Archive Page 2

Things Fall Apart

Thoughts tfabyca Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Anchor Books/DoubleDay 1959, 214 pages

This is one of those heart-breaking tales that won’t quite reveal its heart-breakingness until the last three pages and until that odd realm of thoughtful time beyond called reflection. I admit that I struggled through this; I would put it down and not want to pick it up.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: This is Africa when the missionaries of Victorian England came to save their souls: community, folklore, religion, reaction, life. and death. Always death.

  “And so on this particular night as the cryer’s voice was gradually swallowed up in the distance, silence returned to the world,

a vibrant silence made more intense by the universal trill of 1 million million forest insects.

Because, during the reading with its matter-of-fact ‘other-worldliness’ (aka not relatable cuz ‘foreign’) tales of lives long gone and of places “no longer” and CULTURES OBLITERATED, we (aka I) couldn’t get into it.

It was the matter-of-factness that both held sway and failed to be riveting. How could I relate? There was no drama. It was all “big-bad-dude gets his feelings hurt and reacts like a man, all hurt-pride. blah blah blah.” He had a tender side, of course. They all do.

But the last few pages, in the heart-breaking scenes of what happens, the result – also told in the same matter-of-factness – is what stuns the reader into the realization that these are people (doh!) and that bad shit happens the world over, always has and always will.

I do think it somewhat GOOD to know that BAD craziness has always happened. We tend to think that the good-ol’-days were all sunshine and daisies and puppies but bad crap has happened every day everywhere and it probably isn’t getting better nor worse.

THAT is why I read history and historical fiction. It is NOT good to dwell on how the world is ‘going to shit’. We MUST put positive vibes into the universe or the bad guys win!

This book has humor and sad (horrifying*) superstitions and truths about people and community – the good and the bad. I am glad to have read it.

“… filled the air as the spirits of the ancestors, just emerged from the earth, greeted themselves in their esoteric language.” (Connects to the Martian elders in Strange in a Strange Land)”

RATING: 4 slices of pie. Sweet Potato Pie?

*the fact that twins were killed cuz twins are bad made me feel all the sadnesses.


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.


Thoughts gbydd : How Newport Became America’s Richest Resort by Deborah Davis, John Wiley & Sons 2009, 309 pages

Bookblurb from goodreads:

A beautifully written history of high society in Newport, Rhode Island, from the acclaimed author of Party of the Century. Newport is the legendary and beautiful home of American aristocracy and the sheltered super-rich. Many of the country’s most famous blueblood families – the closest thing we have to royalty – have lived and summered in Newport since the nineteenth century. The Astors, the Vanderbilts, Edith Wharton, JFK and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Doris Duke, and Claus and Sunny von Bulow are just a few of the many names who have called the city home. Gilded takes you along as you explore the fascinating heritage of the Newport elite, from its first colonists to the newest of its new millennium millionaires, showing the evolution of a town intent on living in its own world. Through a narrative filled with engrossing characters and lively tales of untold extravagance, Davis brings the resort to life and uncovers the difference between rich and Newport rich along the way.

WHY I read this:  I was SO looking forward to walking to the Island Book Store in Newport because I like independent bookstores and I knew exactly which book I would buy once I got there: Newport by Jill Morrow (pub’d in July)  but AGHAST! They didn’t  have it! So, the wonderful staff suggested I read Gilded instead. Thinking that I hadn’t read any nonfiction in too long, I bought it.

The private beach for the richest of the set.

The private beach for the richest of the set.

What’s it ABOUT: The description above is right on. It mentions everyone who is everyone and also discusses the decades since the real hey-days when the mansions were being built and even shares about the ‘current’ Newportians (well, to pub date). I didn’t know much about the Tennis Club nor how the Jazz Festival got its start, so I learned alot! I have read a couple of books on the Vanderbilts but not much else outside of the sphere of the mansion-tour-brochures. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to visit any more mansions on this latest trip but I WILL! I will – next time. I love Newport.

Current goings-on…   You all know who Larry Ellison is, right? Oracle Computers? He bought the Beechwood Mansion and seems to be TOTALLY restoring the thing!  I was told that he is having to LIFT it and pour a new foundation.


