Category Archives: Loaned from Friend

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.


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 Radleys

Thoughts tradbymh The Radleys  by Matt Haig, Free Press 2010, 285 pages, eBook/Kindle

“Irresistible… Full of clever turns… darkly hilarious spins… Even if you’re suffering from vampire fatigue, you’ll find The Radleys is a fun, fresh contribution to the genre.”   — Associated Press

Nancy the BookFool told me about this one. She tells me about a lot of great books but sometimes the stars align and I immediately get a book in my hands and read it before I really even know what its about. I obviously missed something here. Or my memory got wiped clean along the way. I think I downloaded because I recognized the author name from Twitter. I had ZERO idea this was about vampires until I was a page or two into it.

Guess that doesn’t say much about my discernment skills but might say a whole bunch about the persuasion powers of the Fool. (OK, I will tell you what happened. I saw her review, read the title of it and that Matt Haig wrote it and so I immediately went to goodreads or maybe even Amazon and bought it. I never read Nancy’s thoughts until just before writing this post. Though, I must have seen that she didn’t hate it? Hmmm. Anyway…)

A family drama, a romance or two. Bad choices (on the part of the adults) and lots of well-done teenage angst about deciding “who am I?”  I loved the thoughts of the kids but not so much the mother. I didn’t ‘get’ her and her motivations. I did like the dad. Full of humor and fast-paced plotting. I recommend for a fun quick read.

BUT THE KICKER!??!  I swear this is set in the very same spot in England that Georgette Heyer’s Venetia was set!  So that was just… ODD. And somewhat disorienting. And cool – I love the coincidences that pop up between book choices.

Do you like the cover? I do. Which I never really looked at until I finished because it was an eBook. Another quibble I have about eBooks – they hide the copyright page.


Copyright © 2007-2014. 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.


Thoughts  Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Delta trade paperback reissue 2007 (orig 1991), 627 pages

WHY I read this:  I never thought I wanted to read this – too popular, too over-the-top gushed over. But then I found out it had a time travel component. And then! My friend Madeline read it (hated it) and loaned it to me. It is my year of chunksters.


I don’t want to review it. I thought maybe I would try to quickly hit all the plot points but that thought made me tired. It has a LOT of action.

I would much rather discuss why Miss Mad hated it and why I was thus mislead into thinking


that Claire was going to end up with the horrid Capt Randall (who happens to be the spitting image of his great- great- great- great – grandson Frank who is Claire’s husband, don’t forget) but then I realized that Miss Mad was most upset with the darling charming hot Scotsman Jamie.



he beat up his wife.

Apparently, this is a deal-breaker. No way this man could be forgiven.

See, Madeline said she got to a point that just infuriated her and so she skipped to the end to see if Claire and (this man) ended up together and they did and she got so mad that she ended up going back and reading the whole darn thing and it still upsets her to no end! So I had to read it just to find out what was so infuriating and how I would react.


I liked the experience of reading it, I did. I had to find out what happened next! (what I REALLY wanted to know was if Claire made it back ‘home’.)

Alas, not in THIS book. (?)

RATING:  Three slices of pie. I found the botany stuff (and the lots of descriptions) enjoyable. But there was too much gosh darn crazy violent happenings. Not enough fear and confusion on Claire’s part of what she was really doing in 1743 Scotland. I didn’t get swept away. (Meaning, I won’t be reading any more of the series anytime soon.)

Other Reviews:  For the WIN:  Andi at Estella’s Revenge, for the NOT-SO-IMUCH-MPRESSED:  Farm Lane Books 


Copyright © 2007-2012. 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.

Stuff and Probably a Bit More

Hello, I feel the need to post something.

I have received a ton of books lately and have also hit a slump in my reading. I just cannot sit down long enough to decide which book to read and am too indecisive to grab something and just start it.

 or  ?

So far, I keep vacillating between Emotional Geology and The Gargoyle, but all of my books are staring at me expectantly and are looking calmly eager to be picked. And then I recall all the eBooks I have on my iPad screaming at me. I always forget about them…

I also do not have a current audiobook going and I think this has untethered me a bit. I just don’t want to spend any more money and the library options are poor, in my opinion.  I tend to justify dollars per hour. Anyone else do that? I just can’t spend $25 on a ten hour listen. (The Stand was SO worth it. I couldn’t even tell you how much I spent – but 48 hours! awesome.)

Not that my week has been a downer, oh no. I am thoroughly enjoying The Happiness Project; am only dipping in every now and then rather than sitting down and devouring it. I think I would get an A+ for doing things that encourage happiness. I do enjoy the little silly things and when I am in a good mood, the mood builds and spills over. I’m having a lovely week.

