Archive Page 2

‘Salem’s Lot #SalemAlong

Thoughts slbysk ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, Simon & Schuster POCKET BOOKS 2009 (orig 1975), 458 pages

wian15 rip10500




Loved it! I think this might be the scariest one yet. I really do think I found this more heart-pounding . . . and suspenseful . . . and fear-inducing than most, including Pet Sematary.

I still only give it four slices of cherry pie but it has a lot of whipped cream on top.

SPOILERS AHEAD, be ye forewarned.

Since this is a readalong book and many of the participants will write up fabulous plot reviews for what happens in these pages, I will instead offer a few things that bugged me, confused me, or just interested me.

Am I right; tell me if I’m wrong, but, doesn’t it seem like Ben Mears is…  is…  is just like Larry Underwood and Dale Barbara and adult Danny Torrance? Who am I forgetting? The good guys, our heros. YEP, they have all started to blend in my brain.

Trish had a tweet that accused King of always killing off our favorites but to be honest, I must blot this out of my brain. (Maybe in The Stand? That book was just tooooo long.) HOWEVER. I was VERY sad and upset when Susan was drafted to the Barlow team.

I loved TeamMatt! Do you agree with me that this book had the slow steady chunk, chunk, click, clack of the roller coaster cart climbing up that shaky scaffolding and then .  .  .

SQUEEEEEEEE!!!   the plot pace picked up tremendously; the action, the terror, the throat-rippings were just a quick downhill scream to the finish.

Well done, Uncle Stevie. Well done.

I loved the kid. King really can write a cool kid. Thus, IT.

One thing that bugged the crap out of me was that the prologue kept referring to the tall man and “the kid that was not his son”. Now, it took me too long (cuz my brain just doesn’t think in a ‘I’m a-gonna figure this out’ kind of way) to realize that the two people at the beginning were Ben Mears and Mark. I couldn’t recall anywhere in the main story where they described Ben as tall. Oh well, no biggie.

And at the end, when I went back to the beginning and reread what the Mexican priest asked Ben about “what you have done in this New Jerusalem.” What THEY have DONE!? Does he mean “RUNNING AWAY”? or what exactly? Goodness, can you blame ’em?!

Did anyone else reread that initial article about the oddness of the deserted town to find Ben’s name since it was said that he was mentioned? I couldn’t find it.

What do you think happened to Susan’s dad? I still can’t believe the news media didn’t do more work to create more of a story; to have the Priest disappear and the town die and no one talked? Huh. Just sayin’.

Maybe I should write a fanfic of what happened to Father Callahan. Give me something to do for NaNoWriMo…

I can see why this would make a good re-read book. By the time you get all the characters straight, it’s over. I kept confusing Matt and Mark.

Anywho, it was fun, great time everyone! thanks for participating and thanks to Melissa for doing the organizing (and the teeth!) and Trish for the button!

IMG_3305 SL button fascinator Happy Halloween!

(Click on the Salem’s Lot button above to get to the Wrap Up Post…)







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.

Just… Musings

Random Thoughts


Just finished:  The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery – my kind of book. LOVED it.

Review post that I am pondering over:  ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King – I am thinking this is the scariest I’ve read, really!

Book just started:  Never Change by Elizabeth Berg – another book that has the author’s name bigger than the title. HATE that.

State of indecision:  Should I commit to Nanowrimo? Do I dare? Do I just try to do it on my own or does going to the site and signing in make it more real? I am worried that I will give up and also that I won’t have any idea how to start. I don’t have any stories in me. How WILL I ever start? Should I attempt to just WRITE or should I now be structuring a story outline with characters and some sort of event, a problem, a building up to a big explosion and then the aftermaths? Ah… I don’t know.


I fear I have a book hangover.

I was so immersed and relishing the wild thought revelry that was Hedgehog Elegance — knowing that there is no way I could ever write a book like THAT. And now, I start the Berg book and it is cutting close to the bone in terms of protagonist. Ouch, you might say. I am reading it with an eye for a nanowrimo experiment and I’m not measuring up.

