A Spool of Blue Thread

Thoughts asobtbyat by Anne Tyler, Alfred A. Knopf 2015, 357 pages

Challenge: Tournament of Books 2016 Short List
Genre: Literary Fiction
Type/Source: Hardback / Library
 Why I read this now: Both for one of my book clubs and attempt to read all the Rooster TOB Short List

FIRST Sentence:  Late one July evening in 1994, Red and Abby Whitshank had a phone call from their son Denny.

What’s it ABOUT: This is not very plot heavy so let’s see I how do here. This book is about a family with a father and a mother and their four kids; eventually there’s grandkids. One son, Denny, is the black sheep, but it’s not about him, really. I could possibly say it is about Abby. It’s an odd novel that I surely failed to appreciate for its strengths. Another character is the house the family lived it. Red had lived there most of his life; his father built it. We get some of that generation’s story, too. I can’t even pick out a favorite character. But Red’s mom is something else.

I wish I could find something exciting to add. Perhaps I have you curious? Perhaps you adore Anne Tyler and don’t really care what I think about it? That’s my hope. You can tell she is a very comfortable author with her craft.

WHAT’s GOOD: There is nothing wrong, per se. I found it rather boring. It did have a few good chuckles — observations about family, relationships and expectations.

What’s NOT so good: Me, I suppose. I cannot pinpoint what failed to capture my attention, why I didn’t fall for this more. I usually like character-driven family drama style books, don’t I?

If you’ve read this book and think you might have a sense of what kind of book I like, do you find it funny that I didn’t enjoy this more? I do. I actually think this would be the kind of book I would write if I ever find a story burning in my brain begging to be told.

FINAL Thoughts: I’m glad to have read it and I am most curious about what the judges will say in the TOB. I have this inkling that I will be able to agree with those that loved it but also identify with any faults found by those who didn’t like it.

I hope we have a wonderful discussion at book club! I usually do come away from our meetings with new appreciations. This is my most dedicated and focused club – we have a little bell to ring when the conversation strays away from the book which means that everyone usually has something to share beyond, “Yep, I liked it.”

PIE Mentions:

“What’s for dessert?” Tommy asked his mother.
Stem said, “SSh. Grandma’s on the phone.”
“Blueberry pie,” Nora said.
“Goody!”

RATING: Three slices of blueberry pie.

 

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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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The Perfect Son

Thoughts tpsbybcw by Barbara Claypole White, Lake Union Publishing 2015, 386 pages

Challenge: none
Genre: Contemporary Lit, maybe even Med Lit if I dare subgenre it…
Type/Source: tradeback, purchased at an Indie Bookstore
 Why I read this now: I am due to meet the author next month. YIKES!

MOTIVATION for READING: I wanted to read a book by one of the authors presenting at an event I will be attending next month. I still have time to read a book or two from the other authors, too, and I just might!

OK – I got one of those odd stories where the hair stands up on the back of your neck… I was chatting with the husband about how the book I am reading had a pie reference and it was Chocolate Chess Pie – which is close to the kind of pie I made last week (Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie) and then?!

The bartender (yep, we were sitting at the bar waiting to meet friends for dinner), so the bartender says to a couple near us, “Yes, we have Chocolate Chess Pie.”

Hub and I just looked at each other all wide-eyed and frozen. It was … crazy!

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  The Perfect Son might be about a couple who has a son with Tourette’s plus a few other disorders and is a brilliant adorable sweet and cute high school kid with an equally adorable best friend who is not perceived – visually – as sweet and cute because he has tattoos and blue/black hair (maybe, I can’t quite recall what his hair color was dyed to be but let’s imagine a goth kid – and is only contrast, really).  Or… And? The adorable son has a mom who has had a very severe heart attack. The adorable son has a control freak dad with his own issues who must now step it up and be a FATHER – the kind of father that is involved and caring. Everyone has to find a way to get along with this new lifestyle. It is anything but easy.

