I am almost ready for #FiremanAlong – Day 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fire on Facebook Messenger

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

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Copyright © 2007-2016. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Unaccustomed Earth

Thoughts uebyjl by Jhump Lahiri, Random House Vintage Contemporaries 2009 (orig 2008), 333 pages

MOTIVATION for READING:  I have had this copy in my house far too long. I was needing, craving a short story experience. Only fitting it be a collection by such a skilled writer.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  Again, I am “Bad, bad Care” because I do not have my copy in my hands for reference. This is particularly tricky when reviewing a collection. I gave this book to my friend in Rhode Island. I am in North Carolina. I could wait but I just want to get this list of review posts DONE already! Nobody reads these anyway, amirite? No, I know that is silly, you are reading this right now, aren’t you? Thank you. Smile and shake your head in disbelief. Lahiri deserves better treatment, I realize.

WHAT’s GOOD: Lahiri amazes me. Some of these stories don’t really even have a plot. Or maybe just not a lot of action. She gets people. She gets in their head and gets right to their core. She is insightful; she finds pain and gently extracts it,unfolds it, examines it. She knows the universal feelings felt by all and yet captures the cultural differences within every day lives against the sameness of emotions. She shines in exploring humanity’s weaknesses against the concept of best selves. OK, I’ll shut up now.

Most impactful story/ies: The young girl who reflects on the older boy and how their families knew each other. The older boy, now in college, reflecting on his relationship with his father. Then, much later, the girl and boy meet up in the most unlikely of places and circumstances.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  I never really looked at the cover but it all comes together in the last story. And it just leaves an aching hole in your soul.

Only two (or is it three?) of the stories are linked, but I could be wrong. All the stories do not connect around same characters but they all have a thread of melancholy.

RATING: fourpie of apple pie.

“Today, Paola had mentioned, an American novelist was coming, someone homesick for Thanksgiving and bringing an apple pie.”

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2016. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

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. 

Hmmmph.

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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Copyright © 2007-2016. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Devil in the White City

Thoughts ditwcbyel by Erik Larson, Vintage 2004 (ori 2002), 396 pages

Genre: Nonfiction, history, architecture, true crime: serial killers
Type/Source: tradeback, unknown
 Why I read this now: craving nonfiction

MOTIVATION for READING: My husband is not a fiction reader (or book reader, really) and he requested a book from my library that I thought he might enjoy. He has yet to finish and I needed a book when we were traveling so I finished it while he was doing other things.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Larson typically takes two story lines – 1) a big event in history and weaves it with 2) a celebrity(?) personality. This one is about 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and the men who were in charge of building it while exploring one of America’s earliest known serial killers. The Fair provided the opportunity for victims.

WHAT’s GOOD: I really enjoyed learning about Daniel H. Burnham. He’s the guy that the famous Chicago fountain is named for:

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I also liked learning about the Ferris Wheel (but then I also explored more about this on my own. I just got curious after the inventor/designer was mentioned. I did that a lot, actually – pursued further knowledge about many a topic in this. And photos…)

What’s NOT so good: I was bored with the serial killer part and was mostly annoyed at Larson for the teasers that were so obscure and explained so far beyond in the text that I often groaned in frustration.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I am not sure I need to read any more of this guy’s books. They just aren’t for me. The history is usually awesome but I want more pictures and no more heavy-handed foreshadowing.

RATING:  Three slices of Blackbird Pie.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2016. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

State of Wonder

Thoughts sowbyap by Ann Patchett, Harper Audio 2011, 12 hours 25 minutes

Challenge: Readalong!  #StateOfWonder
Genre:  Contemporary Lit, Med Lit even maybe
Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible.com May’s Credit
 Why I read this now: I can’t remember exactly how it all came together…

MOTIVATION for READING: Because I loved This is the Story of a Happy Marriage and it made me want to read all of Patchett’s books.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Here’s the blurb from goodreads.com:

Set in the Amazonian jungle, State of Wonder is a major and explosively ambitious new audiobook from the New York Times-bestselling author of Bel Canto and Run–both a gripping adventure story and a profound investigation of difficult human choices.

