First Week of #TOB2019 Recap

Thoughts

Link:   The Morning News Tournament of Books

I am excited and relieved to see Milkman advance. And I’m thrilled to have the Tournament vibrant and alive in my life. The Commentariat of the TOB is the BEST. I so enjoy reading all the thoughts, comments, opinions, witticisms, and references to other books I Must. Read. Now. (or next, or rather someday!)

I relish finding the words that capture what I like or don’t like about a book — because I don’t have those words myself. And I appreciate when someone clarifies their opinions that I might disagree with what I felt in a reading experience, good and bad.

Did I do The Italian Teacher a disservice when I DNF’d it? No, yes. Can I appreciate when someone said it was a great page-turning read that was highly enjoyable when I couldn’t suffer through the treatment Bear was giving his wife?  Do I think I need to try again reading The Italian Teacher? I doubt I will. Just too many books in the world (and toppling my tower of 2400 books.) And now, after reading all the C&O (comments and opinions), I don’t have to make myself read it – I feel like I already know the plot and characters intimately well enough.

I did struggle to read Milkman; and I hesitate to call it a difficult read but it is not a “sitting down to enjoy” kind of story. It is an experience, an immersion. It was funny, it was scary, it was amazing. Why was it a struggle? It made me think and feel and I had to stop to process the thoughts (which tended to lead to other thoughts and away my mind would chase off in a direction – a matter of distraction vs focus) and to process the feelings. I just changed my rating to a 5 star and someday, I truly want to listen to the audiobook. I am Team-Middle-Sister for the rooster win.

OK, the above was yesterday’s round. The day before was Warlight vs Call Me Zebra and I didn’t have a dog in that hunt.  Still, I very much enjoyed the discussion of the pros and cons of each. I didn’t rush out to change my Want To Read number to a single digit for either. Warlight moves on.

The Play-in Round kicked off the Tourney on Wednesday and I had only read Speak No Evil. It didn’t survive but I am now terribly interested in listening to the audio of A Terrible Country and the winner, America Is Not the Heart, looks like something I will really like if I ever do get my hands on it. Toying with rushing to it before that next appearance hits the calendar but I didn’t read There, There neither and I know I won’t get to both.

HELP:  Do I attempt There, There on audio maybe?  I’m still 2+ hours to finish Washington Black….  I just attempted to library loan the eBook The Mars Room and I’m 29th in line! 

OK, that’s my quick recap. Of the books contesting next week and beyond, there are only two rounds where I’ve read both books. When Census meets The Golden State, I will cheering for the latter. When the higher seed The Overstory is challenged by My Sister, the Serial Killer, you better believe that I will be enthusiastically waving pompons and losing my voice with shouts for MStSK.  Oh yea.  This was my second favorite in the Tournament. THAT day’s commentary is gonna be WILD.

 

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2019. Care’s Online Book Club aka Care’s Books and Pie. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from BkClubCare aka Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.
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February 2019: What I Done Did This Month (#LetterMo)

Thoughts . .  .

I read _3_ books this February.

Milkman took me forever to read but I loved it. It will (I wanted to write ’twill’ but it looked wrong, ‘Twill‘) possibly be one of those interesting stories and TELLING of a story that stays with me and grows in the As. (The As are admiration and appreciation.) It was so uniquely crafted!  And involving and absorbing and brain-invasive. You can see that I also loved My Sister, the Serial Killer for 5 slices of pie. So Lucky was intense and had much to admire but elements didn’t tickle the (my) exacting finicky appreciation to the spot of oo-ah-ah. Yet it is still good! I do think it has much in style and topic and pace to admire.

I’m still* listening to Washington Black by Esi Edugyan. I have some issues.

I’m still in the beginning of The Italian Teacher. At this point, I have basically abandoned it. I have basically gotten so annoyed with the idea of trying to read on that I’m blastin and cursing the concept of ebooks. I don’t exactly know why I am so aggrieved nor why I just can’t shrug and say, “meh. I’m done.” I just have decided to not read a damn thing since or instead.

Ok, start of rant. It reminds me a The Paris Wife and I could not abide that book. NO. Something about poor putupon wives with little kids and over the top big personality husbands that just …   annoys the super crap out of me.

