Announcing June #EarthSea2018 Readalong

Announcing June #EarthSea2018 Readalong

Presented to you by @AvidReader25 and me! Here, there and maybe Twitter? I suspect this readalong will take place on Litsy more than anywhere else…

It is high time I finally read a book by this esteemed author.  How about YOU?

Pull up a chair (laptop), and tell me your favorite book by Ursula-KLG

-or-

if you are like me, can I ask why haven’t you yet?

My own answer to that is multilayered. I have no good excuse and I insist that I haven’t avoided her. It’s that I have a ton of books on my tbr; how does one choose the “right time”? When an author is known for lots and lots of titles, which book of hers do I choose? So, I am grateful for Melissa for suggesting this author, this book, this time.

To gripe a bit, I do blame my education in that I don’t recall many women authors being suggested to me. I read The Hobbit in 5th grade. Why did not someone suggest I might enjoy Ursula K Le Guin?

Let’s do this!

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2018. 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 Library at Mount Char

Thoughts tlamcbysh by Scott Hawkins, Crown 2015, 390 pages

Challenge: peer pressure?
Genre: Fantasy
Type/Source: ebook / Kindle
 Why I read this now: Making a concerted effort to read my ebooks.

MOTIVATION for READING: I have so many blogger-buds say this is a wild ride. Had to sign up and see if I liked it, too.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Our main character, Carolyn, is a librarian; but the library where she works is most interesting and actually on a different plane. She is in charge of learning all the worlds’ (world’s or all worlds’? hard to tell) languages while a few of her ‘brothers and sisters’ know everything about war and death and animals and transportation and persuasively getting into people’s heads, etc. They all report to “Father” but he is actually some kind of godlike entity and his library is his store of knowledge. He needed to adopt these kids so he could pass along this knowledge but also keep the power decentralized. Then one day, he goes missing.

WHAT’s GOOD: This is one nutty action-packed funny wild ride, I will agree.

What’s NOT so good:  About half way, when the adrenaline and the WTF’s are flying — while I’m chatting up the book and sharing how awesome it is — and the big WA LA BOOM BOOM! happens…. Then it’s late at night and I have to go to sleep and wake up the next day to finish;  it felt like a balloon with a slow leak. So I suppose I could say the ending but more the lead up to the ending, felt draggy and almost unsatisfactory. Upon reflection a week later, I liked the ending OK.

  I am still wondering if I missed how Carolyn met the military dude. 

FINAL THOUGHTS:  It is a wild and unique ride. It’s violent, a bit of an almost love story — oops, SPOILER!? It has a lot of humor, too.

Other REVIEWS: Shaina’s review has a Q&A with the author which is nice. Heather that Capricious Reader seemed to like it. Michelle gave it a “Hot Damn”. The book cover will link to goodreads.com if you care to explore there. Or click here to get to FyreFly’s Book Blogger Search Engine for this title.

RATING: Four slices of pie. No mention of pie was noted.

 

 

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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.

Quick Update…

SO, um yea, THANKS! for the great comments and advice and good cheer.

I ended up reading a few more pages of Prologue to Love before admitting, “No, I do NOT like this dude.” and DNF for realz. I’m sad, though.

and Quiet just wasn’t doin’ it for me. Adios!

But I stuck with Hypocrite and let it audio itself all over my day while I packed and prepped for a weekend trip and then today finished it on a walk and a cool down. I really REALLY liked her essay on her visit to Poland and the concentration camps – gut punch. And I do ‘get’ her bit about the wedding industry and how we are all just a bunch of contradictions and it is best to recognize, laugh at and with and keep trying to figure this life stuff out as best we can. I give it three slices of pie and I don’t recall if she mentions pie or not.

AND!  the biggest result of releasing the guilt and pressure to continue books that are not capturing full attention is that I have read 3 eBooks since! A plane ride and insistence/determination to read my Kindle (damn thing, I really DO. NOT. LIKE. this archaic troublesome device thingie – I read as much on my phone and iPad) helped push me through three books that I gave four pie slices to and enjoyed mostly. All were quite different from each other:

tbdbysm trfocgbyje tlamcbysh

The Baker’s Daughter – Alternating timeline of a young German girl at the end of WW2 who marries a Texan. (also, must mention… there are recipes.)

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathon Evison – about a roadtrip of a 19-yo boy with his caregiver on the way from Washington state to Salt Lake City and the troubles each have before and along the way. Heartwarming, sad and humorous all wrapped up together.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins – uneven but delightfully rompy. Recommended for anyone who likes far out weird crap and strong personalities battling other strong personalities while trying to find heart and soul amidst the chaos. Lots of humor and lots of ass-kicking with questions along the way that have answers that satisfy as best they can. Who doesn’t want to know an Erwin and want him on your team?

Not sure if I will write a post for each but just had to say thanks to the many commenting lovelies on the last post who recommended I MOVE ON ALREADY and so I did.

