Murder Must Advertise

Thoughts mmabyds by Dorothy Sayers, Harper & Brothers 1933, 344 pages

Challenge: Classics Club 50
Genre: Murder Mystery
Type/Source: Hardback / Library
 Why I read this now:  I think because it felt like a good companion read to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. Maybe.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: I think I’ll share the official blurb from goodreads. Oh – do know if you don’t already, the book cover above links to goodreads.com…

When advertising executive Victor Dean dies from a fall down the stairs at Pym’s Publicity, Lord Peter Wimsey is asked to investigate. It seems that, before he died, Dean had begun a letter to Mr. Pym suggesting some very unethical dealings at the posh London ad agency. Wimsey goes undercover and discovers that Dean was part of the fast crowd at Pym’s, a group taken to partying and doing drugs. Wimsey and his brother-in-law, Chief-Inspector Parker, rush to discover who is running London’s cocaine trade and how Pym’s fits into the picture–all before Wimsey’s cover is blown.

WHAT’s GOOD:  The energy, the cleverness, the humor. The dashing always amiable and capable Lord Wimsey. The setting of London and the descriptions of what life was like after World War I but before the Great Depression. It’s quite daring and had much to reflect on for how times are now as well as consideration of what is different in law enforcement these days compared to then. But who knew ‘drugs’ were so ‘bad’ then – if felt very modern.

p.78 “Everybody is picking up the body and exclaiming over it, when in walks our friend, innocently, from the lav. It’s as simple as pie.”

What’s NOT so good: I do think this wasn’t the best book FOR ME to be introduced to Lord Wimsey – I knew nothing other than he is beloved. I wish I had more background to his ‘story’ and that is my fault because I generally eschew ‘knowing too much’. I also have trouble relating to the ‘charm’ if you will of the class system in England as humor. (I have trouble with PG Wodehouse, too – just don’t think his madcap hilarity is all that funny.)

FINAL THOUGHTS:  It was a fun read and I thought I knew whodunit but didn’t really, it was almost like the big reveal was a slow realization that you doubt than wonder why – it was all spelled out, really. I guess that means that I thought it fell flat at the end but really, I did enjoy my time with this book and could be talked into having a bit of a crush on Wimsey – he is a charmer.

RATING: Three slices of  GOOSEBERRY pie.

Another “simple as pie” and a humble pie; quite a few lobster mentions, too.

p.84 “She thinks I’m the world’s eighth wonder. Absolutely the lobster’s dress-shirt.”

 

pierating

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.

Remember Me?

Thoughts rmbysk by Sophie Kinsella, Dial Press 2008, 389 pages

Challenge:  Not applicable.
Genre: British Young Adult Chick Lit?  (why must I put a question mark?)
Type/Source: Tradeback/my cousin-in-law gave it to me
 Why I read this now: Needed something FUN

MOTIVATION for READING: I do love the cover. It is such a happy book cover! The premise is fascinating, too. What WOULD it be like to lose memory of the last few years of your life?  (In my case, I would wonder how did I end up in North Carolina and why are the politicians raising a ruckus about who can pee in the restrooms?! Seriously. THAT is what they are needing to be focused on?! What are they REALLY trying to get away with while we aren’t looking?)

WHAT’s it ABOUT: A  young lady who hasn’t even worked at her present job a year has a bad night – boyfriend is a no-show, she missed out on a bonus and her dad died! She slips in the rain hailing a taxi but wakes up 3 years later, apparently having hit her head in a car crash. She wrecked her Mercedes. But-however… she doesn’t recall having a Mercedes (how could she afford a Mercedes?!) and doesn’t even know how to drive! She has no memory of the last 3 years:  her new role as Director of her department at work, her thinner body and fixed teeth — nor of her rich gorgeous husband. WHAT HAS HAPPENED?! 

WHAT’s GOOD: The mystery is total and convincing. The transformation from loser grunt employee to gorgeous corporate bee-atch and wife to glamorous husband and lifestyle confounds the reader as well as the protagonist.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  Actually, I was not so convinced she (author) could pull it off – no one can totally transform themselves from grunt to diva in three years, can they?  but it was a fun ride and the Kinsella convinced me enough to award this a

RATING: of four slices of mince pie!

fourpie

“I have to leave, before I start buying jumbo packs of mince pies and Bing Crosby CDs and wondering if The Wizard of Oz* will be on.”

