Three Men in a Boat

Thoughts tmiabbyjkj Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome, ebook/orig 1889, 256 pages

FITS the Classics Challenge AND the What’s In a Name Challenge – not sure yet where it will fall.

If one were to ask me why I read this book, I could list many  a reason. One, it’s got BOAT in the title. I like boats.

It fits my classic challenge – not sure yet which category but maybe the 19th century one? It is a HUMOR book – I don’t read much in this genre, but what’s not to like when a book can make you laugh? But the main reason is probably because this book is what Connie Willis based her (or references? or __?…  not sure exactly because I have yet to read) book title To Say Nothing of the Dog. I like dogs. I want to read a Willis book. She has been on my “Author I Must Get To” list for years now. Maybe this will be THE YEAR.

I must say, the dog in Three Men in a Boat is terrific. A true dog’s dog.

Oh, and I did laugh! often, actually. tmiab4

I should change this post to be of the interview style. I have lots of questions.

Why did I read this book now? THAT is the hardest question. It just came to be. I actually downloaded the free ebook version many months ago and something conspired in the cosmos that I should read it in March of 2014.

What did I think of the book? I liked it. However, it got old. I needed to be way shorter. I guess I can be that person who appreciates the non-plot meandering wayward adventure mishap and funny situation comedy feel of this; just a few guys taking a boat trip together. It’s fun, it’s funny, but it gets old and I couldn’t wait for it to end. I was about a third of the way through when THAT FEELING came up. tmiab3

What IS “THAT FEELING”? When I start wondering about a book. Am I getting it? Is it going to wrap up soon? Can we get a few more passages devoted to the dog?

What happens when you get THAT FEELING? Well, this is when I start looking for other reviews of the book, either from Fyrefly’s google search of book blogger reviews or on goodreads.com. I then check to see how my friends rated it and then I read through some reviews. If it is a print book, this is when I allow myself to read the blurb on the back of the book or inside flap or – kiss of death, usually – I read the… INTRODUCTION.

And then what happens?  I either give up or I keep going. Oftentimes, neither of these choices ends up in a higher rating than a THREE slicer or star.

How will you rate this one?  I give it THREE SLICES of meat pie. The book did have a plethora of pie references. Any book that allows me to use the word ‘plethora’ in a review also earns it high marks. In fact, for that, it might be a 4 slicer! LOTS of pie. Most of them meat pies which is typical of British food fare. Nothing wrong with that.

But wait! What’s it about? I think I said that already, didn’t I?  It’s about three guys and a dog that take a vacation trip on a boat on the Thames River. It’s British. It’s FULL of English history – which I admit was kind of cool. It really could be described as a travel book – if you were able to cruise the Thames in the late 19th century. Many of the adventures could still happen today though, I suppose – who hates to pack for a trip, am I right?

Would you recommend this book? Actually, I can give this question a resounding YES. If you love British humour, read this. If you want to read the Connie Willis book with me as a read-along, yes. If you are trying to read all the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die, then this makes the list and I bet there are worse (ie, more difficult) books on that list. If you like British history, and probably? especially? British literature, I bet this should be on a required reading list somewhere. If the author’s name, Jerome K. Jerome, appeals to you, you might want to read this book. His name appeals to me. I knew a girl in High School whose first name was also her last name and I won’t tell you what it was but it was kind of like Mary Mary, but it wasn’t Mary. I wouldn’t want her to google herself and find that I talked about her!

tmiab2

Do you have anything else to add? Yes, I do. I read on and will admit I skimmed to, a passage about a woman who suffered. A comment on a goodreads review, mentioned that Jerome had biting commentary to provide about society and that it was highlighted with this passage. The woman had found herself “in trouble” and then being scorned and finding it tremendously difficult to support herself and her child given the times, that society’s scorn, etc, she drowned herself in the river. It was poignant.

Much of the writing, the descriptions, the British humor (of course) proves Jerome’s skill as a writer. I don’t and won’t deny him that. Though I failed to find the full tasting of this work to be a total pleasure, I am very glad to have read it and do think I will think often upon it. That is high praise of the best reader’s kind. Books can’t all hit the bells on all levels  at all times for all moods but they can be appreciated for it all anyway. I love this kind of books – the ones that make me think and feel. Golly, I might have to bump it up to a four.

“Supper was not a success. Cold veal pie, when you don’t feel hungry, is apt to cloy. I felt I wanted whitebait and a cutlet; Harris babbled of soles and white-sauce, and passed the remains of his pie to Montmorency, who declined it, and apparently insulted by the offer, went and sat over at the other end of the boat by himself.”  p.187

OK, who read all the way to —> here?? <– and might want to join me for a readalong of To Say Nothing of the Dog?  Or Doomsday? I so want to read that one, too!!!  Sigh….

