Books and Pie: Official Post of Books I am Looking Forward To, Edition 2 (Edition 1 was never labeled such…)
My friend Laura shares her favorite pie creations to eat and her amazing art work of pies to look at! Her book, Pie As Art, features her combinations and I am looking forward to receiving my copy. Super excited!
I read Drawing Down the Moon by Shawn Keller Cooper for an online book club and it was OK. About 3 sorority sisters who meet have 20+ years who failed to keep up with each other, hashed out a few misunderstandings from college, got caught up and supported each other once again. Setup for sequels, for sure. Mostly a reminder that we ladies need our women friends. It was OK. It mentioned pie!
A light pale yellow like the inside of a coconut cream pie.
I was recommended to read Summer of a Thousand Pies; a middle school story of family, new connections AND PIE! and it was terrific. What I didn’t like is that I had to download a unique reading app (Glose?!) to get it read; involving sign up of accounts and new passwords, annoying, time-consuming. Ugh.
So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. Read it. (I listened to it but want to reference the print version.) Do I want to talk about race? It’s uncomfortable, it’s scary, I know I have bias and it is troublesome. I usually do NOT want to talk about it and I want to be prepared when I do.
I’ve got less than an hour on my audiobook from the library, How Not To Get Shot And Other Advice From White People and I’m learning more than I expected and reinforcing what I do already know and appreciate. Honestly didn’t realize who the author is — D.L.Hughley — and it was interesting to dissect my own reaction to my own question, “why did I choose this?” Why not? I think that is why I got it. Because I wanted variety and views from all spectrums. (And it was available first.) I recommend. And he mentions pie!
A Thousand Mornings is my latest poetry selection that I completed. I admit, I had high expectations and she might have suffered for that. Very good, but not as good as I wanted? No pie.
But how weird that almost half of the books I read this month had THOUSAND in the title?
June means Strawberry Rhubarb Pie!
June 9 actually is Strawberry Rhubarb Pie! Day but the restaurant we went to for dinner was not with the program, apparently. So I had to settle for this amazing Banana Cream Pie:
Get ready for July Pie! We will see a few pie holidays, beginning with Pecan Pie Day on July 12. The Pi Approximation for us math geeks is 22 July and Pie & Beer Day is July 24th.
I want to post something and I don’t really want to write a “review”. These mini-reviews are what I can do. NEEDS MUST.
I already told you how much I loved Mad With Yellow. In fact, I am still MAD with the color yellow! Do you think it is the color of the season? I seem to notice every woman on TV who wears bold yellow… And only because I don’t see men wearing bold yellow often. But, I WOULD NOTICE IF THEY DID! I am loving yellow in fashion this season.
I’ve told you that I very much enjoyed Call Me By Your Name. I still haven’t seen the movie. Haven’t figured out how to carve out 2 hours of alone time in the apartment to do this. I just don’t think the husband would want to see it. Hmmmm. ANYWAY.
[One of my coworkers admitted that they drive around the block the equivalent time that it used to take to commute to work just to have some alone time. I get that.]
Tell Me Lies was a free audiobook that I DNF’d. Ugh. Could NOT be enticed to care! I really am not much of a thriller reader unless very VERY good. I must be swept away. If I get an inkling of an eye-roll moment, the whole deal is sunk. Ugh. AND THEN! I read the description on goodreads (and wondered how I missed it) and thought to myself, “yea. No.” Hey, it was free. Whatever. (I am not the right reader for this – give me a break?)
The Sisters Brothers was the last book I needed to read for the Super Rooster Tournament of Books. I had been avoiding it and it really was a good read! The movie was beautiful. The movie plot line didn’t quite jive with what I hoped to see, but I always like to give credit to another’s interpretation. (In other words, I am very forgiving and rarely say that condescending phrase, “the book is always better.” – absolutes should be avoided. And coulda/woulda/shoulda…) My advice is to just “read the book.” #shrug
I read The Banker’s Wife for a book club. Remember that admission earlier that I’m not much of a thriller reader? yea…. I really did enjoy the book club discussion, though, and we had some fun thoughts shared without being … horrid to it. #BIGSMILEYFACE. The women in this book kick some bad guy ass but it really isn’t my style of favorite read.
