Category Archives: Travel

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.

The Day the World Came to Town

Thoughts by Jim DeFede, HarperCollins 2021 (orig 2002), 261 pages

Challenge: Book club

Genre/Theme: Nonfiction / September 11th

Type/Source: eBook / Libby to Kindle

What It’s About: This short book is packed with heart-warming stories involving the challenges to the town of Gander, Newfoundland, in dealing with unexpected “guests” due to planes not being able to land in the US when the terrorists attached the World Trade Center on Sept 11, 2001.

We get a little bit of history on why Gander, an exploration of Newfoundland culture, and glimpses into lives of passengers and residents, all the many varied interactions. We even meet some animals!

Thoughts: I teared up a dozen times or more. This was a wonderful read about the goodness of humanity in facing the consequences of evil tragedies. This edition is great in that it gives updates to the friendships made; a ‘where are they now’ look, 20 years hence.

Rating: Four slices of pie. Homemade 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.

The Book of Longings

Thoughts by Sue Monk Kidd, Viking 2020, 432 pages

Challenge: For two books clubs in June

Genre/Theme: Imaginative Historical Fiction

Type/Source: eBook / Kindle

What It’s About: Sue Monk Kidd allowed her imagination to spark in this possible version of a wife of Jesus. She drew upon the real setting and times, history – events – culture. And threw in a lot independence and fiery determination.

The reader first meets Ana who is the only child of a high ranking government official who indulges his daughter’s thirst for knowledge. She fights against an arranged marriage to an old schemer, …

“Few girls find happiness in the beginning, but this is a marriage of honor. You will want for nothing.” I will want for everything.

… and meets Jesus in the marketplace. Things happen, etc. and then some, eventually Ana lives a most unusual but not impossible life. Kidd had fun with this and she delivers.

Thoughts: I thought this very well done. I did have a few questions, and warning – these are somewhat spoilery:

  1. What was the reasoning for not having Ana know about Jesus rising from the dead. Obviously, to assume an answer is to suggest it was a good way to end the tale. With Jesus dying, Ana can move on with her life as a widow and be able to pursue a goal to share her voice.
  2. Did Mary NOT tell Jesus about his status – if that is the right word – about how she became pregnant and what the angels told her? She seemed not to be ‘in the know’ like I would expect. I did like Mary, as she was presented as a very kind woman.

According to Judith and Berenice, the only women who write are sinners and necromancers. I ask you, how do they know this?

(For Jeanne of Necromancy Never Pays)

Rating: Four slices of pie. Pie? No mentions that I noticed. Doesn’t fit the time period.

 

A thin, gray hopelessness crept into the air. I didn’t want them to give up. It was true I no longer believed in the God of rescue, only the God of presence, but I believed in Sophia, who whispered bravery and wisdom in my ear day and night, if I would only listen, and I tried now to do that, to listen.

 

I bless the largeness within you. I wish nurturing for your creativity and may you be brave.

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.

Proud Shoes

Thoughts by Pauli Murray, Beacon Press 1999 (orig 1956), 282 pages

The Story of an American Family, part of the Black Women Writers Series

Challenge: My own education/ What’s in a Name: Article of Clothing category

Genre/Theme: History, Feminism, Civil Rights

Type/Source: Tradeback, purchased from an Indie bookstore

What It’s About: Pauli explores her ancestors’ lives; shares their struggles and triumphs throughout the 1800s. It is fascinating and a very personal look at the Civil War from a new lens – NOT historian’s but real people. The forward compared it to Alex Haley’s Roots and suggested it as a more important work, certainly as good.

“Slavery had done such violence to the human spirit that the very memory of it was intolerable long after people had outlived it. Even in my time many were trying to grow without roots at all, plucking their sustenance from the air about them.”

Thoughts: Six years ago, I had read John Ehle’s The Free Men about the civil rights campaign in North Carolina. I wish I had read these two books together due to the same setting and only a half generation apart.

“Was it not the promise of America rather than it’s fulfillment which had lured the men and women of so many nations to her Shores? Did not the common love of liberty create a new nation and hold it together in the hour of its greatest need?”

Rating: Fives slices of pie. Apple pie, peach pie, meat pie, pie.

The Big Quarterly… Tables and stands sagged under piles of fried chicken, roasted beef, barbecued pork, smoked ham, meat pies and dumplings, pickled pigs’ feet, fried fish, sausage puddings and scrapple. Almost as many white people came to observe the gaiety and buy meals from the stands as did colored people. It was the one time of the year when slavery and hard times were forgotten, and for a day at least even slaves felt like free men. (Wilmington DE, 1850s)

 

Link to host of the What’s in a Name Challenge: Caroline Book Nook

 

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.

