Moonglow

Thoughts mgbymc by Michael Chabon, HarperAudio 2016, 14 hours 46 minutes

Narrated by George Newbern.

Challenge: TOB shortlist
Genre: fiction-memoir, speculative-memoir?
Type/Source: Audio/Audible Credit
 Why I read this now: Finished The Bone Clocks; this was up next.

MOTIVATION for READING: One thing that recommends this besides it being TOB is that it is written by Chabon. I have only read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and want to read more.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: I’m deferring to a few bits of the goodreads blurb because it is excellent. To read the whole blurb, click on the cover above because even though it is the button for the audio and I probably should link to Audible.com, I believe you would prefer access to the goodreads reviews rather than Audible. Am I wrong? Feel free to comment.

 …  the latest feat of legerdemain in the ongoing magic act that is the art of Michael Chabon.

Moonglow unfolds as the deathbed confession, made to his grandson, of a man the narrator refers to only as “my grandfather.” It is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and desire and ordinary love, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at mid-century and, above all, of the destructive impact—and the creative power—of the keeping of secrets and the telling of lies. A gripping, poignant, tragicomic, scrupulously researched and wholly imaginary transcript of a life that spanned the dark heart of the twentieth century, Moonglow is also a tour de force of speculative history. (edited/cut) Chabon devises and reveals, in bits and pieces whose hallucinatory intensity is matched only by their comic vigor and the radiant moonglow of his prose, a secret history of his own imagination.

WHAT’s GOOD:  The unraveling, layering, building. The metaphors, the descriptors, the confident prose. I am almost certain that if you had me read a few pages of a book without identifying the author, I could pick out Chabon’s style and phrasing.

What’s NOT so good:  See above. Unfortunately, I feel like I can dip into and skip around and know that even as am surely ‘missing something’, I won’t miss it.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  If I wasn’t in such a gosh darn hurry to get these books crossed off the list, I would listen to every word and marvel. I would be entertained, enthralled, captivated, etc. I think I’ll just put another or all of Chabon’s books on my tbr and hope to read them someday.

SPECIFIC to TOB:  Due to the narrative structure and question of memoir vs fiction, I really wish this book was slated to compete against Black Wave. What a discussion that could be!  What a syllabus for a college class: these two books, add in A Million Little Pieces by James Frey, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein and everything by Mary Karr. But what do I know? I haven’t read any of those…

RATING: Four slices of pie. And I did hear a mention (as in, a list of desserts brought to a party) but I failed to capture the specifics.

fourpie

Moonglow collapses an era into a single life and a lifetime into a single week. A lie that tells the truth, a work of fictional non-fiction, an autobiography wrapped in a novel disguised as a memoir, Moonglow is Chabon at his most daring, his most moving, his most Chabonesque.

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2017. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Letter Month 2017

It’s February and that means it is Letter Month.

lettermo

I will be participating. I will answer every letter I receive (and all I received in January – if I haven’t already.)

I have been unable to access my account or create a new one on the lettermo.com website so any attempts to connect with me there will be to no avail.

May you have a blessed February.

loveCare

 

pieratingsml

 

Copyright © 2007-2017. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Mister Monkey

Thoughts mmbyfp by Francine Prose, Harper 2016, 285 pages

Challenge: TOB Short List
Genre: Adult Lit, connect short stories
Type/Source: Hard cover / Library
 Why I read this now: up next…

WHAT’s it ABOUT: These are connected short stories that revolve around a children’s musical play being produced off off off off off Broadway. We first meet an actress who feels frustrated with where she is in her career and we meet the 12 yo child actor genius who plays the chimp role. We meet a little boy who spoke too loudly during a performance and we meet his grandfather. We are introduced to the little boy’s new kindergarten teacher who happens to be on a blind date while the author of the book the play is based on is seated at the next table over. We meet the waiter who receives tickets to the play from the author as part of his tip. The play isn’t going well; the motivations and perspectives of the cast and audience shine a prism of realities onto the experience.

WHAT’s GOOD: The stories are poignant and funny, sad and insightful to the human condition. We feel the regrets, embarrassment, love and hope.

