Goodbye, Vitamin

Thoughts  by Rachel Khong, 2017, 208 pages

The endive truck is parked there, and the trucker is outside, sitting on the curb, eating a waxed paper–wrapped apple pie.

Challenge: Tournament of Books
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Type/Source: eBook / Kindle
 Why I read this now: It’s Rooster Reading time once again.

MOTIVATION for READING: I selected this one because it was short. What can I say, I want to read as many as I can. Plus it has mostly good reviews.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: I’m going to share the blurb at goodreads.com:

…the wry, beautifully observed story of a woman at a crossroads, as Ruth and her friends attempt to shore up her father’s career; she and her mother obsess over the ambiguous health benefits – in the absence of a cure – of dried jellyfish supplements and vitamin pills; and they all try to forge a new relationship with the brilliant, childlike, irascible man her father has become.

WHAT’s GOOD: I loved the tone; contemplative, searching, kind, honest. I think I might have expected whiny, but it isn’t at all.

FINAL THOUGHTS: All the characters were easy to cheer for. and LOTS of PIE! Actually, lots of food. This is one of those books that maybe nothing huge happens but there is so much going on. Very good story and told in an interesting way.

RATING: Four slices of pie: apple, chicken potpie, pecan with chocolate in it, and just pie.

At the bistro, our server struggled to remember the pie list.

 

 

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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.
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Year End Summary… In Progress

Thoughts

Hello.

I do not understand why goodreads says I read 91 books when I can only count 86. Or 87. Goodreads counted the audio and print as two separate books for Orlando. OK, I’ll go with that, I guess¹.

But then I feel like a cheat.

And a fraud.

But I don’t have time for this!²  So let’s just go with 90 as a round up.  (I stopped updating my google doc of my crazy book tracking spreadsheet back at book #37 in May)

Goodreads says I gave 16 books 5 stars, 41 books got 4, 28 got 3 and 4 got 2. I actually awarded one book a 1 star.

Pie chart! 2017-12-31_slices

I balanced the formats of how I digest a book:  Tradeback won with 25 and electronic (Kindle) books were at 23. I enjoyed 19 Audiobooks which seems to justify my purchasing the one book a month from Audible… I read 3 paperbacks and enjoyed 17 hardcovers – mostly from the library, but I don’t have that data easily pie-chartable.

Do know that some of these counts include books that I both read in print AND listened to via audiobook format. Just sayin’.

Genre is another thing I have a tough time tracking. But I do love the variety of books I read – I read books all over the sprectrum and yet I know I miss a few things, too. I didn’t read any graphic novels. I read some sci-fi but only if it was a part of the TOB. We’ll save the TOB for another post. For now, let’s just put up the pie charts!

Fiction 66, nonfiction 20.

I did this better last year, but I didn’t have a job (I did but I had a long Christmas break then) and I also had a computer that was faster and less annoying and I also knew where my last year’s paperwork was. #whining (#ugh). ALSO, I had time ALONE. You wouldn’t believe how many times my husband has asked me “What ARE you doing?!”)

PIE. Are you here for the pie?!  I also don’t have a quick hit report to run to find these numbers, either. I am accessing the PIE category on goodreads for books read in 2017 and using that count. (Actually, I didn’t…) My OCD tendencies want to verify this count with every post (but I didn’t DO reviews the second half of the year so raspberries to that) and … oh, you get the picture. Do tell me again that there is no book-blog-police checking the accuracy of my work. Also, you now see why I’m not an accountant…

We could well say this blogging/reading year was a first-half-of-the-year compared to the second-half. Lots happened in June that give us a clear definitive line of habits and processes. Shrug, OK. whatever. I’m still adjusting to be honest, but do know that reading will always be a constant. It just evolves, yes?

Of the posts/books that I kept the pie/no-pie data check going, I found 34 that mentioned pie.

Finally, here is my happiest pie memory from 2017 – it happened during the readalong for The Bone Clocks.  Just click and read my post I wrote during the Twitter exchange.

