All the Birds in the Sky

Thoughts atbitsbycja-jpby Charlie Jane Anders, Recorded Books 2016, 12 hrs 36 minutes

Narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan abnarratoratbits

Challenge: TOB of course!
Genre: Fantasy, I suppose
Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible
 Why I read this now: That is an excellent question, my dear blog, but I’m afraid I have no answer other than that fateful temptress FATE.

MOTIVATION for READING: The TOB. Are you that dense already that you haven’t figured out that all the reading I am doing right now is due to my near nutty obsession with all things Roosterified?!  Plus, it sounded good and it was one of the shortest audiobooks I looked at, methinks. I’m getting a bit annoyed that The Nix is so long and that is the book I want to read next and I feel like I’ve lost some of the reading-mojo I celebrated that last few weeks of December and into January but what is one to do?!

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Are you sitting down? This might take a while and I’m likely to meander.

We meet our protags, Patricia and Laurence, while they are in Middle School. Yep, but of course, our dear protags are the smartest and most picked on and are the misunderstood twerps they usually are in literature but since we readers usually are (or were) ALSO, — we were that kid in Middle School, we love them. Amirite?  cliche?!  too much? no, of course not. We LOVE them. Adorbs.

Did I show you a pic yet of the author? charliejane I want to be her. And my only claim to that devoutness is based on this photo and her blurb on goodreads. Never heard of her before I looked at these two things until I finished this book.

Where was I?

Patricia has had birds and trees talk to her. Laurence is a computer geek; has invented a machine that he hopes will someday have sentience and has also created a 2 second forward-jump time machine. Cool, right?

Unfortunately, before these kidlets realize these things might be valuable to their future, a BAD MAN has figured it out and tries to STOP them!!!!  Blah blah blah – too many spoilers already – they meet again much later, bad dystopia shit happens in the future (um, redundancy, Care!), two or three factions who are all trying to preserve the good things conflict — da da da, true love, machines vs nature!!!

Or IS it… ?

You’ve figured out that Patricia is NATURE and Laurence is MACHINES?!  oh god. I just gave it all away . (I’m counting on the fact that most of you wouldn’t have read this far already.)

Not the most unfaulty of plot lines or execution but BIG FUN.

WHAT’s GOOD: aw, I’m really liking it more in this post writing, I am!

What’s NOT so good: But it dragged just a touch. Just a little bit. I also think it changed tone and/or … something. Momentum? went Middle School nerdy to adultness drag? maybe….

FINAL THOUGHTS:  I liked it. I really did. It’s fun. It’s creative. It’s got a lot of the FUN STUFF: Pro-environment, “the world is fucked”, romance, geeky machine futuristic gadgetry, etc.  I CANNOT WAIT to SEE WHAT THIS GOES AGAINST in the Tournament…. 


RATING: Four slices of pie. and it had some REALLY good pie mentions.

Tell me I SOLD you on this!  I did, right?!

“Ankle crossed over thigh and lips pursed, as if he just finished a slice of the tartest Meyer Lemon pie.”

Also, WORM PIE. As in diversion from letting it slip about solving the gravity problem to create a stable … WORM PIE!


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Short Vignette Reviews

Short Vignette Reviews so I Can Be Redundant in a Title

Book Reviews in Few Words!!

The Fireman fma4 could have been called The Nurse. I thought all the cultural references were fun and it had some terrific comic moments but Nurse Harper was at times a dweeb, or naive and stubborn when she shouldn’t have been but I admired her ability to always be true.  The story did feature some really good guys, some really evil dudes, some cute kids and a very interesting premise – the ‘spore’ that once caught, would or could make you burst into flame.  I will refer you to the Twitter hashtag #FiremanAlong to find any reviews that have trickled in so far. We really did have a good time. A huge thank you shout out to all the participants – it was fun. I was excited to encounter a few pie mentions.  fma3 (I listened to AND read my purchased from an indie bookstore hardback.)

