Nothing To See Here

Thoughts by Kevin Wilson, Harper Luxe 2019, 329 pages

Challenge:  Tournament of Books [Bracket]
Genre: Contemporary Lit
Type/Source:  Tradeback LP / Library
 Why I read this now:  Came in off hold and had the next due date

MOTIVATION for READING: It’s that time of  year…

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  OK, now this is the fun one!  A non-motivated 28-yo is invited to a friend’s house and given an odd opportunity – take care of the friend’s stepkids, keep them out of sight from the press, and ensure they don’t set anything on fire. Because these two kids are fire children. They can burst into flame when anxious or upset.

THOUGHTS: I enjoyed this odd tale and its odd apathetic narrator who doesn’t know anything about children. It had a few laugh out loud moments and was heart-warming in the end.

RATING:  I might have rated it four slices of pie.,but it is rounded up from 3 1/2.

 

 

 

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.

A Mercy

Thoughts by Toni Morrison, Random House Audio 2008, 6 hours 26 minutes

Narrated by the author.

Challenge: For the Tournament of Winners  : Tournament of Books
Genre: African-American Lit
Type/Source: Audiobook/Audible 

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  A stream of consciousness by many women and few peripheral characters and the lives they lead. The ‘main’ characters are all connected to Jacob, a Dutch self-made man in the style of the American continent in the 1700s. It explores all variations of “institutions” – slavery, indentured servitude, marriage, religion.

WHAT’s GOOD: It’s powerful, evocative, tragic. Eye-opening to a period of history. Morrison does make it very real, truly makes it come alive.

 What’s NOT so good:  I had first thought that Morrison was an excellent narrator but as I continued to come back to ‘the listen’, I decided she does have a staccato style that might be irritating. I really didn’t notice it through most of the narrative. However, in story — I got lost a lot. Characters would switch and it was very unsteadying, distracting. The characters blurred together. By the time my mind switched accordingly as to who was talking, I was switched to another. And I would get stuck on who the person was talking TO; mother to child, girl to twin, young woman to lover.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  I am very glad to have had this book be presented to me. I wish I had co-listened and read and fortunately, the library had an ebook I could borrow and it helped a lot. I could almost count this as two reads because I practically started at the beginning and scanned to the last part. Read that and then listened. Ended with Morrison’s interview which was very helpful to my appreciation. Recommended.

RATING:  Four slices

No pie mentions noted. Unless you consider this, ~10%:

D’Ortega’s wife was a chatterin magpie, asking pointless questions —

 

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie. All rights reserved. This post is an original post by Care from Care’s Online Book Club aka Care’s Books and Pie.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Accidental #SuperRooster

Thoughts  by Ali Smith, Pantheon Books 2006, 306 pages

An English family rents a country home for the summer but it is far from the romantic and idyllic time they had expected and hoped for. The house is a let down and the village is dull not quaint nor charming. The adults try to put a positive spin on it but all are either disappointed, bored or wrapped up in their own stresses.

The mother is an author, stepdad is a lit professor, the HS-age boy is dealing and reeling and feeling too much with an event he was a part of that dealt tragic consequences and the 12 yo girl is wise, naive, bored.

Into this mix walks in an intruder — or a guest. No one really knows who she is yet assumes someone else must. Or why would she be there? She charms, seduces, shocks, or baffles all in turn. She is unexpected and so forceful, no one knows to question. She is a welcome diversion.

What good and bad she brings is a fascinating study in communications and expectations. Lives fall apart and get put back together, sort of; maybe. Wow, life is messy!

Smith is an artist with words and style. I may not have been convinced nor charmed with every chapter and experimentation, but I was impressed and will read another Smith book.

I get why some may find this work as something difficult to connect with – it offered some very weird sections that I felt confusing and odd. But I liked it overall anyway.

Rating: Four slices of pie.   No pie mentioned.

 

Happy Birthday Holly! img_0900

 

pieratingCopyright © 2007-2019. 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.

Super Rooster Chase

I have only four books to read before I can say I’ve read EVERY Tournament of Books Winner!   Here’s the list of champions and here’s the link to the TOB site hosted by the Morning News.

 

I am listening to Wolf Hall right now and loving it. I’m about 40% in and it’s fabulous.

I think I will try to read the Ali Smith book next, then the Toni Morrison, with the last being The Sisters Brothers because it is the one that least excites me and I just finished The Ox-Bow Incident and would like something to separate these western settings.

I’m going to put these on a time table and invite any and all to join in. Call it the COBC-TOB-Super-Rooster Countdown!  #SuperRoosterTOB

By November 15 – discuss Wolf Hall the first in a series of 3 about Thomas Cromwell in the early 16th century.

By December 15 – The Accidental

Winner of the Whitbread Award for best novel and a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, The Accidental is the virtuoso new novel by the singularly gifted Ali Smith. Jonathan Safran Foer has called her writing “thrilling.” Jeanette Winterson has praised her for her “style, ideas, and punch.” Here, in a novel at once profound, playful, and exhilaratingly inventive, she transfixes us with a portrait of a family unraveled by a mysterious visitor.

By January 15 – A Mercy 

A Mercy reveals what lies beneath the surface of slavery. But at its heart, like Beloved, it is the ambivalent, disturbing story of a mother and a daughter – a mother who casts off her daughter in order to save her, and a daughter who may never exorcise that abandonment.

By February 15 – The Sisters Brothers

With The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of characters – losers, cheaters, and ne’er-do-wells from all stripes of life – and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West, and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.

 

Who’s IN!?   

 

COBC = Care’s Online Book Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2019. 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.

