Category Archives: Humor

WHAT?! How Had I Forgotten This?

Oh Friends.

First, I must tell you that July 12 is Pecan Pie Day. I told you about this a few times in our history together:

In 2018, I posted this celebratory post.

and one from 2012

and a “private” one which means I’m not sure exactly if anyone can see this? LET ME KNOW

OK, [the SECOND] the reason I wanted to post today is because I was triggered by something that happened this weekend. It set me on an exploratory path. Triggered? y..e..a..h… it really is interesting and annoying how many words involve gun-related language, would you agree? I’m stalling, I get it, I really want to make sure you are following along on this ride before I share what I really am giggly-goo to do.

I was checking Litsy over the weekend and someone posted on the book Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny.

click on book cover to go to 2018 review with video…

I read this. That was my thought. Do I recall what it is about? No. No, I didn’t have much if any recollection.

So what do you do if you are a book blogger? You go to your blog and search. (well, sometimes I do go to Goodreads first but that is usually when I want to know WHEN I read something and this was an IF question.)

Sure enough, I did read this. In 2018!





(still here?)

Let’s get on with this, shall we?

If you were with me in 2018, I offered up some video reviews and recaps.


Huh, looked ’em up, checked my YouTube account, blah blah blah, why not try again? here ya go:

Me, trying to remember what it is I’m supposed to do! or learn what is changed, probably…

Enjoy! ( I amuse myself sometimes. LANDSCAPE VIEW!??!?! OMG – they *DID* change things… SIGH)


In Concrete

Thoughts by Anne Garrétta, Deep Vellum 2021, 185 pages

Translated by Emma Ramadan, co-owner of one of my favorite indie bookstores: RiffRaff in PVD

Challenge: TOB 2022

Genre/Theme: I have no idea!

Type/Source: Tradeback / Personal purchase from Watermark Books

What It’s About: Two precocious French girls adore their tinkering big-idea whacky fix-it father and help him pour concrete to fix up the summer house amongst other things/places/etc. They defend the honor of neighbors and attempt to ditch school (well, our narrator does) and she tells her little sister stories of the escapades while waiting for rescue when said sister becomes encased in a cement mixing & pouring mishap. FULL of amusing wordplay and punny turns of phrase.

Thoughts: A fun book — if you aren’t trying to rush through it to get it done. Alas!

I really had to force myself to slow down and not rush this. I became enthralled with curiosity for HOW the translator managed to capture and play with the words in English, only assuming the jokes must have been different in the French. My questions were answered; the book includes notes from the translator. Fascinating stuff.

No grout about it!

Very clever, a lot of fun. Their POOR MOTHER! The entire family is quite endearing. I get how some thought it a bit overdone, perhaps; but I decided to relax and go with it and feel rewarded for my effort.

Rating: Four slices of pie. Easy as pie? no way.

“Once little sis and I had unblocked our glands, it was easy as pie.”



Ella Minnow Pea

Thoughts A Novel in Letters by Mark Dun, Anchor 2014 (orig 2001), 208 pages

Challenge: n/a

Genre/Theme: Graphic Memoir, Nonfiction

Type/Source: eBook, Libby

What It’s About: This is another title that has been on my tbr for what feels like forever. This time, I intend to overcome by hesitancy of reviewing due to time away from the habit and give you my synopsis (to the 2 or 3 of you who are sweet enough to visit and read this.)

Ella is a person. (I hadn’t realized this until I encountered in the story – see? I really do NOT read what books are about! I just think, “oooo this is supposed to be good, I should tbr it.”) She lives on a fictional island off the coast of South Carolina.

The story starts when a tile falls from the signage of the Memorial dedicated to the island’s founder and hero – the guy who penned the phrase “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

The leaders of this community thus then decree that the letter that has fallen must cease to be used in the vocabulary, the spoken and written words! of the inhabitants. MAYHEM ENSUES when more letters fall to the ground and are stricken from use on penalty of … public scorn, banishment or death.

