We Were Liars

Thoughts wwlbyel We Were Liars by e.Lockhart, Listening Library 2014, 6 hr 24 min Audio

Narrator:  Ariadne Meyers


DEFINITION:  “To fall flat” – To fail in the intended effect.

This fell flat for me. I’m tempted to give it only two slices of pie.

I was intrigued by a tweet:

Book Review – We Were Liars by | Outstanding book – read it before someone spoils the amazing ending!

And I suppose I could blame Jill who wrote a spoiler free review which you must read if you ARE curious: Rhapsody in Books

What we have here is a conundrum. Advice is to read it NOW before someone spoils it. BUT you should know that that is the intention of the marketing team – to build it up with BIG TWIST!  Don’t TELL ANYONE!!  hype hype hype – which I was trying to avoid. Unfortunately, I was too late – I became aware that this was the intent of the marketing and I must have gotten suspicious.Perhaps if I had immediately read the book after Michelle said to do so because that was the first time I was warned; not aware of the propaganda of the warning. I couldn’t help but see this title start popping up everywhere, ugh. I should have waited a few years or skipped it altogether.

On the other hand, if this does appeal to you, the audio seems to be a good way to experience it. I thought the narrator did a fine job (except do not expect a Massachusetts accent!!) and there are some goodreads reviews that state the written presentation/style was annoying – this can be avoided by listening. I think. Maybe.

I just didn’t feel a thing. At the time of the big twist/shock/reveal, I was just relieved that the book would soon be over. No, I didn’t see it coming. But I did go looking for reviews at the half way mark (kiss of death for me when I do this, I can’t help it! when a book is starting to annoy me, I go see what others thought — to see if I should keep reading…)

And so I found Nymeth’s THOUGHTFUL issue exploration: Things Mean a Lot(I didn’t read the spoiler part — but I read the comments.  Ooops.) Nymeth always brings such calm insightful intelligent considerations to her reviews and sadly, that is what makes me most sad about the story – that I missed the bigger truth that Nymeth caught: “a story of political awakening gone horribly wrong…

Truly!! Many MANY bloggers I admire and respect thought this an AMAZING stunner of a book!!  GO decide for yourself and than cry with me that I failed with it…

Somebody please tell me that I will like The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks better?



* New Englanders don’t say AUNT the way I did when I grew up:  like the insect ANT. They say it to rhyme with FONT and now after living here 10 years, I do, too! Every time I heard the narrator say “the Aunties”, I was distracted. “This is supposed to be set in Massachusetts…”




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.

The Sign of Four

Thoughts tsofbysacd The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, BBC Digital 2012 (orig. 1890) 224 pages, eBook/Kindle

Classics Challenge | A Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

What’s it ABOUT: Missing treasure!

What did I NOT know before reading this? That our boy Sherlock is a drug addict? Huh.

What DID I know before reading this? That Robert Downey, Jr. plays Sherlock in the (very enjoyable) movies. Did the movies not explore the cocaine use or did I just miss that?

Sadly, for some reason, I didn’t envision RDJ when I was reading the Sherlock parts but I did see Jude Law as Watson.

I have never watched the BBC versions with the guys you see on the cover above.

I have recently seen pieces of The Hobbit starring Martin Freeman.

Because it was on HBO the other day.

I have only ever watched the other guy in one of the Star Trek movies.

I think he’s rather creepy looking.

I may never read another Sherlock Holmes book; it was only OK. I don’t think I am much of a mystery-thriller genre reader.

I thought this ended very abruptly.

I did love the chase scene with the dog.

RATING: Three slices of pie.

This concludes my attempt at a review.

Any questions?

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.

Playing Dead

Thoughts plbyjh Playing Dead by Julia Heaberlin, AudioGO 2012, 10.4 Hours

Narrator:  Madeleine Lambert

January BOOKIES Book Club Selection

What it’s ABOUT:  This is a mystery/thriller about a woman who is a child psychologist and former rodeo competitor who discovers she may not be who she thought. With her father recently deceased and her mother in a nursing home suffering Alsheimers, she has no one to ask. Trouble seems to find her and she races through clues and abductions to solve the mystery.

