Category Archives: No Pie Mentioned

Apologize, Apologize!

Thoughts by Elizabeth Kelly, Twelve/Hachette Book Group 2009, 230 pages

Challenge: 20 books of Summer, What’s in a Name: Double Word

Genre/Theme: Contemporary Lit/Quirky Family

Type/Source: Tradeback/Gift from a friend

What It’s About: Wealthy family, rebel unconventional parents, two sons and an uncle. MANY many dogs. A house on Martha’s Vineyard Mass and a cold grandfather in Boston. The youngest son is the favorite, the oldest son is trying to find his way.

Thoughts: Sentences are crafty. The characters are quirky but unfortunately, not charming. The plot takes forever to chug into any direction and I got bored. I flipped to the end and found I actually did miss some big developments but couldn’t care enough to go back and find my footing in the story to make the puzzles pieces fit. Abandoned.

Thank you Gail for bringing this to a book club meeting for share. Sad that I couldn’t connect to it. Another one I’ve carried around since 2009.

Rating: __2__slices of pie. I didn’t note any pie mentions. But please, this is only MY reaction – goodreads average score is 3.2 so if you like quirky family drama, give this a try. If Gail doesn’t want the book returned, I am glad to send it on.

 

What’s in a Name host site: Carolina Book Nook

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. 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 Smart One and the Pretty One

Thoughts by Claire LaZebnik, 5 Spot/Hachette Book Group 2008, 288 pages

Challenge: 20 books of Summer

Genre/Theme: Fun Fiction/Sisters

Type/Source: Tradeback/Gift from a friend

What It’s About: Two sisters are reunited to take care of their mother’s health challenge and both grow up a bit while learning to appreciate each other.

Thoughts: Wow – that sentence above hurt me to write! Let’s see, let me start over.

The PRETTY-SISTER is irresponsible and unconcerned, loves fashion, has moved home from NYC back to LA and escorts Mom to chemotherapy as she battles a “minor case of breast cancer” (WTF?!)

The SMART-SISTER is overly responsible, hates all things girly, is consumed by being the consummate attorney. Smartie puts Pretty on a budget buying-ban; Pretty fixes sis up with an old family friend. Mayhem ensues.

OK, I do tend to overuse the “mayhem ensues”, I get it. I’ll stop. (no I won’t.) Pretty-Sister realizes she needs to be better with her finances and Smarty-Sis realizes that fashion *CAN* be fun.

It was a light and sexy read and I was glad to escape into the pages after too many months of reading more whacky or serious (or both) so I am happy to finally get to this.

But what happens with Mom? What happens to dud NYC-boy and his mom? A few loose ends, for me.

Thank you Lisa from Omaha for “winning” this book to me in 2009. LOL! 2009…

Rating: __4___slices of pie. I didn’t note any pie mentions. Might have to demote it to 3 slices…

 

What’s in a Name host site: Carolina Book Nook

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. 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.

Whereabouts

Thoughts by Jhumpa Lahiri, Alfred A. Knopf 2021, 163 pages

Translated from Italian.

Challenge: 20 Books of Summer, TOB Summer Camp

Genre/Theme: Contemporary Lit, Woman Thinking About Life

Type/Source: Hardcover, Library

What It’s About: Our unnamed main character narrates these vignettes of her days and the places these days take her. She excels at solitude.

“The tenderness he sets aside for me is enough.“

Her father was stingy, stingy at love and felt his family was a burden. Her mother never found her footing and took it out on the daughter. Each chapter seemed to have powerful last lines.

I mourned those wasted tickets, and that trip never taken, more than I mourned for you.

Thoughts: Provocatively written. Is provocative too strong a word? I could not stop reading; it was an insistent little book. It “evok[ed my] interest, attention, or and admiration in a powerfully irresistible way.” (the definition of compelling.)

Disoriented, lost, at sea, at odds, astray, bewildered, confused, uprooted, turned around.

I’m related to these related terms. These words are my abode, my only foothold.

(from Nowhere, page 153)

Rating: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned. However, there is a chapter that mentions pastry often and another had me searching for cat’s tongue cookies.

We say goodbye, separate. Then we, too, become two shadows projected onto the wall: a routine spectacle, impossible to capture.

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. 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.

Peaces

Thoughts by Helen Oyeyemi, Riverhead Books 2021, 256 pages

Challenge: #20Books of Summer

Genre/Theme: Literary Fiction / Strange Dreams

Type/Source: Hardcover / Library

What It’s About: I don’t have a clue.

Otto and Xavier embark on a train ride for their honeymoon, but I’m not sure the train actually goes anywhere. Ava Kapoor is the owner of the train and Laura and Allegra are her… friends? Allegra is the train conductor. There are mongooses. They were cool; my favorite part of the whole book.