I just couldn’t get into Cut & Run. I got disoriented trying to figure out the different voices. #whentoomanynarratorsdistractfromanaudiobook
and finally, sadly, this pandemic just makes a reading of Dorian Gray, just hard. Difficult. Unrelateable. Weird. DNF’d about half way or definitely 1/3+ way. Will have to figure out a way to talk the husband into watching the movie.
Be Safe. Be Well. Live in the Moment. Tell me what shows I must see.
I am reading Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman. Because… why not? The fact that I don’t know how to run the TV by remote control, working remotely, TV is a wasteland, waist, waistcoat, pandemic weight, weight gain, wait, the fact that I can’t be bothered to make a decision of what to watch on TV, too many choices, select, choose, too many, tomb any, the fact that I just don’t care, that I’m overwhelmed by the choices, that when I go to a huge grocery store with aisles of canned vegetables, with shelf upon shelf, long lengths of shelf devoted just to tomato sauce choices, I can’t select, how can anyone choose, give me a small store any day, the fact that I prefer a quiet place to read, the fact that the only way to have a quiet place to read, to read Ducks, Newburyport, is to NOT have the TV on, and once the TV goes on, I can’t read.
(The main character bakes pie…)
Friday, May 8, is Coconut Cream Pie Day. Hey, I don’t set these days. I only bake the pies. Well, when I can. I always WANT TO. Wednesday, May 13, is Apple Pie Day.
For the 8th, I’m thinking about making this even though it isn’t titled a pie. I think I can make it count as pie. I don’t own a spring form pan. I know, right? WHA? WHY?! I can’t answer that. I just don’t have one.
I’m drinking Dingle Gin. So much for Dry Mondays.
Then I thought, “Hey, I wonder if I can find some kind of apple and coconut pie together…”, I searched and found this: Apple Pie with Coconut Cream
It… sounds complicated.
I made a blueberry pie last Tuesday. It was Blueberry Pie Day.
Collection #7 by Billy Collins, Random House Trade Paperbacks 2002, 173 pages
My pen moves along the page
like a snout of a strange animal
shaped like a human arm
and dressed in the sleeve of a loose green sweater.
I watch it sniffing the paper ceaselessly,
intent as any forager that has nothing
on its mind but the grubs and insects
that will allow it to live another day.
It wants only to be here tomorrow,
dressed perhaps in the sleeve of a plaid shirt,
nose pressed against the page,
writing a few more dutiful lines
while I gaze out the window and image Budapest
or some other city where I have never been.
SO GOOD. I had misgivings and incorrect assumptions about Billy Collins “the famous poet”; he is too famous. But I had not experienced his work, his poems, with just me sitting with each one. I love his stuff! Mostly, I love the devotion he shows to the time it takes, allows. The time a poem bakes, crafts, comes into being, as if he and he alone, is the messenger, or person only to deliver the package. He sits and waits and plays and writes and then a poem emerges. He makes it seem effortless and yet like he doesn’t really have any choice in the matter. I am grateful that he allows the poems to come to him and then shares them. I very much love his poems about poems.
(Believe it or not, there is a 1-star review on goodreads; very entertaining.)
Rating: FIVE SLICES
Collection #8 by Lisa J. Starr, Beautifully Produced by the Poet 2008, 116 pages
Other People’s Poems
Perhaps I should leave other people’s poems to other people,
but I am afraid that left unsaid, they grow, they thicken,’
never mind how they accumulate.
The poems of others—this one’s my brother’s.
Your poem, then, my brother—the weariness of knowing
that what’s done is done, except that then it’s yours forever.
It takes twenty years sometimes to discover it’s not that your secret
is so dark; it’s that it’s always with you.
I am contacting the poet to see what is the best way to purchase a copy of this. (I don’t want to use the big A place… I suppose I should check if the indie bookstore on Block Island has a copy.) I thought this poems impactful, poignant, and relatable to the point that I want to have them to share. Poems about the joys of childhood, and how childhood pain is long-lasting; poems about taking care of parents and old dogs, poems of recognition.