“As we were all gathering for breakfast, courtesy of an early-morning raid on the amply stocked Willingham family larder, we learned that Harton Mangrove had again tried to take his own life, this time by repeatedly whacking himself in the head with a heavy wooden rolling pin.”

This story isn’t just about letters but is TOLD in letters! Oh the cleverness! the ability to convey thoughts and feelings via correspondence progressively (?) diminishedly! as the letters are no longer legal.

Thoughts: This was such a fun read. I was quite amazed at the cleverness.

I was sad, though, that the resolution seemed much to be based on LUCK rather than power-of-the-people because YES, this has political overtones of fascism. It is not about character development and nuance. It is about plot plot plot OH NO! finally Ella wins the day!! Of course she does. But it still annoyed me; ever so slightly. DID SHE REALLY WIN? or was she just lucky enough to pay attention? Does it matter – evil was defeated, so YAY.

Rating: Four slices of pie. I count the rolling pin and yes, pizza pie counts.

“Hundreds of words await ostracism from our functional vocabularies: waltz and fizz and squeeze and booze and frozen pizza 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.

Fun Home

Thoughts by Alison Bechdel, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2006, 232 pages

Challenge: n/a

Genre/Theme: Graphic Memoir, Nonfiction

Type/Source: eBook, Libby

What It’s About: I have been wanting to read this for a long time. And in true getting-back-to-blogging-hesitancy, I’ll copy&paste the blurb off of goodreads:

[The author] charts her fraught relationship with her late father.

Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the Fun Home. It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.

“I was so consumed by anxiety that she would stop, I couldn‘t enjoy it.”

Thoughts: A VERY fast read! Sure, could be because it was a graphic novel – they just ready speedy to me. I enjoyed this, I enjoyed the art, I enjoyed the tiny amusing details in the panels, I felt for her yearning to connect to both parents and navigate what the heck was going on, and I appreciated her attempts to sort it out from a future place looking back.

This wasn’t at all what I expected and that is not a bad thing. I didn’t realize that “fun home” was a funeral home! I might have known that when I first put this on my tbr and forgot. I never/rarely look at blurbs. It always strikes me funny that I don’t do that.

Rating: Five slices of pie. No pie mentioned that I recall; I forgot that notes weren’t saved when you read a Libby. #sadannoyedlook


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.

Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch

Thoughts by Rivka Galchen, Macmillan Audio 2021, 8 hours 47 minutes

Narrated by Natasha Soudek.

Challenge: 20 Books of Summer, TOB Summer Camp

Genre/Theme: Historical Lit, a Witch Trial

Type/Source: Audiobook/Audible (cover above links to more)

What It’s About: The author discovers the true fact that the mother of renowned astronomer, Johannes Kepler*, had been accused to being a witch. She vibrantly brings it all to life. I’ve added all her books to my tbr.

Set in early 1600s. Trades people are working, soldiers are off fighting, the bureaucrats are doing what bureaucrats do, the plague is happening, etc. And Frau Kepler is just trying to be a good citizen and neighbor, tend her garden and take care of her cow. But some neighbors are not so happy with her and it snowballs. Katherine Kepler at first dismisses the original charge with a rolling of the eyes but then realizes NO! she will not tolerate lies nor her character being besmirched. And her kids support her, which was sweet. Fascinating, stuff! at least to me.

“…it’s a prime example of the mash-up genre tragicomedy. Katharina’s circumstances are dire and discouraging at best, but her tone and observations about the people she encounters and the situations she finds herself in give the narration an undercurrent of humor..“

Week 11 of Summer Camp TOB: Activity Leader Jessica Klahr

Thoughts: Well done. Well researched and fabulously presented (AND narrated!) Though I did feel that the ending fizzled out and lost some of the sparkle that enthralled me in the middle.

Rating: Four slices of pie. With lots of whipped cream.

The next (story) was that of a pie seller…

Apple Tarts were also mentioned


Discuss: 1) Do you have any favorite tragicomedies to recommend?

