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The Aviator’s Wife

Thoughts tawbymb The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin, Bantam Books 2013, 402 pages

The blurb from the back of the book (with my thoughts in parenthesis):

When Anne Morrow, a shy college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family, she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’ assurance and fame, Anne is certain the aviator has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong. Charles sees in Anne a kindred spirit, a fellow adventurer and her world will be changed forever. (Not really, what he sees is a competent brood mare of ‘good’ stock.) The two marry in a headline-making wedding. In the years that follow, Anne becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States. But despite this and other major achievements, she is viewed merely as the aviator’s wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desires for independence, and to embrace, at last, life’s infinite possibilities for change and happiness.

Despite admiring Anne for keeping up with everything her husband gave her to do and then finally realizing a dream of her own to truly write (which I do hope to read more someday), this book fell flat for me. For one, Charles was NOT a great guy. Two, this book suffers from the “tell rather than show” problem, in my humble opinion. I spent most of the book feeling sorry for Anne – for the way her husband treated her and how the paparazzi hassled her.

So, though this book is not my cup of tea and lacks pie references, I expect that many people will enjoy this book very much.

I missed the book club meeting so I have no idea what the others thought of this. I do think it has much to discuss so I do give it a recommendation as a good club selection.

Rating:  Three slices of pie.

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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 Dorothy Parker Portable Library

Thoughts tvplbydp Viking Press 1963 (orig 1926-1944), 544 pages

“A One-Volume Edition of Her Stories & Poems including Here Lies: Laments for the Living, After Such Pleasures; Not so Deep as a Well: Enough Rope, Sunset Gun, Death & Taxes; and 5 Stories Now First Published in Book Form”

tpdpaudio Blackstone Audio 2007, Edited by Marion Meade/Narrated by Lorna Raver, 13 hrs 22 min

 

LOVED.

LOVED THIS SO MUCH.

and yet, I wonder if best in smaller doses which means that I want somebody to buy me this for Christmas so I always have it on hand when I need.

I didn’t just devour this collection, I rolled in it like a dog rolls in mud. I read it higgledy-piggledy, jumping around as I do with short story collections that aren’t themed, and I listened to the audiobook. I read some and then I listened some. I mostly listened to the poetry rather than read and many of the short stories I read and then listened immediately to experience it again.

YES. Dorothy is cleverly snarky and delivers excellent character ‘voice’. And much is NOT flattering. Just the kind of smart bitch that can deliver an insult without the insulted person realizing it because they just don’t get it. GOOD STUFF.

She really sees a situation, every nuance, every discrepancy, all the hypocrisy. Though delightfully funny, it has poison-laced sadness, too.

Highly recommended.

 

 

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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.

 

Heart of Darkness

Thoughts and Meandering More Thoughts HoDbyJC Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, Dover Thrift 2012 (orig 1899), 102 pages Kindle eBook


“I wasn’t arguing with a lunatic. … But his soul was mad.”

This is one story that I will admit I have been intimidated by. Perhaps because some of the synopsis reminds me of Barbara Kingsolver and her heavy novel that I can never remember but allow me to run to goodreads and check . . . (running off to truly go check goodreads…) oh yea! The Poisonwood Bible. I do wonder what Ms. Kingsolver thought of Heart of Darkness – surely she has read it, yes?

Have you read Heart of Darkness?

I chose this for May for a variety of reasons and vying close for the first and second spot are 1) It is SHORT at 200 pages, and 2) Trisha at Eclectic-Eccentric is featuring all sorts of lovely analysis posts. Goodness I do love me some juicy literature analysis!

and 3) What was that third reason? Oh yes, because I happen to already have it loaded on my Kindle.

Finally, 4) It is one of my Classics Club Fifty in Five.

I was pleasantly surprised. (That I liked it (‘it’ being the book, the reading experience.))

I would not call it compelling exactly. Not quite a fast page turner adventure book because it does tend to have dense language but not overly so. It is FULL of emotion.

“It was my imagination that wanted soothing.”

Here’s Crazy-Care’s FIRST attempt to answer your question of “what it is about?”:

The story is set up as a retelling of a sailor’s adventure. This sailing adventure was when Marlowe needed a job so he decides to go to Africa because he hears they are needing river transport captains and he is certain to find work. He does and notes that his assignment and the company that hires him is actually a bit creepy. His assignment is to get a riverboat into the “deepest darkest part of Africa” to either retrieve or supply Mr. Kurtz (I was confused here, too), a guy who is the BEST number one agent of the company and is considered awesome. Our sailor narrator is torn between just completing the job and yet also very intrigued to meet this awesome incredible Mr. Kurtz and find out why he is so awesome — no one knows how he is accomplishing all he is doing! (what he is doing, mind you, is collecting lots and lots of ivory and he is doing it by befriending (I think? Maybe not? Something tells me I really missed something.) the natives.) Others are jealous and others are mesmerized by Mr. Kurtz. He is ill when they finally get up the river and find him. The natives are hostile (but not hostile to Mr. Kurtz?) and our sailor buddy survives the ordeal and lives to tell of it. Thus the telling.

It’s really quite odd. I might have the synopsis skewed. I might have missed something big.

I swear narrator-captain guy was at first ambivalent and then curious and at one point critical of Mr. Kurtz and then somehow instantly was his best friend. THIS is why I need Trisha to explain things to me.

