Category Archives: NonFiction

These Precious Days

Thoughts  by Ann Patchett, HarperCollins 2021, 320 pages

Challenge: I have love and adoration for AP

Genre/Theme: Memoir/Essays/Nonfiction

Type/Source: Hardcover / Purchased as a ticket for a virtual event (which I missed…)

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  Ann Patchett is a successful prize-winning novelist (Her latest, The Dutch House, was nominated for the Pulitzer) who also owns a bookstore in Nashville TN. This writer-plus-bookshop-proprietor was a magazine article writer in order to support her fiction writing habit; she published a collection of these called This is the Story of a Happy Marriage in 2013 between two best-sellers State of Wonder (2011) and Commonwealth (2016). She pub’d this one, this year and it’s a heartbreaker, consisting of goodness.

WHAT’s GOOD: I love her.

Here’s what I said in my review of This … Happy Marriage: “From word one, I fell hard into this and couldn’t stop enjoying, thinking, relating, pondering. I had no idea what to expect; I really didn’t know anything more about Ann Patchett other than the first fact:  1) she wrote Bel Canto and the second, that 2) she owns a bookstore. I am now a fan . . . “

So this new collection is also just a few random essays but the title one refers to her friendship with an artist, a friendship that began slowly and by a series of cogs, levers, acts of this and then that and THEN the pandemic. I cried with this essay, but I also cried on the very first essay and it was about .. oh, well, OK. It was about death. That essays don’t die. I cried at a few other lovely essays, too.

Maybe I should get my thyroid checked again. I cried lovingly.

What’s NOT so good: I have no criticisms.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I find AP inspiring. I want to reread this book already. I’ve put Updike on my tbr. I have added Eudora Welty to my tbr. I have placed a book called Barking to the Choir by Gregory Boyle on my tbr.

RATING: Five slices of pie.

“That was when I started cutting frozen butter into pea sized chunks with a frozen knife in my frozen hands to make a pie crust..”

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Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

In Review November 2021

 Monthly Recap Time!

Total of Six:

Number of pages: 2427, number of hours: 30.74 ♦ Total pages for year-to-date: 27,266 ◘ total hours: ~270

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What Kind, Where From:

Tradeback owned + Audio from library Radium Girls by Kate Moore

The Promise eBook by Damon Galgut (Booker Prize)

A Spindle Spintered by Alix Harrow eBook/Libby

Leading with Questions Hardcover/Work-provided by Mark Marquardt

Infinite Country by Patricia Engle eBook/Libby

Cloud Cuckoo Land Audiobook/Audible by Anthony Doerr

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Rather than saying my favorite read of the month, I will wow you with the statement that I gave ALL the fiction 5 slices of pie and one of the Nonfiction. The other only other nonfic I read, I gave 2 slices. (Ugh; it was a slog.)

These books took me on visits to New Jersey near NYC and to a small town in Illinois, NYC and the country of Columbia. The Booker Prize put me in South Africa, the fairy tale was grounded in Pennsylvania (IIRC) and then in the land of princesses and dragons and scary forests to pass through. Cloud Cuckoo Land was in the past in Constantinople — the recent past in Idaho — some Vietnam or was it Korea? — and in the future to an outerspace somewhere sealed away for decades.

Nonfiction November fell a part for me once the TOB Long List hit the newsstand. I became obsessed and abandoned almost the entirety of my Litsy #BookSpinBingo card. I gave up blogging. I could only focus on a few things and that was TOB and family stuff, I guess.

I didn’t even update my book tracker but thankfully I had goodreads. Whew!

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Speaking of THANKFUL and since it’s November’s recap… let’s talk Pie! All of the books I enjoyed mention pie. One was “a slice of pie” (a slice of RADIUM pie!), one mentions a pie pan, and one used the word “piebald” — hey, it counts. One features empanadas, one said something about “hand-raised pie” or somethingsomething British-Baking-Show (and now my count is off), but finally! one discusses milk tart – has to be a custard and I need to search more, and also CHICKEN PIE.

I myself made Pecan. Oh. and…. Lyle Lovett liked my tweet of the pic of my Pecan pie for #SecularPieThursday. SQUEEEEEEEEEE!