And this makes me sad. SAD! because this is a TOB book and it has effectively KILLED my TOB momentum and enthusiasm. AND typing that, realizing that makes me sad and mad. WHY did this book derail my M and E? WHY? And now I am annoyed with myself for being derailed and annoyed and unhappy about it all. UGH.

I was SOOOO excited for this Tom Rachman! I loved The Imperfectionists!

I blame it on what else happened in February:  mild flu, husband catching cold, said cold being caught by me, cold running various versions of its mutations throughout my body over weeks. I am now starting to feel better.  Hub is still doing some cringe-worthy coughing bouts.

Which is the perfect segue to #LetterMO!  Write? right?!

I wrote 100+ letters during the month of February.  I received 46 pieces of fun mail during the month. Twenty-two people mailed me letters or postcards and of course, I wrote them back (if I hadn’t written them first… TAG YOU’RE IT!)  Be warned, my corresponding drops off sharply in Spring. If you want to write me, don’t expect a quick return letter, but do know that I *will* eventually write back. I did try to write all of my book-blogger-penpals once this month. If you wanted a letter and didn’t get one, I’m sure it was lost in the mail. (HA! No, do not let me blame the usps. If you want a letter, please let me know. I apologize and will write you straight away. Or by summer. same thing.)

This was a good #LetterMo. It grounds me in some way I have yet to explore fully.

Time for the TOB part of the post.

I updated my brackets:  Just click on the pic below to access a printable link.

The extended highlights are new from the last post of this pic. I will be following this TOB with regret that I didn’t read more but I’ll end up being wildly enthusiastic about the tourney while I kick myself for not having my own knowledge of what is being discussed. At this point, I’m rooting for Milkman to take the rooster.

Finally, PIE:

Chocolate Cherry Pie. [Cherry Pie Day is Feb 20.]

Are YOU excited for TOB this year? Do you like Cherry Pie? Did you know that March 2nd is Banana Cream Pie Day?!?!

 

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Copyright © 2007-2019. Care’s Online Book Club aka Care’s Books and Pie. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club aka BkClubCare.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Recap of November and the Plan for December

 Hello Book Friends!

I read 9 books in November for a total of 70 for the year. 

My favorite was the Anthony Marra’s A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. It’s terrific. Just so so GOOD. Read it.

Four audiobooks – two were free via Audible, which is appreciated. Two were Kindle ebooks. One was a gift from my Mother-in-Law:  A Captain for Laura Rose. The Jemisin was the second in The Broken Earth series (I’m listening to the final book now, The Stone Sky). Girls & Boys is a one-woman play – which is different. And it delivers a punch. Overall, a fabulous reading month.

So now for December. The time to complete challenges, meet goals (doubtful), bake pies, and write Year End Stats posts!  Woo hoo. 

I have 3 books to read for the What’s in a Name Challenge and don’t even have them in the house. Just realizing this is inspiring me to run to the library and GIT er DONE! 

I am happy with how many classics I’ve read this year but I’m unhappy with how little I unpacked my boxes of books.

We are considering a move to a different apartment in our complex – but dreading the actual “MOVE” of the CRAP part of that project. I also dislike dealing with the updates of utilities, address notices, cable company, etc stuff but …  I don’t know. The pros are that we will have outside access for dogs (no waiting for the elevator), place for a grill and no leaky windows. The cons are doing the physical transfer of stuff, losing square footage and going to one bathroom. Advice? Just talking out loud here. Thanks for listening.

And this completes my post for today! Has to be one of the boringest posts I’ve ever blogged. I do hope to make a banana cream pie this weekend but let’s show you the pies I made and/or enjoyed for Thanksgiving.

  Have a fabulous Month of December! May you meet your reading goals and have a Happy Holiday Season.

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.


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!”

 

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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.

 

Circe

Thoughts  by Madeline Miller, Hachette Audio 2018, 12 hours 8 minutes

Challenge: Personal
Genre: Mythology
Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible
 Why I read this now: had credits to burn, hot book at the moment

MOTIVATION for READING: I really enjoyed The Song of Achilles (even though I’ve forgotten much of the ‘story’ – oops)

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  Circe is a daughter of Helios, banished to an island due to her use of witchcraft. We hear of her life from her perspective.

