Behind Her Eyes

Thoughts  by Sarah Pinborough, Flatiron Books 2017, 318 pages

Genre:  Mystery Thriller
Type/Source:  eBook / Kindle
 Why I read this now:  For one of my bookclubs (May)

MOTIVATION for READING: One of the book groups I follow on Facebook asked for titles that had the best #WTFending. I think I might have selected it because it was also the least expensive of a list I attempted to put together for a vote. No one wanted to vote so I made a decision.  

Eek! Just realized book club is TOMORROW!

WHAT’s it ABOUT: A single mom named Louise meets what she thinks could be a ‘nice guy’ at a bar and they get along so well — even sharing a good night kiss. However, the next day, she realizes this nice guy is actually the new doctor in the office she works. OOPS. And, he is married. Bummer.

Soon after, she bumps into not-so-nice guy’s wife. They become friends, against Louise’s better judgement. But Adele is so beautiful and sweet and seems so fragile. Louise is curious; she just can’t help herself.

And then David, the new doctor not-so-nice guy pursues Louise to have an affair and again, Louise can’t help herself.

Danger lurks everywhere! Throw in that Adele wants to rescue Louise – help her quit smoking and start exercising, etc. She also has ideas on how Louise can get better sleep and even manage her nightmares and sleep walking. Adele says to keep it all a secret from David.

WHAT’s GOOD: The author did a commendable job layering the little odd details — of course, most obvious in hindsight now that I think about it. Considering the reader KNOWs about the #WTFending and that the reader MUST pay attention, the introduction of clues was well done. To even mention some of the things I want to say will be spoileriffic – can’t wait for club!

What’s NOT so good: I’m really not the best fan of these and may not be the target audience so take any criticisms with a grain of salt. So if you LOVE thrillers like this, it will likely be one of those books that the sooner you get to, the better. I found the device of self asking questions rather tedious at times.

(Note: I had to get We Were Liars when it was all the rage, and I really did NOT like it. Ugh. This one is better, imo.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: If you want to know if I agree that the book deserves the hashtag #WTFending, I will tell you, “Yes.” Did I like the book? That’s a more difficult question. These kinds of stories are not my favorite, but I kept reading because I HAD TO KNOW! The writing is fine, I have already praised the construction. Pacing was OK. Characters were OK. The fun will be in discussing and sharing and finding out if you figure it out or if you were gobsmocked.

RATING: Three slices of apple pie.

“I wandered through the house, ate some of my mum’s apple pie that was in the fridge, and then went up to my old room, got into bed, and went to sleep.”

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.
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Mini Mini Reviews and Not Much More

My friends, my friends.

I have read much, listened to much while not blogging of late. I have much to recap. I have read and enjoyed much. Much is the word.

I purchased this wisbyriWomen in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky for the children of a friend who required birthday presents. (the presents were for the kids’ – 4 of them – birthdays not the friend’s) Don’t worry! I also sent candy and confetti and garland and more books. But this was the one I purchased in hopes to influence young minds. Personally, I thought the tone a bit ‘piled-on’. OK, already; women are great. “Thou dost protest too much.” Sigh… Yea, I own my bad feminism. I also took off a point for the dark font on dark background. Guess I’m old. Which is why I’m hoping these youngin’s will read, appreciate and larn sumthin’. That women can and have done way far more than they get credit for and will continue to do so and people should pay attention and give credit and respect. Three slices of pie.

Citizen citbycr by Cynthia Rankin. I want to read more poetry. I know I need to read more poetry. I feel like I should read more poetry. I realize this book is not quite poetry as I expect – is that the best kind? This book is powerful and heavy. Felt it in my bones and heart but still realize that there is much I cannot ‘get’ and that’s ok. I’m willing to keep attempting to reach and learn and respect and lean in and lean out and lean humble, probably lean strong. I purchased this book at my local Indie bookstore.

Then I jumped into an audiobook with comedienne extraordinaire, Phoebe Robinson’s You Can’t Touch My Hair. yctmhbypr I am not sure I have laughed this hard in a long time (I read it before the election and already feels like eons ago). Ms Robinson explained a few things (ok, lots of things) to me. I probably could/should re-listen. Very enjoyable and extremely informative to my demographic, (ahem.) She mentions the movie Michael with Travolta which has one of the best pie songs ever recorded in film. (I wrote Ms Robinson a fan letter. I wrote Lindy West of Shrill, too. I like to write letters…)

Remember to laugh. 