Ava will inherit a large sum of money if she can prove her sanity. This fortune may or may not be contested by the son of the man who willed it to Ava. The fortune belonged to Karel; he had employed Ava to play the theremin all night long for the son, name P’rem. I don’t think my blog has the right “r” that I mean by ” ‘r “. Could be part of Oyeyemi’s genius, not sure. What I am sure of is that WordPress block editor sucks, we can agree on that.

Ava can’t see P’rem. Does he exist? Is this book about unseeing people you love? Yea, way over my head. It really does make me think of that song, what a strange trip it’s been. At the end, Yuri aka P’rem aka a bunch of other names and representations of Otto and Xavier’s past lovers (right? it gets weird) shows up and holds Laura, Allegra, Otto and Xavier hostage but Ava can’t see it. Then somehow, in the escape attempts, and trying to get Ava to figure out what is going on, Allegra is rescued? I think? But Ava can no longer see Laura, Otto nor Xavier and they disembark from the train. She ‘unsees’ them.

Ava gets the money because she never admits that her sanity is in question. “There’s a pleasure in being mad that none but madmen know.”

Thoughts: I actually was enjoying the strange trip during the middle. I had convinced myself to roll with it and enjoy the language, the sentences, the imagery ;but by the end , my patience was gone and my motivation to think deep for what it all might mean was all used up.

Her phrasing. . . she wasn’t telling him I don’t understand what you’re saying. The sense of it came through as I am unable to determine the meaning of you.

Rating: Three slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

I said it all wrong. But the right words—what are they?

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. 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.

Euphoria

Thoughts by Lily King, Blackstone Audio 2014, 6 hours 53 minutes

Narrated by the Simon Vance and Xe Sands.

Challenge: none

Genre/Theme: Historical Fiction/Jungle anthropology

Type/Source: Audiobook/Audible freebie

What It’s About: Imaginary (loosely based on) life of Margaret Mead and her marriage to an Australian anthropologist, while working with an English anthropologist.

The English guy (Bankson or Bateson? I could never tell and am too lazy to look it up) is ready to chuck it all when he meets Nell and Fen. Nell is serious and amazing, dedicated and impressive. Fen is an asshole. (WHY? she ever married him is beyond me.) They have escaped a study assignment where the people were mean and scary and Nell had had to flee. Fen begrudgingly followed her out — because Nell provides the funding, so yea. The English-Anthropologist convinces Nell and Fen to come to his study area of a remote hot tropical island and introduces them to a tribe no one is currently studying so they set up camp.

English-Anthropologist (E-A) is fascinated by how Nell approaches her work and whaddya-know! he falls in love with Nell. Nell isn’t possessive and believes in free-love so she loves E-A back, or at least while Fen is out and about. Eventually Fen does something stupid and they all, Nell and Fen and helped along by E-A, have to escape.

Thoughts: This is mostly about the love triangle and a lot of it is in E-A’s internal monologue. On a story level, it kinda sucked. But I was sucked in by the passions and by the narration. Simon Vance and Xe Sands are excellent; the words they spoke were entrancing to me.

It ends tragically, really REALLY bad. I think I have a another favorite author.

Rating: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. 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.

Vesper Flights

Thoughts by Helen Macdonald, Recorded Books 2020, 10 hours 22 minutes

Narrated by the author. Winner of TOP FIVE Audiobooks by AudioFile magazine.

Challenge: none

Genre/Theme: Nonfiction, essays on nature

Type/Source: Audiobook/Libby

What It’s About: Essays on nature and birds and more nature and other stuff that interests the author. She’s a very good writer. My favorite of this collection has to be the one about her first job out of university, at a falcon incubator (?) farm in Wales.

Thoughts: Macdonald’s previous published title, H is for Hawk , is one of the very best audiobooks I have ever had the privilege of listening to. I read Vesper Flights on the strength of my admiration for Helen Macdonald.

Rating: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. 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.

All Systems Red

Thoughts Murderbot Diaries #1 by Martha Wells, Tor.com 2017, 155 pages

Challenge: 20 Books of Summer

Genre/Theme: Artificial Intelligence, Humor, Fun Adventure

Type/Source: eBook / Libby-Kindle

What It’s About: We meet “Murderbot”, an artificial intelligence device called a “construct” which is a company-controlled machine, hired to protect. Murderbot is the private name given to themself but is referred to as “SecUnit” by the humans, aka the clients of the company that is on expedition to an unknown planet. Murderbot is the security detail to keep the humans safe from hostile fauna and flora. I had somehow assigned Murderbot a feminine pronoun, others have assumed Murderbot is a he. (I discovered this when I started reading reviews… I found it interesting I assumed Murderbot is a girl.)

The planet has another expedition party on the other side of the planet and when their communications link goes dark, the crew of Murderbot’s party decides to go check out what happened, either to render assistance and/or discover a threat.

In the ensuing survival efforts, the humans and Murderbot, reach new understandings of what it means to be a construct and a human. They become friends. Sort of.

Thoughts: Great fun and lots of laughs. The kind of sly wit and funny asides, under breath mutterings and sarcasm.