And who among you has an Alex & Ani bracelet? I sadly did not even venture into their flagship store but supposedly they (the fam) is busy restoring Belcourt Castle (first built as a bachelor pad for a rich dude and his horses but then he married Alva Vanderbilt after her divorce blahblahblah…). I didn’t take any photos of this apparently – hard to do when walking two energetic dogs.

b0bbacf1-9a0f-4065-9362-5c2ec51f8e14 7a039b5f-f189-4dfb-ba1a-04b3b06fbc70 78058831-63f9-4f2d-b791-96805da54180

What’s GOOD: OK, I really am NOT much of a follower of the now rich and famous (probably because they are good at hiding and I don’t watch much TV so I miss a lot) but I really am glad that they (the oldies) built some amazing buildings and that Newport is sharing them with us. I can’t help it! I love beautiful amazing buildings.


The home of Doris Duke.

Sidenote: Just watched the movie Into the Storm with Brendan Gleeson as Winston Churchill and if you know anything about that guy, you know his mom was American. But it was a cousin of his that had to marry a Vanderbilt in order to get the money to restore (aka “save from ruin”) Blenheim PALACE! Crazy wild stuff – the aristocracy of Britain and THEIR amazing architectural treasures. I found it all so very freaking fascinating, I do.

What’s NOT so good: Not enough photos in the book! and it jumps around a bit, I got confused who was who and when more times than I can count, but still a fun read.

FINALLY: If you ask me if I could go back in history, I would love to be one of the best friends – thus in the same social class but not quite always in the papers – with this crowd in the late 1800s, through the turn of the century and and into the roaring 20s. Travel! Champagne! Excess to the excess! Parties parties parties!  ah… Would have LOVED to have seen it. In other words, don’t send me back to that time period to be a scullery maid.

RATING: Four slices of pie. (no pie was mentioned as far as I managed to note, anyway.)


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.

Stranger in a Strange Land

Thoughts siaslbyrh by Robert Heinlein, Blackstone Audio 2009 (orig 1961), 16 hours 21 minutes

Narrated by Christopher Hurt.

FOR CLASSIC CLUB – might fit the humor category of the the Classics Challenge, too?  (or maybe not)

What is this ABOUT:  A child had been born to a Mars Exploration team and was eventually brought back to Earth – he really does not have any idea of his Earthly human heritage but once secured into a place with humans who allow him to thrive and learn, he manages to REALLY get carried away with combining his Mars knowledge with what it means to be human.

It’s a wild ride and after reading Atlas Shrugged immediately prior, it was especially philosophically wild.

I am still trying to wrestle with the concepts and ideas between the two books AND the idea that the books were written a few years apart. Honestly, Atlas Shrugged holds up better. Stranger definitely had a 60s feel to it.

How lucky for our Martian friend that he met Jubal Harshaw! Otherwise, the story would be vastly different. In fact, this book is more a book about Jubal than Michael from Mars.

Finally, a science fiction book about space travel and aliens! I listened to this on a trip from North Carolina to Rhode Island. I didn’t quite have enough road to finish the book, but walking the pups around Newport afforded me the opportunity to finish the book without too much delay.

The first third is rollicking fun!

The next third was rather tedious when it gets bogged down in religion – though very cleverly explained.

The last third was the eye-rolling WTH!? free-love craziness and to be totally honest, I don’t even remember how it ends. Happy ever after? Golly, I really do not recall.

I expect a lit class on this text would be enlightening and hot with discussion. I almost stopped the car on one tiny but powerful little hiccup about rape but I had to just power through and though not forgive – I am just trying (and obviously failing) to pretend he really didn’t say that. Ugh. Heinlein seems to say that women can be smart and do whatever they want; of course, they are quite capable but they really only want to be loved, be pretty and have babies. Despite that…

RATING:  I rate it 4 stars. I don’t think this book would appeal to many of my friends but it was fascinating and it is one more title I am glad to say that I finally ‘know’ and can say, “Yep, read it.”




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.

RIP to the TENTH

Congratulations to all the RIP-ers who have participated each and every year! I have not but always want to? How’s that for being wicked?

AND on that thought, or coincidentally, . . .

I found myself listening to many Wicked songs from my Broadway Tunes Pandora channel and remarked to somebody that I probably should read Wicked by Gregory Maguire. Honestly, I didn’t even have the book on my tbr at goodreads (a few of  you are shocked knowing how many books ARE on my tbr at goodreads (1528))

and then this somebody person brought me the book to read.