I buckled down and concentrated on a project and felt quite pleased with the results. I had the opportunity to earn a quick $25 and it took only 20 minutes of my time. I received a Mary Kay order AND my order arrived so I was able to fill it (just gotta figure out WHEN I can deliver), I was called for a job interview, I received a lovely card from a friend, I managed to mail a few letters back to more friends, I am enjoying SUNSHINE in our weather, the bunnies I’m babysitting actually let me pet them yesterday, and I got a book in the mail.

One of my favorite breweries, Magic Hat out of Vermont, has little sayings under the bottle cap. I saved one that resonated:  “You need to write more.” Cool, huh?  How did Magic Hat know I like to write?  I’m sure they meant that my journal writing (and #letteryear writing) could be a bit more diligent. I want to glue it to my computer but I won’t.

A not-so-good thing that is happening is my poor dog Oscar has another hot-spot, a nasty skin thing that must have vet attention. But I am grateful that I have time in my day to attend to that, assuming the vet can see him.

The book that arrived is Clara and Mr. Tiffany  by Susan Vreeland. A win from Amused by Books. Thank you!!!

Other books that came a few weeks ago and I can’t even bother to check if I posted or not:  The Gargoyle, Erica Jong’s Any Woman’s Blues, Music for Torching and The Devil’s Chimney. My cousin returned The Given Day which I have yet to read. A friend returned The Outside Boy which I have yet to read. I often loan books that I own but haven’t read yet because I know I won’t get to them before they do but that really should be a reminder to me to read all the books that others have loaned TO ME. Uh oh. Need a reading-challenge look-see and check my progress. I also need to do a My-Year-of-Writing-Letters-Every-Day update post and reviews of The Stand, Right Ho Jeeves (maybe not) and followoup to The City and the City. (due on July 22, Pi Approximation Day)

OK!  Let’s start this day. Don’t be surprised if I’m absent for a few days. It’s gonna be BIZZY BIZZY.

BIG Thank You to all my friends who helped me make a decision last night. I appreciate my girlfriends and love that they are scattered all over the world and yet technology allows us to connect like you live right next door.

Before I Go To Sleep

Thoughts  Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson, HARPER An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 2011, 358 pages

Loaned to me from a friend within my book club.

What’s it about:  Christy wakes up every day not knowing who she is or where she is. She thinks she is a twenty-something novelist and wakes up middle-aged. She has to relearn who she is and who her husband is. And then every night, she forgets it all again when she goes to sleep. Every morning someone calls her to tell her where her diary is and she wonders who she should trust; should she even trust herself?

Who IS she?!  What HAPPENED to her?!

Rating:  Two Stars.

I am not a big fan of this – it was OK. Just OK. I can’t say it was horrid, only that I really didn’t get all that excited about it and only finished it because I wanted to see how it turned out.

Please don’t take my word for it. Quite a few people enjoyed it and admired the tight consistent pacing of the plot. Check here for Fyrefly’s Book Blog Search results.

What I AM excited for:  Nicole Kidman has signed up to do the movie. (I can’t seem to find the link confirming this, so maybe it is all rumor? I didn’t try that hard.)  I think this might be one of those ‘the movie is better than the book’ – IF (big if!) the director gets the pacing and suspense just right.

Of course, if I woke up seeing my reflection as Nicole Kidman when I looked in the mirror, not sure I would complain that much…


Copyright © 2007-2012. 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.

Angels and Insects; Morpho Eugenia

Thoughts  Angels and Insects TWO NOVELLAS by A.S. Byatt, Vintage 1994, 337 pages

For Challenge:  What’s in a Name 5 – Creepy Crawly Category

“Morpho Eugenia” – novella the first

This SO satisfies the Creepy Crawly category of the What’s in a Name Challenge 5 that I am shocked that I am first to review it for that. In fact, given how smart all of you (you, all of you, my bright smart wonderful readers of this blog), I’m shocked I say, that not more of you have read this. I count only two reviews of this collection and we need it to be more. I just know many of you would LOVE these two stories even if creepy. Byatt is the bomb. I know why Eva has her in high regard.

Um, now is when I admit that I would have liked this collection more if I was smarter. So do forgive my inability to convey how great these are and forgive my 4 slice rating.

What’s this novella about? (I’ll talk about the other one in a later post.)

