Review 2018

I read 76 books. Though I’m not sure that some are even “books” — a few were Audible Originals so a print version might not be available. And I count my DNFs.

     Here we go!

Total pages ~16042.

Female/Male:  54/22

Fiction/Non: 54/22 (well, isn’t THAT interesting?!)

New to Me Authors: 63        Repeat Authors: 13

Classics: 10 (See previous post.)

Audiobooks: 28, ~255 hours

Shortest book: A graphic novel,  Adam and Andy by James Asal. I gave it 5 slices of pie!

Longest book: Vanity Fair by Wm Makepeace Thackeray, 32 hours and 18 minutes.

I gave more 5 slice pie ratings than last year and 4 and 5 slicers comprised over 70% of my reads! Not bad.

Audiobooks dominate!


I finished a series! The Broken Earth Series by NK Jemisin. Highlighly recommended.

I didn’t do any readalongs? Huh. I didn’t read any Stephen King?! Wow. I did finally read a book by Tracy Kidder, one of my favorite nonfiction writers. I read two books written by friends.

I did a fair job of reading books for the March Tournament of Books – always a wonderful time of year. I’m not doing so hot this year. I’ve read one and about 1/3 into another one. 

My top favorites to share are:

Jane Eyre narrated by Thandie Newton. Beyond fabulous! 

Circe  by Madeline Miller

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine –  participated in one of the best book club discussions I’ve ever experienced! Very fun.

Anthony Marra’s  A Constellation of Vital Phenomena – the book I’m telling everyone to read.

and PriestDaddy  by Patricia Lockwood, a book I think I want to reread but in print. It was one that stayed with me and still perplexes.

Finally, PIE.

and the WINNER of my best book with pie is  THE IDIOT by Elif Batuman!!!

Honorable Mentions:  Tin Man and Manhattan Beach


One more thing:

I read 4 books in 2018 that were on the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die:


Happy New Year! Read and enjoy a slice of pie – in real life or in a book. pieratingsml


Copyright © 2007-2019. 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 Classic Woulda Coulda Shoulda

This is a 2018 Year End Summary (Sub)Post to provide a record of update on my Classics Club 50 (CC50) but also to bemoan the fact that I never actually entered the Back to the Classics 2018 Challenge. And wouldn’t ya know it?! Yep, I could have met it. I actually achieved 8 of the categories by reading only 10 books that count as classics! LOL

My list:

  • By Our Beginnings by Jean Stubbs 1972 – a new to me  woman author
  • Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons 1932 – CC50, a new to me woman author
  • The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy 1958 – CC50, another new to me author and satisfies the COLOR category as well as a woman author
  • Emma by Austen 1815 – satisfies the REREAD category and a single word title plus a woman author
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brönte 1847 – 19th Century classic, a woman author
  • O Pioneers! by Willa Cather 1912 – a 20th Century classic, and a woman author
  • Stoner by John Williams 1965 – CC50, single word title
  • Vanity Fair – Thackeray 1848 – CC50 and I possibly could fight that it is a travel classic or even maybe a crime classic?  yea, maybe not.
  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys 1966 – CC50 and a classic that scared me. and OH YEA– woman author
  • A Wizard of EarthSea by Ursula K LeGuin 1968 – a new to me woman author and totally a children’s classic

I am just shaking my head. I usually NEVER hit enough categories to fulfill the Back to Classics Challenge and so I didn’t enter it for 2018. Go figure.

On the other hand, I am only 3 classics away from having read 50 in 5 years. I have to the end of 2019. Now, don’t get too excited because I have to read 24 from my CC50 list to make it but I never committed to that…   woo hoo!

Next up is my recap post with pie charts.  Enjoy this photo of a pie:

Copyright © 2007-2018. Care’s Books and Pie aka Cares’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.

and the 2017 Pie in Literature Award goes to…


More Year End Book Analysis Fun … and No Whining This Time

I have decided 86 is the number of books I read last year. This includes DNFs, skimmed, and samples. Goodreads says I read 91 and I am not going to dig into it to figure out the difference. And this isn’t a whine, it’s just the way it is. This will be a long rambling post; enjoy or skip, I understand…

Same as last year! 

