The Bone Clocks … Mid-Read Thoughts

Lookie!!  So exciting:

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Yes. The famous author actually tweeted at our readalong and the fan girls went crazy.

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OK, that’s all I got. I’m a bad readalong host. I’m listening to the audiobook and am still not to the end of the Ed Brubeck – part 3 section… Great Auntie knows what’s up but will Ed play along or will he be an ass?

I really liked Holly – part 1 and Hugo – part 2 was very entertaining. Where this evil goddess Miss Constantin will come into play next, who knows?!

Lots and lots of pie. Mitchell is on the short list for the 2017 Pie in Lit Award, but it IS only January.

I’ll keep listening…  Go read Melissa’s thoughts –> here <–.

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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 Throwback Special

Thoughts ttsbycb by Chris Bachelder, WWNorton 2016, 213 pages

Challenge: TOB Short List
Genre: Adult Fic
Type/Source: Hardcover / Library
 Why I read this now: Two books came off hold the same day, this is the shorter.

MOTIVATION for READING:  I like football?

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Twenty-two guys get together every year to reenact the football play that broke QB Joe Theisman’s leg. You read that right: twenty-two characters, all but one middle-aged white guys. And then some, when you throw in the hotel clerk and a few of the other guests at the hotel.

WHAT’s GOOD:  It’s short. It’s impressive as a collective character study. It has some great sentences, occasional sharp social commentary, a bit of wit.

What’s NOT so good: I’ve already forgotten what I liked about it. Wow, I feel horrible saying that, but it’s true.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I like football. I’m of the era so I remember Joe and that horrible play. Another admission of honesty – I’ve never watched it closely. It starts and I cover my eyes. Golly, I can’t think of a think to write up here. I’m reading too fast; like I’m at a food competition (taste this taste that move on) – did I like it? sure. Did I love it? Ummmm, not really. Is it worthy? – well the folks who selected it for the TOB seem to think it has something fun to discuss and I don’t doubt that. I’m sure someone somewhere will be able to think of something profound to praise.

RATING: I gave it 4 slices of pie immediately after reading it, might as well keep it. No pie was mentioned.

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

We Love You, Charlie Freeman

Thoughts wlycfbykg by Kaitlyn Greenidge, Algonquin Books Kindle Ed. 2016, 337 pages

Challenge: Rooster TOB Shortlist
Genre: Adult Fiction or Young Adult Fiction…
Type/Source: eBook / Kindle
 Why I read this now: It was offered as a daily deal for $1.99

MOTIVATION for READING: Reading all the TOB Shortlist

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  I refer you to the goodreads blurb:

The Freeman family–Charles, Laurel, and their daughters, teenage Charlotte and nine-year-old Callie–have been invited to the Toneybee Institute in rural Massachusetts to participate in a research experiment. They will live in an apartment on campus with Charlie, a young chimp abandoned by his mother. The Freemans were selected for the experiment because they know sign language; they are supposed to teach it to Charlie and welcome him as a member of their family.

Isolated in their new, nearly all-white community not just by their race but by their strange living situation, the Freemans come undone. And when Charlotte discovers the truth about the Institute’s history of questionable studies, the secrets of the past begin to invade the present.

The power of this novel resides in Kaitlyn Greenidge’s undeniable storytelling talents. What appears to be a story of mothers and daughters, of sisterhood put to the test, of adolescent love and grown-up misconduct, and of history’s long reach, becomes a provocative and compelling exploration of America’s failure to find a language to talk about race.

WHAT’s GOOD:  Surprising, enterprising*, engaging. I am glad to have read it and I don’t know if going totally blind into this was the best idea. But I think it was.

What’s NOT so good: Messy, unwieldy, faltering. (I have a few questions…)

FINAL THOUGHTS: I actually liked this more than I can express and it is the opposite of my feelings for Sweet Lamb of Heaven. In this book I liked it more but found a few faults. With Sweet Lamb, I didn’t like it all that much but couldn’t figure out why. Go figure.

RATING: Three slices of pie. MUD pie!

In his first few days at Courtland County he’d asked, “Y’all do what around here? Fish in ponds? Make mud pies?” and one of them gulped, “We go to the laser show at the CCC’s astronomy lab.” And he’d laughed.

