Tag Archives: cover links to goodreads

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.

Invisible Man

Thoughts by Ralph Ellison, Random House Audio 2010 (orig 1952, 624 pages), 18 hours 36 min

Narration by Joe Morton. Five slices of pie on performance.

Challenge: Classics Club second list of 50, Litsy #BookSpinBINGO!

Genre/Theme: US Black Experience/History

Type/Source: Audiobook/Audible and eBook / Kindle via Libby

What It’s About: OK, this is a complicated plot, if ever there was one. In fact, I wondered, though I’m hardly experienced to even suggest such a thing, if this is an Odyssey-like parallel. (I have NOT read the Odyssey and barely know any mythology). May I say that this is a SERIES of ADVENTURES? (maybeperhaps, Gulliver’s Travels? I haven’t read that, neither. Maybe it is its OWN dang odyssey/travels?!) Anyway. Our narrator begins with an explanation and example of how he is ‘invisible’. Then, he goes back to the beginning, but really it starts with his grandfather, then his yearning to be an educated and worthy person, and wowza,…. ALL the stuff along the way that influences or subverts this dream.

In trying to be “good” to the white man, Mr. Norton, who is a benefactor at his college, and importantly tasked with being his driver while in town (but obviously naive), he takes Norton to the dark sides of town. This gets our college-boy expelled and he still, in trying to do “right”, … yea, NO…; the forces are against him. And this jumps over the “HOW” he got to college story! THAT was not a comfortable experience and once, in NY –> just more NOT-comfortable experiences over and over again.

“But that’s a hundred-dollar bill. I take that an’ try to change it and the white folks’ll want to know my whole life’s history.” She snorted. “They want to know where I was born, where I work, and where I been for the last six months, and when I tell ’em they still gonna think I stole it.

This is a powerful work of literary art.

Rating: Four slices of sweet potato pie. Should I be giving it 5 out of respect and uniqueness/”same-as-it-ever-was” and importance? But golly, is it long. (BOOO! suck it up, buttercup!)

“…hot sweet potato pies… HOT FRIED PIES, I thought sadly, moving away. I would probably have indigestion if at one…”

Some lady in NC successfully got this book banned in a 2013 NC school district because it lacked innocence and was not appropriate for her 11th grade child. ELEVENTH GRADE!? Read article –>here<<–

On the other hand, a commenter to the YouTube Thug Notes for this novel, suggests that this text is perfect for writing AP lit essays and I find this an interesting factoid. Why, I wonder? Hmmmmm. I do appreciate Professor Sparky Sweets.

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 Soul of Kindness

Thoughts by Elizabeth Taylor, Hachette Digital 2010 (orig 1964), 223 pages

Challenge: Classics Club second list of 50

Genre/Theme: Six Degrees of Separation?

Type/Source: eBook / Kindle sale

What It’s About: This is about connections and people who influence by those connections though some never meet. It’s about how ‘nice’ isn’t really nice, after all. There is SO MUCH going on and yet, there is little plot. My jam, for sure.

She always brought Alice from her pram or cradle when Ba and Meg called, behaving, with self-conscious generosity, like a nice child with a special toy to share.

Flora is so nice and she just wants everyone to be happy. She, of course, knows what is the best for everyone and believes the best for everyone and just knows, that if this-then-that, then all would be happy. Yet, she also believes that she is the sun and all should revolve around her in her magnificence happy-attention sunshine. Life doesn’t work that way, however, and some planets orbit a different rotational path.

…the book by Henry Miller Patrick Barlow had lent her, which she was reading with such mild surprise. (‘What does this word mean, Richard?’ ‘Truly? Well I suppose it had to be called something.’ How had she lived so long without knowing? he wondered.)

Wow. I must read everything now.

Rating: Five slices of gooseberry pie.  LOTS of pie mentions!

Today would be the longest time she had ever spent with him, and her happiness brimmed over. It was bliss to have this lying ahead of her – the train journey, his company all the time, the Vivaldi records perhaps, and Mrs Clarke’s cold game pie.