I liked it well enough. Listening to a mystery is not a good idea for me. When I think I’ve missed something a few minutes/pages prior, I don’t have a good way to go find it and work out my confusions. Plot pace was good, characters interesting enough, odd clues finally tied up at the end.

QUESTION:  When you read a book and want to flip back to reread something, are you the kind of person who has a general idea or visual memory of which part of the book and which part of the page to look?  I am. I can usually find what I’m looking for in a physical book but am horrible at it with eBooks and Audiobooks. We had this discussion at “pre-” book club the other day…

Narration was sufficient. POV was from the main character, a girl named Tommie. She had a gentle Texas drawl; I couldn’t tell you if authentic. However, the voices for her young niece and her supposedly hot boyfriend were not good at all. The niece sounded like a goofy three year old rather than a middle schooler and the boyf sounded like a dullard.

Three slices of pie.



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.

Alias Grace

Thoughts agbyma Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, Anchor Books DOUBLEDAY 1996, 465 pages ***** 35th book of my 2013

This is just another proof of Atwood’s talent to plumb the human psyche and her masterful skill at writing a story.

Given a true crime story from a century ago, Ms. Atwood extensively researches and then creatively conjures up what might have happened. A young girl is caught with a man in an American hotel and they are both dragged back to Canada try for the murder of their employers. Did she do it? Was she the mastermind or a pawn?

Her attorney manages to commute her sentence to life in prison, narrowly escaping being hung like her ‘boyfriend’. Thirty some years later and she is released and disappears into a marriage south: one more escape into the US and this one succeeds. Her trail ends, no more records of her life exist.

This story imagines a psychiatrist visitation while still in prison. Hired by sympathetic folk to her innocence, the doctor hopes to investigate her amnesia for the guilt of the crime – she just can’t remember. Atwood does a great job slyly suggesting a split personality but never really giving her opinions of Grace nor her motivations.

“And then she began to cry, and when I asked her why she was doing that, she said it was because I was to have a happy ending, And it was just like a book; and I wondered what books she had been reading.”  -p.446

Thoroughly enjoyable piece of historical fiction.

Five slices of pie.



With Up the Down Staircase:  “SAUVE QUI PEUT”!  p.376

With The Good House: fortune telling



The Witch of Little Italy

Thoughts twolibysp The Witch of Little Italy by Suzanne Palmieri, St. Martin’s Press / Macmillan 2013, 320 pages.

ebook. For the Bookies, my book club. I voted for this; sadly, I cannot recall which books were the contenders.

This is what has been said about The Orchardist, a book I recently enjoyed:

“Written with breathtaking precision and empathy, an astonishing debut novel. At once intimate and epic, evocative and atmospheric, filled with haunting characters both vivid and true to life, and told in a distinctive narrative voice.”  – blurb on goodreads.

And this is what has been said about Alias Grace, the book I’m currently engrossed with:

A stunning novel full of sly wit, compassion and insight, boasting writing that is lyrical, assured, evocative of time and place and seductive in its power to engage us.”   -Houston Chronicle

Let me just state: The With of Little Italy has NONE of that.

I first abandoned as DNF and then attempted to come back to it, skimming and finally giving up. One star. Annoying and tedious. Still, it might appeal to those who want a quick conversation-driven story involving family mysteries and magic. Plenty of drama, I guess. I just need more substance; this aint my kind of book.


Copyright © 2007-2013. 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.

Dark Places

Thoughts dpbygf Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, Broadway Paperbacks 2009, 349 pages

First SENTENCE:  “I have a meanness inside of me, real as an organ.”

What’s it ABOUT:  A young woman who survived her family’s massacre almost 25 years prior decides to open up her memories and help investigate what really happened. She hasn’t wanted to think about any of it for a long, long time. But damn it – she needs the money. And the crime clubbers are offering to refill the empty coffers. She doesn’t work (can’t work, won’t work, what’s the difference) and she has spent the horde of cash she collected from the do-gooders who supplied it back when she was a sad poor cute victim survivor. She ain’t cute anymore.

“I signed my book for mouth-breathing kids who asked me jarring questions, like did my mom cook pies.”

Characters are lacking in much one might find admirable and yet we do somehow sympathize. Pacing is spot on, tension is physical, belief is suspended and disregarded. It’s dark inside these pages but don’t turn on the light cuz some scary too-many-legged thing might crawl out and I don’t want to see that.