I listened to an audiobook by John Scalzi that was being offered free by Audible.com. tdbyjs It was wonderful!  It was 2+ hours. Enjoyed it very much. I follow Mr. Scalzi on Twitter and should read something longer by him. Someday.  (I already had him on the authors-I-must-get-to list, I think, but a sample is nice.)

I quickly moved on to another audiobook that was utterly delightful. Realizing it is Nonfiction November and I had failed to plan for this AND having just read TriniCapini’s lovely Litsy post of how good it is, I used an Audible credit to get As You Wishaywbyce written and narrated by Cary Elwes. SO GOOD. I also watched the movie again. SO GOOD!

Overlapping with As You Wish, I read Barbara Claypole White’s debut novel tugbybcw The Unfinished Garden. I really REALLY enjoyed it. I think it is one of my favorites of hers. Maybe Perfect Son is my favorite, and this was lovely, too. I am now in a state of fandom where I have to wait for an author to publish again – I’ve read everything else by her. This is a rare thing. I usually don’t ‘follow’ an author. One more fun fact: I read all of her books in this calendar year. Another no-small-feat accomplishment for me. It would be remiss of me to fail to mention some of the BEST pie references are in this book!!!! I hope to capture in another post.

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I just yesterday finished Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. I will write another post just for this book soon…

Also, FYI – I just today started The World According to Garp. O.M.G. Oh, Mr Irving, you are a rascal. Yowza. I’m already to Garp’s birth scene. The whole Garp conception scene was … memorable. Let’s go with ‘memorable’, shall we?

Keep reading, friends. Keep on, keepin’ on. Be vigilant.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2016. 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 am almost ready for #FiremanAlong – Day 0

fma4

Hello Everyone!
I had no idea I was going to throw myself into this readalong like I seem to be doing. So exciting to have something to look forward to, would you agree?

Yesterday, I shared a Flares song “Burning Embers” to get everyone jazzed for July and today I appropriately (ahem) posted The Doors “Come On Light My Fire”. Today is Day Zero. Tomorrow is July 1! Fire on Facebook Messenger

You notice that I didn’t link the video songs above because I want to encourage you to go to Twitter and search (and save?) the hashtag #FiremanAlong and remember to look at it often. Share any fun quotes from your reading, RT and “Like” any fun quips that others are sharing. Let’s interact! SPIT SPOT

I have had questions about the LIST. I created a Twitter list of the participants so that you can quickly see who else you may know or not yet know and what they are up to.  This is one way to see people’s tweets without necessarily following (though I hope to follow all of you myself.)

Let me explain – subscribing and VIEWING the list won’t show only #FiremanAlong tweets – only searching and viewing the hashtag will specifically bring up tweets with that reference.

A LIST only displays ALL TWEETS – anything and everything by those people who are members of the list. So, if you are wondering what I am tweeting about when NOT tweeting the readalong stuff, you can see that, too. This saves you going to each member’s tweets individually. It’s a way to group like-minded people’s tweets. Everything but only those people. Does that make sense?

No, you cannot tweet just TO the members. It’s more of a way to spy and wonder, “So, what IS Care up to?”

It may or may not be useful to you and that’s cool. Just use the hashtag #FiremanAlong and you’ll be fine. I love lists and have a ton of them. I usually make one for every readalong…  (For example, my #StateOfWonder list only shows me Katie, Debbie and Stacy. Easy peasy to sort what they are up to and if they tweet something interesting.)

Someone asked about a schedule…  Once I get the print copy, I might break it down in weekly chunks – would that be useful? I find that once I start a book like this (and face it — it DOES feel like a King novel. So readable!!) they go SO FAST. Yep, 800 pages in a few days without even trying.

Have fun. If you want discussion, please post on a blog if you think spoilers will happen — and let us know on Twitter. See you on IG and Litsy, too, most likely.

Oh, there is a group on Litsy reading The Fireman for book club. Check it out.

Fire on Facebook Messenger

Tomorrow will be another youtube clip. I’m so excited! You’re gonna love it!!!