Happy New Year!  more stats fun to happen soon….

 

 

 

 

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1 – I couldn’t get into Orlando. The audio was hard. The print version was overwhelming. I know it is probably most-awesome but I wasn’t in the right space at the time…

2 – whine whine whine. My word for the year coming up! (“Reset”)

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.

What’s in a Name is my Favorite (Challenge)

I completed a reading challenge. I’m quite happy about this. 

I was quite happy… until I realized I didn’t read any – none, nada, not a ONE, of the classics on my Classics 50 Challenge in the entire 12 months of 2017.

What?  HUH?!

Oh well. I don’t know why this really saddens me. But it does. It makes me sad. Not one?  REALLY?

Well. I already know I’m failing miserably at the Tournament of Books Long List. We know my book review posting has been pathetic since May. Yep, Ok. WE KNOW.

I know – or think I just MUST have – read one or two books this year that were published over 50 years (ok, maybe 25  years ago – let’s try that?) But I’m afraid to look.

SO, let’s be happy with KINDNESS. Let’s be happy with making a tremendous effort to not get bogged down by ‘the news’ – fake or otherwise (see? I’m already losing it) and let’s think positive fighting RIGHT humanity-minded equality-grounded love-centered thoughts and be kind to every person, every puppy. Cats, too. Why not.

And PIE. Let’s promote PIE because the World can use a PEACE. pieratingsml

Here are the books I read for the 2017 What’s in a Name Challenge:

Title with number (not spelled out): 

Building: 

Title with an X: 

Compass Direction: 

Cutlery: 

Alliteration: 

I love this time of year in blog world. Stats! Pie charts! Picking THE book to be the First of the Year! Going through my books to find ones that fit the next What’s in a Name Challenge!  Cheers

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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.

 

Kitchens of the Great Midwest

Thoughts on a Book to Complete a Challenge…

I FOUND IT!   What I wrote in my June Round UP:

Kitchens of the Great Midwest was terrific! I really enjoyed it. I was saddened to see gr reviews by friends who did NOT like this or read a review that convinced them they would not like it so are crossing off lists! I REALLY liked this book and found much that appealed to my reading emotional self. It’s all just crazy. That’s OK. Too each their own. But I would LOVE to make Joann read this and change her mind and then sit and discuss over wine….  (Wow – I don’t usually try twist peoples’ arms to read a book but it somehow keeps poppin’ up in my recall that she is thinking this won’t appeal to her…)  I think that what one reviewer found annoying, I found tongue-in-cheek amusing, so it made me chuckle where the other person reacted with DNF and/or chucking the book across the room. Funny, huh?

I thought I missed one book to complete the What’s in a Name Challenge; the the Compass Direction category. A little late in the year for me to start worrying about it, but #shrug. But anyway,  I decided to do a look-see through my goodreads My-Books Read list…  I searched “North” –> nope, nothing for 2017. I entered “South” –> nothing, again, for 2017. Then “East” –> sure enough –> nada. OK, only one more compass direction to look up, “West”.

AND DING DING DING!!!  We have a winner!

I did not do a dedicated review (in a timely manner, ahem) since I failed miserably at this task for most of the last six months. SO I am here now writing on to satisfy the challenge and give a little jig and celebrate a reading challenge for 2017. Kick up your heels and join me?

I give j.Ryan Stradal’s Kitchens of the Great Midwest Kitchens of the Great Midwest FIVE SLICES of APPLE PIE!

Did you have some successes in reading challenges for 2017 that I can help YOU celebrate?

 

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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 Last Sunday Before Christmas Eve

Jenny of Reading the End has a terrific meme idea for Sundays. The idea is to share good things. To Quote Miss Gin-Jenny, “to talk about things that kept me moving forward or gave me some joy.”