Rating: Five Slices of Pie. Quiche Lorraine and Pumpkin Pie
*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.
Hello my dear friends of books and pies, I am here to talk about poetry.
My goal for 202o is to read a poem every day. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is the minimum.
And I’m loving it!
I started the year with Joel Coen’s The Day the World End: Poems.
I liked a few of these but overall, not so much.
Next up was this lovely collection:
THIS! was wonderful and fabulous and very very enjoyable!!!!
Ok. So, I’m thinking this post is boring and I’m not wrong. But I don’t know how to talk about poetry. (Not that I really know how to discuss fiction, either). But this collection is fun and smart.
and referenced pie, so of course I would love it. No, even without pie, very good.
NOW is my story of how I came to find the 3rd and 4th poetry collections I will feature in Edition 2 of Poetry 2020.
I went to the library now that I have figured out that slim — I mean, THIN and very slim, as in low page counts — are the way to go to get me to read poetry.
I went to the library and went right up to the first non-busy librarian I could find. (by “not busy”, I meant “not talking to another human”) and asked for directions to where I could find shelves with poetry. I was directed to go to the Reference Desk and ask for D_. Which I immediately did.
Or, rather, I went to the Reference Desk. No one was there. I wandered until I found other suspiciously-librarian-looking humans and asked if I could find D_. One of these luminary beings was D_!
I followed her to a section where another human was already pulling Mary Oliver books off the shelf. This person was asking about poetry and blah blah blah; we chatted, we laughed, we shared, all good… I grabbed the thinnest fewest-page collections I could find and ran.
(Not really.) I went to check out with my TOB holds and am delighted to share that when I got home and looked up the poets I brought home with me, one had been a Poet Laureate!
Genre: Economics Nonfiction
Type/Source: Hardback / Purchased somewhere books are sold
Why I read this now: Finally, it’s time was now.
MOTIVATION for READING: My mom told me that she needed to read this for her book club but the wait list at the library was long. So I bought it for her Mother’s Day present. She read and sent to her sister, who sent it to me. I’ve had it a few months.
WHAT’s it ABOUT: This is Sarah Smarsh’s memoir about working hard and being broke growing up in Kansas. I wanted to read it because Smarsh is from the area of Kansas that I am also from. Or a few miles, anyway. I can’t say I know any of the same people.
THOUGHTS: Wow, I have fallen out of the review-vibe, once again. I don’t know what to say. I cannot bring myself to be critical but I also can’t find it right to say that this was a great read. It was a fine read. What the hell is the word fine mean but that I can’t or won’t say more? I did find the talking to her unborn-child a bit odd, but I also didn’t necessarily hate it. I might even have related to it – I think she explained this part well. Her writing skills are evident. It was very readable – I was never tempted to DNF.
Of course, DNF-ing is not always a case of the book not being ‘good’ but that sometimes the right book isn’t being read at the ‘right’ time. FOR ME.
I knew the landmarks, the physical localities of her life. I recognized her midwestern viewpoints, often. I don’t think I would call her a whiner, like some have accused her of. She wasn’t really a complainer, as such and she really didn’t lay vicious blame at the feet of “corporations/government/capitalism” and yet she did. She didn’t offer solutions nor suggest that there are certain portions of the US economy that is just not catching the breaks. That you HAVE to catch the breaks, is the point, perhaps. She explained that it took real effort and a fish-out-of-water feeling to break out of the cycle she saw in her family circumstances. I admire her. I wonder. I really just don’t know what to think of this.
What this book really did was heighten my interest in reading Hillbilly Elegy. I have heard this book of Smarsh’s is BETTER than HE. Yet, HE got the kudos, the attention, the movie deal. So I want to find out if it is the same or better. Or worse.
Ah, it shouldn’t be a competition. Was that the point? I don’t know what the point is. She worked hard, wanted DIFFERENT for herself and thus on a typical
success rating, she succeeded.
