Tag Archives: David Mitchell

The Bone Clocks Readalong Wrap up

Thoughts  tbcbydm by David Mitchell, Random House 2014, 624 pages

Narrated by Jessica Ball, Leon Williams, Colin Mace, Steven Crossley, Laurel Lefkow, Anna Bentinck; Recorded Books 2014, 24 hours 30 minutes

Challenge: boneclocksbtn
Genre: SciFi
Type/Source: Hardback AND Audio / Library and Audible
 Why I read this now: Melissa and I co-hosted the Readalong! (which I probably wouldn’t have agreed to if I had remembered that January and February are hot times to read the TOB books… But it worked out. Melissa did the heavy lifting. I basically just cheered along.)

MOTIVATION for READING: David Mitchell’s books are best read with friends, in my opinion but I have never tried one alone so I have no idea.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  I’m not going to tell what this is about because Melissa explains it so well at her wrap up post here. Go read that – and do know that it is full of spoilers assuming you’ve read the whole book!

I’m going to offer random thoughts for here on out…

  • I do have to agree with Melissa about Soleil – where did she come from and where did she go?!
  • I thought Hugo Lamb was a great lovable bad guy. And how sweet was he that he was still in love with Holly?!  aw… swoon.
  • Holly was great. However (in only one section) – the voice? I’m not sure which narrators narrated what, but in the Crispin section — the male attempting Holly’s voice was WRONG. Very distracting.
  • The above point was the only issue I had with the narration. Otherwise, I thought all the voices SPOT ON. I enjoyed the audiobook very much. I did also read (went back and forth) to the hardcover from the library.
  • I was impatient to find out about Jacko and was sad that XiLo-Jacko didn’t make it back. Nor Esther.
  • So the different kinds of Horologists…   Funny, huh? The 49-day reincarnators and the body-hoppers?  If they had a term, I missed it.
  • I did kind of like Crispin – that section was too long! But it made me appreciate David Mitchell’s character development skills. And I liked how that section included a Writer’s-How-To manual.
  • Did you catch that part when Mitchell made fun of himself; “Never trust a guy with two first names.”?  Ha.
  • Melissa and I disagree some on the last section. She sensed that she was being preached at concerning environmental issues but I was only fascinated by the  possible scenarios. The Chinese being the world’s caretakers? Young ladies hoping to marry so they could get such luxuries as regular meals and Wifi. And what about Iceland? I have always wanted to go to Iceland.
  • So. Crispin and Holly. Friends. Friends who both wondered “what if?” Both denied acting on a possible ‘extension’ to their friendship to other realms. One, because Crispin KNEW he didn’t deserve Holly; but Holly? She sensed his sensitivity, his intelligence, his success. She recognized his ego in decline? His vulnerability? Did she sense that he was so different from Ed? (Cuz, YEA.) That she was a one-guy-gal? It felt so TRUE to me! That they became friends and wanted more but both doubted it would work, that it would be complicated, ruin a nice friendship, or what? just true. I really was startled when Marinus stated that both wanted love together but failed to even recognize it within themselves! How much do we miss of ourselves and how do we capture/recognize/trust these obvious or not truths about ourselves? I wonder…
  • Ed. Let’s talk about Ed but let’s consider some movies that explore the same stuff that Ed was experiencing. I’m thinking Whiskey Tango Foxtrot starring Tina Fey. I watched this movie today; it was my second viewing and it was just as good. It is not a highly rated movie but it hits a lot of buttons I like in movies. Shrug. The part of about how Ed feels more alive when he is chasing a story in life-threatening situations… I dunno. It stopped me. Had to think about that. I felt for him AND Holly. Poor Holly. Holly was so cool.
  • And here we are, considering fictional characters as real people.
  • I had been waiting for the labyrinth. It was cool that she had a pendant created so she was able to study it. Probably not a hidden hint that the map was going to be important but I was impatient for it and an explanation for whatever happened to Jacko. All those little insertions of story points that we know are bound to be important – like Aunti Eilísh chatting with the not-quite-Jacko and telling Ed about it.