Another wild ride in the Flynn mind amusement park. Not quite as wild as Gone Girl but still a thrill.

Rating: Four slices of pie, blackberry. fourpie

Stephen King is in the opening credits page of praise:

” Gillian Flynn is the real deal, a sharp, acerbic, and compelling storyteller with knack for the macabre.”

Thank you MBR for loaning me this book.


Copyright © 2007-2013. 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 Art Forger

Thoughts tafbybas The Art Forger by Barbara Shapiro, Algonquin Books 2012, 368 pages, eBook, for book club.

I knew I should have written this review right after I read it! It’s now been two and a half weeks and I’ve forgotten a lot. And that is despite my friend on vacation reading it and asking me if it was worth it! I just told her to keep reading. I think she may have decided it wasn’t worth it…

If you like art and you like mysteries and even a bit of historical fiction, you might like this book. It has a touch of romance which was only half believable. It has a lot of Boston which was fun since I live near Boston.

I am a big fan of Impressionism, a fan of Degas and his ballet girls and a huge fan of John Singer Sargent. WAIT! that was in the other book I read, The Forgotten Garden. Sorry, coinky-dink theme connections, sort of.

So, this book is about Claire who is hired to copy a painting. Not just any painting but a Degas painting worth many millions that was stolen in the crime of the century. So the risks are high. A bit of a con game, a mystery, a who-done it, and a good girl trying to prove her innocence by outing a whole ‘nuther crime.

Especially odd or interesting – I couldn’t decide – were the imagined personal letters of Isabella Stewart Gardner, the eccentric art collector who originally owned the painting eventually stolen in the 1990s that our girl Claire was copying/forgering and thus a key element of the mystery. I have been to the museum twice since moving to Massachusetts and if I got anything at all out of this book, it is the desire to visit again very soon.

Three slices of pie.

For a bit more negative review, visit Nancy* the BookFool and read her thoughts.

For a bit more positive review, visit Kathy the BermudaOnion and read her thoughts.

* On page 100, Claire meets the art gallery guy at the Oak Room in the Copley Hotel. Nancy and I met Simon Van Booy in the very same Oak Room (click to see post/photo)  in September 2011.


Copyright © 2007-2013. 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.

Jamaica Inn

Thoughts  Jamaica Inn by Daphne DuMaurier, Avon Books Imprint of HarperCollins 1999 (orig 1936), 302 pages


A young woman named Mary must go to her Aunt’s in Cornwall per her mother’s dying wish. She finds an unsavory inn/tavern with despicable clientele in a  desolate location. The locals fear the place, her Auntie has gone loony and her new Uncle is a brute. Mary suspects foul play; actually she is warned of it and to keep her nose out of it.

Will she survive the unholy shenanigans?! Will she find love on the lonesome wild moors?

Well, yes. She does. That’s not really a spoiler, is it? Mary is a tough cookie despite, alas, her being only a girl.

It was a bit tedious the first 200 pages but it picks up and flies when the danger and treachery and suspense of how it all will turn out finally comes to a head.

RATING:  Three slices of pie. Not my favorite DDuM but I count her as a favorite author still.

And no matter how bad the movie might be, I really want to see it! Have you?


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.

Gone Girl

Thoughts  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Crown Publishing 2012, 432 pages, Kindle edition

Being of sound mind, solemn and sensible, I hereby declare my inability to decide how best to proceed. Shall I  #1) point you to Sheila’s review or just #2) steal from it and post here; but I also want to #3) send you directly to Softdrink’s hilarious and succinct and very short post on this novel.

Thus, in reverse order of how I presented my dilemma,

you may do the #3) choice and click this —–> CLICK HERE! <—– and go to FizzyThoughts

or you can

select choices #1 & #2) click over or read this, lifted directly from Sheila’s Book Journey blog if you must know what it is about. I think she did a great job of saying what happens and yet leaves out all the fun shocking hilarity of it. She also has a page to discuss all the spoilers if you want to talk more about his novel after you read it.

