Archive for the 'Travel' Category

They Called Her Styrene

Thoughts tchsbyer by Ed Ruscha, Phaidon Press 2000, 608 pages

This book was in our suite at the Cosmopolitan Hotel Las Vegas. The place had another coffee table book called 30,000 Years of Art. I wish I could have had more time there to read that one, too. Nice place; I recommend it.

IMG_2762 So, what Mr. Ruscha does and is known for, is taking a word or phrase and making it art. I photo’d a few that caught my eye.

I don’t think I realized it, but I seem to have chosen words with a science-y theme.IMG_2764

IMG_2765 IDLE  and THE QUESTION – not sure why this amused me. Maybe because I was on vacation.

I was really hoping to run into a page that said PIE. Had to settle for this: IMG_2766

You can imagine this didn’t take me long to read. AND since it was Vegas, I had an incredible view of the Bellagio fountains and the Eiffel Tower, and the book was ART – thus, how cultured am I? — had to give this the coveted FIVE SLICER. Five beautiful slices of Banana Cream Pie. Because… well, because pudding.

The view:IMG_2743 (ignore the rooftops and parking lots! I never seemed to have my camera when the fountains were playing.)

IMG_2763 “Sometimes found words are the most pure because they have nothing to do with you. I take things as I find them.  A lot of these things come from the noise of everyday life.”   – Ed Ruscha

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ED RUSCHA provided by this link to Wikipedia.

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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.

Green Grass of March

I’m back. I’m suffering from a wee spot of jet lag. I didn’t think I would succumb to its insidiousness but I feel so vaguely distractedly slow. Like I’m tired or something. So weird.

Green grass wins. This is actually a shot from the marshlands of Race Point near Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I think it was in July. My brother and his wife were visiting and I was not getting along with my brother. At all. That is what I was thinking and what this photo reminds me of. He was so dang annoying, as brothers can be. We usually get along.

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Thanks everyone for voting! Will be back to post a book review eventually, I hope. I also want to share all the connections I’ve encountered in my reading. Like (TEASER?!) the area of England that Georgette Heyer has set Venetia is near York and Thirsk. This is similar to the setting of The Radleys by Matt Haig.

Happy March! Pi Day is the 14th…

Unplugged Notice

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This blog has been temporarily suspended. Normal activity will resume at a later currently undecided time. While waiting for the following reviews to be written-posted, please vote for which header photo you might like to see for March. Assuming, of course, said blogger emerges from vacation/school/other categories of time-sucks that take her away from all of you lovelies…

Note: LetterMO still underway and in process every day mail posts in February.

Reviews requiring posting in that uncertain future:

The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield – Classics Challenge

Movie(s) Reviews of Brideshead Revisited - Classics Challenge

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut (reread)

Kate Winslet narrated audiobook: Therese Raquin by Emile Zola  - Classics Challenge

 

(It is highly likely that other books will be read before Care comes back to here. Possibly The Radleys, a Sherlock Holmes, Venetia (a Georgette Heyer!), Three Men in a Boat – all eBooks. Print books in contention: My Antonia and Sister Carrie, smallish paperbacks (with extremely tiny print!)

OK, now for the photos:

Screen shot 2014-02-15 at 2.07.20 PM Esther & Oscar

IMG_0112 Boat Art…

photo-40 Tulips – Get ready for Spring!

cropped-img_2366.jpg Windy Green Grasses

Just leave a comment; not really motivated to create a poll… You may also ask my any questions about my reading, or say whatever. It’s a free for all. I’m leaning towards this last photo. I always think of March as GREEN, don’t you?  February is pink, April is white or candy striped with pastels. May is royal blue; June is orange, a bright shiny cheery happy orange.

Bye! Later!!

loveCare

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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.

Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven

Thoughts umittohbyajga  Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven ABRIDGED by Susan Gilman, narrated by Susan Jane Gilman, 7 hrs 32 min

I really enjoyed this one. Gilman did a fabulous job narrating.

Susan and her friend Claire are new graduates from Brown University and since they crave adventure, they decide to take off for a year long trip around the world. They start in Hong Kong with the mission to explore China. The year is 1986 and China is only newly open for tourism.

Claire has to pump up and support Susan at the very beginning who is unprepared for the homesickness and strangeness of what they’ve gotten themselves into but by the end, it is Susan who rescues and supports Claire.

Truthfully, a lot of the story reinforces my faith in humanity. There are good people OUT THERE.

If you like books about crazy travel adventures, you can’t miss this one.

