Tag Archives: Library

Greenwich Park

Thoughts by Katherine Faulkner,  Gallery Books 2022, 378 pages

Challenge: for Book Club and #ReadICT: Color category (perhaps also Villain category?)

Genre/Theme: Mystery/Thriller

Type/Source: eBook / Libby

What It’s About: Synopsis from the top result of googling:

GREENWICH PARK centers around two women, Helen and Rachel, who find their lives entangled when they meet at a prenatal class. Helen, our protagonist, is an instantly-sympathetic and relatable character: when we meet her, we immediately feel a sense of protectiveness towards her.

Thoughts: No, we didn’t. We did not feel any sense of protectiveness and not immediately. Um… The very first page had me confused and annoyed at adjectives and word choice. Then I saw that Laila didn’t like the main character and then my mother (also in my book club) said it failed to capture her interest in the first few pages. I started to read other 1 and 2 star reviews on goodreads — the kiss of death of whether or not I will like a book!

Someone called the protag “gormless”, other reviews said it was dry. Some praised the writing but I wasn’t impressed.

Back to the ebook (after searching for the word “pie”…), I decided to skip around and jump pages, and then read the ending. Blech. I have no desire to catch up what I might have missed. I really am not a good reader of mystery/thrillers. If they are mostly literary, I might like it but usually, I just can’t get interested!

Rating: Two slices of pie. Apricot tart means pie!

“There are no lines, so I take my time choosing serrano ham, hard cheeses, a glistening apricot tart.”

5%

Copyright © 2007-2023. 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.

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Modern Critical Interpretations: Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front

Thoughts Edited and with an introduction by Harold Bloom, Chelsea House Publishers 2001, 224 pages

Challenge: none, mistakenly thought this WAS the novel it discusses…

Genre/Theme: Critical Analysis / Essays (… other way around?!)

Type/Source: Hardcover / Library

What It’s About: This was Harold, being –what seems to me– a pompous ass. I don’t doubt that he is 3x, 4x, 5x smarter than I am, but his style is major “white man being pompous ass about knowing WAY more about literature…. no, sorry CAPITAL “L” Literature, than you do.” and that is OK. Let Harold, GRHS*, have his respect for his literary prowess. But EYE ROLL – the intro had me laughing! He says,

“After I discussed the Harry Potter fad in the Wall Street Journal, the Journal received eighty negative letters and no positive. JK Rowling, like Stephen King and Danielle Steele, will join the thousands of other writers in the “lumber of libraries” and the dustbin of the ages. Popularity is an index to popularity and to nothing more.”

PS – I almost bought Fairy Tales today… fad?!

Thoughts: First, an admission. I thought I had checked out the classic WW1 novel by EMR. Apparently, no. This was Harold’s collection of essays of critical analysis of the novel that was just not as good as Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms, but the second most famous WW1 novel. I have NOT read FtA. And I likely will NOT. I will ONLY attempt, if ever, to read any more Ernie books, might read Moveable Feast. maybe.

I flipped through this, read the first few pages of most, some I read all the way through. I was fascinated by HOW LONG some of these essays were!

I had questions about how the author had “Maria” as a middle name, and why he was born with lastname Remark, but was known by Remarque… Then in the index, I saw Danielle Steele, –who is STILL publishing stories! I haven’t read her work in over 40 years.

I then started my googling and WIKI-ing and found out that EMR married Paulette Goddard! yikes and wowza. He dated some hot ladies before that, too. But that is the society pages… but still! INTERESTING (to me, don’t know why.)

I returned this to the library and picked up the actual novel. Reading it soon for the WiaN challenge of QZX.

Rating: Three slices of pie. No pie mentioned that I could find.

  • GRHS – God Rest His Soul, I don’t mean to be an HB hater but he seriously writes just to annoy me.

Copyright © 2007-2023. 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.

Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance

Thoughts by Alison Espach, Henry Holt & Company 2022, 340 pages

Challenge: for TOB and for #ReadICT: Grief category

Genre/Theme: Adult Fiction; grief, sister relationships

Type/Source: Hardcover / Library

What It’s About: A sister talks to her dead sister, the few years prior, the immediate aftermath, and the years following.

Thoughts: I loved it. Sally was such a devoted little sister, adoring her older sibling. How she grieves and attempts to understand and work through her parents grief, as well as be totally besotted with her sister’s boyfriend. Her outlook on life, attempting to throw humor at everything, only makes her feel odd and empty; it was just heartbreaking and felt very real to me.

Rating: Five slices of pie. Apple pie mentions.