WHAT’s GOOD: Everything. I loved all the characters even though I thought I was going to hate the dad in the beginning because well, he is NOT likable (by design, duh) but he manages to control some of his demons and TRY. So many wonderful women in this. We really don’t get much of Mom, more of an idea of her through some of her thoughts but mostly from conversations with Dad and Son and mom’s friends interacting with said dad and son.

What’s NOT so good: I don’t want to suggest that I paused about half way and wondered what the conflict was going to be but I can gladly say it doesn’t really matter that I paused and had that thought. Right? And sure enough, we had the pace step up and wham! and we get the event for climax and a satisfying denouement and yay, all is well with the world. Well, that is too simple and isn’t accurate. I’d say more but I’ll spoil something and that is NO. FUN.  I’ll see if I can refrain from adding TMI in my tags… ha!

FINAL THOUGHTS: It’s good. I really liked it. I’m more than glad to have read it. I cried only a tiny bit.

LOTS of medical details about heart attacks and stuff involved with such and Tourette’s and anxiety and other things they give acronyms to but not ever presented in a tiring way. All well done.

RATING:  Four slices of Chocolate Chess Pie, of course! With whipped cream. (And I don’t care what the Brits say, SOME of the ‘real’ whipped cream in a can is awesome and gosh darn convenient.)

fourpie

 

 

And, no, we didn’t get Chocolate Chess Pie for dessert. Fooled ya?! We had the Affogato instead…

 

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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.

Welcome to the Departure Lounge

Thoughts wttdlbymf Adventures in Mothering Mother by Meg Frederico, Random House 2009, 191 pages

From the goodreads.com blurb:

A fresh, funny new voice, Meg Federico showcases her keen eye for the absurd in this poignant, hilarious, and timely account of one daughter’s tumultuous journey caring for her aging parents.

When Meg Federico’s eighty-year-old mother and newly minted step-father were forced to accept full-time home care, she imagined them settling into a Norman-Rockwellian life of docile dependency. With a family of her own and a full time career in Nova Scotia – a thousand miles away from her parents – Federico hoped they would be able to take care of themselves for the most part, and call on their children when they really needed them – but of course that’s not quite what happens.

As she watches with horror from the sidelines, Federico’s parents turn into terrible teens. Fighting off onslaughts of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, Addie and Walter, forbidden by doctors to drink, conspire to order cases of scotch by phone; Addie’s attendant accuses the evening staff of midnight voodoo; Walter’s inhibitions decline as dementia increases and mail-order sex aides arrive at the front door. The list of absurdities goes on and on as Federico tries to take some control over her parents’ lives – and her own.

This is a story for the huge generation – nearly 76 million people – now dealing with the care of their parents. You’ll laugh and cry as you read this powerful and important debut.

I know I grabbed this one off the shelf because it was short, it  had lived on my shelf for some years and I was hoping it would be funny. Well. I should have known better. Attempting to insert this as a stopgap read while stalling the ending to Salem’s Lot, I realized once again that the horrors of real life always trump the scary nasty monstor du jour created by the mind of Stephen King.

Hats off to Jenny –who has convinced me that Reading-the-End-Before-Reading-the-Middle has its advantages; I skipped over the 4th-7th chapters, read the last two plus Epilogue and then skimmed back over whatever I had to to place it all in context. The book didn’t suffer.

In fact, I thank Frederico for the care and compassion she showed her mother and shares here with her readers. I appreciated the advice on some key isuses. Some GOOD ADVICE that I didn’t know: important to choose hospice at ‘that time’ because they have powers and options that smooth the process for dying at home; like access to pain meds and death pronouncement. Saves a bunch of hassle apparently. No one needs more hassle at that time when you really all need peace. The author’s experiences were interesting, both crazy sad and funny, and she is an excellent writer.

