Tag Archives: tradeback

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Thoughts by Kim Michele Richardson, Sourcebooks 2019, 309 pages

Challenge: What’s in a Name 2022: Category Person with Description

What’s in a Name Challenge: Description category

Genre/Theme: Adult Fiction; history, pack horse library, blue people of Kentucky

Type/Source: Tradeback / Purchased at Half Price Books, I think

What It’s About: This story focuses on the last of the Kentucky blue people and how our protagonist worked to make her own journey in the world, as a Pack Horse Librarian, during the Depression. The story isn’t light – it contains disturbing violence, racism, and death. There are also tender moments and some humor.

Thoughts: I actually allowed myself to get swept away in this and it could be because I needed a hero to truly cheer for after a struggle with NightBitch, I’m not sure. It certainly is more plot and story and not the introspective contemporary snob-literature that I often find myself really falling for. I didn’t notice, for example, all the melodrama and the repetition of her being blue, over and over again until I read it in a review. Oh. Yeah, perhaps. Maybe it was all the references to pie. It surely gained it an extra slice on the rating for pie being a many-mentioned element.

And I also agree that the ending was … a bit much. Too much for only a few pages! WHAT JUST HAPPENED? Good thing I didn’t have a chance to go read reviews before I finished which is what happens when I have doubts mid-way. But I just kept trucking with the story until the last page.

“The first Friday in June, Troublesome always held its pie bake dance, a pie auction to hitch unmarried folks.”

page 60

Rating: Four slices of pie. Because of the pie and the fast flow.

“Winnie‘d been … the only one to bring a pie and sit with me one long Sunday, and then the next, reading to me while I recovered.”

page 73

Question: Will I read the second in the series? The Book Woman’s Daughter, published in May of this year. I don’t know. I’m not rushing out to get it, and I rarely read series books… I probably won’t, to be honest.

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2022. 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.

Advertisement

Dark Rooms

Thoughts

3328CC7B-EF2C-4939-82A2-351E6525B4AF by Lili Anolik, Wm Morrow 2015, 323 pages

Review in six words:  sisters, murder, siblings, whodunit, bad parenting

Free flow ramblings:  Grace is the older sister to a cooler more wild, more world-wise Nica who shows up dead by gunshot. Setting is a boarding school so of course, we get class issues, drug use, promiscuity, all of it. Nica is sleeping with everyone, it seems, so we wonder who ISN’t a suspect? But the school and the police conveniently find a suicide with confession note. Gracie isn’t buying it. A few of the situations she gets herself into are almost ridiculous but we buy it because kids are confusing and confused and doubts are huge; motivation-exploration and self-awareness are numbed by drugs and avoidance even as she keeps placing herself into conversations and confrontations to solve her sister’s murder. All is solved in the end and those plot turns and twists are just a part of the ride.

I don’t “get” the title… oh wait! I do!! Ha, ok, took me way waaaay too long, but Mom is a photographer. I guess that’s the connection. Mom is a real peach if you like fiction with icky mother-daughter storylines.

Rating: three slices of pie.

 

 

 

pieratingsml

 

Copyright © 2007-2018. 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.

Warriors Don’t Cry

Note: I wrote this review before the events at The University of Missouri. I know we still have a lot to learn and figure out. My wish is for everyone to BE KIND and NOT BE AN ASSHOLE. Call me naive. God Bless and Peace on Earth.

Thoughts wdcbympb A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rocks’ Central High by Melba Pattillo Beals, Washington Square Press 1994, 312 pages

From the goodreads.com blurb:

In 1957, well before Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Melba Pattillo Beals and eight other teenagers became iconic symbols for the Civil Rights Movement and the dismantling of Jim Crow in the American South as they integrated Little Rock’s Central High School in the wake of the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education.

Throughout her harrowing ordeal, Melba was taunted by her schoolmates and their parents, threatened by a lynch mob’s rope, attacked with lighted sticks of dynamite, and injured by acid sprayed in her eyes. But through it all, she acted with dignity and courage, and refused to back down.

This book was so startling to me. That the white students of Central High, organized by parents and with help from the Governor! could be so … mean, isn’t the right word, and hateful is accurate, but physically abusive is more true. Flaming firebombs and firecrackers, acid, kicks and punches with adults pretending not to see.