This is my first Kinsella read. I have been warned that this is one of her least successful so I might have to read something else now! Of course, her most famous book is the Confessions of a Shopaholic, but Twenties Girl or Can You Keep a Secret? has been suggested as best.

 

 

pierating

* Do the Brits watch Wizard of Oz at Christmas!?

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 Library at Mount Char

Thoughts tlamcbysh by Scott Hawkins, Crown 2015, 390 pages

Challenge: peer pressure?
Genre: Fantasy
Type/Source: ebook / Kindle
 Why I read this now: Making a concerted effort to read my ebooks.

MOTIVATION for READING: I have so many blogger-buds say this is a wild ride. Had to sign up and see if I liked it, too.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Our main character, Carolyn, is a librarian; but the library where she works is most interesting and actually on a different plane. She is in charge of learning all the worlds’ (world’s or all worlds’? hard to tell) languages while a few of her ‘brothers and sisters’ know everything about war and death and animals and transportation and persuasively getting into people’s heads, etc. They all report to “Father” but he is actually some kind of godlike entity and his library is his store of knowledge. He needed to adopt these kids so he could pass along this knowledge but also keep the power decentralized. Then one day, he goes missing.

WHAT’s GOOD: This is one nutty action-packed funny wild ride, I will agree.

What’s NOT so good:  About half way, when the adrenaline and the WTF’s are flying — while I’m chatting up the book and sharing how awesome it is — and the big WA LA BOOM BOOM! happens…. Then it’s late at night and I have to go to sleep and wake up the next day to finish;  it felt like a balloon with a slow leak. So I suppose I could say the ending but more the lead up to the ending, felt draggy and almost unsatisfactory. Upon reflection a week later, I liked the ending OK.

  I am still wondering if I missed how Carolyn met the military dude. 

FINAL THOUGHTS:  It is a wild and unique ride. It’s violent, a bit of an almost love story — oops, SPOILER!? It has a lot of humor, too.

Other REVIEWS: Shaina’s review has a Q&A with the author which is nice. Heather that Capricious Reader seemed to like it. Michelle gave it a “Hot Damn”. The book cover will link to goodreads.com if you care to explore there. Or click here to get to FyreFly’s Book Blogger Search Engine for this title.

RATING: Four slices of pie. No mention of pie was noted.

 

 

pierating

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.

Quick Update…

SO, um yea, THANKS! for the great comments and advice and good cheer.

I ended up reading a few more pages of Prologue to Love before admitting, “No, I do NOT like this dude.” and DNF for realz. I’m sad, though.

and Quiet just wasn’t doin’ it for me. Adios!

But I stuck with Hypocrite and let it audio itself all over my day while I packed and prepped for a weekend trip and then today finished it on a walk and a cool down. I really REALLY liked her essay on her visit to Poland and the concentration camps – gut punch. And I do ‘get’ her bit about the wedding industry and how we are all just a bunch of contradictions and it is best to recognize, laugh at and with and keep trying to figure this life stuff out as best we can. I give it three slices of pie and I don’t recall if she mentions pie or not.

AND!  the biggest result of releasing the guilt and pressure to continue books that are not capturing full attention is that I have read 3 eBooks since! A plane ride and insistence/determination to read my Kindle (damn thing, I really DO. NOT. LIKE. this archaic troublesome device thingie – I read as much on my phone and iPad) helped push me through three books that I gave four pie slices to and enjoyed mostly. All were quite different from each other:

tbdbysm trfocgbyje tlamcbysh

The Baker’s Daughter – Alternating timeline of a young German girl at the end of WW2 who marries a Texan. (also, must mention… there are recipes.)

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathon Evison – about a roadtrip of a 19-yo boy with his caregiver on the way from Washington state to Salt Lake City and the troubles each have before and along the way. Heartwarming, sad and humorous all wrapped up together.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins – uneven but delightfully rompy. Recommended for anyone who likes far out weird crap and strong personalities battling other strong personalities while trying to find heart and soul amidst the chaos. Lots of humor and lots of ass-kicking with questions along the way that have answers that satisfy as best they can. Who doesn’t want to know an Erwin and want him on your team?