However, I can’t quite imagine who this book is for. Those who are in the midst of going through the challenges of taking care of parents might not want to read about it and those who are not near this phase of life, probably don’t want to know about it.

I encourage anyone interested in the slightest to click on the cover and read the goodreads.com reviews – many are just SPOT ON and thus I won’t attempt to recreate my own review.

Rating:  Three slices of pie.

wian15 Could count for two categories of this year’s What’s in a Name Challenge! familial relation and title with ING.

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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.

H is for Hawk

Thoughts hifhbyhm H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, Random House Audio 2014, 11 hours 6 minutes

I’m already declaring this a TOP READ/LISTEN for 2015!

Anonymous Interviewer aka AI: Care, how did you come to read this?

Care: I saw a tweet announcing it as an Audible special for $2.99. Since, I knew I had only a few hours left of my current audiobook and lots of days left in the month to await my next credit, I jumped.

AI: Did you know anything about it? Had you read any good reviews?

Care: Excellent question because no, I didn’t really know much about it but yes, I do think I had read positive things? I DID know that the title fits the What’s in a Name Challenge for the animal category, so it has that going for it.

AI: I thought you were going to read Elegance of the Hedgehog for WiaN8.

Care: So did I, but it just kept getting passed over by my mood to read something else. I do hope to read Hedgehog someday but maybe not anytime soon, I guess.

AI: So what’s the Hawk book about?

Care: H is for Hawk is a fascinating overlapping memoir — and more! It is part nature book, falconry how-to book, grief exploration book and part biography of TH White, the author of The Once and Future King.

AI: So this is memoir?

Care: Yes, nonfiction. (I admit, I didn’t know this until after I started listening to the book.)

AI: Tell us about the author.

Care: Sure, and I first must say if I haven’t already, that the author does an EXCELLENT job narrating her own book.

AI: Is this unusual?

Care: What, that authors narrate their own books or that they actually do this successfully?

AI: Yea, that.

Care: I think Neil Gaiman is one author that does a great job and I have found that entertainers such as comedians always seem to do a very good job narrating their own books, but I can’t say that Donna Tartt pulled off a successful narration. (I did manage to listen all the way to the end of the 16 hour plus audio of The Secret History! YAY ME.)

Care: May I interrupt to give a NEVERWHERE READALONG SHOUT OUT? Nancy is doing a readalong if anyone has ever wanted to read this – I highly recommend the audiobook. My review is here.

AI: Do you have a button to share or maybe a hashtag for Twitter?

Care: As a matter of fact, I do know the hashtag #NeverwhereRAL, but I don’t know about a button. And if you click on the words a few sentences ago about the readalong shout out, you’ll open a window at Nancy’s blog…

AI: OK, tell us more about Helen Macdonald.

Care: Ms. Macdonald, a British naturalist writer, is a college professor who has also been interested in falconry since a very young age. There is also a terrific photo of Mabel on her blog (which may or may not be active; it looks like the events might be for 2014, a year done passed.)

AI: Um, Mabel? Who is Mabel?

Care: Mabel is her goshawk! Macdonald says in her book that if you give a goshawk a mild meek-sounding name, they usually turn out to be terrific hunters! (and vice versa.) Here’s a photo of another goshawk that I found on the internet:

goshawk <– Sindbad the Goshawk, photo credit to The International Falconry Forum

AI: To be totally honest, this book sounds not only boring but slightly depressing, even with a lovely named bird like Mabel.

Care: And you would be wrong. This book is delightful. It has ALL the feelings. Sure, it is about how she went through the stages of grief after losing her father but it also has many funny almost comic moments – also, angry and frightening. Her writing is beautiful, provocative. She is known as a naturalist writer for good reason. She is just an excellent writer! She is smart, she is tender, she is strong, she is brave and she shares every bit of it with eloquence.

And you learn about so much stuff that you didn’t even know you wanted to know about. THAT is a great book.Helen Macdonald

AI: Care to share a quote or two?

