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Happy Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day! #iLovePie

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Happy Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day!

Sadly, though I have strawberries AND rhubarb IN THE HOUSE, I have yet to start the process… and plans for today might prohibit my posting of my own pie photos for this celebration so please appreciate this:

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and click on it to get to Grandma’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie recipe as shared by the Food Network.

Tomorrow is Black Cow (Rootbeer Float) Day and the next is German Chocolate Cake Day. Click here to find out more food holidays.

Wishing you a happy slice of pie today! Grab your peace.

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Misery Readalong Update #MiseryRAL June 8

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Thank you Jenni for creating a button for our month long reading of Misery by Stephen King!

We’ve found some unique words and often-used words:  obdurate, oogiest, cockadoodie, dirty bird, goodness! blah-de-blah-de-blah.

We’ve highlighted some differences between the book and the movie – I have NEVER seen the movie though I *do* know who stars in it. [I found an online essay that highlighted differences between The Shining book and movie and it reminded me that I’ve never seen that one either! See how far I’ve come from being a total NON-King appreciator to moving him to the top spot of Most-Books-by-a-Single-Author-Read category?]

Anyway,

What else?  MUSIC!  Has everyone enjoyed the playlist so far?  I’m not done. There are SO many choices for this. And I have a few other interesting things to do yet, so I hope you’re not done with the text and are bored… You’re having fun, yes?  Not scared, right?!

It’s June 8 which puts us approximately a quarter the way through the month; this puts us at page 80 or so if you are being ‘paceful’. Thus, my selection of King of the Road by Roger Miller:  “No phone, no pool, no pets . . . I ain’t got not cigarettes . . pg. 81

The Second Part begins on page 90 in my edition. So I’ll finish here with the quote that starts that section:

Writing does not cause misery, it is born of misery.   -Montaigne

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Boston Girl

The Boston Girl tbgbyad by Anita Diamant, Scribner 2014, 320 pages

I purchased this from an independent bookseller in Newport RI. I promptly went back to the boat and devoured this. I then passed it on to a friend who I’m sure will only think it ‘meh’. But I could be wrong. We never like the same books…

I would rate it 3.5 stars but am boosting or rounding up to 4 because there are some awesome pie mentions!

What’s it ABOUT: A Jewish woman, Addie Baum, reminisces her childhood and life beyond in a retelling to her granddaughter. It has sad and scary moments and a few laughs;  overall she has found Love and has lived a wonderful life.

I’m not really sure it has much plot. (Which is why I think my friend won’t like it.)

It is warm and uplifting and reminds me to cherish my friendships.

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

A Verse in Rhyme No Meter (Attempt) – Kickoff to #MiseryRAL

Misery in June (the merry month of June)

A group of readers do embark

Upon a readalong this June.

A miserable month to read a book

It’s the merry month of June.

A hoot it will be (thanks Ti!)

Just wait and see ♦

We’ll tweet & scream; No woo woo to be seen

This misery-able month of June.

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We’ll do our Uncle Stevie proud,

and tweet out loud our mirth;

Though fears of misery and pain expected,

our duty to read unshirked.

The merry month of June and misery abounds

Authors trapped by crazy fans;

   Drinks are spilled, the sledgehammer* sounds.

A poet I’m not

I beg forgiveness for this rot;

I blame it all on Dot. (Parker, Dorothy)

“I cannot stand this frantic misery!” I quote** her

and sadly thus I end this now – Nothing rhymes with Dorothy.

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Please twitter-search #MiseryRAL and add this hashtag to your concerns and questions and sharings and odd thoughts. THAT is the only rule. No sign up, just a virtual hand-waving saying, “I’m in!!”  The book is short; don’t read too fast and spoil the fun!!  Put the book in the freezer if you must; let us know why and when. More things a-comin’. Do comment if you want emails and if you like snail-mail, email me (or DM via Twitter) your address – no matter where in the world you might live.

 

CHALLENGE:  if you want…  write your own damn poem.

Challenge the Second: Anyone want to make a button? My computer is dying and I cant’ seem to figure out which application is best to create one… thx

* a clue…

** from Dorothy’s short story SENTIMENT. I found another reference to the word MISERY in her awesome short story BIG BLONDE, page 303: “Misery crushed her as if she were between two great stones.”