Impassioned by:  Pie. SO, here’s what I did:  I gave away a gift certificate for a pie of choice for my work department’s Yankee Swap. The person who won was confused but once explained, she seemed quite thrilled by the idea. She asked for Dutch Apple Pie. “Great!” I said. “Yay!!” I thought, as I rushed home to pull out all my pie books and look for a good Dutch Apple Pie. But then I got confused because some have raisins, some have egg in the crust, some have pastry topping when I thought the Crumb Topping was what made it ‘Dutch Apple’. Sigh, what IS a Dutch Apple Pie? I did some #scientific-based research (I posted a poll) and then just asked the recipient what she expects for Dutch Apple. That should clear up this confusion. I know it will have apples and butter and cinnamon and sugar. All good.

Happy about: I found my Pecan Pie recipe! I have this crazy loose leaf recipe collection barely stuffed into a three ring binder and the sugar-splattered copy of my Cook’s Country Pecan was missing. Is missing still. But the husband has a digital copy (it’s his favorite and he never fails to remind me that I didn’t make it for his birthday last year for whatever reason I can’t recall) and I also found it in my emails to my friend Karen many years ago. I wonder if she ever made it?

And if you want to see my Old Fashioned Pecan Pie recipe, I’ve loaded into Google Docs.

(Jeanne helped me out with a link lookup request which has been fixed by the above sentence… Thanks NonNecromancer!)

Super charmed by: My friend Heather asked me about Christmas Pie and we had a lovely FB-Messenger chat about Pumpkin (Dec 25 has been designated “Pumpkin Pie Day”) and Apple and a Crustless Cranberry. Let me know if you, too, would like me to post this recipe. I think I best start creating my resource online. Might as well be here at Care’s Books and Pie, right?

Excited for: Winter Solstice is coming. The shortest day of the year. Which means the days start to get longer. and longer and LONGER! and then it will be spring!

Enjoying: I’m enjoying researching and searching for where to give some of our charity dollars most needed, most effective.

and pie. This WILL be a pie-riffic week!

 

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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.

Something for the First Sunday in December 2017

Jenny of Reading the End has a new blog idea for Sundays. The idea is to share good things.

Touched by: The color blue. I just read Percival Everett’s So Much Blue and gave it 5 stars and question why I rated it so high. Oh, I do know what and why I did, but am not confident I can debate it as ‘reasonable’. Whatever. AND THEN! I was reading an article in The Guardian of authors who share their best reads of 2017; one of the authors cited Bluets – a book of poetry I almost purchased! but didn’t. Why did I not? oh well, I didn’t and now I want it more.

Happy about: That I made it home for Thanksgiving and saw so many loved ones and happy that I made it back home to where home is NOW.

Inspired by: Anyone who can be calm and rational and hopeful.

Proud of: Myself that I didn’t say things to loved ones that I would be sad and shamed to have said and equally sad that I didn’t have the courage to say things I might have should have said. Sigh.

People are so damn complicated.

Enjoyed: Husband cooked so many amazing meals tonight and day before yesterday and for Thanksgiving! such yummy food. MMmmmmm

Charmed by: Chip and Joanna Gaines. I won their book  at a holiday party today. Love their show.

Giggling over: Esther talking in her sleep. I really missed my pups while we were away.

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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.

October, the Tenth Month, Five More Books

I read books in October. Let me tell ya!

Oct 2017

The Magician’s Assistant / Ann Patchett A (1997,11′) *** 74

Textbook / Amy Krause Rosenthal HB (2016,368) **** 73

Lila / Marilynne Robinson A (2014,9′) **** 72

One Good Turn / Kate Atkinson Tb (2016,448) **** 71

Angle of Repose / Wallace Stegner Tb (1971,569) **** 70

Two audiobooks –  so nice to get back to this medium. My new job often has me traveling so I have some car time. Plus the commute home is 30-40 minutes (which I expect will be on the longer side since I have to traverse the shopping district avenues which get congested this time of year.) With no traffic, I can get TO work in just over 15 minutes!