I’m honored you’re telling me all this, Eilísh, honestly – but why are you telling me all this?
I’m being told to.
Who . . . who by?
By the Script.
What script?

  • Who wrote the Script??!??!?!?!  It did come up again, didn’t it? or is my memory faulty already?
  • I always rate good books higher when I’ve enjoyed a terrific readalong experience. This is no different. And I’m also going to rate this higher because of the many excellent pie references. MANY. LOTS. STRATEGIC. PLOT-PIVOTAL. Entertaining PIE REFERENCES. This David Mitchell guy might be studying Stephen King (#ifyouknowhatImean #butofcourseyoudon’tsoletmetellyou. King always has great pie quotes in his books.) I’ll just share ’em. Some are unpleasant but still awesome. Here they are!  The last one is AMAZING!
  • But wait — before I start the pie quotes, I want to disavow any hint I might have dropped that this isn’t a great book unless it has pie and was read as a readalong. I rate books by my reaction to them and so this is my rating. I do think it a really good book.
  • Who’s up for SLADE HOUSE? (Who has read this far?)


page 13 2.08% “I’ll make scones and plum pies and coffee cakes and Vinny’ll be all, “Jesus, Holly, how did I ever get by without you?”
page 17 2.72% “Mam’ll make me steaming shit pie, dripping in shit gravy, and sit there smug as hell watching me eat every shitty morsel, and from now until the end of time, if ever I’m anything less than yes – sir – no – sir – three – bags – full – sir, she’ll bring up the Vinny Costello Incident.”
page 40 6.41%American Pie” song
page 68 10.9% “Somewhere in the July 2 bit of the A Hot Spell chapter is a reference to a “pie in the sky“. Too busy walking two dogs listening to audiobook to clip/note.
page 149 23.88% “Chetwynd-Pitt, Quinn and Fitzimmons have eaten – – Günter’s daube, a beef stew, and a wedge of apple pie with cinnamon sauce – and have started on the cocktails which, thanks to my lost bet, I have the honor of buying for Chetwynd-Pitt.”
page 446 71.4% “Do you remember, Doctor, we grew rhubarb at Dawkins Hospital? I remember the pies,” I tell him.
page 540 86.5% “Holly drops the thing. ‘Rolling pin’. Where did you find a rolling pin in here? ‘I nicked it from your kitchen at 119A.’

RATING: Five slices of pie.





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.

The Bone Clocks … Mid-Read Thoughts

Lookie!!  So exciting:



Yes. The famous author actually tweeted at our readalong and the fan girls went crazy.




OK, that’s all I got. I’m a bad readalong host. I’m listening to the audiobook and am still not to the end of the Ed Brubeck – part 3 section… Great Auntie knows what’s up but will Ed play along or will he be an ass?

I really liked Holly – part 1 and Hugo – part 2 was very entertaining. Where this evil goddess Miss Constantin will come into play next, who knows?!

Lots and lots of pie. Mitchell is on the short list for the 2017 Pie in Lit Award, but it IS only January.

I’ll keep listening…  Go read Melissa’s thoughts –> here <–.






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.

The Bone Clocks Readalong Kickoff

Readalong Announcement:  The Bone Clocks


The lovely Melissa of Avid Reader’s Musings and I are hosting a readalong of The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell.

Join us and tweet/Instagram/Litsy and/or where ever you want to share it with hashtag #BoneClocks17.

We’re going to take our time and have two months to devote or leisurely stroll through this story. It is a January/February readalong and the more the merrier. Mitchell’s books often invite discussion (and dare I say, introspection and perplexity begging to be shared?!)






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.

Cloud Atlas; Final Thoughts

Melissa of THE AVID READER’s MUSINGS and I want to thank you for joining our little cloud party this month!