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.

Final Thoughts — Flowers for Algernon #MayFFA

Thoughts ffabydk Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, Bantam Books 1968 (orig 1959), 216

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So much for trying not to be SPOILED and thus it was ruined anyway. This would be the BEST book to have been warned thoroughly about what it IS about. (Maybe? Jenny could/should have sent me an all-caps email that said PLEASE YOU MUST READ THE ENDING FIRST! YOU WILL THANK ME.) This is NOT one to be in the dark for. Now, you want a totally-blind know-nothing-read then go try Life After Life by Kate Atkinson or We Were Liars by E.Lockhart. These two should definitely be books to go in COLD.

But NOT Flowers!

This is a cautionary tale of how an incorrect misleading spoiler (or just an untruth!) was misunderstood and how my over-imagination caused much confusion.

It’s just too hard to have classics be totally spoiler-free and over-hyped. I shouldn’t try. It also did not help that I had this confused with Harrison’s Flowers because I seriously SERIOUSLY had thought for many years that it was a war torn love story. And when that bubble burst, I somehow got the impression this TRULY had space aliens!  I thought I accidentally saw a spoiler that the mouse was an intelligent space alien!!! Where I got this, I can no longer ascertain. Apparently, I was hoping for Ralph of The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

So, yea. DISAPPOINTED.

I’m thinking I need to write some fanfic for this book involving mice-driven spaceships and romances ripped apart by the savageness of war.

ncspaceshiphouse  Outer Space or Outer Banks NC House… Supposedly the 2nd most photographed building in North Carolina)

According to Wiki, Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginative content such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes and extraterrestrial life.  Come on, Care, you are SMARTER than to assume all SciFi is aliens and outer space. IKR!?  Well, this did not feel like science fiction. Perhaps because it was based in the past? I’m so out of my league when discussing the SF genre, right? Just because I’ve read Neuromancer and Snow Crash and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I *think* have a grasp on this slippery genre?! Go ahead, banish me from the club. I deserve it. I wish I hadn’t known that it won the Hugo award nor the Nebula Award. Pretty cool that it won, but I wish I didn’t know it.

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OK, then. What is this about? It’s about how a science/medical team attempted to ‘fix’ a low IQ in order to make a human being smarter but they all failed to grasp the consequences on an emotional level. Sometimes, I thought this was expressed well and was quite nuanced in the telling. Other times, I was annoyed at Charlie and often thought he was rude and disrespectful, to women especially; but I have to realize that he learned too much, too fast and the whole point was that he didn’t have the gradual maturing to navigate and understand relationships. Life is complicated… yes, it’s extremely complicated. The story IS sad.

Please read Bellezza’s review, and/or Athira’s Halfway Post.

Two or three slices of pie depending on how I feel when you ask me. I don’t recall any pie mentions.

BIG THANK YOU to ATHIRA and TRISH for reading & tweeting along with me!

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Sickness Quotient: 76% — Your “Sickness Quotient” of 76% indicates therapy may be useful.
Detailed Diagnosis

  • Interpersonal Insights: Your sense of self-entitlement means you’re probably the kind of person that pulled the wings off of butterflies when you were little. You think everyone is out to get you, and you’re absolutely right. It’s because you’re an awful person without any redeeming qualities.
  • Job Performance & Attitude: Your work is of so little value they should just put a shredder in place of your Out basket You frequently mention terms like “core competencies” and “paradigm shifts” while at work. Stop acting like such a tool.
  • Personality Insight: Your personal motto is “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” You must not have been saying this for very long.

ouch.

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.

Unplugged Serenity

or madness, take your pick.

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I will be taking a break but you have my review of Flowers for Algernon to look forward to and also the kickoff post for MISERY in JUNE.

I will be reading Heart of Darkness (on the advice and guidance of Trisha), Station Eleven because it won the Tournament of Books, Mindset – the New Psychology of Success: How We Can Learn to Fulfill Our Potential by Carol Dweck (because it is THE book mentioned in ed reform and PD lately), and The Aviator’s Wife which was just selected for my book club.

I’m listening to the Selected Readings from the Portable Dorothy Parker.

