Tag Archives: Book Club

Status ⬥ Slow September ⬥ 2022

 Monthly Recap Time! September

  • 5 books; 77 for the year
  • 1346 pages, 1 hours | 22474 total pages, 170.3 hours for the year so far

Hardcover, Hardcover, Audio, Tradeback, Tradeback
Purchased, Purchased, Audible Freebie, Target Purchase, Half Price Books


Actually, truth be told, I DNF’d Liar’s Club because I just couldn’t deal with any more Texasness and I skimmed to the end of Nightbitch because it just wasn’t what I needed at this time. It took me to Sept 24 to finish the first book(!!!)of the month. WHOA.


And my audiobook game faltered. Sigh. I listened to what is probably called a “Short Story”: Dispossession, a well done Audible Original by Tayari Jones . (It was good! and filled an entire dog-walking session to the minute. Jones is on my list of authors to read whenever I get the opportunity.) I’m 2/3 through my October Audible credit now and have a Libby audio lined up for after so I think October numbers will be better for print AND audio. I might even do a review post of that last book I read because it satisfies a What’s in a Name category. Amazing. (Nightbitch does, too, but I’m hesitant to use it since I really didn’t give it 100%)


I enjoyed Evelyn Hugo but it had that separation of author-to-reader, where I know I’m reading a book, rather than being immersed within the story. Book club discussion on Tuesday. My favorite was Lucy By the Sea by my favorite Elizabeth Strout.

“We had kidney beans from a can and two hot dogs each, an I made an apple pie, and the day felt so cozy.”

lucy by the sea, pg 224

It’s been a month of full-strength blowing of the winds of change. I was given unsettling news about my job and it sparked a job search process which resulted in me getting an offer which I accepted. I start tomorrow. In other news, WordPress alerted me that it is bloggivesary time! I’m been yapping about books-and-stuff at this space for 15 years!


October has a couple of pie days. The 12th is Pumpkin Pie Day and Boston Cream Pie Day is Oct 23. Something I’ve always wanted to make a Boston Cream Pie Pie (rather than a cake.) It wouldn’t be that hard; make a cake layer in a pie crust and then layer some cream, — or maybe bake a round cake and split it horizontally, place on in a pie crust (blind baked, probably), layer in some cream, top with the second cake layer, and pour a chocolate ganache on it… MmmmmmmmMMMMMmmmmmm

Yesterday, I declared I would make Apple Pie today but I think I’ll post this and sit on the couch watching football, read my World Piece book by Beth M Howard (and is it FULL of pie as you would expect) and continue to think about maybe making pie this afternoon.

What was YOUR favorite book of September?

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.


Anxious People

Thoughts by Fredrik Backman, Atria Books 2020,(orig 2019), 352 pages

Translated from Swedish by Neil Smith.

Challenge: Book Club choice for November

Genre/Theme: uh…. I don’t know. Where do these fit?

Type/Source: Hardcover / Library

What It’s About: It is essentially a down-on-your-luck story that interweaves an entire cast of these stories into a bank-robbery-attempt and then inadvertent-hostage-situation thing. While exploring what drives people to do desperate things while being good people. And maybe, aren’t we all just good people trying to survive? and wouldn’t it be lovely if we remember to be kind?

Ok, the first half or so is tedious. People being tedious and professionals NOT being professional and a lot of the author talking to the reader and LOTS of repetition. Hey this is about a bank-robber! Wait, is it? HEY!! this is about people standing on a bridge!!! Ten years ago! OH, but don’t think about then yet; think about cookies.

Um… OK. Can we get on with this, please?

Eventually, we get to know the hostages and figure out all the details that support what we (the readers) think probably happens/happened. Chapter 58 was good – it had a lot of book references…

Laughter is expressing your defiance against despair.

Rating: Three slices of pie. No pie mentioned. (Unless pizza pie will count? This has pizza!)