Pour on top of that ice cream sundae all the angst of my life – making a fool of myself today calling the school district wondering where my paycheck is only to find out that the paycycle ended last week and they will need another to cut the damn thing. Oh. “Ok, nevermind. Thank you.” Shheeeesssh.

And looking for a job. The ones that gratefully have told me, “nah, you aint the one” so I can go cry about it and cross it off the list which is so much preferable to the ones where I hear nothing and wonder if I should be bugging somebody (who exactly?) and when/if I find somebody, what words do I use to ‘inquire further’? Ugh. It’s just so much bird crap on the head after you just washed your hair. I hate it.

So. That’s me, right now. What’s going on with you?

Oh, gotta add that Never Change has had 4, FOUR! pie references before the first 50 pages…




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.

Nonfiction November #NonFicNov


I will be participating in this year’s Nonfiction November.

The books I hope to read are all focused around deeper study and understanding of US racial issues, the promotion of civil rights and equal opportunity awareness. My first book will be a historical memoir of the integration of Little Rock Arkansas HS wdcbympb Warriors Don’t Cry by  Melba Pattillo Beals. I purchased this tradeback recently.

Other selections I know I want to read but will take more than one month to do so are:

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson

Kristen Green’s Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King

Shannon Sullivan’s Good White People and Debby Irving’s Waking Up White

(NOTE:  This focus is entirely MINE and I do not mean to imply that NonFiction November has to have any theme at all!!!)

The itinerary for the month includes opportunities for discussion and I encourage you to click on the button above to explore more. The first week, Kim will discuss YOUR YEAR IN NONFIC; week 2 is BOOK PAIRING hosted by Leslie; third week will be Becca discussing NONTRADITIONAL nonfic; and the last week is a book club discussion of I AM MALALA hosted by Katie. Join in!


PS. I might also dip into a cookbook or two and post about pie. Reference books are nonfiction, right? 😉


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.

Welcome to the Departure Lounge

Thoughts wttdlbymf Adventures in Mothering Mother by Meg Frederico, Random House 2009, 191 pages

From the blurb:

A fresh, funny new voice, Meg Federico showcases her keen eye for the absurd in this poignant, hilarious, and timely account of one daughter’s tumultuous journey caring for her aging parents.

When Meg Federico’s eighty-year-old mother and newly minted step-father were forced to accept full-time home care, she imagined them settling into a Norman-Rockwellian life of docile dependency. With a family of her own and a full time career in Nova Scotia – a thousand miles away from her parents – Federico hoped they would be able to take care of themselves for the most part, and call on their children when they really needed them – but of course that’s not quite what happens.

As she watches with horror from the sidelines, Federico’s parents turn into terrible teens. Fighting off onslaughts of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, Addie and Walter, forbidden by doctors to drink, conspire to order cases of scotch by phone; Addie’s attendant accuses the evening staff of midnight voodoo; Walter’s inhibitions decline as dementia increases and mail-order sex aides arrive at the front door. The list of absurdities goes on and on as Federico tries to take some control over her parents’ lives – and her own.

This is a story for the huge generation – nearly 76 million people – now dealing with the care of their parents. You’ll laugh and cry as you read this powerful and important debut.

I know I grabbed this one off the shelf because it was short, it  had lived on my shelf for some years and I was hoping it would be funny. Well. I should have known better. Attempting to insert this as a stopgap read while stalling the ending to Salem’s Lot, I realized once again that the horrors of real life always trump the scary nasty monstor du jour created by the mind of Stephen King.

Hats off to Jenny –who has convinced me that Reading-the-End-Before-Reading-the-Middle has its advantages; I skipped over the 4th-7th chapters, read the last two plus Epilogue and then skimmed back over whatever I had to to place it all in context. The book didn’t suffer.