Well, darn.

Since I hadn’t yet pulled The Elegance of the Hedgehog off my shelf to be the next physical book to read, I started Wicked.


This morning, I realized that Wicked would totally count for RIP and so here I am blogging a post about it.

Here’s the badge; it links to the official site and host: rip10500  <– designed by Abigail Larson.

Here is a possible list of other books I may or not read in participation of this grand bookish event:   Wicked, The Secret History (narrated by Donna Tartt), Woman on the Roof by Mignon G. Eberhart, and Salem’s Lot.


And finally,

READ SALEM’s LOT in October with us!  Watch Melissa’s blog for info and thank Trish for the soon to be revealed badge. I think we will be tweeting with hashtag #SalemReadalong?? maybe (to be updated when I know for sure)

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.

Atlas Shrugged

  • Note: I ‘read’ this (listened with occasional looksee at the eBook) in July. I am behind in my review writing. I wrote this the first week of August and forgot about it. I decided now to go ahead and post. Thank you.

Thoughts asAbyar by Ayn Rand, Blackstone Audio 2008 (orig 1957), 63 hours

Narrated by Scott Brick.


A big THANK YOU to Ti of Book Chatter for the ambitious readalong adventure suggestion for the months of July and into August. I was certainly intimidated – the length alone is mind-boggling but throw in the controversy of the author and her political leanings, and one must REALLY think, “do I really want to tackle this? Is now the right time?”

I asked those questions, and did it anyway.

I can’t resist a Ti readalong, usually. Actually, I confess, she and I are not litmus tests to each other’s love of books. She has loved books that I have hated or gotten bored by and vice versa. I think this is why we are good friends. She interests and amuses me and the differences of tastes intrigues me – when we agree, I wonder how we ever find things to disagree on!

But I digress.

Atlas Shrugged is ambitious. It is ambition. It is thwarted ambition and good come-uppance to the losers who dare dictate to winners how to define winning. It truly is a FASCINATING tale, in my opinion.

But I do think it is too long. Oh sure, “GRAND IN SCOPE” and certainly well-thought out and planned. I can sense that Ayn Dear was not a lazy gal. But tedious? Yes, I imagine she has one helluva stare if you dare ask her a stupid question or suggest a time-wasting venture of any kind that might distract her from task at hand. She is totally interesting!

I find the controversy and the devotion and even the scorn she gets to be very fascinating. I kind of wish I had read her in college. I wonder what my 20 yo self would have thought.

But I’m no longer 20. I’m a few decades beyond. The longer I live, the more complicated life is to me.

Oh, crap, I’m thinking I have wandered off topic again.

I don’t think Ayn Rand would have liked me. I cringe thinking of what she would think of me if we met. I don’t really care; – – – again: she fascinates me! But she would look me up and down and dismiss me, I’m sure of it.

I’m rating this 3 stars. The pros are TRAINS!  (think Sheldon Cooper of Big Bang Theory) and I do believe that good work should be rewarded. AND I think that if you give leechers and looters an inch, they’ll demand a mile.

But I believe in balance, too.

I believe in value add;  I believe in sharing. I believe in Rand’s understanding of selfishness as much as I believe in Jubal Harshaw’s. I don’t believe that the government can be trusted. And everyone IS out for themselves. The trick is to respect and not take advantage of ‘the other’. Be true, be kind.

I believe in public education. I don’t know how to fix it but it needs fixing.

BUT. I don’t believe that the government is the best way to ‘steal from the rich to give to the poor’. I’m all for Robin Hood, actually. I just don’t believe the government can “FIX” or distribute wisely or best. You can’t force morality or legislate people to ‘do right’. RIGHT is subjective. And usually selfish on the ulterior motive. If you don’t have an economy, you can’t share any of the pie.

I have lovely lovely friends who are staunch Republicans. I know Libertarians. I have lovely lovely friends who are staunch Democrats. I think that one party thinks the other is all crooked or lazy and vice versa. Ugh, I just hate all of it and wonder how towns ever managed to come together and agree on how to provide clean water and working sewer systems for their citizens!

