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Dept. of Speculation

Thoughts dosbyjo Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill, Knopf 2014, 182 pages

I liked it. A lot. Seriously, lots and lots. Five slices of apple pie.

I saw a recipe on Pinterest for an apple pie with lemon crust. Such a pie would be perfect for this book.

Here’s the pin. And here’s the book blub from goodreads about this book.


Here’s a link to the latest Tournament of Books by The Morning News about this book which I’m so thrilled THRILLED!!! to have read while the tourney is still on, even if it got booted. I also read All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Here’s a pin to a healthy muffin recipe I want to cook today. Maybe.


Jeanne’s Review of Dept. of Speculation

Stephanie’s Review of Dept. of Speculation

Let me know if the pinterest links don’t work. Not sure without signing out and I don’t want to do that because I can never remember my password. But if it doesn’t, I promise to help you get the info you need.

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.

Even If the Sky Falls Down

Thoughts eitsfdbysb Even If the Sky Falls Down by Susan Jackson Bybee, 2105, 198 pages

What’s it ABOUT:  Lily is an American teaching English in South Korea but she breaks her ankle and gets fired. Apparently, the mothers of kindergarteners don’t trust a teacher who can fall and break her ankle – she is a bad influence? As compared to a YA coming of age story, this is more of a Hi-I’m-Here-in-a-Foreign-Country-to-Teach-English-and-Figure-Out-My-Life kind of way.

Because Lily is wearing a cast, she can’t find another job and ends up working with seniors rather than little kids. At first she is apprehensive but she learns to love these older wonderfully-diverse opinionated varied-background souls.

What’s GOOD:  We get amazing varied personal stories of love and sacrifice, horrors of war and overcoming from all of the seniors because Lily is interviewing them for a project. I learned a lot about South Korea. The author provides a helpful vocab guide, too.

What’s NOT so good:  Lily’s boss is . . . odd?

FINAL THOUGHTS: So many touching scenes…  The pacing is terrific; the even tension propels the story. I look forward to Bybee’s next book.

Please read this review of Bybee’s book and know that I’m not alone in thinking this is an emerging talent on our reading horizon:  Nancy at BookFoolery will convince you this is a MUST READ.

Read this if you are sympathetic to seniors having stories, too. AND are interested in teaching English in a foreign country and you love dogs. I love dogs. The dog piece is great. And read this is you LOVE Bybee’s take on books cuz her book blog is one of my very very favorites. She’s funny and wise and smart and adorable. Her book is also funny and wise and smart.

RATING:  Four slices of pie. fourpie



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.

Twelve Blog Post Ideas in a Trove

Ms. Bookish has challenged us to create a list of blog post ideas for those times when the well might be dry. Personally, I don’t have this problem very often, if ever. I always feel free to open a blank post template and start typing just to see what happens. Random is my friend.

But, since she is offering PRIZES! I thought I would try to generate a bunch of ideas, for “just in case”.

Here’s her EXPLAIN the TREASURE TROVE Challenge post.

1) A post to explain how unhappy I am about WordPress changing their ADD-NEW-POST style. Grrrrrrr.

2) The Tournament of Books hosted by The Morning News.

3) Most recent pie thoughts/activities.

4) Any book connections – those times when one book reminds you or is linked in some way to a book you’ve read previously or one you hope to read someday.

5) A vocabulary post – words recently discovered or tripped over that needed defining.

6) Try (search for) that blog post generator idea!  How fun.

7) Create a list of books that I think everyone should read.

8) Summary recap of challenge progress.

9) Summary recap of monthly/quarterly/whatever time period for books read, etc.

10) Explore the meme and weekly post ideas that others do:  Top Ten Tuesday, Sunday Whatever It Is, Monday What Are you Reading, etc.

11) Re-present a post from the past that I am proud of and/or revisit a book and my review to see if I still remember the book.

12) DO a link-love link up post – which in my case would probably be a highlight of other bloggers who do this well.

OK – that took my less than 10 minutes!  Feel free to borrow if any inspire you.

Oh, Belle also asks about thoughts on the generation process. Well, for me, similar to how I write posts, I just open up a blank post and let the fingers start typing up the words. I edit as I go. I don’t track my ideas. I do sometimes create draft posts of ideas and often of book reviews while reading the book – I get it all set up so that when I’m ready, all I have to do is write my impressions and not do the ‘add book cover’/tags, etc.

