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Made My Day; Readers are THE BEST

Blogging about books has changed in many ways over the years, probably change universally experienced, but also most particularly and specifically for me. When I started, I actually had a ‘life’ blog and met some really creative fun people whom I am still friends with, and yet only on Facebook. That may be a whole ‘nother topic and I don’t want to digress off my main intentions for this post.

Those blog friends weren’t really interested in my sharing what books I was reading so I thought I would start up one exclusively devoted to books. I had been discovering such and thought it was terribly exciting. Somewhere to talk about books!! And yet, my initial goals were to create a place for my family to talk about books. My mom, aunties, cousins, etc. all live far away from me so an online book club would be PERFECT! or so I thought. Turns out that despite good intentions, it is hard to create an online book club for specific people. They just have different priorities when it comes to spending time online, I think.

But I started to make friendships with these anonymous readers and they had the most wonderful book reviews available and they were willing to talk about books. The book blogger community was just beginning and I was a part of it. It was a thrilling time! Dewey’s Weekly Geeks and the Read-A-Thon, Book Blogger Appreciation Week and Bloggiesta, etc. were just starting or about to be BIG ideas. It was IMPOSSIBLE to keep up and meet everyone and know everyone and I admit I was crazed with it. BEA came – and I am super glad I went to the first BBC! and Google Reader came and went.

Then I slowed down and stopped participating. I had my circle, perhaps it was a clique, I am not sure. I do think cliques are shakily viewed from within and always provides opportunities to second guess and do the self-doubt dance. But I had my friends and only so much time and I no longer explored trying to meet new bloggers. I was very content to read my books and write up my little thoughts and keep plugging.

Sure, every so often I reflect that I might need to go explore more. I believe that there is an energy connection that gets created between post and comments and sometimes it sparks and sometimes it doesn’t and that’s OK. Do I wonder sometimes how come I can comment over and over and over at an inspired blogger’s amazing reviews and why they never visit my blog?  Sure, but I’m an adult and supposed to be over that. Do I feel bad when I fail to visit a blog and comment when I should because they have commented more at mine than I comment there?  Yep. I do, but… Whatever. Get over it. I’m hoping that the connections we are supposed to make are the ones we do feed with time and attention. or something.

I’m rambling. I’ll shut up. The point? The point is that sometimes these “maybe few rather than numerous” connections we make are AWESOME!  Appreciate!! and not just bloggers, but GOODREADs-ers and FBers and of course, my Twitter Peeps. AWESOME.

IMG_1245 I have made a wonderful friend via book blogging and she just sent me this amazing care package!!  I am in tears with the awe of how wonderful I feel knowing that readers = people who love books truly are the nicest people. In awe that the online book world I move in is mostly positive, that the horrid trolling and negativity that is often online and occasionally boils into drama even in the bookblogdom but rarely and is still not all that awful (or I skirt it most likely), is just a nice place. I like my warm corner of the blogosphere.

I hope you can go out of your way and do something unexpectedly awesome in your day today for someone else just because. I hope to.

And I’m SO EXCITED I have something appropriate to wear on Saturday!!

Thank you, Ruthiella! I am so touched. Thank you thank you thank you.

pierating1

PS – She didn’t send the beer. Only the incredibly adorable tee and the books: Dept of Speculation by Jennifer Offill and The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. And the book mark. The beer just snuck into the photo for some reason…

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.

 

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Thoughts lptnhbyjl Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson – The Bloggess, Amy Einhorn Books/Putman/Penguin 2012, 319 pages

This won’t be a review as such.

I began reading this the day my book club was to discuss it. I finished it the next day – it certainly reads fast! I might have skipped a few chapters and I did read the end before the middle; I kept thinking “Oh, I don’t need to read ALL of it.” But I would often find myself with the book in my hands reading or skimming yet another chapter. So, I feel I read enough of it to count.

It’s funny. It is everything the book jacket says it will be. Over the top, OMG, “no way!!!”,  LOL, etc.