Nick and Amy’s marriage started out just as you would hope, two people deeply in love.  Nick was handsome and carefree, Amy was beautiful and the “Amy” behind her parents ‘Amazing Amy’ book series which left Amy with quite a little nest egg…
but things are not always as they seem….
As years go by, things change for the happy couple.  Amy gives the majority of her money back to her parents when they hit financial difficulties, then both she and Nick lose their jobs in New York.  Nick’s mom is sick and his dad has Alzheimer’s so the couple moves back to Missouri to be close to his parents and start over.  Amy uses the last large chunk of her inheritance to help Nick and his twin sister Margo purchase a bar.
Now, on their five-year anniversary a very different couple has emerged from where Nick and Amy started.  They can not seem to connect any more and that morning Nick leaves for his bar, only to receive a call shortly after from a neighbor saying something seems wrong at Nick’s home, the door is wide open, the cat who is never allowed outside is on the front step.  Nick comes home to find the living room torn apart, the iron left on, and Amy missing.
As a closer look is taken, and with the help of the clues that Amy left for Nick as she does every year to find his anniversary present, Nick soon becomes the prime suspect. Having his own secrets, Nick works with his sister trying to get to the bottom of what happened to Amy.
but things are not always as they seem….
As the story unfolds…. there is more than meets the eye and a very twisted tale unfolds which really shows that you never know what goes on behind white picket fences and closed doors.

-Borrowed directly from Sheila with her permission.

 (This photo is of a poster hung from the Chicago Cultural Center and it reminded me of something Nick says in the book about wanting to be ordinary.)

Or option #4) ignore the above and just get the book. Have fun!

I give it 5 slices of pie. I enjoyed the heck out of it.

“Do you reckon Tom Sawyer would ever go by this thing? Not for pie, he wouldn’t.”

– Chap 12, page 2, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain


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.

Pie and the City and the City and Pi

Part II of Summer in the City and the City…

For my Part I, click here.

***Spoilers Galore***

I was often confused by Borlu’s motivations. He claimed it would be so much more awesome if Breach would take the case so he wouldn’t have to do it. But he was also taking notes that he knew he wouldn’t be able to tell Breach because then he would show he ‘breached’! Not only did he take these notes – which he was aware were illegal – he acted on them! So did he really not want Breach to take the case? Just curiosity or can’t-help-solving-crime ___ persuasion___ personality?

And just what was his special relationship with whats-her-face? How did they meet? Why was she willing to work for him so far out of her jurisdiction and allowance? I never felt these questions were addressed. And that I, as a reader, shouldn’t have cared.

By the end of the book and all the loose ends were tired neatly together, I still felt that the emotions weren’t justified. Why was our victim so gosh darn ANGRY. We were told she was angry, she certainly demonstrated her anger and hot-headedness but I didn’t get what made her so damn touchy about it all. Because she was so passionate that she had found some secret and then went it blew up to be nothing, she felt duped? I suppose. She spent years doing research that was going to make her famous all for naught?

So, yes, the book said she was angry but I never got into the victim’s head to see where she was coming from. Not that we were given much from her side of the story. I kept expecting her notes in all the books she researched to show some AHA! but maybe the puzzle pieces were too obscure for me?

I did guess that Breach was made up of people who breached. Not too many pages ahead of that reveal but I did figure it out so I was most proud of myself. Of course, Borlu was going to end up working Breach = anticlimax.

But I was sad for the victim’s poor parents. Although tha,t too – their intense distrust of their ‘hosts’. Obviously their daughter was a chip off the old block and much more clever.

And I did give a cheer when Borlu shot the sniper. Oh yea, not supposed to see him and then look right at him. Aim. Fire.

Yea, “Breach”… the noun AND the verb; both very odd. Over all, I didn’t not buy the seeing and unseeing or nonseeing concept. Very creative.

I honestly didn’t realize it was a crime mystery story when I started it. (I try not to read the blurbs, oops.) But the setting was cool. Took awhile to get my head around it but I think I finally did. People have talked about it being repetitive and yet it might have been necessary so the reader feels almost trapped, too, in a seeing – NOTseeing confusion.

I just didn’t get Borlu. I wasn’t really rooting for him. Just ambivalent. I probably missed the clues but was only mildly buying into it and kept reading just to find out how it all ended.

I like the book cover.

Can a movie be made of this? I would go see it.

OK, you want to know about the Pie and the Pi. Today is Pi Approximation Day! July 22. I always try to make a pie on all the majoy pie and pi holidays. Here it is!



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.