Review 2018

I read 76 books. Though I’m not sure that some are even “books” — a few were Audible Originals so a print version might not be available. And I count my DNFs.

     Here we go!

Total pages ~16042.

Female/Male:  54/22

Fiction/Non: 54/22 (well, isn’t THAT interesting?!)

New to Me Authors: 63        Repeat Authors: 13

Classics: 10 (See previous post.)

Audiobooks: 28, ~255 hours

Shortest book: A graphic novel,  Adam and Andy by James Asal. I gave it 5 slices of pie!

Longest book: Vanity Fair by Wm Makepeace Thackeray, 32 hours and 18 minutes.

I gave more 5 slice pie ratings than last year and 4 and 5 slicers comprised over 70% of my reads! Not bad.

Audiobooks dominate!


I finished a series! The Broken Earth Series by NK Jemisin. Highlighly recommended.

I didn’t do any readalongs? Huh. I didn’t read any Stephen King?! Wow. I did finally read a book by Tracy Kidder, one of my favorite nonfiction writers. I read two books written by friends.

I did a fair job of reading books for the March Tournament of Books – always a wonderful time of year. I’m not doing so hot this year. I’ve read one and about 1/3 into another one. 

My top favorites to share are:

Jane Eyre narrated by Thandie Newton. Beyond fabulous! 

Circe  by Madeline Miller

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine –  participated in one of the best book club discussions I’ve ever experienced! Very fun.

Anthony Marra’s  A Constellation of Vital Phenomena – the book I’m telling everyone to read.

and PriestDaddy  by Patricia Lockwood, a book I think I want to reread but in print. It was one that stayed with me and still perplexes.

Finally, PIE.

and the WINNER of my best book with pie is  THE IDIOT by Elif Batuman!!!

Honorable Mentions:  Tin Man and Manhattan Beach


One more thing:

I read 4 books in 2018 that were on the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die:


Happy New Year! Read and enjoy a slice of pie – in real life or in a book. pieratingsml


Copyright © 2007-2019. 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 2018 Kick Off Post

My favorite challenge! This button     will take you to the host blog, The Worm Hole.

Here are the categories (with hyperlinks back to host blog) and my possible choices:

The word ‘the’ used twice – From my Classics Club 50: The House of the Seven Gables by Nat Hawthorne.

A fruit or vegetable – I’m committing to Elaine Dundy‘s The Dud Avocado, also on my Classics Club 50.

A shape – SO EXCITED to announce another Classics Club 50 will fit this one:  The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilberg Clark. An ox-bow is defined as 

  1. a U-shaped bend in the course of a river.
  2. a U-shaped collar of an ox yoke.

A title that begins with Z – Darn that I read Z last year (book about Zelda Fitzgerald) so I’m going to try The Zero by Jess Walter – I absolutely loved his Beautiful Ruins.

A nationality – Not sure here. Had American War for this spot when it was on the TOB long list but since it didn’t make the short. I have a lot of great nonfiction options about women that history forgot and I might go that route. Or perhaps American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang which would be a graphic novel and I want more of these. Any other suggestions?

A seasonCruel Winter by Sheila Connelly. I purchased this book for a friend’s birthday because it sounded like something she would enjoy and she promised to let me read it after (and then I’ll give it back so she can loan to her mom.)

I have created a goodreads list of done-reads and possibles for my 2018 tracking here…

Happy Reading Challenges!  What is the challenge you are MOST looking forward to this year?



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.

Science Tales

Thoughts stbydc Science Tales: Lies Hoaxes and Scams by Darryl Cunningham, Myriad Editions 2012, 174 pages

a COMIC book? I wouldn’t call it a Graphic Novel because it is not a novel. I’m so out of it on the comic/graphics genre take on books!

And, unfortunately, this book really can’t be praised for helping me figure out if I like this genre or not.

I’m going to say no.

I really have to admit that half way through I realized I was only reading the words and not appraising or appreciating (or even noticing) the illustrations.

Minus:  On a content note, I don’t feel that Cunningham really shared much of the science he was endorsing or refuting on his chapters of  Electroconvulsive Therapy, Homeopathy, Vaccinations, the Moon Hoax, Climate Change, Evolution, Chiropractic Medicine, and Science Denial.