I need to apply for jobs.

I just might be instagramming with the hashtags #Griffology and #Imonaboat.

Do have a memorable and solemn remembrancing kind of weekend. IMG_2691 IMG_2693 IMG_2687 Be safe.

See you in June.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Bookseller of Kabul

Thoughts tbokbyas The Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne Seierstad, Back Bay Books 2002, 288 pages, tB

“The most intimate description of an Afghan household ever produced by a Western journalist… Seierstad is a sharp and often lyrical observer.” -New York Time Book Review

MOTIVATION for reading: This month’s selection for my local library fiction club – – which is wonderful! (not sure if the library just gives to us or we choose. AND, I’m not sure I will be able to attend the meeting if I find a sub job.)

What’s in a Name Challenge 8 – CITY category

FIRST Sentence: “When Sultan Khan thought the time had come to find himself a new wife, no one wanted to help him.”

What’s it ABOUT: The author is a Norwegian journalist who met Mr. Khan at his book store the month after Sept 11, 2001. She struck up a friendship, found him ‘interesting’ and pitched the idea of living with his family to write this book. He had no objections. She writes about the family dynamic and the goals and dreams of the ones she has most conversations with – the ones who can speak English but she also puts together the mosaic of all the family members; each chapter is presented as a vignette with an event or a person.

WHAT’s GOOD: Ms Seierstad is a talented journalist – an observer and reporter able to convey the emotions involved AND appropriate distance in what appears to be the daily lives of her subjects, because as she explains in the Foreword, she is “regarded as some sort of bi-gendered creature”. She traveled and ate with the men as well as took part in female-only activities. She was “able to circulate freely between the groups”. THIS was the most fascinating piece overlaying the entire book. I kept wondering how she accomplished it and why they accepted the arrangement.

What’s NOT so good: I have no complaints with the story-telling. Truly, the world these women inhabit is heart-breaking, unless they are lucky? Even the ‘lucky’ ones have zero to little freedom.

Sultan Khan is a business man and he manages to do well despite the politics of who is in power. He has sons. He has two wives. He is in control. We meet his sons – his oldest speaks English but his youngest is made to work in the shops and is NOT sent to school. We do manage to see slices of life that occupy people of any culture – cooking and feasting, weddings and babies, carving a living in an uncertain economy, hopes and dreams. We meet a variety of personalities; we wonder. I wonder. I wonder if people just suck. Why can’t we all just get along?

FINAL THOUGHTS: I felt for Leila. She is/was the capable and bright youngest sister of Sultan who waited hand and foot  on the men of the family. Her mother was elderly and her other sister was just … well, we might assume she was of limited capacity, intellectually and physically. Leila was educated and knew English. She had dreams to be a teacher, to have something of her own, an outlet of expression and worth, an opportunity to have some kind of independence.

It is hard to imagine that in the 80s, Afghanistan women lived lives of ambition and movement and fashion. To look at photos then and now, is astonishing. And even as the Taliban was pushed out of power just before the time Seierstad wrote this book (~2002) and thus women were no longer restricted to live their public lives hidden under a burka, they don’t quite feel comfortable without it, for reasons understandable and better explained by this review at Rhapsody in Books. And I really have no idea what might have happened since then and even if it is possible to figure it out. My American privilege and ignorance is showing.

RATING: Four slices of pie-in-the-sky*.

Fascinating, heart-breaking, devastating.

 

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* pie-in-the-sky was the only pie reference I ran across in this text.

 

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.

Qtr and Half Way on Flowers for Algernon

SPOILERS AHEAD LIKELY – EVEN IF I GET THEM WRONG because they might only be guesses...

You have been warned.

I started reading on May 1, Friday. I then tweeted my progress and I was persuaded to blurb my  impressions;  I got to 25% in only a few hours of a work day. [Hey! I was subbing —  the scholars had independent study!] If you don’t want to know ANYTHING about this book, I suggest you move along.

Now.

 

SO, this will be a two part half way post.

What has happened so far:

25%

Page 53 ends a chapter so this is a good time for me to calculate that 53 pages out of 216 is indeed 24.5%.