What’s NOT so good: I really enjoyed these and I was impressed by the deft handling and skill of the writing.

FINAL THOUGHTS: A pleasure.

RATING: Four to five slices of apple tart.

 

 

 

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2017. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Four Million and other stories

Thoughts tfmaosbyoh by O.Henry, Airmont 1963 (orig 1906), 189 pages

BackToTheClassics2016

Challenge: Back to Classics – short story category
Genre: Short Stories
Type/Source: Paperback / discounted books store
 Why I read this now: For the challenge; took me months! eek

MOTIVATION for READING: Guess what! I live in the town where  O.Henry grew up. There’s a statue of him downtown; he’s Greensboro NC’s most famous citizen.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: All of these are very much “O.Henry” in style and theme. A twist at the end, down to earth people or down on their luck or just REAL, lots of clever witty banter and humor.

WHAT’s GOOD: See above.

What’s NOT so good: I really did need to take little sips of these stories and obviously could not just sit and power through. Probably just me. There do have that turn-of-the-century flavor.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Some funny, some sweet, and some quite sad. O.Henry loved people, I think.

RATING: Four slices of pie! Lemon meringue.

p.152 – “She was Aileen’s friend; and she was glad to see her rule hearts and wean the attention of men from smoking pot-pie and lemon meringue.”

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.

All About the Months

Thoughts aatmbymrk by Maymie R Krythe, Harper and Row 1966, 222 pages

Challenge:  What’s in a Name Challenge : Month Category
Genre:  Reference/Nonfiction
Type/Source:  Hardback / from a discarded book bin
 Why I read this now: Had to finish up the Challenge!

wian2016

MOTIVATION for READING:   Again, for the Challenge.

Here’s what goodreads.com has to say (and it is noted that it is from the book jacket which has been lost with my edition.)

After exploring every possible source of information–fact and fable–on the months, Mrs. Krythe writes as authoritatively about this subject as she did about Christmas and American holidays in two earlier books. In her own pithy prose, and with borrowed lines from early and contemporary poets, the author gives the special characteristics of each month, such as how it was named, the number of days it originally contained, and when and how changes came about.
Much of the book is devoted to the months’ symbolic jewels, from precious stones to the fabulous 44.5 carat “Hope” diamond; and flowers, from the common little field daisy to the most resplendent rose. Their origins and their often bewitching roles in history are all here.
Important events that have taken place in each century and in every country are related here. Famous statesmen, royalty, dignitaries, actors, sports figures, and other personalities whose birthdays fall in a given month are mentioned. All about the Months is a storehouse of information that makes fascinating reading for everyone, and will surely prove a boon to those who plan programs built around the months of the year.

WHAT’s GOOD:  I think it fun to read books from earlier times (pub’d in 1966, mind you) to reflect on what has changed. And what hasn’t. She actually mentions what we would now call climate change!

Even though for centuries December has been regarded as a time of hard frosts and heavy snowstorms, in recent years conditions have changed in some localities, and milder weather has prevailed.

What’s NOT so good: It was a slog to sit and attempt to read as a straight-through text, but enjoyable enough to dip in a little at a time and check out month by month as the mood hit. It was interesting to see who she considered ‘famous people’ in the listings for each month’s birthdays and notable happenings:

… and in February 1962, the orbital flight of Lt. Col. John H. Glenn made news.  (RIP John Glenn, American Hero of the Space Age)

The only U.S. President born in June was George HW Bush… Whatever that might mean, but I had to look. When Mrs. Krythe wrote this book, she states, “June is the only month of the twelve in which no President was born.” And we will soon get to add Donald Trump (born June 14). Of which I am still in utter disbelief.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  I admit to being fascinated by this “Mrs. Krythe” and was inspired to search for more author information; only to find… nothing. Absolutely nothing. I suppose I need the skills of a librarian and more than just Google. Maymie R. written other books that explore holidays, specific holidays and songs (probably holiday songs!) and I even found a reference to an article she wrote for the Historical Society of Southern California. She had to have been a hit at parties. But where is she now? Who was she married to? Did she have any children? Why do I care?

