Ducks, Newburyport

Thoughts by Lucy Ellman, Biblioasis 2019, 1001 pages

Challenge: Personal
Genre: Literary Fiction
Type/Source: Purchased Online, probably from Amazon :/  Made up for that by buying one from RiffRaff in PVD.
 Why I read this now:  It had to be read.

MOTIVATION for READING: The Main Character – referred to going forward as “MC” (I don’t even know if we get her name) – bakes pies to sell to local restaurants to help the family finances. Her signature dish is Apple Tarte Tatin – something I have yet to attempt. Apparently they can be tricky.

, according to Stephen Hawking the human world will end within 1000 years, but I think it could be a lot sooner, and my response to this is to make more pies and read recipe books,

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  This book is the streaming consciousness of MC, a mother of 4 who has had some serious health challenges and misses her mother who died when her own daughter, her oldest, was a toddler. Her husband is a professor of structural engineering and is a bridge expert. He is the father to the 3 youngest kids, step to the oldest — of course the first husband is not ideal, though she would never speak ill of him in front of their daughter. MC rambles in her head about her memories of which she constantly claims she cannot remember, her siblings, her upbringing, tragedies that happen in the world, her pies, her mothering challenges, politics, her doubts and fears, her grocery lists, the old movies she watches while she bakes, her chickens, her childhood pets, her childhood travels – all the houses and places she lived in. She hates Trump, is anti-gun, is polite to a fault and is shy around people; cripplingly-shy. She loves her husband dearly – he’s a good man. All the kids are cute as a button and have their own wants, needs, interests which she enumerates for pages at a time. That’s a fact! It’s her day to day to day to day in her head ramblings.

Every so often, the story shifts to a mountain lion momma of three and her travels around the state of Ohio. Lots of geography, topography and history of Ohio. Their paths intersect of course and it was tense, I tell ya!  of exactly HOW that might play out!  oh, it’s a thriller, truly. It was maddening trying to imagine where the book was going.

THOUGHTS: This is not a book I would recommend to just anyone. I only know a few people who would like it, love it, as much as I did. I am pretty sure, my IRL friends now know that I’m a really strange reader when I would LOVINGLY describe the book and how long it was taking me to read. They would back up slowly, wide-eyed, quietly muttering, “hmmm, ok, sounds interesting. not.”  I started it in April. I finished near the end of August. I sometimes would let weeks go by without turning a page. Sometimes, I would read one or two pages a day. Then conquer over 100+ in a weekend.

,the fact that I think a lot of people think all I think about is pie, when really it’s my spinal brain doing most of the peeling and caramelizing and baking and flipping, while I just stand there spiraling into a panic about my mom and animal extinctions and the Second Amendment just like everybody else,

RATING:  So why am I only giving this four slices of pie? I fear that sometimes, I give 5 stars to a book as a reward for getting me to read it. I think we (by which I mean “ME”) get brainwashed that we must actually be loving the experience of submerging so much time and energy into a chunkster that we MUST justify it with a high glowing review.

But I had some issues. I had an issue with the dog and probably should research if this is based in fact. (The fact is…) and I had issue that they – the stupid zoo people – that they didn’t realize or WATCH the     (SPOILER ALERT!!!!  hover over to reveal the white colored text so as not to spoil anything: Really?!  they didn’t realize that this momma was the 3 kittens mother and they didn’t watch the reunion? I don’t believe and if I ever read about a review from a big cat zookeeper reading this book – if you do! please share….)

So four stars for a quibble but I did love it. I will never not associate Ducks, Newburyport with the pandemic. That is reason enough not to give it 5 stars. Or maybe that is reason, actually, to anoint it 5 stars? Whatever.

So much pie. So much wonderful pie! so many terrific pie mentions!!! I probably should give Ellman the coveted Pie in Literature award for 2020 and call it done.