Consider those Victorian Brits. This one poor guy, William, wants to study bugs. He shipwrecks on return from a bug-study in South America but is rescued YAY!  But he doesn’t have his specimens BOO! so he is destitute. A wealthy dude who has been collecting dead bugs and other crazy artifacts from around the globe, hires him to classify his collection of crap and also be sounding board to bounce off theories of how to reconcile God and Darwin. Our poor bug boy, William, falls in love with daughter of patron. (Of course.) Her name is Eugenia. They marry, they have kids that look like Eugenia. Poor, poor William. William questions why he isn’t happy. He does get to set up ant colonies so the kiddies can learn about bugs but it’s not the same as exploring the tropics. Will I give it away if he falls into ‘friendship’ with Miss Matty, poor relation or something (relationship unclear) to Eugenia?  No, that doesn’t give it away AT ALL.  ha!

“For things are not what they seem, as you must always remember.”

Oh, you just have to read it.

Or?  You can check out the MOVIE!  

They made a flick of this!! I’m delighted and have sent my friend Holly in search of said DVD so we can watch it together. She’s the one who put this book into my hands – after I put The Children’s Book in HER hands (Another Byatt; I have yet to read that one but I own it.)

Do note that the title of the movie covers only the first novella. I call that misleading but whatever. Second novella “Thoughts” coming soon.

Fabulous reviews of Angels and Insects:  Eva at A Striped Armchair and JLS Hall at A Little Reading.


Copyright © 2007-2012. 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.

Monday Mailbox 1.30.12

Alyce of At Home With Books is our host this month of the official Mailbox Monday.

   I received the following books in my mailbox:

Lottery by Patricia Wood, a book that Nancy the BookFool gave high marks and an insistent recommendation. I got this at the same time I ordered the Creative Labs mp3 Player that I have already sent back. I am keeping the book. I also ordered

Hearts and Minds by Rosy Thornton because it has been on my want list for years. It hasn’t arrived yet.

The book I should have ordered, meant to order and forgot was this one:

Muscular Retraining for Pain-Free Living by Craig Williamson because my lower back has been out-of-whack and I want to do more strength training.  My PT guy has actually told me that yoga is NOT a good idea right now until my core gets stronger. A massage therapist recommended the book. I have yet to ask PT guy about it.  (PT Guy is very no-nonsense and I’m not sure he has a sense of humor. I have not done much small-talk with him.) Of course, this kind of book isn’t really a read-and-check-off-list but more reference, like a cookbook, wouldn’t you agree?

French Leave by Anna Gavalda, translated from French by Alison Anderson, published by Europa Editions!  Y’all know that I don’t like to read the book blurbs but I did glimpse that it is about family dynamics and is ‘light-hearted, tender and funny’.  I’m looking forward to this.

Take the Cannoli:  Stories from the New World by Sarah Vowell.  Thanks much to Softdrink for sending this AND the one above. I’ve already read the first story but will put it aside until I get to a few of my must reads and this slogger:

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLineI’m on page 454 which is 8 pages away from the mid-point. THE MID-POINT! (read with tone of frustration if you care to.) Tengo has been thinking: “Though not yet entirely confident, he had a kind of presentiment that he might be able to live a somewhat more coherent life than he had so far.”  (I’m a bit baffled; he seemed pretty satisfied with his ‘life so far’.) I tell ya, I don’t know if I’m going to make it. My curiosity is waning knowing how many pages it is going to take to get to a conclusion. I also don’t think Book Two is as well translated (and that has been questioned by others!) than Book One. Bad Omen:  I have read the last page! Uh oh. I did this after about the 20th time of checking how many darn pages are in this thing. I should have purchased the eBook version. And the Twitter chatter from my readalongers has been nonexistent. Where are you, my readalongers?! I have too many books impatiently awaiting my attention. I don’t think Ti would want me to quit but I’m getting bored…

Because look what my friend Holly loaned me.

 Angels and Insects by A.S.Byatt.  Not quite into my mailbox but rather into my hands, but she insists I read so we can discuss. AND it qualifies very nicely for the creepy-crawly category of What’s in a Name 5.  (I know I suggested a readalong of Victor Pelevin’s A Life of Insects (it’s on the 1001 Books list) but I think I might have to postpone (if ever). Sorry to disappoint…)

I have Byatt on my must-get-to author list for 2012 and although I know I said I would try Possession next, methinks this is the better choice right now.

What books did YOU get in your mailbox lately?
Have a Terrific Week!  Happy End of January!!

oh wait. I forgot one…   ZERO: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife, a book I first learned about on a link at Citizen Reader’s and for some crazy reason, put on hold at the library and even more crazily, picked up and now possess and HOPE to read before it is due February 22.  I have also put on hold — on second thought, since I don’t yet have that book, I will wait and maybe do this mailbox post again next week.