Let’s start:  I read Angle of Repose because* I so very much enjoyed the first Stegner I treated myself to: (and click on this:  –>  to read my review) Crossing to Safety. AofR won the Pulitzer, doncha know, and as impressive an epic it is, I enjoyed Crossing to Safety more. That said, Angle is impressive. Oh, I said that. It’s full of big ideas and some great fabulous looks into our American History, the western expansion. Recommended if you like amazing writing, complicated characters and sweeping views of history. It was set in the late sixties, yet Stegner writes with a freshness that is … impressive. It felt fresh and not as someone now writing about then. Does that make sense? Hey, it’s my opinion. Golly gee, I miss blogging and putting myself OUT THERE! wee hoo. yee haw. [Rabbit pie and cowpie.]

Stegner is not talked about enough.

*     I also read Angle of Repose because I have an engineering degree and the term suggests ‘engineering‘. Not at all to suggest  to not-engineering geeks (so do not assume!) that this is science-heavy aka boring!! it is not. Please please don’t think that. ugh.

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One Good Turn. I read this because…. LOTS of reasons! I love this author. I really enjoyed her first Brodie book and this is the second with this main character. whoops, maybe only 2 reasons. I found this book at my apartment complex! It was on the community shelf. Had to grab. I returned it (though not to the same spot.)

If you liked Case Histories, I can tell you to go ahead read this, too, if you haven’t  yet. To click on this sentence, you will be transported to my goodreads notes for  Case Histories because I didn’t review it here (on blog.) What a sad blogging summer I had… [I’m counting egg custard as ‘pie’.]

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Lila. Oh Lila! What a fascinating amazing story. This month was chock full of the best author visits; now that I think about it, all return visits to these authors. What a comfortable heart-full reading month I have had this October. If you are like me and appreciate the soul-singing work of Marilynne Robinson (and can I only say to any of you  that don’t have the same kind of spiritual ‘relationship’ that this author might espouse – all cool. I get it. I really don’t either at this moment in my life but wow oh wow do I appreciate what she does in her writing.) I want to put all of MR’s Gilead books on my “to-read-again all-at-once in-order someday list”. I’m mentally creating this list of books to read and probably need to create it in goodreads, right? Right. Will do…

NOT to suggest that listening to Lila‘s side of things was ‘comfortable’. Soul-singing provocative spiritual stuff is never comfortable. [Apple Pie]

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Textbook by Amy Krause.

Dear Reader, do you know of this? Feel free to click on the link just provided and read about it from the goodreads perspective.

I just want to start crying. Whoa.

Thank you Bybee for sending me this. I still have it. I want to send it to SOMEONE but don’t know who. Also, I don’t know if I want it to leave me. It could very well be all gimmick-schmimmick until life(/death) thrusts into the ‘plan’ and shows no guarantees.

Wow.

(sniff, gulp. sob…)

[yes, pie… It was THIS that broke my freakin’ heart.]

Live, people. Don’t watch the crap on the news, hug your loved ones, recognize the humanity in every person, strive to be better and LIVE, goddammit. (talking to myself?)

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The Magician’s Assistant. Ann Patchett you nutty adorable author book-store-owner lovely lady YOU. Love ya. Not your best book but that’s OK, I’m sure you learned much from the experience (of course you did, goofy-me. ha) and so glad you kept after the craft. I am still not sure the narrator captured Nebraska small town, but hey, “Whatever.” This is the author that inspires me, delights me, makes me think and entertains. One of my favorites.

I’ll forgive the no pie thing. This time.

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August, You Were a Friend of Mine

August, You Were a Friend of Mine

Here’s my list from August:
The Grand Sophy / Georgette Heyer eB (1950,387) ***** 61
The Silent Wife / Kerry Fisher eB (2017,352) ** DNF 60
The Almost Sisters / Joshilyn Jackson ARC Tb (2017,339) **** 59
The Nightingale / Kristin Hannah Tb (2015,440) *** 58
Finders Keepers / Stephen King pb (2015,448) **** 57
Wake in Winter / Ndezhda Belenkaya eB (2016,368) ** DNF 56

Reviews, out of order…

I DNF’d Wake in Winter and The Silent Wife. I remember that Wake in Winter got off to a very clunky start with drastic change of tone and perspective of voice. Is the author talking or the character? Very abrupt. And… as always, when I get that distracting voice in my head that starts to question what is the what, I do looking for reviews. I found many critical negative reviews and it solidified my need to give it up. I can’t even remember what made me give up on The Silent Wife. Wow, nope, I don’t remember and don’t feel necessary to go find out. I’m sure I had good reasons. Feel free to click on the titles to go see the books in goodreads and do your own research.