She’s posted her final summary and I have yet to read it; I wanted to get my thoughts down and out before I am imfluenced by her sure to be impressive summation. SO. Have you already been there and are now coming here to see what I have to say? or will you go there first?  or have you read Softdrink’s thoughts?  Goodness, choices choices…

[update: I’m now reading Melissa’s BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED review!  APPLAUSE!!  mine here is jumbled thoughts…]

This will be full of spoilers; I assume you’ve read the book.

Please admire Nancy’s photo of clouds of London:

Clouds of London, photo courtesy of Nancy the BookFool

OK, not to say that I was disappointed in this book, but I was let down a little in the second half. I wanted more! What more I wanted exactly, I can’t pinpoint. I don’t think I would have said that I thought Mitchell was a bit too ‘clever’ but now that Softdrink has put the words in my mind, I would have to agree with her. I do know that I tweeted something about Mitchell TEASING us with mild put downs of this all being ‘new age crap’. [Cavendish section 2]

And Trish asked about Whoah from the Sloosha section. Um, wha? huh?  Yea, this confounded me, too.

“Yay, the Prescients’d whoah strict rules ’bout barterin’ with us.”

I decided it was an adjective and started substituting AWESOME while reading. So, to translate this sentence, it would be like saying the Presients’ had awesome strict – or very strict – rules about trading with less civilized societies. Like on Star Trek. This whoah = awesome substitution worked for me. A few times it didn’t work, but most of the time, it seemed to.

I was miffed at myself that I allowed Halle Berry to implant herself in my head as I read the Meronym storyline. I was able to keep other actors out, thankfully. I do want to see the movie – do you?

I was happy that the Cavendish section worked out happy. I liked that ol’ guy. This was a humorous story line and I know I laughed often.

I was also relieved that Luisa survives. BUT. How did mean guy know to put a bomb in the safe deposit box!?  I could not withdraw my disbelief. And why did he go to the party at Luisa’s mom’s house? I missed something.

I also missed how Rufus’ boat was in the same marina with the Prophetess until we were back into the second Adam Ewing section. DOH!

I was annoyed that I saw the word ‘ordure’ again. He used this word at least THREE times. Just use manure, ShowOff. He used ‘adze’ twice, too.

One more technical issue and I’ll try to get at some meat. During most of the Sonmi sections, he spelled the -ight words as -ite but then I caught a ‘light’ and yet on the very next page ‘lite’ again. [pages 317-318]. POINTS FOR ME! ha. Editing…

I had the fortune of substitute teaching for one of my favorite High School English teachers and we studied Fahrenheit 451. Melissa  had mentioned some similar themes and these really stuck out for me; especially the government needed a scapegoat; to punish ‘the enemy’ in order to create social cohesion. Some elements of the future dystopian society also reminded me of Margaret Atwood. Anyway, I think Sonmi knew what she was doing but I was a bit in shock about how that ended! Didn’t see that coming.

I liked the Sloosha section once I got used to the language; I really am in awe of Mitchell’s ability to pull off the time/place/languages throughout.

I was sad for Robert Frobisher and quite anxious for Adam to surive, too. But what did it all mean?

I don’t know. That humans are bad? That greed will destroy us all? That as individuals we all have worth but we must fight corruption at every turn? That groups will always splinter into us vs. them and another reminder that power corrupts and absolute powers corrupt absolutely?

I’m giving this 4 out 5 slices of pie. I really did enjoy and appreciate the reading of this with others.

I now share some quotes:

“Funny, thinks Milton. Power, time, gravity, love. The forces that really kick ass are all invisible.”

