The Nix

Thoughts by Nathan Hill, Knopf 2016, 628 pages

Challenge: My last TOB book, I promise

Also…  Satisfies the “Title with an X” category.

Genre: GAN? (why so uncertain? I am ALWAYS uncertain.)
Type/Source: Hardcover / a friend.
 Why I read this now: It was time and possession.

MOTIVATION for READING: I have had this book on my tbr since before the long list was announced, but I’m sure it was the TOB possibility list of 2016 published titles that put it on my radar. [Added to tbr on Nov 11, 2016 – hmmm, this sounds like I did NOT find it before the tob long list date…  darn.]

WHAT’s it ABOUT: The premise is enticing, no? A NIX is something you love that will ultimately destroy you. Or something like that.

It’s 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson—college professor, stalled writer—has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. He hasn’t seen her in decades, not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she’s re-appeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news, beguiles the internet, and inflames a politically divided country. The media paint Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high-school sweetheart. Which version of his mother is true? Two facts are certain: she’s facing some serious charges, and she needs Samuel’s help.

It’s just a fun, plot-ful, charged and funny read. It has internet-gaming addiction, college angst and student-entitlement issues, music + young love + best friend love + frozen TV dinners, history (I love learning about stuff from past real life via fiction), some travel, some odd interesting things about plants. I loved it.

WHAT’s GOOD: It was action-oriented and gave me history of Chicago – a favorite town. It has one of the most heart-breaking (to me) scenes of high school angst via Faye that I’ve ever encountered. It put raw-honesty words to some of my own life. It had many a crazy moments. It has a 13 page run on sentence! I just might re-“read” this by audiobook someday. [OK – you rereaders can go ahead and laugh because I probably never will.]

After today’s commentary, I have been asking myself if I liked this one more than Version Control. I think yes, YES, I did. But they felt similar to me in that they packed a lot of stuff into the plot.

What’s NOT so good: That same HS-angst that Faye felt didn’t quite jive with her freshman year persona. She was afraid of being noticed or thought wrong and yet did crazy-fearless things I would NEVER have done my freshman year in college and I couldn’t quite balance it. But I gave it a pass. People are always surprising. I read some critiques after I finished this book (always a GOOD sign when I read this AFTER – if read DURING, a bad sign…) and I am still thinking about the negatives others have shared. Let’s just say that THIS commentary on TOB round day will be captivating to me. Yes, I said CAPTIVATING.

Was this book sexist and misogynistic?  Gawd, do I have to go there?! I didn’t have those thoughts I.Get.It. if did/didn’t. It’s seriously exhausting to have that lens on all the time, give it a rest?!  Life is so fecking troublematic.

Was it… white bread privilege? Maybe. How could Faye make a living by creating a nonprofit to read books to children? How easy did that happen?! How was Sam going to make a living -*-*-*-*-*-SPOILER ALERT!!! -*-*-*-*-*- in the last half of the book? oh yea, he’s a writer with the best publicist ever.

I didn’t get a good sense of what the 1968ers were protesting, compared to the protests going on now. It definitely had a pre-election feel to it and yet it also grasped that political party struggle of us vs them.

I think I am looking forward to commentary on this. And I seriously also hope that everyone who DOES comments reads the history of the TOB and takes a chill pill. I am totally speaking to those who have newly discovered the TOB and are throwing their opinions about how unfair and seriously flawed the thing is because THAT is the point. Take a step back. Pause, breathe, get a grip, laugh some, realize that I sound absolutely awful and I don’t care, think some about it all and BE KIND. Be kind. Please be kind. Love things, disagree with things, and smile because life can still be beautiful or what’s the point. The point is not which book wins the Rooster but that we have an opportunity to think about what we LIKE about books. Rant over. That is all.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Whew. The Nix. Was this the Next Great Amerian Novel? [I wish all the best to Mr. Hill.] I don’t know. I don’t think so, though.

RATING: I rounded up from 4.5 slices of pie to give this the honored 5-slicer because I enjoyed it.

Have a nice day.