Total pages read is under dispute. Goodreads says 26,600.

I listened to 13 audiobooks. ~191 hours.

I had 16 five star reads and they are all so different — I enjoyed the experiences for different reasons. 
Run, Home, The Grand Sophy, Code Name Verity, The 4 and 20 Blackbirds Pie Book, The Bone Clocks, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, Just Mercy, Lap Girl, The Nix, Mister Monkey, Black Wave, Lincoln in the Bardo, So Much Blue, Anything is Possible, Born a Crime. I refuse to rank them and choose favorites but I will  endorse a TOP TWO as recommendations. These two were the shiniest of the shiny:



The other books that I gave 4 slices to yet now looking back I wonder why and so I now want to shout out some love to are:

The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead. You will never again board an elevator and not think of this nutty little jewel. I liked it more than The Underground Railroad but that is probably because it is not as heavy…

The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin – wow! A series I’m eager to continue…

Lila. It’s Marilynn Robinson. Duh. I think I should have read the print version, though.

Petty:The Biography by Warren Zanes – oh. RIP, Tom. You wrote some great songs. Thank you. (and I was very impressed with the writing. I’m a new fan of Zanes.)

Mr. Splitfoot – quirky! Loved it.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Not sure why I didn’t give this one five slices originally. It deserves all its accolades and I recommend everyone read it. Gonna be a movie!


The longest title: On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon. The shortest title would be Z (leave off the stuff after the ‘:’) The longest book I read was NOS4A2 by Joe Hill at 742 pages. The longest audiobook was The Sport of Kings at ~23 hours.

I read 48 books by women, 38 written by men.

Repeated authors:  Ann Patchett, David Mitchell, Stephen King, Marilynne Robinson, Kate Atkinson, Colson Whitehead.

Translated books:  Sudden Death by Alvara Enrigue, A Man Called Ove by Fred Backman, The Little Paris Bookshop, Wake in Winter by Ndezha Belenkaya.

DNFs included two of the above…

Books I read that I now need to see the movie:  Blindness, Mr. Mercedes, A Man Called Ove, A Long Way Home 

Books I read because I saw the movie:  The Hunter was the source story for Payback. 

pieratingsmlChallenges I successfully met:  The What’s in a Name Challenge and the Tournament of Books. I had THE BEST time with the TOB and must say I am ridiculously proud that I read EVERY BOOK on the SHORT LIST!

Challenges that bested me:  Classics Club and the 2017 Classics Challenge.

I can’t find my list tracking the 1001+ books to read before I die but I don’t think I hit many. I just didn’t read many old books; mostly read recently published. Perhaps Home by Marilynne Robinson? Orlando?

By decade:
2018 – 1
2017 – 10
2016 – 24
2010-2015 – 27
2000-2009 – 10
1990-99 – 7
1980-89 – 2
1970-79 – 2
1960-69 – 1
1950-59 – 2
1920-29 – 1

(whoa – no books from the 19th century. I told you I failed the classics challenge last year! I will blame the TOB on that and my new obsession to read books that might be TOB, though track record disputes this, methinks.)


The only readalongs I participated in were both  David Mitchell books:  The Bone Clocks and Slade House (which I read for RIP.)

I want to give David Mitchell my Pie in Literature Award but I can’t. His tweet was ever so squee worthy but it wasn’t IN A BOOK.

So the WINNER of the 2017 Care’s Books and Pie blog’s “PIE IN LITERATURE” Award goes to!

drum roll…

WHAT ALICE FORGOT  by Liane Moriarty for the community bake off of the  giant lemon meringue pie!

“She dreamed of a giant rolling pin.”
“Custody battle. It sounded like custardy battle.”



Cheers! Til this time again next year. I’m sure there will be whining… Have a great 2018 of reading experiences!!