“Then it was over and all the people came to our house and ate apple pie and swirled around our mother at the kitchen table, who was catatonic in her chair.”

Page 97

Copyright © 2007-2023. 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 Patron Saint of Liars

Thoughts by Ann Patchett, Mariner Books (first pub’ 1992), 402 pages

Challenge: for #WiaN2023, category 7 Deadly Sins

Genre/Theme: Adult Fiction; mother-daughter relationships

Type/Source: eBook Libby

What It’s About: Rose accepts her sign from God to marry, but she prefers to drive.

Rose marries a fine man. She loves her mother. But she just cannot live the life as presented to her and she flees to a far corner and accepts where she lands. She is pregnant and accepts those terms, SORT OF. She finds a place for her in the midst of this somehow and . . .

SPOILER ahead –> just highlight to read it:

when the old life encroaches on the newly established, she drives off again. She leaves a daughter distraught with questions and confusions as to what comes next.

Heartbreaking!

Thoughts: Patchett knows “people”, knows the ache of longing and frustration against the pull of responsibility. I love her.

Rating: Four slices of pie. LOTS of pie mentions! Lots of whipped cream.

“”In the hospital,” Rose said, pinching in the edges of a pie crust, or maybe it was a tart. Nothing was a plain old pie with her anymore.”

many other pie mentions, including apple…

 

 

The Rabbit Hutch

Thoughts by Tess Gunty, Alfred A Knopf 2022, 338 pages, National Book Award 2022

Challenge: for March 2023 Tournament of Books

Genre/Theme: Adult Fiction; decaying town

Type/Source: Hardcover, library

What It’s About: A decaying town, lack of industry, climate change effects such as flooding, lost people trying to survive, kids in the system, contrasts between poverty and privilege, mystics, and weird pie.

Thoughts: I didn’t really enjoy reading it and I was luckily enough to have time to make myself sit with the book and READ. “Just keep reading.” I was both repelled by the behaviors and attracted to any scraps of redemption. Some really great passages, and terrific turns of phrase.

And, OH. The last line. Good, really good.

Rating: Four slices of pie. A pie shop, sour cream pie with black licorice, butterscotch cream pie. Possibly a contender for Care’s 2022 Pie in Literature Award!

“Home is a pie in the oven, live saxophone downtown, and a backyard of fireflies.”

65%

 

 

Sharks in the Time of Saviors

Thoughts by Kawai Strong Washburn, MCD 2020, 376 pages

Challenge: Known entry for TOB 2021 due to winning Summer Camp 2020
Genre: Contemporary Lit, Hawaiian Lit
Type/Source: Hard Cover, Library 14 Day
 Why I read this now:  It’s time was now. Inspired by the TOB.

MOTIVATION for READING: TOB. For some reason, I don’t seem to find the motivation or timing to participate in Summer Camps. I want to!  But the cards just don’t get dealt that way. I find that my reading has seasons and this just isn’t my kind of summer reading weather. But I’m glad to get a jump on it while we await the long list. Where IS that by the way? [Wrote this but hadn’t yet pub’d; which reminded me when TOB did send it out finally that this post was likely ready, too. So, HERE WE ARE. The long list!] My goodreads 2021-Rooster list is here

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  Family. Legends. Destiny. The middle child is favored – favored by the gods, favored by mom and dad. The family struggles financially while encouraging all the gifts of skill and intelligence within the children. Unfortunately, all carry these burdens as too-much-burden, trapped in comparisons and never articulated, explored, brought to light but left to fester in the dark. Success and the subsequent trappings, wrapped up in ‘a ticket OUT’ betray the rewards of excelling on merits and opportunities. So. much. heartache and misunderstanding and allowing the aggravations and frustrations to get the better of them!

I yearned for Dean the eldest and he got lost, missed a step and couldn’t get his mojo back, he misunderstood what his mojo really was? Or did he find it… And baby sister had such a bright future!  She was so freaking smart and kicking ass as an engineering student in college — but youth and distractions and the tilt-a-whirl of that youth, the constant obsessing “is this love? what IS this” kept getting in the way. The middle kid? Just fate or bad luck – such pain. So much pain.

Noa might be the main character but he was the star that they all rotated around and never quite connected to.

Yet, I felt for them all and tried to understand. The magical realism was an illusion just beyond reach. But love was there. Love couldn’t quite overcome but love was there and the ending offers hope.

THOUGHTS: Did I enjoy this or was I moved by, caught up in? the hope that love would win?

RATING: Five slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2020. 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.