Care:

“And I found there were myriad definitions of this thing called tragedy that had wormed its way through the history of literature; and the simplest of all was this: that it is the story of a figure who, through some moral flaw or personal failing, falls through force of circumstance to his doom.”

AI: I have nothing else to ask, maybe your readers will have more questions. This concludes this audiobook review presentation interrogation. Thank you.

Care: Thank YOU.

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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.

Inside the O’Briens

Thoughts itobbylg by Lisa Genova, Gallery Books 2015, 343 pages

“Hope is the thing with feathers that reaches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all. – Emily Dickinson”

RATING: Five slices of pie.

FOR:  My neighborhood book club. Meeting is first week of October 2015.

What’s it ABOUT: I hate to assume but I do know many of my readers are familiar with Lisa Genova. She is the author of Still Alice, recently brought to film and hot in the latest Academy Awards race which culminated in a Best Actress win for Julianne Moore. I have yet to see the movie.

Still Alice was Genova’s debut novel and I had the privilege to meet her at a book reading on Cape Cod in 2009. Shocked, I am, that it was that long ago! But not really, considering that THIS book, Inside the O’Briens, is Genova’s FOURTH book. She is on her way to being and remaining a celebrated author and I expect we will be entertained and educated on more neurological disorders in the future.

“A silence fills the room like a flash flood, and they’re all submerged, breathless.”

Yes, she has a genre; could be considered one of the best of the “disease fiction” novelists (the only one that comes to mind at the moment) — if that is a thing. (There are many shelves in goodreads pertaining to this theme.) In all of her books, Genova tackles an issue, usually based on a little known or rare neuropathology, and humanizes the situation extremely well. She brings it to life where we not only understand the problems, consider the heartaches, but also relate to the fear AND hope. Providing HOPE is especially difficult to do and she manages it somehow. She also reminds me to be compassionate and kind.

Still Alice discusses Early Onset Alzheimers. Left Neglected showcases a disorder known a Left Neglect – in this one, the protagonist suffers a brain injury. Love Anthony tackles autism – this is the only book I have yet to read. All are set in Massachusetts.

Inside the O’Briens brings awareness to the rare genetic Huntington’s Disorder (HD). We meet a Boston cop who lives in Charlestown MA and his family and friends. Yes, I cried. And yet I didn’t cry at the end. Maybe I was all cried out by then, but also, Genova leaves us with a plan to be hopeful and knowledgeable. In the epilogue, she provides an opportunity to support the research to find a cure. In my opinion, the most difficult part of these kinds of books is the balance between providing too much information about the disorder and describing what the people are feeling. I never felt that I was encountering an educational treatise (“Here is a scary fact, now go feel something.”). I never felt manipulated. All of it felt real and skillfully plotted and revealed.

We not only learn about HD, we learn about what it is like to be a police officer in Boston. We learn about yoga, we learn about Charlestown. This author is excellent at creating that sense of place. It helps that I am familiar with this area but I don’t think anyone else who hasn’t visited Boston would feel any setting loss. She is that good. I have to admit that one of my slices of pie is for that skill Genova has to allow me into the lives of fictional people who seem totally real; I am inside fully developed characters and immersed into their thoughts and fears and dreams. This is a successful book.

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HAVE YOU READ A BOOK BY LISA GENOVA? DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE?  This might be mine. I liked Still Alice a bit more than Left Neglected.

*NOTE* – I read Still Alice as a first book when joining a new book club and this will be the first book for a new club, too. I’m beginning to see a connection! It doesn’t take much for me to see connections… What it might mean, I have no clue.

**SECOND NOTE** – I had a status update in goodreads for page 239 that mentions my concern with the last paragraph but I returned the book to the library. Here’s hoping that edition will be at the club meeting so I can refer to it.

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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.

Heft

Thoughts heftbylm by Liz Moore, Blackstone Audio 2012, 11 hrs 44 min

Narrated by Kirby Heyborne and Keith Szarabajka

I really enjoyed this. I rated this five slices of lemon pie.