WHAT’s GOOD: Everything. Such fun! She lived a long long life and met many of the major players of Greek mythology.

What’s NOT so good: I don’t know… I thought it terrific.

FINAL THOUGHTS: She is presented as such a sympathetic character! She is strong, but she has her doubts. She has her failings; she ponders and regrets. She does the best she can. And when it works out for her, it is because she is true to herself.  I really enjoyed this.

RATING: Five slices of pie. No mention of pie noted.  Audiobook was well done.

Finally, more of me and my fascination/wannabe-bookcasterness:

Really. It is SO ODD to review myself. I like that I am expressive and that I didn’t talk too fast. But is that how I look? How we see ourselves is so different than the image inside our own heads…  How is 9:30 pm “late at night”? ha. I have to be asleep by 10 pm most days anymore…

pierating

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.

 

Something on a Sunday “Almost April” 2018

Last fall, I discovered that Jenny of Reading the End posted a very good blog idea for Sundays. The idea is to share good things. To Quote Miss Gin-Jenny, “to talk about things that kept me moving forward or gave me some joy.” I’m borrowing a few of her categories for inspiration:

Touched by:  I had dinner with a friend last night and she gave me a very sweet compliment.  I told her that I very much treasured her friendship. We are going to start a book club together for the summer! I suggested we start with Tayari Jones’ smash bestseller everyone   seems to be talking about, An American Marriage. 

Proud and Wowed by: All the wit and courage and feistiness of the March For Our Lives citizens. “Guns are not school supplies.”

Happy about: Having this morning to myself. Goals:  blog post, finish my Classics Club Spin book  Cold Comfort Farm, and laundry. Maybe vacuuming.

Sad about: K-State Wildcats lost to Loyola last night. But HEY!  We made the Elite Eight!!!  WOO HOOOOO

Self-cared for:  Uh, does it count in this category that I completed my first 5K yesterday? I had walked in many-a fund-raiser walk but this was the first that I entered that took official times and gave a shirt. I finished in under 1 hour; was 626 our of 636. LOL  (Had to set a baseline.)

Itching to tell you:  I have missed blogging! But I haven’t finished a book in weeks, it seems. My audiobook (The Zero by Jess Walters) is fascinating but I haven’t had long stretches alone in a car to listen.

Excited by: All the people who have asked me about the TOB! I do occasional Facebook updates on it…  AND I think I finally picked my favorite book of the tourney:  Goodbye Vitamin by Rachel Khong. It was knocked out by Exit West – a book that I admired but didn’t get charmed by. GV oozed charm. I read so many books that I liked but couldn’t really choose my bestest favoritist until I watched the booktube commentary by @daejin_v2! (Loved it. Impressive – I want to make a book review video…)

FYI – I downloaded Stephen Florida but I don’t think I will read it. I might open it and look at it…  I never could get my hands on Dear Cyborg – my library didn’t have it. I put a hold on The Book of Joan but it still hasn’t come to me yet. I’ll probably pass on that, too. Otherwise, I read everything! I think.

Also, my book club has selected Together by Julie Cohen.  Anyone read it?

Looking forward to:  SPRING. Warmer temperatures. Longer days of sunshine. Boat season. Common sense in politics. We can hope, yes?

Have a great Easter! I’m thankful for this blog, this little corner that is mine, but mostly for the kind and caring book blogging community and the opportunity to be a part of it. Thank you for visiting. I appreciate you.

 

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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.

Letter Month Ten Days In

I am a letter-writing crazy person! Having fun going through my postcards and stationery and matching my fondness for friends and family, letting what thoughts pop into my head to guide me as to which person will get what and when. I probably have sent an average of four pieces each day so far. Yep, the math works – I’ve sent 41 pieces so far.

The website still has some kinks to work out and I have yet to join the FB group (I only applied this weekend) so I don’t feel connected, yet? If any of my friends knew me in the first years of LetterMo as “Care”, you will now need to find me as “Care_BooksandPie” at http://www.lettermo.com.

I know of one bookish friend participating. Are you? I am replying immediately to ever piece I receive so if you want mail, send me some or let me know…

 

 

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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.

The Last Lecture

Thoughts  by Randy Pausch, Hachette Books 2008, 206 pages

Challenge:  not applicable
Genre: Memoir
Type/Source: Hardcover, a coworker’s library
 Why I read this now:  This caught my eye and fit my schedule.