I have only a few things to point out from the reading. Early in the book, she mentions how tough her sister is and there is a reference to squatting and popping out a child while working in the fields. RIGHT OUT OF The Good Earth! Right? Yep. So that is a Copley Connection that thrilled me because our book club had recently read The Good Earth! I have no idea if anyone else noticed this, too, because I was unable to attend the meeting.

And my new book club almost chose to read The Good Earth – but that is too hard of a story to explain. Let’s just say, the title seems to be popping up for me lately.

copleyl

And then there is the reference to the Blue Pie Piece from Trivial Pursuit. So with my ever odd idea to track pie references in my reading, I rate this book FOUR

fourpie  slices of blue pie.

The end.

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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.

MaddAddam

Thoughts mabyma MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood, DoubleDay 2013, 394 pages

UPDATED:  Just go read Jeanne’s post instead.

Possibly some spoilers ahead (and above! uh oh) but if you know me, I’m still pretty vague. I’m assuming if you read on, that you’ve probably read at least one of this series. Is that proper English; “one of this series” – doesn’t sound right… oh well.

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Ok FANs! I will just say. I was disappointed. Disappointed in the way when you go to a Cubs game and they lose. Maybe this is a horrible analogy, forgive me as I plow through this anyway.

I love the Cubs. They lose a lot or seldom make the play offs, whatever. And Wrigley Field is AWESOME, win or lose. But it would be SO FUN to go to Chicago, catch a Cubs game AND have them win!

So when I rather quickly (very quickly, in my case) rushed to get the third in the series of MaddAddam after finishing The Year of the Flood, I seriously hoped I would LURRRVE it! I knew the characters, felt comfortable with the world-building, pretty much knew what was up, etc.

But Toby, my badass smart bitch favorite, all of a sudden was pathetically worried about Zeb sleeping around and I didn’t quite figure out why it made more sense to live under a picnic shelter rather than the AnooYoo Spa compound (I’m sure there were good reasons) and the blue people sort of annoyed me.

There I said it.

I still was excited to be in Wrigley Field watching my Cubbies. But, continuing with the weak analogy, MaddAddam Part 3 wasn’t a winner. But still good! just not a winner. I liked the first two books better. And since I can barely recall what exactly happened with Jimmy – Crake – Oryx at the end of Book 1 and this makes me sad, this added to my bummered feeling.

Rating:  Three slices of pork pie. Or pigoon pie if you prefer. Hey – I didn’t make the pact! It’s British Pie Week and you can bet they are making some pies with pork to celebrate.

britpieweek With a kudzu leaf salad on the side.

 

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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.

The Fiction Class

Thoughts tfcbysb The Fiction Class by Susan Breen, A Plume Book 2008, 304 pages

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I like the cover.

It must be a great act of courage for a writer to teach writing. I know I would wonder about my student’s perception of my “success” or lack of success and how necessary this is to be qualified to teach. Whenever I do have a crisis in confidence when eyes are on me to explain or share or ‘deliver a lesson’, I always tell myself that I only need to know SOMETHING/ANYTHING more than the students. And we all know something that can be shared and appreciated. I don’t have to be an expert.

Anyway, I do believe good teaching rarely requires total mastery in a field. The most educated and masterful mathematician could be lousy at teaching. A great teacher inspires and pushes and encourages creativity, experimentation and practice. A great teacher is NOT the one who stands in front of the class and dumps information. Our goals can be for PBL – Project Based Learning opportunities!

Which writing fits into. Writing is creative and story-based; a story is a project, if you will. Writing is a craft with tools and techniques. The tools are words and techniques vary. A great writer just might be a horrible teacher and perhaps the best teacher is not the best-selling author. Teachers are facilitators and coaches.

You can click on the book cover above for the goodreads.com blurb on The Fiction Class if you want to know more about it. I’m rating it three slices of pie. NOTE – this is an ARC. I only saw a few typos. I am willing to send this book to anyone who wants it.