I love short blurbs. This is perfect.

****** YOU WILL BE SPOILED WITH THIS POST IF YOU READ ON. TOTAL SHARING COMMENCING *****  To be honest, I hate doing this because then you are setup that there are SHOCKS and AWE and I wasn’t aware of them until I got it spoiled. Just sayin’.

WHAT’s GOOD: Hope Davis is now one of my favorite audiobook performers.

What’s NOT so good: Ok, I really did love most of all of it. I admit that I had read many not-so-positive reviews looooong time ago that made me not tbr this (though when I look NOW at what my goodreads friends thought of it, all seemed to praise it well enough.)

Katie who no longer lives in Massachusetts but dwells in the dells of Texas now is writing a spoileriffic post where we will be soon discussing THE ENDING! I can’t wait.

I’m trying to anticipate her issues with the ending with my own wonderings of my reactions – including spoilers here, be only slightly forewarned. oh, I already warned you? Are you ready?

I first must say that I want to blame Aths for spoilering me anyway even as I attempted to avoid being spoiled. But she had a comment in her review – WHAT?! WHY THE HECK DID I READ IT BEFORE I WAS DONE WITH THE BOOK!??!!? – about how the wife of Anders suspected he wasn’t dead (“He can’t be dead; I’d know” and the romantic in me wants to believe that.) and that is why Marina agreed to go get answers. Yes, this nagged at the back of my mind without me really examining it.

“…and the wife is convinced that Anders isn’t dead. And so begins Marina’s incredible journey to Brazil,…”

The quote above is lifted directly from Reading on a Rainy Day’s review of this book. Her stating this AND after reading the choice quote she included to kickoff the post nagged at me…

GUESS WHAT!  Anders ends up alive.

  1.  How did he not get killed by the scary deadly cannibals?
  2. She (Marina) was able to find him in a quick trip down the river after many MANY mentions how hard everyone thought it was to find the RIGHT tributary?
  3. Of course, (pls read that ‘of course’ with dripping sarcasm), we had to sacrifice the FAVORITE character in the entire book!!!
  4. OK – I also thought that Marina was going to end up staying to carry on Doc-What’s-Her-Crazy’s work…  I did. I really thought she was going to stay.
  5. I was sad the baby died. I was.
  6. I agreed with Dr. Crazy – women shouldn’t have babies late. I think the idea is nuts. I liked the juxtaposition (simplified as it was) that we could develop a drug for all-aged-women fertility vs malaria vax? Whoa.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  It was fun. The anaconda scene was worth everything. Some of the ‘thoughts’ seem very simple as I think back on it – cartoonish even. Rapp mushrooms?  Lavender moths? Only place in the world? Whatever.

I enjoyed(?) the dilemma discussions of ‘saving’ primitive peoples. Even as Doc rallied against a lot of it, she was still attempting a huge savior move with a malaria vaccine.

Someone on Twitter asked me…  AS A SCIENTIST, does it seem REAL to you and the question threw me. Off-tilted me. Science is so many things. Patchett writes very well and she can put the reader in that time, that place, very realistically. So can Stephen King. Do we ever ‘question’ the reality of his books?! no, we enjoy the ride of crazy because it is buoyed by true imagination, creativity and emotion. EMOTIONS is the button we love.

Does anyone want to discuss the title?

RATING: I rounded up to 5 slices of pie. Fun read. All sorts of existential questions, real or not; the questions ARE real.

No mention of pie.

 

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2016. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Save

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ReadAlong of The Fireman #FiremanAlong in July

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Spontaneous combustion of book thoughts on Twitter resulted in eruption of readalong endorsements for The Fireman by Joe Hill. It’s the hot book right now.tfbyjh

The hardback is 768 pages; the audiobook is 22 hours and 20 minutes.

