Eleanor and Park

Thoughts eapbyrr by Rainbow Rowell, St.Martin’s Press 2013, 335 pages

Genre: YA
Type/Source: ebook/Kindle
 Why I read this now: Needed some lighter fare.

MOTIVATION for READING: Everyone seems to be singing the praises of Rainbow Rowell and I had to find out why.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  A big redheaded girl wearing a style all her own enters the bus for the first day of school and no one will offer the spot next to them. She has nowhere to sit and the tension on the bus is agonizing. It is especially upsetting to Park, a kid who prefers not to have any attention directed his way but he also can’t stand to see anyone else humiliated, either. He gives up his half of the bench and allows her to share. They start a slow to build reluctant friendship, then a hot deep passionate love. It’s beautiful, really.

WHAT’s GOOD: Park is a dreamboat. Eleanor is complicated and her life is even more complicated. The way their relationship blossoms is very endearing.

What’s NOT so good: Oh… What can I say. I loved this but didn’t fall as head over heels as Park does for Eleanor. It was sweet. It was tragic. It was a lovely heart-breaking heart-soaring (can a heart soar? yes, I think so.) read. I liked it. Actually, having lived in Omaha, I both loved the setting references and was annoyed that I didn’t really get a sense of place til they went downtown and that is for a number of reasons:  I’ve been gone a long time and I didn’t get much knowledge of the poor areas of town when I lived there. My privilege shows.

And I couldn’t relate to many of the music and comic references. Shrug. So I wasn’t the best target audience for this; it’s still a great read.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This really captures that heightened tingling agonizing first-love sensations. Hats off to Rowell – obviously she is a writer of skill when it comes to making a reader FEEL something. (The following song, however, is not really like the book, other than the title. This song makes me cry every time.This book might make you cry.)

RATING: Three slices of pie. Pumpkin pie!

Risalamande is rice pudding.

“It’s a traditional Danish Christmas dessert, Eleanor thought. My grandmother made it, and her grandmother made it, and it’s better than pumpkin pie. It’s special.”



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Honey Baby Sweetheart

Thoughts hbsbydc by Deb Caletti, Simon Pulse 2005 (orig 2004), 308 pages

Genre:  Young adult fiction
Type/Source: Tradeback / unknown
 Why I read this now: Wanted something lighter

MOTIVATION for READING:  I cannot recall where I got this book but it might have been – no couldn’t have been – BEA? oh well. Somebody gave it to me. I thought by title it would be a lighter beach-read kind of read but the National Award Finalist sticker on the cover made me wonder.

(Interesting, this is tagged as from the Book Blogger Convention so I did get it in 2010 in NYC! Whadday know)

WHAT’s it ABOUT: I don’t remember. Really! How SAD is that!?! It read it only 10 days ago.

WHAT’s GOOD:  I am sitting here trying to rush through this review post so I can feel like I’m accomplishing things today – I have much to do and can’t decide what to start first. Bad bad Care…

Oh. OK, it’s coming back to me. (Call me lazy, too, because I could go downstairs and fetch the book! But NOoooOOOooooo, I just want to get this done. Sigh.)

We have a young girl who is a “good girl” and knows the best way to survive high school is to keep your head down and do not ever call attention to yourself. But then she meets a “bad boy” and she falls. Hard. She has no control over herself to listen to the warnings in her head that this dude is trouble.

What’s NOT so good:  And so that is what annoyed me so. Though, I do get it! I do know we (I) often hear those warnings in our (my) head NOT to do something but this was big stuff not “don’t eat that cookie” – this was “aiding and abetting a criminal is risky!!!!” Luckily, she has a good support system to pull her through. 


FINAL THOUGHTS: It didn’t bowl me over. The book is readable. The main character likable. I have no complaints other than it really didn’t move me. 

RATING: Three slices of apple tart.

Pie! The only pie reference was a tee shirt that said “QT PIE” and the apple tart. Close enough.



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Remember Me?

Thoughts rmbysk by Sophie Kinsella, Dial Press 2008, 389 pages

Challenge:  Not applicable.
Genre: British Young Adult Chick Lit?  (why must I put a question mark?)
Type/Source: Tradeback/my cousin-in-law gave it to me
 Why I read this now: Needed something FUN

MOTIVATION for READING: I do love the cover. It is such a happy book cover! The premise is fascinating, too. What WOULD it be like to lose memory of the last few years of your life?  (In my case, I would wonder how did I end up in North Carolina and why are the politicians raising a ruckus about who can pee in the restrooms?! Seriously. THAT is what they are needing to be focused on?! What are they REALLY trying to get away with while we aren’t looking?)