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Thoughts tkambyhl by Harper Lee, Time Warner Books 1989 (orig 1960) 281 pages

Genre: Southern Lit, Classics
Type/Source: Hardback / My school’s English teacher’s shelf
 Why I read this now: for club…

MOTIVATION for READING:  I actually wasn’t that enthusiastic about reading this. Shame on me. I have always TRIED to have high standards about never whining about a book assigned for bookclub because that is the POINT of bookclubs — to read a book you may not be excited about or never heard of. Bookclub ‘entertainment’ is the discussion. And we all know that when everyone loves a book, discussion is boooooorrrrring. And if half love and half hate dislike, WOO-BOYHOWDY = fun discussion.

Ok, the point of this post is my mea culpa: I really loved reading TKAM.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Do I really need to tell you? Young daughter of the upstanding town attorney starts school and learns about injustice and navigating ‘growing up’ in a small town in the 30s with a father who defends a black man accused of a crime where he is accused by a white woman; the white citizens just can’t deal with the situation.

WHAT’s GOOD: Scout is just great. She’s a tough kid, annoyed by the gender expectations being thrust upon her and she’s trying to figure out the big bad world. I loved the neighbor across the street.

What’s NOT so good: We’ve come not far in too much time.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m looking forward to discussion.

Great QUOTES:  “Thus we came to know Dill as a pocket Merlin, whose head teemed with eccentric plans, strange longings, and quaint fancies.”

“I inched sluggishly along the treadmill of the Maycomb County school system, I could not help receiving the impression that I was being cheated out of something. Out of what I new not, yet I did not believe that twelve years of unrelieved boredom was exactly what the state had in mind for me.”

“Dill was a villain’s villain: he could get into any character part assigned him, and appear tall if height was part of the devilry required.”

“For reasons unfathomable to the most experienced prophets in Maycombe Çounty, autumn turned to winter that year.”

“It’s not time to worry yet,”

“There was no doubt about it, I must soon enter this world, where on its surface fragrant ladies rock slowly, fanned gently, and drank cool water.”

RATING: 5 slices of pie. Of DEWBERRY TARTS.


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.

The House on the Strand

Thoughts thotsbyddm The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier, Doubleday & Company 1969 (orig 1968), 298 pages

For The Bookies Book Club – Holly’s selection

FIRST sentence:  The first thing I noticed was the clarity of the air, and then the sharp green colour of the land.

What’s it ABOUT:  This is an odd tale of time travel. Our protagonist is named Dick and he has recently quit his job in publishing though he has no idea what he will do next. You might think he is suffering a mid-life crisis. He doesn’t seem too terrifically thrilled with his marriage of three years to an American named Vita. Prior to marrying Dick, Vita was a widow with two sons and these boys seem to be going to school in England. That’s never explained and not really relevant. Anyway, Vita wants Dick to take a job with her brother, also in publishing, and this job would take the family to Long Island New York. He has no interest in moving to the United States.

With the boys soon to be on holiday, Dick has arranged to spend this time with the family in the house of his good friend Magnus, a biophysicist. The house is in Cornwall. The setting could certainly be considered another character in the story – the landscape plays a big role.

So. Time travel. I do love a time travel story! But as I have mentioned, this traveling is quite odd. It is chemically-induced. While Dick has a week to contemplate his unknown future but also to prepare for his family’s arrival, Magnus wants Dick to conduct an experiment. Take this drug! See what happens! Tell me all about it!

So Dick ingests the concoction and finds himself in the 14th century. He certainly finds lots of exciting happenings to be interested in but now he has to put up with Vita and the boys and the excruciatingly frustrating situation of finding time to take these trips back to the Cornwall of old.

What’s GOOD:  The setting and the premise is captivating. Dick always goes back in time to find himself following – always connected – to the guy who used to live on the property where Magnus’s house has been built. The lives and the drama of the people Dick encounters create suspense and intrigue – dastardly deeds, power-hungry struggles and illicit affairs abound. Dick loses interest in his ‘real’ life and with each trip, he puts this current life in danger. What will happen next?!