Not sure if I will write a post for each but just had to say thanks to the many commenting lovelies on the last post who recommended I MOVE ON ALREADY and so I did.

pierating

Oh. What? You want to know what I am reading/listening to next?  I just opened and read the first few sentences of Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner and I believe I will be listening to State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. Anyone up for a June readalong of that? I’m not sure how much I will be able to listen in the next week so June might be perfect…

 
pierating

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.

Is It Me? Or the Books?

pierating

I don’t know if this is a reading slump or I am just reading three unappealing-to-me books all at the same time?

I suppose I would/should like a couple of these if I was in a better frame of mind or perhaps three books all at the same time of this competition is only making them all unpalatable?

Should I power through or give up and start something else?

Let’s chat, shall we?  and please advise.

The current three:  ptlbytc  qbysc hiapwdbysjg

pierating

Prologue To Love is a paperback printed before I was born. The font is tiny, it has the slightly yellowed brittle paper feel and lovely old book scent. I had to tape the cover back on. There are over 750 pages. I’m told that this is loosely based on the true life story of Hetty Green, once the world’s richest woman – I’ve read a book on her and found it fascinating. One of those tales that reinforces the idea that lots of money can’t buy happiness. HUZZAH!

I’m just too turned off by the father of the main character; he is miserly, judgmental, obsessed with the creation of wealth but abhors the idea of spending ANY of it. (He lets his daughter live in a run down house with no heat nor extra blankets and lousy inadequate quantity of food?) I don’t have enough sympathy for him – I don’t get his quick critical thoughts about why he doesn’t like his nephew nor why he doesn’t like his own daughter and I don’t really care to find out. I’m sorry Bybee!

Prologue To Love! –> I declare you DNF’d.

Quiet just isn’t capturing my attention. I decide to go read, sit in a comfy chair or go out to the lounge area of my lovely backyard, and end up playing with Litsy, IG and Facebook on my phone. I’ll probably carry it around the house and misplace it a few more times before I give up on it. However, I’m thinking the reviews I have read have probably given me enough information on the subject.

Quiet! (With a Chainsaw?) –> Vote is still out…

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress is supposed to be a funny feminist book guaranteed to entertain. I’m not entertained. I’m bored. Maybe the narrator’s voice just isn’t quite right? No, she’s doing a fabulous job, but like coconut — you like it or you don’t. It’s possible that I’m still too early into it?  So far, it is still her childhood (the current essay is about her obsession with the Rolling Stones when she was 15.) I don’t know; it’s just not working.

Hypocrite! –> Playing in the background but I’m not listening.

The problem with audiobooked essay collections is that you can’t flip and skip around. Can I suggest that audiobook chapters start showing titles? Which bits of this book are the ones I shouldn’t miss? Should I save it for print? Yea, maybe I should get the book from the library and return this to Audible…

pierating

While these three books are jockeying for some love, I am stalled… Release the guilt, release the books back into the wild or back to the shelf, move on.

Ok, NOW what should I read?!

 

 

 

pierating

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 Red Shoes

Thoughts trsbydh The Red Shoes by Dorte Hummelshoj, 2012, publisher date, 33 pages

Challenge:  Read My Own Damn Books and What’s in a Name: CLOTHING
Genre: Mystery
Type/Source: eBook, Amazon
 Why I read this now: ReadMyOwnDamnBooksbutton Well so, I realized that I had forgotten about my Kindle and how many books lay hidden inside this device. I’m good – I have less than ten! Now I have only eight…

MOTIVATION for READING: Length. It was short!

WHAT’s it ABOUT: This is a story collection and let me share the warning:

HIGH RISK OF TOXIC HUMOUR AND SEVERED LIMBS!

I couldn’t resist.

WHAT’s GOOD: These are fun. and short. The character names were great. (Like Rhapsody Gershwin.)

What’s NOT so good: I’m not sure how suspenseful I would rate these but they definitely have dark humor.

FINAL THOUGHTS: My favorite was the Green Acres story that was set in a nursing home (and had an adorable dog as foil.)