The People in the Trees

Thoughts by Hanya Yanagihara, Doubleday 2013, 512 pages

Challenge: TOB Favorites (coming this fall)

Genre/Theme: Contemporary Lit

Type/Source: eBook / Kindle-Amazon

What It’s About: Inspired by true events and real people, this story is told via edited memoirs of a Nobel Prize-winning doctor whose first ‘job’ out of Harvard Med was with an expedition to a previously undiscovered peoples living in the jungles of a tiny Micronesian island. What he discovers and how his life travels from there is one heck of an unsettling tale.

… by twelve incompetents (one juror, as I recall, was a tollbooth clerk, another a dog-washer),

These memoirs are written while he is in prison for sexually abusing one, or more, of his 43 children. He had on subsequent visits over many years, adopted all of these kids from the island community he originally encountered on that fateful trip. The one resulting in his being first to publish findings of physical longevity attributed to eating a previously unknown variety of turtle. Eventually, the island life is destroyed; the community in shambles, the turtle extinct and no fountain-of-youth elixir.

 At night I dreamed of green, great floating blobs of it, morphing gently from one shade to the next, and in the mornings I woke feeling beaten and exhausted. During the day my thoughts returned to visions of deserts, of cities, of hard surfaces: of glass and concrete.

Thoughts: The last few paragraphs will kick you in the gut. You know it is coming, but the when and what and how is gobsmacking. Yet. Not? We were given all the clues, by the monster himself. I will only say that I found the guy a monster, an ogre, an egotistical misogynistic remorseless abhorrent individual.

So, the writing. She is successful at world-building, character-development, tone, pace, all that stuff. I really did almost give up because I just knew it was bleak but my curiosity won out.

Rating: Four slices of pie. Leech Pie

Owen and I were gathering a bucket of leeches that we planned to bake into a pie and then give to Ida, the part-time cook, a sour woman we both hated. My mother was dangling her feet in the stream.

 

What’s in a Name – Category Botanical

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.

Red Pill

Thoughts by Hari Kunzru, Knopf 2020, 305 pages

Challenge: TOB

Genre/Theme: Contemporary Lit

Type/Source: Hardcover/Indie bookstore – signed by the author!

What It’s About: A writer suffering from ennui accepts a 6 months sabbatical in Germany to focus on his next project. He finds himself unable to defend his views and ideas; ultimately his sense of identity begins to crumble. Against more powerful and sinister philosophers (and egos) that come onto his path and also attempting to make a friend who provides warnings of a possible future based on a recent past, he both grasps at diversions and falls into inertia and paranoia. It’s a wild ride in his mind.

Thoughts: I was NOT in the mood for this – or what I *thought* this was. I’m not even sure what I wrote above is accurate. Let’s look at the last sentence on the book jacket:

Red Pill is a poignant reckoning, boldly searching for order in a world that frames madness as truth.

So when this book advanced from the Play-In round and was discussed by much more discerning and eloquent thinkers than me, I decided to keep on and give it room to breathe, rather than rush through to get it done. I liked it, I got into it. I let it lead me on through the angst. The East German surveillance state chapter was terrifying. I am glad to have read it.

Rating: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

… the whole point of Red Pill was the narrator’s inability to wrestle Anton’s authoritarian bloodlust to the ground and best it. (Quote from TOB Commentariat member @KROConnellNYC)

 

 

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.

Piranesi

Thoughts by Susanna Clarke, 2020, 250 pages

Challenge: TOB 
Genre/Theme: Literary Fiction / Fantasy
Type/Source: Hardcover / Purchased online from an Indie
 Why I read this now:  Because Teresa of Shelf Love stated it is her favorite of the TOB list so far.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  We are first introduced to our narrator, our host to the House, which seems to be an endless stone cathedral or castle with connected galleries and courtyards full of statues, linked to staircases and more courtyards, surrounded by tidal pools, by the sea. The Other calls our narrator “Piranesi” but he doesn’t really prefer to have a name. He is the Beloved Child of the House. He is the caretaker, I guess.

THOUGHTS:  So many questions and so many unknowns; it all unspools with tidal storms, unexpected visitors both bird and prey (human), lost journal pages, and drama! You’ll stay up to read it in one sitting, if you can. 

May your Paths be safe, your Floors unbroken and may the House fill your eyes with Beauty.   (p.95)

RATING:   Four slices with heaps of billowy whipped cream.

 

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Copyright © 2007-2021. 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.

A Gentleman in Moscow

Thoughts by Amor Towles,  Penguin Books 2016, 462 pages

Challenge: Theta Book Club
Genre: Contemporary Lit, Historical Fiction?
Type/Source: Tradeback; purchased?  I don’t recall how I got this.
 Why I read this now:  Selected Book for October’s Discussion

MOTIVATION for READING: Book Club!