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Somewhat related to this…  Read, come back and share if you agree: “Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I Don’t Teach in One” by Ryan Boudinot. There have been some responses (ahem) to this post and the comments are full of controversy.

I think Writing is a talent; some are born with more talent than others. As with Leaders. I also believe that great leaders can be built and just because you don’t have the bright talent at birth does not mean you can’t be a great leader. Same with writing.

I think it takes a great act of courage to WRITE.

Write on!

 

 

 

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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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.

ReadAlong for Pet Sematary

Announcing that Jill over at Somewhere In a Book blog has officially announced the start of the Pet Sematary ReadAlong!

bigeyedcat #gangstercats

Also, there’s King’s March announced by Fourth Street Reviews and hosted by same and Wensend: Kings-March1-e1395509004726  #kingsmarch

Both of the buttons will take you to the respective blog posts.

OandPS Oscar is thrilled. So am I!

 Also! Be sure to tell me if you run into a pie references!  Thanks.

The Importance of Being Oscar

Thoughts IMG_1099 The Importance of Being Oscar: The Life and Wit of Oscar Wilde by Mark Nicholls,  St. Martin’s Press 1980, 238 pages

The Wit and Wisdom of Oscar Wilde Set Against His Life and Times

I suppose I might want to apologize about the snark and harsh tone this review could likely take.

What’s it ABOUT: Apparently the author’s name isn’t really “Mark Nicholls” so I really can’t figure out who he is or what he does other than fawn over how awesome Mr. Wilde is.

I am not trying to imply that Oscar Wilde is not awesome and he certainly said many witty things.

But this book is tedious. Repetitious. And lickspittly.

“Wilde averred.” I lost count how many times Mr. Wilde, His Excellency, averred something extremely witty in response to some boorish comment.

aver  verb \ə-ˈvər\

: to say (something) in a very strong and definite way

 

I had to look it up. Perhaps I am just not smart enough for this book. I looked up a TON of words and because I am now reading Jenny Lawson’s book Let’s Pretend This Didn’t Happen, I am wanting to toss in other choice inappropriate words. or WORD. Ahem.

I suppose you want an example. Great. Now I’m going to have to fetch it from the recycle bin and open it again. [OMG – I now cannot find any of the dreaded avers! Sigh.]

Wilde’s perception of life was remarkable. Listen: “A kiss may ruin a human life . . .” In that single truism is the essence of a million past and present life-dramas, and who but Wilde could have considered its inclusion in a play…?

His sheer audacity was the highlight of his writing: __

Hear the Master again on the wiles of women: __

On the social front, too, he led the field: __

(these are the first sentences of four paragraphs NOT taken at random but one after the other. Pages 88-89)

RATING: Two slices of pie

Book COUNT: Tenth of 2015

Perhaps LICKSPITTLE, defined as “a slimy grovelling and devious person” is too harsh. It was just that the writing style is so very irksome.

Would anyone like me to send along?  JennyTrisha? (on page 2, there is a reference that Oscar’s mother was ‘eclectic and eccentric’!!!)  Anyone else?

pieratingsml

How about a photo of my lovely Oscar?

IMG_3993

 

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.

Congratulations To My Friend

In case you hadn’t heard, my friend and book blogger extraordinaire has published a book that looks fabulous and I can’t wait to read it!

eiifdbysb Even If the Sky Falls Down by Susan Jackson Bybee, aka The Blue-Hearted Bookworm.

From goodreads:

Thirty-something American Lily Thompson is enjoying her life as an English teacher in a private kindergarten in Seoul, South Korea. When she breaks her ankle and loses her job, her handsome recruiter finds her a new position in the Korean countryside, teaching English to elders at a senior center. Lily is unsure how she’ll relate to students at the other end of the age spectrum, but things are not quite what they seem. Charged with documenting the memories of an eclectic range of elderly people sends Lily on a journey revealing a unique insight into both Korea’s troubled social history and her own life.