RATING: Three slices of pie.

Vocabulary:  Grotty – unpleasant and of poor quality. (not in any way meant to describe these stories; only a word IN the stories that I did not know.)

 

pierating

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.

Week Three #NonFicNov

image

Week 3: November 16 to 20 (Hosted by Becca)

Nontraditional Nonfiction: This week we will be focusing on the nontraditional side of reading nonfiction. Nonfiction comes in many forms. There are the traditional hardcover or paperback print books, of course, but then you also have e-books, audiobooks, illustrated and graphic nonfiction, oversized folios, miniatures, internet publishing, and enhanced books complete with artifacts. So many choices! Do you find yourself drawn to or away from nontraditional nonfiction? Do you enjoy some nontraditional formats, but not others? Perhaps you have recommendations for readers who want to dive into nontraditional formats.  We want to hear all about it this week!  

 

I’m really not that particular about how my nonfiction is delivered. I suppose this post idea is to remind me to seek out the variety? I really do not but should know what ‘oversized folios’ are…

I like audiobooks but sometimes nonfiction on audio is tough. Mostly when I want to take notes – hard to do when I am usually driving a car when audiobooking. Now this can happen with fiction, too, so I don’t know why I think it is an extra big deal with nonfic.

With that said, I do enjoy the audiobooks of the comediennes. Comedy in the ears, it just WORKS.

And, if I have to pat myself on the back for something… I did read a nonfic graphic book: stbydc Science Tales. Just sayin’.

 

pieratingsml

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.

Dear Author

Dear Author:

Thank you for considering me to be a possible book reviewer and CONGRATULATIONS for publishing a book. It does sound like a fun one but I must regrettably say no. I still have the last author’s book waiting for me to read and I sort of? maybe? said yes when he asked because I had actually met him – twice actually and enjoyed his debut novel – but here it is a few years (YEARS!) later and I still have yet to grab it and read it. I do know where on the shelf it sits. Sits glaring at me trying to get me to put it in front of the three book club books I must get through next, and the Twitter readalong book that I am hosting in October* – which I still don’t even have physically in the house (I seem to prefer physical books though my Kindle is loaded) but that’s OK since October is still a few weeks away. I really should request it at the library, now that I come to think of it.
I hope that this last sentence has convinced you that I am not worthy nor able in my scatter-brained way to commit to such a thing as review a non-requested pitched book which if you check again on my blog surely says that I rarely-to-never agree to do such things anyway. And please do not take offense that I say I prefer authors be dead already before I review their books because I hate to upset anyone if I didn’t like it. No, I think I took that off my About page, so never mind. And I really do hope my favorite authors stay alive because that would be just awful. Truly, tis the guilt that makes me say no, I would just feel miserable and I just know I would see a shiny new book pop up due to whatever it is that makes books popular. (I’ve avoided The Girl on the Train so far, I am actually proud to say.) But guilt! I read for fun, you know? I can’t handle the read-cuz-you-PROMISED-kind-of-reading, sadly. And then there was this really sweet author who I chatted with on Twitter and she commented on my blog a few times – we really interacted, ya know? and I still haven’t gotten to HER book and I really do want to. So many books!
Finally, and in more words than I expect you braved through, I must decline and again say I do appreciate you thinking of me and will go ahead an assume it is because I do do (yes, I said it that way and it just sounds right but likely is not ‘proper’) such an awesome job reviewing books. Did you notice that I DNF’d The Secret History?!** And she’s one talented author! oops, oh well. It happens. Hopefully, and I bet likely, she isn’t interested in me to review her books. I don’t wish her dead, of course.
BEST to you in your future endeavors, I’m sure the marketing piece of writing a book is hell, just sure of it. I hope your book is on goodreads – I just might tbr it which might garner you some attention. Really, no one reads my poor little blog anyway. Ok, then, noodles (I mean TOODLES!). Best of luck.
Care
loveCare
* I wrote this in mid-September 2015 in quick response to a rather charming book pitch email.
**  I ended up getting back to The Secret History and skimmed the middle 3/5ths and 4/5ths sections, listened to the last fifth and happily declared it be “Enough-Done-Read-To-Count”. It really was a mood thing; I would very much have enjoyed it if I had had no other pressing demands on my time at that moment. I would never wish an author dead. Never. But it’s true that dead-author books are much easier to review in terms of risking hurt feelings.
NOTE: I received a rather charming response to this email, too. I just might read the book. Alas, someday.

pieratingsml

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.