In fact, I thank Frederico for the care and compassion she showed her mother and shares here with her readers. I appreciated the advice on some key isuses. Some GOOD ADVICE that I didn’t know: important to choose hospice at ‘that time’ because they have powers and options that smooth the process for dying at home; like access to pain meds and death pronouncement. Saves a bunch of hassle apparently. No one needs more hassle at that time when you really all need peace. The author’s experiences were interesting, both crazy sad and funny, and she is an excellent writer.

However, I can’t quite imagine who this book is for. Those who are in the midst of going through the challenges of taking care of parents might not want to read about it and those who are not near this phase of life, probably don’t want to know about it.

I encourage anyone interested in the slightest to click on the cover and read the reviews – many are just SPOT ON and thus I won’t attempt to recreate my own review.

Rating:  Three slices of pie.

wian15 Could count for two categories of this year’s What’s in a Name Challenge! familial relation and title with ING.


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.

Death in the Garden

Thoughts dintgbyei by Elizabeth Ironside, Felony & Mayhem Press, 1995, 294 pages

FOR:  Neighborhood Book Club

FIRST Sentence: “Today at half-past two in the afternoon I was acquitted of the murder of my husband.”

What’s it ABOUT:  The story obviously begins with a trial and a murder and probable marital strife; we also get to experience the trauma of the world between and of the two world wars. Here’s what happens and how it is setup:  Diana is having a birthday and she invites a few of her favorite friends – mind you, these friends are not friends of the husband’s. Diana is a very interesting person and it is her husband who is murdered at that birthday party weekend. The year is 1925.

“Fanny herself had no money, no education and only erratic employment, most recently and implausibly in a bookshop. “How can that be?” Diana had once said to her husband. “She doesn’t know how to read.” George’s silence was his habitual response to Diana’s sharpness.”

THEN, we jump to the early 1990s and meet Diana’s great niece, Hannah, a single woman, and thus by default?* hard-working, rising-star attorney in London.

“…those (birthdays with) zeros. Not at 20 perhaps, but at 30 it begins, the casting of accounts, the recalling of doors not opened and roads not taken. Only in noise and distraction, companionship and conversation becoming progressively more sentimental, could it be avoided.”

Diana, referred to as “the Great Aunt”, dies in her 98th year. Hannah inherits the estate, or most of it –Diana has made a point to will lots and lots of money and goodies to all the females in the family. What? She was wealthy?! None of the family members are aware of her fortune and certainly not her past – the fact that she was acquitted of murder. To them, she was just a lovely old lady who tended her garden. It was crazy to think she was once a wild woman who experienced anything dramatic. They decide to find out what really happened.

Hannah has her own secrets…

“He, who had for weeks or days been the peaceful background hum of her existence, suddenly became the only sound in her universe.”

Just like Trish, I am not one to try and guess the whodunnits or even want to spot if any zany twists, forcing any unravelings of plot. I adored this story and how it unfolded! I was, as they say, on the edge of my seat and this was a wonderful way to temper my #SalemAlong reading of ‘Salem’s Lot.

“Edith, she works in order not to think. At home it would be impossible to spend a few days among such people without any discussion of ideas.”

It’s not just the turns, the reveal and the various character studies; it was the analysis of marriage and independence. Of feminism and how women had/have to assert themselves, or not. Of careers and ambition, the balance of power. There is a lot here to admire – in the thoughts expressed and how the author presents all of it in the story.

“For Pia, any weakness or shame, such as that George had inadvertently revealed, filled her with the desire to protect and shelter, to hide the exposed place. George had shown a crack to the base of his soul. He saw himself as a failure. He had married Diana to use her beauty and talent to shore up the gaping fissures in his personality and found that they could not be used.”

What’s GOOD/NOT so good? . . .  SKIP . . .

FINAL Thoughts: I think we will have a LOT to discuss at meeting and I am really hoping that this book charmed the others in club as much as I was charmed.