13 Little Blue Envelopes tlbebymj by Maureen Johnson. I liked it and I was inclined to like it because I really enjoyed the author’s presentation at the Book Blogger’s Convention in 2010. I suspended all belief and didn’t even realize it until I read a few reviews after – like really, WHERE WERE HER PARENTS!?  I get it, but I didn’t even think it while reading. Too funny. So the issue is a dead aunt sends her 17 yo niece all over the world in order to help her find herself. The kid has a sensible head on her shoulders and is pretty bright so it all works out. I think it was a fun escapist YA book. I want to read the sequel. (Kindle)

The In-Between Hour tibhbybcw by Barbara Claypole White.  I really enjoyed The Perfect Son; I enjoyed meeting BCW and hearing her speak. I bought a few books at the author event and I have purchased a few since. Finally, I’m getting around to reading her books and I bet that I read more books by her soon and in a shorter time frame than I’ve ever read any other author’s books. There is something about her books that I really like and I am trying to figure out what exactly. She has a fearless quality, a wonderful personality unfolding process, great pacing and the occasionally deep thought. She also mentions pie. Fans of Lisa Genova and Liane Moriarity would like Barbara Claypole White. (Kindle)




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ReadAlong of The Fireman #FiremanAlong in July


Spontaneous combustion of book thoughts on Twitter resulted in eruption of readalong endorsements for The Fireman by Joe Hill. It’s the hot book right now.tfbyjh

The hardback is 768 pages; the audiobook is 22 hours and 20 minutes.


Starts in July.

Thus giving you all time to secure a copy? I hereby declare myself as Captain of this Fire Squad with Heather as Co-Command – due to locale (when can we do lunch?) and the fact she just read it but wants to reread it on audio. Ti and Melissa and Jen and Trish are the Platoon Leaders. Michelle and Katie are Advisors (they already read the book!). ALL ARE WELCOME OF COURSE. Just wanted to mention those who participated in the twitter-firestorm about it.

Follow hashtag #FireManAlong

I have also made a list so you can find the entire crew on Twitter. If you want to join us and please do, all are welcome, please let me know your Twitter handle in a comment and/or link to a post or whatever. I might also want your snail mail address if you want correspondence (send me an email or private msg) — I am not promising anything. This is a quick and informal readalong. It’s a “Join in if you want to, no rules” kind of readalong…

I thought better of looking for a hot firefighter person to display, because 1) sexist inclinations and assumptions on my part sad to say, and 2) no legal usage rights to the ones that appealed to me the most. You know how to do your own search so feel free to act on that. OR, to see professionals of all genders, you can click on THIS SEARCH. Not sure what the most ethical of decisions it is to provide a link to all images in a search result with parameter ‘not filtered by license’. Probably not ‘best’. Oh well.

I will be audiobooking. Here’s the link to Audible: fma3                    The bookcover at the top of this post links to goodreads and the Twitter convo links to the hashtag #FiremanAlong. I’ll make a Twitter List, too, so feel free to subscribe to it.


And please remember to tweet any pie references!!!


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 Year of the Flood

Thoughts tyotfbyma The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood,

Satisfies the WATER category of the What’s in a Name 8 Challenge.

Unfortunately, though I do remember Jimmy in the tree and the blue people, I do not recall much of Oryx and Crake and what all happened in MaddAddam Part 1. Not that my memory failure contributed in any way to my enjoyment (or not) of this Part 2 but I wish I could remember more.

I do find Atwood’s books amazing. She is a very talented and creative story teller.

“…the reason you can’t really imagine yourself being dead was that as soon as you say, ‘I’ll be dead,’ you’ve said the word I, and so you’re still alive inside the sentence. And that’s how people got the idea of the immortality of the soul – it was a consequence of grammar.”  

My advice? if you like Atwood and you like dystopia and you have yet to read this 3 book series, just gather them in and read in a timely manner.

If you haven’t read either Book 1 or Book 2, there is probably no reason I can think of to say that you MUST read O&C first. You could likely read Flood first and then read O&C and enjoy it just as much.

It’s all about different perspectives on how humans are destroying the Earth. And yet she always manages to bring out the best in people just as she describes how awful we humans can be.

I don’t recall how O&C ended but this one was abrupt and unsatisfying. I didn’t throw it across the room or anything but I did groan in slight frustration. Now I should go get MaddAddam, Book 3 and get it over with but I won’t. I know myself too well.