WHAT’s it ABOUT: A  young lady who hasn’t even worked at her present job a year has a bad night – boyfriend is a no-show, she missed out on a bonus and her dad died! She slips in the rain hailing a taxi but wakes up 3 years later, apparently having hit her head in a car crash. She wrecked her Mercedes. But-however… she doesn’t recall having a Mercedes (how could she afford a Mercedes?!) and doesn’t even know how to drive! She has no memory of the last 3 years:  her new role as Director of her department at work, her thinner body and fixed teeth — nor of her rich gorgeous husband. WHAT HAS HAPPENED?! 

WHAT’s GOOD: The mystery is total and convincing. The transformation from loser grunt employee to gorgeous corporate bee-atch and wife to glamorous husband and lifestyle confounds the reader as well as the protagonist.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  Actually, I was not so convinced she (author) could pull it off – no one can totally transform themselves from grunt to diva in three years, can they?  but it was a fun ride and the Kinsella convinced me enough to award this a

RATING: of four slices of mince pie!


“I have to leave, before I start buying jumbo packs of mince pies and Bing Crosby CDs and wondering if The Wizard of Oz* will be on.”

This is my first Kinsella read. I have been warned that this is one of her least successful so I might have to read something else now! Of course, her most famous book is the Confessions of a Shopaholic, but Twenties Girl or Can You Keep a Secret? has been suggested as best.




* Do the Brits watch Wizard of Oz at Christmas!?

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The Bean Trees

Thoughts tbtbybk by Barbara Kingsolver, HarperPaperbacks 1998 (orig 1988), 312 pages

Challenge: What’s in a Name 9 wian2016
Genre: Young Adult
Type/Source: Mass Market Paperback / unknown
 Why I read this now: I wanted a small book to take on my travels.

MOTIVATION for READING: This book was on the 2014 list of recommended summer reading for the high school I subbed for in Massachusetts.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: A young girl who yearns to escape her confining small town in Kentucky takes off for grand adventures. The least of which is NOT that she is handed a baby somewhere in Oklahoma on her way to who-knows-where; so she just mosies on down the road with little thought about it whatsoever… Seriously, the more I reflect on her nonchalance about being just handed a baby and her taking off with zero thought or consideration of consequence exasperates me.

For a much more detailed synopsis and thoughtful review, read this by BooksPlease blog.

WHAT’s GOOD: Kingsolver is not without writing talent. She can probably write anything and make it believable. I really did enjoy the main character and many of the good-hearted people she has the fortune to meet on her journey.

What’s NOT so good: Keeping in mind that this is set in the 80’s – and likely the early 80s, it is just odd/difficult to think that the not-so-distant past really IS that far away and yet so relatable. Pay phones, cars that won’t start unless you pop the clutch, walking into a job at a hospital and handling blood on day one. Really?! It was discombobulating. 

FINAL THOUGHTS: Kingsolver is also not shy about cleverly ranting about immigration policies and she skillfully grounds the story in the history of the time. The theme was all about creating your own family and being kind.

If I had known that the bean trees were really a reference to Wisteria, I probably would have read it sooner.


RATING: Three slices of pie.

“The night before, she’d listened to the forecast and picked a mop bucket full of hard little marbles off the tomato vines, and this morning she had green-tomato pies baking upstairs. I know this sounds like something you’d no more want to eat than a mud-and-Junebug pie some kid would whip up, but it honestly smelled delicious.”

IMG_4777(This is a fried green tomato pimento cheese pie with a chocolate cream pie chaser.)


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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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Final Thoughts — Flowers for Algernon #MayFFA

Thoughts ffabydk Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, Bantam Books 1968 (orig 1959), 216


So much for trying not to be SPOILED and thus it was ruined anyway. This would be the BEST book to have been warned thoroughly about what it IS about. (Maybe? Jenny could/should have sent me an all-caps email that said PLEASE YOU MUST READ THE ENDING FIRST! YOU WILL THANK ME.) This is NOT one to be in the dark for. Now, you want a totally-blind know-nothing-read then go try Life After Life by Kate Atkinson or We Were Liars by E.Lockhart. These two should definitely be books to go in COLD.

But NOT Flowers!

This is a cautionary tale of how an incorrect misleading spoiler (or just an untruth!) was misunderstood and how my over-imagination caused much confusion.