“To what end, he wondered, had the Divine created the stars in heaven to fill a man with feelings of inspiration one day and insignificance the next?”

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  Count Rostov, a member of Russian aristocracy, is designated a Non-Person, placed under house-arrest in 1928 and mostly forgotten by the Bolshevik powers that be. He adapts quite well to the decades and makes a new family of everyone he connects with.

“There’s a difference between being resigned to a situation and reconciled to it.”

THOUGHTS: One of my favorite things to do is to read reviews that vary from my personal reaction. Most reviews LOVE this story. However, a few readers found it ‘twee’. This word dismays me. I don’t quite have a definition set solid for what TWEE means. (Kind of like ska* music. I have NO IDEA.) If this was twee, it was smarter and more sharp-humor than I think of when something is called that descriptor. That could be my snobbery; Twee things aren’t smart, right?

I liked this story. I was caught up in how the Count was “making the best of it”. I was quite touched that he was all-in immediately to the surprise request of taking care of an 8  year old girl, “Sure, why not?” No protests, only a tiny touch of self-doubt or misunderstanding of what he (and the entire hotel staff, of course) was about to hide and handle.

And of course, she became a lovely accomplished young woman.

But what actually happens at the end? I’m not sure…

“The surest sign of wisdom is cheerfulness.? – Montaigne

I learned a lot or was given new things to think about on the history of Russia that was playing out on the streets outside of the hotel. It felt surreal, as do times now, actually. Is what is really going on in the US really happening?! How can the two sides’ perspective, the violence the anger the ‘fake news’ the accusations, be REAL?!  Ugh, it is frightening and I wonder if we will survive to see the historical perspective on it in 20 years time.

RATING:  I gave this 5 slices of pie. Because it was well written, I enjoyed it, I needed just this right now.

“I love your funny alphabet and those little pastries stuffed with meat.”

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* Ska is unique because it really emphasizes the offbeats of the guitar; combines Jamaican drum sounds and jazz beats…

Copyright © 2007-2020. 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.

Tender is the Night

Thoughts by F.Scott Fitzgerald, 1934, 356 pages

Challenge:  Classics Club Spin
Genre: Classic
Type/Source: ebook, library
 Why I read this now:  SPIN!   

MOTIVATION for READING: I had read somewhere that this was his best work. I may have read that wrong. Could be it is still a topic of debate.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  LOTS going on in this book and to be honest, I didn’t give it my full attention (which might mean that I actually failed to finish. Shame on me! I am still counting it as read…)

Dick Diver is married. He and his wife make a lovely much-admired couple and live in an amazingly glamorous spot on the French Riviera leading a glamorous life. But really, he is a psychoanalyst married to a former patient (named Nicole, who seems perfectly lovely in the first half) and is now attracted (the Dick dude) to a cute young glamorous up&coming actress who throws herself at him. But really, I didn’t get much farther than that. I love that history shocks me – that WHAT?!          WHY young ladies don’t throw themselves at happily married men they meet on the beach AND admire the wives and yet still throw themselves at the husband anyway AND TELL THEIR OWN MOTHER?!  in the late 1920s?!  did they? Do they?

I would have never. (Told my mother.)

I put the book down and ten days later when I had the time and mindspace to jump back in, I found out that it was a 14 day library ebook loan and I FAILED. Oooops. It expired.

So I spent a few hours watching YouTube BookTube videos and caught myself up on the plot of what I missed.

Dick and Nicole’s marriage implodes. He does end up sleeping with the young actress apparently but the book takes a turn and shares how Dick and Nicole met in the first place; then Nicole sleeps with a friend, — apparently, they talk it out “LIKE ADULTS” (whatever that might mean) and it ends ambiguously with Dick being an alcoholic and Nicole hopefully have her HEA. I heard it had an ambiguous ending.

OK, maybe I kept zoning out on the less than 10 minute BookTube reviews. Sue me.

THOUGHTS: This book does seem to have CARE PIE written ALL OVER IT! But no, nope. I just didn’t quite get into that must-finish-keep-reading-it’s-past-my-bedtime-don’t-care state which I was wanting.

Should I have audiobooked it?!

oH yEA.  I will watch the movie. Hopefully sooner than later. Casting looks suspect in my distant future viewpoint yet the pretties and the settings look like it just might deliver.  Jason Robards, Jennifer Jones, Joan Fontaine?! and Jill St John. Adapted to the 1960s and made in 1962. Sign. me. up.

RATING:  Three slices of pie.

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2020. 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.