“Travel far enough, you meet yourself.” -p.320

“So, I asked ‘gain, is it better to savage’n to be Civ’lized?
List’n, savages an’ Civ’lizeds ain’t divvied by tribes or b’liefs or mountain ranges, nay ev’ry human is both, yay. Old Uns’d got the Smart o’ gods but the savagery o’jackals an’ that’s what tripped the Fall. Some savages what I knowed got a beautsome Civ’lized heart beatin’ in their ribs. Maybe some Kona. Not ’nuff to say so their hole tribe, but who knows one day. One day.
“One day” was only a flea o’hope for us.
Yay, I mem’ry Meronym sayin’, but fleas ain’t easy to rid.  -p.303

“Once any tyranny becomes accepted as ordinary, its victory is assured.”  -p.363


and VOCAB!

p.233 – samizdat – the clandestine copying and distribution of literature banned by the state, esp. formerly in the communist countries of eastern Europe.

p.202 & 330 – conurb – short for conurbation – an extended urban area, typically consisting of several towns merging with the suburbs of one or more cities.

p.367 – zazen – Zen meditation, usually performed in the lotus position.

p.367 – petrine – 1 Christian Theology of or relating to St. Peter or his writings or teachings.• of or relating to the authority of the pope over the Church, in his role as the successor of St. Peter.2 of or relating to Peter I of Russia.

p.368 – wazzock – a stupid or annoying person.

LINK to Half-Way Post Discussion
LINK to Cloud Atlas Vocab Post


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.

Some Words of Cloud Atlas

It’s CARE-VOCABULARY TIME.  (Go ahead and express your excitement. I know you wanna.)

 I am taking notes. (and this is just the first 39 pages!)

Part ONE:  Let’s play MATCH, shall we?  This shouldn’t be too hard for all you erudite friends who all read this blog; I seem to look up these words a lot, over and over and over. The definitions just don’t seem to stick in my brain!  When I look ’em up, I see the meaning and (*slapforehead*) say to myself, “I know that.”

A. DINT                                                     1. dark green, a form of jade

B. HARRIDAN                                        2. a prayer

C. PARVENU                                           3. devoid of hair

D. HUGGER-MUGGER                        4. suitable

E. NEPHRITE                            5. a person new to wealth and without class

F. CONDIGN                                                6.  dung, filth, manure

G. ESCRITOIRE                                          7. head or brain

H. NODDLE                                     8. a strict, bossy, or belligerent old woman

I. ORISON                                                 9. writing desk

J. GLABROUS                                         10.  force; power

K. ORDURE                                             11.  disorder or confusion

I mean, sure. NODDLE was EASY to figure out by its context but it still seemed new and fresh and odd and a varietal of NOODLE. Or a typo. Escritoire and orison are TOTALLY new to me. I am positive I have looked up PARVENU a million times… sigh. Give me a million dollars and I can be a parvenu.

Fun story:  Last week, I got to ‘play’ librarian at the High School. I do not mean to be disrespectful but I had fun, thus ‘play’. I had just started reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell and had encountered hugger-mugger* at the time when a couple of sophomores signed in. I do have a tendency to chat with library patrons and asked one of the nice girls if she would be willing to look up a word for me since she was on the side of the counter that had the BIG DICTIONARY**. She obliged me. In only a few page turns (the girl knew her alphabet), she read aloud the definition and I thought up an example that she might relate to and she assured me she ‘GOT it’.  She promised me she would use it in a sentence that day. I felt convinced she actually meant it. I made a difference in a young student’s life. Or, David Mitchell did and I was the conduit!  Yep, I’m a geek. Wave your hand if you’re a geek, too.

I was very happy and relieved that I didn’t ask the next kid to look up ONANISM.  *EYEPOP*  (yea, pretty sure I’ve looked that one up a time or two. or not.)

PART TWO: the rest of the words…***

p.4 – peregrinations – travels, journey

p.5 – polymath – person of great learning in several fields of study. (noted because I had recently looked it up so I KNEW IT!)

p.6 – circumvallated – a variety I was unaware of for circumnavigated? – surrounded by

p.8 – sheog – CAN’t FIND THIS ONE.  assume ‘grog’, moonshine, … (from context.)  [Just asked Twitterville how to deal with this and got crickets. Twitter can be hit or miss…]

p.8 – obdurate – stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or course of action.

p.8 – demotic**** – of common folk, makes sense if you think of democracy which I didn’t until I read the definition.

p.8 – thitherwards – This one is just fun to say. 