RATING: There were zero pie mentions (and no lobster ones, either, I’m afraid) but I still give this FIVE slices. Let’s go with MINCE MEAT PIE since Mincemeat Pie Day is October 26.



ha-ha – sunk fence

alpinism – climbing the Alps

soubrette – frivolous young woman in comedies

kedgeree – an Indian dish of seasoned rice, beans, lentils, and sometimes smoked fish

danegeld – an annual tax believe to have been imposed originally to buy off Danish invaders in England

Stakhanovite – a Soviet industrial worker awarded recognition and special privileges for output beyond production norms

charabanc – a sight-seeing motor coach

ukase – a proclamation by a Russian emperor or govt having the force of law, edict

*    default: how can a girl/woman of 30 yo not have a husband or significant other? might as well be good at your job since you have no one to take care of…  sheesh…


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 Cheers of a Reading Saturday

And there is always this:  My entire tweet-cheer history!


Every BOOK you take
Every PAGE TURN you make
Every cookie you break
Every COFFEE you take
I’ll be CHEERing you.

<— 48 RTs, 68 LIKES

We’re READing together But still it’s almost farewell And maybe we’ll come back To , who can tell? +

I guess there is no one left to CHEER We’re leaving ground (gonna get some sleep) Will things ever be the same again? +

[Hook] It’s the final countdown The final countdown Ohh! *\0/*


They say you got a bookshelf You’re with it every weekend They’re talkin’ about you and it’s bringin’ me UP!


You’re ready and set Take that BOOK over the line, You bet! First and ten First and ten Do it again! *\0/*


STRAIGHT UP NOW TELL ME are ya really gonna read for 24 hours? OR are you just havin’ FUN?


Ten pages, ten more pages, For our team, it’s not hard! Give me a P-A-G-E T-U-R-N!!

We Twitter back together To say “SO LONG” It is almost over Another tremendous


All you need is , all you need is love, All you need is books, love. BOOKS are all you need. Love, CHEER, love, , love,


I’ve never seen an author in the flesh I cut my teeth on classics or the movies And I’m not proud of my reading choices +

in the genre that I’ve found No Dewey decimal envy +

But every BOOK’s like gold teeth, READin’ in bathroom Scary stories, trashin’ hotel room We don’t care, we’re READing ATWOOD in our dreams +

But everybody’s like Franzen, Sparks on your mantle Jet planes, islands, tigers on gold leash We don’t care, not caught up in love affair +

And we’ll ALWAYS be READERS (readers) It time for That kind of stuff just ain’t for us We crave a different kind of buzz +

Let me be your CHEERer (Cheerer) can call me Queen Bee And baby I’ll rule (I’ll rule I’ll rule I’ll rule) Let me live fantasy +


I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter Dancing through the fire ‘Cause I am a -er, and you’re gonna hear me roar Louder, louder!

TWO FOUR SIX EIGHT Who do we appreciate?! CANDY CORN and Heather BOO-yah!!!! and

We’re in the final hour Let’s rally to the end You read, I’ll cheer – we’ll sing and dance and all be friend/s. ! *\0/*

came in like a pile of books I never hit the so hard All I wanted was to read the stories All you ever did was CHEER me! *\0/*

You once thought of me As a boring book on a shelf. Now you know how happy I can be. Oh, and our good times start and end with !!

Jump up and down, stand on your head, just a quick break, THEN get that book READ. Happy !!

We read for fun, we read to learn, up all night, hours to burn.

I love books I love to cheer – it’s fun! So grab a book and Join this awesome ! *\o/*. ()






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.

Care Has Weekend Plans; You’ll NEVER Guess WHAT She is Going to Do!


This weekend is Dewey’s Read-A-Thon. I am not signing up to read but I am officially signed up to CHEER. readathon5cheer Or at least, I think so? readathoncheerleader The coordinators are incredibly dedicated and working very hard to organize and strategize and all the -izes!


Now here is some exciting news:  Reading Rainbow is involved!