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I’ve already mentioned elsewhere on the bookish social media outlets that I have an allergy to Kristin Hannah. I’m sure she is lovely and she is obviously held in high esteem by her fans and that is great. I just don’t like her style of writing. I do appreciate her giving attention to the amazing women who resisted the Nazis in WW2 and for that, The Nightingale gets three slices of pie. Bonus Apple Pie.

Another issue I had with The Nightingale was that the copy I purchased from Target had 40 pages missing!!! I kept reading and have decided I didn’t miss a thing. I was able to return the book for credit which I immediately used to buy another book.

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Stephen King’s Finders Keepers was that book. This is second in the Bill Hodges trilogy. I liked it. I tagged it as having a pie mention but will look it up another time.  (I read book #3 in September…)

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I very much enjoyed the humor and writing in The Almost Sisters. I think Joshilyn Jackson has talent. The story, at times, had a few things that made me cringe (like why do we think we have to rush the old people into a home! GEEEEESH) but otherwise, I thought the main character has some fun things going for her and she made me laugh. Maybe made me cry, too. I don’t remember that part but it might have had some heart tugs. Bonus pie mentions: ice pie, church pie, the making of pie crusts.

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And the BEST OF AUGUST! is Georgette Heyer’s The Grand Sophy. Fun stuff and always a vocabulary booster. If you like strong women in times that never expected strong women, these are a treat. Keep in mind, some character depictions will/may offend today’s sensibilities.

 

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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.

July, July! What I’d Give to Be Back in July!

TropStorm Jose won’t leave. He was scheduled to rock Rhode Island on Tuesday but each day the winds seem more gusty and blowy and chilling. I walk the dogs through scattered leaves; I wrap in blankets; I’m sipping hot chocolate.

screech! Cancel that last one. I’m still enjoying beer but we’ve moved from the Shandies to Octoberfests. sigh….

Here’s the quick list of what I read in July:

The Sweet Hereafter / Russell Banks eB (1991,416) **** 55
Perfect / Rachel Joyce eB (2013,401) **** 54
NOS4A2 / Joe Hill eB (2013,704) *** 53
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald / TAFowler Tb (2013,384) **** 52
On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon / Kaye Gibbons eB (1998,304) *** 51
Code Name Verity / Elizabeth Wein eB (2012,452) ***** 50

 

I loved Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein! There’s been some interesting chatter about its being classified as YA which I didn’t get. I always think of YA as being about younger characters and about youngster drama – even if extremely heavy AND also written with a feel like it was written for a younger reader than I am. (cough, cough). Now saying this “didn’t feel YA” is not meant to be any kind of lesser/more qualifier or criticism. I just never got that YA sense from it. Perhaps because it was set in WW2? I would say that The Book Thief – another one I love – IS YA but I wouldn’t say it about Code Name Verity. Yes, the two main characters were youthful but it didn’t feel like a story set up to be told to the YA typical audience.

Here’s more twist to this topic. I did think The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah most certainly had that YA feel. The Nightingale character and her experiences fit the YA criteria to a tee for YA for me. I liked Code Name MUCH MUCH more. I thought the writing quality was much higher but I do not think that has anything to do with any YA classification. Am I fooling myself?

I gave three stars to On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon because I really am not sure what to make of it. Bonus: pie! quote: “I was irritated that it might be the old lady who peddled stale pies.”

Moving on to books about wives of famous authors… I DNF’d The Paris Wife. Hadley drove me crazy. I loved Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and when ever Hadley made an appearance — I still found her annoying.  Bonus: Chocolate Cream Pie!