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 Partly Cloudy Patriot

Thoughts by Sarah Vowell, Simon & Schuster 2002, 197 pages

Challenge: Litsy Book Spin Bingo

Genre/Theme: Nonfiction / Politics and Citizenship, History

Type/Source: Hardcover / used book store $1

What It’s About: Essays on politics, former presidents and their libraries, some travel, some celebrity commentary, some US to Canada comparison, and more.

Thoughts: I have read two more of her books – her first was published prior to this: Take the Cannoli in 2000 and the second one after The Wordy Shipment 2008 having somehow missed Assassination Vacation from 2005. She produces a new collection every 2-4 years, it seems. She is on the radio and probably is a guest on bunches of podcasts? maybe? but otherwise, I don’t know what she’s up to. She’s not on Twitter, which is a shame but I totally understand.

Reading about voter restrictions, election fraud accusations, assaults on democracy… and realizing she is referencing the political climate of the turn of the decade (century!) into the 2000s — makes me both annoyed and fearful and weirdly relieved; things never change, nothing is new.

Rating: Three slices of cherry pie.  

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.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Thoughts by Lewis Carroll, Aerie Books Ltd 1992 (orig (1871), 112 pages

Challenge: Litsy Book Spin! #DoubleSpin, actually

Genre/Theme: Children’s Book

Type/Source: paperback / used book store $1

What It’s About: A little girl has fantastical adventures with talking animals, size-alternating mushrooms, nonsensical tea parties, and games of croquet with moving parts and beheadings. Yikes!

Thoughts: I really wasn’t all that keen on reading this having attempted it once and for whatever reason just didn’t appeal. But that nagging thought that “I *REALLY* should read this” and maybe even a touch of FOMO had me put it on my second Classic Club 50.

It was better than I thought it would be.

Rating: Fours slices of pie.

” I passed by his garden, and marked, with one eye,

How the Owl and the Panther were sharing a pie”

Ok, so let’s talk Litsy: I’m doing all the things this October! (If you want to know the details of it, I can give you the person who hosts and how to find her explanation page. It’s difficult to find by searching for some odd reason.) The photo above shows my October Book Spin Bingo card. My next post will feature the other spin number that I’ve read. I read the DoubleSpin before the Spin Spin, by mistake.

Once I finish my current audiobook of Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison — I’ve got over 6 hours yet to go — I will have BINGO! and if I can get Ask Again, Yes! by Mary Beth Kean completed, I’ll have another BINGO! woot, woot!

 

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.

Effin’ Birds

Thoughts by Aaron Reynolds, Ten Speed Press 2019, 208 pages

Challenge: n/a

Genre/Theme: Nonfiction / Postcards / Cursing / Birds

Type/Source: Gift from Stef of blog A Stone in the River

Recommended by: I saw a tweet about this collection and RT’d it; either I @’d Stefanie or she happened to see it… then she ACTED upon it!

What It’s About: A book of 100 postcards encapsulating insults and ventings of frustration.

“… something about or by a pie-eyed bird thinking something fuck-worthily inappropriate…”

– (I mailed it before I wrote it down)

Thoughts: I laughed. I immediately wrote Stef a thank you before I realized that she included a card explaining how and why she sent me this amazing super wonderful thoughtful gift.

SHE MET THE AUTHOR! She had the author sign me a note! too cool.

I posted the pics on Litsy

I immediately thought of 1 or 2 friends that might laugh if I sent. And I shared with my husband who assured me that pretty much everyone I already write letters to would probably survive (and laugh) if I sent. So I did. I am.

I refrained from writing my mother-in-law.

Rating: Five slices of pie.

” …I hate people.”

(I don’t, really…)

Let me know if you want one! Some are… quite spicy. I can put craft tape to cover anything if delicate sensibilities might be offended. (Which is what I did for Stacy Buckeye‘s birthday card! LOL)

 

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 Map of True Places

Thoughts tmotpbybb  The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry,  Wm Morrow an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 2010, 407 pages

Genre: Women’s Lit
Type/Source: Hardback – Library
 Why I read this now: For my neighborhood book club

WHAT’s it ABOUT: A psychiatrist loses a patient to suicide and learns to care for her ailing father. Secrets about her parents may or may not have been revealed to all. People are not what they seem.