2) Do you enjoy Historical Fiction? I do, but I don’t necessarily seek it out. Do you? Any favorites from the Renaissance Period?

3) If anyone had casually mentioned Kepler to me, I’m not sure I would reflect on what makes him ‘famous’ – perhaps I would wonder if his name on a math theorem comes to mind? How about you? Are you All IN and knowledgeable about Kepler’s contributions to astronomy/optics/geometry? (I am not. And I recently read a book featuring German mathematicians! But they were 20th century…)

 * Johannes Kepler was a German mathematician and astronomer who discovered that the Earth and planets travel about the sun in elliptical orbits. He gave three fundamental laws of planetary motion. He also did important work in optics and geometry.

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 Three Musketeers

Thoughts by Alexander Dumas, Bantam Classics 1984 (orig 1844), 635 pages

Audiobook 23 hours 32 minutes, narrated by John Lee

Challenge: Classics Club Spin #26

Genre/Theme: “Cloak and Sword” story / Adventure

Type/Source: Paperback and Audiobook / Purchased in 2009 at Borders, Audible

What It’s About: This was a lot of fun and I enjoyed meeting the main characters; fighting for the King and against the scheming Cardinal and his guards, as well as wooing all the ladies. It had a lot of humor. It did seem long and tedious, at times, though.

Thoughts: Not nearly as good at The Count of Monte Cristo but still dashing and adventurous.

Rating: Rounding up to 4 slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

I talked friends into renting the 1973 movie starring all sorts of big stars! and it was… also not as good as the Count of Monte Cristo movie. But I’m glad to have watched it. The movie really emphasized the campiness and humor.


Charleton Heston! Raquel Welch!! among others…. Link to


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.

TOB Update 2021 March Week 1


Let’s talk Tournament of Books.

The first week is complete. I submitted a bracket to the #LitsyToB21 group but I’m not participating in the goodreads group because I can’t make heads-nor-tails of how the forums work there. [I comment occasionally.] WHOA! to that spreadsheet upon first glance and though I admire to the hills and valleys the person who prepped and is tracking that… WOW! Wow, very much wow.

Much fun! Let’s see if I can recap my thoughts…

oooooo! My newest TOB tee should arrive tomorrow.

Back to the TOB: Round 1 was the Play-In round and I was cheering for The Resisters. (they are in contention for the 2021 Lit Pie Award) but I also enjoyed The Down Days more than I expected. I was slowly agonizingly reluctantly easily-distracted-from reading Red Pill on Sunday, the day before #TOB21 started and thus I only read about 10% in.

Red Pill won. Of course it did. BUT! the good news is that I’m much more motivated to read it rather than rush through it just to finish before March 8.

First Round: Deacon King Kong was the first of the short list I read. I sit and think about that. I really rushed through these books! And wow. WOW. I did love it. I love McBride as an author. The challenger in this round was the most controversial: Tender is the Flesh. I gave it 3 stars to DKK’s 5. THANK GOD that DKK had pie, of course it would. But TY that TitF did NOT. A book about cannibalism with its message of humans against humanity and humans against climate and humans being horrid was not going to win against a book about the goodness of community and realizing that with flaws, humans *CAN* have some redeeming qualities. I loved Deacon. (Whew.)

Second Round: A Children’s Bible vs Memorial. I liked ACB. It had flaws, but I like the style and confidence that the author writes with. I did not like Memorial but I will give a hat tip to the qualities it is said to exemplify. I think the author did a disservice being the narrator for the first half. It felt staccato and unmoored. (I was bored listening to Memorial.) I am embarrassed how much of the biblical references of ACB – of which there were so many – -I must have been oblivious to rain in a thunderstorm, I just didn’t think about. I think I read this too fast? I am OK with M being advanced.