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Year End Summary… In Progress



I do not understand why goodreads says I read 91 books when I can only count 86. Or 87. Goodreads counted the audio and print as two separate books for Orlando. OK, I’ll go with that, I guess¹.

But then I feel like a cheat.

And a fraud.

But I don’t have time for this!²  So let’s just go with 90 as a round up.  (I stopped updating my google doc of my crazy book tracking spreadsheet back at book #37 in May)

Goodreads says I gave 16 books 5 stars, 41 books got 4, 28 got 3 and 4 got 2. I actually awarded one book a 1 star.

Pie chart! 2017-12-31_slices

I balanced the formats of how I digest a book:  Tradeback won with 25 and electronic (Kindle) books were at 23. I enjoyed 19 Audiobooks which seems to justify my purchasing the one book a month from Audible… I read 3 paperbacks and enjoyed 17 hardcovers – mostly from the library, but I don’t have that data easily pie-chartable.

Do know that some of these counts include books that I both read in print AND listened to via audiobook format. Just sayin’.

Genre is another thing I have a tough time tracking. But I do love the variety of books I read – I read books all over the sprectrum and yet I know I miss a few things, too. I didn’t read any graphic novels. I read some sci-fi but only if it was a part of the TOB. We’ll save the TOB for another post. For now, let’s just put up the pie charts!

Fiction 66, nonfiction 20.

I did this better last year, but I didn’t have a job (I did but I had a long Christmas break then) and I also had a computer that was faster and less annoying and I also knew where my last year’s paperwork was. #whining (#ugh). ALSO, I had time ALONE. You wouldn’t believe how many times my husband has asked me “What ARE you doing?!”)

PIE. Are you here for the pie?!  I also don’t have a quick hit report to run to find these numbers, either. I am accessing the PIE category on goodreads for books read in 2017 and using that count. (Actually, I didn’t…) My OCD tendencies want to verify this count with every post (but I didn’t DO reviews the second half of the year so raspberries to that) and … oh, you get the picture. Do tell me again that there is no book-blog-police checking the accuracy of my work. Also, you now see why I’m not an accountant…

We could well say this blogging/reading year was a first-half-of-the-year compared to the second-half. Lots happened in June that give us a clear definitive line of habits and processes. Shrug, OK. whatever. I’m still adjusting to be honest, but do know that reading will always be a constant. It just evolves, yes?

Of the posts/books that I kept the pie/no-pie data check going, I found 34 that mentioned pie.

Finally, here is my happiest pie memory from 2017 – it happened during the readalong for The Bone Clocks.  Just click and read my post I wrote during the Twitter exchange.

Happy New Year!  more stats fun to happen soon….






1 – I couldn’t get into Orlando. The audio was hard. The print version was overwhelming. I know it is probably most-awesome but I wasn’t in the right space at the time…

2 – whine whine whine. My word for the year coming up! (“Reset”)

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Pie Charts Tables Stats Words, Part 2 2016

By the Numbers…


Total Books Read = 86
Average Books Read Per Month = 7.17
Best Reading Month = May (10) and December (11)
Worst Reading Month = July (4 books – I was in RI; yea I don’t get it, either.)
Total Pages Read = 22,262
Average Pages/Book = 327.4
Average Pages/Day = 61
Average Pages/Week = 428
Total Chunksters (450+ pages) = 9 (incl 2 Audios > 19.3 hours)

Audiobooks:  Count 19, 254.5 Hours (3 of these I read/listened)
Average Hours/Book: 13 hours
eoygenres16 (Memoir count is a part of the Nonfiction count…)

Everything and anything I can’t clearly genre-fy, I put in “Contemporary Lit” which, going forward, will be called Adult Fiction. That ‘Other’ category is comprised of ODD, romance, medical fiction (or did I throw these into Adult?), SciFi, children’s, travel, education, reference, history…  And when they are multi-categories, the whole thing collapses! ha.







