Tag Archives: Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Thoughts amsterdambyim by Ian McEwan, Anchor 1999 (orig 1998), 193 pages

My “Pick” Review on Litsy offered THREE points:

  1. I love how Ian McEwan strings words together. I fall into his books like fluffy pillows and fleece blankets by a fire.
  2. The women in this book  are minor characters yet they seem to hold all the power. (I still need to think about this. Still thinking… a few days later.)
  3. The descriptions of the music were captivating.

What the Washington Post said:

A sharp contemporary morality tale, cleverly disguised as a comic novel, Amsterdam is “as sheerly enjoyable a book as one is likely to pick up this year.”

What’s it ABOUTWARNING! I am going to tell a lot more about the plot than I usually do. I always feel like I’m spoilering so read on at your own risk. Two friends, ex-lovers of an extraordinary woman named Molly, meet up at her funeral. Clive is a composer who is not ‘attached’ and Vernon is a newspaper editor; they eventually make a pact that in the event IF one ever becomes seriously ill and incapacitated, the other agrees to assist in facilitating a dignified end-of-life situation, something they don’t believe their friend Molly was accorded. Clive is busy and stressed with writing a grand symphony for the year 2000 and Vernon is desperately trying to save his newspaper – circulation is falling and they need a scoop. Well, Clive arrives at a cross-roads literally while hiking to free his mind up for inspiration and Vernon is given his juicy tabloid fodder opportunity — photos of a high-level politician who was also a lover of Molly. HOWEVER, things happen, plots are plotted, disagreements are both blown out of proportion or thoughtlessly disregarded depending on the viewpoint and it all becomes a major clusterfuck for almost everyone involved.

What’s good?  No one could complain that nothing happens in this book. For a slim book, it has a ton of pivotal bit characters and interesting events. I love IMcE’s writing. I just will follow wherever his sentences lead me.

What’s NOT so good: Well, it was almost too neatly wrapped up and not really all that convincing even as I keep contemplating what happened! How could all these momentous things happen and yet not one really gets the importance? And all the conniving and clever and circumstantial happenings seem oh so convenient. Seriously, some of these steps could have slipped this way or that and a whole ‘nother story would have had to have been chased down. I might need to go back and reread – I don’t think I recall the WHYs. Why did Clive decide to ___ and also Vernon decide to carry out ____?! Were they that cruel? Yep, almost a bit TOO convenient. I am starting not to buy it as I keep going over and over it…

And then the cover art of Brona‘s copy has me thinking about something else all over again!

I loved the sidestepping move by Rose Garmony. YOWZA, was she interesting.

So, even if a bit bumpy and I question the plot, I enjoyed every minute of it. Let’s write some fanfiction to further delve into Molly and Rose, could we?

Rating: Four slices of pie. No pie (the pastry) mentioned but PIE CHARTS were found. I might suggest an almond torte as a pie alternative here. Almond torte sounds Dutch, no?fourpie

BIG thank you to JoAnn and Athira for allowing me to crash their readalong #damalong.

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Copyright © 2007-2016. 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.
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The Signature of All Things

Thoughts tsoatbyeg The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert,  Penguin Audio 2013, 21.75 hours

Narration by Juliet Stevenson. Thank you to Joann of Lakeside Musings who sold me on the idea to listen to this one. Fabulous recommendation.

I do love long audiobooks! This one had me from the get go.

I am one of those that loved Eat, Pray, Love but haven’t read any of her subsequent nonfiction books. I hope to, though. And with this, so curious how she would do with fiction. I liked it very much. Some may not read her books based on her first and that is a pity but I think she will be just fine and her writing career is set.

I liked Alma Whittaker. I was fascinated by her father and his story of how he came to wealth. I thought his marriage to Beatrix extremely fortunate for them both – they suited each other.

I didn’t quite get Prudence. Never did get a satisfactory answer to “the Prudence Question”, did we?

I am marking this Historical Fiction due to how well she covers the 1800’s and the history of the players in Evolution Theory. I am now thinking of this book EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. that I see moss!

If you like to have true visual of setting and want to know more about this book, watch this video:

RATING: Four slices of pie. And a few bites into the fifth slice, too.

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Copyright © 2007-2014. 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 Goldfinch

The Goldfinch tgbydt by Donna Tartt, Little,Brown 2013, 771 pages (Kindle eBook)

Chance makes the thief.

What can one say? What everyone else is saying!

COMPELLING. Easy to fall into and get swept away, not wanting life to intrude and disrupt the story.

DICKENSIAN. Yea, OK. Poor little orphan boy grows up and meets interesting characters.

All centered around a painting acquired in a most unusual fashion (via a diversion being a terrorist bombing) by a kid who then knows not what to do with it nor whom to trust. Exquisitely painted (the painting AND this novel), chock-full of swings in temperature, attitude and social situations. A messy life sprinkled with meanness and kindness, confusion and love.

Worry! What a waste of time! All the holy books were right. Clearly ‘worry’ was the mark of a primitive and spiritually unevolved person. … Why did anyone ever worry about anything? Weren’t we, as sentient beings, put upon the earth to be happy, in the brief time allotted to us?

I thank LitLove for her post on the author which gave me my first reason I had for wanting to read this and I thank Vasilly and Athira for hosting an informal readalong at the end of the year.  I thank Holly for the enthusiastic discussion over coffee about which character we liked best:  Theo, Boris, Hobie, and finally, the little fearless bird chained to a shelf. FASCINATING.

TEAM HOBIE!

Maybe the one had to be lost for the others to be found.

Four strong bold crazy slices of pie. fourpie

 

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Copyright © 2007-2014. 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.

Copley in Amsterdam

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The highlight of Copley’s visit?  Meeting Judith!  Judith of Leeswammes’ Blog:  Books, Books, and Books

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She has a great photo of Copley sitting atop a few books…  She gave me The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin (I was MOST excited for this – what a treat!) and First You Try Everything by Jane McCafferty which we joked might be perfect for my celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary this year. I gave her Stewart O’Nan’s Songs for the MissingI haven’t actually read this myself but have been meaning to for years now. Anything by O’Nan, truthfully. I have another copy so I’m trying to set up a readalong. Anyone else interested?

After the yummiest risotto, we had pie; a lemon pie along the type of a key lime from Florida. IMG_1735

We talked a lot about books, as you might expect. And we talked about biscuits and other interesting cultural differences. But mostly about books.

And when the boys were let out from work meetings, we toured.

IMG_1679 View from our room at the Moevenpick Hotel, looking mostly northwest. IMG_1680 View lookingsouthwest? IMG_1683 Amsterdam Station.IMG_1690 Canal scene. IMG_1693 Street scene. IMG_1697 A lovely canal street cafe scene.IMG_1716 The famous Seven Bridges shot. IMG_1726 We had dinner at the restaurant on the top of this old oil rig. IMG_1754 Watch out for the bicycles! IMG_1769 The Flower Market. IMG_1776 The Rijksmuseum. IMG_1780 Where we saw this famous Rembrandt painting The Nightwatch.  IMG_1789 An Old Amsterdam Sandwich (featuring rocket and cornichons but I think it had a different spelling… Means pickles. Rocket is arugula.) IMG_1800 At the Heineken Experience. IMG_1812 A mosiac sofa.

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Copyright © 2007-2013. 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.