Category Archives: Historical Lit

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Thoughts by Kim Michele Richardson, Sourcebooks 2019, 309 pages

Challenge: What’s in a Name 2022: Category Person with Description

What’s in a Name Challenge: Description category

Genre/Theme: Adult Fiction; history, pack horse library, blue people of Kentucky

Type/Source: Tradeback / Purchased at Half Price Books, I think

What It’s About: This story focuses on the last of the Kentucky blue people and how our protagonist worked to make her own journey in the world, as a Pack Horse Librarian, during the Depression. The story isn’t light – it contains disturbing violence, racism, and death. There are also tender moments and some humor.

Thoughts: I actually allowed myself to get swept away in this and it could be because I needed a hero to truly cheer for after a struggle with NightBitch, I’m not sure. It certainly is more plot and story and not the introspective contemporary snob-literature that I often find myself really falling for. I didn’t notice, for example, all the melodrama and the repetition of her being blue, over and over again until I read it in a review. Oh. Yeah, perhaps. Maybe it was all the references to pie. It surely gained it an extra slice on the rating for pie being a many-mentioned element.

And I also agree that the ending was … a bit much. Too much for only a few pages! WHAT JUST HAPPENED? Good thing I didn’t have a chance to go read reviews before I finished which is what happens when I have doubts mid-way. But I just kept trucking with the story until the last page.

“The first Friday in June, Troublesome always held its pie bake dance, a pie auction to hitch unmarried folks.”

page 60

Rating: Four slices of pie. Because of the pie and the fast flow.

“Winnie‘d been … the only one to bring a pie and sit with me one long Sunday, and then the next, reading to me while I recovered.”

page 73

Question: Will I read the second in the series? The Book Woman’s Daughter, published in May of this year. I don’t know. I’m not rushing out to get it, and I rarely read series books… I probably won’t, to be honest.

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

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Status ⬥ July ⬥ 2022

 Monthly Recap Time! JULY

  • 5 books; 65 for the year
  • 1639 pages, ~0 hours | 18388 total pages, 140.8 hours for the year so far
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What a great reading month! Quality over quantity? I think This Time Tomorrow has to be the most-recommendable but I liked Autumn AND Trust, too. Only the Tomorrow books had pie, sadly.

““And I thought ‘it’s the pie, it’s the pie’ so we had to establish a really firm rule about no pie during the week.” -Obama”

– Tomorrow Will Be different
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Still no mood for audiobooks or maybe it is just too damn hot to walk the dog and that very much impacts (negatively) on my audio-listen time.

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Maybe my favorite was Autumn, a buddy read with Nancy the Book Fool. We are avid penpals and both had this book on our shelves. Ali Smith intrigues me; I had quite a Twitter thread going of all the things I googled that were mentioned. It was almost historical fiction! Lots of stuff from a scandal in the 60s (or was it the 70s? either way, I wasn’t aware of any of it but made for interesting rabbit hole travels).

If you read Trust, stay with it! In fact, I would encourage you to watch some of the interview videos on Youtube of HD discussing his motivations. I like him. I might have to go see if his first book (OMG – he has only written 2 books?!?!?!) is available at the library.

I didn’t make any pie. Can’t even think if I ordered pie in a restaurant. WAIT! Yes, if you count empanadas. AND I DO COUNT THESE AS PIE, yes of course. We drove to Maria Empanadas in Aurora Colorado and picked up a 12 pack. Too hot to bake otherwise.

FYI Today, August 1, is Homemade Pie Day and also Raspberry Cream Pie Day. Get some if you can!

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What was YOUR favorite book of July?

August has a lot of pie days. The 15th is Lemon Meringue Pie Day! One of my favorites, or at least it sounds pretty good right now.

But, maybe instead of pie, we should give $5 – $10 – $15, the price of a pie (or more), to the charities working hard to fight fires, rescue stranded residents of areas affected by floods, and address other wrongs throughout our country and world. On August 2nd in Kansas, I’m voting no. Abortion in healthcare. Do not change our state constitution.