BIG SHOUT OUT TO MY FRIEND Katie! who loves the TOB and reads voraciously and is the person I think about when I see anything related to hedgehogs, who sent me this book.

Here’s a photo from Ireland of a cafe called the Strawberry Hedgehog. Unfortunately, we were unable to stop and check it out.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Born a Crime

Thoughts bacbytn by Trevor Noah, Audible 2016, 8 hours 50 minutes

Challenge:  No challenge involved.
Genre: Memoir
Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible (a freebie announcement I happened to catch.)
 Why I read this now: I needed an easy listen that was short.

MOTIVATION for READING: I love comedian memoirs on audio.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: A coming of age tale a few years before Apartheid in South Africa and years following.

WHAT’s GOOD: Fascinating look at a life and cultures of which I know little.

What’s NOT so good: I wanted to know more about how he came to America and got his start in television. Guess that part will be in his next book. Trust me, the ‘early years’ of Trevor Noah have plenty of drama!

FINAL THOUGHTS: Highly recommended. Narration is terrific.

RATING: Five slices of pie.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Sudden Death

Thoughts sdbyae by Álvaro Enrigue, Riverhead 2016, 264 pages

Translated from Spanish to English by Natasha Wimmer.

Audiobook published by Tantor Audio, narration by Robert Fass, 6 hours 57 minutes.

Challenge: TOB Short List
Genre: Historical Fiction / Tennis Lit
Type/Source: Hardback AND Audio / Library
 Why I read this now: Selected due to shortness of the audiobook, in hopes that I could finish in January to be my 12th book of the month.

MOTIVATION for READING: TOB…

WHAT’s it ABOUT: I’m going to copy and paste one of the goodreads blurbs.

A funny and mind-bending novel about the clash of empires and ideas in the sixteenth century, told over the course of one dazzling tennis match

A brutal tennis match in Rome.

Two formidable opponents: the wild Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio and the loutish Spanish poet Francisco de Quevedo.

Galileo, Saint Matthew and Mary Magdalene heckle from the sidelines.

In England, Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII execute Anne Boleyn, and her executioner transforms her legendary locks into the most sought-after tennis balls of the time.

Across the ocean in Mexico, the last Aztec emperors play their own games, as Hernán Cortés and his Mayan translator and lover scheme and conquer, fight and fuck, not knowing that their domestic comedy will change the course of history.

Over the course of one dazzling tennis match – through assassinations and executions, carnal liaisons and papal dramas, artistic and religious revolutions, love and war – Sudden Death tells the grand adventure of the clash of empires and the dawn of the modern era.

WHAT’s GOOD: It really is fascinating. And has its funny moments.

What’s NOT so good: It’s also too difficult to keep track of in my current end-of-month scramble to finish a book (impatience) and the wrestling with reading books I feel “I have to” and not what “I want to” — which I realize is messed-up thinking so let’s throw in the current state of the world affairs, my own crazy messy life stuff, and realizing I have a book club book to read by next week.

Allow me to share a few thoughts from my reader friends:

sdbyaegr

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m skimming the rest of this and do not think I will be missing anything (actually, as I miss EVERYTHING!) – in other words, I will be able to follow the upcoming TOB commentary and likely agree with everyone. If you are reading this, let me know if it has any pie.

RATING: Three slices of pie! I liked it, I’m just needing to move on. It does deserve more time and fuller attention than I care to give it at this time. I have my regrets and may I only mutter, someday…

Highly recommended for fans of lively history and TENNIS.

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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 Throwback Special

Thoughts ttsbycb by Chris Bachelder, WWNorton 2016, 213 pages

Challenge: TOB Short List
Genre: Adult Fic
Type/Source: Hardcover / Library
 Why I read this now: Two books came off hold the same day, this is the shorter.

MOTIVATION for READING:  I like football?

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Twenty-two guys get together every year to reenact the football play that broke QB Joe Theisman’s leg. You read that right: twenty-two characters, all but one middle-aged white guys. And then some, when you throw in the hotel clerk and a few of the other guests at the hotel.

WHAT’s GOOD:  It’s short. It’s impressive as a collective character study. It has some great sentences, occasional sharp social commentary, a bit of wit.