Have a great day! – hopefully I will soon be posting reviews of Even If the Sky Falls Down and Dept. of Speculation.

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.

All I Have in This World

Thoughts Parker_All I Have_Jkt_Final.indd by Michael Parker, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill 2014, 320 pages

First, let me tell you that I rated this Five Slices of Pie.

I don’t usually write my reviews in Goodreads, but this time I did. I now copy and share here. As always, the book cover above links to the book blurb in Feel free to go there and read the official “what’s the book about” bit first since I rarely do a good job with that.

Based on the reaction at today’s bookclub, I am in the minority for loving this. Just my kind of book, I guess. But why do I feel the need to apologize or temper my five stars by saying, “Well I loved it but I doubt anyone else will.” Raspberries! I liked it a lot. Amazing? Yes, to me. Not “Should be amazingly adored by everyone!” Skillfully constructed, well-balanced and authentic seeming characters, (and by ‘well-balanced’, I mean in how they were presented, not the character’s personalities!) Sure, suspend some beliefs but yet, as a reader, I didn’t doubt ANY of it. I totally get that some people might not find it authentic and rather thought it silly, even; but I loved it. (Some one thought the relationships were as dry and arid as Western Texas.) I don’t know why it made sense to me and was believable or why I didn’t feel I needed to believe that two strangers sharing a car is possible or ‘would ever never happen’. Who cares – it works in this story. The Buick Electra was a character and I didn’t care that the last chapter ‘didn’t make any sense’ or that the story of the mother and dot who followed the car in Indiana was odd and didn’t connect. I loved it.
So, if you want to experience this book and you know I hate to give spoilers, just know this: The first ten pages are WHAM!-punch. And then the author inserts little short stories about a Buick Electra. Pay attention to the years on the chapter titles and just roll with it.
It might have helped that I read the last 2/3 of this book in two days. I was not expecting to 5-star this when in the first 1/3; I thought it had chances of being a solid 3-star. But something about the prose and the thoughts shared and the emotions provoked pushed it into the amazing realm.
I loved it.
I suspect that most of my book club would have given it 2-3 stars…
(AND I bet they are very worried that I am extremely excited about our next book! The Good Lord Bird by James McBride. Totally different book, I’m sure, but they are nervous.)

and I also managed to copy my Reading Progress!  LOVED some of these quotes. Forgive my laziness to fix the words – I use voice comments in goodreads on the iPhone app and sometimes my phone doesn’t understand me. Sigh…

Reading Progress

03/03 marked as: to-read
03/11 marked as: currently-reading
03/11 page 6 1.0% “Tucked a strand of it behind an ear”  (for Rhapsody Jill)
03/11 page 10 3.0% “Well, THAT was one packed-full impactful first chapter.”
03/13 page 11 3.0% “… Perhaps it was the landscape that noticed him and announced itself, Eric and Tony, as the opposite of the farm he fled in the lush sea level swamplands of southeastern North Carolina”   – Ack! I had to return the book! I don’t think it really said Eric & Tony but ARID and … something else. Blame it on voice notes confusion.
03/13 page 19 5.0% “She spoke of narrative a term he distrusted for its odor of linearity. She spoke of flow a term he disliked for its elasticity”
03/16 page 139 43.0% “”mistakes were made” is a phrase that made you feel slightly better for a while after you uttered it, for its passive construction put the onus on the mistake, as if the absent subject of the sentence – the implied “I” – were walking contentedly down the street, and out of the heavens dropped the net that was the mistake, scooping up the innocent “I” and dangling above the sidewalk, trapped, foiled, ruined.”
03/16 page 157 49.0% “… The compromise and sacrifice that results when you rise out of yourself into the wider world.”
03/17 page 220 68.0% One of the longest run-on sentences I have ever read in a book starts on page 220.
03/17 page 226 70.0% “He was passing through, slower than a train, faster than a drought.”
03/17 page 239 74.0% “”Go straight” and her brother taunted her saying, ” you mean forward, dummy, not straight.” Her life had been straight but not forward.”
03/17 page 242 75.0% My fave of the lil Buick stories is Evelyn!!!!!!!
03/17 page 275 85.0% “To make Marcus realize how utterly unoriginal were his sins”
03/17 page 280 87.0% “Marcus sat in the parking lot of the Fina station accusing himself of the crime of attempted living.
03/17 page 293 91.0% Waterworks starting
03/17 marked as: read


Her life had been straight but not forward. (from the Evelyn short story…)


pieratingsml pieratingsmlpieratingsmlpieratingsmlpieratingsml


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.

