Category Archives: NonFiction

⬥OCTOBER⬥ 2022

 Monthly Recap Time! October

  • 8 books; 86 for the year
  • 2740 pages, 25.78 hours | 24462 total pages, 196.1 hours for the year so far

I have had a rollercoaster of an emotional month. But I read these! And they were all 4 or 5 slicers of pie reads: I gave 5s to World Piece, Address Unknown (a short story about how seemingly nice people buy into evil rhetoric and then join radical movements that justify other people as subhuman), and Fidelity. The rest got 4 slices. I didn’t even know who Tom Morello was – interesting guy. I do love the Audible musician stories. I wish I had read + listened to the Cruz, but that is all on me. I recommend it; definitely a terrific immigrant story with humor and love.

I had an increase in blogging, too. Thanks for the comments and support there.

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October was the BRING BACK of audiobooks. I listened to some. I have a new job that gives me drive time in the car.

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Of course, World PIEce had pie. And The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek had a lot of pie, too. How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water featured pastelitos, a fried handpie of goodness on many Dominican menus.

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November is another month; I hope it brings you HOPE. Hope is the belief in things unseen.

What was YOUR favorite book of October? ARE YOU PLANNING ON READING FOR NONFICTION NOVEMBER? Tell me your recommendations.

Copyright © 2007-2022. 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.

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Status ⬥ Slow September ⬥ 2022

 Monthly Recap Time! September

  • 5 books; 77 for the year
  • 1346 pages, 1 hours | 22474 total pages, 170.3 hours for the year so far

Hardcover, Hardcover, Audio, Tradeback, Tradeback
Purchased, Purchased, Audible Freebie, Target Purchase, Half Price Books

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Actually, truth be told, I DNF’d Liar’s Club because I just couldn’t deal with any more Texasness and I skimmed to the end of Nightbitch because it just wasn’t what I needed at this time. It took me to Sept 24 to finish the first book(!!!)of the month. WHOA.

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And my audiobook game faltered. Sigh. I listened to what is probably called a “Short Story”: Dispossession, a well done Audible Original by Tayari Jones . (It was good! and filled an entire dog-walking session to the minute. Jones is on my list of authors to read whenever I get the opportunity.) I’m 2/3 through my October Audible credit now and have a Libby audio lined up for after so I think October numbers will be better for print AND audio. I might even do a review post of that last book I read because it satisfies a What’s in a Name category. Amazing. (Nightbitch does, too, but I’m hesitant to use it since I really didn’t give it 100%)

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I enjoyed Evelyn Hugo but it had that separation of author-to-reader, where I know I’m reading a book, rather than being immersed within the story. Book club discussion on Tuesday. My favorite was Lucy By the Sea by my favorite Elizabeth Strout.

“We had kidney beans from a can and two hot dogs each, an I made an apple pie, and the day felt so cozy.”

lucy by the sea, pg 224

It’s been a month of full-strength blowing of the winds of change. I was given unsettling news about my job and it sparked a job search process which resulted in me getting an offer which I accepted. I start tomorrow. In other news, WordPress alerted me that it is bloggivesary time! I’m been yapping about books-and-stuff at this space for 15 years!

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October has a couple of pie days. The 12th is Pumpkin Pie Day and Boston Cream Pie Day is Oct 23. Something I’ve always wanted to make a Boston Cream Pie Pie (rather than a cake.) It wouldn’t be that hard; make a cake layer in a pie crust and then layer some cream, — or maybe bake a round cake and split it horizontally, place on in a pie crust (blind baked, probably), layer in some cream, top with the second cake layer, and pour a chocolate ganache on it… MmmmmmmmMMMMMmmmmmm

Yesterday, I declared I would make Apple Pie today but I think I’ll post this and sit on the couch watching football, read my World Piece book by Beth M Howard (and is it FULL of pie as you would expect) and continue to think about maybe making pie this afternoon.

What was YOUR favorite book of September?

Copyright © 2007-2022. 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.