What’s NOT so good: I’ve already forgotten what I liked about it. Wow, I feel horrible saying that, but it’s true.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I like football. I’m of the era so I remember Joe and that horrible play. Another admission of honesty – I’ve never watched it closely. It starts and I cover my eyes. Golly, I can’t think of a think to write up here. I’m reading too fast; like I’m at a food competition (taste this taste that move on) – did I like it? sure. Did I love it? Ummmm, not really. Is it worthy? – well the folks who selected it for the TOB seem to think it has something fun to discuss and I don’t doubt that. I’m sure someone somewhere will be able to think of something profound to praise.

RATING: I gave it 4 slices of pie immediately after reading it, might as well keep it. No pie was mentioned.

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Grief is the Thing With Feathers

Thoughts gittwfbymp Graywolf Press 2016, 114 pages

JUST ANNOUNCED! This is on the TOB Short List!

Challenge: TOB Long List and also counting for Poetry 100
Genre: Poetry, Adult Fiction
Type/Source: Tradeback / Library
 Why I read this now: It’s short!

MOTIVATION for READING: I’ve heard good things about this moving story.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  A man loses his wife, his two sons lose a mother. A crow moves in to help them grieve.

WHAT’s GOOD:  The style, the cadence, the imagery.

What’s NOT so good: I admit that I am not much of a Ted Hughes fan but that is probably because the only thing I know about him is that he was Sylvia Platt’s husband. But I tried to drop my bias because I’m not sure I have given him proper consideration. That said, this book is somewhat based — I’m assuming – on a Hughes’ Crow poem. (I had to google that. Could have been part of the fiction for all I know.)

FINAL THOUGHTS:  I really did enjoy this sad yet hopeful poetic work. It reads very fast. It begs to be read aloud, as I assume poetic works do.

RATING: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

A sample:

Crow

Look at that, look, did I or did I not, oi, look, stab it.
Good book, funny bodies, open door, slam door, spit this, lick that, lift, oi, look, stop it.

Tender opportunity. Never mind, every evening, crack of dawn, all change, all meat this, all meat that, separate the reek. Did I or did I not, ooh, tarmac, macadam. Edible, sticky, bad camouflage.

Strap me to the  mast or I’ll bang her until my mathematics poke out her sorry, sorry, sorry, look! A severed hand, bramble, box of swans, box of stories, piss-arc, better off, must stop shaking, must stay still, mast stay still.

I also wrote down more poets to investigate:  Ibn ‘Arabi, Shostakovich, Osip Mandelstam, R.S.Thomas.
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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Going Gray

Thoughts ggbyak by Anne Kreamer, Little,Brown&Co 2007, 206 pages

Full Title:  Going Gray: What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Really Matters

wian2017

Challenge: What’s in a Name – Alliteration Category (two words in a title have same starting letter)
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir? Aging, Fashion
Type/Source: Hard cover / Bookmooch…
 Why I read this now: It’s short!

MOTIVATION for READING: I somewhat remember an article or a review that suggested this book and since it was available on BookMooch, I scooped it up.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  One woman’s decision to stop dying her hair and how she navigated through all her notions about aging, fashion, attractiveness, and her role in the world now that she was approaching ‘middle age’. It really is mostly her research on gray hair and what it means and not so much personal sharing on all that ‘everything else’ she lists in the extended title.

WHAT’s GOOD:  She does do a bit of research but it is also conducted in a personal way – which I guess is more fun, so I wouldn’t call it an academic study.  It did confirm for me that a female attempting to get a new job after age 50 is S.O.L. It is so sad how we don’t consider and value experience and society wants to ignore old people. Terribly sad.

In fact, she seems to conclude that gray hair is certainly NOT less sexy so we all can feel good about that. But finding a new job will be impossible. New lover? not a problem. Impressive to anyone hiring? not a chance.