Rating:  Four slices of pie. fourpie

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Copyright © 2007-2013. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Orphan Master’s Son

Thoughts tomsbyaj The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson, Random House Trade Paperback 2012, 443 pages

Pulitzer Prize Winner for Fiction 2013

FIRST Line:  “Citizens, gather ’round your loudspeaker, for we bring important updates!”

What’s is ABOUT:  Pak Jun Do is an orphan, except his father runs the orphanage so he technically isn’t but his dad doesn’t want to treat him any more special than the other boys. The first half of the book is his biography from his childhood on until he disappears into a prison camp after some crazy adventures on a ship and a special trip to Texas. The second half of the book he assumes the identity of one of the most powerful men in North Korea.  Ooops – that might be a spoiler, but probably not. We are ‘treated’ to the lifestyles and culture of what it means to live in North Korea. It aint pretty.

“Nobody’s ever safe.”  -p.163

What’s GOOD: Satire. To me it means putting horrible things into a funny this-is-crazy gotta-laugh-or-I’ll scream kind of way. And I laughed. A lot. Jun Do was adorable and sweet and had a great heart. He carried out his awful orders but he didn’t let it diminish his light.

What’s maybe NOT so good:  It just takes a bit to get into. It is told in such a straight-forward almost non-emotional way, so matter of fact, that it makes it hard to care about the characters until some point you do and then, of course,  you keep reading.  Also, there is a scene out of order – somewhere when Dear Leader is talking about a woman making it into the corps of bully interrogators but she hadn’t been invited into the ‘club’ until after that part of the story had occurred. Extremely minor but it bothered me. I could be wrong, of course.

FINAL Thoughts:  I really was impressed with how the story unfolded and how much I cared about Jun Do. The characters were quirky and believable when what they endure is totally UNbelievable. And yet the author uses true stories as source for this novel! It’s crazy. Scary and crazy.

RATING: Four and half slices of pie:  PEACH PIE! But of course. So here’s a picture of a couple of Peach Pie Crumbles with little Cherry Vanilla Pot Pies as sidekicks:

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Other REVIEWS:   Caribou’s MomBookChatter, Leeswammes’ Blog, and the results of Fyrefly’s Book Blog Search for lots more.

“Someone will save you, he thought… If you just hold tight long enough someone is bound to.”   -p. 76

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Copyright © 2007-2013. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Thoughts wygbbyms Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple; Little, Brown and Company 2012, 337 pages – ebook

pinkpenguin This photo is of a Pink Penguin cocktail which is featured in the Bernadette story; I think it looks quite yummy.  Just click on the image and it will take you to the recipe at Nerd Meets Food. My book club chose this for September and I hope it is a hit. I wish we were meeting in a place that would likely have the ingredients to make the cocktail but something tells me I’m wishful-thinking.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  I don’t even think I can tell you. I am at a blank of how much to share.  It was not quite what I expected so maybe it’s good not to know too much. But do know I really enjoyed following Bernadette around to parts unknown — even if she was a snarky prickly but also too-trusting opinionated stylishly-dressed agoraphobe who lived in a house returning back to nature. A lot of this could be said to be totally silly but it was just OH SO FUN! I laughed out loud a lot. It had many wise and tender moments, too.

It was just the book I needed while taking a break from the horrors of surviving a life in North Korea. (The Orphan Master’s Son.) Actually, both of these books had elements I love:  satire, quirky characters, over the top craziness, heartfelt connections, the questioning and the wondering of personal choices, new facts about the world, etc. They have very different settings and cultural experiences, obviously. But both explore the concept of humanity, I think. Survival, freedom, choices. What IS freedom? Are you trapped or do you risk asking yourself such? Ah, questions, questions, questions…

I have read many wonderful posts about Bernadette, so if I’ve piqued any interest, I suggest you click on the book cover to go to goodreads or read this review from Avid Reader Melissa or this one from Rhapsody Jill or this one from Athira who is Reading on a Rainy Day.

I rate this four slices of pie: fourpie

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Upcoming: my thoughts on The Orphan Master’s Son.  Have I piqued any interest for that, too? Which would you rather read and why? 

Also, if you are a LibraryThinger, I just joined:  you can find me as BkClubCare.

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Copyright © 2007-2013. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Copley in Amsterdam

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The highlight of Copley’s visit?  Meeting Judith!  Judith of Leeswammes’ Blog:  Books, Books, and Books

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She has a great photo of Copley sitting atop a few books…  She gave me The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin (I was MOST excited for this – what a treat!) and First You Try Everything by Jane McCafferty which we joked might be perfect for my celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary this year. I gave her Stewart O’Nan’s Songs for the MissingI haven’t actually read this myself but have been meaning to for years now. Anything by O’Nan, truthfully. I have another copy so I’m trying to set up a readalong. Anyone else interested?