Recommended as a reference text, for quips and historical notes, especially any information about flowers and jewels relative to their calendar importance and then some. (Though, I got confused reading about the Hope Diamond.)

RATING:  Three slices of pie (I didn’t find any mention of pie but that’s because I am grossly over-exaggerating my claim to have COMPLETED this…  oh well. Sue me.)

 

 

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.

Care’s Gift Idea Guide

EXCITING GIFTS to get me YOUR LOVED ONES this Holiday or anytime, really.

  1.  thecommonArrange for a Postcard from a Favorite Author!   The Common Foundation is raising money for a good cause (encouraging emerging novelists, etc.) by arranging personal postcards from a variety of impressive writers. CHECK IT OUT!  (and quickly, this only has a week to go.)

pieratingsml

2.  Photo Stamps! oande I have created custom stamps for years and they make great gifts. There are many companies that are licensed to do this but I’ve used PhotoStamps.com and like their simplicity of creating and ordering.

3. Books. Books are always a good idea. Gift cards to bookstores? books

pieratingsml

4. Pie supplies. What are “PIE SUPPLIES”, you ask? Well, my favorite are cute mini-pie cropped-img_6296.jpg dishes of ceramic. And I love my flour flourwand shaker wand (I own two so I don’t need another). You could get someone a pastry scissors or cutter tool for making fancy lattice strips. ayofpbyae Or pie books, of course. And gift cards to places like King Arthur Flour…  I have also given “Pie Coupons” away but sadly, rarely ever get them redeemed. I think they forget. Which is why just baking a pie and thrusting it upon others is the best way. That’s how “those people who live near me” get treated in my neighborhood. I also support and recommend Beth Howard’s Pie-Evangelism and she has two books available. Click on her logo to find out more –> twnmp

 

pieratingsml

5. DONATIONS in someone’s name. I have done this, especially when I don’t know if they need anything. I would be honored if someone made a donation to a charity that is close to my heart OR their heart. Just as long as a good deed is made, that’s cool.  I have given to food banks in the towns where my loved ones live so that their town is blessed. And I have purchased water buffaloes and chickens through Heifer waterbuff International. I have given to my parents’ church so they get their name in the bulletin – usually to donate flowers for the alter at their anniversary. I am considering donating to the library that they frequent.

 

pizza

6. Pizza. Pizza is pie, right? Easy-peasy to give online gift certificates from a pizza place in their town so no mailing involved whatsoever. I always think this is a great idea – who doesn’t love a pizza party? Especially good for a family gift all at once.

pieratingsml

What kind of gifts do you like to give when thinking of that right something is difficult?

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2016. Care’s Books and Pie aka 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.

Mini Mini Reviews and Not Much More

My friends, my friends.

I have read much, listened to much while not blogging of late. I have much to recap. I have read and enjoyed much. Much is the word.

I purchased this wisbyriWomen in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky for the children of a friend who required birthday presents. (the presents were for the kids’ – 4 of them – birthdays not the friend’s) Don’t worry! I also sent candy and confetti and garland and more books. But this was the one I purchased in hopes to influence young minds. Personally, I thought the tone a bit ‘piled-on’. OK, already; women are great. “Thou dost protest too much.” Sigh… Yea, I own my bad feminism. I also took off a point for the dark font on dark background. Guess I’m old. Which is why I’m hoping these youngin’s will read, appreciate and larn sumthin’. That women can and have done way far more than they get credit for and will continue to do so and people should pay attention and give credit and respect. Three slices of pie.

Citizen citbycr by Cynthia Rankin. I want to read more poetry. I know I need to read more poetry. I feel like I should read more poetry. I realize this book is not quite poetry as I expect – is that the best kind? This book is powerful and heavy. Felt it in my bones and heart but still realize that there is much I cannot ‘get’ and that’s ok. I’m willing to keep attempting to reach and learn and respect and lean in and lean out and lean humble, probably lean strong. I purchased this book at my local Indie bookstore.