Or go watch Apocalypse Now?

It really did  have beautiful descriptions and I wonder how it would play in audiobook format. I bet it would be awesome.

So. The elephant in the room.

The elephant is…  (the elephant I thought before I read it anyway)… Is Heart of Darkness a BAD racist book? Does it demean and consider African natives as inferior? Is this a “symptom of the times”, a by-product of colonialism? OR does this book actually highlight the EVILS of colonialism and racism and confront the ideas of exploitation?

AND, excuse me while I freak out a bit here. Is this a true story?

I know and fear that I am inadequate to discuss these issues but I do want to support and advocate for a kind world, a civilization of respect for all. I read this book with the lens of it being written in 1899 and yet did not find it to endorse or promote a message that primitive cultures are inferior – I thought it an exploration of one case or specific example of the “empire” mentality of greed to exploit and take. The world is winners and losers, suckers. For me, the story didn’t deliver a succinct message; no obvious moral outrage and no epiphany. Well, other than “THE HORROR!” which I think was masked by considerable vagueness.

Evil exists. Fear exists. We fear what we do not understand. Let us seek to understand. It ain’t easy.

This book is not easy.

Then go read the excellent eclectic eccentric and marvel. You’ll understand then why Crazy-Care didn’t make a second attempt to explain this book. Heart of Darkness: Pro- or Anti-Imperialist – 5/21/15Psychoanalyzing Heart of Darkness – 6-4-15, Deconstructing Heart of Darkness – 6/11/15Queering Heart of Darkness – 6/18/15

 

“And he was devoted to his books, which were in apple-pie order.”

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This book would have been fascinating and scary to discuss for a grade! Thank you so much Professor Eclectic for the thought-provoking experience. I give myself an A for ambition, a B for effort and a C for discourse.

Here’s a flower:  FullSizeRender Flowers make me smile.

 

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.

 

New Books in the House and Speaking Up

New BOOKS in the house! and thoughts.

FullSizeRender-1 With Esther, the best dog. SHHHhhh, Oscar is ALSO the best dog…

All of these are library books. Usually, I am a ‘check-one-out-at-a-time’ kind of library patron. This time I splurged:

√  The Viking Portable Library of Dorothy Parker (I also listened to this for a double whammy reading experience)

The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis

(started)   Tenth of December by George Saunders (because the Salon recommended it)

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen – YAY!!  for my library book club.

Skinny Bitch Cookbook – is this the one you all are trying and posting photos on Instagram?!?!

(not shown)The Aviator’s Wife.  I’m still plugging along on this.

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I denounce violence and racism and symbols of such:  Put the Confederate flag in a museum. I also struggle with what seems like a call to legislate away evil. Laws will not make people be kind and respectful. Humans can suck. It’s all so scary and saddening and disheartening. But humans can be nice, too. Be brave, be kind, be courteous. Listen and learn.

Read Vasilly’s post and the links she includes for further reading. She has challenged me. My friend Debi also has questions and a mind to speak up.

For some reason, I receive the weekly Entertainment magazine and though it really isn’t keeping me knowledgeable about pop culture like it might, I did see a review of a book I had to add to my tbr:

smbdapec

I’m also reminded that I want to read more diverse books not only by diverse authors, not only fiction, but also nonfiction – historical and political. Suggestions are welcome. Sadly, the few books that I have on my tbr, I couldn’t find available at my library. I’m thinking I should buy them anyway, so that my purchasing power is distributed and highlights non-status quo channels. Here are a few:

wdcbymp (Memoir from Little Rock HS)  wtwwbycmm (Memoir from Birmingham Church Bombing)

May I suggest The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd for historical fiction recently read that features Denmark Vesey, a founder of Emanuel A.M.E.

My tears and admiration for the love and forgiveness demonstrated by the families of the nine dead in Charleston.

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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 Answer the Question: “What Books Will You Be Reading This Summer?”

I thought I would post something and so I now ponder this question — I see that many of my blogger friends have been busy making lists and posting what books are on their summer reading agenda.

Here goes – off the top of my head:

1. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith – I just yesterday started this audiobook. It counts right?

2. possibly The Aviator’s Wife – I started it for bookclub but didn’t finish in time.

3. Whatever my book my club just selected at the meeting I missed yesterday. (  _To be filled in__)

4. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

5. Atlas Shrugged – maybe. I admit I’m intimidated by the length. Ti is hosting a readalong for July and August.

6. That Mindset book by Carol Dweck.

 

OH NO! I don’t know what else! I had such a long list going through to Misery and now I’m feeling a bit lost.

 

7. Maybe I need some nonfiction…  Let’s add Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay.

and

8. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

9. Heft by Liz Moore is an audiobook I just purchased on the get 2 for 1 credit deal.

and…

10. The Orphans of Race Point because I’m hoping to win it from Laurie! and will read it if I don’t…

 

Of course, it is extremely likely I won’t read this list and will choose something else entirely. I’m funny like that.

What about you? What are you excited to read in the next few months?

 

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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.

Or This?

mrbypslol2

Again, thanks to Jenni!

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:

rhubarb-pie_s4x3

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

MiseryRALbutton

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.

fourpie

 

 

 

 

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

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.

IMG_1430

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.

I prefer pi.

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