MOTIVATION for READING: I didn’t realize he was a computer science professor. I probably knew this once but hadn’t gone out of my way to put this on my read-now list until the opportunity was thrust upon me.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Randy Pausch had a charmed life andorbu he designed his life to be wonderful; until and despite and through being diagnosed with cancer. This is the book encapsulating the presentation he gave near the end of his life.

WHAT’s GOOD: He seemed to be a pretty cool guy overall and presented much to admire.

What’s NOT so good: I was curious based on other reviews just how privileged-white-male he would come across and yes, he did: but he was, so. He had sound principles to live by and defended them well; he took good advantage of his ‘luck’ and also understood the responsibility side of the equation.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Lots of good nuggets of wisdom, inspirational.

RATING:  Four and 1/2 slices, no pie mentioned.

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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.

Stoner

Thoughts  by John Williams, New York Review Book 2003 (orig 1965), 305 pages

Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him the awareness of all that he did not know, of all that he had not read; and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the little time he had in life to read so much, to learn what he had to know.

H

Challenge: Classics Club 50!
Type/Source: eBook/Kindle

MOTIVATION for READING: I had heard very good things about this book; I had expectations that it would be just the kind of book I love. And it was!

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Stoner is a Professor of Literature at the University of Missouri. This book explores his entire life, start to finish.

WHAT’s GOOD: The writing.

What’s NOT so good: I love contemplative character studies. If you don’t, just skip it. It’s OK.              I LOVED this.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m so glad to finally conquer this one! Yay me.

RATING: Five slices of pie. No pie mentioned. Although, ‘magpie’ is.

“Outside, in the old elm that crowded the back-yard fence, a large black-and-white bird—a magpie—had started to chatter. He listened to the sound of its calling and watched with remote fascination the open beak as it strained out its lonely cry.”

 

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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.

Reset

Reset:  My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change by Ellen Pao, Spiegel & Grau / New York 2017, 274 pages

pieratingsmlOne stranger wrote to me during the hardest part of the trial, telling me how, too often, “positive comments we receive we deflect like Teflon, while negative comments we hang on to like Velcro.”

Challenge: First Book
Genre: Nonfiction, Gender Discrimination, Tech Industry
Type/Source: Hardback / Purchased

Motivation for Reading: One aspect of my job is the opportunity to facilitate workshops on Respect in the Workplace, which, as you may assume, includes how our company addresses Sexual Harassment. I have been drawn to the stories in the news reporting and responding to the #metoo campaign to keep apprised and ready for how to answer questions and ask the questions so participants understand the pervasive and subtle aspects of this issue.

Which is why I wanted to read this book. Ellen Pao is a dynamo, her credentials are astounding: Electrical Engineering from Princeton, MBA Harvard, Law degree Harvard; I am grateful to her that she didn’t ‘settle’ her case and that she kept her independence in order to share her story.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: If you don’t know who she is, and I am not one of those who followed this story in detail as it was happening,  Pao worked as a Venture Capitalist in the Technology industry and sued her employer for discrimination. Why were males who were at a junior level to her responsibilities and had worked there less time promoted when she was not? She described the old boys club to a tee.

WHAT’s GOOD: It’s not tell-all with respect and dignity and humility. Maybe with that tag, it didn’t really feel TELL ALL. But do we really need to hear more crap with a mean gossipy tone? no. And she doesn’t. She comes across sincere and respectful.

While reading this, I was so saddened; that there is nothing new, there is no new layer of nuance to explore. It is a story of a company culture of entitled white men behaving badly. And then having the financial resources to win lawsuits. It’s disgusting. It’s just another story that money can buy a version of justice that is not truth; that our court systems are not perfect. 

What is encouraging is that Pao is actively working on how to create inclusive workplaces and supporting women and POC to achieve. Thus her title, let’s keep working towards a better future.

Ellen Pao has courage. I will follow and cheer her accomplishments going forward. I want to help hit Reset in my work, within my sphere of influence.

Rating: four slices of pie.

No pie mentioned.

The next book on this theme I hope to read soon:   Speaking Truth to Power by Anita Hill.

 

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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.