So, if you don’t already know about this fun activity to read read read and read some more over one weekend, click on that image above. Or the one below. Actually any of the cute buttons will take you to the website. And see you on Twitter!

#ReadAThon @ReadAThon

readathonbutton  lg-new-readathonbutton-border

Will you be reading? Cheering? Twittering? Doing something else fun? Here are a few of my favorite posts from prior ‘Thons:  Fond Memory of Dewey  ♦  Tribute  ♦  Wild RAT Song Parody 2009  ♦  Why I Love Book Blogging






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.

Sorcerer to the Crown

Thoughts sorcerer_front mech.indd Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, Ace Books 2015, 371 pages


I wanted to read this when Aarti mentioned it. Not sure why exactly, it certainly isn’t my typical read, but I was somehow captivated and knew this would be my first book for #Diversiverse 2015.

I am so glad that I acted on this impulse – I loved it!

I loved it for the vocabulary. See below.

I loved it for the energy, the vivacity.

I loved it for the confounding character of Prunella. She was unique and I loved her power-forward attitude.

I won’t review it – you can read Aarti’s review, or Jenny’s or Olduvai’s.

I want to read the next in the series. Crazy, right? (Long time readers of this blog know that I am usually a one and done (or not at all a fan) on series…) And on that note, I can say that the ending is sufficient as a stand alone book. Whew.

I should probably look for a GIF to do that whew… (and a BIG thank you to Jenny – my favorite GIF-ologist – for the always appreciated assistance: the right-click on image trick worked…)

Maybe not quite the right whew but it is VERY IMPORTANT to me when a series book does NOT end on a crazy annoying cliffhanger. (Patrick Ness I’m looking at you.)

One more cool thing… The Faery King has a lobster courtier.  copleyl But, of course.


Question for those of you all in the know, this book would be an excellent gift for a 14 year old, yes?

And finally, a book connection coincidence link:  and I quote “Since the decision to become a parent is invariably self interested, it is my belief that a parents obligation is to the child, and the child’s obligation is to itself.” –> this reminds me of the issue that irked me in the book I reviewed prior to this one. I LIKE this quote.


VOCAB – I learned a lot in this book. About magic and fantasy terms, mostly. I didn’t note page numbers this time, sorry.

manumit – (a word that shocks me that I don’t know) – release from slavery; set free

demesne – land attached to a mansion; legal possession of land

emolument – the returns arising form office or employment, usually in form of compensation; advantage

lamia – female vampire

cantrip – a witch’s trick

sigil – seal, signet, sign to have occult power

stoichiometry – branch of chemistry dealing with application of laws of definite proportions and conservation of mass/energy

froward – habitually disposed to disobedience

asafetida – the dried fetid gum resin of the root of several west Asian plants; flavor or medicine

theurgy – art of compelling or persuading a god to do or refrain

prolix – using too many words!!!

redound – to have a particular result

bombazine – a silk fabric in twill weave, dyed black

thaumaturgy – the performance of miracles/magic (doh)

dogsbody – a person who is given boring, menial tasks to do.

louche – disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way.

putative – generally considered

dropsical – affected with an accumulation of an excessive amount of watery fluid in cells, tissues, or body cavities

bougie – a thin, flexible surgical instrument for exploring or dilating a passage of the body. OR urban dictionary: Aspiring to be a higher class than one is.

beldam – a malicious and ugly woman, especially old,  witch.

dido – perform mischievous tricks or deeds.

gutta percha – a hard, tough thermoplastic substance that is the coagulated latex of certain Malaysian trees

cant – lively, lusty

AND one that my i{Phone app for Merriam-Webster didn’t have (there were more but I didn’t capture)








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Fog Island Mountains

Thoughts fimbymbj Fog Island Mountains by Michelle Bailat-Jones, Tantor Media 2014, 171 pages

Winner of the Christopher Doheny Award.