What’s NOT so good:  She tends to make a few blanket statements that some careers are more youth-oriented than others but I think it is every job category out there.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  I really need to figure out how to write a best-seller…  or even a moderate-seller. I really am well-suited to the working conditions of being a writer. Now I just need to figure out how to produce something.  Maybe I should write a nonfiction memoir study on some odd topic and then write some self-help books… Do I sound bitter?

RATING:  Two to three slices. It was short, not really memorable and no pie was mentioned.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Pie Charts Tables Stats Words, Part 1 2016

myyrinbooks2016

The “IN WORDS” Recap

Books I was excited about and thought I was going to love more: Quiet, Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress, Murder Must Advertise, The Devil in the White City, The Abstinence Teacher.

Most surprising book: The Tsar of Love and Techno. LOVED. And the audio narration was not great so I switched to print and am SO GLAD. So very glad. Also, Germinal, State of Wonder, and I Capture the Castle.

Book I pushed the most people to read: Probably The Painted Veil. Perhaps I Capture the Castle – talked my book club into reading it! Crossing to Safety made the rounds at the marina this summer. Am now recommending Homegoing. (READ IT.)

Diversity: I am humbled by what I’ve read to expand the world I know:  some James Baldwin, Paul Beatty’s Man Booker Award and TOB Rooster winner The Sellout (OMG – must read! want to read again), Pulitzer for Fiction winner The Sympathizer, authors: Turner, Rankin, Robinson, Woodson, Gyasi, Bennett. It continues.

Translated works:  3 – Han King’s The Vegetarian from Korean by Deborah Smith, Whatever by Houllebecq’s French by Paul Hammond, Germinal written by Zola and translated from French by Roger Pearson.

I read EIGHT books from the list of 1001+ Books to Read Before I Die. I read 8 last year, too.

Readalongs:  Last year at this post time, I reiterated my interest in reading Germinal and so we did in September – we had a great time! I also bullied my way into a buddy-along for Amsterdam and The Fireman was our almost King-along for 2016. Andi and I ended up reading The Painted Veil (“riggle in amidst the heart strings”) and then right after I tried to read A Little Life with a few bloggers who were also reading it (but I think it fizzled.) Ti of Book Chatter and I read the really strange The New Worlds. Just so you know – The Bone Clocks is happening NOW, The Green Mile postponed indefinitely (but still entertaining the idea), a Trollope of some sort is upcoming and… I’m sure I’ll get wrapped into something else. That Green Mile one will likely happen, I’m sure of it.

The Fireman was a win. Germinal was EXCELLENT. Good times…

HERE IS WHERE I THANK ALL OF YOU READERS AND READALONG PARTICIPANTS AND CHEERLEADERS AND COMMENTERS OF MY BLOG! YOU ROCK!  SMOOCHES AND KISSES AND HUGS {{{XOXOXO}}}

If I convinced you to read something and you loved it, YAY!!!  and if you convinced me to read something, THANK YOU.

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Most Read Author:  Barbara Claypole White – a new friend; I’m a big fan. I read her ENTIRE oeuvre Last year it was Rachel Joyce.

Fifty-eight authors were NEW to me. Of the others, 11 were a third (or more, but 3 was majority) time to sample. I read (possibly reread) an Agatha Christie; I read a ton of her stuff years ago. I reread To Kill a Mockinbird – and could have counted it as my reread of a HS classic but decided to use it in the BANNED BOOK category slot instead.

I fell in love with Ann Patchett, Anthony Marra, Wallace Stegner, and apparently Barbara Claypole White. (She’s adorable and spunky and lives in NC.)

I ended up reading three books by Ann Patchett in 2016:  Happy Marriage, State of Wonder, Commonwealth.

Challenges: I continue to rock out on my Classics Club 50, finishing year 2 of 5 very strong. I completed 9 of the 12 in the Back to the Classics Challenge and am happy with it. I completed the What’s in a Name and will continue with all of these in 2017. I am adding the Poetry Challenge.

Debuts: I did a crappy job of keeping track of this. I can say that I enjoyed new fiction by Angela Flournoy, Brit Bennett, Yaa Gyasi, and Scott Hawkins.