Status ⬥ The Month After July ⬥ 2022

 Monthly Recap Time! August

  • 7 books; 72 for the year
  • 2740 pages, 28.5 hours | 21128 total pages, 169.3 hours for the year so far

“… a party being made better because of the pie you brought…”

LESSONS in CHEmistry
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Pie for the win. EVERY BOOK I READ HAD PIE! Pretty impressive..

“Maria helped herself to the last bites of Eddie’s apple pie and unfolded her notes on the table, but instead of Devil’s Bargain she found herself thinking of the scale model of Mercury.”

– MERCURY PICTURES PRESENTS
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And my audiobook game has returned. THREE audiobooks finished and meaty books, too — not just a 1 hour created-for-Audible nibble.

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My favorite was Bonnie Garmus’ Lessons in Chemistry. Hands down, my kind of book. Strong female character, touches all the ugly bits of reality yet balanced with love and humor, plus a cool dog. Some reviews recommend print over the audio, though I didn’t catch the mispronunciations or chemical terms …. oops. I did notice a long “e” sound for the word “been” and something else with an eeeee sound that to me should be more of an “i” sound like “bin”.

I read French’s The Searcher for book club. It was good but not my favorite of hers. And another book that suffered I HOPE! from bad mood and poor timing, was Anthony Marra’s Mercury Pictures Presents. I want to try it again someday.

“He finds a café and gets himself a slice of apple pie and more coffee to pass the time till his laundry is ready.”

the searcher

Perhaps, August was just meant to be devoted to nonfiction? I really liked Destiny of the Republic by Candace Millard. She’s good! and she wrote a lovely tribute to David McCullough, a favorite of mine for readable fascinating enjoyable history, who died August 7. I’ve not read near enough of his oeuvre and now I need to add all of Millard’s.

I read The Sum of Us. Fascinating and sad how systematic racism is sneakily argumented away and seems invisible to sum. Why don’t towns have a city pool? because they didn’t want to share with ALL the citizens of the town. Stupid. Evil.

Which brings me to share that I finally finished brown girl dreaming by the lovely Jacqueline Woodson! Here memoir in verse, my mid-year, many months, poem-a-day project. LOVELY.

“…Remember the time, they ask,
when we stole Miss Carter’s peach pie off her windowsill,…”

brown girl dreaming

Then I listened to Taste by Stanley Tucci, because I think celebrity memoirs are a great way to break a slump. Plus, the lack of audiobooks in prior months meant I had credits to burn. I have a print of this at the library to pick up so I can get the recipes. (His cookbooks have hold lists but this I got right away.)

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What was YOUR favorite book of August?

September has a couple of pie days. The 15th is Butterscotch Cinnamon Pie Day! (A healing pie in the video game UnderTale.) Sept 23 is Pot Pie Day (Lessons in Chemistry has pot pie! and a terrific explanation of pie pastry. KFC’s chicken pot pie is decent, too. Look for a coupon.) Sept 26 is Key Lime Pie Day – read a book set in Florida! LOL — and Raspberry Cream Pie Day is Sept 28.

Today, as I write and prep this post, I’m contemplating a Grape Galette. You can see a photo (it’s readable! perhaps I should add a link to my pie page… Hmmmmm) of my recipe in a post from 2017; enjoy.

Copyright © 2007-2022. 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.

Status ⬥ July ⬥ 2022

 Monthly Recap Time! JULY

  • 5 books; 65 for the year
  • 1639 pages, ~0 hours | 18388 total pages, 140.8 hours for the year so far
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What a great reading month! Quality over quantity? I think This Time Tomorrow has to be the most-recommendable but I liked Autumn AND Trust, too. Only the Tomorrow books had pie, sadly.

““And I thought ‘it’s the pie, it’s the pie’ so we had to establish a really firm rule about no pie during the week.” -Obama”

– Tomorrow Will Be different
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Still no mood for audiobooks or maybe it is just too damn hot to walk the dog and that very much impacts (negatively) on my audio-listen time.