 

∗ enterprise – a project that involves many people and that is often complicated or difficult.

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

Thoughts 13wolaafgbyma by Mona Awad, Penguin 2016, 212 pages

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Challenge: What’s in a Name Challenge: Number # in Title
Genre: Adult Lit / Linked Short Stories
Type/Source: Tradeback / Library
 Why I read this now: Longlisted but not shortlisted for the TOB

MOTIVATION for READING: This was one of two books on the TOB Long List that would satisfy any categories in other reading challenges I am participating in this year. And it was available at the library. The Nix is the other – hopefully getting to that soon. 

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Our protog is the only child of a fat mom and a dad that split. She survives high school, somehow graduates college after trying every degree option available, cultivates interests that easily spark online conversations, meets men online, arranges to meet one of them and THROW THE ROSE PETALS! they fall in love. She has such a low self esteem that she somehow manages to lose weight to fit the ideal of what she thinks her new man –> fiancé –> husband deserves (not sure if deserves is the right word here) but now she no longer has any shared interests with her man; they have nothing in common anymore and eventually they split up.

It’s all about situations and relationships skewed by her physicalness and what she thinks it is, what it means. Maybe?

WHAT’s GOOD: It’s so sad.

What’s NOT so good: The self-loathing is so very sad.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Not my cup of tea. The writing was fine.

RATING: Three slices of pie.

I meant to count how many stories were in this book to see if there were thirteen. That would makes sense, right? But I returned it to the library before I remembered. So I got to thinking, what IS this preoccupation with “13 Ways to Look” at stuff? Quite a few books with this title beginning. And THEN! I recalled there is a poem, a famous poem (doh!) which I just now took the opportunity to go read: Wallace Stevens’ Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. I didn’t get that, either.

Now I can’t get the Beatles Blackbird song out of my head. “Blackbird singing in the dead of night…” At least it is a pretty song. I think I’ll go look up the lyrics and count that for my Poetry 100 Challenge, too.

But before I chase off to go do that! A thought interrupts my task with this:

Sing a song of sixpence – AKA blackbirds in a pie
Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,
Oh wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king?
The king was in his counting house counting out his money
The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey
The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!

PIE!  (But I prefer the Beatles song, don’t you?!)

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Sweet Lamb of Heaven

Thoughts slohbylmby Lydia Millet, WWNorton&Co 2016, 250 pages

Challenge: Rooster 2017
Genre: Adult Lit
Type/Source: Hardcover / Library
 Why I read this now: Came off hold before the others…

MOTIVATION for READING: The Tournament of Books by the Morning News – I have a shot at reading ALL the books on the short list. This is the 7th.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: In one sense, this is a story of a woman with a young daughter who realizes her marriage is a sham and flees her husband. But there is so much more that boggles the brain that I can’t even begin to describe it all. The fact that all of this is shared in less than 300 pages is amazing. It is about language and communication. It is dystopic and end-of-the-world fears. It is about us versus them. It’s quite freaky actually, but also extremely composed. Not tense, really, just shaky and slightly off-key. Everything is not quite right but not unbelievable even when reality REALLY gets distorted. It’s all a dream, right? Just a bad dream.

Having this book as your only read on a deserted island would NOT be recommended.

WHAT’s GOOD: The ability of the author to successfully make you doubt everything along with the narrator and yet also be separate.

What’s NOT so good: I can’t put my finger on why I didn’t ‘enjoy’ this more. It is that vague unsettling that makes it good. But.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I think I’m just perplexed and left disillusioned. I am glad it’s over. It reminds me of a book somewhere that discussed the basics of the word ‘disease’: dis- the opposite of or absence of, -ease freedom from pain or trouble of the body or mind.  I am willing to read something else by Ms Millet. Any suggestions?

If you love the concepts and mysteries of language, you might want to consider this. If you are at all enraged by politics at the moment, you might want to skip this.

RATING: Three slices of pie.

LOTS of pie mentioned:  pumpkin, fake mincemeat, and pecan; cherry pie, berry pie, honey pie and chicken pot pie. Pie dough, too.