I have read some interesting reviews that mention the ambiguous ending and a disturbing date rape scene. I would like to discuss. If you have read this book, read on and chime in. If you haven’t yet, you can keep reading at your own peril.

Quote:  “… the whole place smelled like lemon and pie.”  –  in Chapter Two

We meet Arthur Opp who is a former professor of English who has not left his house in 10 years while eating and eating and eating himself into a weight estimated between 550 and 600 pounds. He has received contact from a former romantic interest; she was one of his students who had to quit school but became a pen pal who hadn’t corresponded in many years. Arthur decides that this contact should be pursued and makes strides to start ‘moving and improving’ if possible, and it was quite delightful to hear his fears about new acquaintances and situations that impact him on this ‘waking up’.

Another story line is told from the perspective of the son of Arthur’s former penpal/student/love interest. He’s a high school baseball jock hoping for a chance at the big leagues so he can avoid college. His mom is a mess, to put it bluntly.

Even at 80% when the reader KNOWS that these story lines MUST crash or converge or cross OR SOMETHING (all caps to demonstrate how passionately I was worried about this!), it was mind-boggling to speculate how this book would end!  When and how would these story lines tie together?

And thus the ambiguity, because… they almost don’t, not really. But I liked it. I liked it very much, even after a few days after listening to the last word and thinking about it. Even after I listened to that last word and said out loud, “Is that IT?!”

I had feared this would be an ugly cry book. I did cry (gently) at about 95% through or so — When Arthur admits that you don’t get to pick your family and sometimes families suck. So sometimes you have to pick your own substitute family.

    ♦

Now. The date rape. It didn’t bother me. I mean, sure, it BOTHERS me, and bother is too soft a word for this crime. It’s wrong, it’s scary and it’s wrong-&-scary. I get it. But this scene in this book was realistic and I wasn’t put in that place of objectively confronting my feelings on how the scene played out. (And truthfully, since this was audio, I swear I thought he stopped – maybe in my mind, he did and even though he admits that he sensed her being uncomfortable and he didn’t care, I thought I heard in the telling that he eventually DID stop. But I’m not going to go try and find that place in the audiobook and listen again. I’ll keep my version. Maybe he stopped not out of a conscience to suddenly respect the girl, so that is problematic, true.

I did think that he protested too much to his girlfriend later (thus, only confirming my version of the event, actually) but I want to say to those reviewers on goodreads who had a problem with the date rape scene being too casual and not dealt with in an appropriately severe manner consequentially to the perp, I GET IT.

But I don’t think it shows the author of being lackadaisical to the issue. I think she presented it just like it might happen. Life sucks. Books don’t always get to be the platform for a moral and a lesson. They get to be messy.

This book had charm and grit and attempts to find the light when all you can see is the dark. You don’t have to like the characters; yes, they were flawed. They were real.

I recommend this book. I recommend the audio.

I will read more by this author.

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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.

The Bookseller of Kabul

Thoughts tbokbyas The Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne Seierstad, Back Bay Books 2002, 288 pages, tB

“The most intimate description of an Afghan household ever produced by a Western journalist… Seierstad is a sharp and often lyrical observer.” -New York Time Book Review

MOTIVATION for reading: This month’s selection for my local library fiction club – – which is wonderful! (not sure if the library just gives to us or we choose. AND, I’m not sure I will be able to attend the meeting if I find a sub job.)

What’s in a Name Challenge 8 – CITY category

FIRST Sentence: “When Sultan Khan thought the time had come to find himself a new wife, no one wanted to help him.”

What’s it ABOUT: The author is a Norwegian journalist who met Mr. Khan at his book store the month after Sept 11, 2001. She struck up a friendship, found him ‘interesting’ and pitched the idea of living with his family to write this book. He had no objections. She writes about the family dynamic and the goals and dreams of the ones she has most conversations with – the ones who can speak English but she also puts together the mosaic of all the family members; each chapter is presented as a vignette with an event or a person.