I would HATE it if they ever attempt to make a movie from this book. OMG, I would see it day one if they do. It’s a deceptively simple book in plot but wowza finding it! (Are they making movies yet?!)

The fact that it’s important not to despair though when you’ve got pies in the oven, …, the fact that you have to have mercy on your pies, be there for your pies, and in return they will be good dutiful pies and serve you, …

I really hope I reread this book someday.

pierating

 

 

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.

What’s in a Name Challenge 2020 – Progress Report, NO – actually a COMPLETION RPT

The What’s in a Name 6-Category Reading Challenge is hosted by Andrea at Carolina Book Nook. The image below will link to the Challenge Sign up Page.

I’m currently _100_% complete with books filling the following 2020 categories :

Very good, very easy, lovely home-spun nostalgic poems. These poems show a careful awareness of every tiny detail.
  • An antonym  =  (Still yet possible: The Gateless Gate, perhaps Sweet Ruin)

Am offering up these lovelies as options – I defy you to correct me if you don’t think the titles suggest “opposite in meaning to another”:

(Bodies should stay buried!) * If I had to pick a favorite here, I would choose the Wilson.

  • 4 letters or less = Vox  or  Oval:  I read both! Between the 2 of these, I would have to recommend Oval, I guess.

 

I also read Olive, Again which fits this category. As would, …  Loved Mary, adored Olive, quite satisfied with Duchess. Fleishman and Dorian, I pass.

 

  • Reference to children = AS Byatt’s The Children’s Book or McEwan’s The Children Act. Both are still on my tbr, but how about this? Yes, I think GIRL in the title qualifies. UPDATED less than an hour later when I realized that I also attempted the Lost Children Archive!  yes, attempted. These 2 squared off against each other in the TOB and somehow I forgot about DEFINITELY qualifies!

 

 

Well, look at that. CHALLENGE COMPLETED. 

 

More choices possible on my list in goodreads.

pieratingsml

 

Copyright © 2007-2020. 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.

Classics Spin Aug 2020

Updated, copied directly from the Classics Club announcement: If you joined the game last week, find number 18 on your CC Spin #24 List! That’s the CLASSIC you are challenged to read by 30th September, 2020.

Since I missed the announcement post, I have to grab 20 titles and then toss them into a randomizer to find which will be put in the 18th spot so I can read it! I love the SPIN…

The last time I “spun”, I had 19 books left on my original list:  Crossing off the ones I did read since then and adding in some from my NEXT batch of 50, I get this odd ball list:

  1. The Three Musketeers – Alex Dumas
  2. Jude the Obscure – Hardy
  3. Rabbit, Run – Updike
  4. Naked Lunch – Wm Burroughs
  5. Love in a Cold Climate – Nancy Mitford
  6. Dead Souls – Nikolay Gogol
  7. Candide – Voltaire
  8. Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
  9. Confederacy of Dunces – JKToole
  10. Twelve Years a Slave – Solomon Northup
  11. The Way We Live Now – Trollope
  12. the Counterfeiters – A. Gide
  13. A Handful of Dust – Waugh
  14. The Ox-bow Incident – Walter Van Tilberg Clark
  15. Eileen Chang’s Love in a Fallen City
  16. One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes
  17. They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple
  18. The Bird’s Nest – Shirley Jackson
  19. The King Must Die
  20. NEW: Tender is the Night
  21. NEW: Persuasion
  22. NEW: Madame Bovary
  23. NEW: Waves
  24. NEW: If Beale Street Could Talk
  25. NEW: Giovanni’s Room
  26. NEW: Pale Fire
  27. NEW: Villette

SO…. Then I copied the list into a google sheet and then used the function RANDOMIZE RANGE a few times. After all that, I looked which book title was in the 18th slot.