After the yummiest risotto, we had pie; a lemon pie along the type of a key lime from Florida. IMG_1735

We talked a lot about books, as you might expect. And we talked about biscuits and other interesting cultural differences. But mostly about books.

And when the boys were let out from work meetings, we toured.

IMG_1679 View from our room at the Moevenpick Hotel, looking mostly northwest. IMG_1680 View lookingsouthwest? IMG_1683 Amsterdam Station.IMG_1690 Canal scene. IMG_1693 Street scene. IMG_1697 A lovely canal street cafe scene.IMG_1716 The famous Seven Bridges shot. IMG_1726 We had dinner at the restaurant on the top of this old oil rig. IMG_1754 Watch out for the bicycles! IMG_1769 The Flower Market. IMG_1776 The Rijksmuseum. IMG_1780 Where we saw this famous Rembrandt painting The Nightwatch.  IMG_1789 An Old Amsterdam Sandwich (featuring rocket and cornichons but I think it had a different spelling… Means pickles. Rocket is arugula.) IMG_1800 At the Heineken Experience. IMG_1812 A mosiac sofa.

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Copyright © 2007-2013. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Copley in Brighton

We had a morning to fill before we flew from Gatwick Airport to Amsterdam so my friend and I decided to take the train to Brighton. Fortunately, the sun decided to shine and we had a lovely morning walking around the town, the shopping district, the beach, etc. Just lovely. I wish we could have had a few more hours there.

IMG_1657 We glimpse the ocean, the English Channel.

IMG_1659 Pie Society – great name for a cafe, yes?

Well, whaddyaknow. A lobstah! IMG_1665 Copley was too intimidated; he hid inside my bag.

IMG_1666 Love the colors.

Looking west. IMG_1668

IMG_1672 The Brighton Pavilion.

The lovely train station. IMG_1678

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Copyright © 2007-2013. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Copley in London

My husband had business that took him to London and I wasn’t about to let him go without me.

We were able to fly over a few days early and play tourist. (Copley was trapped in the hotel room; he had a nice view of the back of the FDR statue in the park across from the US Embassy.)

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We rode the Hop On – Hop Off Bus and I was not about to let cold and rain (mere drizzle) deter me from riding on the top!

IMG_1504 This is Regent Street.

IMG_1513 It was West-End Show Week which means they gave free concerts at… I think it was Trafalgar Square – the one with the tower of Lord Nelson. We heard a bit of Phantom of the Opera.

IMG_1522 Parliament and the Elizabeth II Tower

IMG_1540 Tower of London

IMG_1611 We didn’t ride the big Ferris Wheel but we took the Thames River Cruise (not impressed, except nice views)

IMG_1618 Buckingham Palace

and…

We ate PIE!  (meat pies) and we drank beer and we had dinner at a Gordon Ramsey restaurant where we had about 7 servers that didn’t talk to each other or know what the others were doing – or so it seemed. Five of us at a table that really should only have sat three. Still it was good and we had fun.

And for all the bookies! After we were astonished by all that is Harrod’s Department Store (the pet section took up half the 4th floor and they had puppies for purchase! But it was the food floor that was amazing. I wanted to stay for lunch) but we scooted off (in a 30+ minute 15£ taxi) to Bloomsbury so I could do this:

IMG_1646

I meant to buy a Dorothy Whipple but left with a few postcards and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Making of a Marchioness.

Next post… Brighton!  Here is when I ask you for books set in Brighton, please.

.

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Copyright © 2007-2013. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Copley Series

Beginning now, I respond to Debi‘s request to regale her with Copley’s adventures overseas. He visited London, Brighton and Amsterdam. Here’s what he returned with:

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POSTCARDS!  Of course, I already knew Kelly would receive one, and I already sent Jill one. I got distracted by touring to send more (sorry! but I will) to  a few others but I did buy cards with YOU in mind. ;)

As to that inclusion of The Orchardist into this photo, a huge thank you to Judith/Leeswammes and more on that later.

The series?  A few photos to follow of our travels. Sadly, I actually forgot to pull Mr Copley out of the bag for pictures in cool places. uh oh.

IMG_1654 IMG_1743

Also sadly, we failed to make it to the Patti Smith concert. (And total-fail, I didn’t get the photo of the concert poster that had me all aflutter with anticipation! Just imagine…) May that not be one of my regrets in life. “Oh well.” aka “gawd it sucks getting old.”

Shall we begin? we had a lovely time. Fabelachtig!

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Copyright © 2007-2013. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

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