WHAT’s GOOD: Ms Seierstad is a talented journalist – an observer and reporter able to convey the emotions involved AND appropriate distance in what appears to be the daily lives of her subjects, because as she explains in the Foreword, she is “regarded as some sort of bi-gendered creature”. She traveled and ate with the men as well as took part in female-only activities. She was “able to circulate freely between the groups”. THIS was the most fascinating piece overlaying the entire book. I kept wondering how she accomplished it and why they accepted the arrangement.

What’s NOT so good: I have no complaints with the story-telling. Truly, the world these women inhabit is heart-breaking, unless they are lucky? Even the ‘lucky’ ones have zero to little freedom.

Sultan Khan is a business man and he manages to do well despite the politics of who is in power. He has sons. He has two wives. He is in control. We meet his sons – his oldest speaks English but his youngest is made to work in the shops and is NOT sent to school. We do manage to see slices of life that occupy people of any culture – cooking and feasting, weddings and babies, carving a living in an uncertain economy, hopes and dreams. We meet a variety of personalities; we wonder. I wonder. I wonder if people just suck. Why can’t we all just get along?

FINAL THOUGHTS: I felt for Leila. She is/was the capable and bright youngest sister of Sultan who waited hand and foot  on the men of the family. Her mother was elderly and her other sister was just … well, we might assume she was of limited capacity, intellectually and physically. Leila was educated and knew English. She had dreams to be a teacher, to have something of her own, an outlet of expression and worth, an opportunity to have some kind of independence.

It is hard to imagine that in the 80s, Afghanistan women lived lives of ambition and movement and fashion. To look at photos then and now, is astonishing. And even as the Taliban was pushed out of power just before the time Seierstad wrote this book (~2002) and thus women were no longer restricted to live their public lives hidden under a burka, they don’t quite feel comfortable without it, for reasons understandable and better explained by this review at Rhapsody in Books. And I really have no idea what might have happened since then and even if it is possible to figure it out. My American privilege and ignorance is showing.

RATING: Four slices of pie-in-the-sky*.

Fascinating, heart-breaking, devastating.

 

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* pie-in-the-sky was the only pie reference I ran across in this text.

 

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.

The Fiction Class

Thoughts tfcbysb The Fiction Class by Susan Breen, A Plume Book 2008, 304 pages

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I like the cover.

It must be a great act of courage for a writer to teach writing. I know I would wonder about my student’s perception of my “success” or lack of success and how necessary this is to be qualified to teach. Whenever I do have a crisis in confidence when eyes are on me to explain or share or ‘deliver a lesson’, I always tell myself that I only need to know SOMETHING/ANYTHING more than the students. And we all know something that can be shared and appreciated. I don’t have to be an expert.

Anyway, I do believe good teaching rarely requires total mastery in a field. The most educated and masterful mathematician could be lousy at teaching. A great teacher inspires and pushes and encourages creativity, experimentation and practice. A great teacher is NOT the one who stands in front of the class and dumps information. Our goals can be for PBL – Project Based Learning opportunities!

Which writing fits into. Writing is creative and story-based; a story is a project, if you will. Writing is a craft with tools and techniques. The tools are words and techniques vary. A great writer just might be a horrible teacher and perhaps the best teacher is not the best-selling author. Teachers are facilitators and coaches.

You can click on the book cover above for the goodreads.com blurb on The Fiction Class if you want to know more about it. I’m rating it three slices of pie. NOTE – this is an ARC. I only saw a few typos. I am willing to send this book to anyone who wants it.

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Somewhat related to this…  Read, come back and share if you agree: “Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I Don’t Teach in One” by Ryan Boudinot. There have been some responses (ahem) to this post and the comments are full of controversy.