and…

TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F.Scott Fitzgerald

1 Waves
2
Confederacy of Dunces – JKToole
3
Jude the Obscure – Hardy
4
Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
5
Eileen Chang’s Love in a Fallen City
6
the Counterfeiters – A. Gide
7
They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple
8
Giovanni’s Room
9 Pale Fire
10
The King Must Die
11
The Three Musketeers – Alex Dumas
12
Twelve Years a Slave – Solomon Northup
13 Villette
14 Madame Bovary
15 Persuasion
16
If Beale Street Could Talk
17
The Way We Live Now – Trollope
18
Tender is the Night
19
Dead Souls – Nikolay Gogol
20
Rabbit, Run – Updike

 

I was hoping for Villette. I left off / paused, if you will, reading it right when the Pandemic hit and I just am not inspired to get back to it…

pieratingsml

 

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.ing

In the Middle of 2020 Tournament of Books

It’s my favorite time of the year!  Tournament of Books…

Welp. I began this post the first week of March with the title “So Begins the TOB” and since that was over two weeks ago, I wish I could say only that Time Sure Flies By.  Wish I could say that I only got distracted.

But then the world turned upside down.

Sure, we can be grateful that the Tournament continues! No need to cancel any online gatherings for this joyful reading event. And it has been lovely, that the discussion has mostly focused on the books. I likely bet that the diversion has been most welcome.

So, why not? let’s talk books.

Q: Care, what are your favorites going in to this event? How are your brackets holding up?

A: Thank you for asking, but to be honest, I didn’t even fill out a bracket. I fill in a blank one as the decisions are cast.  But that is neither here nor there. My favorites from this year’s slate are:

Mary Toft; or, the Rabbit Queen by Dexter Palmer

 Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

 

So the Mary is out and so is Your House. Hopes all hinge on the fire children now. Nothing to See Here zombies back to life; or rather has a chance. We have a few more rounds to get through before we see if NtSH truly makes it to the semi-finals.

I truly do NOT think I could stomach the stress and anxiety of being a judge!  Yikes.  I have really admired the thoughtful decisions this year (I probably say this every year).

Ok, let’s talk GWO and LCA:  the latest round of heavyweights. I did not have a preference, having abandoned Lost Children Archive at the change of perspective because it was due back at the library. (And sadly, was not compelled* to try again at a later date.) I skimmed the last third of Girl, Woman, Other because I couldn’t keep anyone straight and was getting severely impatient wondering what and how it was coming together.

OK,  here’s what I want to talk about and also an example of what a coward I am:  a friend tweeted at me that they didn’t read GWO because, and I quote, “whooooooboy the author has problematic views on nonbinary people.” And I was dumbstruck. I did not know how to ask more or challenge or invite explanation. I could not and still don’t find any evidence that Everisto presented anything disrespectful or problematic, in fact, someone -only one! – praised the author for the representation.

I myself, do not have opinion/knowledge how nonbinary “should be or not” but hope to have an openness and discovery to learning more – and that’s where I don’t know what is or is NOT problematic, I mean, I can sense disrespect, of course, but I personally thought GWO was fabulous at presenting individuals living lives their own truthful way. Applause to that.

Whew. I wanted to bring it up in the TOB commentary but I’m not brave. (and am refraining from comments spurred by liquid courage.) Anyway.

Help me be a better ally and reader.

I love the TOB! NOW, let’s talk about Jade Chang, our judge from yesterday and her list of how to decide the worthy book:

  1. Is it a FAST read?
  2. Is it SURPRISING?
  3. Are the characters INTERESTING?
  4. Is it COZY (“…can just sail forward, knowing that I will reach an exciting port”)
  5. Is it about the WORLD RIGHT NOW?
  6. Did it make me FEEL SOMETHING LASTING?

Friends, this post must come to an end. Thanks for spending a few minutes with my words, questions and thoughts. Be safe out there, be kind; let’s get through this with calm resolve.

HAPPY WORLD POETRY DAY!!!!

 

 

 

*   Having read all the debate discussion from Summer TOB, I felt I got enough of the second half to need not read it myself. #shrug

Round Two of Classics Club 50 Challenge

I have decided to create my second #CC50 list on goodreads.