I just don’t understand. And don’t say, “Well, that was the way it was in the South back then.” Well, it was disgusting.

And we are only playing these same scenes still but covertly (OR: NOT COVERTLY:  swastikas drawn with feces?) and/or on different groups of underprivileged HUMANs. Because they are ‘different’? Get over it.

Imagine such a scene today if Federal troops were called to keep peace inside a school. Of course, parents would protest if armed soldiers were in the hallways of their children’s school now; but to think that these soldiers were protecting NINE kids from the hundreds attending. It boggles my brain. I don’t think I could would have been quarter as brave and courageous as these African American kids who just wanted to go to school and learn. They really didn’t quite have a grasp of the political undertaking they were about to begin nor the significance that bright September — oh yes, they certainly figured it out!  but this thought of the importance of what they were setting out to do and understanding that it was to be so very difficult; for it to be a sustaining principle to make the abuse ‘worth it’? Amazing. How can a 15 yo have the strength to start such and ‘see what happens?’

Applaud their fortitude and the unwavering support of their families.

And that the judge who ordered that integration should proceed had an armored guards protecting him 24 hours a day?! While these kids only had protection for a few months and only during the school hours – not getting to and from. They couldn’t stick up for themselves or show their fear because then they were the ones at risk of being suspended or expelled.

Quotes:

“Much worse than the fear and any physical pain I had endured was the hurt deep down inside my heart, because no part of me understood why people would do those kinds of things to one another.”

At one point Melba was so discouraged and lonely but she was to get NO sympathy from her very strong, loving and wise grandmother:

“Did you count on the central people for your spiritual food before you went there? Have you been waiting on them to treat you good and tell you you’re all right so you’ll know you’re all right? Does God know your value? You could never in this lifetime count on another human being to keep you from being lonely, nobody can provide your spiritual food.”

pieratingsml

Copyright © 2007-2015. 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.

Guests on Earth

Thoughts goebyls Guests on Earth by Lee Smith, 2013, 328 pages

A couple of things. Where is everyone? Well, I am sure if anyone else is asking that and implying me, yep – I am sort of ‘Off the Grid” or UNPLUGGED at the moment, I guess, only because it is tough to get the good wifi on the devices best for post-writing/visiting/commenting while I “be” on vacation, so NEVERMIND.

And, I’m a wimp. I didn’t like this book. But I don’t know HOW to ‘be nice and not like a book’. Which makes it sound like I do know how to be NOT nice and NOT like a book and that’s not quite it.

I wanted to like this book.

This isn’t even a case of high expectations! It is the case of realizing that this author has many fans so she must have SOME competence, but I realize now that I have discovered her too late. Her early books might be good but she might as well have phoned this one in.

I am sad.

It might have gone somewhere, it might have had promise?

And against all the Go Set a Watchman chatter about having an editor with the golden ovaries to say, “Go rework this and bring it back to me and you might have something.”, I suggest someone on the Smith-Team might have suggested this for this book.

It is teased to be about Zelda aka wife to Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald. There’s really not that much about her.

It has a lovely LOVELY setting in Asheville NC!  yippee – really, I think I liked the setting best of all.

It brings up too many minor characters that get lost.

Thought I teetered between 2 stars and 4, I am settling on 3 stars but it really disappointed me in story structure. I just don’t have the guts to rate it a 2 star. And I did like the first third or so.

She obviously did her research.

She knows how to string sentences together well.

Descriptive sentences were great.

I struggle with praising the character development.

I am not qualified nor have the write words in my critics-toolbox to say what is exactly so disappointing, but…

I was THRILLED for the first 30 pages! I thought, “Oh goodie, I feel this might be a SOMTHIN’ book!”

But it fell flat.

I truly almost didn’t read the last 30 pages. I was almost about to just drop and walk away.

Ugh.

I just didn’t get the point of it.

I dunno.

I’m just SAD.

BEST QUOTE?  p.85-“He might be sweet as pie, or he might take drunk and start sworping around.”

(Did I only just convince you to read it to find out if you agree?!  crazy, huh?)