My first read by author Joe Hill was The Fireman and I was eager to try something else. I actually had purchased NOS4A2 for my Kindle months before The Fireman-along was announced and I was eager to get to it because I so enjoyed the readalong. I liked NOS4A2 and it wasn’t quite as scary horrific as I thought it was going to be –  maybe I’m building up some kind of tolerance after so many King books…. (And it was Christmas in July! if you’ve read this, you’ll know what I mean.)    Bonus: Banana Pie!

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Perfect by Rachel Joyce. I really like Rachel Joyce. I had a tough time with Perfect. I ended up giving it 4 stars because of the skill of Rachel Joyce. She had me uncomfortably anxious, a low-level strumming sense of foreboding. This was a sad book. “You have to think bigger than what you know,”           Bonus: Mince pie!

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As I go through this list, I see many sad reads. The Sweet Hereafter was as sad as they come. Read it if you like sad books? if you like how competent some authors are with sad material? I don’t know. It was about a school bus full of children hitting an ice patch while proceeding down a hill and crashing into a pond off a steep embankment. Told from multiple character viewpoints. I’m getting weepy and sad thinking about it again. But Banks has my respect. It was well done. Four slices of pie.

Abbott says, “Biggest … difference … between … people … is … quality … of … attention.” And since a person’s quality of attention is one of the few things about her that a human can control, then she damn well better do it, say I. Put that together with the Golden Rule in a nutshell, and you’ve got my philosophy of life. Abbott’s too. And you don’t need religion for it.


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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.

Latest and Greatest

Recent Thoughts and Other Things…

I’ve read 4 books since my last review post and finished up May strong with 8 books (one of which was a skim from half point…)

Total for the year so far:  39 books, 9672 pages, ~147 hours

I decided a quick audiobook (< 3 hours) was just the thing to catapult my month’s stats to something I can be proud of and chose Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me It was both unexpected and affirming; she is an eloquent voice for feminism and human rights. I very much enjoyed this. I was also pleased that she lent insight to Virginia Woolf’s Orlando

I DNF’d Orlando Sob, shame, embarrassment. It is NOT a summer beach read; it is dense and though very lively, it takes concentration. I admit I was lost and believe this would be a great book for serious study just not right now in the moment of my crazy life. I had originally attempted the audiobook – nope. Reading the ebook was easier, but… I can’t quite describe the feeling of drowning it gave me. Submerged in what I can only assume is amazing prose but HUH? I need guidance for next time. And I do want to try again. It’s not dry and dusty; it is very lively, but hold on! Goodness.

My neighbor gave me a book written by a friend of hers from a writing group she was involved with. I must say that it was well-written and informative, fascinating even.  I know many will and should enjoy it. It just wasn’t my cup of tea in style and format; I guess genre. I like the heavier serious immersive stuff. (How I can say that I liked The Sport of Kings when I didn’t like it but I can “like” this but not? Does that make any sense whatsoever? Nah, I didn’t think so.) I can find much to admire and can recommend Holly Warah’s debut Where Jasmine Blooms I give it 3 slices of pie. (It did have lots of pie so I could bump up to a 4 slice?)  I now must get my hands on a recipe for SAMBUSIK PIE.

Finally, my MIL gave me  A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly and I read it in one day. What an amazing story! If you have seen or  know about the movie Lion, you know what this is:  young boy finds himself on a train to Calcutta, many MANY miles away from home. He is adopted by a family in Australia and when he is 30, he decides to find out about his birth-family. WOW!!

I’m listening to Everything I Never Told You and honestly, I’m not feeling it. Shrug. I’m about 35% in. Maybe I’m just in a horrible mood this summer!? No, that can’t be all of it — I have Kitchens of the Great Midwest on ebook and I am finding it delightful.

Finally. School is out and we are headed to the boat and the lovely waters of Rhode Island. You may not see me around here much… Wishing everyone a super summer and lots of great reading!

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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.