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Half Done 2022 Six Months to Go

 Monthly Recap Time! JUNE

  • 11 books; 60 for the year
  • 2940 pages, ~3.3 hours | 16749 total pages, 140.8 hours for the year so far
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My favorite was Either/Or. Or, at least according to scores given and slices of pie (and I don’t even think this book HAD pie?!) I also gave 5 slices of pie with no pie mentioned to Choice by Jodi Picoult. I’m just baffled and boggled and sad about what the SCOTUS is up to these days…

Morning is smarter than night.

(Updating this entire post the next morning! LOL had to include this because for me, it is very true.) TRUE BIZ, pg 205
True Biz
The Miranda Obsession
How High We Go in the Dark
Sea of Tranquility
Hearts & Minds
All of the above QUITE GOOD AND I might even say GREAT!
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Sorry Friends, I just haven’t had the motivation to write. I’m sad; I love this blog and I was doing SO WELL through MOST of the pandemic and now? I am feeling the changes. LOL. HA

I didn’t even use my audio credit this month. yikes. If you want to see what I’m hoping to read in July, you’ll just have to visit Litsy. Whatever.

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Same as in May, I read both of the Litsy Spin Books and completed one *BINGO*. My list of 20 for July includes many if not most of the what I had on the last list. Still reading for #CampLitsy.

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“Ms. Sweet Potato Pie costumes wait for no woman.”

True Biz, Pg 203

I don’t even care about checking on how many books had pie. I can’t seem to keep it easy to figure out. Or maybe TRUST that I really accounted and tracked accurately? I would be THE WORST accountant! check again, double check triple check and doubt some more. According to my google sheet tracker, I noted that pie was mentioned in two of this month’s reads. In fact, in How High We Go in the Dark, it was mentioned a LOT. CONTENDER for PIE BOOK OF THE YEAR?! (I also said this in my notes for True Biz! [Updated to Add])

Maybe my favorite was How High We Go? It won #CampLitsy book for June. (nifty)

“- how they’d come to my door with their pies and casseroles, ask for my help capturing their children or spouse as they used to be.”

HHWGitD, pg 285

I made Strawberry Rhubarb Pie as promised in June. I have to! It’s June 9’s Pie Day! Keep watching that hashtag, cuz I continue to use the #CaresPieShow hashtag at Litsy.

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What was YOUR favorite book of June?

June 12 is Pecan Pie Day. My hub’s favorite.

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

May 2022 Celebration

and June Plans

 Monthly Recap Time!

  • 7 books; 49 for the year
  • 2331 pages, ~23.2 hours | 11478 total pages, 137.5 hours for the year so far
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My favorite was … difficult to choose. I’m going with Margaret Atwood’s Burning Questions. Followed by The Candy House, A View of the Harbour, Devil House, All Boys Aren’t Blue, and The Other Einstein. Bonk was least favorite but I still gave it 4 stars.

“I was in the initial or “mud pie“ phase of exploring the possibilities, although I had sent a one-pager to my publishers in February.“

-88% in Burning questions
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Locations and travels:

  • A small harbourside village in England post WW2
  • All over the world in The Candy House, as in Bonk
  • New Jersey and Virginia in All Boys Aren’t Blue
  • Devil House was California
  • Burning Questions was mostly Canada, but also New England USA, Berlin, and England

Forking up shepherd’s pie with an expression of contempt.

-A View of the Harbour
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For challenges, I finished my Wichita KS Library Annual #ReadICT with 12 categories; Devil House completed for an author, John Darnielle, visiting our town. I missed that event, however.

I read both of the Litsy Spin Books and completed one *BINGO*. I’ve readied by 20 books for June’s Book Spin Bingo but have yet to write a blog post here about it. Maybe I can do that now?