I am so glad to have read this book. It really had some fun parts, some tedious parts and eye-rolling parts. Good times.

  • Jubal Harshaw is in Stranger in a Strange Land – a fascinating look at many of the same themes. Very mind-twisty to read this right after Rand. Similar time period, too. My brain hurts.


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 Missed a Spin!

Tis truth to say that I joined the Classics Club mainly because I thought the SPIN idea to be just the coolest. But I missed the latest one and I am most heartbroken. Really, it’s not a big deal; there aren’t any “Classics Police” looking for my failure to participate, so I will just admit to being tardy and participate now.

[Check out this post from the official club website if I have only brought up more questions and you need answers. I intend to plow on as if you know what I am talking about.]


Since I missed the kick off announcement but now already know the number that was chosen (the number is FIVE), I will just use the spin list that I created on the prior spin.

THUS, the _fifth_ book on that list is __(typing this before I actually go look at my list which is linked in the prior sentence)____and I intend to read that by October 23, 2015.

WELL, isn’t THIS interesting…







The fifth book is Mansfield Park! Guess what audiobook I am 80% through already and hope to complete by the end of August?  YES!!  MANSFIELD PARK! 

Isn’t that crazy?! I swear I didn’t know before starting this post. Golly, do I amuse myself.



Perhaps I should just move on and tackle the Classics Meme for August? The question is: “Have you made changes to your list since you first created it? If you added any new titles or removed some, why did you make those changes?”

Yes, yes I have. Now, I’ve only just joined in January of this year so I wasn’t expecting to alter my list so quickly but I am very much a mood-chooser when it comes to which books I read. And with participating in readalongs as they interest me and other challenges, I unabashedly give myself permission to stray from my initial 50. This blog is mine and I do with it what I damn well please, and that includes which books and when. I am a guilt-free blogger.

I have so far NOT kicked any books OFF my list but will only see which books haven’t been read by the time I do check off 50 qualified ‘classics’ in my tracking endeavors. Guess that puts me in the category of being loosey-goosey with that FIFTY. Whatever.

Here’s what I have read that wasn’t on the initial list:

The Winter’s Tale / Shakespeare – Jan 2015 • TO SATISFY a Classics Challenge category

√ The Making of a Marchioness / FHBurnette – Apr2015 • BECAUSE I OWN IT and forgot to put it on my initial 50 (smh)

The Talented Mr. Ripley /PHighsmith June2015 • BECAUSE I got the audiobook on a deal and it sounded good at the time of purchase

Atlas Shrugged / Ayn Rand July2015 • BECAUSE Ti had a readalong, I have always been curious (and I adore long audiobooks)


Assuming I finish Mansfield Park and Things Fall Apart very soon, I will have read 12 classics this year so far. I am thrilled to be ahead of schedule!





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.

Guests on Earth

Thoughts goebyls Guests on Earth by Lee Smith, 2013, 328 pages

A couple of things. Where is everyone? Well, I am sure if anyone else is asking that and implying me, yep – I am sort of ‘Off the Grid” or UNPLUGGED at the moment, I guess, only because it is tough to get the good wifi on the devices best for post-writing/visiting/commenting while I “be” on vacation, so NEVERMIND.

And, I’m a wimp. I didn’t like this book. But I don’t know HOW to ‘be nice and not like a book’. Which makes it sound like I do know how to be NOT nice and NOT like a book and that’s not quite it.

I wanted to like this book.

This isn’t even a case of high expectations! It is the case of realizing that this author has many fans so she must have SOME competence, but I realize now that I have discovered her too late. Her early books might be good but she might as well have phoned this one in.

I am sad.

It might have gone somewhere, it might have had promise?

And against all the Go Set a Watchman chatter about having an editor with the golden ovaries to say, “Go rework this and bring it back to me and you might have something.”, I suggest someone on the Smith-Team might have suggested this for this book.

It is teased to be about Zelda aka wife to Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald. There’s really not that much about her.

It has a lovely LOVELY setting in Asheville NC!  yippee – really, I think I liked the setting best of all.

It brings up too many minor characters that get lost.

Thought I teetered between 2 stars and 4, I am settling on 3 stars but it really disappointed me in story structure. I just don’t have the guts to rate it a 2 star. And I did like the first third or so.