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And rather than ask you what your fave was for the month already 8+ days ago, I will point you to JoAnn’s Gulfside Musings Nonfiction November final post that features some really enticing reads that maybe I can get to next year?

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Nonfiction Nov 2021 – Week2

Nonfiction November Week #2

The host for this week is Katie at Doing Dewey:

My favorite Fiction + Nonfiction pairing was one I enjoyed prior to the pandemic: Milkman + Say Nothing (and then I listened to Milkman for a reread.) One of my favorite reading experiences ever.

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NF: Proud Shoes by Pauli Murray + Fiction: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet

NF: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates + Fiction: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

One I always hoped to do but haven’t quite yet accomplished is to pair Barbara Demick’s NF Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea on my tbr since … 2103 when I read Fiction: The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson.

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I do enjoy giving myself reading challenges with pairing a story with a truth perspective! I am looking forward to reading more posts for this week. Feel free to drop a note here with any recommendations.

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Nonfiction November 2021

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Nonfiction November is here! This is an annual event focusing on sharing the love for terrific nonfiction reads. I thank my friend at Gulfside Musings for keeping me updated on the festivities (and not denying me from copying a bit of her post and links.)

The hosts this year are:

Rennie at What’s Nonfiction

Katie at Doing Dewey

Veronica at The Thousand Book Project

Christopher at Plucked from the Stacks 

Jaymi at The OC Book Girl

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Nonfiction November Week #1

Looking back at the year so far in my nonfic reading by answering the prompts for Week 1:

What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?  

Weird but maybe not unsurprising, my favorite is a pie recipe book! A Farm Journal cookbook on pies and pastries that was a gift. It was originally a gift from my grandmother to my aunt, her daughter, my dad’s sister. It was published in 1965 and is in great condition. I will cherish this for sentimental reasons but also because it is quite an entertaining read, as well.

I’ve read 22 books that I label nonfiction so far this 2021. Quite a few of these are short audiobook memoirs that came free to me as an Audible subscriber. Most are by musicians so that is somewhat a theme.

The book I’ve recommended the most is Did That Just Happen? by Pinder-Amaker & Wadsworth. It was practical, instructional AND uncompromising with examples and how best to navigate and recognize situations to DO BETTER; to truly invite and support all people into the workplace. I read this book because I am in the corporate learning industry and we are striving to create a diverse and inclusive culture.

Though late to get my posts posted for this month, I’ve been active in my mind (and at Litsy); making lists and plotting to read more nonfiction. I hope to make more bookish connections while fully expecting to add too many books to my tbr. Always adding to the tbr!

I’ve started The Radium Girls, finally! I bought this after 2020’s #NonfictionNovember. Thanks JoAnn! I’ve got the book AND the audio from the library. I’m already incensed and outraged.

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Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

In Review October 2021

 Monthly Recap Time!

Total of 13…

Count from the library =  SIX, one book was for my monthly Audible credit and finished with Libby; five purchased, and another library for both eBook and Hardcover

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My favorite read of the month is The Soul of Kindness by Elizabeth Taylor. [Link to Review]

These books took me on visits to Colorado, NYC and outer space. I saw the US and some views into Canada. I was in UK-fantasy land. USA again and a half century away in rural England. OPKS was where I lived in the first book (and I’ve lived there in my history, so YAY KANSAS) and ended up in Sweden for the last book of the month.

Five nonfiction – if I count the poetry?) One of the books I read this month is “loosely-based memoir” fiction: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeannette Winterson. SO GLAD to have enjoyed this which had been on my tbr for a long time.

Two featured LGBTQ+, three by POC, one in translation, four classics. Seven female-identifying authors (I might be guessing/assuming) to six by male-presenting.

and…… The Tournament of Favorites was fabulous! The winner is Tsar of Love and Techno over Version Control in the finals. Great fun, much fun, warms the heart and stimulates the brain. I love the tournaments as much as I love pie. Bring on the Long List! Any day now… I haven’t read too many on on the possibly contenders list. Books pub’d this year include: Fugitive Telemetry SF, Meet Cute Diary TransRomance?, Yoga Pants Nation MomLit, (oh yea, I read all the Summer Camp books, too!)