Then I jumped into an audiobook with comedienne extraordinaire, Phoebe Robinson’s You Can’t Touch My Hair. yctmhbypr I am not sure I have laughed this hard in a long time (I read it before the election and already feels like eons ago). Ms Robinson explained a few things (ok, lots of things) to me. I probably could/should re-listen. Very enjoyable and extremely informative to my demographic, (ahem.) She mentions the movie Michael with Travolta which has one of the best pie songs ever recorded in film. (I wrote Ms Robinson a fan letter. I wrote Lindy West of Shrill, too. I like to write letters…)

Remember to laugh. 

I listened to an audiobook by John Scalzi that was being offered free by Audible.com. tdbyjs It was wonderful!  It was 2+ hours. Enjoyed it very much. I follow Mr. Scalzi on Twitter and should read something longer by him. Someday.  (I already had him on the authors-I-must-get-to list, I think, but a sample is nice.)

I quickly moved on to another audiobook that was utterly delightful. Realizing it is Nonfiction November and I had failed to plan for this AND having just read TriniCapini’s lovely Litsy post of how good it is, I used an Audible credit to get As You Wishaywbyce written and narrated by Cary Elwes. SO GOOD. I also watched the movie again. SO GOOD!

Overlapping with As You Wish, I read Barbara Claypole White’s debut novel tugbybcw The Unfinished Garden. I really REALLY enjoyed it. I think it is one of my favorites of hers. Maybe Perfect Son is my favorite, and this was lovely, too. I am now in a state of fandom where I have to wait for an author to publish again – I’ve read everything else by her. This is a rare thing. I usually don’t ‘follow’ an author. One more fun fact: I read all of her books in this calendar year. Another no-small-feat accomplishment for me. It would be remiss of me to fail to mention some of the BEST pie references are in this book!!!! I hope to capture in another post.

pierating

I just yesterday finished Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. I will write another post just for this book soon…

Also, FYI – I just today started The World According to Garp. O.M.G. Oh, Mr Irving, you are a rascal. Yowza. I’m already to Garp’s birth scene. The whole Garp conception scene was … memorable. Let’s go with ‘memorable’, shall we?

Keep reading, friends. Keep on, keepin’ on. Be vigilant.

 

 

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.

Upcoming! and pie…

It’s that time of year; start watching for countdowns and best-of lists!

 

But first, a pie photo. A gratuitous pie photo that helps justify the blog name:

taffypie These are taffy pies. Yep, that’s meringue…

Here are the Top 20 Movies to See Before Awards Season Summarized from Elle Magazine article dated Oct 11, 2016:

The Girl on the Train – No, have yet to read! I know, right? What’s up with that? I’ve just not gotten around to it. Actually had a friend loan me her Kindle but had to return it before reading the book. oops.

The Birth of a Nation – as far as I could tell, Nate Parker wrote this about Nat Turner as an original screenplay. You may be interested in The Confessions of Nat Turner, supposedly or ‘sold as’ a primary account but even this is controversial.

Moonlight – coming of age story, original screenplay.

Hacksaw Ridge – WW2. Mel Gibson.

Loving – such a sad story about brave people.

Arrival – “A linguist is recruited by the military to assist in translating alien communications.”  Go ahead, tell me what this sort of reminds you of. THE SPARROW! Yea, a little different but still. Linguistics and space aliens! Renner plays a mathematician.

Elle – French revenge. Based on a novel by Philippe Djian.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – based on the book by Ben Fountain I have yet to read.

Manchester by the Sea – Casey Affleck. Looks heart-wrenching. Original screenplay.

Nocturnal Animals – Tom Ford wrote and directed Nocturnal Animals, which is based on Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan. Tom Ford makes visually beautiful films. Or the one I’ve seen was gorgeous anyway.

Allied – WW2. Original screenplay.

Lion – Based on A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley. I’m hoping it is happy.

Jackie – Natalie Portman as First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

Miss Sloane – Gun control politics. Jessica Chastain.

La La Land – it’s a MUSICAL PEOPLE! Can’t wait.

Patriot’s Day – I’ll watch it for sure. Boston Strong.

Passengers – love story in space. Actually, when I first saw the photo that accompanied this story, I couldn’t help thinking about that Julia Roberts rom com movie where she plays an actress that goes to space…

Silence – Based on Shusaku Endo’s novel of the same name. Might as well add it to my Classics list (1966).