What’s NOT so good: I think I can consider how the author took a few ideas and inspirations to create this story but I couldn’t buy the premise. Drug use is considered a ‘trip’, right? But. How can both Magnus and Dick take a drug that puts both of them into the same old setting? The explanation of awakened memory cells through generations cannot convince me. If, however, Magnus and Dick had been related, brothers even, I might – maybe, doubtfully, but maybe — make a case for this, but it doesn’t fly.

FINAL Thoughts: I had read this book in 2007 so this was a re-read for me. I had rated it 5 stars – I had really gotten into the drama, I think. I recall thinking it would make a cool movie. With so many of duMaurier’s ideas adapted to the big screen, why not this one? In fact, I still think this would be an interesting film, even with stumbling how to explain that a drug causes time travel.

I began this re-read having totally forgotten how the story ended, so I was once again, quite captivated to finish and find out! The pacing is good, the crisis Dick experiences with repeated use of the drug and the confusions when the worlds start to fuse together, plus the question of Vita figuring it out – she easily suspects something is wrong and he doggedly (and meanly) puts her off. Magnus is just dastardly, too – in my opinion. How could he ever think to put his friend and himself into such an experiment?

If you love an English setting and also enjoy time travel, this is a must. But temper your expectations, it won’t be as good as Rebecca. (Have you read Rebecca? If you want to read some Daphne du Maurier, do read Rebecca!)

RATING: Four slices of pie fourpie

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.

Purchased from an Amazon bookseller – didn’t realize I was getting an old hardback but very delighted. Inside was a scrap of paper that had a list: “cigs, cereal, t.paper”. #foundinabook


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 Fault In Our Stars

Thoughts  The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, DUTTON BOOKS An Imprint of Penguin Group 2012, 313 pages

Why I read this:  For The Bookies Book Club.

Fact: This is the 4th book I’ve read by John Green. This places him in a small group. Only a few authors can claim that I’ve read more than 3 of their books.  (yea, like any are keeping track.)

I enjoyed this book very much, finding all that I love about John Green’s books to be included;  the words I don’t know and then are defined within the conversation so I don’t have to look it up, travels, the loving well-meaning and usually respected parents, the reckless rule-breaking but not quite tragic and always smart teenagers, and yes – I take it back – the tragic. But always ends with a good cry and tons of hope that life really doesn’t have to suck even it if does.  I don’t quite know how he does it.

I don’t have my “THOUGHTS” post-writing skills yet dusted off so I won’t tell you what this book is about. It often gets debated that it is about cancer and that appalls some and thus they want to avoid it but cancer is everywhere and what we need to know how to do is – uh oh, I’m preaching?! – is to learn how to relate to people through the good and the bad. I loved how this book does that. With humor, with love and with respect.

I also resent the implications of some of the goodreads reviews that seem to question Green’s authority to write a book about kids with cancer and think it is totally unequivocally absurd.

Here are more reviews or you can click on the book cover above and read the goodreads.com stuff.

Nymeth says, the author ‘hoped this would be a novel that would make readers feel ALL THE THINGS, and I think it succeeds very impressively on that regard.’ Her review is actually quite brilliant and I always learn so much from her. Truly, I want to quote from every one of her paragraphs.

Softdrink had a few problems with the book and her points are valid. She also references another review so you may want to follow that trail.

and Ti’s review where she simply says, “An amazing, life affirming read.”.


I think my favorite of the JG novels will forever be Looking for Alaska; I still had to rate this 5 slices of pie. I rounded up since I don’t give half slices…



Copyright © 2007-2012. 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.

We Still Need to Talk About Kevin

More thoughts on  We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.

I read this book on the recommendation of Lisa of Books on the Brain. She said she needed to talk about this with someone. I got it from the library.

Here’s what I said in a post titled ‘BOOKS!‘ back on December 11, 2007:

Now, I’m fully into We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. I was almost turned OFF enough by the first few pages that I was tempted to pass and begin instead on The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman.   