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Pie! NINE books out of 13 mention pie.

I made Cranberry Pear Pie, Pumpkin, and some Dutch Apple crumb pies.

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What was YOUR favorite book of October?

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Partly Cloudy Patriot

Thoughts by Sarah Vowell, Simon & Schuster 2002, 197 pages

Challenge: Litsy Book Spin Bingo

Genre/Theme: Nonfiction / Politics and Citizenship, History

Type/Source: Hardcover / used book store $1

What It’s About: Essays on politics, former presidents and their libraries, some travel, some celebrity commentary, some US to Canada comparison, and more.

Thoughts: I have read two more of her books – her first was published prior to this: Take the Cannoli in 2000 and the second one after The Wordy Shipment 2008 having somehow missed Assassination Vacation from 2005. She produces a new collection every 2-4 years, it seems. She is on the radio and probably is a guest on bunches of podcasts? maybe? but otherwise, I don’t know what she’s up to. She’s not on Twitter, which is a shame but I totally understand.

Reading about voter restrictions, election fraud accusations, assaults on democracy… and realizing she is referencing the political climate of the turn of the decade (century!) into the 2000s — makes me both annoyed and fearful and weirdly relieved; things never change, nothing is new.

Rating: Three slices of cherry pie.  

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Thoughts by Lewis Carroll, Aerie Books Ltd 1992 (orig (1871), 112 pages

Challenge: Litsy Book Spin! #DoubleSpin, actually

Genre/Theme: Children’s Book

Type/Source: paperback / used book store $1

What It’s About: A little girl has fantastical adventures with talking animals, size-alternating mushrooms, nonsensical tea parties, and games of croquet with moving parts and beheadings. Yikes!

Thoughts: I really wasn’t all that keen on reading this having attempted it once and for whatever reason just didn’t appeal. But that nagging thought that “I *REALLY* should read this” and maybe even a touch of FOMO had me put it on my second Classic Club 50.

It was better than I thought it would be.

Rating: Fours slices of pie.

” I passed by his garden, and marked, with one eye,

How the Owl and the Panther were sharing a pie”

Ok, so let’s talk Litsy: I’m doing all the things this October! (If you want to know the details of it, I can give you the person who hosts and how to find her explanation page. It’s difficult to find by searching for some odd reason.) The photo above shows my October Book Spin Bingo card. My next post will feature the other spin number that I’ve read. I read the DoubleSpin before the Spin Spin, by mistake.

Once I finish my current audiobook of Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison — I’ve got over 6 hours yet to go — I will have BINGO! and if I can get Ask Again, Yes! by Mary Beth Kean completed, I’ll have another BINGO! woot, woot!

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Effin’ Birds

Thoughts by Aaron Reynolds, Ten Speed Press 2019, 208 pages

Challenge: n/a

Genre/Theme: Nonfiction / Postcards / Cursing / Birds

Type/Source: Gift from Stef of blog A Stone in the River

Recommended by: I saw a tweet about this collection and RT’d it; either I @’d Stefanie or she happened to see it… then she ACTED upon it!

What It’s About: A book of 100 postcards encapsulating insults and ventings of frustration.

“… something about or by a pie-eyed bird thinking something fuck-worthily inappropriate…”

– (I mailed it before I wrote it down)

Thoughts: I laughed. I immediately wrote Stef a thank you before I realized that she included a card explaining how and why she sent me this amazing super wonderful thoughtful gift.

SHE MET THE AUTHOR! She had the author sign me a note! too cool.

I posted the pics on Litsy

I immediately thought of 1 or 2 friends that might laugh if I sent. And I shared with my husband who assured me that pretty much everyone I already write letters to would probably survive (and laugh) if I sent. So I did. I am.

I refrained from writing my mother-in-law.

Rating: Five slices of pie.

” …I hate people.”