Copyright © 2007-2012. 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.

Loaned To Me Books

I am committed to reading these books this year because someone thought I should:

An Unlikely Angel by Ashley Smith – from my neighbor K.

Radio Shangri-La by Lisa Napoli – from Nancy

Fire Season by Philip Connors – from Nancy

Nemesis by Peter Evans – from Madeline – by the way, if you are reading this, Miss Mad – I promise Oscar and I’ll be back to visit you next week.  Tell ya all about it later….

Martha, inc. by Christopher Byron – also from Madeline

Two Rivers by T.Greenwood – from Holly

Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard – WON in a giveaway, recommended by Rhapsody-Jill, I think

A Theory of Relativity by Jacquelyn Mitchard – another from Holly

Me and Mr. Darcy by  Alexandra Potter – again, from Holly

Save the Cat!  by Blake Snyder – WON in a giveaway by Trisha

Film School by Neil Landau with Matthew Frederick – I think I won this from Trisha

Moby Dick by Herman Melville – from my Father-in-Law

Please ignore the books on top.  I didn’t want to cut them out of the photo.  Copley the Lobster is a good book shelf accoutrement, dontcha think? He’s giggling because he thinks I do not know about his secret life. But I’ve already read that book.  (It’s VERY good, too.)

I will be reading Cloud Atlas in March and I abandoned Cranford last year but vow to get back to it.

I’m most excited about starting the two from Nancy, especially Fire Season, and then Emotional Geology.  I know I have a few from Holly coming soon;  I gave her The Night Circus for her birthday in December and now my book club has chosen it so I need it back.  She assures me that she just started it and will have it read by the weekend.  She’s a great friend.  She also insists I read Angels and Insects by A.S.Byatt.  I must oblige.

As I double check my bookcase for any I missed, I do see Lobotomy by that Ree loaned me, I think, I hope.  And I have a few other winnings – like the PIE book from Trish.  Probably more.  🙂

AND!  If YOU have sent me a book that is not listed here, please please administer the admonishments! Let me know. Thanks.

2012 PERSONAL CHALLENGE #1 – bring it on!


Copyright © 2007-2012. 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 Call

Thoughts  The Call by Yannick Murphy,  Harper Perennial 2011, 225 pages (if you count the cow on the very last page.  Which I do.)

MOTIVATION for READING this now:  My friend Nancy gave me this.  Thanks Nancy!   And it being short and I am on a roll this September, I decided to start it now.   Why pick over Fire Season, another book gift from Nancy?  I don’t know.  Probably because I actually picked this one up and opened it.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: A large-animal veterinarian in a small Vermont town, reports on the calls he makes for his job plus happens to mention other thoughts and stuff that happens to him, his family, and his community.  He has a BIG heart.

I personally think the back cover says TOO MUCH.   I also do not ever (ok, rarely) read the press & praise quotes at the front of a book.  Nancy’s rec was good enough for me.

WHAT’s GOOD:   Our vet worms his way into your heart.  He is a good father and an off-beat guy.  This book explores so many topics and yet is simple, funny and provocative.

WHAT’s NOT so good:   I really struggled with the layout at first.  It is setup as a log of call reports.  He tells who calls him for vet services and what happens, as well as remarks on what he is thinking or what else happens that day or on the drive to the call, etc.   So the format is …   different.

FINAL THOUGHTS:   It is a warm family small-town community story and I recommend it.  I really did enjoy this much more than I expected to after that point 20 pages in when I almost gave up.   It builds and builds to a very nice reading experience.

RATING:   Four slices of pie!   Something Vermont-related:  perhaps Blueberry with Maple Syrup?  and lots of whipped cream.


Beth Fish Reads gives this a glowing review and explains more than I do so do pop over and read this.

The BlueStocking Society – also explains this well and offers valuable critique of writing skill and a lil bit of criticism

Nancy at Bookfoolery  — OOPS!  Has she not yet reviewed this?!??!

Fyrefly’s Book Blog Search for this title.

BOOK GIVEAWAY!!   I will be figuring out how to either make a form to do a nice giveaway or choose randomly from people who comment here that they want the book…   or both?   Nah, don’t have time to figure out the form.  If you think you want this book – you have until Monday Oct 3 at NOON to leave a comment – you get only ONE chance – telling me whether or not IF you saw a space ship, would you tell anyone?  and be sure that the comment either has your email address or twitter name for contact.  


Copyright © 2007-2011. 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.