CHARACTERS: We have met Charlie, a 32 y.o. male who has worked at a bakery doing clean up and deliveries for 17 years [page 16]. His IQ is low, 68 (where the “average” has been ranged at 90-109 per Wikipedia) [page 7]. He has been attending a Special Needs class (page 3 uses the banned word ‘retarded’ – always a clue that this is written prior to many,many years ago); Charlie really wants to learn how to read and write. He is said to have MOTIVATION. He thinks that if he is smarter, he would have more friends because they could talk about topics he could finally understand.

Dr. Strauss and Dr. Nemur:  The doctors who have experimented with brain surgery on mice to make them smarter. Huh. They disagree on how best to handle Charlie; we only learn this through Charlie’s observations and reports that he is writing — so far, the book is unfolding entirely through these reports, in his own words.

Bart: Tester and Lab Assistant who introduces Charlie to Algernon, a mouse who can finish a maze tremendously fast.

Alice Kinnion: Charlie’s teacher that recommended him for the ‘experiment’.

PLOT POINT/S: The ‘experiment’ is some kind of brain surgery that might increase Charlie’s intellectual capacity. This all happens in the first 10 pages!

Charlie’s writing begins to improves considerably. He finally is able to remember;  remembering how to spell, remembering his childhood, remembering times when his friends were actually not being very friendly. He is also finding out about love and attraction. Oo la la!

Punctuation, is? fun!

As his ability to learn and gain knowledge increases, his fears do, too. His ability to trust diminishes. He becomes suspicious and anxious. He begins to crave privacy when he used to assume that becoming smarter would allow him to have more friends.

 

MY OWN THOUGHTS: Hmmm. Where are the space aliens?

I seem to recall IQ being a hot topic when I was young. I do NOT recall the idea of brain surgery as the answer to mental retardation! But I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this has been tried. Yes? No? Does anyone talk about IQ anymore? It’s all about being ready or having the resources and support to nurture young brains. Now it seems to be all about economics…

I am a bit skeptical about how fast his intelligence is increasing – the surgery was March and the 25% point is May 1 – that’s six weeks or so. He’s reading The Great Gatsby and An American Tragedy. (some kind of foreshadowing?!)

I do know I want to keep reading!  pieratingsml

 

Reading on…

What has happened so far:

50%

We decided to stop for this break a little after the Half Way mark but at a good stopping point ~page 115.

Charlie is SMART now. Off the charts smart! He has learned multiple languages, is reading texts and research conducted around the world in the original language and is smarter than the PhDs who are working on ‘his’ project. He has the smarts but not the experiences to understand context and emotions and relationships.

Personally, I finding it rather tedious. I’m finding Charlie as tedious as I think he coworkers now find him! So perhaps that is the point. But it doesn’t make for favorable reading experiences.

Still not sure about Algernon’s role in the story…

NOTE:  We have found out that there are two editions of Flowers for Algernon; one is longer by almost 100 pages and I don’t expect it is because of a larger print font. Of course, the goodreads clue on the longer edition that states WARNING! is a pretty big clue. Apparently?  This was revised for an adult version and a ‘kids’ version?  In my curiosity to find out the differences, I thought I saw a spoiler and I SHUT-er-DOWN (the Wiki page).

Perhaps my imagination is getting the better of me.

 

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.

Movies Based on Books – May 2015 edition

The husband worked late and I carved out some free time or reward time for activities accomplished so that I could actually watch a movie that I want to watch. Alone. LOVE!

But I wasn’t sure which movie. I thought about asking the Twitterverse but thought that might take too long — or worse, get zero response and so I watched trailers to see which one would choose me. I reviewed all the books I’ve read recently for ideas. These were the ones I ‘researched':  Sister Carrie, Beloved, My Antonia, Possession, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Slaughterhouse Five, and Like Water for Chocolate.

My original intent for weeks has been to watch carrie52film Laurence Olivier and Jennifer Jones in Carrie based on the Theodore Dreiser Sister Carrie novel but … it just didn’t feel right. The winner was Possession starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart. I really loved the book and remember being startled by how much of a thriller AND a romance it was when I had feared it to be academic and dense. I heartily recommend that you not be intimidated by Byatt and read it. And you have my permission to wallow in the lovely odd poems -or- skip them. I think I did both depending on the mood I was when I hit those pages.