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Oh. What? You want to know what I am reading/listening to next?  I just opened and read the first few sentences of Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner and I believe I will be listening to State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. Anyone up for a June readalong of that? I’m not sure how much I will be able to listen in the next week so June might be perfect…

 
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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.

My Failed March Magics Post

I can’t finish this book. I’m so sad. OK, better truer words:  I won’t read this? I am “choosing to not continue” to read this. I just want to fall into a story and get swept away and this one is making me think too much about whether or not I should keep reading. I find myself carrying the book around and then never opening or maybe reading 2 pages slowly and not paying attention. OBVIOUSLY this book is not for me.

(I still might gift it to my niece. I hope she likes it. I trust my good reading friends who adore DWJ will find this to be a successful resolution to this problem.)

Fire and Hemlock fahbydwj  FIREBIRD / Penguin Group 2012 (orig 1985), 438 pages

DNF’d – could not abide the bad spelling even if it was supposed to be like that. Ugh! I can’t translate bad spelling into what the words are supposed to be and then SO DISTRACTED and bothered. Also, couldn’t figure out the two memory thing. DWJ is just not for me. I have not the DWJ-appreciation gene; NOT that I don’t admire and respect her talent and success. I will let others enjoy her work.

Attempted to read for #MarchMagics because so many lovely readers I admire love DWJ.

Will be gifting to my Middle-School-aged niece.

Also, bad parenting. UGH again. (in the book, not referring to my niece!)

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 UPDATE
So. I am substitute teaching mathematics to HS freshman in two classes and to HS seniors in another class. Plus I have a “home room” of 3o minutes with about 20 kids. Two weeks down, one week to survive til one week of totally glorious spring break and then 3-4 weeks after and then the teacher I am subbing for comes back. It’s fun, it’s exhausting, it’s overwhelming. I’m making mistakes, I’m beating myself up, I’m falling in love with the lil cherubs, I’m learning slang and other stuff, the staff is amazingly professional and inspiring, and I couldn’t have walked into anything better right now. I am trying to counter the “I’m so exhausted” thoughts with more energetic ones; but as they say, it takes 21 days to make a habit. I’m working on it!

I haven’t finished a book in what feels like forever and I am totally bonkers for the Tournament of Books. BONKERS, PEOPLE!!! I just started an audio of The Sympathizer and I think it will be a good one. I’ve also embarked on a readalong  with Book Chatter Ti of The New World to my surprise (what am I thinking trying to add something new now to my plate?) – but it is super-dooper intriguing because it is a phone app and I don’t know what to expect, really, but it’s a terrific book for #Weirdathon.

What else? I’m sorry I’m not visiting y’all’s blogs or responding to comments but thank you. And a big thank you to all those who have written me personal hand-written (and typed!) letters and postcards this past week! I got quite a bit of nice mail in that box at the end of the driveway and I love it. I’m so blessed.

Have a dynamite wonderful book-filled week!

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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

divers15

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)

simurgh

 

 

 

 

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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.

Things Fall Apart

Thoughts tfabyca Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Anchor Books/DoubleDay 1959, 214 pages

This is one of those heart-breaking tales that won’t quite reveal its heart-breakingness until the last three pages and until that odd realm of thoughtful time beyond called reflection. I admit that I struggled through this; I would put it down and not want to pick it up.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: This is Africa when the missionaries of Victorian England came to save their souls: community, folklore, religion, reaction, life. and death. Always death.

  “And so on this particular night as the cryer’s voice was gradually swallowed up in the distance, silence returned to the world,

a vibrant silence made more intense by the universal trill of 1 million million forest insects.

Because, during the reading with its matter-of-fact ‘other-worldliness’ (aka not relatable cuz ‘foreign’) tales of lives long gone and of places “no longer” and CULTURES OBLITERATED, we (aka I) couldn’t get into it.

It was the matter-of-factness that both held sway and failed to be riveting. How could I relate? There was no drama. It was all “big-bad-dude gets his feelings hurt and reacts like a man, all hurt-pride. blah blah blah.” He had a tender side, of course. They all do.

But the last few pages, in the heart-breaking scenes of what happens, the result – also told in the same matter-of-factness – is what stuns the reader into the realization that these are people (doh!) and that bad shit happens the world over, always has and always will.

I do think it somewhat GOOD to know that BAD craziness has always happened. We tend to think that the good-ol’-days were all sunshine and daisies and puppies but bad crap has happened every day everywhere and it probably isn’t getting better nor worse.

THAT is why I read history and historical fiction. It is NOT good to dwell on how the world is ‘going to shit’. We MUST put positive vibes into the universe or the bad guys win!

This book has humor and sad (horrifying*) superstitions and truths about people and community – the good and the bad. I am glad to have read it.

“… filled the air as the spirits of the ancestors, just emerged from the earth, greeted themselves in their esoteric language.” (Connects to the Martian elders in Strange in a Strange Land)”

RATING: 4 slices of pie. Sweet Potato Pie?

*the fact that twins were killed cuz twins are bad made me feel all the sadnesses.

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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.

A More Diverse Universe 2014

This.

amdubanner-col2

Click the button above to sign up.