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Maybe my favorite was Autumn, a buddy read with Nancy the Book Fool. We are avid penpals and both had this book on our shelves. Ali Smith intrigues me; I had quite a Twitter thread going of all the things I googled that were mentioned. It was almost historical fiction! Lots of stuff from a scandal in the 60s (or was it the 70s? either way, I wasn’t aware of any of it but made for interesting rabbit hole travels).

If you read Trust, stay with it! In fact, I would encourage you to watch some of the interview videos on Youtube of HD discussing his motivations. I like him. I might have to go see if his first book (OMG – he has only written 2 books?!?!?!) is available at the library.

I didn’t make any pie. Can’t even think if I ordered pie in a restaurant. WAIT! Yes, if you count empanadas. AND I DO COUNT THESE AS PIE, yes of course. We drove to Maria Empanadas in Aurora Colorado and picked up a 12 pack. Too hot to bake otherwise.

FYI Today, August 1, is Homemade Pie Day and also Raspberry Cream Pie Day. Get some if you can!

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What was YOUR favorite book of July?

August has a lot of pie days. The 15th is Lemon Meringue Pie Day! One of my favorites, or at least it sounds pretty good right now.

But, maybe instead of pie, we should give $5 – $10 – $15, the price of a pie (or more), to the charities working hard to fight fires, rescue stranded residents of areas affected by floods, and address other wrongs throughout our country and world. On August 2nd in Kansas, I’m voting no. Abortion in healthcare. Do not change our state constitution.

Copyright © 2007-2022. 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.

Half Done 2022 Six Months to Go

 Monthly Recap Time! JUNE

  • 11 books; 60 for the year
  • 2940 pages, ~3.3 hours | 16749 total pages, 140.8 hours for the year so far
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My favorite was Either/Or. Or, at least according to scores given and slices of pie (and I don’t even think this book HAD pie?!) I also gave 5 slices of pie with no pie mentioned to Choice by Jodi Picoult. I’m just baffled and boggled and sad about what the SCOTUS is up to these days…

Morning is smarter than night.

(Updating this entire post the next morning! LOL had to include this because for me, it is very true.) TRUE BIZ, pg 205
True Biz
The Miranda Obsession
How High We Go in the Dark
Sea of Tranquility
Hearts & Minds
All of the above QUITE GOOD AND I might even say GREAT!
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Sorry Friends, I just haven’t had the motivation to write. I’m sad; I love this blog and I was doing SO WELL through MOST of the pandemic and now? I am feeling the changes. LOL. HA

I didn’t even use my audio credit this month. yikes. If you want to see what I’m hoping to read in July, you’ll just have to visit Litsy. Whatever.

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Same as in May, I read both of the Litsy Spin Books and completed one *BINGO*. My list of 20 for July includes many if not most of the what I had on the last list. Still reading for #CampLitsy.

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“Ms. Sweet Potato Pie costumes wait for no woman.”

True Biz, Pg 203

I don’t even care about checking on how many books had pie. I can’t seem to keep it easy to figure out. Or maybe TRUST that I really accounted and tracked accurately? I would be THE WORST accountant! check again, double check triple check and doubt some more. According to my google sheet tracker, I noted that pie was mentioned in two of this month’s reads. In fact, in How High We Go in the Dark, it was mentioned a LOT. CONTENDER for PIE BOOK OF THE YEAR?! (I also said this in my notes for True Biz! [Updated to Add])

Maybe my favorite was How High We Go? It won #CampLitsy book for June. (nifty)

“- how they’d come to my door with their pies and casseroles, ask for my help capturing their children or spouse as they used to be.”

HHWGitD, pg 285

I made Strawberry Rhubarb Pie as promised in June. I have to! It’s June 9’s Pie Day! Keep watching that hashtag, cuz I continue to use the #CaresPieShow hashtag at Litsy.

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What was YOUR favorite book of June?

June 12 is Pecan Pie Day. My hub’s favorite.

Copyright © 2007-2022. 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.

Burning Questions and The Candy House

Thoughts by Margaret Atwood, Doubleday 2022, 496 pages

Challenge: n/a

Genre/Theme: Essays

Type/Source: Hardcover / Gift from a friend

What It’s About: Wonderful essays on the climate, politics, book reviews and author tributes, bits about poems; reminisces on her childhood, her marriage, and husband, lectures she has given, etc and more.