She obviously did her research.

She knows how to string sentences together well.

Descriptive sentences were great.

I struggle with praising the character development.

I am not qualified nor have the write words in my critics-toolbox to say what is exactly so disappointing, but…

I was THRILLED for the first 30 pages! I thought, “Oh goodie, I feel this might be a SOMTHIN’ book!”

But it fell flat.

I truly almost didn’t read the last 30 pages. I was almost about to just drop and walk away.


I just didn’t get the point of it.

I dunno.

I’m just SAD.

BEST QUOTE?  p.85-“He might be sweet as pie, or he might take drunk and start sworping around.”

(Did I only just convince you to read it to find out if you agree?!  crazy, huh?)

The book cover will take you to goodreads where you can read all sorts of LOVE and DARN kind of reviews.


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.


Thoughts heftbylm by Liz Moore, Blackstone Audio 2012, 11 hrs 44 min

Narrated by Kirby Heyborne and Keith Szarabajka

I really enjoyed this. I rated this five slices of lemon pie.

I have read some interesting reviews that mention the ambiguous ending and a disturbing date rape scene. I would like to discuss. If you have read this book, read on and chime in. If you haven’t yet, you can keep reading at your own peril.

Quote:  “… the whole place smelled like lemon and pie.”  –  in Chapter Two

We meet Arthur Opp who is a former professor of English who has not left his house in 10 years while eating and eating and eating himself into a weight estimated between 550 and 600 pounds. He has received contact from a former romantic interest; she was one of his students who had to quit school but became a pen pal who hadn’t corresponded in many years. Arthur decides that this contact should be pursued and makes strides to start ‘moving and improving’ if possible, and it was quite delightful to hear his fears about new acquaintances and situations that impact him on this ‘waking up’.

Another story line is told from the perspective of the son of Arthur’s former penpal/student/love interest. He’s a high school baseball jock hoping for a chance at the big leagues so he can avoid college. His mom is a mess, to put it bluntly.

Even at 80% when the reader KNOWS that these story lines MUST crash or converge or cross OR SOMETHING (all caps to demonstrate how passionately I was worried about this!), it was mind-boggling to speculate how this book would end!  When and how would these story lines tie together?

And thus the ambiguity, because… they almost don’t, not really. But I liked it. I liked it very much, even after a few days after listening to the last word and thinking about it. Even after I listened to that last word and said out loud, “Is that IT?!”

I had feared this would be an ugly cry book. I did cry (gently) at about 95% through or so — When Arthur admits that you don’t get to pick your family and sometimes families suck. So sometimes you have to pick your own substitute family.


Now. The date rape. It didn’t bother me. I mean, sure, it BOTHERS me, and bother is too soft a word for this crime. It’s wrong, it’s scary and it’s wrong-&-scary. I get it. But this scene in this book was realistic and I wasn’t put in that place of objectively confronting my feelings on how the scene played out. (And truthfully, since this was audio, I swear I thought he stopped – maybe in my mind, he did and even though he admits that he sensed her being uncomfortable and he didn’t care, I thought I heard in the telling that he eventually DID stop. But I’m not going to go try and find that place in the audiobook and listen again. I’ll keep my version. Maybe he stopped not out of a conscience to suddenly respect the girl, so that is problematic, true.

I did think that he protested too much to his girlfriend later (thus, only confirming my version of the event, actually) but I want to say to those reviewers on goodreads who had a problem with the date rape scene being too casual and not dealt with in an appropriately severe manner consequentially to the perp, I GET IT.

But I don’t think it shows the author of being lackadaisical to the issue. I think she presented it just like it might happen. Life sucks. Books don’t always get to be the platform for a moral and a lesson. They get to be messy.

This book had charm and grit and attempts to find the light when all you can see is the dark. You don’t have to like the characters; yes, they were flawed. They were real.

I recommend this book. I recommend the audio.

I will read more by this author.


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.

Book List Revisits

Back in 2009, I posted this list (and then forgot about it?):

My updates (and corrections) are in PURPLE.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen X

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien X

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte X

4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling (only one and I think it was the 2nd one…) FINISHED! Started at the beginning in June 2012 and finished in October 2013 ; still need to see all the movies.)

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee X

6 The Bible – X

7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte X?