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Copyright © 2007-2016. 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 Wrath and the Dawn

Thoughts twatdabyra by Renee Ahdieh, Listening Library 2015, 10’38”

Narrator: Ariana Delawari

for #Diversiverse divers15

What’s it ABOUT: A very vivid and imaginative, dramatic and romantic retelling of the A Thousand and One Nights tale. And as much as I wish I knew more about that, I don’t think it matters. It was as sweeping and enticing a tale – all the way through.

I would recommend this for fans of Daughter of Smoke and Bone — [I had originally mentioned Eyes Like Stars here but upon re-reading this a few days later I see my error. But then, maybe not. If you loved BOTH DoSaB and ELS, then you will likely enjoy TWatD, ok?] In other words, I sense this would be well-received by enthusiastic fans of YA. Which is quite appropriate.

We have one tough young lady who schemes a crazy idea to get very close to a bad guy and UH OH!!! – feels a connection with the monster. There’s love and passion and drama and sword fighting and beautiful horses and friendship and family and not knowing WHOM to trust!!!

I enjoyed listening to this but I might not continue with the series because… I’m just rarely a series kind of reader. But I really do think this would be a great one if you love YA, love series, and love action and love.

Rating: Four slices of pie. Although, no pie references were given, let’s go with FIG PIE cuz  I really like fig pie.

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Copyright © 2007-2015. 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.

YAY! It’s June

Hello, I could write some reviews – I do have a backlog, but thought I would just type up some stuff to post and call it good.

I had a fabulous May of reading and am proud to say I read 10 books. Or read five and listened to five. Yikes! FIVE AUDIOBOOKS in ONE MONTH!? Well, whuddya know. Only TWO were print books and the rest eBooks.

That is 74 hours listened…   1864 pages read (if I read 60 pg/hr = ~31 hours).

Wow.

In order of latest read:
Omnivore’s Dilemma / Michael Pollan (2006,16 hrs) **** Audio 39
A Good American / Alex George (2012,389) **** eB 38
A Survival Guide for Parenting Teens / Joani Geltman (2014,288) eB **** 37
We Were Liars / E.Lockhart (2014, 6’24”) Audio ** 36
The Yearling / Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1938,509) Classics/WiaN TB **** 35
Daughter of Smoke and Bone / Laini Taylor  (2011,12.5 hrs) Audio *** 34
The Delusions of Gender / Cordelia Fine (2010,338) NF eB **** 33
The Martian / Andy Weir (2012, 10’53”) *** Audio 32
Silver Sparrow / Tariya Jones (2011,340) TB ***** 31
The Sparrow/ Mary Doria Russell (1996, 15.5 hrs ) Audio, SciFi **** 30

Three were nonfiction. One was a READ-RIGHT-NOW-BEFORE-IT-GETS-SPOILED! which means I read it in the year published which is really a thing I’ve only recently been managing. I usually am not a bandwagon recently-released paying attention kind of reader. I did get in a few classics – The Yearling and what I assume will be a classic eventually, The Sparrow. Hey – both animals.

What is UP with The Yearling not being on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die?!  Answer me, that.

I found many linking opportunities and coincidences in my readings this month; mostly associated with eating/nourishment/survival.

One fantasy. Two sciency / science fiction. Put Omnivore’s Dilemma in the ‘sciency’ category, too. Seven female authors, three male. Six were 4 star reads, one a 5 star because it suited ME perfectly. Two 3 star, and a two star that has been extremely highly rated elsewhere by smarter readers than me – but I let overhype/crazy-expectations get the better of the experience.

If you have ever read/reviewed The Fault in Our Stars, are you experiencing LOTS of traffic for that post? I am. In anticipation of the movie which I think is coming out this week. I know I am looking forward to it, too, but I will probably wait for it to be available for home-viewing.

I changed my header photo to a scene of an island in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. Not sure which island, though.

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Jill of Rhapsody Books has informed me that June 9 is Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day so I hope you all can benefit from this knowledge and on that day, have a pie celebration. Consider this advance notice and plan accordingly. IMG_2960 Thanks Jill for thinking of me!

I have enjoyed reading all the BEA posts though I have hesitated in commenting. Maybe I’m nostalgic. Maybe I want to go next year?

 

copleyl-1 June 15 is Lobster Day… photo-72 (Thanks Amy!)