The book cover will take you to goodreads where you can read all sorts of LOVE and DARN kind of reviews.

pieratingsml

Copyright © 2007-2015. 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.

Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea

Thoughts aytvimcbych Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler, Gallery Books 2008, 264 pages

FIRST Sentence: I was nine years old and walking myself to school one morning when I heard the unfamiliar sound of a prepubescent boy calling my name.

TRUTH: Her first essay in this collection was my favorite, Blacklisted. About her amazing ability to embellish and think grandiose stories on a dime, Chelsea demonstrates her ability to talk and cajole and invent wild entertaining tales.

It went downhill after this.

I just got bored with her inane over-the-top depravity.

DEPRAVITY: quality of demonstrating an evil and immoral character.

So maybe, evil is a bit strong and misleading. I really wouldn’t call her evil – it’s just all sex and raunchy and well, . . . boring.

Maybe ‘debauched’ is a better word?

DEBAUCHED: to lead away from virtue* or excellence.

Yea, whatever.

I admit. I’ve only seen her show a few times. I thought she was funny. This book wasn’t that funny. Occasionally, a situation was chuckle-worthy but overall, if I chose to dwell on such concepts like ‘regret’, I could easily regret the time I spent with this book.

By the way, a few antonyms for DEBAUCHED are elevate, ennoble and uplift. I need to spend more time with these kinds of words.

Have a nice day!

Enjoy these flowers from my garden: FullSizeRender

pieratingsml

* I am in the THICK (~86%) of the ‘speech’ that is looooong in Atlas Shrugged. Might have something to do with my mind-boggling contemplations of virtue and morality, at the moment.

Copyright © 2007-2015. 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 Aviator’s Wife

Thoughts tawbymb The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin, Bantam Books 2013, 402 pages

The blurb from the back of the book (with my thoughts in parenthesis):

When Anne Morrow, a shy college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family, she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’ assurance and fame, Anne is certain the aviator has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong. Charles sees in Anne a kindred spirit, a fellow adventurer and her world will be changed forever. (Not really, what he sees is a competent brood mare of ‘good’ stock.) The two marry in a headline-making wedding. In the years that follow, Anne becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States. But despite this and other major achievements, she is viewed merely as the aviator’s wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desires for independence, and to embrace, at last, life’s infinite possibilities for change and happiness.

Despite admiring Anne for keeping up with everything her husband gave her to do and then finally realizing a dream of her own to truly write (which I do hope to read more someday), this book fell flat for me. For one, Charles was NOT a great guy. Two, this book suffers from the “tell rather than show” problem, in my humble opinion. I spent most of the book feeling sorry for Anne – for the way her husband treated her and how the paparazzi hassled her.

So, though this book is not my cup of tea and lacks pie references, I expect that many people will enjoy this book very much.

I missed the book club meeting so I have no idea what the others thought of this. I do think it has much to discuss so I do give it a recommendation as a good club selection.

Rating:  Three slices of pie.

pieratingsml

 

Copyright © 2007-2015. 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 Fiction Class

Thoughts tfcbysb The Fiction Class by Susan Breen, A Plume Book 2008, 304 pages

pieratingsml

I like the cover.

It must be a great act of courage for a writer to teach writing. I know I would wonder about my student’s perception of my “success” or lack of success and how necessary this is to be qualified to teach. Whenever I do have a crisis in confidence when eyes are on me to explain or share or ‘deliver a lesson’, I always tell myself that I only need to know SOMETHING/ANYTHING more than the students. And we all know something that can be shared and appreciated. I don’t have to be an expert.

Anyway, I do believe good teaching rarely requires total mastery in a field. The most educated and masterful mathematician could be lousy at teaching. A great teacher inspires and pushes and encourages creativity, experimentation and practice. A great teacher is NOT the one who stands in front of the class and dumps information. Our goals can be for PBL – Project Based Learning opportunities!

Which writing fits into. Writing is creative and story-based; a story is a project, if you will. Writing is a craft with tools and techniques. The tools are words and techniques vary. A great writer just might be a horrible teacher and perhaps the best teacher is not the best-selling author. Teachers are facilitators and coaches.