Week One #NonFicNov

image

Week 1: November 2 to 6 (Hosted by Kim the Sophisticated Dork)

Your Year in Nonfiction: Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions – What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

So far this year, I’ve read 12. Not quite 20% which is often my average. This month will boost that.

Two I rated FIVE star (Bad Feminist and H is for Hawk) with quite a few at FOUR star. The Oscar Wilde bio was disappointing and I had troubles with a few but not necessarily disappointing reads. Three were comedienne treats (Poehler, Handler and Lawson) and two more took to me far away lands (Bookseller and Color). Three were audiobooks – Yes Please, Five Days, and H is for Hawk. Every author was new to me.

FAVORITE:  H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

MOST RECOMMENDED by me:  H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, followed by Bad Feminist and Yes Please

NOT-READ-ENOUGH-OF NONFICTION:   “important to know” books, history and biography

WHAT I HOPE TO GET OUT OF #NonFicNov:  More illumination on a few important issues. For the list of books I want to get to yet this month, read my post here.

pieratingsml

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.

Welcome to the Departure Lounge

Thoughts wttdlbymf Adventures in Mothering Mother by Meg Frederico, Random House 2009, 191 pages

From the goodreads.com blurb:

A fresh, funny new voice, Meg Federico showcases her keen eye for the absurd in this poignant, hilarious, and timely account of one daughter’s tumultuous journey caring for her aging parents.

When Meg Federico’s eighty-year-old mother and newly minted step-father were forced to accept full-time home care, she imagined them settling into a Norman-Rockwellian life of docile dependency. With a family of her own and a full time career in Nova Scotia – a thousand miles away from her parents – Federico hoped they would be able to take care of themselves for the most part, and call on their children when they really needed them – but of course that’s not quite what happens.

As she watches with horror from the sidelines, Federico’s parents turn into terrible teens. Fighting off onslaughts of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, Addie and Walter, forbidden by doctors to drink, conspire to order cases of scotch by phone; Addie’s attendant accuses the evening staff of midnight voodoo; Walter’s inhibitions decline as dementia increases and mail-order sex aides arrive at the front door. The list of absurdities goes on and on as Federico tries to take some control over her parents’ lives – and her own.

This is a story for the huge generation – nearly 76 million people – now dealing with the care of their parents. You’ll laugh and cry as you read this powerful and important debut.

I know I grabbed this one off the shelf because it was short, it  had lived on my shelf for some years and I was hoping it would be funny. Well. I should have known better. Attempting to insert this as a stopgap read while stalling the ending to Salem’s Lot, I realized once again that the horrors of real life always trump the scary nasty monstor du jour created by the mind of Stephen King.

Hats off to Jenny –who has convinced me that Reading-the-End-Before-Reading-the-Middle has its advantages; I skipped over the 4th-7th chapters, read the last two plus Epilogue and then skimmed back over whatever I had to to place it all in context. The book didn’t suffer.

In fact, I thank Frederico for the care and compassion she showed her mother and shares here with her readers. I appreciated the advice on some key isuses. Some GOOD ADVICE that I didn’t know: important to choose hospice at ‘that time’ because they have powers and options that smooth the process for dying at home; like access to pain meds and death pronouncement. Saves a bunch of hassle apparently. No one needs more hassle at that time when you really all need peace. The author’s experiences were interesting, both crazy sad and funny, and she is an excellent writer.

However, I can’t quite imagine who this book is for. Those who are in the midst of going through the challenges of taking care of parents might not want to read about it and those who are not near this phase of life, probably don’t want to know about it.

I encourage anyone interested in the slightest to click on the cover and read the goodreads.com reviews – many are just SPOT ON and thus I won’t attempt to recreate my own review.

Rating:  Three slices of pie.

wian15 Could count for two categories of this year’s What’s in a Name Challenge! familial relation and title with ING.

pieratingsml

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.