And since, we started this post with the amazing announcement that I’ve been binge-ing on audiobooks, do know that I just downloaded Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes (released YESTERDAY, PEOPLE.) and Maya Angelou narrating her I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Shame that her death is what is prompting me to finally get to this. RIP

I am currently listening to The Good Earth even though it is not due for our book club discussion until late July. Another Pulitzer winner, I am pleased to say.  Did I read somewhere that JUNE is actually Audiobook Month? Well, I will have a few reviews to add anyway.

Anything pie-related or any fun reading experiences happening with you? Do tell.

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The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch tgbydt by Donna Tartt, Little,Brown 2013, 771 pages (Kindle eBook)

Chance makes the thief.

What can one say? What everyone else is saying!

COMPELLING. Easy to fall into and get swept away, not wanting life to intrude and disrupt the story.

DICKENSIAN. Yea, OK. Poor little orphan boy grows up and meets interesting characters.

All centered around a painting acquired in a most unusual fashion (via a diversion being a terrorist bombing) by a kid who then knows not what to do with it nor whom to trust. Exquisitely painted (the painting AND this novel), chock-full of swings in temperature, attitude and social situations. A messy life sprinkled with meanness and kindness, confusion and love.

Worry! What a waste of time! All the holy books were right. Clearly ‘worry’ was the mark of a primitive and spiritually unevolved person. … Why did anyone ever worry about anything? Weren’t we, as sentient beings, put upon the earth to be happy, in the brief time allotted to us?

I thank LitLove for her post on the author which gave me my first reason I had for wanting to read this and I thank Vasilly and Athira for hosting an informal readalong at the end of the year.  I thank Holly for the enthusiastic discussion over coffee about which character we liked best:  Theo, Boris, Hobie, and finally, the little fearless bird chained to a shelf. FASCINATING.

TEAM HOBIE!

Maybe the one had to be lost for the others to be found.

Four strong bold crazy slices of pie. fourpie

 

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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 Fault In Our Stars

Thoughts  The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, DUTTON BOOKS An Imprint of Penguin Group 2012, 313 pages

Why I read this:  For The Bookies Book Club.

Fact: This is the 4th book I’ve read by John Green. This places him in a small group. Only a few authors can claim that I’ve read more than 3 of their books.  (yea, like any are keeping track.)

I enjoyed this book very much, finding all that I love about John Green’s books to be included;  the words I don’t know and then are defined within the conversation so I don’t have to look it up, travels, the loving well-meaning and usually respected parents, the reckless rule-breaking but not quite tragic and always smart teenagers, and yes – I take it back – the tragic. But always ends with a good cry and tons of hope that life really doesn’t have to suck even it if does.  I don’t quite know how he does it.

I don’t have my “THOUGHTS” post-writing skills yet dusted off so I won’t tell you what this book is about. It often gets debated that it is about cancer and that appalls some and thus they want to avoid it but cancer is everywhere and what we need to know how to do is – uh oh, I’m preaching?! – is to learn how to relate to people through the good and the bad. I loved how this book does that. With humor, with love and with respect.

I also resent the implications of some of the goodreads reviews that seem to question Green’s authority to write a book about kids with cancer and think it is totally unequivocally absurd.

Here are more reviews or you can click on the book cover above and read the goodreads.com stuff.

Nymeth says, the author ‘hoped this would be a novel that would make readers feel ALL THE THINGS, and I think it succeeds very impressively on that regard.’ Her review is actually quite brilliant and I always learn so much from her. Truly, I want to quote from every one of her paragraphs.

Softdrink had a few problems with the book and her points are valid. She also references another review so you may want to follow that trail.

and Ti’s review where she simply says, “An amazing, life affirming read.”.

.

I think my favorite of the JG novels will forever be Looking for Alaska; I still had to rate this 5 slices of pie. I rounded up since I don’t give half slices…

“FOREVER WITHIN NUMBERED DAYS.”

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The Uninvited Guests

Thoughts  The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones, HARPER and Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 2012, 259 pages Hardcover

I liked this story. When I read Jeanne’s review that this book had gobsmacking properties, I had to have it. And when gobsmacking reviews coincide with my ordering books online, the potential is high that such will get ordered. Sure enough, that’s what happened.

gobsmacked |ˈgäbˌsmakt|adjective Brit., informal – utterly astonished; astounded.

