Tag Archives: cherry pie

In Review October 2021

 Monthly Recap Time!

Total of 13…

Count from the library =  SIX, one book was for my monthly Audible credit and finished with Libby; five purchased, and another library for both eBook and Hardcover

pieratingsml

My favorite read of the month is The Soul of Kindness by Elizabeth Taylor. [Link to Review]

These books took me on visits to Colorado, NYC and outer space. I saw the US and some views into Canada. I was in UK-fantasy land. USA again and a half century away in rural England. OPKS was where I lived in the first book (and I’ve lived there in my history, so YAY KANSAS) and ended up in Sweden for the last book of the month.

Five nonfiction – if I count the poetry?) One of the books I read this month is “loosely-based memoir” fiction: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeannette Winterson. SO GLAD to have enjoyed this which had been on my tbr for a long time.

Two featured LGBTQ+, three by POC, one in translation, four classics. Seven female-identifying authors (I might be guessing/assuming) to six by male-presenting.

and…… The Tournament of Favorites was fabulous! The winner is Tsar of Love and Techno over Version Control in the finals. Great fun, much fun, warms the heart and stimulates the brain. I love the tournaments as much as I love pie. Bring on the Long List! Any day now… I haven’t read too many on on the possibly contenders list. Books pub’d this year include: Fugitive Telemetry SF, Meet Cute Diary TransRomance?, Yoga Pants Nation MomLit, (oh yea, I read all the Summer Camp books, too!)

pieratingsml

Pie! NINE books out of 13 mention pie.

I made Cranberry Pear Pie, Pumpkin, and some Dutch Apple crumb pies.

pieratingsml

What was YOUR favorite book of October?

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.

Stephen Florida

Thoughts by Gabe Habash, Coffee House Press 2017, 304 pages

Challenge: Tournament of Favorites

Genre/Theme: Contemporary Literature / Wrestling and/or Obsession

Type/Source: Tradeback / Indie Bookstore Purchase

What It’s About: A college wrestler in the 133 weight class is determined to win his division at the National competition. He is focused. He is unwavering. He is obsessed. He is lonely. As a friend of mine says, “He ain’t right.”

Life and the human condition are the exact same thing and it makes no difference, the design is sadness, gravitational and old, except the few times it hiccups and it’s not.

Thoughts: Wow.

I am just amazed and in such admiration of the construction of this novel. Tight, always on, never wavering. So many little WTF!s dropped in — did you see that? did that just happen? does he mean ___?!

I had attempted this and read just enough back in 2018 for that year’s Tournament of Books to know I wasn’t going to devote the necessary headspace to finish or give honest credit. So I bailed. Now it is on the list of the Tournament of Favorites so I decided to not only give it a fresh view but purchased it so that the author might know my intent was true (and forgive myself for the abandonment in 2018.)

I can’t really say I enjoyed this. A five slicer usually is one where I am joyously enthralled. That is NOT quite the case. But I did admire this as craft. And I don’t even really know what that means! I just think this is extremely impressive and can recommend to anyone who likes to read books that live in the mind of psychologically unhinged characters.

Rating: Five slices of pie.

“… telling the Minnesota kids ghost stories in exchange for their mom’s cherry pies.”

 

I didn’t learn anything I didn’t want to learn. It was a reality I wasn’t surprised by. When I met you I felt like someone was trying to make it up to me.

 

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.

The Vanishing Half

Thoughts  by Brit Bennett, 2020, 343  pages

Challenge: TOB
Genre/Theme: Contemporary Lit/Racial Identity
Type/Source: Hardcover, Family (Thanks B-Sav!)
 Why I read this now:  Reading with a Buddy, also gave to my mom and she gave it back. I’m to send on to my mom’s sister.

MOTIVATION for READING: TOB

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  Twins from a small “not even a” town north of New Orleans, run away from home and separate. Actually, Stella disappears into a new life as a white woman. Desiree moves to DC for a job, meets a dream man, gets married and has a child. The husband isn’t so dreamy after all and beats her. She flees back home. Stella spends all her time and energy hiding her secret; frantic that even her daughter might find out that she is not really white. Eventually, generations and secrets collide — SPOILER?

THOUGHTS: Many assumptions and biases and questions get analyzed in this story. Is black a color of skin or an identity? On what gradient scale? Someone somewhere gave appreciation that the author allows the reader to sit with these questions and never quite confronts the idea of right or wrong choices made by the characters. Questions of identity, history, choices. Privilege and poverty. Race and gender and destiny? Nurture or nature, perception or reality.

A solid second book!  No sophomore slump here. Cheers to Bennett. [Her debut: The Mothers]

RATING:    Yes to the pie!

She’d imagined a town like Mayberry, folksy and homey, women leaving pies to cool on their windowsills.

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2021. 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.