Oldest book: Germinal 131 years
Longest book: The Fireman 768 pages
Shortest book: Melinda McPickle
Longest book title: Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist
Shortest book title: Oreo
DNFs: 3
Debuts: 11
Book to Movie: 1 The Painted Veil
Favorite reading experience: The Tournament of Books March 2016




And finally… What you’ve all been waiting for!  How many books had PIE?


Apple 8, Blueberry 2, Banana Cream 2, Rhubarb 2, Bean Pie 2, Pastry Dough 2, , and Steak & Kidney 2;
Gooseberry, Dewberry, Peach – 1
Fried Green Tomato, Chocolate Chess, Mince Pie and Turkey Pot Pie – 1
Magpies, Moon Pie, Mud Pie, Easy as Pie, Georgie Porgie Pudding and Pie, Pie Charts
and more!


OK, I’m done. Only a favorites list to do yet and goals for 2017… Bizzy Bizzy

Copyright © 2007-2017. Care’s Books and Pie aka 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.

Pie Charts Tables Stats Words, Part 1 2016


The “IN WORDS” Recap

Books I was excited about and thought I was going to love more: Quiet, Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress, Murder Must Advertise, The Devil in the White City, The Abstinence Teacher.

Most surprising book: The Tsar of Love and Techno. LOVED. And the audio narration was not great so I switched to print and am SO GLAD. So very glad. Also, Germinal, State of Wonder, and I Capture the Castle.

Book I pushed the most people to read: Probably The Painted Veil. Perhaps I Capture the Castle – talked my book club into reading it! Crossing to Safety made the rounds at the marina this summer. Am now recommending Homegoing. (READ IT.)

Diversity: I am humbled by what I’ve read to expand the world I know:  some James Baldwin, Paul Beatty’s Man Booker Award and TOB Rooster winner The Sellout (OMG – must read! want to read again), Pulitzer for Fiction winner The Sympathizer, authors: Turner, Rankin, Robinson, Woodson, Gyasi, Bennett. It continues.

Translated works:  3 – Han King’s The Vegetarian from Korean by Deborah Smith, Whatever by Houllebecq’s French by Paul Hammond, Germinal written by Zola and translated from French by Roger Pearson.

I read EIGHT books from the list of 1001+ Books to Read Before I Die. I read 8 last year, too.

Readalongs:  Last year at this post time, I reiterated my interest in reading Germinal and so we did in September – we had a great time! I also bullied my way into a buddy-along for Amsterdam and The Fireman was our almost King-along for 2016. Andi and I ended up reading The Painted Veil (“riggle in amidst the heart strings”) and then right after I tried to read A Little Life with a few bloggers who were also reading it (but I think it fizzled.) Ti of Book Chatter and I read the really strange The New Worlds. Just so you know – The Bone Clocks is happening NOW, The Green Mile postponed indefinitely (but still entertaining the idea), a Trollope of some sort is upcoming and… I’m sure I’ll get wrapped into something else. That Green Mile one will likely happen, I’m sure of it.

The Fireman was a win. Germinal was EXCELLENT. Good times…


If I convinced you to read something and you loved it, YAY!!!  and if you convinced me to read something, THANK YOU.


Most Read Author:  Barbara Claypole White – a new friend; I’m a big fan. I read her ENTIRE oeuvre Last year it was Rachel Joyce.

Fifty-eight authors were NEW to me. Of the others, 11 were a third (or more, but 3 was majority) time to sample. I read (possibly reread) an Agatha Christie; I read a ton of her stuff years ago. I reread To Kill a Mockinbird – and could have counted it as my reread of a HS classic but decided to use it in the BANNED BOOK category slot instead.

I fell in love with Ann Patchett, Anthony Marra, Wallace Stegner, and apparently Barbara Claypole White. (She’s adorable and spunky and lives in NC.)

I ended up reading three books by Ann Patchett in 2016:  Happy Marriage, State of Wonder, Commonwealth.

Challenges: I continue to rock out on my Classics Club 50, finishing year 2 of 5 very strong. I completed 9 of the 12 in the Back to the Classics Challenge and am happy with it. I completed the What’s in a Name and will continue with all of these in 2017. I am adding the Poetry Challenge.