I really do not believe that anyone would write letters in such a style – so intellectually ‘wordy’ – to an ex husband. NO ONE I know would write like that! And, therein lies the point. I probably just don’t know enough people well enough to know how they would write to an ex-husband. Keep going, Care,  keep reading. 

I yap further on the ‘insensible UN-MAKE-SENSE-ABLE actions’ and offer a great quote, as well.

Then I wrote in a post titled “Computer is Down‘, dated December 14, 2007:

I did finish We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.   wow.  

Which I got taken to task for by Lisa. So I wrote another post ‘Explain the Wow’, dated December 15, 2007:

(You really might want to click on that post and read the whole thing…)

Ah…    and the reason I gave only a ‘wow’ – and it was a subdued, “OH MY GOD! …   huh.   eek.   goodness.   All I can say is…   (pause)   


To say more would give a lot away?!

I attempted to expound,

‘wow’ was sad with only a stunned calm sadness.

and also added,

a ‘wow’ for skill on the author’s part.

and agreed with Lisa and Trish that this book begs to be discussed, out loud, in conversation, face to face.

You can read Lisa’s review here and/or Trish’s review here. (and the many more at Fyrefly’s book blog search. Lisa and Trish were my blog-buds way back in the day and they commented on THE post, so I thought it appropriate to let you quickly find their thoughts on this horrific book.)

My bookclub, THE BOOKIES, meets this Wednesday to talk about Kevin and I expect it to be fraught with emotion. KB asked me about the box and I don’t remember a box! Maybe I put it out of my mind? I did not want to reread this book so I am glad I revisited my blog posts. I am grateful I have been blogging my thoughts on the hundreds of books I’ve read since 2007!  wow.  (A happy ‘wow’.)


My HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2007-2012. 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 Night Circus

For those who have already read this book (that’s many of you, I’m guessing!) blankspace Spoilers ahead.

You’ve been warned.

[updated to add a link to Anna’s excellent review which will give you plot summary, etc., so you can go read that if you would rather.]

Thoughts and Questions    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Doubleday 2011, Hardback 387 pages

I read this for my IRL “The Bookies” Book Club; discussion to be 1/26.

First Sentence:  “The circus arrives without warning.”

blanks            Did you not love it when Widget says this to the man in grey? Did you not love that grey is spelled with an ‘e’ throughout? I think grey is a different color than gray, personally, though quite similar; would you disagree?

I adored the names that the author chose for her characters. Although…. I kept wondering about Poppet and Widget. Not that this has much to do with the names exactly but I was hoping for more explanation of how/why the magic was involved in their birth.  Destined accident? I would love for someone to explore this further. I keep wondering if I missed something.

I wanted more of Marco. Wasn’t totally convinced of why he ‘took’ to his studies so eagerly. I imagine that if I was left to my own devices, I would have strayed a lot earlier in the ‘mission’ than he did. At least Celia had an inkling of what was ahead for her even if she didn’t grasp the details.

And Isobel sure amazed me with how long she put up with Marco. Thirty years?!  Let’s explore this more, shall we? All the spying on Celia that she had to do, the getting stood up at the cafe, being able to read the cards and still wonder if Marco ‘loved’ her. She has hellavulots of patience.

OK, I admit and my goodreads updates will confirm this, I really thought she turned Marco to dust. Uh OH. I was quite taken aback.

I also think Lainie should have married the architect. But I was impressed with why she didn’t; her thought processes about it.

One of my favorite parts was the first circus meeting and how the architect was hesitant but quickly changed his mind, “He decides then that he rather enjoys unusual late-night social functions, and should endeavor to attend them more frequently.” Do you think Marco had a hand in the amazing food creations for these dinners? I would love to know more about the chefs and kitchen staff but that is probably just problematic of me watching entirely too much Food Network.

Overall, I liked this book much more than I expected to. After reading so many gushing reviews (and not really reading them because I shy from posts like this one that gives EVERYTHING away. In fact, I might have to take this to a different page so you have to click over), I had mixed feelings about whether or not this was something I would enjoy. I finally succumbed. And when it was a The-Bookies selection, I was honestly delighted to have an extra push.