“However, this does not make The Handmaid’s Tale a “feminist dystopia” except insofar as giving a woman a voice and an inner life will always be considered “feminist” by those who think women ought not to have these things.”

Thoughts: She’s Margaret Atwood!

“She came by her perky Mom voice and her “Howdy Stranger“ tropes honestly. She was a refugee, not to America but from within America: a mom and Apple Pie America, and America of the past that was being rapidly transformed by material inventions, …”

Rating: Five slices of pie.

“My own mother was of the non-interference school unless it was a matter of life and death. ___ She later said that she had to leave the kitchen when I was making my first pie crust, the sight was so painful to her.”

-Polonia (2005)

 

Thoughts by Jennifer Egan, Scribner 2022, 334 pages

Challenge: TOB Summer Camp

Genre/Theme: Linked Short Stories, 2nd in the Goon Series

Type/Source: Hardcover / Library

What It’s About: These stories continue the looks into the lives of characters touched on in The Visit From the Goon Squad. I can’t even pick a favorite. Actually, some seem abrupt or bring up people I would have hoped to explore more or really taxed my brain power! That said, I loved it. It felt SO GOOD to just read and relax and get lost in a story.

“The fact that so many thoughts could have gone through my head in 3.36 seconds is testament to the infinitude of an individual consciousness. There is no end to it, no way to measure it. Consciousness is like the cosmos multiplied by the number of people alive in the world (assuming that consciousness dies when we do, and it may not) because each of our minds is a cosmos of its own: unknowable, even to ourselves.”

Thoughts: I must link in my review of Goon Squad – because I don’t remember it nor was I able to capture its charms exactly – only entertained myself in the attempt. Others have noted that it is a wise plan to keep notes of characters at the start of BOTH these books, something I did not do but recognize it might be valuable advice. Me, I only hope to reread both of these, back to back. Put it on my ‘Retire-to-a-Deserted-{Desserted?!)-Island-Reading-List’.

My kind of story-telling. Five slices of pecan pie.

“… tweezing forkfuls of turkey or pecan pie through a rectangular mouth slot.”

ARthur p.26

Copyright © 2007-2022. 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.

All Boys Aren’t Blue

Thoughts by George M Johnson, Macmillan Audio 2020, 5 hours 12 minutes

Narrated by the author.

Challenge: What’s in a Name: Color category

Genre/Theme: Nonfiction, essays, LGBTQ+

Type/Source: Audiobook / eLibby

What It’s About: This is a collection of essays detailing the author’s growing up in a loving family and also identifying with interests more socially conditioned to be typically girl things – like double-dutch jump rope at recess. They talk about trauma of bullying, wanting and fearing being different, identifying as queer, how much their Nanny provided in love and support, their education from a black perspective, and their sexuality.

The memoir is a firsthand account of trials, tribulations, and triumphs that have made George M. Johnson into the person they are today.

—Coryandre Wright (IMDB link)

Thoughts: I learned a few things! Important work – they’re willing to share and I am willing to know more and do more about how to promote respect for all humanity and be a good human.

This book was requested via my library because school districts near me have banned it. I wanted to know why and I wanted to show community support for books and marginalized people. I believe a couple of things when the topic of books and age appropriateness is discussed; 1) if a kid reads something they don’t understand, they look it up and/or ask a trusted adult to explain more, or 2) they just skip over it because they don’t understand it or it’s just not relevant to them to relate to. They aren’t groomed or seduced or corrupted. If a kid is seeking out this book, they just might need it and it would be best for all to be able to discuss and pour love not judgement onto the situation. Education, education, education. I respect the parents that take the tough questions and build trust rather than promote fear and shame. Love and respect. Stand up to hate. Have the tough conversations.

Rating: Four slices of pie.

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2022. 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.

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 © 2007-2022. 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 © 2007-2022. 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 © 2007-2022. 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.