Debuts: I did a crappy job of keeping track of this. I can say that I enjoyed new fiction by Angela Flournoy, Brit Bennett, Yaa Gyasi, and Scott Hawkins.

Raspberries to my efforts to watch and report on Books to Movie. I did enjoy The Painted Veil and recommend it highly – book and film. I did manage to watch The Book Thief and thought it well done.

Pie Mentions: Lots! I failed to track [snow day! guess what I’ve been doing!!] in my spreadsheet by book title (nor very accurately or collectably in goodreads) but only recorded in my reviews. Which means I need to go through all of these reviews [now done!] to see which books or how many mention pie. Maybe. Maybe I will do that or only vow to do better going forward.  ==>  57% of the books I read this year mention pie.

Crossing to Safety wins the PIE IN LITERATURE Award:

“When you’re nailing a custard pie to the wall, and it starts to wilt, it doesn’t do any good to hammer in more nails.”

If I were to guess, apple pie was mentioned more than any other kind of pie. I love Barbara Claypole White for the many pies she mentions, especially Orange-Rhubarb. Fate and Furies had some terrific pie mentions. Bennett’s The Mothers had a great pie scene and Germinal had more pie mentions than one might expect.


Unintended Themes in my Readings:  I didn’t / can’t identify anything. Other than maybe my obsession with the Tournament of Books?  [Updated now that I’ve looked at EVERY book review post.] I had more than a few books with thought-provoking looks at the concept of death and dying. I might want to consider that I read more than a few odd or quirky books this year, too.

Interesting aka Odd Tidbit:  I didn’t read ANYTHING by Stephen King. I did read a book by his son Joe Hill though, and had a very funny exchange with my Auntie when I gave her my copy of The Fireman. My Auntie lives in Maine – this might be important or give credence to this situation. Auntie did not realize that the author of The Fireman was the son of King. I didn’t think to tell her! She accused me of holding out and NOT telling her. It amused me… I’m still rather shocked that I didn’t get any King read in 2016.


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Year End Review 2015 By the Numbers


I read 75 books in 2015. 

by WORDS post / faves

Pace:   ~1.5 books per week.

(The past few years, I’ve only been able to read 64,61,68,63… This was my best year since 2009 when I read 87!)

Pages Read:  25,936 (using goodreads total because my spreadsheet didn’t quite reach this number, I wonder why…And I know damn sure I am not going to try and figure it out.)

[Updated cuz it is like picking a hole in the knees of my jeans… COMPARE:


with this:


SIGH…. Which IS it!  My spreadsheet gave a total of 18,896… SO, maybe I will just redo these numbers with an estimate; rounding to 19,000:  ]

Average Pages/Book: 253  pieratingsml Average Pages/Week: ~365

Audiobook Count: 21 pieratingsml Hours Listened:  323

Average Hours/Book: ~15.4

Fiction/Nonfiction:  60/15  (80/20%)

Contemporary Lit – 16%
Memoir – 14.7%
Classics – 9.3%
Women’s Lit – 12%
Short Story – 6.7% <– most of these were classics…


Female/Male:  55/20 (73/27%) – WOW!

tB = Tradeback – 35%
A = Audiobook – 28%
HB = Hard back – 25%
eB = electronic book = 7%
pb = Paperback (count 3)
Lp = Large print (count 1)
(You might just conclude that I don’t use my kindle much, huh? I think this is because most of my book clubs have the book in hand from the library so I do forget about that ebook format, often! Plus, I found a wonderful indie bookstore in 2015.)

Seven books published before 1920; <50 books published in the 21st century; 16 in 2014, 5 in 2015.

OLDEST: Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale – woo hoo.

Four books published in the 1950s and four published in the 1960s. What is most curious is wondering if these authors read each other’s books. Like, did Ayn Rand read Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land? What would Heinlein have thought about Altas Shrugged?!