If you are a faithful reader of this blog and even if you are I wouldn’t blame you for missing this but I bought this book as a gift for my friend Holly. She is one of my IRL friends that loves to talk books as much as I do. We frequently meet for coffee and chat chat chat books books books and she is a true delight and a gem of wonderfulness in my life. Anyhoo. When I found out that this novel was selected for January Book Club (after I had given it to her), I told her she had to read it NOW and get it to me by mid-Jan so I would have time to finish for discussion! Unfortunately, she ‘couldn’t get into it’. She gave it back to me (and I still intend on giving it back to her – I think her daughter might enjoy it) and I hope she accepts or even attempts to try again.

It does tend to damper the enthusiasm for a book when a good friend has DNF’ed it. She’s not the kind of book friend that always dislikes what I like so I was concerned.

I really enjoyed all of the characters. All of them. Celia was my favorite. The descriptions; the setting, the magic, the feasts were absolutely fabulous. I thought the pacing was almost perfect. On the other hand, the flipping back and forth to know which year was what/when did annoy me and I kept wondering if it was worth the bother.  [I told MBR not to bother with worrying about it and just go with the flow so we’ll see what she says Thursday. (Hope I wasn’t being too manipulative.)]

I adored the clock maker. I really loved how these secondary characters were so darn likable and woven into the main story so intricately.

Why Bailey? Was he chosen as early as the dare? Or was his acceptance and his breaking into the circus ‘the choice’? Could we have another book coming that continues the Bailey-Poppet-Widget running of the circus? (truly, I haven’t heard any rumors or confirmations on this, but did I hear movie options have been discussed?)

Is magic REAL? or is the ability to ‘do’ magic a talent or a learned skill?  It does bring up the whole question of what is choice and what is destiny, don’t ya think?

Have your ever had your Tarot cards read?  I have. I barely recall the first time but I was supposed to inherit money from a rich relative. Could still happen. The second time, the reader said that my husband would win his fishing tournament. He didn’t even place. But the third time was both extremely vague and spot on. Very interesting. I think Morgenstern captured this delicate balance very well. “You always have a choice.”  But my question is always, do you end up choosing as you were destined? or does destiny play out either way? Makes my head hurt to ponder.

Did you have to open a dictionary to look up ‘exsanguinated’?

OMG! I just read the back cover! Katherine Dunn wrote a blurb!!! And THAT m’DEARs is your clue that you must read Geek Love if you happen to enjoy circus books. I really wouldn’t put myself into that category but now that I think of it, I enjoyed Water for Elephants, too. Of these three, Geek Love is still my favorite. In fact, I gave Geek Love 5 stars in goodreads, The Night Circus 4 stars – or 4 slices of Boston Creme Pie (another squeeee moment while reading), and Water for Elephants 3 stars.

The blurb? Here ya go:

The Night Circus is a gorgeously imagined fable poised in the high latitudes of Hans Christian Andersen and Oscar Wilde, with a few degrees toward Hesse’s Steppenwolf for dangerous spice. The tale is masterfully written and invites allegorical interpretations even as its leisurely but persistent suspense gives it compelling charm. An enchanting read.”

I haven’t read Steppenwolf; guess I better go tbr that.  And as to allegorical interpretations? Please let me know some?

Should I wear all black plus a red scarf to book club next week?  [scurries to closet to see if I even have a red scarf.]


Copyright © 2007-2012. 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.

Happy Simon Van Booy Day

Today is Simon Van Booy Day!  At least in Middleboro, Massachusetts, where I am meeting with my book club to discuss Everything Beautiful Began After.

I get to bring along my mother.    I made her read Everything Beautiful Began After as soon as she got off the plane from Kansas.

