my spinal brain doing most of the peeling and caramelizing and baking and flipping, while I just stand there spiraling into a panic about my mom and animal extinctions and the Second Amendment just like everybody else,

RATING:  So why am I only giving this four slices of pie? I fear that sometimes, I give 5 stars to a book as a reward for getting me to read it. I think we (by which I mean “ME”) get brainwashed that we must actually be loving the experience of submerging so much time and energy into a chunkster that we MUST justify it with a high glowing review.

But I had some issues. I had an issue with the dog and probably should research if this is based in fact. (The fact is…) and I had issue that they – the stupid zoo people – that they didn’t realize or WATCH the     (SPOILER ALERT!!!!  hover over to reveal the white colored text so as not to spoil anything: Really?!  they didn’t realize that this momma was the 3 kittens mother and they didn’t watch the reunion? I don’t believe and if I ever read about a review from a big cat zookeeper reading this book – if you do! please share….)

So four stars for a quibble but I did love it. I will never not associate Ducks, Newburyport with the pandemic. That is reason enough not to give it 5 stars. Or maybe that is reason, actually, to anoint it 5 stars? Whatever.

So much pie. So much wonderful pie! so many terrific pie mentions!!! I probably should give Ellman the coveted Pie in Literature award for 2020 and call it done.

I would HATE it if they ever attempt to make a movie from this book. OMG, I would see it day one if they do. It’s a deceptively simple book in plot but wowza finding it! (Are they making movies yet?!)

The fact that it’s important not to despair though when you’ve got pies in the oven, …, the fact that you have to have mercy on your pies, be there for your pies, and in return they will be good dutiful pies and serve you, …

I really hope I reread this book someday.

pierating

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2020. 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.

Poetry 2020 Edition 4

Poetry Goal 2020:  to read a poem* every day.

 

Collection #7  by Billy Collins, Random House Trade Paperbacks 2002, 173 pages

Budapest

My pen moves along the page
like a snout of a strange animal
shaped like a human arm
and dressed in the sleeve of a loose green sweater.

I watch it sniffing the paper ceaselessly,
intent as any forager that has nothing
on its mind but the grubs and insects
that will allow it to live another day.

It wants only to be here tomorrow,
dressed perhaps in the sleeve of a plaid shirt,
nose pressed against the page,
writing a few more dutiful lines

while I gaze out the window and image Budapest
or some other city where I have never been.

 

SO GOOD. I had misgivings and incorrect assumptions about Billy Collins “the famous poet”; he is too famous. But I had not experienced his work, his poems, with just me sitting with each one. I love his stuff! Mostly, I love the devotion he shows to the time it takes, allows. The time a poem bakes, crafts, comes into being, as if he and he alone, is the messenger, or person only to deliver the package. He sits and waits and plays and writes and then a poem emerges. He makes it seem effortless and yet like he doesn’t really have any choice in the matter. I am grateful that he allows the poems to come to him and then shares them. I very much love his poems about poems.

(Believe it or not, there is a 1-star review on goodreads; very entertaining.)

Rating: FIVE SLICES


Collection #8 by Lisa J. Starr, Beautifully Produced by the Poet 2008, 116 pages

Other People’s Poems

Perhaps I should leave other people’s poems to other people,
but I am afraid that left unsaid, they grow, they thicken,’
never mind how they accumulate.
The poems of others—this one’s my brother’s.

.
.
.

Your poem, then, my brother—the weariness of knowing
that what’s done is done, except that then it’s yours forever.
It takes twenty years sometimes to discover it’s not that your secret
is so dark; it’s that it’s always with you.

 

I am contacting the poet to see what is the best way to purchase a copy of this. (I don’t want to use the big A place… I suppose I should check if the indie bookstore on Block Island has a copy.) I thought this poems impactful, poignant, and relatable to the point that I want to have them to share. Poems about the joys of childhood, and how childhood pain is long-lasting; poems about taking care of parents and old dogs, poems of recognition.

Rating:  Five Slices of Pie. Quiche Lorraine and Pumpkin Pie

 

 

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie aka 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.