(I don’t, really…)

Let me know if you want one! Some are… quite spicy. I can put craft tape to cover anything if delicate sensibilities might be offended. (Which is what I did for Stacy Buckeye‘s birthday card! LOL)

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Hood Feminism

Thoughts by Mikki Kendall, Viking 2020, 267 pages

Challenge: Self-education and Professional

Genre/Theme: Nonfiction / Feminism

Type/Source: eBook and hard cover, both library

Recommended by: [Cover links to gr; this link goes to my review.]

What It’s About: subtitled: Notes From the Women That a Movement Forgot

“There’s nothing feminist about having so many resources at your fingertips and choosing to be ignorant. Nothing empowering or enlightening in deciding that intent trumps impact. Especially when the consequences aren’t going to be experienced by you, but will instead be experienced by someone from a marginalized community.”

– Mikki Kendall

Thoughts: I am not well-read on the foundational readings of feminism. That said, I believe in equal rights equal pay equal respect. I know little of the history of the movement. I choose to not be ignorant. (I am weak and working on the impact over intent consideration. And if you have heard me at my most admonishmenting: I am working on me, to be better.)

What I do have is some experience with less-than-mediocre white men getting ahead and I’ve seen exceptionally bright and capable black women be disregarded. Me, myself, I have privilege; I just want a simple life that is quiet and safe and allows me to read my books and watch my movies and plant my plants and walk my dog. Love and hug the family on holidays and then leave me alone. However and sadly, I have sat back confused and even be frightfully agog with ‘what just happened?’ when personally witnessing or listening to what I consider WRONG THINKING. I’m saddened by this. I’ve experienced blatant misogyny and harassment and survive with mostly confusion, if not lost opportunity and advancement. Perhaps, maybe, I do not want opportunity and advancement, that is likely my own issues to deal with. I get it but I also don’t. But yea, I feel like I’m settling. I’m settling with safety and security in my little bubble.

I also know white privileged women who are far away from understanding and respecting the Notes as explained here by Ms. Kendall. I have had women tell me that it disgusts them to drive by poor houses on the highway like it was a personal insult to them. I’ve seen those posts on FB that express horror, anger, and indignation at what the “libtards are doing to take away their freedoms”. And I don’t confront it – the “it” conflicting image or how or what — that the United States is supposed to be for ALL; that systematically, marginalized people are exploited and stepped on. I don’t have the power inside to formulate the words and argument required to withstand whatever the backlash might be. The backlash of outrage “I’m not racist?!” Oh, but yes, you are – you/we are supporting a racist system.” I am not strong, I’ve never been able. I also fear a fight would not be a process that would get to a successful outcome that would align with the ideas and ideals needed to respect Ms. Kendall’s truth. But I should try.

“No one needs a savior to ride in, take over, and decide for them what would be the best approach to solve a problem. No one has time to play emotional caretaker for allies who would be accomplices, in general, if you have come to these spaces looking to take things away for your benefit instead of looking to contribute, than you’re already doing it wrong.”

I want to contribute.

I want to contribute.

This book has me signing up for the League of Women Voters. It’s my start. And I’ll be buying this book. To share.

Rating: Five slices of pie.

” …the time a guy tried to rob my mother at an ATM and pointed a gun at me to make her comply is as American and mundane as apple pie..”

Do better. Be better.

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Did That Just Happen?!

Thoughts Beyond “Diversity” – Creating Sustainable and Inclusive Organizations by Dr. Stephanie Pinder-Amaker and Dr. Lauren Wadsworth, Beacon Press 2021, 203 pages

Challenge: Self and Professional

Genre/Theme: Contemporary Lit

Type/Source: Hard cover, Purchased from an Indie bookstore

What It’s About: This fabulous guide explains everything DEI.

Beyond ‘microagressions’ – use the term IRA for identity-related aggressions.

Thoughts: I am a corporate learning facilitator which means I am the person who does a lot of the talking in our training workshops. I bought this to not only see if we as a company are on the right track but to see how I can nudge and shift and pay attention to what is truly needed and HOW to deliver.

I very much appreciate the walk-throughs provided in this book, the what to say and the what NOT to say and why things are problematic. This book delivers.

“I’m sorry that happened. That is NOT okay.” No need to fix anything in that moment. Just listen.

Rating: Five slices of pie.

“Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.”

Toni Morrison

 

Copyright © 2007-2021. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.