But what will be so thrilling (and obnoxious), is that I will be able to show off and say I met Simon Van Booy last week.   He was kicking off the Author Talk Series at the Boston Public Library.  I coerced Nancy the BookFool to go with me as we braved the wet rainy streets and highways to drive into Boston to meet with him and hear his talk.

We had a blast!

Here are a few pics:

Photo credit for first two pics goes to Nancy.  I snapped the last one.

Happy BBAW and Happy Simon Van Booy Day!


Copyright © 2007-2011. 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.

Club Went Wild!

Yesterday afternoon was my Book Club Meeting.   We call ourselves the Bookies.   We try to meet in restaurants with round tables so that we can all share in conversation, but my favorite spot is not the best on rainy days so we ended up at another favorite, albeit without round tables.    Here’s hoping next month, the sun is shining so we can sit outside.

If you read my last post, you already know our book selection was the Wendy McClure memoir, The Wilder Life. I think most thought it mildly enjoyable (or liked it a bit more than I did.) We didn’t take a poll, but I don’t recall anyone gushing all over it. We thought we had a perfect score of EVERYONE actually reading the entire book, but one member didn’t quite finish it.  She promised to by the next meeting.

When it came to selecting June’s title, our anointed ‘chooser’ actually suggested we read The Little House on the Prairie!  (as well as Dirty Bombshell and the latest Kristin Hannah.)    I have to admit, I am curious what my now-self would think of TLHotP, but also don’t really want to find out.

When it came time to pick for June, the book that won the vote is another memoir; this one from a local author which is quite exciting.   Clicking on the book cover (which I really like) will lead you to the goodreads.com page.

Dirty Bombshell:  From Thyroid Cancer Back to Fabulous!

by Lorna J. Brunelle

“…Dirty Bombshell is the poignant and brave story of a 33 year old girl who is fighting her way back to wellness. Her triumphant story sheds light on a cancer most Americans are in the dark about. This story of faith, forgiveness, strength, hope, courage, tolerance, and self-discovery will change the way you tackle hardship, leaving you with the power to survive and thrive. Dirty Bombshell will help you find your way back to FABULOUS! As an actor, singer, writer, producer, and teacher, Lorna J. Brunelle has always had a passion for the arts. …”

We are inviting the author to join our discussion and I really hope she can fit it into her schedule – this would be our first author visit to our club.   Who wouldn’t want some fabulousness, right?

I will be the anointed chooser for the following month and I currently have three fiction choices to suggest.   I’m thinking that I might let YOU, my blog readers, help me pick and then we can foist it on my club friends.  (They always forget to read my blog so I bet it will be a total surprise.)  If you would like to see a poll here, I will do that next week.  Let me know.


Copyright © 2011. 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 Unalloyed Night

Gobbledygooks and its and bits…

I’m back, really I am.   It’s just that I am finding myself with less sitting-around-time which was so conducive to my blathering into blog posts.     I have all sorts of posts started;  just not yet got the right time to put finishing touches to them.

For example, THIS post.    I began it last week and intended to just include more various tidbits of stuff, random thoughts that I had thunk.

But today?  Today, I am making pie and cleaning my house and TRYING TO FINISH THE BOOK that is going to be discussed tomorrow at my house for book club.   (Why did I volunteer my house?  Can’t for the life of me remember why I did that…)

On with that idea that gave me the title to this post:

One of the more interesting spam comments I received lately was almost lovely in how it conjured up odd images:

My boyfriend and I master parties at our house at least once a month, and then it is tough to keep conversations going on in the service of the unalloyed night. Our friends are from several walks of flavour afterall, and since we into up catchy over, sometimes conversations can ladder print dry.

Well, now.   We can’t have those conversations ladder-print-dry, surely.  Huh?    But I love that ‘in service of the unalloyed night‘. Unfortunately, Ms. or Mr. Spammer, I won’t credit it you officially for your interesting (I assume) translation.

Back to Tess, who is milking cows and flirting with the fine gentleman who wants to be a farmer.   Or does he turn out to be a jerk, too?  DON’T TELL ME!