THREE WORDS:  Evocative, Heart-achy, Powerful

I have admired this author for many years for her insightful reviews, back when she was just another unnamed book blogger (aka Verbivore – Incurable Logophilia) and now award winning author! I always seem to think of “Verbivore” when I come across titles by Doris Lessing, Nadine Gordimer or Michel Houellebecq; because we have had conversations about these authors I still remember. The power of book blogging! (I still haven’t actually read anything by Houellebecq. FYI)

So, what’s this ABOUT: A man from South Africa, married and living in his wife’s native Japan, has taught English for many years in a small mountain town. When the book opens, he is told that he has cancer of a kind that might take his life much sooner than later. His wife is not with him when this diagnosis is shared by the doctor, who happens to be a friend and English Language Learning student of the man. The fact that his wife is not with him is strange. Where IS she?

Well, let’s just say the wife doesn’t handle a few things at all well and we have the three kids to meet and learn what they are up to, their reactions to their father’s news. And a big BIG storm is about to hit – we must take precautions, we must take care.

Marriage, tragedy, communication, family, grief.

I must say that this book is by far one of the oddest books that I have read and thus is hard to describe. It has a tone and incomparable style. The author is American who lives in Switzerland and translates books from French. I *think* I read that she grew up in Japan? (yes, in the book endnotes she thanks her parents); she truly is a world traveler and has had many multi-cultural experiences. This book demonstrates her worldly view balanced with a very specific setting and culture —  is captivating in its details.

“… and although it is a selfish thing, he knows this, he has always known this, he was not watching old man Inomura, he was reaching inside his own chest and testing the strength of his heartbeat and building up the walls around his eyes that would make it possible for him to witness these deaths, year after year, again and again, and he would not see the person anymore, he would only know his own beat, beat, beat, and feel safe in its strength.”

This book could be eligible as a RIP X read because it has elements of fantasy with retellings of Japanese folklore, specifically of the fox-woman. I knew nothing of these tales so if you do, you’ll likely be in for a real treat. But also know that if you do not know Japanese folklore, you can still be enthralled by Fog Island Mountains.

What’s GOOD: Mood, tone, style, brevity, density. It happens in real-time. Loooooong sentences. The viewpoint is omniscient yet narrated by one of the town citizens. Aha! just WHO is this narrator?

This book is always just a step off balance – it is supposed to be. Occasionally, the reader is brought into the story. There are many diverse and minor characters; their development explorations felt genuine. The storm that hits the island could also a character. It really is a fascinating story-telling.

“Let us give her this moment, let us turn away, because the relief in letting herself cry will be ugly for us to look it, we can step outside the door so as not to hear her whimpering, we can stand here a moment feeling the force of the wind and the sound of the crashing up in the forest, and when she’s ready, it won’t be long, Kanae has always been the stronger one, we can step back inside and see that she has already gotten herself up off the floor, she has dropped Alec’s shoes to the floor and she is dashing through the house to her bedroom.”

Also good, the book has a Glossary of Japanese Words!

What’s NOT so good: The symbolism is over my head; I’ll just say that. I also questioned – and this may be cultural and certainly personal (for me) – a statement (or two)  that parents should love their children more than their spouse. I agree that there are varieties of love but degrees of more or less or in comparison are just in bad taste. There I said it. I found a few sentences quite jolting and it was a theme (a minor theme? – no other review I’ve read even mentions it) but it was evident in more than one place in the text. Perhaps this point alone will pique your interest to read it. It certainly isn’t a flaw but only something I sensed that I disagreed with on a philosophical note.

FINAL thoughts: I am glad to have read this. I congratulate and celebrate with Michelle Bailat-Jones on this stunning debut novel. I love novellas and this one is fabulous, really.

RATING: four slices of Lemon Meringue Pie – though the cover is reminding me of a Dairy Queen Blue Raspberry Mr. Misty Float… fourpie

No mention of pie that I noted. So why Lemon Meringue? I’ll let you guess.

This book has one of those fun coincidence links to H is for Hawk with a scene in the beginning when our narrator rescues and renders aid to a …. a hawk! Cool, right?