I think Writing is a talent; some are born with more talent than others. As with Leaders. I also believe that great leaders can be built and just because you don’t have the bright talent at birth does not mean you can’t be a great leader. Same with writing.

I think it takes a great act of courage to WRITE.

Write on!

 

 

 

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.

 

Umm, Yep. OK, Sure. On It.

I always have to be sure to say something out loud when somebody asks me to do something. A ‘somebody’ like the husband, asking something like, “Can you please get me my phone, I left it on the table.” My tendency is often just to get up and go do the task/favor without realizing that the requestor is waiting for me to agree, to respond.

Thus, the title of this post.

I know it is is a thing from my childhood. I would rather stealthily just DO and sneak in – sneak out – task completed. Odd, huh? I think so. Not sure why I’m bringing it up but I was trying to think up a title for this post and that’s what my fingers gave me. Thought it needed explaining.

It really doesn’t have anything to do with what I started out wanting to post about!

Which is…

I had to go edit/fix my prior post because I had typed “crap pies” instead of CRAB pies!! and missed it even though I swear I checked my words before I hit publish! oh well. Made me laugh, but I am embarrassed, too.

And the other thing,

With so many of my conversations with you all lovely book bloggers being on Twitter and Instagram, Facebook and Untappd, and in real life letter exchanges; especially eschewing any formal prompts since Google Reader went defunct — I just want to rejoice and thank all of you for thinking of me. *smiles*

And… I rejoice when I visit a favorite blogger after “months absence” and seeing other wonderful bloggers commenting there. I know we have built up an amazing web of love-of-books and it warms my heart.

It’s like going to a party and being surprised when other friends that you weren’t expecting show up, too.

OK.

Yep, that’s it. Do have a super dooper day.

loveCare

 

PS I’m thinking my next pie will be Blueberry. pieratingsml

PSS I forget already what else I was going to say, distracted by Blueberry Pie!

PSSS Oh yea, I wanted to share that I just bookmooched some books that I couldn’t find at the library and I hadn’t even checked into that site for over a year! I’m so excited to get some books in the mail! One is already on its way.

PSSSS I have a book review to write on The Year of the Flood. And I am reading a bio of Oscar Wilde that is almost atrocious. Not the subject but how it’s written.

PSSSSS We will soon be readalonging Pet Sematary. I think it will be mostly on Instagram with hashtag #gangstercats if you want to join. Ya know, if you prefer to read a scary King book only with moral support in the company of other scared King readers.

 

 

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.

January 2015 Recap

My agenda for today’s meeting post is as follows:

Sister Carrie
Book Club/s
Pies
Shakespeare
Gardens
Whatever Else I Think Of That Doesn’t Fit in Any Previously Mentioned Category

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Hello! Hello! Happy SnowStorm up in my ol’ prior place of living!! (They got a storm if you didn’t hear) and I was not sad to miss it. I enjoyed all the Facebook posts and pics, I really did. We had sunshine and almost warm?  It was 45 degrees so it was fine with me.

I finished Sister Carrie last week and I really enjoyed it. I can tell that Mr. Dreiser was an original thinker – at least compared to my grandparents, maybe? He was bold and he was moralistic but he was also a free-thinker about lots of stuff and I really enjoyed how the story played.

The “Oh Carrie! Oh Carrie!!” at the very end was TERRIFIC!! Am thinking some of that paragraph would make a good epitaph on my pink marble headstone some 40+ years hence. I loved that piece so much that I found the free audiobook online and zoomed forward just to hear the last few paragraphs of the book. This is MY kind of classic:  historical, dramatic, bold. I was surprised. I think I say that a LOT. Why do we think this classics are going to be boring or dry?!?!  Oh We Silly TwentyFirstCenturions….