I just get distracted by all the books I already have and want to read and before I know it, years will have flown by. On the other hand, I bet the library might actually have this…


Rating: fourpie Four slices of turnip pie. I actually made a turnip/parsnip/potato pie last month and it was quite tasty. Not pretty to look at though.




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Ready Player One

Thoughts rpobyec Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Audible 2012, Narrated by Wil Wheaton, 15.75 hours

WHY I READ THIS:  This book, a science fiction geeky gamer story, has been getting so many good reviews that I just had to find out why. The audiobook and the narrator have especially received high marks for entertainment. I want to read more science fiction. I like and dislike Mr. Wheaton and I had a free credit to burn at Audible.

I also wonder how it ended up on so many of my favorite bloggers favorites lists! How did this book  get into the hands (and ears?) of so many people I respect? It must have had a helluva genius marketing team because I can only think that they are many other books equally as geeky and fun that have not hit the bonanza like this one.

CARE’s QUICK What’s It ABOUT:  Set in the future where world energy resources are lacking and every person seems to be mostly living an escapist  life online in a virtual world, this tells of an amazingly rich and eccentric designer of this virtual world who has set up an elaborate ‘game’ to hunt for the rights to his fortune after his death. Our hero, Wade narrates this quest.  We meet his friends, learn of his adventures both in the ‘real’ world and the online world, and gasp & squeal & shout for his success. Wait – no, not success but his very survival!!

It’s fun.

Wheaton does a great job. The book has so many 80s references that I was able to relive some fun memories of my own days in that decade. I didn’t play that many computer games when I was a teen but this was still fun. Pacing and plot are terrific, world building wonderful and I really cheered the characters as they fought the bad guys. Honestly, the scene where two of the people meet IRL after being such good friends for so long online, brought a tear to my eyes. *sniff*

RATING: Four slices of pie. Chess pie; since chess is a game. Ok, that’s lame but I can’t think of any pie references in the book.


The Hunger Games

Thoughts  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Scholastic 2009, 374 pages, first in a series of 3

I was on an unexpected trip out to Western Kansas and my iPad was losing charge so I desperately needed a paperprint BOOK to read. While frantically perusing the shelves at the Midway Chicago airport, trying to recollect the authors names* that I keep saying I want to read, my eyes fell upon The HUNGER GAMES.


Grabbed it, plunked down a $20 bill and ran back to the gate.  I started immediately.    I read after being told to queue up (Southwest style).   I politely smiled and only showed the cover to the gentleman attempting to converse with me, “What are you reading?”  [I suppose I was rude, since I usually love to engage in such conversation and initiate many in this very same manner!]  I kept reading through take-off and only later, upon hearing that beep-tone that we are are free to unhook our seatbelts, did I see others standing up to gather their overhead luggage.  Oh.  We had landed.

It being midnight, I was not up to reading more during the hour drive home.   But I did manage a few more pages before succumbing to sleep.   I was able to finish the next day.

RATING:  four slices of pie.   Peeta could bake me a gorgeous pie, I expect.

Clicking on the book cover above or on this sentence will take you to the synopsis.  I figure I am one of the very few people left in the world who has not read this already and certainly many of you who are frequent visitors here know what this dystopian thriller is about.  If you are not a frequent visitor here and do NOT know about this trilogy, wow!  and welcome.   Clicking on THIS sentence will give you the results of Fyrefly’s book blog review search for this title.

Do I have to read the next book before I can select a Team Peeta or Team Gale?!


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The Witch of Hebron

Thoughts   The Witch of Hebron:  A World Made by Hand novel by James Howard Kunstler, Atlantic Monthly Press 2010 UNCORRECTED PROOF, 334 pages

Thank you to Alix of HEETR for sending me this book.      I was hoping I would be ready for a dystopia book since I absolutely loved Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood, but this one didn’t quite work for me.   I realize I was in the middle of a reading slump and perhaps I was only ultra cranky and picky but a few things tripped me up enough that I put the book aside.   I also abandoned The Woman in White and flipped through the beginning pages of A Dog’s Purpose but without succumbing back into any kind of reading-nonslump.    Oh, and I had a new puppy to chase:

HOWEVER…    I want to end this Thoughts-Post (non-review) on a positive note!