Yes! I will be reading I Was Anastasia with Melissa of Avid Reader and am reading Sea of Tranquility with Nancy the BookFool. I’m reading Either/Or now to get ready for TOB Summer Camp and the numbers 5 & 6 above will be discussed during Litsy’s version of Summer Camp.

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Pie was mentioned in four of this month’s reads.

I only made pie once this May. I’m eliminating Instagram from my social addiction but will continue to use the #CaresPieShow hashtag at Litsy.

Thank you to Laila of Big Reading Life for doing a buddy read of The View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor. I even posted about it.

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What was YOUR favorite book of May?

June 9 is Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day. I hope to make a Mulberry Pie sometime later today.

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Slow March of Light

Thoughts by Heather B Moore, 2021, 10 hours 54 minutes

Narrated by: Stephen Graybill and Christa Lewis

Challenge: What’s in a Name: Speed category

Genre/Theme: Adult Fiction, Berlin/Cold War, Based on a true story. Inspired by real events.

Type/Source: Audiobook, Audible

What It’s About: Bob was a senior in college, majoring in economics with dreams of moving on to law school, when he was drafted into the US Army. The year was 1959. After basics in Oklahoma and proving more than competent in shooting, he is sent to a US base in Germany. He is voluntold into the spy game and is eventually captured, enduring 4-5 months in a GDR communist prison camp.

Before impersonating a US economics student studying post-war economics with a German professor who regularly travels into East Germany, he meets a German nurse named Luisa who through circumstance, personal moral courage, and her determination to get her grandmother out of East Berlin, becomes a resistance fighter.

We get his side of the tale and hers. This is a historical post-WW2 story documenting the building of the Berlin Wall. If communism doesn’t scare you, read this.

Thoughts: Despite the note on my gr progress that I found it to started with few emotional hooks and that it felt rather fact-based more than emotional-story, I ended up liking this very much. I cannot but admire the faith and convictions of Bob and also Luisa; I loved their friendship, I was very touched by the ending. A really lovely story that hit hard in a good way and at the right time.

Rating: Five slices of pie.

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

From April into May 2022

 Monthly Recap Time! and plans for current merry month of May:

  • 10 books; 42 for the year
  • 2881 pages, ~21.8 hours | 11478 total pages, 114.3 hours for the year so far
    • By Type:
      Hardcover – 2
      Tradeback 2
      eBooks 4
      Audiobooks 2
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My favorite was … The City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, followed very VERY closely by The Slow March of Light by Heather B Morris. Chouette was the most artsy (and musical) and creative and just wild! If you like unsettling books, I recommend.

“My tiny important job of the day is to crimp pie crusts.”

-Chouette
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Locations and travels:

  • A few of these were based in the US or England and then traveled around the world
  • Slow March was set in cold war Berlin
  • The Last Thing He Told Me started and ended in Sausalito CA with much of the action in Austin TX
  • City of Girls was NYC
  • Chouette was CA but also forest fantasyland somewhat.

She was a bright, energetic, pie-faced fourteen-year-old, who always dressed in the most outlandish costumes.

-City of Girls

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For challenges, I added one more category for the What’s in a Name 2022 “Speed” with the SLOW in the title, The Slow March of Light by Heather B. Moore – and still hope to add a single post review of this soon. It was a scary book with a hopeful “Wow, good humans DO exist” ending that really touched me.

I’m excited to have completed the personal to me challenge of reading Truth & Beauty with The Autobiography of a Face. Interesting story of friendship, of writing, of memoir and who owns the telling.

As a refrain offered in Chouette, “It’s time to tell.” Ellman’s essays would certainly agree with that.

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Pie was mentioned in five of this month’s reads: Things Are Against Us had many pie mentions! Which is not at all surprising if you had read Ellman’s prior book Ducks, Newburyport about a pie baker. And of course, the only reason I have a kids book read was because PIE is in the title. Chouette, City of Girls, and The Last Thing He Told Me round out the pie offerings.