Book List 2

My idea for this list is to keep adding to it any book that fits the criteria and if by the date when 5 years is up (in Dec 2024, I’ll have read at least 50 of them.

Sound good?   

Starting with Villette by Brontë, my first book of the year. However, it’s looking like I will finish Treasure Island before that.

 

Help! My enthusiasm for Villette is waning! it’s so long. ugh. I better come across a pie reference soon…

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post is an original post by Care from Care’s Online Book Club aka Care’s Books and Pie.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

What’s in a Name Challenge 2020 Sign Up

The What’s in a Name 6-Category Reading Challenge is hosted by Andrea at Carolina Book Nook. The image below will link to the Challenge Sign up Page.

The categories for 2020 are:

 

More choices possible on my list in goodreads.

pieratingsml

 

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.

I Completed my Classics Club 50 (with substitutions) #cc50

I did it!  I (sort of) did it!!  I DID read over 50 classics in 5 years!!!

classicsclub1

On Dec 19, 2014, I listed 50 classics that I wanted to read by Dec 19, 2019. I defined ‘classic’ as anything over 25 years old.  This was the list.

HOWEVER, I allowed myself to swap in books to replace my original and since I can’t find any language on the Club site that endorses or expressly prohibits this, I’m going with it. Hey  –  as far as I know, there aren’t any ClassicsClubPolice, so…

[PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give the golden trophy anyway!  please please?!?!]

I will admit I didn’t review every book. Sorry. I invite you to search any titles  via the search tool on my blog (upper right corner) if you want to see if I have read a specific book. You can also check bkclubcare on goodreads.

Here I list the substitutes only and then list the few I did not get to from my original 50. Sound fun? Ok, let’s go. For an overall list, click here on my update page.

The 17 (Runner Ups) that were not “Original 50”:
The Winter’s Tale / Shakespeare – Jan 2015
The Making of a Marchioness / FHBurnette – Apr2015
The Talented Mr. Ripley /PHighsmith June2015
Atlas Shrugged/Ayn Rand July2015
Brave New World – Jan2016
Go Tell It on the Mt/JBaldwin May2016
TKAM/Lee Sep2016
The Four Million/O.Henry Dec2016
The Summer of My German Soldier/BGreene Apr17
The Grand Sophy/GeoHeyer Aug17
Waiting for Godot/SamBeckett Sep17
Angle of Repose/WStegner Oct17
A Wizard of Earthsea/LeGuin Apr 2018
Jane Eyre/Bronte Apr18
O Pioneers/Cather Jun18
A Clockwork Orange  Aug19
Now in November / Josephine Johnson Nov 2019

The ones (count: 13) I still need to read, maybe, someday:
48. The Three Muskateers – Alex Dumas – have ready on audio!
46. Jude the Obscure – Hardy – I own a copy, in a box, buried
44. Rabbit, Run – Updike – yea, rethinking if I have to …
42. Cry the Beloved Country – Alan Paton – DNF’d once, own a copy
31. Dead Souls – Nikolay Gogol
26. Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
24. Confederacy of Dunces – JKToole
23. Twelve Years a Slave – Solomon Northup
22. The Way We Live Now – Trollope
19. the Counterfeiters – A. Gide
14. Eileen Chang’s Love in a Fallen City
13. They Were Sisters – Dorothy Whipple – difficult to find!
7. The King Must Die – Mary Renault – considering audio

Yes, I realize that 17 doesn’t quite equate 13. That’s OK, right? I read MORE than 50 classics in 50 years! yay me

Will I make a ROUND 2 list and commit to Dec 2024?  maybe. . .  [Updated 1/12/2020 with links to my next list of classics by Dec 2024!]

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2019. 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.

I Completed the What’s in a Name Challenge 2019

The What’s in a Name 6-Category Reading Challenge is hosted by Andrea at Carolina Book Nook. The image below will link to the Challenge Sign up Page. No need for me to link to my sign up because I copied it to make this post.