I liked it. I was amused. My friend Amused, however, was not. You can read her review here.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  The guests that show up unexpected (and uninvited) to the manse in horrible weather, early twentieth century England were victims of a train wreck. The railways asked our Swift family (if we can call them that?) to put them up for the night until the railway company had the means to fetch and deal. Of course, our Swift family and the guests that WERE invited were not quite sure how to entertain these unwanted wretches. They happened to crash (ha!) and shall I surmise? thus WRECK Miss Emerald’s birthday party. She was celebrating turning twenty.

The Swifts are not wealthy but wanted to make that appearance. Or they HAD been wealthy but lost their fortune and were soon to lose the manor, too.

Let’s see, what else is relevant…

Emerald has two suitors at the party and not quite sure she wanted either or any.

Emerald’s mother has a past.

Emerald’s brother needs to be slapped and told to grow up.

Emerald’s little sister just needs some loving attention.

Yep, this was as an odd little story. Parties, horses, crazy wild-ideas of a child who lacked attention, spoiled insolent sons, mothers who are also spoiled and a bit insolent, and a house full of people that need food and shelter and, shall I suggest, a schedule to use the facilities?

Hijinks ensue.

Dark menacing thunderstorms, parlor games, sinister motivations, much confusion,

and _____ a ghost story even. AND yes, a happy ending! _______.

I really was quite entertained.

RATING:  Four slices of rabbit pie.

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A Visit from the Goon Squad

A Visit from the Goon Squad  by Jennifer Egan, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group  2011, 341 pages

Winner of MANY Awards including the Pulitzer.

My thoughts:  I first gave this three stars but must again proclaim the fickleness of time and place and situation and mood when one brings stars (or slices of pie) to evaluate and weight the worth of a novel.   Three stars – I liked it!   Four stars – I liked it a bit more!   A bit more than WHAT exactly?  than the latest book I gave 3 stars to?

But that last book I gave 3 stars to was Bad Girls Don’t Die and that was a totally different kind of book intended for a different audience.  So, if the audience happens to be ME, then, yes, Goon Squad must get more pie.

It’s creative, it’s clever, it’s smart. It entertains, it keeps you on your toes. It bounces around in time and through various decades, decades (well, not ALL decades yet) of which I have lived so thus relatable. It evokes mood and tone of dread and then lightness and suggests the questions of WHAT-IS-GOING-ON-HERE-EXACTLY? (Wait, who is this? oh! Bennie was in the last chapter. Oops. Oh yea.)

I got lost more than I care to admit. A reader can’t sleep through this one and hope to keep the pace and attention.  I liked it more and more as it went on but was worried at first that I didn’t know enough of the music references to ‘get it’. I brought much more expectations of being blown away to this than I should have.  I wasn’t blown away but I keep thinking about it.

I would even say this is a short story collection on par with Olive Kitteridge (another Pulitzer Winner; I gave 5 stars) and The Imperfectionists (I recommend this highly but? I assigned 4 stars, hmmm. I think I liked it better than Goon).  THAT was a surprise; that it was much more a short story collection than a ‘story’. I don’t think I saw this mentioned in any reviews.

The last chapter/story was futuristic which was a pleasant surprise but I didn’t like the characters (sigh). I would even say I liked the Slide Show section the best.

And, I do believe it is a book that continues to build esteem as time clicks away. It has staying power. But it suffered (while I was reading) from my knowing it won so many prizes so it HAD to great. If I had stumbled upon this book blind — I LOVE the title! — I would have liked it very much.

I won’t try to convince you to read this one – I am supposing that you have made that decision already.  And if your decision is “YES- I want to read this”, you will likely find much to be impressed with. If you have already decided “Nope – not for me”, then you are not a fan of creative clever smart contemporary fiction and that’s OK.  If you are on the fence, then change it to a YES. Put it on the tbr and see what happens when you finally get to it. I suspect you won’t be disappointed. I honestly figure that most of you reading THIS post have already read Goon! yes? Well, my aim really isn’t to convince anyone of anything – just to record my own thoughts and have something to post. I seem to be on a Pulitzer kick all of a sudden… I’ll end with a photo from Brattleboro VT which is where I spent last weekend having a lovely time celebrating 23 whacky years with the Big D.  ♥

Rating:  

      

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