Pet Sematary

When I typed the title above, my hope is it will be the last time I ever do so after this:

Thoughts psbysk Pet Sematary by Stephen King, 1983, 562 pages


I am thoroughly of the opinion that if you read further it is because

1. You’ve already read this so therefore anything I could and will say will not surprise nor disturb, and/or

2. You are likely NOT to read this EVEH, having no interest whatsoever in reading any scary King-shit (no offense to Uncle Stevie), and hate horror reading due to nightmare-inducing, shiver-provoking, anti-sympathies to silly scary freaky things.

You’ve been warned.

I had problems with this and yet still rated it four slices of pie.

Four slices of the very best juiciest plumpest sweetest blueberries ever encountered in a pie. With THE BEST vanilla ice cream. No whipped cream here. Home churned true vanillla, the ice cream that makes your teeth hurt cuz it is so cold.

Here are my problems.

Please forgive me if I just failed…  failed to find the answers to these because I missed them in the text. Oh well.

WHAT the heck happened to the family who lived in the house before the Creeds????????!?!??!??!?!

Why the heck did kids maintain the path to the Pet Sematary – the FAKE one? who cares, WHY.  WHY!?!?!?!

WHO did not protest any kids on their property maintaining said path?  WHA?

What was wrong with these people of Ludlow that they would humor kids to bury their pets on someone else’s property?

What the fuck WAS that Wendigo and why did he walk over Louis on his way to bury Gage?

How did Ellie react to her “NEW” parents? How did that go over? somebody tell me that, cuz it is seriously bothering me.

If I have any scary dreams from this book it is of Zelda.

Please don’t anyone tell Joann that her adorable dog is named after one of the creepiest characters in a King novel ever.

Jill’s linking the Wendigo to Johnny Depp has ruined my love for him. His birthday is Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day and now I don’t know – I’m hoping I can totally forget this stupid link – I dunno. Might be ruined. Very very sad. I love Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Sniff.

I am placing this between Carrie and The Stand on my LIST OF KING.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Don’t play with death. Death won’t play nice.

One more thing: HUH?! Did Steve Masterson never go to work again? Did Louis Creed not go to work again? Did they drive to Chicago and freak out poor Ellie?  and then what? DISNEY WORLD?  Seriously.

(Actually, I had been wondering how this book would end having guessed most of the horror and I like how Uncle Stevie did this. But SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!!)





Well.  Misery in June, anyone?


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 was Meme-Tagged.

I was tagged or nominated to answer a few questions. I usually do what I am told. I rarely put up much argument. Whatever.

(Thank you Trisha!   smoooooooches!  I appreciate the being included, I do! I have always wanted a sister. xoxoxox)

1. What time of day do you typically read/do you prefer to read?
2. What is your strangest book related obsession?
3. Like which author do you wish you wrote?
4. Who do you think is the most over-rated author?
5. What do you think is the most over-rated book?
6. Which two authors would you like to see go head to head in a word-off (like a dance-off)?
7. I’ve always wanted to read Lord of the Rings in a cabin in the mountains or Nora Roberts in an Irish inn or The Woman in White in an abandoned asylum. What book-location pairing do you wish for?
8. Describe your bookish self in three words.
9. Name one of your favorite characters and what you would do with him/her if you had one day together.
10. If you had one extra day in the week, that nobody knew about and didn’t count, what would you with it?