The books I read to satisfy the categories are:

 

finiwian

pieratingsml

 

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.

October End 2019 Update

Thoughts

What a wonderful month of reading was October!  EIGHT BOOKs!  Yowza.  Almost puts me back on the path to achieving my yearly goal of 75.

I would pick The Paper Wasp as my favorite and I had a great time devouring the many classics plus comparing the 2 Brit Class books against each other. The Bird’s Nest would count for RIP if I had been official, and probably the Hawthorne? TWO Time Travel books!

The Alexandrite and The Bird’s Nest also qualify for my What’s in a Name Challenge.

I’m pleased with myself.  And I blogged 4 posts! WOW.

Future goals are to

  • read a few more classics
  • post on a 50 in 5 for Classics Club 50
  • wrap-up post for What’s in a Name
  • maybe a few actual book reviews
  • bake pie!
  • participate at least one post in this:  nonficnovgraphicjulz
  • read something nonfiction that ISN’T a “Work” book?
  • and finish Wolf Hall for my Super Rooster Chase! (come back here 12/15)

 

Happy Challenge-Chasing Time of Year!

 

pieratingsml

 

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.

Classics Spin Sept 2019

Updated, copied directly from the Classics Club announcement: If you joined the game last week, find number 5 on your CC Spin #21 List! That’s the CLASSIC you are challenged to read by 31st October, 2019.

And I just picked up Love in a Cold Climate on Monday, am on page 30 something.  Have already encountered the reference to the title, which is cool. The heroine is easy to like, so far. I’m also listening to A Handful of Dust which would be set almost a generation prior to Mitford’s story but certainly a very specific world “culture” I’m reading in these days!

 

Another SPIN!   

I only have 19 books left on my original list:

  1. The Three Musketeers – Alex Dumas
  2. Jude the Obscure – Hardy
  3. Rabbit, Run – Updike
  4. Naked Lunch – Wm Burroughs
  5. Love in a Cold Climate – Nancy Mitford
  6. Dead Souls – Nikolay Gogol
  7. Candide – Voltaire
  8. Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
  9. Confederacy of Dunces – JKToole
  10. Twelve Years a Slave – Solomon Northup
  11. The Way We Live Now – Trollope
  12. the Counterfeiters – A. Gide
  13. A Handful of Dust – Waugh
  14. The Ox-bow Incident – Walter Van Tilberg Clark
  15. Eileen Chang’s Love in a Fallen City
  16. One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes
  17. They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple
  18. The Bird’s Nest – Shirley Jackson
  19. The King Must Die
  20. <open>

SO…. Made the above list and then went to the website (because the SPIN number was chosen Sept 23 – oops)

and…

the number is . . .

= Love in a Cold Climate – Nancy Mitford

 

and here’s a quick update for you. I will succeed in reading 50 classics in 5 years but just not the original list. I am currently reading (and enjoying!) The Woodlanders by Hardy on audio and The House of the Seven Gables by Nat Hawthorne. Both on the list, by the way. I’ve researched and requested a few other books from the list above and this leads me to the next paragraph:

…more update! I had wanted to read The House of the Seven Gables for the What’s in a Name Challenge but realized that the category was in last year’s requirements. Ooops. I hadn’t yet read any of the books for the 2019 challenge, so I decided on the following:

For Precious Metal – The Golden Notebook

For Temperature – Love in a Cold Climate – YAY CC Spin!

For Month/Day/Week: One Fine Day – (tbh, this one is proving difficult to find)

For a Meal: Naked Lunch – the only one findable everywhere: library, audible, etc

For Girl/Woman:  The Woman in the Window – a DNF but who cares

For both OF + AND: Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memeory in Northern Ireland

This should give me a successful challenge year to recap in December. Happy Fall!

Here’s Butterscotch Cinnamon Pie to celebrate:

 

pieratingsml

 

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.