March 2017 Recap

Collection of various thoughts…

The Winner of the Rooster! The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead over Homegoing by Gyasi Yaa. Bracket image below will take you to the final judgements.

This concludes the Tournament of Books.

Now, maybe, I can get back to real life.  My brackets; my list of favorites.

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Mini Review! a DNF (sorry Mary!) rather and a recap of our book club meeting: no one had read the book. Or, no one who showed to the meeting read the book! And, everyone had a good excuse so not a big deal, things happen, I get it. So the two of us there decided to go out to dinner instead…

The Little Paris Bookshop  by Nina George. I just couldn’t quite grasp my problems with it but it was cringe-worthy many times. The premise sounded just lovely: set in Paris on a barge setup as a book store! Nifty, right? and the proprietor has a knack of recommending just the right book. Aw… but he can’t fix his own life. OK. The barge becomes unmoored and so does the tale. THEN, killer to book-malaise when in mid-stream, I read a negative review. Done; moving on. I wanted to like it but I am no longer interested in finding out what happens. Two slice of freshly baked plum tart.

We also didn’t pick a book for next month. My little afternoon club might not make it. Sniff, sniff.

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Pie Chart Time


Number of books read:  5
Number of audiobooks listened:  0
Related themes:  Set in Dublin, Literary: 2
Number of TOB books read:  1
Ratio Female:Male  1 : 4
Translated works:  2, German and Swedish
Number of books with pie:  2, an Apple and a Plum

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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.

Pi Day Pie Day and #TOB17 Check

I had friends over to celebrate Pi Day on Tuesday. We made pie.  I failed to get a photo of the pies that everyone made! I don’t know how I forgot to do that. I’m hoping someone did…

I made an apple pie and I made a grape pie. The grape pie, being a novelty, was a devoured! Nothing left of that one. I think everyone loved it. Here’s the before the grape pie went in the oven – so you can easily see the design of the kite and the Greek letters for our sorority: Kappa Alpha Theta. This was an official (fun) meeting for my local Alumnae Chapter. It’s a great group – we have a lot of fun. [If you want to support a REALLY GREAT CAUSE to help children be fully represented in the courts, our philanthropy is CASA/GAL, please click on this link.]

 

ok. That’s done. [Claps the flour off my hands… I looked for the right GIF but alas, nope.]

To the TOB:

I have decided to attempt a ranking of the 17 books I read for TOB. A snapshot of my favorites as of today, because I find my appreciations are changing as the rounds play out.

FAVORITE to LEAST:

  1. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout – voted out on 3/13
  2. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – moving to next round 3/16
  3. Black Wave by Michelle Tea – out on 3/9 (this was the take-me-by-surprise, loved-it-at-the-end book. PIE!)
  4. The Nix by Nathan Hill – a fun one for St. Patrick’s Day
  5. Mister Monkey by Francine Prose – battles Sudden Death 3/20
  6. Version Control / Dexter Palmer – kicks out my fave 3/13
  7. Grief is the Thing With Feathers – Max Porter – UNDERDOG? 3/15
  8. The Mothers – Brit Bennett – Mothers continues 3.14 (lots of pie 🙂 )
  9. High Dive By Jonathon Lee – out to the Mothers 3/14
  10. The Vegetarian by Han Kang – loses to the Birds 3/10
  11. Underground Railroad by Whitehead – steamrolling along 3/9
  12. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders – loved it and also seemed to fizzle out. Moving up the bracket 3/10
  13. Sudden Death by Alvaro Enrigue – Play-in round winner! 3/8
  14. The Throwback Special by Chris Bachelder – had some beautiful sentences. Bounced out in play-in round 3/8
  15. We Love You Charlie Freeman by Kathleen Greenridge – too much and too little.
  16. Sweet Lamb of Heaven by L Millet – wanted to love but just puzzled me. Had lots of pie! Voted off the island 3/16
  17. Moonglow by Chabon – the more I think about it, the less I liked it; me being curmudgeony.
  18. The Sport of Kings by CEMorgan – sadly didn’t read, might try via aBook

I’m enjoying AND participating some in the comments! YAY ME. I have added a few books mentioned to the towering toppling tbr, too.

Tomorrow is The Nix vs. We Love You Charlie Freeman! and be sure to wear green, it’s St. Patrick’s Day…
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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.

Catching Back Up

I’m baaaaacccckkk!

I was in Dublin most of the time. Yes, I did manage a few peeks into the TOB but haven’t commented. Yet.

Happy with Sudden Death going forward, not surprised the Underground Railroad won, and my bracket(s) were blown up by All the Birds! So, oh well. One or both could still emerge victorious at the end but perfection isn’t to be. This thing ain’t over until it’s over.

And I can’t show you many photos because I can’t get my iPhone to talk to my PC to transfer photos. (very frustrating – why is photo org so maddening?!) These I had to email to myself:

Sophie’s view of Dublin
Of course we went on the Literary Pub Crawl!
Oscar Wilde

Me in my Rooster shirt.

I have a review of The Nix to give you and Pi Day is coming up very soon.

Stay tuned…

 

 

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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.

Taking a Break

Taking a break from the digital world and all you lovely imaginary friends to explore some new-to-me physical world. Green things! Trees! Flowers! and maybe some old buildings! See you in a few days or longer. I’ll be back for Pi Day. Keep reading, keep learning, keep exploring. Be safe, be fierce.

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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.

Banana Cream Pie Day 2017

Happy Banana Cream Pie Day!  March 2nd…

Now, I know you all think I do everything by scratch but I don’t.

Here’s the before: img_6692 (yea, I had already deleted the pic from my phone and had to save the image off IG. I’m a dork.)

The after: img_6701

However, I can show off the pie I made yesterday for a friend’s birthday. This was my own pastry dough and I peeled/cut the apples and wove the lattice top, so YEA. Sometimes, I do it all.

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The next pie day is, of course, Pi Day, March 14. Then, the 4th of April brings us Chocolate Mousse Pie Day. Plan accordingly.

 

 

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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.

Born a Crime

Thoughts bacbytn by Trevor Noah, Audible 2016, 8 hours 50 minutes

Challenge:  No challenge involved.
Genre: Memoir
Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible (a freebie announcement I happened to catch.)
 Why I read this now: I needed an easy listen that was short.

MOTIVATION for READING: I love comedian memoirs on audio.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: A coming of age tale a few years before Apartheid in South Africa and years following.

WHAT’s GOOD: Fascinating look at a life and cultures of which I know little.

What’s NOT so good: I wanted to know more about how he came to America and got his start in television. Guess that part will be in his next book. Trust me, the ‘early years’ of Trevor Noah have plenty of drama!

FINAL THOUGHTS: Highly recommended. Narration is terrific.

RATING: Five slices of pie.

 

 

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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.

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.

[Updated, near the end of the book, about an hour left…  TARTE TATIN!  French Apple Pie.]

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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.

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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

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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.”

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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.