It’s just too hard to have classics be totally spoiler-free and over-hyped. I shouldn’t try. It also did not help that I had this confused with Harrison’s Flowers because I seriously SERIOUSLY had thought for many years that it was a war torn love story. And when that bubble burst, I somehow got the impression this TRULY had space aliens!  I thought I accidentally saw a spoiler that the mouse was an intelligent space alien!!! Where I got this, I can no longer ascertain. Apparently, I was hoping for Ralph of The Mouse and the Motorcycle.


I’m thinking I need to write some fanfic for this book involving mice-driven spaceships and romances ripped apart by the savageness of war.

ncspaceshiphouse  Outer Space or Outer Banks NC House… Supposedly the 2nd most photographed building in North Carolina)

According to Wiki, Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginative content such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes and extraterrestrial life.  Come on, Care, you are SMARTER than to assume all SciFi is aliens and outer space. IKR!?  Well, this did not feel like science fiction. Perhaps because it was based in the past? I’m so out of my league when discussing the SF genre, right? Just because I’ve read Neuromancer and Snow Crash and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I *think* have a grasp on this slippery genre?! Go ahead, banish me from the club. I deserve it. I wish I hadn’t known that it won the Hugo award nor the Nebula Award. Pretty cool that it won, but I wish I didn’t know it.


OK, then. What is this about? It’s about how a science/medical team attempted to ‘fix’ a low IQ in order to make a human being smarter but they all failed to grasp the consequences on an emotional level. Sometimes, I thought this was expressed well and was quite nuanced in the telling. Other times, I was annoyed at Charlie and often thought he was rude and disrespectful, to women especially; but I have to realize that he learned too much, too fast and the whole point was that he didn’t have the gradual maturing to navigate and understand relationships. Life is complicated… yes, it’s extremely complicated. The story IS sad.

Please read Bellezza’s review, and/or Athira’s Halfway Post.

Two or three slices of pie depending on how I feel when you ask me. I don’t recall any pie mentions.

BIG THANK YOU to ATHIRA and TRISH for reading & tweeting along with me!


Sickness Quotient: 76% — Your “Sickness Quotient” of 76% indicates therapy may be useful.
Detailed Diagnosis

  • Interpersonal Insights: Your sense of self-entitlement means you’re probably the kind of person that pulled the wings off of butterflies when you were little. You think everyone is out to get you, and you’re absolutely right. It’s because you’re an awful person without any redeeming qualities.
  • Job Performance & Attitude: Your work is of so little value they should just put a shredder in place of your Out basket You frequently mention terms like “core competencies” and “paradigm shifts” while at work. Stop acting like such a tool.
  • Personality Insight: Your personal motto is “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” You must not have been saying this for very long.


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The Good Lord Bird

Thoughts tglbbyjm The Good Lord Bird by James McBride, (2013,417 pages)


Do you appreciate National Book Award Winners?

Did you ever read The Color of Water (and liked it)?

Do you appreciate wry humor and satire?

I recommend this book. Everyone in our club enjoyed it (though our discussion* was a bit boring comparatively.)

This is a fascinating rollicking-good time read that will make you laugh and learn a lot about an interesting event and personality in U.S. History: The Raid on Harpers Ferry by John Brown. You also get cameos of Harriet Tubman (vote for her to be on the $20 bill?) and Frederick Douglass.

I know of John Brown because of this raid but also because he was known for fighting for Kansas’ right to NOT have slaves in the border wars with Missouri before the Civil War. My club asked me if I studied John Brown in my Kansas schooling years but I can’t remember. How/why do I know of John Brown? Not sure.

I do think of a mural in the Kansas State House so maybe I saw it first on a tour? I really don’t remember if I did a school field trip to Topeka while in grade school, but I know I have seen this:


The narrator of the story is a very young black slave, possibly age ~10, that is “freed” by Brown in one of the Kansas raids and he stays with Brown because he really has no place else to go. The odd thing is, the Brown is confused at the beginning, thinking that our boy named Henry is actually a girl named Henrietta. So Henry keeps up the ruse for a variety of reasons. In fact, one of the themes explored in this, in addition to race and slavery, is identity. McBride is a brilliant author on many levels, in my opinion, and I will now read everything he writes. Or, I want to; he’s now on the list.     image

Do know, I am one of those that laughs when most inappropriate, I see the absurd in the sad situations to thus avoid the crying. So it’s not that I love laughing at serious subjects, but. I do, I guess. I think that is why I like satire. (when I get it!)