p.9 – tatterdemalion – tattered: worn to shreds; or wearing torn or ragged clothing

p.10 – appellate – AS a VERB? – I get it but can’t quite grasp this one with how it was used: “the islanders thus appellate New Zealand”.

p.10 – dint

p.11 – hugger-mugger

p.11 – terraqueous – I just like the imagery of this word

p.11 – parlor – enclosure to raise domestic pigs? “…willfully marooned pigs here to propagate a parlor.”

p.12 – mmmmmmmmmm[this page had no words requiring me to write down. WHA?!]

p.13 – parvenu

p.13 – penurious – stingy, lacking resources. (sigh, I (should) KNOW THIS!)

p.14 – ordure

p.16 – extirpation – to rid completely (why not use exterminate?  I don’t know…)

p.17 – simulcrums – unreal likeness

p.30 – scrofula – lung disease

p.31 – condign

p.32 – mal de mer – French word for seasickness

THUS concludes vocab from the first SECTION:  The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing. 

(Noddle, Glabrous, Escritoire were from the second section but I’m tired of typing. Orison is from the fourth section, I believe and we saw Ordure again on page 202, FYI.)

Highlight the following for the answers to Part ONE:

A – 10, B – 8, C – 5, D – 11, E – 1, F – 4, G – 9, H – 7, I – 2, J – 3, K – 6

Was this fun?  Do you have a favorite word from this list?  Did you learn anything?

Half-Way Point to page 236 of Cloud Atlas Readalong scheduled for March 16, Friday – plenty of time to join in!   Visit Melissa’s signup post for more information.  OH! and don’t let this list intimidate you!  The first part is written hundreds of years ago when they talked funny!!  The second section was delightful (imo) and it’s just a wild ride so far…

* hugger-mugger – fun! I love this phrase. Makes me wonder how exactly it ever came to be. I would have loved to be an linguist. But at the age of 18 when you are looking at majors to major in in college, this did not look very financially appealing. Stupid me.

** The BIG DICTIONARY is the COOLEST thing.

*** All page numbers reference the Tradeback edition, ISBN 978-0-375-50725-0. YOU STILL HAVE TIME! We are reading ~15 pages a day this month of March and will have a HALFWAY-POINT post here at Care’s Online Book Club on Friday March 16. Do know that I will not be checking in that day until late afternoon because I am subbing for my favorite English teacher at the local High School and she is only my favorite because I know her the best. I do like all of the English teachers I have met and chatted with and have seen-in-action. Just sayin’.  

*** demotic – My FAVORITE new word of the book. Doesn’t it sound evil?! and it is not.



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Cloud Atlas Readalong Announcement

Melissa of Avid Reader and I are hosting a Readalong of CLOUD ATLAS by David Mitchell. Join us?
Just click her name and you will be directed to the Mr.Linky signup.
We are ORGANIZED!! The first check in (pages 1-236) will be on March 17th HERE at Care’s Online Book Club and the second/final check in will be on March 31st over at Avid Reader.
You know you wanna. The book is on the list of 1001 books you must read before you die! And it also qualifies for the What’s in a Name 5 Challenge for the “something you’d see in the sky” category. It was nominated for the Man Booker in 2004 and the Arthur C. Clarke Award and WON the National Book Critics Circle Award (Fiction). I realize it has over 500 pages but only just barely so it’s on the shorter side of the chunkster scale and a lot of people seem to have enjoyed it.

Newsweek called it “… a wild, wonderful ride.

Here’s what the goodreads.com page for Cloud Atlas has to say:
From David Mitchell, the Booker Prize nominee, award-winning writer and one of the featured authors in Granta’s “Best of Young British Novelists 2003” issue, comes his highly anticipated third novel, a work of mind-bending imagination and scope. ✫ A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified “dinery server” on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation — the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other’s echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small. ✫ In his captivating third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity’ s dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.
YIPPEE!! Should be fun.
Tell everyone and post with our cool button:


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.