Now in November

Thoughts   by Josephine Johnson, Simon and Schuster 1934, 231 pages

Challenge:  Classic Club
and
Back to the Classics Challenge PLACES I HAVE LIVED (Missouri)

BTCC Berlin Booksclassicsclub1

**AND** What’s in a Name 
Challenge 2019Month/Day Category
Genre: Depression Era, Pulitzer Winners
Type/Source: Library
 Why I read this now:  I was trying to find something for this WiaN category – come to end up reading 3 books to satisfy. #whatever #shrug

MOTIVATION for READING: I saw this on my tbr and it fit the category and the library had a copy – possibly a first edition copy? (I was having a hard time finding a copy of One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes which IS in my cc50. This just happens to be a classic; NOT on my cc50…)

Page 144: “When everything was finally dead, I thought that relief from hope would come, but hope’s an obsession that never dies.”

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  A family trying to eke a living out of the ground in the midst of the depression. Older sister is a fish out of water, the youngest sister and mother are inspirations, Dad is wearily lost and angry about it all and our narrator just aches with  feelings and thoughts that only confound.

What gr says: “Brilliant, evocative, poetic, savage, this Pulitzer Prize-winning first novel (1934) written when Josephine Winslow Johnson was only 24, depicts a white, middle-class urban family that is turned into dirt-poor farmers by the Depression and the great drought of the thirties. The novel moves through a single year and, at the same time, a decade of years, from the spring arrival of the family at their mortgaged farm to the winter 10 years later, when the ravages of drought, fire, and personal anguish have led to the deaths of two of the five. Like Ethan Frome, the relatively brief, intense story evokes the torment possible among people isolated and driven by strong feelings of love and hate that, unexpressed, lead inevitably to doom. Reviewers in the thirties praised the novel, calling its prose “profoundly moving music,” expressing incredulity “that this mature style and this mature point of view are those of a young women in her twenties,” comparing the book to “the luminous work of Willa Cather,” and, with prescience, suggesting that it “has that rare quality of timelessness which is the mark of first-rate fiction.””

THOUGHTS:  I would NEVER have compared this to Ethan Frome, but yea. I guess I could go there. (I shudder.)

Such pain. Such loss. I worry about our world now and how much we use and discard, in our disposable society. If I had to live simply and off the land, giving every extra penny to my mortgage, thinking of it as a terrifying weight that could drag me to my death with any next scratch of a pen; … Anyway, it is a sobering look at how people managed, or didn’t, in that awful time.

The descriptions of nature offer some glimmer of love and sunshine. But even the sun gets cursed in this one.

Brilliant, evocative, poetic, savage.

Four slices of pie.

Page 28: “He cut us big slices, firm and wedge-shaped like the tall pieces of a pie, and a bigger one for mother, and then we thought it was time for the presents to be given.”

Page 115: “He did it because he liked pies, he said, and was fearful that M would fall asleep and put away God knows what in the jars.”

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2019. 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.

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

Thoughts 13wolaafgbyma by Mona Awad, Penguin 2016, 212 pages

wian2017

 

Challenge: What’s in a Name Challenge: Number # in Title
Genre: Adult Lit / Linked Short Stories
Type/Source: Tradeback / Library
 Why I read this now: Longlisted but not shortlisted for the TOB

MOTIVATION for READING: This was one of two books on the TOB Long List that would satisfy any categories in other reading challenges I am participating in this year. And it was available at the library. The Nix is the other – hopefully getting to that soon. 

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Our protog is the only child of a fat mom and a dad that split. She survives high school, somehow graduates college after trying every degree option available, cultivates interests that easily spark online conversations, meets men online, arranges to meet one of them and THROW THE ROSE PETALS! they fall in love. She has such a low self esteem that she somehow manages to lose weight to fit the ideal of what she thinks her new man –> fiancé –> husband deserves (not sure if deserves is the right word here) but now she no longer has any shared interests with her man; they have nothing in common anymore and eventually they split up.

It’s all about situations and relationships skewed by her physicalness and what she thinks it is, what it means. Maybe?

WHAT’s GOOD: It’s so sad.

What’s NOT so good: The self-loathing is so very sad.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Not my cup of tea. The writing was fine.

RATING: Three slices of pie.

I meant to count how many stories were in this book to see if there were thirteen. That would makes sense, right? But I returned it to the library before I remembered. So I got to thinking, what IS this preoccupation with “13 Ways to Look” at stuff? Quite a few books with this title beginning. And THEN! I recalled there is a poem, a famous poem (doh!) which I just now took the opportunity to go read: Wallace Stevens’ Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. I didn’t get that, either.

Now I can’t get the Beatles Blackbird song out of my head. “Blackbird singing in the dead of night…” At least it is a pretty song. I think I’ll go look up the lyrics and count that for my Poetry 100 Challenge, too.

But before I chase off to go do that! A thought interrupts my task with this:

Sing a song of sixpence – AKA blackbirds in a pie
Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,
Oh wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king?
The king was in his counting house counting out his money
The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey
The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!

PIE!  (But I prefer the Beatles song, don’t you?!)

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2017. 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.