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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.

The Year of the Flood

Thoughts tyotfbyma The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood,

Satisfies the WATER category of the What’s in a Name 8 Challenge.

Unfortunately, though I do remember Jimmy in the tree and the blue people, I do not recall much of Oryx and Crake and what all happened in MaddAddam Part 1. Not that my memory failure contributed in any way to my enjoyment (or not) of this Part 2 but I wish I could remember more.

I do find Atwood’s books amazing. She is a very talented and creative story teller.

“…the reason you can’t really imagine yourself being dead was that as soon as you say, ‘I’ll be dead,’ you’ve said the word I, and so you’re still alive inside the sentence. And that’s how people got the idea of the immortality of the soul – it was a consequence of grammar.”  

My advice? if you like Atwood and you like dystopia and you have yet to read this 3 book series, just gather them in and read in a timely manner.

If you haven’t read either Book 1 or Book 2, there is probably no reason I can think of to say that you MUST read O&C first. You could likely read Flood first and then read O&C and enjoy it just as much.

It’s all about different perspectives on how humans are destroying the Earth. And yet she always manages to bring out the best in people just as she describes how awful we humans can be.

I don’t recall how O&C ended but this one was abrupt and unsatisfying. I didn’t throw it across the room or anything but I did groan in slight frustration. Now I should go get MaddAddam, Book 3 and get it over with but I won’t. I know myself too well.

I just get distracted by all the books I already have and want to read and before I know it, years will have flown by. On the other hand, I bet the library might actually have this…

 

Rating: fourpie Four slices of turnip pie. I actually made a turnip/parsnip/potato pie last month and it was quite tasty. Not pretty to look at though.

 

pieratingsml

 

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.

 

Umm, Yep. OK, Sure. On It.

I always have to be sure to say something out loud when somebody asks me to do something. A ‘somebody’ like the husband, asking something like, “Can you please get me my phone, I left it on the table.” My tendency is often just to get up and go do the task/favor without realizing that the requestor is waiting for me to agree, to respond.

Thus, the title of this post.

I know it is is a thing from my childhood. I would rather stealthily just DO and sneak in – sneak out – task completed. Odd, huh? I think so. Not sure why I’m bringing it up but I was trying to think up a title for this post and that’s what my fingers gave me. Thought it needed explaining.

It really doesn’t have anything to do with what I started out wanting to post about!

Which is…

I had to go edit/fix my prior post because I had typed “crap pies” instead of CRAB pies!! and missed it even though I swear I checked my words before I hit publish! oh well. Made me laugh, but I am embarrassed, too.

And the other thing,

With so many of my conversations with you all lovely book bloggers being on Twitter and Instagram, Facebook and Untappd, and in real life letter exchanges; especially eschewing any formal prompts since Google Reader went defunct — I just want to rejoice and thank all of you for thinking of me. *smiles*

And… I rejoice when I visit a favorite blogger after “months absence” and seeing other wonderful bloggers commenting there. I know we have built up an amazing web of love-of-books and it warms my heart.

It’s like going to a party and being surprised when other friends that you weren’t expecting show up, too.

OK.

Yep, that’s it. Do have a super dooper day.

loveCare

 

PS I’m thinking my next pie will be Blueberry. pieratingsml

PSS I forget already what else I was going to say, distracted by Blueberry Pie!

PSSS Oh yea, I wanted to share that I just bookmooched some books that I couldn’t find at the library and I hadn’t even checked into that site for over a year! I’m so excited to get some books in the mail! One is already on its way.

PSSSS I have a book review to write on The Year of the Flood. And I am reading a bio of Oscar Wilde that is almost atrocious. Not the subject but how it’s written.

PSSSSS We will soon be readalonging Pet Sematary. I think it will be mostly on Instagram with hashtag #gangstercats if you want to join. Ya know, if you prefer to read a scary King book only with moral support in the company of other scared King readers.

 

 

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.

I prefer pi.

pieratingsml

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