Positive:  I don’t fault the book for attempting to inspire constructive thinking and consideration of the facts. It certainly encourages more research and shares what those sources might be.

So kudos for that.  It’s a quick read, too.

Do please read Debi’s review!

Rating: Two and 1/2 slices of pie. So round up to three.




Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Summer Reading REQUIRED

My High School has published the Summer Reading Lists. Prior to this year, only one book was required. They are now providing choices for each grade level.

I have read the BOLD titles (only 11 of 26!), ITALICIZED the ones I don’t know know anything about (and am shocked and appalled by this, so guess what? I need to read these before school starts in August), and have just started the audiobook of the title in blue. The titles in red are ones I know of but just haven’t read yet.

How many of these have you read?

Secret Life of Bees
Sarah’s Key
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Ellen Foster
Maus I
My Sister’s Keeper
The Alchemist
This Boys Life (author not given, assuming Tobias Wolf?)

I am Malala
The Book Thief
The Help
The Silence of Our Friends
The Color of Water

Into the Wild
Glass Castle
We Were the Mulvaney’s
Snow Falling on Cedars
Bean Trees

Sold  (<–no idea which author…)
Brave New World
V is for Vendetta
The OxBow Incident
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
The Submission (should I assume this is the Amy Waldman? which I *HAVE* heard of now that I look it up…)

Which should I begin next? I think I will read The Color of Water by James McBride since I have it in the house ready to go.

Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Dykes To Watch Out For

Thoughts     Dykes To Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel, Firebrand Books 1986, 78 pages.

MOTIVATION for READING:     I had read so many great reviews of various titles by Alison Bechdel and so was testing my area’s InterLibraryLoan system;  this one popped up.    I reserved it for my GLBT Challenge and my OPEN category in the Twenty in Ten Challenge:  Graphic Novel.     I’m going to say that this book picked me.

Don’t you love books that are SMART FUNNY?   This one is.    And I howled at the 80s references (see the published date of 1986) – so spot on.

I have to admit I was delighted (in hopes of reading 100 books this year and I’m off that mark) at the page count of 77 – I am seriously taking more time to write this review than it did to flip through every panel!      Little humorous vignettes that are obviously about lesbian relationships but have universal themes.     Truly, it is a look at the craziness of relationships, ANY relationships – beginnings, middles, and ends, etc.

One of my favorite things was the smattering of panels for each letter of the alphabet that showcase a type of lesbian.   I love the alphabet!   I love to read books, blog posts, anything that features the alphabet.     And then – surprise!!!    The last pages has “the Amazon’s Bedside Companion:  A Sophisticated Alphabet and Subliminal Picture Quiz” which had me breezing through once again from the beginning!   For example, the Z page featured a Zinnia and I totally missed it.   So clever and fun.

Nymeth recently reviewed one of Bechdel’s latest (as I understand it, an extension/compilation of what she started in the book I’m reviewing here); I must quote her:

“the main appeal of The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For is actually how very universal and how human it is.”


RATING:   Four slices of pie.


Copyright © 2010. 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.


Thoughts   Blankets by Craig Thompson, Top Shelf Productions 2003, 582 pages.

MOTIVATION for READING:       For the Graphic Novel selection of the Twenty in Ten Challenge.    I borrowed from my friend Ree from book club.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:   First love, coming of age, struggles with the ideas of religion and family.

Can I just say that I did enjoy this book but I felt it had abrupt chapter changes?     I think this suffered – for me – from the weight of too heavy expectations.     I am extremely impressed with the talent of the author.    I appreciated the sharing, I felt the pain and loneliness, I am glad to have read/experienced this; but I am not over-the-top gushy about it.    (again, NOT that I didn’t love it, …  sigh)

I will, however, point you to many  a-favorable review from bloggers whose opinions I reverently respect:

Jenny’s Mumsy at Jenny’s Books, Nymeth’s things mean a lot, Chris @ Stuff As Dreams Are Made On, Bart’s Bookshelf, Lu at Regular Ruminations, Melody’s Reading Corner, The Zen Leaf, Aarti from BookLust, and Kim that Sophisticated Dork.