If you have read Willis and you ‘know’ me, do you think I will like her books?

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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.

Stuff and Probably a Bit More

Hello, I feel the need to post something.

I have received a ton of books lately and have also hit a slump in my reading. I just cannot sit down long enough to decide which book to read and am too indecisive to grab something and just start it.

 or  ?

So far, I keep vacillating between Emotional Geology and The Gargoyle, but all of my books are staring at me expectantly and are looking calmly eager to be picked. And then I recall all the eBooks I have on my iPad screaming at me. I always forget about them…

I also do not have a current audiobook going and I think this has untethered me a bit. I just don’t want to spend any more money and the library options are poor, in my opinion.  I tend to justify dollars per hour. Anyone else do that? I just can’t spend $25 on a ten hour listen. (The Stand was SO worth it. I couldn’t even tell you how much I spent – but 48 hours! awesome.)

Not that my week has been a downer, oh no. I am thoroughly enjoying The Happiness Project; am only dipping in every now and then rather than sitting down and devouring it. I think I would get an A+ for doing things that encourage happiness. I do enjoy the little silly things and when I am in a good mood, the mood builds and spills over. I’m having a lovely week.

I buckled down and concentrated on a project and felt quite pleased with the results. I had the opportunity to earn a quick $25 and it took only 20 minutes of my time. I received a Mary Kay order AND my order arrived so I was able to fill it (just gotta figure out WHEN I can deliver), I was called for a job interview, I received a lovely card from a friend, I managed to mail a few letters back to more friends, I am enjoying SUNSHINE in our weather, the bunnies I’m babysitting actually let me pet them yesterday, and I got a book in the mail.

One of my favorite breweries, Magic Hat out of Vermont, has little sayings under the bottle cap. I saved one that resonated:  “You need to write more.” Cool, huh?  How did Magic Hat know I like to write?  I’m sure they meant that my journal writing (and #letteryear writing) could be a bit more diligent. I want to glue it to my computer but I won’t.

A not-so-good thing that is happening is my poor dog Oscar has another hot-spot, a nasty skin thing that must have vet attention. But I am grateful that I have time in my day to attend to that, assuming the vet can see him.

The book that arrived is Clara and Mr. Tiffany  by Susan Vreeland. A win from Amused by Books. Thank you!!!

Other books that came a few weeks ago and I can’t even bother to check if I posted or not:  The Gargoyle, Erica Jong’s Any Woman’s Blues, Music for Torching and The Devil’s Chimney. My cousin returned The Given Day which I have yet to read. A friend returned The Outside Boy which I have yet to read. I often loan books that I own but haven’t read yet because I know I won’t get to them before they do but that really should be a reminder to me to read all the books that others have loaned TO ME. Uh oh. Need a reading-challenge look-see and check my progress. I also need to do a My-Year-of-Writing-Letters-Every-Day update post and reviews of The Stand, Right Ho Jeeves (maybe not) and followoup to The City and the City. (due on July 22, Pi Approximation Day)

OK!  Let’s start this day. Don’t be surprised if I’m absent for a few days. It’s gonna be BIZZY BIZZY.

BIG Thank You to all my friends who helped me make a decision last night. I appreciate my girlfriends and love that they are scattered all over the world and yet technology allows us to connect like you live right next door.

Model Home

Thoughts    Model Home: a novel by Eric Puchner, Scribner 2010, 360 pages

For the What’s in a Name 5 Challenge (house category) and February’s selection for my book club “THE BOOKIES” – discussion 2/22

FIRST SENTENCE:  “Two days after his car – an ’85 Chrysler LeBaron with leather seats and all-power accessories – vanished from the driveway, Warren Ziller crept past the expensive homes of his neighbors, trying to match his dog’s limp.”

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  Ol’ Warren, our protagonist, chased the dream of making big cash in the sunny land of California, moved his family and staked his claim & fortune in a property development project that ended up next to a toxic waste dump. Losing it all, but not quite his family; lots of shit happens when it all falls apart. And still, the family seems to, at least, still be talking to each other and attempting to move on.

Despite my innumerable (ok, only three) statements that this is ‘quite depressing’, I liked it more than I thought I would while I was being depressed by it all. Now that I’ve finished, now I can remind myself that “this is only.a.book.” AND, a book set in the long ago Eighties! That crap is over. Of course, we could say we now have the same only more current crap but don’t get me started…

I do know that I have no interest in moving to the sprawl of California. (the one described in this book.)