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Starts in July.

Thus giving you all time to secure a copy? I hereby declare myself as Captain of this Fire Squad with Heather as Co-Command – due to locale (when can we do lunch?) and the fact she just read it but wants to reread it on audio. Ti and Melissa and Jen and Trish are the Platoon Leaders. Michelle and Katie are Advisors (they already read the book!). ALL ARE WELCOME OF COURSE. Just wanted to mention those who participated in the twitter-firestorm about it.

Follow hashtag #FireManAlong

I have also made a list so you can find the entire crew on Twitter. If you want to join us and please do, all are welcome, please let me know your Twitter handle in a comment and/or link to a post or whatever. I might also want your snail mail address if you want correspondence (send me an email or private msg) — I am not promising anything. This is a quick and informal readalong. It’s a “Join in if you want to, no rules” kind of readalong…

I thought better of looking for a hot firefighter person to display, because 1) sexist inclinations and assumptions on my part sad to say, and 2) no legal usage rights to the ones that appealed to me the most. You know how to do your own search so feel free to act on that. OR, to see professionals of all genders, you can click on THIS SEARCH. Not sure what the most ethical of decisions it is to provide a link to all images in a search result with parameter ‘not filtered by license’. Probably not ‘best’. Oh well.

I will be audiobooking. Here’s the link to Audible: fma3                    The bookcover at the top of this post links to goodreads and the Twitter convo links to the hashtag #FiremanAlong. I’ll make a Twitter List, too, so feel free to subscribe to it.

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And please remember to tweet any pie references!!!

 

Copyright © 2007-2016. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

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!

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“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.

 

 

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

Copyright © 2007-2016. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Crossing to Safety

Thoughts ctsbyws by Wallace Stegner, Modern Library 2002 (orig 1987), 368 pages

Challenge: Personal
Genre: Contemporary Lit
Type/Source: tradeback, my own library – perhaps from a booksale?
 Why I read this now: A trip! wanted a physical book after all that ebooking.

MOTIVATION for READING: This is slim book and seems on glance to be less than the 368 pages it boasts; I took it along on my travels. I’ve been wanting to get to this ‘sooner than later’ and yet it seems eons ago when I put it on my READ NEXT shelf.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: This is a story of two marriages and the four individuals within the two couples and the long-lasting friendship they were able to maintain. It is quiet, it is powerful, it is almost metaphysical. Admittedly, I’m an idiot in using the word ‘metaphysical’ so I could be wrong. We are only inside one of the character’s head.

WHAT’s GOOD: The insights into human nature, the characters, the travels over time and place – a university setting and “a writer’s life” in the 30s through the wars and beyond.

What’s NOT so good: I have no criticisms other than WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG?!

FINAL THOUGHTS: I was totally blown away at times but the power of the simple writing. The reader is very aware that this is a skilled capable competent author and never showing off or being experimental. And yet I was often surprised by the originality. So good.

On the other hand, it makes me feel very inadequate. My words, my review, my understanding of what Stegner wanted me to learn from this book or only to appreciate feels like I missed it or just that I have no capacity to share what it was. Even the title, what does it mean? What does it mean that I didn’t even contemplate the meaning until I was reading other reviews of this book? And what does it mean in reference to ‘living a life’ without even delving deeper into ‘living a meaningful life’? Ok, stop already.

RATING: Five slices of pie. Custard pie!

“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.”

 The Inferno boiled with hot life, but the Paradiso was theological meringue.”  p.255

LINKS: Also, must mention a coinky-dink between this book and The Library at Mount Char:  in one scene, it is mentioned that “there’s no decent literature on how to die.” But in Library at Mount Char, this is specifically addressed. Makes me wonder if Scott Hawkins read Stegner… Filed it away. Put it in his book so I could read it and then read this and say, “huh”.