And is it possible that the authors of Woman on the Roof and The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. BEF walked by each other on the streets of NYC – both books set in Manhattan, same year. For that matter, did they brush shoulders with Patti Smith who was also running around the city in those years? (I didn’t read Just Kids this year but in 2011 but I was reminded of it for some reason.)

LONGEST:  Atlas Shrugged 1198 pages

LONGEST TITLE: The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy


CHUNKSTERS:  7 (over 450 pages)


I seriously want to redo all this stuff  – be more organized blahblahbalh, but I have fun the first half of all this number crunching, I do. And then I get to Jan 5th and just ‘GIT IT DONE’. The only thing that REALLY interests me? How many books, how many on the 1001+ Books to Read Before I Die and… that’s about it.  It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, yaknow. Other than my challenges, my book clubs, the fun readalongs, and making sure I get some nonfiction in the reading diet, I am happy as pie.

Oh! I think I will try and do better tracking books that mention pie!!




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Year End Review 2015 In Words


I read seventy five books in Twenty Fifteen.
by #s post

Hopefully you read the prior post about all my FAVORITES of the  year.

Book I was excited about and thought I was going to love more:  Five Days at Memorial didn’t sit right with me by the end of it but I am impressed with my review of it.

Also, I expected Atwood’s last two books in the Maddaddam series (<– link to my review which also includes link to Year of the Flood) to blow me over but perhaps I was setting it up for that curse of too high expectation let down.

Most surprising book: Absolutely hands down:  Death in the Garden by Elizabeth Ironside. Not a cozy mystery – or maybe it is because I don’t have a grasp what that means exactly, but chock full of button-pushing thoughts in ways that I like: feminism, marriage balance and independence; it was just more than I expected and I really liked it. I really need to explore more of this author’s work.

dintgbyei ElizabethIronside

Book I pushed the most people to read: Besides Harold and Queenie!? [Just search for Rachel Joyce and find my posts.] I must push more ❤ love ❤ to James McBride’s The Good Lord Bird. It is history! and it is funny! Well, as funny as this sad chapter  of US history and this interesting character can get. It’s a romp and fascinating and if you love satire, I highly recommend.


Diversity: I had said I would be better on this and though I mentioned a particular author (Tayari Jones)and now must admit that I didn’t get to any of her books this year (bummer), I really did read more diversely and on purpose. I stated that I intend to read more nonfiction on issues of race and education and I did. See my November of Nonfiction.

I read EIGHT books from the list of 1001+ Books to Read Before I Die. [Link should go to my 2015 list on goodreads.]

Readalongs:  Thank you shoutouts to my Kingalong friends! We read Pet Sematary, Misery and ‘Salem’s Lot. ALWAYS a good time.

Sister Carrie was a shared reading experience and I read Flowers for Algernon with Athira.  A highlight of 2015 was something new and different: I live-tweeted my way through Elegance of the Hedgehog with (or rather, at) Katie – that was a blast and a fabulous fun way to share a book.

(I’m still up for a readalong of Germinal if someone wants to suggest a date.)


Only 19 books from 2015 were by an author I had previously enjoyed. Thus, approximately 50+ authors were new to me authors! – and that repeat count gets confusing because I read a few authors multiple times/books during the year and my head hurts.

Authors presented me with their second/third/etc: I read 3 more Stephen King’s, I read 3 titles by Rachel Joyce and she was new to me with Harold Fry’s Pilgrimage. I read two of Margaret Atwood’s and two of Liane Moriarty’s.

I reread: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.


I do a horrible job tracking genre. I did hit most all of them, I think.

And Debuts. Notables though would be Helen Macdonald for her H is for Hawk and Eowyn Ivey for The Snow Child. Perhaps also Renee Ahdieh for The Wrath and the Dawn. Oh! and Zen Cho for Sorcerer to the Crown.


Unintended THEMES in my 2015 reading: Mabels! – in H is for Hawk and in The Snow Child.