WHAT’s GOOD: This tale is carefully constructed and then carefully dismantled in the telling. Lots of references to literature and also with Barry’s prior book (The Lace Reader) due to same setting and if I recall correctly, a few same minor characters. The author manages to throw a lot in this book and manages to connect all the dots.

What’s NOT so good: Almost too calculated. The secrets, though they may have surprised me somewhat, were not shocking, and had some of that peeking behind the curtain feel. I never got invested in the protagonist but I did like many of the characters.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I liked this better than The Lace Reader. I can see how this would be highly rated by readers who love these kinds of stories. I like things a bit more edgy and philosophical; less played out by the following of a plan. That’s just me.

A solid three star – I liked it. It certainly had that can’t-put-it-down grip on me that makes reading fun.

RATING: Three slices of blueberry pie.

“Pies made from wild blueberries were left on the doorstep by neighbors whose families had summered on the island for generations.”

 

 

pierating

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 Painted Veil

Thoughts tpvbywsm The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham, Vintage 2011 (orig 1925), 280 pages

Genre: Classic, Fiction
Occasion: Spontaneous Buddy Read with Andi of Estella’s Revenge

AndiandCare

Source: eBook purchased from Amazon for my Kindle
 Challenge: What’s in a Name 2016 – Article of Clothing category

MOTIVATION for READING: wian2016 and the Classics Club

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Kitty is an upper class twit who must get married because her little sister is engaged. So she chooses Walter who happens to be the only guy still interested in her; (though we never quite figure that out. Or at least, I didn’t and I don’t think Walter did either.) Walter is a bacteriologist and is assigned to Hong Kong, so Kitty and Walter get quicky-married, honeymoon in Italy then off to the other side of the world from England. Kitty doesn’t love Walter, obviously, and has little to no moral compass so she is easily seduced by the hot powerful and charming Charley. But Walter finds out and offers a few options which result in a most interesting scenario:  Walter volunteers to be the doctor for a village with a cholera outbreak and Kitty has NO choice but to go along.  Is it a spoiler to say that Charley is the only one who escapes with no consequence? I do end up liking Kitty and I always ‘got’ Walter’s sense of humor. Is this a tragedy? It ain’t no comedy.

But SO GOOD! I also called it a philosophical travelogue…

WHAT’s GOOD: Most everything is good about this. The writing is great, the characters are fascinating, it has wit and lots of emotional pokes, beautiful scenery, and a story arc that is paced well and offers surprises. Maugham has keen insight into human behavior – good and bad.

I love books that set off more exploring on my part. Other story references (“The dog it was that died.” – YOWZA!) and lots of French (ugh). My vocabulary was increased by this:

Tiffin – a light meal, especially lunch.

What’s NOT so good: This is a solid 4 and 1/2 slice of pie kind of book. I have been waffling about giving this a 5 slice but will not due to my wanting to be extra stingy on that this year. I want glowing heaps-of-heart-bursts for my 5 stars and while this is a contender for such, I am not bouncing around the room with passionate hugs and kisses for it and the only thing I can say why that is, might be because it was short. Which could be a whole ‘nother topic on why the chunksters end up getting the passion and I think it is because we get to spend so much more time immersed in chunksters. Whatever.

FINAL THOUGHTS: If you enjoy books that offer romance and anti-romance, this is an excellent choice. If you like climate and cultural variety in your readings and settings in a time a bygone era away, this is an excellent choice.

DO read this enjoyable insightful and not-boring! academic review I found.

I had been feeling poorly this week with a sort throat and achy-ness and yet for some silly reason, I couldn’t commit to watching the movie while huddled and cuddled on the couch under blankets with nap-master puppies at my feet. I watched The Reader with Kate Winslet instead…

RATING: fourpie

WHATHIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

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.