My parents came to visit for Thanksgiving so I handed my father this book to read!   He devoured it.   He said it was good.

I asked, “Was it compelling?   Enthralling?”   and he said, “Yes.”    He also gave a quick recap which I failed to jot to paper but something along the lines of ‘dire future possibilities’.

This book is the second in a series but I don’t think it matters if you read the first.   Dad didn’t seem to think it suffered by not having read the first.

SO.  There you have it.

He said to give it THREE SLICES OF PIE.


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Oyrx & Crake

Thoughts and Words…   Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, Nan A Talese/Doubleday 2003, 383 pages

MOTIVATION for READING:   I am in awe of Ms Atwood’s literary prowess.   I mooched this and decided it would fit nicely into the Twenty in Ten Challenge spot of TBR.

WHAT it’s ABOUT:   I keep hearing that song in my head  ♫ “It’s the end of the world as we know it.”  ♫   REM, I think?  “And I feel fine.”    (I feel fine because I loved this book.)   We start with a guy waking up in a tree.   He’s up in the tree so he can sleep without being eaten by the crazy animals (wolvogs, pigoons and snats OH MY!)  that just might want to tear his body apart for a snack.    The reader gets to be in his head as Jimmy aka Snowman reminisces.  We slowly learn through his memories what is going on and how the world got to be in such a sad scary state.     It’s a dystopian story of environmental degradation and then some; it’s speculative fiction and I loved it.

So why wasn’t this titled Snowman?    What or who is Oryx and what was up with this guy named Crake?   Answer:  Oryx and Crake are Jimmy’s best and only friends.

What I loved and what I disliked most are the very same thing!    Which shows me how powerful a story this truly is.   I was impatient for Oryx to come into play.    I was frustrated with Crake and his motivations.   I loved Jimmy’s desire to hang onto the words.  I loved the words!   Words, words, glorious words!!   But I had to look a lot of them up.    I was so fortunate to have a full and ample dictionary* in the classroom I was in on Monday when I read this.   I was fortunate that the computer assignment required me only to occasionally glance over the cherubs as they diligently created their reports.

I must be a fascinating (strange) substitute teacher because I was reading, chuckling, gasping, rummaging in the dictionary, etc – repeat – and then would take a quick break to walk the room and ‘spy’ on the student’s work to show I was ‘present and available.’

Atwood is so talented and creative.   I am looking forward to The Year of the Flood which is more of the same but different if I understand the premise of her latest release.   (Not a continuation/sequel but a parallel story line of the same time, right?)   I knew I needed to read O&C before I get tempted by that.

Does anyone have a suggestion for my next Atwood read? I have Alias Grace in house so I probably will chose that but can always be talked into most anything.     Just so you know;   I first read The Handmaid’s Tale in 2008, then devoured The Blind Assassin which was very different but just as incredible, and now O&C.

BACK to the WORDS!   Well, some of them.   I only wrote down the ones when I didn’t have that wonderful dictionary at my fingertips.
mantid – slender?   (mantis, like an insect?)
caecotroph – relates to the part of the digestive system of mammals
demiurge – being responsible for the creation of the universe
helot – a member of a class of serfs in ancient Sparta, intermediate in status between slaves and citizens.
poltroon – an utter coward
leman – a lover or sweetheart
queynt – an obsolete variant of quaint


“avoid pointless repinings”

“From now on he was going to be fancy-free, doing whatever he liked, picking globes of ripe life off the life trees, taking a bite or two, sucking out the juice, throwing away the rinds.”

“We are not here to play and dream, to drift;  we have hard work to do, loads to lift.”

Each one of us must tread the path laid out before him, or her, says the voice in his head, a man’s voice this time, the style bogus guru, and each path is unique.   It is not the nature of the path itself that should concern the seeker, but the grace and strength and patience with which each and every one of us follows the sometimes challenging…
“Stuff it, says Snowman.  Some cheap do-it-yourself enlightenment handbook, Nirvana for halfwits.   Though he has the nagging feeling that he may well have written this gem himself. “


I will offer this book to anyone who might want it and leaves me a comment using one of my words in a creative sentence.   I’ll pick a winner either by random or by ability to amuse me by April 9.

* is there anything much more frustrating than a dictionary that does not include the word you are looking for?!


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