Third Round: TK (Transcendent Kingdom) vs. WRUS (We Ride Upon Sticks) – Holy Salem Witchcraft WRUS wins! I did not expect. And so, I’m set a bit adrift. Huh. I agreed with all the fans of TK that is worthy. May it ever be so zombie-able. But the love for WRUS had me cheering for that one all over again. I admired TK. I laughed with WRUS. I could, upon reflection, consider TK to be transcendent (yea yea) and thus “serious”. I seriously expected TK to win. I do not expect WRUS to move far. WRUS was too long. I loved the SAT essay.

Fourth Round: Interior Chinatown (IC) vs Luster. I gave Luster 5 stars. It took me some time to get used to the font of IC’s screenplay but I enjoyed it enough and see what is admirable. I did not have any sense which might prevail. I think, after reading through all day’s commentary, that I’m more a fan of Luster. It made me laugh. It made me laugh in shock and uncomfortableness, but what struck me the most, was that the MC never was whiny and never wallowed in self-pity and THAT was made me feel astonishment. Tim and I exchanged a quote-off. I highlighted a few and wanted to share.

So much goodness in the Commentariat. Judgments have been thoughtful and well-received.

My favorite time of the year.


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.


Thoughts by Raven Leilani, 2020, 240 pages

Challenge:  TOB Shortlist
Genre: Contemporary Lit
Type/Source: eBook/Kindle
 Why I read this now:  These TOB books just fall into some order without real thought. In other words, I don’t recall why exactly this was next. (WHY do I even ask this question? or: Why do I think I must answer?)


A sunlit dream where I do better.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  I’m trying to figure out how to answer this…  Shall I just do the blurb from gr or should I pretend nobody reads this and I only need to write something that will remind “future-self” what I read way back in January 2021?  Let’s do both.

Goodreads: “Sharp, comic, disruptive, tender, Raven Leilani’s debut novel, Luster, sees a young black woman fall into art and someone else’s open marriage.

Edie is stumbling her way through her twenties—sharing a subpar apartment in Bushwick, clocking in and out of her admin job, making a series of inappropriate sexual choices. She’s also, secretly, haltingly figuring her way into life as an artist. And then she meets Eric, a digital archivist with a family in New Jersey, including an autopsist wife who has agreed to an open marriage—with rules. As if navigating the constantly shifting landscapes of contemporary sexual manners and racial politics weren’t hard enough, Edie finds herself unemployed and falling into Eric’s family life, his home. She becomes hesitant friend to his wife and a de facto role model to his adopted daughter. Edie is the only black woman young Akila may know.

Razor sharp, darkly comic, sexually charged, socially disruptive, Luster is a portrait of a young woman trying to make her sense of her life in a tumultuous era. It is also a haunting, aching description of how hard it is to believe in your own talent and the unexpected influences that bring us into ourselves along the way.”

My turn:  (pretending I didn’t just read what I dropped in above.)  The MC is a young black woman trying to figure out her life and her motivations. She seems to be a sex addict, seems to be rather ambivalent and apathetic about this fact and also that she knows she is the token black woman and should want to do the be-better-to-look-better crap requirements that white corporate America foists upon token blacks in the workplace but she’s just trying to pay rent. This book is FUNNY. Shock value funny. Uncomfortable funny. Reminded me of The Sellout by Paul Beatty.

“I am good, but not good enough, which is worse than simply being bad. It is almost. The difference between being there when it happens and stepping out just in time to see it on the news.”

Our MC wants to be an artist. She confronts her motivations and her ideas that she must be in pain to produce good work. (I made up that – she never really contemplates that out loud, does she?) I really admired her ability NOT to get depressed and give up!  But she really doesn’t have the energy or rather most likely recognizes that ‘pull yourself up by the bootstraps’ fix-your-life bullshit is truly bullshit for most people without the means and support system of family, privilege, circumstance. So she finds herself in a family with privilege and explores the circumstance. She wrestles with do the right thing or just ride the waves with what she can get away with. Does she really have choices?

“I remember when my parents tried to tell me this, the only time in their miserable marriage they were ever united. It must be strange for every black kid, when their principal authority figures break the news that authorities lie.”