Raspberries to my efforts to watch and report on Books to Movie. I did enjoy The Painted Veil and recommend it highly – book and film. I did manage to watch The Book Thief and thought it well done.

Pie Mentions: Lots! I failed to track [snow day! guess what I’ve been doing!!] in my spreadsheet by book title (nor very accurately or collectably in goodreads) but only recorded in my reviews. Which means I need to go through all of these reviews [now done!] to see which books or how many mention pie. Maybe. Maybe I will do that or only vow to do better going forward.  ==>  57% of the books I read this year mention pie.

Crossing to Safety wins the PIE IN LITERATURE Award:

“When you’re nailing a custard pie to the wall, and it starts to wilt, it doesn’t do any good to hammer in more nails.”

If I were to guess, apple pie was mentioned more than any other kind of pie. I love Barbara Claypole White for the many pies she mentions, especially Orange-Rhubarb. Fate and Furies had some terrific pie mentions. Bennett’s The Mothers had a great pie scene and Germinal had more pie mentions than one might expect.

germpie

Unintended Themes in my Readings:  I didn’t / can’t identify anything. Other than maybe my obsession with the Tournament of Books?  [Updated now that I’ve looked at EVERY book review post.] I had more than a few books with thought-provoking looks at the concept of death and dying. I might want to consider that I read more than a few odd or quirky books this year, too.

Interesting aka Odd Tidbit:  I didn’t read ANYTHING by Stephen King. I did read a book by his son Joe Hill though, and had a very funny exchange with my Auntie when I gave her my copy of The Fireman. My Auntie lives in Maine – this might be important or give credence to this situation. Auntie did not realize that the author of The Fireman was the son of King. I didn’t think to tell her! She accused me of holding out and NOT telling her. It amused me… I’m still rather shocked that I didn’t get any King read in 2016.

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Homegoing

Thoughts hgbyyg by Yaa Gyasi, Knopf 2016, 305 pages

Challenge: TOB Long List, Diversity
Genre: ?? Contemporary Lit + Historical Perspective?
Type/Source: Hardback / Library
 Why I read this now: Library told me it was ready.

MOTIVATION for READING: I love the premise for this and knowing it is winning a ton of praise and accolades, well – sign me up.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Two sisters, born in Africa in the 18th century are separated and actually never knew of the other’s existence. One is sent to the US to be a slave, the other fights for survival ‘at home’ and gives legacy in Africa. The story is told by alternating sister line and generation.

WHAT’s GOOD:  POWERFUL. Characters are engaging and compelling, showing strength and weaknesses. Individuals each, doing the best they can with circumstances and the weight of fate and prophecy.

What’s NOT so good: I really enjoyed all of it.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The dialogue captured me throughout. I think the author did really well in this regard. The imagination! the RESEARCH. yowza. And able to construct a timeline of experiences and hit on so many relevant issues so topical was extraordinary.

It is a book that I’ve been recommending as fascinating and appealing to many.

RATING: Four slices of pie but maybe should be five, or at least/most with lots and lots of real cream whipped on top.

fourpie

I do not think I encountered any pie…

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

West With the Night

Thoughts wwtnbybm by Beryl Markham, orig 1942 – rereleased in 1983, 294 pages

BackToTheClassics2016 Adventure Category

Challenge:  Latest Classics Club Spin Selection (But I’m late – it was due by Dec 1st)
Genre:  Adventure, Airplanes/Flying
Type/Source: Tradeback / Local Indie Bookstore
Why I read this now: Was late for the Spin but wanted to read it anyway.

MOTIVATION for READING: I can’t recall why exactly I put this on my Classics Club 50 but I was further enticed by the historical lit recently published by Paula McClain about Ms. Markham. I wanted to read the “true” version first. 

ctsbypm

WHAT’s it ABOUT: These are the stories of Ms. Markham; how she grew up in British East Africa now called Kenya, learned to train race horses, learned to fly airplanes, attempted to be the first to fly East to West from England to the US (managed to ‘safely’ crash in Canda), and and and… Nothing about her husbands and supposed multiple love affairs, darn it.