PS There is a fascinating 5 star review on goodreads by “Jill” (I only follow her) who described the story as “like a Rubik’s cube.” If you are interested in her thoughts, I suggest you go find her post.

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Just Mercy

Thoughts jmbybs by Bryan Stevenson, Spiegel & Grau 2014, 349 pages

Genre:  Nonfiction, Death Penalty Debate
Type/Source: Tradeback / Local Indie Bookstore
 Why I read this now: Mr. Stevenson is speaking next month as part of a prominent lecture series in town. The Local Indie Bookstore is having book club discussions and offered a discount on the book.

MOTIVATION for READING: I am interested in the work Mr. Stevenson does through the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: The EJI provides legal support for inmates sentenced to die for their crimes – most in the US South but all over the country, as well. They have grown the organization and they now helps children serving time in prison without parole and has effectively influenced federal legislation concerning these issues. They provide support to these men and women after they have been released from prison.

Mr. Stevenson shares about how he got started in this career field, the beginning of the EJI, and gives an intimate look at his first few cases.

WHAT’s GOOD: His dedication to serving the poor and unfortunate is amazing.

What’s NOT so good: The descriptions of the justice system willfully acting illegally and with evil intent are maddening.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Just maddening.

RATING: Five slices of pie.

Not that pie in the sky stuff, not a preference for optimism over pessimism, but rather “an orientation of the spirit.” The kind of hope that creates a willingness to position oneself in a hopeless place and be a witness, that allows one to believe in a better future, even in the face of abusive power. That kind of hope makes one strong.

I think my next read will be Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow.

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

All the Birds in the Sky

Thoughts atbitsbycja-jpby Charlie Jane Anders, Recorded Books 2016, 12 hrs 36 minutes

Narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan abnarratoratbits

Challenge: TOB of course!
Genre: Fantasy, I suppose
Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible
 Why I read this now: That is an excellent question, my dear blog, but I’m afraid I have no answer other than that fateful temptress FATE.

MOTIVATION for READING: The TOB. Are you that dense already that you haven’t figured out that all the reading I am doing right now is due to my near nutty obsession with all things Roosterified?!  Plus, it sounded good and it was one of the shortest audiobooks I looked at, methinks. I’m getting a bit annoyed that The Nix is so long and that is the book I want to read next and I feel like I’ve lost some of the reading-mojo I celebrated that last few weeks of December and into January but what is one to do?!

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Are you sitting down? This might take a while and I’m likely to meander.

We meet our protags, Patricia and Laurence, while they are in Middle School. Yep, but of course, our dear protags are the smartest and most picked on and are the misunderstood twerps they usually are in literature but since we readers usually are (or were) ALSO, — we were that kid in Middle School, we love them. Amirite?  cliche?!  too much? no, of course not. We LOVE them. Adorbs.

Did I show you a pic yet of the author? charliejane I want to be her. And my only claim to that devoutness is based on this photo and her blurb on goodreads. Never heard of her before I looked at these two things until I finished this book.

Where was I?

Patricia has had birds and trees talk to her. Laurence is a computer geek; has invented a machine that he hopes will someday have sentience and has also created a 2 second forward-jump time machine. Cool, right?

Unfortunately, before these kidlets realize these things might be valuable to their future, a BAD MAN has figured it out and tries to STOP them!!!!  Blah blah blah – too many spoilers already – they meet again much later, bad dystopia shit happens in the future (um, redundancy, Care!), two or three factions who are all trying to preserve the good things conflict — da da da, true love, machines vs nature!!!

Or IS it… ?

You’ve figured out that Patricia is NATURE and Laurence is MACHINES?!  oh god. I just gave it all away . (I’m counting on the fact that most of you wouldn’t have read this far already.)

Not the most unfaulty of plot lines or execution but BIG FUN.

WHAT’s GOOD: aw, I’m really liking it more in this post writing, I am!

What’s NOT so good: But it dragged just a touch. Just a little bit. I also think it changed tone and/or … something. Momentum? went Middle School nerdy to adultness drag? maybe….

FINAL THOUGHTS:  I liked it. I really did. It’s fun. It’s creative. It’s got a lot of the FUN STUFF: Pro-environment, “the world is fucked”, romance, geeky machine futuristic gadgetry, etc.  I CANNOT WAIT to SEE WHAT THIS GOES AGAINST in the Tournament…. 