Reading and re-reading the posts from the links above makes me wonder if my heart was placed in the freezer just before I opened this illustrated novel.     Actually, the last few ‘moving’ books (Watership Down, Ethan Frome) which are supposed to be water-works inducing, failed to provoke any tears whatsoever.   SO.   Perhaps it is mood and I haven’t been sensitive enough of late.     Please don’t hold it against me.    (I can only imagine Nymeth’s severe disappointment in me right now!) Perhaps I just suck at self-evaluation and understanding what and why I like a book.    I will soon be re-reading The Book Thief, a favorite of mine (read for the first time just last year) so let’s see if I cry this time.   I love to cry with books.     I’ll let you know.

Feel free to leave a link to your review and/or share your thoughts here.     AND, leave me a recommendation for another Graphic Novel that maybe I might want to read — just don’t tell me I must.

RATING:   Three slices of pie.


Copyright © 2010. 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.

More Thoughts on 2009’s Reading

My top reads from 2009 in no particular order:     (I gave these 12 the coveted Five Pie Slice Rating)

Alphabet Juice by Roy Blount Jr
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Looking For Alaska by John Green
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Proust Was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer

Four of these books were read in July.    Two were read in April.        I think The Giver is the only one on the list I might move down a rating.

And on that note, of the books I gave 4 slices of pie, I would have to say many rise to the top now after a few months of thinking and comparing so the following are getting extra whipped cream:

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
Nothing But Ghosts by Beth Kephart
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
Green Grass Running Water by Thomas King

For fun and silliness, let’s group by odd categories, shall we?

I read two books that had the WEDNESDAY in the title:   The Wednesday Sisters and The Wednesday Letters. I had no intention for this = just happened.

I only read one book that had PIE in the title!   (see my top 12)     After wanting to read more books about books and/or words or had some kind of bookish theme, I really only read 3:   The Book Thief, 84 Charing Cross Road and Alphabet Juice.     But reconsidering, I must protest that The Help was about writing a book and The Wednesday Sisters was about a writing group.  The Jane Austen Book Club was (doh) about a book club, as was the Guernsey Lit Society.    The Blind Assassin had a book within a book, and oh what a wild book it was.

The Orchid Thief and Sarah’s Key had journalists as protagonists.     A few books featured teachers:  A Lesson Before Dying, Mister Pip, Olive KitteridgeStill Alice, and One True Theory of Love.

I failed to keep track of books that actually had pie mentioned – there were a few (The Help, anyone?) and I also failed but want to try to be better in 2010, to track prize winners.     Olive Kitteridge’s Pulitzer is the only one I can say for sure.    Coetzee’s and Atwood’s won the Booker according to what notes I do have.   Looking for Alaska won the Printz for YA?

I read about vampires in Twilight, zombies in Pride&Prejudice&Zombies, ghosts in Her Fearful Symmetry, angels in The Vintner’s Luck, and all sorts of creatures in that other world invented by Tolkein in The Hobbit.    I guess sinister magic is what kept Bradbury’s books so lively (The Halloween Tree and Something Wicked This Way Comes) but the magic in Chocolat was something else, too.

I read a few debut novels I was very impressed with:    Still Alice,  Last Night in Montreal by Emily St John Mandel, and The Help.

Without really even trying, I read 8 books from the 1001 Books to Read Before I Die /Well Read Challenge:    The Blind Assassin, Their Eyes Were Watching God, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Lolita, The Awakening, The Remains of the Day, Life and Times of Michael K, and The Hobbit.

Again, I didn’t officially sign up for Color Online Challenge, but am glad I read the following books that touched on racism:  the Hurston book was astonishing, A Lesson Before Dying was moving,  Mister Pip and My Sweet Charlie were both heartbreaking, The Help was so many things, and the Alexie book just darn good.   And The Life and Times of Michael K – what a strange quiet but powerful book that was excellent in creating a time and place so different than any I’ve ever known.     I didn’t sign up for the War and Generations Challenge but many books would have fit for that:   The Book Thief, Sarah’s Key, Guernsey Lit Society, and even a bit of The Remains of the Day for WWII;  Owen Meany and Father of All Things for Vietnam.

I dropped the ball on tracking books for The Science Challenge but here were my offerings:   Mauve:   How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World by Simon Garfield, Proust Was a Neuroscientist, Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (which is referenced in the Lehrer’s Proust book), and possibly stretching a bit to include but what heck, The Geography of Bliss. Maybe Thunderstruck, too.    oh!  The Orchid Thief was for the Science Challenge!