WHAT’s GOOD: What a way with words! I found it very easy to fall right into like relaxing into a gigantic bean bag to let the world fall away and allow me to be transported to another place and time.

What’s NOT so good:  The prose is beautiful yet she can seem detached and aloof; she barely reflects that she is a woman doing more typical man things. This was both refreshing and almost frustrating. Other things were more frustrating and interesting (racist/classist) view of how the English colonists viewed the Africans. She also seems to scorn the practice of elephant hunting but was a full participant in the profit of it.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Not at all the dry and boring text I had imagined. It was lovely and tragic, poetic and appalling all at once. Certainly a remarkable woman.

RATING:  Five slices of pie, of which I noted no mention.

Has anyone read a biography of Beryl Markham? If I enjoy the McClain (and I sincerely hope I do since I did not care for The Paris Wife), I might continue indulging my fascination.

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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.

The World According to Garp

Thoughts twatgbyji by John Irving, Random House Audio 2006 (orig 1978), with epilogue read by author dated 1998

Narration by Michael Prichard, 20 hours 26 minutes

Challenge:  Classics Club
Genre: Contemporary Lit
Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible
 Why I read this now: Finally, its time had come.

MOTIVATION for READING: I have wanted to read this for a long time. Funny, I can’t really remember why I didn’t read it right away when my occasionally demanding father forbade me to read this book. This book in particular. No other books were included nor was a reason given that I recall. And by ‘occasionally demanding’, I mean that he didn’t often tell me what to “do/not do” but when he did, it always seemed random and interesting in comparison to other similar things he didn’t tell me I couldn’t do.

The funny thing to me, is that I don’t think this book was ever on my radar as a teen or young adult (Odd? I would have been 13 when this book was published and 17 when the movie came out — which I also have yet to see). In fact, for a long time, I thought this book was written by John Updike. So, you see, I really didn’t think it was a book for me anyway and rather than rushing to read it to find out why I wasn’t supposed to like any other normal teenager, I filed it away in my head. Wrongly, but still it sat there waiting for me. In fact, it was Dewey, I think, who corrected or suggested that I was probably not referring to John Updike as an author likely to be the degenerate influence I had presumed. I have never read Updike either. Should I?

I was a kid who seriously believed that lightening bolts would strike if I was deliberately disobedient. I believed in that far longer than I ever believed in Santa Claus, if I ever did.

All this to say that it took me a long time out of respect for my father’s wishes, I suppose, for me to ever decide I should read John Irving. I have read A Prayer for Owen Meany thanks to a readalong – loved it. And thanks to Owen Meany, I eventually came around to knowing I would someday read and love Garp. And boy did I! I did. (Now I want to reread Owen. Sigh…)

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  OK, back to Garp… This book is about an interesting woman wanting to live life on her terms. It’s about her son, Garp. It’s about Garp growing up wanting to be a writer. He gets married, has children. He tries to protect his family from the all that could happen in a scary life in the scary world. (Maybe that is what my father was trying to do.) It’s about family, life and death, and dealing with death.

WHAT’s GOOD: The imagination. The deadpan humor. The absurdity. It feels to me like Irving is a master at making the absurd totally believable. When I see that quote of Neil Gaiman: “Things need not have happened to be true.“ — I tend to think of Irving. And WOW people! this is a timely book. A reminder that feminism is just getting started and still has a long way to go. A reminder that in some things, we were ahead of the times AND that we have slipped in our understandings. Feminism, transsexuals, rape culture, politics, open-mindedness, what is “family”? Garp was an authentic passionate talented guy who loved fiercely.

Books like this remind me that there were no “good ol’ days”; that humans can be vile, have always been vile, will continue to be vile; and yet still, humans can be kind.

What’s NOT so good:  That even though I never saw the movie (yet – maybe even tonight, most likely this weekend), I still kept seeing John Lithgow as Roberta Muldoon. Not all the time, but often enough to hear his voice and see his face, with lipstick and rouge. That really isn’t a criticism and I probably shouldn’t mention it…

No pie was mentioned that was noticed.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Beware the undertoad.

RATING: Five slices of 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.