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.

H is for Hawk

Thoughts hifhbyhm H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, Random House Audio 2014, 11 hours 6 minutes

I’m already declaring this a TOP READ/LISTEN for 2015!

Anonymous Interviewer aka AI: Care, how did you come to read this?

Care: I saw a tweet announcing it as an Audible special for $2.99. Since, I knew I had only a few hours left of my current audiobook and lots of days left in the month to await my next credit, I jumped.

AI: Did you know anything about it? Had you read any good reviews?

Care: Excellent question because no, I didn’t really know much about it but yes, I do think I had read positive things? I DID know that the title fits the What’s in a Name Challenge for the animal category, so it has that going for it.

AI: I thought you were going to read Elegance of the Hedgehog for WiaN8.

Care: So did I, but it just kept getting passed over by my mood to read something else. I do hope to read Hedgehog someday but maybe not anytime soon, I guess.

AI: So what’s the Hawk book about?

Care: H is for Hawk is a fascinating overlapping memoir — and more! It is part nature book, falconry how-to book, grief exploration book and part biography of TH White, the author of The Once and Future King.

AI: So this is memoir?

Care: Yes, nonfiction. (I admit, I didn’t know this until after I started listening to the book.)

AI: Tell us about the author.

Care: Sure, and I first must say if I haven’t already, that the author does an EXCELLENT job narrating her own book.

AI: Is this unusual?

Care: What, that authors narrate their own books or that they actually do this successfully?

AI: Yea, that.

Care: I think Neil Gaiman is one author that does a great job and I have found that entertainers such as comedians always seem to do a very good job narrating their own books, but I can’t say that Donna Tartt pulled off a successful narration. (I did manage to listen all the way to the end of the 16 hour plus audio of The Secret History! YAY ME.)

Care: May I interrupt to give a NEVERWHERE READALONG SHOUT OUT? Nancy is doing a readalong if anyone has ever wanted to read this – I highly recommend the audiobook. My review is here.

AI: Do you have a button to share or maybe a hashtag for Twitter?

Care: As a matter of fact, I do know the hashtag #NeverwhereRAL, but I don’t know about a button. And if you click on the words a few sentences ago about the readalong shout out, you’ll open a window at Nancy’s blog…

AI: OK, tell us more about Helen Macdonald.

Care: Ms. Macdonald, a British naturalist writer, is a college professor who has also been interested in falconry since a very young age. There is also a terrific photo of Mabel on her blog (which may or may not be active; it looks like the events might be for 2014, a year done passed.)

AI: Um, Mabel? Who is Mabel?

Care: Mabel is her goshawk! Macdonald says in her book that if you give a goshawk a mild meek-sounding name, they usually turn out to be terrific hunters! (and vice versa.) Here’s a photo of another goshawk that I found on the internet:

goshawk <– Sindbad the Goshawk, photo credit to The International Falconry Forum

AI: To be totally honest, this book sounds not only boring but slightly depressing, even with a lovely named bird like Mabel.

Care: And you would be wrong. This book is delightful. It has ALL the feelings. Sure, it is about how she went through the stages of grief after losing her father but it also has many funny almost comic moments – also, angry and frightening. Her writing is beautiful, provocative. She is known as a naturalist writer for good reason. She is just an excellent writer! She is smart, she is tender, she is strong, she is brave and she shares every bit of it with eloquence.

And you learn about so much stuff that you didn’t even know you wanted to know about. THAT is a great book.Helen Macdonald

AI: Care to share a quote or two?


“And I found there were myriad definitions of this thing called tragedy that had wormed its way through the history of literature; and the simplest of all was this: that it is the story of a figure who, through some moral flaw or personal failing, falls through force of circumstance to his doom.”

AI: I have nothing else to ask, maybe your readers will have more questions. This concludes this audiobook review presentation interrogation. Thank you.

Care: Thank YOU.


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I prefer pi.


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