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RATING: Four slices of pie. and it had some REALLY good pie mentions.

Tell me I SOLD you on this!  I did, right?!

“Ankle crossed over thigh and lips pursed, as if he just finished a slice of the tartest Meyer Lemon pie.”

Also, WORM PIE. As in diversion from letting it slip about solving the gravity problem to create a stable … WORM PIE!

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Grief is the Thing With Feathers

Thoughts gittwfbymp Graywolf Press 2016, 114 pages

JUST ANNOUNCED! This is on the TOB Short List!

Challenge: TOB Long List and also counting for Poetry 100
Genre: Poetry, Adult Fiction
Type/Source: Tradeback / Library
 Why I read this now: It’s short!

MOTIVATION for READING: I’ve heard good things about this moving story.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  A man loses his wife, his two sons lose a mother. A crow moves in to help them grieve.

WHAT’s GOOD:  The style, the cadence, the imagery.

What’s NOT so good: I admit that I am not much of a Ted Hughes fan but that is probably because the only thing I know about him is that he was Sylvia Platt’s husband. But I tried to drop my bias because I’m not sure I have given him proper consideration. That said, this book is somewhat based — I’m assuming – on a Hughes’ Crow poem. (I had to google that. Could have been part of the fiction for all I know.)

FINAL THOUGHTS:  I really did enjoy this sad yet hopeful poetic work. It reads very fast. It begs to be read aloud, as I assume poetic works do.

RATING: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

A sample:

Crow

Look at that, look, did I or did I not, oi, look, stab it.
Good book, funny bodies, open door, slam door, spit this, lick that, lift, oi, look, stop it.

Tender opportunity. Never mind, every evening, crack of dawn, all change, all meat this, all meat that, separate the reek. Did I or did I not, ooh, tarmac, macadam. Edible, sticky, bad camouflage.

Strap me to the  mast or I’ll bang her until my mathematics poke out her sorry, sorry, sorry, look! A severed hand, bramble, box of swans, box of stories, piss-arc, better off, must stop shaking, must stay still, mast stay still.

I also wrote down more poets to investigate:  Ibn ‘Arabi, Shostakovich, Osip Mandelstam, R.S.Thomas.
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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.

Going Gray

Thoughts ggbyak by Anne Kreamer, Little,Brown&Co 2007, 206 pages

Full Title:  Going Gray: What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Really Matters

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Challenge: What’s in a Name – Alliteration Category (two words in a title have same starting letter)
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir? Aging, Fashion
Type/Source: Hard cover / Bookmooch…
 Why I read this now: It’s short!

MOTIVATION for READING: I somewhat remember an article or a review that suggested this book and since it was available on BookMooch, I scooped it up.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  One woman’s decision to stop dying her hair and how she navigated through all her notions about aging, fashion, attractiveness, and her role in the world now that she was approaching ‘middle age’. It really is mostly her research on gray hair and what it means and not so much personal sharing on all that ‘everything else’ she lists in the extended title.

WHAT’s GOOD:  She does do a bit of research but it is also conducted in a personal way – which I guess is more fun, so I wouldn’t call it an academic study.  It did confirm for me that a female attempting to get a new job after age 50 is S.O.L. It is so sad how we don’t consider and value experience and society wants to ignore old people. Terribly sad.

In fact, she seems to conclude that gray hair is certainly NOT less sexy so we all can feel good about that. But finding a new job will be impossible. New lover? not a problem. Impressive to anyone hiring? not a chance.

What’s NOT so good:  She tends to make a few blanket statements that some careers are more youth-oriented than others but I think it is every job category out there.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  I really need to figure out how to write a best-seller…  or even a moderate-seller. I really am well-suited to the working conditions of being a writer. Now I just need to figure out how to produce something.  Maybe I should write a nonfiction memoir study on some odd topic and then write some self-help books… Do I sound bitter?

RATING:  Two to three slices. It was short, not really memorable and no pie was mentioned.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. 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 2 2016

By the Numbers…

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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
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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.

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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

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

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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

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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.