THE ANSWERS (with the question rephrased as part of the answer like they try to teach in school.)
1. The time of day that I prefer to read is during the day. I like best to read outside in temperate weather with my dogs basking in the sunlight near me. I like to read on the boat, on a beach. I like to read in the tub with lots of bubbles and a glass of white wine that my husband refills as needed. I like to listen to audiobooks while walking the dogs and when driving around town. I do not  like to read in bed before sleep. I don’t think the posture of sitting in bed is ideal for me and I don’t like wondering where I was when I was so tired that I turned page after page without my memory keeping up the pace.
2. I can’t think of any book related obsession that I might have. Does keeping track of pie references while I read count? Or squealing with delight when my Twitter friends share pie references from books?
3. I wish I could write like Tracy Kidder. His narrative nonfiction is fabulous.
4. The most over-rated author in my opinion is…. Diana Gabaldon and/or  Ken Follett.
5. The most over-rated book is The Pillars of the Earth.
6. It could be interesting to see Kurt Vonnegut word-off with Haruki Murakami; if Vonnegut was available, that is.
7. A book-location pairing that I would wish for is to read anything by Virginia Woolf (but specifically a reread of To the Lighthouse) with a view of the ocean from St. Ives, Cornwall, England. In summer.
8. My bookish self in three words: Chatty, thoughtful, excited.
9. Liesel the Book Thief is one of my favorite characters and if we could have one day together, we would break into rich peoples’ libraries and steal their books then read them by the river while eating apples. But alas, the war would crowd ever-so closer and I’ll start to cry if I don’t figure out how to stop thinking about this book right now.
10. If I had one extra day in the week, that nobody knew about and didn’t count, I would watch movies.


FEEL FREE TO PLAY ALONG! How would YOU answer these questions?




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.

Yes, Please

Thoughts yesplsabyap Yes, Please by Amy Poehler, Harper Audio 2014, 7 Hours 31 Minutes

Narrated by the author and her pals.

I’m so out of the reviewing mode. Let’s see…  I enjoyed this one very much. I think I enjoyed this more than I did the Tina Fey book, which I also listened to. I think memoirs by people of the comedic persuasion are best good (maybe EASY?) to listen to. Just like my experience with Tina Fey, I only know Amy by her work on Saturday Night Live. I never watched Fey’s primetime show – which I can’t even remember now what it was and I have never seen an episode of the Parks & Rec show that Poehler was on.

[I just don’t watch much television. Oh, I *do* watch television – but I tend to watch the Weather Channel, local news, the Food Network, flipper shows on HGTV, Big Bang Theory reruns during the cook-dinner phase of an evening and whatever sports programming my husband puts on. I don’t watch television when I am home alone. Don’t even remember to turn the damn thing on.]

I loved learning that Poehler is from the Boston area!  I found it hysterical that she went off on a rude dude flying first class when he got all uppity to her.

I think Poehler is pretty darn cool.

I wish her all the best in her future endeavors and I rate this 4 slices of pie.

P.S. Since I listened to this and it absolutely bugged me that I couldn’t tell the spelling of Amy’s childhood friend’s name so a big thank you shout out to the friend who let me know from her print version that Amy’s friend was named Keri. Yes, it is a big deal. If you have lived in New England, you may know why. Let’s just say that when I lived there I was constantly asked and apologized to whenever my name was discussed. It was fascinating, I tell ya! Accents and/or pronunciations boggle my brain.

I thought I had something else I wanted to share or remember for my post on this book but I can’t remember what it was so … oh well.

If you like comedy, if you like strong women and celebrate women, and admire people who succeed at their dreams whatever that definition of success may be, then you will likely like this book.




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.

A Song about Pi #ILovePie

Pielicious linkings for the ePIc Pi Day 2015…


Shockingly Delicious recipe blog presents 13 Things You Need To Know for Pi Day 2015


CNN’s story on Pi Day

pinterestlogox <– will link to my Pinterest Pie Board if you need a funky idea or two.

I’ll be baking a savory pie for my celebration today:  A Fried Green Tomato with Pimento Cheese Tart which also celebrates my new residence in the Carolinas. I’m also making something chocolate. More details as the day unfolds. Hopefully with one of me in my new tee, too. Say that real fast three times.

Check out what Jill’s got goin’ on over at Rhapsody in Books! (in which you might find a link back to here which makes it a circular reference! ha!!)

Happy Birthday Al! HBalbert Click here for an Instructable for Albert Einstein Pie


What PIE will you be enjoying today for Pi Day?

I was going to give you a link to all the pie books I’ve reviewed but I seem to tag the word “pie” a lot and don’t have a tag reserved exclusively for “pie book” and so this will have to happen another day. But you could click here for one, or Maman’s Homesick Pie, or Making Piece, or Beth Howard’s Pie Recipes, or for Ken Haedrick’s and there’s this or this or this… Now that I’ve typed that sentence and realize it is just as much work to bring up the posts to create the links as it might be to create a new tag and then tag the posts; sheeeesh, I’m tired. So nevermind. Doubtful anyway that anyone will care or even read this; we’re ALL busy. Too busy for this certainly! GO EAT SOME PIE.


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.

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.


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.


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.



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.


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