(Teaser – there’s also a link between this and State of Wonder by Ann Patchett; I will address when I review that…)

 

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Copyright © 2007-2016. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Library at Mount Char

Thoughts tlamcbysh by Scott Hawkins, Crown 2015, 390 pages

Challenge: peer pressure?
Genre: Fantasy
Type/Source: ebook / Kindle
 Why I read this now: Making a concerted effort to read my ebooks.

MOTIVATION for READING: I have so many blogger-buds say this is a wild ride. Had to sign up and see if I liked it, too.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Our main character, Carolyn, is a librarian; but the library where she works is most interesting and actually on a different plane. She is in charge of learning all the worlds’ (world’s or all worlds’? hard to tell) languages while a few of her ‘brothers and sisters’ know everything about war and death and animals and transportation and persuasively getting into people’s heads, etc. They all report to “Father” but he is actually some kind of godlike entity and his library is his store of knowledge. He needed to adopt these kids so he could pass along this knowledge but also keep the power decentralized. Then one day, he goes missing.

WHAT’s GOOD: This is one nutty action-packed funny wild ride, I will agree.

What’s NOT so good:  About half way, when the adrenaline and the WTF’s are flying — while I’m chatting up the book and sharing how awesome it is — and the big WA LA BOOM BOOM! happens…. Then it’s late at night and I have to go to sleep and wake up the next day to finish;  it felt like a balloon with a slow leak. So I suppose I could say the ending but more the lead up to the ending, felt draggy and almost unsatisfactory. Upon reflection a week later, I liked the ending OK.

  I am still wondering if I missed how Carolyn met the military dude. 

FINAL THOUGHTS:  It is a wild and unique ride. It’s violent, a bit of an almost love story — oops, SPOILER!? It has a lot of humor, too.

Other REVIEWS: Shaina’s review has a Q&A with the author which is nice. Heather that Capricious Reader seemed to like it. Michelle gave it a “Hot Damn”. The book cover will link to goodreads.com if you care to explore there. Or click here to get to FyreFly’s Book Blogger Search Engine for this title.

RATING: Four slices of pie. No mention of pie was noted.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2016. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving

Thoughts trfocgbyje by Jonathon Evison, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill 2012, 290 pages

I went on a tear through my eBooks on my Kindle while on a trip to Rhode Island. Finished 3 books boom boom boom. This is the second (I started immediately after finishing The Baker’s Daughter.)

I was under the impression that a movie of this was due soon but when I checked IMDB.com, I couldn’t find anything. Which makes me wonder what book I was thinking of?! Oh well.

This was a fun road trip book but it had the feeling like I had read it before or  something similar. It had the “familiar” feel to it but I really do not think I had read this. (It happens, I got a third in to Empire Falls when I got that “huh, I think I’ve already read this” feeling and sure enough, pre-blogging and thus no electronic list to verify, I found a book club list and I HAD read it. I went ahead and finished it. It’s good. I’ve seen the movie twice, too.

So. Back to this free form review of this book.

It’s a sad book. We find out slowly, like peeling an onion, what has happened to our protagonist (I’ve forgotten his name). Of course, we do know he is a bit downtrodden right at the beginning when the story has him arriving at an interview for a first job after getting his CNA and barely has enough gas in his car to make it there. He is to care for a teen boy with MD. We know this will be sad.

But is has humor and respect for people no matter what their lot in life and we appreciate how these two guys get along and manage each other and the situation.

Then it becomes a road trip book where we meet more interesting characters with problems of their own and not only does it feel like a buddy movie road trip but a story about how quickly a group can become a family of sorts.

I don’t even remember how it ends now.

Sorry, I realize this review is not saying much but I will finish up and say that I enjoyed it, I laughed and I sniffled with the sorrow. I liked it.

I can say that there are couple of tiny instances of being offended by something that is similar to not liking certain words but I got over it…

Four slices of pie because again – the generosity of liking a book and feeling good about it.  Three and a half rounded up.

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I don’t have my kindle with me so I can’t check to see if I highlighted any pie mentions…

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2016. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.