I made a bunch of pie in April – for Easter. Go search #CaresPieShow hashtag in IG or Litsy to see a picture. (or my post prior)

Now it is May and I’m doing a buddy read with Laila of Big Reading Life of The View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor. It is going to be GOOD, I just know. Looking forward to it! This was also a SPIN book for Litsy in May – yay me for having more reasons to read it (besides it being a classic for my Club 50.)

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What was YOUR favorite book of April?

May 3 is Raspberry Tart Day, May 8 is Coconut Cream Pie Day, May 13 is Apple Pie Day, and May 20 is Quiche Lorraine Day – which is in a pie crust, so I call it pie.

“Just go sit inside and get yourself a piece of pie, okay?”

“I literally couldn’t want a piece of pie less,” she says.

LOL! -The last thing he told me

“… make mock apple pie out of green pumpkins”

Things are against us (many many pies in this!)

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Update March 2022 in Review with Note on #TOB2022

 Monthly Recap Time!

  • 10 books; 32 for the year
  • 2759 pages, ~31.5 hours | 8 597 total pages, 92.5 hours for the year so far
    • By Type:
      Hardcover – 0
      Tradeback 3
      eBooks 3
      Audiobooks 4
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My favorite was … Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore, followed by the delightful Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley, a classic novella from 1917.

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Locations and travels:

  • Odessa TX in the 70s (Valentine)
  • San Francisco, also in the 70s (We Run the Tides, for #readICT)
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks links to WRtT because both were set in exclusive high schools, this one in Massachusetts (#readICT)
  • Parnassus on Wheels traveled New England in the early 1900s
  • London both now and 1700s in The Lost Apothecary (book club)
  • Puerto Rico and Brooklyn NY in Olga Dies Dreaming
  • The Stand-In took me to Toronto
  • Wintering took place in England (WiaN)
  • The Alchemy of Us covered history across many maps

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UPDATE on #TOB2022

  • My least favorite Klara and the Sun took the Rooster in March’s Tournament of Books
  • I can confidently state the The Trees captured the hearts for favorite of the Commentariat so that is the book I’m most recommending as “THE BEST”; my personal favorite is The Sentence
  • I read ALL THE BOOKS! and you can see my rankings in my February recap.
  • Am inspired to read a new translation of Beowulf by Maria Dahvana Headley, one of the judges this year. MANY if not most of the judgments were excellent.
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Pie was mentioned in four of this month’s reads. A history of PYREX mentions pie, all kinds of pie and multiple paragraphs cover a summer expedition to eat pie across the country, squash pie in Parnassus on Wheels and this from WRtT:

piroshkis are meat pie

April 3 is Chocolate Mousse Pie Day, April 5 is Empanada Day, April 28 is Blueberry Pie Day! I don’t think I made any pie in March. I just wasn’t feelin’ it.

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What was YOUR favorite book of March?

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Matrix

Thoughts by Lauren Groff, Penguin Audio 2021, 8 hours 52 minutes, Narrated by Adjoa Andoh

Challenge: TOB2022

Genre/Theme: Historical Fiction

Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible

What It’s About: Oh, Marie. Marie is a force! Lauren Groff is a FORCE for fiercely imagining a life for Marie that is BOLD. Marie is a bastard ugly child of nobility in a family fraught with fighting for control of countries in the 12th century. Poor Marie is never going to be given her due and is banished to a nunnery but she is cunning, she is extremely bright and proud, and she will want. She will never get quite what she thinks she must have but OMG does she ACCOMPLISH. She is always one step ahead and almost there.

She arrives to her post a mere child with nuns dying of starvation and disease. Over her lifetime, she builds the Abbey to be many females strong and to have much wealth garnered by strategy and stealth.

The narration was excellent.

The entire book features female characters. (By which I mean there are NO male ones.)