If you want something a little different, something historical (researching this, it seems the author was quite attune to many of the true facts while having a creative imagination for the rest of it.) READ this book!

Rating: Five slices of Buttered Apple Pie.


Other reviews:  Naomi’s at Consumed by Ink and Rory’s at Fourth Street Review.

* Factoid that I didn’t know until book club:  a few of the ladies (of a generation (or two) prior to mine) started to sing a song “John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave” to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Apparently Julia Ward Howe wrote the lyrics to the Battle Hymn after hearing the John Brown version. Our book club leader passed out paperwork of her research and had us sing a few verses! Too funny.

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.

Science Tales

Thoughts stbydc Science Tales: Lies Hoaxes and Scams by Darryl Cunningham, Myriad Editions 2012, 174 pages

a COMIC book? I wouldn’t call it a Graphic Novel because it is not a novel. I’m so out of it on the comic/graphics genre take on books!

And, unfortunately, this book really can’t be praised for helping me figure out if I like this genre or not.

I’m going to say no.

I really have to admit that half way through I realized I was only reading the words and not appraising or appreciating (or even noticing) the illustrations.

Minus:  On a content note, I don’t feel that Cunningham really shared much of the science he was endorsing or refuting on his chapters of  Electroconvulsive Therapy, Homeopathy, Vaccinations, the Moon Hoax, Climate Change, Evolution, Chiropractic Medicine, and Science Denial.

Positive:  I don’t fault the book for attempting to inspire constructive thinking and consideration of the facts. It certainly encourages more research and shares what those sources might be.

So kudos for that.  It’s a quick read, too.

Do please read Debi’s review!

Rating: Two and 1/2 slices of pie. So round up to three.




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Thoughts mjbysc Mockingjay (Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins, Scholastic Press 2010, 390 pages eBook

QUALIFIES: The -ing category of What’s in a Name 8 and also the animal category. I’m going to count it for ING.

RATING:  Three slices of pie.

Lots of violence and still a sullen Katniss. She finally picks a team. Actually, I’m just glad this is (almost) over. Ready to see the movie and be able to say, “Done.”

If I had to pick a favorite, I would say the first one.

(Looks like I’m still in a mini-review mode. Don’t worry – am gathering lots of things to say about Sister Carrie!)


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Still Here…


I’ve missed you, my little blog…

IMG_3520 IMG_3524 IMG_3522  Newport RI.

You take a little unplanned break and then come back to find a new WordPress editor. Let’s see what happens. I can share a few thoughts on the books I’ve managed to read lately. I’ll tell you that my audiobook-listening has ground to a halt – but I can explain, I think. And just say howdy.

Plus send a big hearty welcome to SomeWhereInABook! I hope I can soon find a few past blog posts to re-link to, if that’s not too much to ask. (Specifically, the Gone Girl one…)

Um, where’s the SAVE-DRAFT button?!

Moving on, just keep going, right?

A Walk in the Woods awitwbybb by Bill Bryson – I liked it very much. Learned a lot about trees and flora and geology, too. Recommended.


Out of My Mind oommbysd by Sharon M Draper – Loaned to me from a friend, very apropos of my latest class for school. This is the story from the viewpoint of a 5th grader with cerebral palsy who is very smart but cannot communicate her smarts until she finds an Assistive Technology device that allows her a voice. The book has some very good points to share and perhaps some misses in the delivery and odd plot points. Read through the goodreads.com reviews for examples. I enjoyed meeting Melody and reminded again that we all want to belong and contribute. Respect.



The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy hhgttg by Douglas Adams is exactly what I feared it might be. Sadly, I feel too late to the introduction of it in my life with the story over-hyped for me to truly appreciate its brilliance. Overall, a fun read. 42 (And I think I should plug Jenn Thorson’s There Goes the Galaxy which I read last December and which (now I realize) obviously took inspiration from Adams and his famous book/series. I gave that 4 stars.)

And now, obviously, I recognize that I have been too long away from blabbing about books. I’ll try to do better with my next East Of Eden post. Whoops – that was probably due today?

Carry on. Toodles.


I really can’t explain why I haven’t been in the mood to listen to a book. I’ve been BUSY? and got out of the habit. I’ll mow the lawn tomorrow, plug in to The Count of Monte Cristo and see if I remember much. I’ll let you know how it goes.


I HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

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