THOUGHTS: There is no whining, no debilitating frustration. She is fascinating.

Yes to these words: Sharp, comic, disruptive, tender.

I think I was blown away by this book. In my top 3 for TOB so far.

RATING:  Four slices of pie, with sneaked forkful on another. With lots and lots of bourbon whipped cream. Ok, just give me that fifth piece already.

“a highly designed editorial nightmare from a boutique imprint experimenting with pomo cookbooks, formerly an imprint that specialized in Crock-Pot tips and a series on pies that employed the authority of a titular Presbyterian Grandma.”

“…slave narrative about a tragic mulatto who raises the dead with her magic chitlin pies;”



VOCAB:  Saditty (comparative more saditty, superlative most saditty) (US, dated, slang, chiefly African-American Vernacular) Acting snobbish, arrogant, or superior; uppity; perceived to be trying to associate with a higher social class.

Capoeira (Portuguese pronunciation: [kapuˈejɾɐ] or [kaˈpwɐjɾɐ]) is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. … It is known for its acrobatic and complex maneuvers, often involving hands on the ground and inverted kicks.


Copyright © 2007-2021. 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.

Becoming Duchess Goldblatt

Thoughts  by Duchess Goldblatt, 2020, 224 pages

Challenge:  none
Genre: Memoir, Social Media
Type/Source: Hardcover, Scuppernong Books
 Why I read this now: It arrived.

MOTIVATION for READING: I follow Duchess Goldblatt on Twitter. I wish I could remember how and when I found her but when I did, I was enthralled and had that feeling of wanting badly to be one of her pet subjects. I honestly didn’t think I had the writing chops to respond to her appropriately but when she called for dog photos and pie photos, I was IN with abandon.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  from gr blurb:

Becoming Duchess Goldblatt is two stories: that of the reclusive real-life writer who created a fictional character out of loneliness and thin air, and that of the magical Duchess Goldblatt herself, a bright light in the darkness of social media. Fans around the world are drawn to Her Grace’s voice, her wit, her life-affirming love for all humanity, and the fun and friendship of the community that’s sprung up around her.

@DuchessGoldblat (81 year-old literary icon, author of An Axe to Grind) brought people together in her name: in bookstores, museums, concerts, and coffee shops, and along the way, brought real friends home—foremost among them, Lyle Lovett.”

THOUGHTS:  I loved it. As much as I had been looking forward to reading this and knowing cerebral-ly what the book was to be about, I was unprepared for the emotional impact and the inspiration, celebration, and relatability I would find within the pages.

RATING:  Five slices of pie. Shout out to Ladybird Diner in Lawrence KS for naming a pie after the Duchess.

Close your eyes and visualize the best possible outcome. When it’s not looking, grasp it by the neck and fling it into reality.



Copyright © 2007-2020. 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.

Standard Deviation

Happy Day!  Happy 4th of July! Happy Birthday USA!! Happy4th

Thoughts  by Katherine Heiny, Vintage 2017, 322 pages

Challenge: Personal, just a whim
Genre: non-plot driven family focused comedy?
Type/Source: Tradeback/can’t recall
 Why I read this now: not sure about this, either

MOTIVATION for READING: Somewhere I read a positive rec on this and it landed in my lap. Jumped into my book-buying basket somehow. I don’t remember! I could possibly have been swayed by the mathematical-ish title.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  I have another video to share. Crazy, right? I do these with zero planning and then they make it into a post here while I probably should be doing other things. Like vacuuming.

WHAT’s GOOD: It *is* funny, but not wildly funny. (Why do we always have to qualify what is funny? such a personal odd thing: humor…) It has funny moments and witty insights and nutty characters.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Oh just watch this. See how I try to bury these so you have to read to the end of the post before you realize I have a video? Is this passive aggressive? I’m asking too many self-consciousy questions.

RATING: I give this 4 slices of pie – I enjoyed it. I’ve been reading too many heavy books. This fit me right when I needed it.

Well, wasn’t she the sneaky one with that cottage pie!”



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.