Speaking of geography and bliss, I consider that a travel book, and could also count The Father of All Things which was my FIRST audio book and has me interested in visiting Vietnam.    Shooting the Boh and The Coast of Summer were also travel/adventure books that I enjoyed.

I read my first e-book: False Witness by Anita Rodgers.   I’ve gotten to know the author and her thoughts, politics, and great sense of humor by following her blog The Writer Chick.

I read my first graphic novels this year:   Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Rick Geary’s The Borden Tragedy.   I want more.

Something Wicked This Way Comes was a re-attempt that I actually finished and Foer’s Extemely Loud and Incredibly Close was a re-attempt that I re-shelved hoping third time will be a charm.  Someday.     I moved Anna Karenina around to different bookshelf and piles throughout the year and I don’t even know where my Einstein book is.    (Both were goals for 2009)

I attempted twelve challenges;   satisfactorily completed RIPIV, World Citizen, Dewey, Lit Flicks, a few Book Menages, Women Writers in March, New Zealand, and Literary Road Trip.    Abandoned the Science Challenge and not sure about the Austen Challenge (if it was for only one book – then I succeeded).     My perpetual Stalking Chartroose Challenge had me only reading two books: Remains of the Day and Popular Music From Vittula. Women Unbound will be a top priority as it continues in 201o.

Now, let’s stop looking at these lists and start reading some NEW books already, shall we!??!?!      (I’ve read 26 pages so far this year…)

Menage Prep TRUE CRIME

For the latest Book Menage sponsored by Citizen Reader, we are reading The Restless Sleep and The Borden Tragedy.   Discussion will be starting the week of November 30, 2009.   You still have time to read these!

trsinycccs rgtbtbm

The Geary book on The Borden Tragedy is wonderful.   This is my second time to attempt a graphic novel* and I have come to realize that I read the text and have to remind myself to stop and look at the drawings.    Though not an expert on the story of this crime, I very much remember the very scary movie when I was a child and was so shocked at that song.

“Lizzie Borden took an ax; gave her father 40 wacks…”

How could she do it?   Oh yea, DID SHE?     This book only gives facts and does not quite influence the reader to believe her guilt or her innocence.     I really enjoyed the history and the research that Geary obviously poured into this project.   I especially appreciate seeing the layout of the house – where the rooms are and how the members of the family typically accessed the rooms from which staircase.    But the one thing that stands out the most is how little time passed between the last person (other than Lizzie) to see Dad alive and finding him slaughtered.     To pull it off, she had to be violently quick and yet so carefully composed.

I live within 40 minutes of Fall River, Mass and I just might have to plan a little road trip to visit the house and cemetery.   Anyone want to come along?   (please?   I don’t want to go by myself…)   Also, must add that Mr Geary spent his childhood in Kansas City and Wichita, Kansas – my ‘home’ town.   I love finding out silly little things like this that are totally unrelated to anything else.


I very much enjoyed the straightforward inquisitive style that Horn uses to present The Restless Sleep.  I really do love nonfiction when we get to see the process from the author’s perspective – how she came to write THIS book and how she small-talked with the people she writes about.   She sets up the book well – right off the bat we are pulled in to the concept and philosophy of death.   Her words grab you by the heart and make you face the idea of dying by violence.    She first invites us to consider each case with only a bit of background and structures each chapter to explore more deeply over the time involved.   We are introduced to the victims of a specific unsolved crime and then we are drawn into more details of the investigation, way back when the case was fresh and how the latest detective attempts to catch the killer.    Very well done, if maybe a bit too factual at times.     I must say I was surprised but shouldn’t have been with the politics and procedures of police organization.   And I was oddly comforted by the statistics;   I’m not likely to be a murder victim in an unsolved case.   But still, just typing that gives me the creeps.

* I have read Persepolis. The Borden Tragedy: A Memoir of the Infamous Double Murder at Fall River, Mass., 1892 (Treasury of Victorian Murder (Graphic Novels)), ComicsLit 1997, no page numbers in the book but says 80 pages.

**  The Restless  Sleep:  Inside New York City’s Cold Case Squad by Stacy Horn, the edition I read was a Thorndike Press Large Print 2005, which might explain the 515 pages (567 with appendices)   I couldn’t find an image of the cover from the edition I read, so I took a photo.

Both from the library and need to be returned.  Hope I won’t need to reference when we get to the discussion.