Thoughts: Marie is actually hard to like, as any megalomaniac can tend to be. But the more I read reviews and think about what this book does, I think it is delicious! I have read criticisms that there’s too much sex. Well, HUH. Deal. And another asked, “what was the POINT of this?” ok, well I think THAT is too much thinking. LG has an imagination of WHAT IF and she went for it. I’ve read that some people don’t like Groff’s writing — now, ok, personal preference can certainly apply, I’m all for that. But I am a fan. I like her. I liked Fates and Furies, and I’m stating now that I hope to read her backlist and everything she writes next. She is FIERCE.

Rating: Four slices of pie. I noticed at least three mentions of pie: maybe even Figgy Pudding Pie?! Definitely Buttery Leek Pie. My Audible account is not showing my notes (?!) so I can’ give the exact quote so I’ve decided to pair in a link to a recipe!

Today, January 23, is National Pie Day, so let’s share what I found for Leek Pie. This one from Smitten Kitchen looks fabulous! click the image to go to Leek & Swiss Chard Tart:

Happy Pie Day!

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Thoughts by Susanna Clarke, Macmillan Audio 2005 (orig 2004), 32 hours 29 minutes

Narrated by Simon Prebble

Challenge: TOB Faves Long List

Genre/Theme: Historical Lit, Alternative History, Fantasy / Magic

Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible + eBook, Libby via Kindle

What It’s About: Two magicians bring magic back to England. The years is 1810 or so. One is a hoarder of all books on magic – about magic — with magic and the other is one of those guys who is just clueless, finds something he can do and so he does it. The first is miserly and mean and insecure but arrogant. The second is also arrogant. Both are oblivious.

Thoughts: Some readers love the richness of detail and the amazing adventures in this long long book. I get it, but it wasn’t for me. Much to admire but I honestly got to the 3/4 mark, listening to over 20 hours and then couldn’t take it anymore. I was thrilled to see that I could access the eBook from my library so I could skim to the end and find out what happened. I did need that closure but I just couldn’t carve out the 10 hours needed to do it through my ears.

That said, Simon Prebble did a great job. The audiobook was well done and for a book that has many footnotes, many that are stories in themselves, the audio was a great way to digest. Somehow, they didn’t really interrupt the flow. (When I switched to the eBook, I realized I was skipping right over them without even noticing — THAT very much interrupted the flow!)

Clarke must have had much fun writing this and I’m happy for her that it thrilled most of those who managed to read it all the way through. It just bugged me that the magicians would not realize that magic was happening right in front of them and just brush it off without nary a ‘”Huh, that’s weird.” Yay for Stephen – I liked him, the poor guy. And I liked Childemas and Vinculus. Though I did wonder why Childemas put up with Norrell for as long as he did.

And my final thought is best wishes for the fictional Arabella and Miss Flora – may they ever be happy together.

Rating: Two to three slices of pie. Pork pie.

“Pork pies dropped on the heads of the French!”

 

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

If Beale Street Could Talk

Thoughts by James Baldwin, Vintage 2006 (orig 1974), 197 pages

Challenge: 20 Books of Summer, Book to Movie

Genre/Theme: Civil Rights, Love Story

Type/Source: Tradeback, Indie Bookstore purchase

What It’s About: I’m rusty. I was on SUCH a good roll of writing/posting/sharing my book thoughts and now, I can’t think of thing to say.

This is the story of first love and family love. And heartache. Both for the young couple and because of the tragedies they are swept up in, for whatever family is and should be. The way Tish’s family supported her and Fonny, contrasted with how Fonny’s family (exception, his father) was not able to do the same. Sad and unfair. Nothing was fair.

“The only way anything gets done is when you make up your mind to do it.“

Thoughts: I was gutted at the end. I’m not sure I can recall a book that quite did what this one did AFTER the last page was read. I closed the book and sat and just welled up, welled over. And felt almost a physical sensation, shock-like.

Rating: Five slices of pie.

Sweetie pie.

 

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.