Classics and Challenges!  I am pleased. This year is my first of five to get after my Classics 50 list and I read TEN. Thankfully, I am not actually off the pace because we are allowed substitutions and on that regard, I finished 14 ‘classics’ when defined by books over 25 years old. I think that is the criteria. The ‘youngest’ book on my list I think is either Garp by Irving or Pinchon’s Gravity Rainbow? I need to double check that, I suppose…  Whatever. I am every so PLEASED with my classics reading, I am I am.

I finished What’s in a Name in record time and multiple books fitting many categories.  I felt I gave a strong effort to Nonfiction November.


I did lousy at seeing the films based on books I read precisely because I heard the movie was being made. Far From the Madding Crowd, Slaughterhouse Five, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Book Thief, Mockingjay, Unbroken, any of the Harry Potters (I’ve seen a few and not sure which ones!), Sister Carrie, Atlas Shrugged (to be honest, not interested!), From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. BEF, Pet Sematary?
I read a book that I had previously seen the film: The Talented Mr. Ripley, but I don’t recall much of the movie other than it was good and had beautiful people and scenery.
I did see Misery, so that is something. And Divergent (ugh), A Walk in the Woods.


WordPress does a nice job of sending Annual Reports. You can click here to view mine (don’t worry, it’s short…)

My year by the numbers post will probably after the new year! Looking forward to seeing YOUR year end posts or share your top favorites in a comment or your general overview of YOUR reading year. Do share!




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The Post In Which I Rank My Top Rated Books of 2015

Oh goodie! The year end review posts are starting! I’m having a grand ol’ time printing out and counting up and percentaging and all the jazz that comes with the last week of the year.


And trying to figure out which book will be FIRST of 2016. This question keeps popping into my head and then silence. So, for right now, I have NO idea which book will be first. It’ll happen, always does. For more on that topic, visit Sheila at Book Journey.

Now. Let’s look at my top books and find out – drumroll, please – which was the very best for me in my opinion of all the books I enjoyed in 2015:


The book covers above are in no particular order as far as I can tell. It is the order put them in.

Here’s MY order most loved first to only very slightly less loved last:

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (on audio, rev)

The Good Lord Bird (review)

H is for Hawk (on audio, rev)

Between the World and Me (review)

The Elegance of the Hedgehog (review)

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy (on audio, rev)

Far From the Madding Crowd (on audio,rev)

The Snow Child

Dept of Speculation (review)

Station Eleven (review)

Big Little Lies (review)

Bad Feminist (review) *According to WP, this review was my most visited post…

 Death in the Garden (review)

All I Have in This World (review)

Heft (on audio,rev)

Inside the O’Briens (review)

Lost Lake (review)

Wow, I have some very different books here. And I know that I have some FOUR slice reads that might be worthy of jumping up into this list and maybe swap places with the lower tier but let’s just say, I had a REALLY good reading year, shall we? (Honestly, I really don’t recall much about Lost Lake. gulp.)

If tomorrow, you asked me to re-rank these, the order would likely be different. But overall, these books were the ones that hit the right buttons, the right mood, the right emotions, the everythings.

These account for almost a quarter (23%) of the books I read! 70% of my total 2015 books read were a 4 or 5 pie slicer. Wow, indeed.

Which genres do I like, you ask? Oh my, what genres these books cross! Science fiction, romance, chicklit, historical fiction, almost-not-quite fantasy, civil rights, memoir, medical lit, mystery-thriller, fictional travelogue, death and dying, feminism, experimentally-stylish?

Three of the books above are nonfiction; Between the World and Me won the National Book Award 2015. H is for Hawk won the Samuel Johnson Prize 2014.

The Good Lord Bird won the National Book Award for Fiction 2013.

Five were audiobooks.

Station Eleven and Dept. of Speculation, both pub’d in 2014, had all sorts of acclaim this year and maybe a slew of awards.  Of course, Far From the Madding Crowd is a classic (and Hardy’s least sad, I’ve heard.) My review for that was my least read and most fun to write. But you wouldn’t get it if you haven’t read the book, so… And why!??! it isn’t on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list is a travesty.