Rating: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. 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.

We Live in Water

Thoughts Stories by Jess Walter, Harper Perennial 2013, 179 pages

Challenge: None

Genre/Theme: Short Stories, Contemporary Lit

Type/Source: Tradeback / Library

“Make them want to give you the thing you’re taking.”

What It’s About: When I tell you that I go into books without knowing anything, I am not lying.

I may add a book onto my tbr on only the word of a trusted friend. I may see a quick blurb of “It’s SOOOO good!” and decide I’ll have to read that some day. Then, years later, I’ll decide I need to finally open said book and not read the blurb on the back, not do any preliminary wondering what it’s about, and just start reading.

In this book’s case, I didn’t realize this was a short story collection. Huh.

Or I did once/maybe and promptly forgot it. I saw it on Jess Walter’s oeuvre and then saw it listed as available for checkout at my library’s website. Clicked!

Oh. It’s a short story collection. Shrug. Proceed.

“On the bright side, I have figured out how to fix the American educational system. End it at sixth grade.”

“Brilliant. Then what?”

“Lock them up in empty factories, give them all the Red Bull, condoms, and nachos they want, pipe in club music, and check back when they’re twenty-five. Anyone still alive, we send to grad school.” Wade pushed his glass forward, “How’s that for a campaign platform?”

Thoughts: “Helpless Little Things” is good. “Don’t Eat Cat” is startling! My favorite is “The New Frontier”. I laughed with “The Wheelbarrow Kings”.

There’s an empathy and an awareness and the weariness of not knowing what to do to fix the world. Humor and sadness and just getting by. Do what you can and be kind.

But this is the Apocalypse? Fuck you! It’s always the Apocalypse. The world hasn’t gone to shit. The world is shit.

Rating: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned, sadly. (If Walter wants to add a pie drop in his next book. . . (hint,hint))

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. 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 Three Musketeers

Thoughts by Alexander Dumas, Bantam Classics 1984 (orig 1844), 635 pages

Audiobook 23 hours 32 minutes, narrated by John Lee

Challenge: Classics Club Spin #26

Genre/Theme: “Cloak and Sword” story / Adventure

Type/Source: Paperback and Audiobook / Purchased in 2009 at Borders, Audible

What It’s About: This was a lot of fun and I enjoyed meeting the main characters; fighting for the King and against the scheming Cardinal and his guards, as well as wooing all the ladies. It had a lot of humor. It did seem long and tedious, at times, though.

Thoughts: Not nearly as good at The Count of Monte Cristo but still dashing and adventurous.

Rating: Rounding up to 4 slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

I talked friends into renting the 1973 movie starring all sorts of big stars! and it was… also not as good as the Count of Monte Cristo movie. But I’m glad to have watched it. The movie really emphasized the campiness and humor.

 

Charleton Heston! Raquel Welch!! among others…. Link to IMDB.com

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. 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 Book of Longings

Thoughts by Sue Monk Kidd, Viking 2020, 432 pages

Challenge: For two books clubs in June

Genre/Theme: Imaginative Historical Fiction

Type/Source: eBook / Kindle

What It’s About: Sue Monk Kidd allowed her imagination to spark in this possible version of a wife of Jesus. She drew upon the real setting and times, history – events – culture. And threw in a lot independence and fiery determination.

The reader first meets Ana who is the only child of a high ranking government official who indulges his daughter’s thirst for knowledge. She fights against an arranged marriage to an old schemer, …

“Few girls find happiness in the beginning, but this is a marriage of honor. You will want for nothing.” I will want for everything.

… and meets Jesus in the marketplace. Things happen, etc. and then some, eventually Ana lives a most unusual but not impossible life. Kidd had fun with this and she delivers.

Thoughts: I thought this very well done. I did have a few questions, and warning – these are somewhat spoilery:

  1. What was the reasoning for not having Ana know about Jesus rising from the dead. Obviously, to assume an answer is to suggest it was a good way to end the tale. With Jesus dying, Ana can move on with her life as a widow and be able to pursue a goal to share her voice.
  2. Did Mary NOT tell Jesus about his status – if that is the right word – about how she became pregnant and what the angels told her? She seemed not to be ‘in the know’ like I would expect. I did like Mary, as she was presented as a very kind woman.

According to Judith and Berenice, the only women who write are sinners and necromancers. I ask you, how do they know this?

(For Jeanne of Necromancy Never Pays)

Rating: Four slices of pie. Pie? No mentions that I noticed. Doesn’t fit the time period.

 

A thin, gray hopelessness crept into the air. I didn’t want them to give up. It was true I no longer believed in the God of rescue, only the God of presence, but I believed in Sophia, who whispered bravery and wisdom in my ear day and night, if I would only listen, and I tried now to do that, to listen.

 

I bless the largeness within you. I wish nurturing for your creativity and may you be brave.

Copyright © 2007-2021. 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.