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell X

9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman (only the Golden Compass)

10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens X

Total: 8  ADD 1 = 9


11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott X

12 Tess of the D’UrbervillesThomas Hardy  APRIL 2011 for book club

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller X

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier X

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien X

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger X

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger X

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

Total: 6 ADD 1 = 7, cumulative 16


21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell X

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald X (reread January 2013 in order to see the movie starring Leo)

23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens YES! Loved it AND the BBC miniseries Dec 2012

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams – CHECK: August 2014

26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh –  January 2014

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll X (actually not sure I really read this, but … maybe)

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

Total: 3 ADD 4 = 7, cumulative 23


31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy (only about 1/3 of it!) – took listening to the audio. November 2012

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens X

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis XXXX (loved these)

34 Emma-Jane Austen X

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen X

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis X

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hossein X

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden X

40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne X

Total: 9 ADD 1 = 10, cumulative 33


41 Animal Farm – George Orwell X

42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown X

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving X (just last month!)

45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins  X DECEMBER 2012

46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery X

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy – March of THIS YEAR!  SQUEEEE

48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood X

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding X

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan X

Total: 7 ADD 2 = 9, cumulative 42


51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel X

52 Dune – Frank Herbert (attempted it a looooong time ago and never finished it)

53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen X

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafo X

57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens X

58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time – Mark Haddon X

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Total: 5


61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck X

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov X – October 2009 (never reviewed; just couldn’t)

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt – I do have the audiobook in queue…

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold X

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas (own it, on the tbr pile) – YES YES YES Oct 2014 Audiobook – SO FUN.

66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding X

69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie (abt 1/3 of this one, too)

70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville – Another via audiobook which I highly recommend March 2013

Total: 3 ADD 3 = 6, cumulative 53


71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett – Got this done in April 2011

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses – James Joyce – attempted only; still wonder if someday… May 2011

76 The Inferno – Dante – considering this on audio, thoughts?

77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal – Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

Total: 0 ADD 1 = 1, cumulative 54


80 Possession – AS Byatt – YES. Fabulous (and loved the movie, too.) May 2013

81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens X

82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell – CHECK! March 2013 thanks to a readalong

83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker X

84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro X

85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White X

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – I read one of these… The Sign of the Four in March 2014

90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

Total: 4 ADD 3 = 7, cumulative 61


91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad – DONE June 2014

92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery X

93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams – SWEET; so glad I’ve read this. June 2010

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas –

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare X (wait a gosh darn minute – Bills entire works is in the first ten listed?!)

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo X

Total: 3 ADD 2 = 5, cumulative 66


Grand Total: 48 add 18! ~66. YAY ME.  Not bad… (I have no idea where this list originated.)





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.

Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea

Thoughts aytvimcbych Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler, Gallery Books 2008, 264 pages

FIRST Sentence: I was nine years old and walking myself to school one morning when I heard the unfamiliar sound of a prepubescent boy calling my name.

TRUTH: Her first essay in this collection was my favorite, Blacklisted. About her amazing ability to embellish and think grandiose stories on a dime, Chelsea demonstrates her ability to talk and cajole and invent wild entertaining tales.

It went downhill after this.

I just got bored with her inane over-the-top depravity.

DEPRAVITY: quality of demonstrating an evil and immoral character.

So maybe, evil is a bit strong and misleading. I really wouldn’t call her evil – it’s just all sex and raunchy and well, . . . boring.

Maybe ‘debauched’ is a better word?

DEBAUCHED: to lead away from virtue* or excellence.

Yea, whatever.

I admit. I’ve only seen her show a few times. I thought she was funny. This book wasn’t that funny. Occasionally, a situation was chuckle-worthy but overall, if I chose to dwell on such concepts like ‘regret’, I could easily regret the time I spent with this book.

By the way, a few antonyms for DEBAUCHED are elevate, ennoble and uplift. I need to spend more time with these kinds of words.

Have a nice day!

Enjoy these flowers from my garden: FullSizeRender


* I am in the THICK (~86%) of the ‘speech’ that is looooong in Atlas Shrugged. Might have something to do with my mind-boggling contemplations of virtue and morality, at the moment.

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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