I read both Harold Fry and Queenie Hennessy books TWICE. Each both in print and on audio. I am now Rachel Joyce’s biggest fan.


The most popular book I read was Mockingjay. I gave it 3 slices.


My least favorite book of 2015 was The Importance of Being Oscar. Skip it, seriously. And I gave more one and/or two slices to books this year for 11%; whereas, last year I only gave 8% the dreaded 2 slicer. Any DNFs I had were due to mood and timing and not a reflection of the quality of the experience. I didn’t count any DNFs, in other words. Only a few put-back-on-shelf-for-later.

A good year. A fine year for reading, was 2015. On to more stats and stuff… Posts, they are a-comin’.


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.

Part 2 of Year End Sum and Looking Onward

I read NINE books from the list of 1001+ Books to Read Before I Die. Which is also what feeding my Classics fever.

Is there a good way to find out where authors are from or whether or not they should be considered diverse? I have a hard time with this one – either figuring it out, knowing how to figure it out but mostly taking the time to figure it out. Just saying.

I really did read more diversely and somewhat on purpose but also because I am making good efforts to pay attention to titles that are on other bloggers’ diverse lists and hearing they are MUST READS. Now I need to read the ‘more by’ these authors I’m finding excellent. Truthfully, I am not or have not typically been the kind of reader who ‘follows’ an author – somehow Stephen King has made it on that list (up to 11 now!)  and, of course, Tracy Kidder*. But even the other authors I *say* I want to read more-by, I haven’t. Authors like Atwood and McEwan come quickly to mind. Now I want to read more by Tayari Jones. and others, but Ms. Jones is who I will focus on this year. I also intend to read more nonfiction on issues of race and education.

Only 10 books from 2014 were by an author I had previously enjoyed. Thus, over 50 new to me authors!
Three authors presented me with their second:  Garth Stein’s Sudden Light, Matt Haig – both read this year: The Radleys and The Human. Elizabeth Gilbert’s Signature of All Things (and this was my first fiction from her.)
I reread two books: Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five and Daphne DuMaurier’s The House on the Strand.

I do a horrible job tracking genre.  (Excuse for no pie charts… I love everyone’s pie charts!)

I failed to note which PRIZE winners I was reading but I know many of the titles enjoyed this year won Pulitzers and/or…   other notable prizes. Sigh.

Unintended THEMES in my 2014 reading: how many books had to do with water, at least in title. Like Water for Chocolate, The Color of Water, Three Men in a Boat, Washing Cars and Wasting Time, and Hops & Glory (a reach perhaps, but beer is mostly water, and this is a story about traveling by water, sort of.) I had many parallel reads – The Sparrow followed immediately by Silver Sparrow with nothing in common. All the Light We Cannot See and immediately after Sudden Light, also coincidental and both book club books.

Borrowed from the Stats suggestions everyone is using:
Book I was excited about and thought I was going to love more:  Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Most surprising book: Again, East of Eden because just mentioning Steinbeck out loud used to bring on a rash because I overdosed on him in High School. And Count of Monte Cristo – THRILLING!!!  drama, revenge, dastardly deeds, sinisterness, benefits of cold calculated plotting of plans, love and sex and love, duplicitousness and generosity, violence and horrific tales! ALL of it.

Book I pushed the most people to read: Probably The Rosie Project. HOWEVER. I did toss out to a Facebook friend that she should read Monte Cristo and she publicly thanked me for the suggestion because she LOVED it. Such a lovely lovely feeling, yes?


Looking Onward – I will do the What’s in a Name Challenge, as many readalongs that appeal to me, The Classics Challenge, and I hope to join in a REAL LIFE book club of somesort while reading along with my Massachusetts club.

I am setting a goal of 65 books.

Otherwise, the year is WIDE OPEN!

Readalong anybody for a Sister Carrie or Germinal?  I’m currently audiobooking Five Days at the Memorial.

OK, that’s it. Next up, some regular ol’ reviews!



* I didn’t get to any Kidder books in 2014.



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.