Do it. Read a book by an author of color. Celebrate diversity!

I want to read amlwbycw about the 1957 Integration of Little Rock Central High School.

and something fiction, preferably fantasy. Taking recommendations. Goodreads offers a Speculative Fiction list for choices, too.

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2007-2014. 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.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Thoughts dosabbylt by Laini Taylor, Hachette Audio 2011, 12.5 hours

Narrated by Khristine Hvam.

WHY this/now:  This was offered a few years ago as a book club choice but not selected. I had tbr’d it at that time but lately was craving an audio experience that was different from my standard fare. This won a BEST AUDIO Award so that was good enough for me. (Plus, if you are out of credits at Audible, this is reasonably priced – or was the day I bought it. I am all about the time per dollar.)

What’s it ABOUT: A young girl is studying art in Prague, she speaks many languages and has a family of sorts that she really can’t talk about. Her family isn’t human.

OK, to be spoilery, I might have to admit that I thought it was going in one direction and it surprised me. The first half of the book was fabulous! I was swept up into the world – great world-building, by the way. And I liked our girl Karou and loved her blue hair and the twinkle in her eye when she tells the truth knowing it will be accepted as not-truth.

But the second half had pieces that made me weary with too long mental rehash of thoughts and feelings. “Oh! I wish he would just kiss me, or do I? Is that what I want? I think I want him to kiss me but I don’t know, blah blah blah.”

Overall, I get why this is a hit and the audio narration was good. The story is new (to me?) and inventive. World-building and character descriptions were beautifully done.

RATING:  THREE slices of blueberry pie.

Other REVIEWS:  Jill at Rhapsody Books (go see the list of awards this book was won!), the Book Bloggers Search Engine Results

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Copyright © 2007-2014. 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.

Harry Potter. The Finale.

hpathbp hpatdhbyjkr

I’m done! I’ve read them ALL!  I’m thrilled to have this personal challenge complete. Thank you to everyone who has cheered me to this finish line, who encouraged me to keep at it, who loaned me copies of their own books or even just considered and decided I was not worth the risk. Thank you to everyone who envied my reading-for-the-first-time because once done, can never be done again. And thank you to the few of you who wondered why I would bother. I did it!  I enjoyed the whole experience.

I feel this to be a tremendous accomplishment. I’m quite proud of myself.  It only took me 16 months (funny, I thought it took longer.) I sought out borrowed non-library books, by the way. I had book #7 waiting a long time and then suddenly over Columbus Day I was presented with book #6 and swoooosh! I was done. They read SO fast.

I am not going to bother with any review. I liked the stories and loved the characters and even cried a little at the very end.

Now I get to watch the movies!

H

H

PS – After finishing book #7 but still not having a very good memory of what number is which title and late the night I decided I should watch a movie, I couldn’t figure out which of the films I’m supposed to watch next since they don’t put the number in IMDB… I decided to watch the one with Sirius Black. Had NO idea that it would be the scary mean guy from The Professional (must see if you never have – Jean Reno as the ‘good’ guy and a young Natalie Portman – a top 5 favorite movie for me. I wonder if it is based on a book; must find out…) and of course — GARY OLDMAN! A nice surprise. But the movie was TOO SHORT.

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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.

Howl’s Moving Castle

Thoughts  hmcbydwj Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, A Greenwillow Book EOS • An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers 2008 (orig 1986), 429 pages

I have been wanting to read this since Jenny of Jenny’s Books educated me on the MUSTS of knowing this author.

I wrote all about my attempt to participate in the first DWJ Week way back when in my review of her short story collection Mixed Magics.   <– click on that underlined part Miss Mad…

I enjoyed Mixed Magics and I must say that Howl’s Moving Castle is just as delightful.

Delightful and LIVELY. Lively was the word I used to describe Mixed Magics and it applies here, too. Especially the beginning. I was grinning and giggling and very much excited to continue once I began. Ms. Jones just writes extremely engaging and SMART stories.

So this time around, “they” declared March as DWJ month and tweeted and twitted about it with hashtag #dwjmarch. I was a bit late to the party and was proud of myself for getting my hands on this book. Finally. AND reading it in March. Though I had to finish it in April.

I’m not going to yap too much what it’s about. An eldest daughter realizes that because she is the eldest, her chances of adventure are non-existent but things end up happening to her anyway. I’m actually liking the story even more reflecting on it.

Question for you parents of 11 year olds…  Is this the perfect book for an 11 year old niece of mine? I’ve been just the wretchedest of aunties and forgot her birthday. I know, I feel horrible. So much for vying for FAVORITE-AUNT.

I actually am thinking of sending her the non-perishable ingredients plus recipe for Coconut Custard Pie – I just don’t know if she likes coconut!  oh well, I think I’ll do it anyway…

SO then, let me know if you think I should buy this for the poor niece of mine who has been treated shabbily by Auntie-Care and do have a delightful day!

NEVERMIND. I believe this will be PERFECT for her. (I just read that post of Jenny’s again that I link to above…)
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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.