More on this — I hope!  If somebody wants to volunteer a post for a Sister Carrie #CarrieAlong Readalong Summation — even if in February!!, let me know and we will gather there and share, converse, chat, kibbitz, etc. Or we can set a date and tweet and/or do a watchalong of the movie. It’s on Amazon Prime, fyi…

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I joined a book club. My local library has a book club and I crashed it for January. They were most surprised!  Don’tcha love it?  Of course, they were!!  When I stopped by in December, the librarians thrust Invisible: in my hand and I read it and I really didn’t like it much. But — of course!! — I went to the library chat! That’s how I roll. I was the youngest person there but I am embarrassed* to say that I wasn’t the youngest by much. I’m getting old and I do NOT like it. I just might be the kind of person who boycotts my own surprise birthday party that I plan just in case no one thinks to surprise me with one. Actually one reason why I moved is because I both require and dread a surprise 50th birthday party in equal measure. I am SUCH a Gemini. (insert dramatic sigh here).

This book club had a moderator!  We actually talked about the book!!  Crazy.  Good times. I loved it. We are going to read The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd for next time. The library provides the books! Again, shock and awe. AWESOME. Funny story: the library tried to give the group The Good Earth ** by Pearl S Buck but they insisted that the library had the list wrong or misunderstood. They are certain that the next book was to be The Good _(something I forget)_ by one of those ‘popler’*** authors that I can’t ever remember…

So far, Invention of Wings is really good!!!!  I’m 20% in or so. Also , must say, I really like all the improvements that goodreads.com rolls out. They are working for me.

MORE.  I have two more book clubs I am going to “sample” to see if I like the ladies  – OH! that sounds horrible!  if I ‘click’ with the clubbers?!  can I say that??!!?!   I have to read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry before Feb 5 – yikes!  And also, The Husband’s Secret before Feb 20. THAT I can do because it will be my next audiobook.

yes, yes, I still have to apply for teaching jobs. I’m ON it!!

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Last Friday was PIE DAY. I do hope you all got some pie. I made a coffee pudding with meringue which unfortunately sounds better than it was (but the pudding part was orgasmic – yes I said that.) and I also made a Curry Vegetable Pie which was QUITE GOOD (please say that out loud with a Brit accent) but unfortunately was not photo worthy.

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The next pie day might be March 14… 3.14 National-Pi-Day But I might be missing some important pie days soon…

June 9 is Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day – you all should be aware of this.

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I just finished Shakespeare’s The Winter Tale on audio. I like Shakespeare, I do. I love the flow and rhythm and language of Shakespeare. Remarkable on some many literary levels, it astounds me. I wish I could have cultivated an appreciation for Dear Bill while a teen. But, alas, I did not. (I blame that on the death of my Thespian ambitions in Junior High, oh well.)

First, I know NOTHING about this play. I had to look up what it all meant during listening. I do now want to see a live performance.

I am counting this as my non review and for the Classics Challenge.  I liked it and give it 4 stars. It’s only 3 hours if anyone also needs a good play classic!!!  Actually, it really was well done. Did I mention -oops- Sir John Gielgud.   yes~?~

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I went to a Garden Information Night Event at the library. It was a North Carolina Extension presentation. They told me what plants I can plant when – very exciting! I’m excited!  I want to grow beets and garlic and tomatoes and other yummies.

I’m also obsessed with house plants. I had to give most of mine away in the move because it was too much stress to move them. I deposited many with good friends. Hope they are adjusted and loved. I’m accumulating more and hope I can do well. I don’t have the best of a green thumb but I do love house plants. You are supposed to have a house plant for every 10 square feet of house, you know. Best for clean air.

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I really thought I had more to say. Guess not. Anyone have any questions? Any motions to adjourn?

g’Night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Should be embarrassed to even to attempt bragging about being the youngest – what does this mean?!

** “There’s a life force to this book that a review can’t capture.”  <– I said that in my review. Huh.

*** POPLER = popular. Something adorable my cute second cousin uttered when she was about 9 yo and telling her mother that everyone just seemed to like her….

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