The first half of the movie was gorgeous and paced well. possbyasb The second half, or just the third quarter? felt rushed but it was because they were trying to cram a lot into it. The story on screen was exactly like what I remember from the book! So I think it was well done overall; it had flaws that my mind is indecisive how to describe (the tedious bashing of Eckhart’s character being American, the bland turtleneck wardrobe sported by Ms. Paltrow), but I enjoyed it. I would give it 4 slices of pie.

I do wonder if I would not have been impressed if I didn’t already know the story. The ultimate conundrum – it can never be unseen nor redone in the reverse sequence, yaknow? Was the book better? Sure, but I have had enough time pass between the reading and the screening, so all good.

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lwfcf THEN, with time left over, I was able to select another movie to watch!  This time, I went with Like Water for Chocolate. SO GOOD. SO GOOD!!  Read it, watch it. Big fun.

What movies have you watched recently after reading the book?  Which movies are you needing to see?

My list of movies to see next/soon, in addition to the ones listed above and in no particular order, are:  Far From the Madding Crowd, The Book Thief, Labor Day (maybe…), Mockingjay, The Yearling (another maybe, even tho I liked the book — I’m not sure I need to see this), Unbroken (maybe really not), Life of Pi, and Divergent…  so many more, most likely – oh, The Count of Monte Cristo?!  YES. I will be chatting here soon about the book Flowers for Algernon and am now VERY CURIOUS about the film Charly. charly (The first curiosity is why they spelled his name that way?)

I was able to talk the husband into watching Gone Girl a few weeks ago – loved it. I loved the book, too. And a few months prior, I talked him into East of Eden. I say skip it and just read the book.

HHHH

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 Luminaries

Thoughts tlumbyec The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, Little,Brown and Co 2013, 848 pages. Ebook + Audible = Whispersync

Narrated by Mark Meadows; 29 hours, 14 minutes (if anyone wants me to One-Book this to them, let me know.)

Hokitika = Around. And then back again, beginning.

The blurb from goodreads.com:  It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky. Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, The Luminaries is a brilliantly constructed, fiendishly clever ghost story and a gripping page-turner.

A book that was exciting! and then sometimes, not.

A book that was complicated; and sometimes almost boring.

“Devlin sipped his whiskey. The taste was smoky and slightly musty; it put him in mind of cured meats, and new books, and barnyards, and cloves.”

A book that had my full attention! until it went over my head and I didn’t care enough to figure it out. (see Astrology:  Each chapter had a title about signs and moons and such. It also included a quick list of what would happen to whom which actually was helpful but I never could figure out the connexions to signs and symbols.)

A book that both tried to inspire me to work harder at getting it!  and then flip-side, had me quite impressed with myself for comprehending what I did.

A book that will likely become one of those books that I can say I’m proud to have read and may one day (but I doubt it) be able to say so at a cocktail party, “Look at me! I read The Luminaries!! I have also attempted Ulysses and loved Les Miserables!  I’m such a good reader. Hhrmpph.”

I’m a lousy ‘reader’. Whatever.

I didn’t get any of the astrology. I just don’t get it. I am a Gemini and the only thing I know about it is that my sign is the twins. And I think maybe this is actually significant to the story in The Luminaries but … well, I’m not sure.

Actually, this aspect (the astrology) is easy to gloss over and really didn’t frustrate me in the least.

I was entertained once I got into the rhythm of the story and finally got the characters straight in my head. I think the narrator did a MARVELOUS job with voices and was even going to commend him for the female voices until the end when I began to think Lydia Greenway was just a little too-too vampish.

I bet I haven’t talked you into reading this, am I right? Ah, if you already have given thought to wanting to read this, please don’t let me talk you out of it. It has many merits and maybe you will love it? Go for it. I’m thinking of getting it for my Dad for Father’s Day…

“A woman fallen has no future; a man risen has no past.”

This was in last year’s Tournament of Books if you want to see how it fared. I tend to agree with the judging mostly.

Have fun!

Rating:  Three slices of fish pie.  “…where he ordered one portion of fish pie – the perennial lunchtime special – and one glass of lemon cordial.”

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

I prefer pi.

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