The pros and cons supporting and dissing this book are fascinating. I, again, have not the capacity to figure it out nor explain it here, that’s for sure.
RATING: Three slices of pie.
Her grandmother made a lot of pie and I can respect that.
Gma Teresa was always in charge of the pies since she bested the other women with her meticulous baking skills.
This year, I read my 7th Ann Patchett. Two authors, I read for the 3rd time: Thomas Hardy and Matt Haig. I read 11 authors for the second time. The only reread was Milkman, by Anna Burns, both this year – one by eBook and one by audio. I also read Say Nothing, a nonfiction view into the times and setting of Milkman. A themed combination that created a great reading experience.
Classics: 14; oldest book Candide 1759. Only 3 books published before 1900. Books published in 2019 = 20, in 2018 = 23.
Shortest book: No Small Gift, 110 pages. Poetry
Longest book: The Golden Notebook, 640 pages
Longest Audiobook: Wolf Hall (and the only series book?) 24+ hours
I took advantage of Audible’s monthly freebies quite often.
I completed the Classics Club 50 in 5 years!!!!!
I also completed – for the VERY FIRST TIME – the Back to the Classics Challenge at the 9 book level.
I already mentioned my Milkman twice + Say Nothing “Reading Experience”. Wonderful.
A renewed focus to blog and write reviews. Lots of Business/Leadership books = 5. Three books with the word GOLDEN in it. Another year of no readalongs. And no Stephen King. Anyone up for The Green Mile in 2020?
I did a fair job of reading books for the March Tournament of Books – always a wonderful time of year.
My top favorites to share are:
and, drumroll please for the 2019 Pie in Literature Award, the WINNER of my best book with pie is The Lager Queen of Minnesotaby J.Ryan Stradal!
Edith would just as soon take another woman’s husband as another woman’s pie recipe, and she had the best husband in the world, so there you go.
Honorable Mentions: Where the Crawdads Sing for a boat named The Cherry Pie, and The Psychology of Time Travel for frozen butter pies on a stick.
Which reminds me, I read a few time travel books this year, too.
One more thing:
I read 8 books in 2018 that were on the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die: The Accidental, Candide, A Clockwork Orange, The Woodlanders, Naked Lunch, The House of the Seven Gables, A Handful Dust, Love in a Cold Climate
Happy New Year! Read and enjoy a slice of pie – in real life or in a book.
Diana frowned. “We told you, we don’t want cake, we want pie.”
Thoughts by Nate Hawthorne, Kindle edition (orig 1851), 290 pages
Category 1. 19th Century Classic.
I loved this! The more I think about this wild tale, I fondly smile and reflect and think, “YEA!”
I had no idea. To be perfectly honest, (what a NUTTY turn of phrase is “perfectly honest…”), the first 20-25% should be considered an Introduction and read AFTER not before.
The story and the characters are quite endearing! Let’s see how much I recall from October . . .
Old lady nearing the state of being house-rich + cash poor and … tenuous at best. A dear sweet scary looking old lady who just needs a friend for pete’s sake! (I know I would have LOVED her and could have made her a fast-friend) anyway… Dear-sweet-old-lady opens a shop in her old house to sell crap and confectioneries to adorable little kids (ok, one kid – but what a lovely little rake, he is!) when “Distant Adorable Cousin” shows up to help and move in and get away from the country.
(This is obviously a condition of the times…. sweet cousin shows up and says “HI! can I stay here?” and they all say, “Sure, why not…”)
OH! but drama. And it was … cute! fun! I don’t know… not as scary as T-rumpville?!
Anyway, there’s a ghost, there’s family history, there’s house-history, there’s devious family members trying to usurp other poor family members and it was
a fun read.
But. WOW was that first quarter part a slog.
(Even if, in hindsight, it kinda sorta helped set up the fun of the rest of it…)
I rated this 4 stars.
“The wrongdoing of one generation lives into the successive ones and… becomes a pure and uncontrollable mischief.”
This just might have been my favorite of the books I read that count for the Back to the Classics Challenge… maybe