Which leads me to what is GOOD about Model Home.  It feels so authentic. The characters were flawed but not overdone. The situations sad but presented with a tiny thread of hope to pull on. Pull on that thread and would it all unravel more?!  or would it fall apart into solution and progress and growth and resolution?  yea, right.  It was life, very believable UNFAIR crappy life.

I liked poor Warren. I do think that if we had only a few more pages we would have read about his heart attack but thankfully, Puchner knew to stop when he did.  I liked his wife Camille and understood her conflict, her dilemma, her attentions and neglect. I really rooted for Lyle (real name Delilah) though I was not at all like her in her need to ‘experience’ – she was much more brave than I. Dustin? I disliked Dustin most of all, but even he, too, comes around to push my buttons and make me cry the hardest in his saga of pain and possible redemption. And nutty weird strange Jonas – can ya blame him?!

My favorite character is Mr. Leonard. He’s the dog. Even that storyline could have melted into melodrama, but for me was spot on.

I think Mr. Puchner did an admirable job in this debut novel. When people mention it is funny (DARK-FUNNY), I probably would disagree. But then, I did laugh at times.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  If I would put this into a category, it would be “you’ll probably not exactly like it while you’re reading it, but. It is well written. It’s possible that it will be one you remember much longer than that last book you loved but can’t recall the title.”

RATING:  Three stars for “I liked it.” If I could give it three and a half, I would. Three slices of Sour Cream Raisin Pie. Pick out the raisins…

Other REVIEWS:  Check out Ti’s fabulous review here, Sandy was ‘swept away by this family’s story’, Lori at she treads softly said, “Puchner is certainly a talented writer…”

VOCABULARY:
p.23 – SOTTO VOCE – in a soft voice
p.310 – COROLLA – (Nope, not just a Toyota!) – the petals of a flower – “A mansion, flowering into a corolla of rooms…”

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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.

Leroy!

Let me tell you about a new book I just discovered and why it is SO important to me.

If you visit my other blog about my Therapy Dog Oscar, you will also see a post on this book.   (I don’t update that one much anymore – too many blogs, not enough time!)

Leroy The Ugly Dog  by Janice Ronald

I am very excited because Leroy is a Wire Haired Pointing Griffon and SO IS OSCAR!!!   My mom had sent me the clip from the Wichita (KS) Eagle newspaper and I immediately went online to order it.   Unfortunately, it is temporarily out of stock.  I will probably end up ordering lots – I’d like to give one to all the places I bring Oscar!  and all my N&Ns, of course.  and even maybe my neighborkids…

I am also hoping that my giving exposure to this book will bring the author here to my blog since I have yet to find a website for her.

The Author with Leroy
The Author with Leroy

  

 A blurry photo of me with Oscar – a couple of years old…   Oscar isn’t nearly as fluffy as Leroy.   And neither is an UGLY DOG!   They’re beautiful.  and gentle and funny, and so lovable…

A Memoir in Six Words

I’ve been tagged for a meme!  (hey – that’s SIX words!!!)

Read about it (click here) at Lisa’s blog Books on the Brain.    I scribbled a few sentences down and found this incredibly difficult.   I was trying to capture ME in only six words when I realized that she wasn’t asking for an autobiography!  only a memoir…

So, my final result is this:

I’m much blessed; and Oscar obsessed!

It’s even a poem, sort of…   I had settled for “I am blessed in many ways.”   but it sounds too generic.    But then I realized that THIS WEEK is Oscar week, what with the Academy Awards show scheduled for Sunday and I plan on watching every second.     This week, I’m trying to squeeze in as many Oscar nominated movies that I can and since, I did a horrible job seeing any of these when they were in the theatre, I won’t realize my goal.   But that doesn’t mean I’m not trying.

By the way, I saw No Country For Old Men and LOVED IT.    Great screen adaption…  See my book review here.

Back to my six word memior…    My dog’s name is Oscar and so this meme result also reflects my obsession with my canine baby.    [FYI – I did not name my dog Oscar after the Academy Award’s Oscar although it may have helped me like the name a little more.   His full name is “Oscar de la Hunta”;   the breeder asked us for a name that started with O and Oscar fit better than our second choice:   “Otis A Good Day To Be Hunting”.] 

On blessings;  I have a wonderful life and am incredibly grateful to be happily blessed in tangible and intangible ways.   Plus, I believe that when you concentrate on what’s good in your life, you tend to get more of the good.   Works in reverse, too, so I try not to worry and fret and dwell on the yuckiness that can and does happen.    

It’s not what’s thrown at you, but how you handle what’s thrown at you.    Something like that.     Attitudes are contagious…   Is YOURS worth catching?   

opup.jpg                   Oscar as a puppy.