Hidden Figures – YES! And click here to go to goodreads and put the book by Margot Lee Shetterley on your tbr. Mathematicians.  <— MATHS PEOPLE.

Fences – Adapted screenplay based on a play? Great cast.

BLUE titles based on books as far as I could tell.  I hope to see at least one or two before the Oscars and maybe read one, or two.

 

I’m just going to leave this here… and walk away.

gratuitious

 

 

pieratingsml

 

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 Double Helix: Annotated and Illustrated

Thoughts dhbyjw by Dr. James Watson, Simon and Schuster 2012 (orig 1968), 368 pages [Edited by Alexander Gann and Jan Witkowski]

Challenge: Classics Club 50
Genre: Science History
Type/Source: Hardback / Library

MOTIVATION for READING: I love science.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: How Watson and Crick used models to figure out how DNA was structured.

WHAT’s GOOD: I did not expect the breezy style. It is very readable.

What’s NOT so good:  Well, you may or may not like Dr. Watson at the end but he does tell a fun story, even if bits are regrettable. He was young and determined. He shares more than just the science, but also other activities these youthful scientists were up to – where and what they ate (gooseberry pie has a mention!), the girls they tried to meet, the famous people they encountered and traveled to visit. He talks about his troubles with the sponsor for his time abroad and quite a bit about the personalities of everyone he works with.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I am so glad to have read this. The big question:  did Rosalind Franklin get screwed out of the discovery and subsequent Nobel Prize. Question Mark. Let’s just say, it’s complicated and that I could say yes, but. It very much feels like facts happened and one’s viewpoint is X and the other is Y. This and that. Perspectives. And when you start to get snarky, it gets very ugly fast. Did circumstances make it difficult and thus makes it a helluva story? Oh yes.

She deserved more accolades and unfortunately she is getting it now and not in her lifetime. It is sad that she died so young. Was Watson a _____ (insert whatever nasty/relevant word you want here, but my answer is “he was a man”.)

And NOW:  I get to read more about Rosalind Franklin:

rftdlodnabybm

RATING: Four slices of gooseberry pie. If you are going to read this, I suggest the annotated illustrated edition.

fourpie

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.

Vineyard Seasons

What a gorgeous cookbook! vsbysbby Susan Branch, illustrated by Susan Branch, Little Brown & Company 1988, 160 pages

Not that many pie recipes but the SOUP section really has me intrigued and very ready for fall and football season. Yea, yea, I know it already IS football season but we need to start thinking about the playoffs and what soups will best represent the cities/teams that might vie for the Super SOUP-er Bowl.

My neighbor loaned this to me because of my idea to create a pie book that would include my favorites and also weave in a few literary samples featuring pie within the story. Many a book — as all of my readers here know — contain a pie reference or two but sometimes, the flavor isn’t identified and the pie doesn’t actually propel the plot in anyway. Sometimes, however, it does… (I can think of one off the top of my head; there MUST be more, surely.)

My neighbor, let’s call her Penelope. [Penelope is not her real name.] Penelope says this book came to mind when I talked about my spin on a pie book project so she loaned it to me. Yowza! Talk about intimidation. This book is too pretty! and though the author shares some sweet quotes and a few anecdotes, it really isn’t a good model for what I hope to accomplish. But that’s OK. It was very nice of Penelope to share and some of the recipes look amazing.

I made a few copies (the chocolate mousse and something else I’ve forgotten already.) It has a Boston Crème Pie recipe – which is cake. (Maybe I should invent a Boston Cream Cake and have it actually be pie?)

Haven’t cooked anything yet, but thought I would post the link to Beth Fish Reads’ Weekend Cooking Linkup despite that little issue. Click this button: wkendcooking (will open a new window.)

I’m glad to know of Susan Branch – her many cookbooks are highly regarded and I can see why – the pages are works of art! A very pretty book to savor.

Rating:  Four Slices of Boston Cream.

fourpie

 

Question for any NanoWriMo-ers: do you think I can write 50000 words towards this project or should I write a story and not attempt nonfiction? I have less than 30 days to get some ideas!

 

pieratingsml

 

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.