February 2019: What I Done Did This Month (#LetterMo)

Thoughts . .  .

I read _3_ books this February.

Milkman took me forever to read but I loved it. It will (I wanted to write ’twill’ but it looked wrong, ‘Twill‘) possibly be one of those interesting stories and TELLING of a story that stays with me and grows in the As. (The As are admiration and appreciation.) It was so uniquely crafted!  And involving and absorbing and brain-invasive. You can see that I also loved My Sister, the Serial Killer for 5 slices of pie. So Lucky was intense and had much to admire but elements didn’t tickle the (my) exacting finicky appreciation to the spot of oo-ah-ah. Yet it is still good! I do think it has much in style and topic and pace to admire.

I’m still* listening to Washington Black by Esi Edugyan. I have some issues.

I’m still in the beginning of The Italian Teacher. At this point, I have basically abandoned it. I have basically gotten so annoyed with the idea of trying to read on that I’m blastin and cursing the concept of ebooks. I don’t exactly know why I am so aggrieved nor why I just can’t shrug and say, “meh. I’m done.” I just have decided to not read a damn thing since or instead.

Ok, start of rant. It reminds me a The Paris Wife and I could not abide that book. NO. Something about poor putupon wives with little kids and over the top big personality husbands that just …   annoys the super crap out of me.

And this makes me sad. SAD! because this is a TOB book and it has effectively KILLED my TOB momentum and enthusiasm. AND typing that, realizing that makes me sad and mad. WHY did this book derail my M and E? WHY? And now I am annoyed with myself for being derailed and annoyed and unhappy about it all. UGH.

I was SOOOO excited for this Tom Rachman! I loved The Imperfectionists!

I blame it on what else happened in February:  mild flu, husband catching cold, said cold being caught by me, cold running various versions of its mutations throughout my body over weeks. I am now starting to feel better.  Hub is still doing some cringe-worthy coughing bouts.

Which is the perfect segue to #LetterMO!  Write? right?!

I wrote 100+ letters during the month of February.  I received 46 pieces of fun mail during the month. Twenty-two people mailed me letters or postcards and of course, I wrote them back (if I hadn’t written them first… TAG YOU’RE IT!)  Be warned, my corresponding drops off sharply in Spring. If you want to write me, don’t expect a quick return letter, but do know that I *will* eventually write back. I did try to write all of my book-blogger-penpals once this month. If you wanted a letter and didn’t get one, I’m sure it was lost in the mail. (HA! No, do not let me blame the usps. If you want a letter, please let me know. I apologize and will write you straight away. Or by summer. same thing.)

This was a good #LetterMo. It grounds me in some way I have yet to explore fully.

Time for the TOB part of the post.

I updated my brackets:  Just click on the pic below to access a printable link.

The extended highlights are new from the last post of this pic. I will be following this TOB with regret that I didn’t read more but I’ll end up being wildly enthusiastic about the tourney while I kick myself for not having my own knowledge of what is being discussed. At this point, I’m rooting for Milkman to take the rooster.

Finally, PIE:

Chocolate Cherry Pie. [Cherry Pie Day is Feb 20.]

Are YOU excited for TOB this year? Do you like Cherry Pie? Did you know that March 2nd is Banana Cream Pie Day?!?!

 

pieratingsml

 

Copyright © 2007-2019. Care’s Online Book Club aka Care’s Books and Pie. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club aka BkClubCare.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

We Love You, Charlie Freeman

Thoughts wlycfbykg by Kaitlyn Greenidge, Algonquin Books Kindle Ed. 2016, 337 pages

Challenge: Rooster TOB Shortlist
Genre: Adult Fiction or Young Adult Fiction…
Type/Source: eBook / Kindle
 Why I read this now: It was offered as a daily deal for $1.99

MOTIVATION for READING: Reading all the TOB Shortlist

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  I refer you to the goodreads blurb:

The Freeman family–Charles, Laurel, and their daughters, teenage Charlotte and nine-year-old Callie–have been invited to the Toneybee Institute in rural Massachusetts to participate in a research experiment. They will live in an apartment on campus with Charlie, a young chimp abandoned by his mother. The Freemans were selected for the experiment because they know sign language; they are supposed to teach it to Charlie and welcome him as a member of their family.

Isolated in their new, nearly all-white community not just by their race but by their strange living situation, the Freemans come undone. And when Charlotte discovers the truth about the Institute’s history of questionable studies, the secrets of the past begin to invade the present.

The power of this novel resides in Kaitlyn Greenidge’s undeniable storytelling talents. What appears to be a story of mothers and daughters, of sisterhood put to the test, of adolescent love and grown-up misconduct, and of history’s long reach, becomes a provocative and compelling exploration of America’s failure to find a language to talk about race.

WHAT’s GOOD:  Surprising, enterprising*, engaging. I am glad to have read it and I don’t know if going totally blind into this was the best idea. But I think it was.

What’s NOT so good: Messy, unwieldy, faltering. (I have a few questions…)

FINAL THOUGHTS: I actually liked this more than I can express and it is the opposite of my feelings for Sweet Lamb of Heaven. In this book I liked it more but found a few faults. With Sweet Lamb, I didn’t like it all that much but couldn’t figure out why. Go figure.

RATING: Three slices of pie. MUD pie!

In his first few days at Courtland County he’d asked, “Y’all do what around here? Fish in ponds? Make mud pies?” and one of them gulped, “We go to the laser show at the CCC’s astronomy lab.” And he’d laughed.

 

∗ enterprise – a project that involves many people and that is often complicated or difficult.

 

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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.