You can click on the book cover above for the goodreads.com blurb on The Fiction Class if you want to know more about it. I’m rating it three slices of pie. NOTE – this is an ARC. I only saw a few typos. I am willing to send this book to anyone who wants it.

pieratingsml

Somewhat related to this…  Read, come back and share if you agree: “Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I Don’t Teach in One” by Ryan Boudinot. There have been some responses (ahem) to this post and the comments are full of controversy.

I think Writing is a talent; some are born with more talent than others. As with Leaders. I also believe that great leaders can be built and just because you don’t have the bright talent at birth does not mean you can’t be a great leader. Same with writing.

I think it takes a great act of courage to WRITE.

Write on!

 

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2015. 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.

 

Labor Day

Thoughts ldbyjm Labor Day by Joyce Maynard, Wm Morrow & Co 2009, 241 pages

I first heard about this book when the American Pie Association was promoting the movie due to a scene where Josh Brolin helps Kate Winslet and her movie son to make peach pie.

In the book, it was a good scene. I haven’t seen the movie yet.

It is interesting to me that the character Winslet plays here is quite the opposite of the one she plays in Divergent, her very next movie in not so much time. Yes? Anyone see both movies already?

In fact, the part she plays here isn’t typical of her. She usually plays strong and thoughtful women, agreed? The whole time reading this I pictured Kate starring at the wall with a confused look on her face…

OK, a middle school boy (forget his name) who often has to do all the shopping and errand-running because his single mother (let’s call her Kate)  has turned into an agoraphobic, meets a guy (here referred to as Josh) at the store and so, the boy plus his mom decide, “Sure, why not? Guy is bleeding but he needs a ride. We’ll take him home with us.”

Kate and Josh play a game called “kidnapped and kidnapper with tie-me-up for good measure” and boy thinks the guy is actually really cool. Even if he is escaped from prison. He was in prison for murder, but he can still be a nice guy.

It’s handy to have a guy around.

Kid unfortunately meets another whackadoodle kid and trusts her and her advice. He is a trusting kid.

SPOILER!!!

Cops get wind of something not right at the house at the end of the lane, Josh is re-captured, boy grows up. TO be a CHEF!!!  (love this!)

Josh eventually does get out of jail, finds Kate again, they move to Maine and all is happy ever after.

True love prevails.

Rating:  Three stars. I’m rounding up. The pie scenes were great. Peach pie in August, who could resist that?

I would not mind the heat of late August right now, I’ve been so cold lately. READY for SUNSHINE.

 

A big thank you to Nancy for sending me this book cuz I begged her to. That’s the kind of great friend she is. I owe her a few books but I know she has plenty.

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

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.

 

Like Water for Chocolate

Thoughts lwfcbyle Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, Anchor Books 1995 (orig 1989), 246 pages.

FIRST sentence: “Take care to chop the onion fine.”

THREE words:  Passionate, fierce, independent.

What’s it ABOUT: A young girl grows up in a kitchen, falls in love, fights her fate, and cooks up magical treats.

I have two reasons for wanting to read this book:  it has recipes and I wanted to know what the title meant.

OK, I do seem to enjoy the foodie books even though I don’t seek them out. I should. I see a pattern. Give in to it already. I love that each chapter of this story revolved or involved a recipe of some sort. I may  not actually try cooking any but I did enjoy reading through the ingredients and the process.

What was most enjoyable was the results described when eating Tita’s concoctions!  I did mention magic, did I not? Wonderful magic, unquestioned, just accepted, not fancy but so revealing. This was such a fun little book!

The book cover calls it a romance but do not let that throw you off. Tita is very much a strong girl who accepts hardwork but fights for what she believes it. When circumstances and family decide things that are not to her liking, she accepts but never ever bends. Yes, there is love and passion and passionate reactions. Love of all forms is explored.

Tita’s sister is also a delight. Well, ONE of her sisters, anyway.

I think this an excellent choice for a book club.

I am also very glad that I can show off that I have read another book off my physical book hoarding shelf. CHECK. It’s a book that is on the 1001+ Books to Read Before I Die. YAY! It’s a book that was translated – from Spanish. I’m doing good for exploring more of my planet. It’s a book that has been made into a movie! I can’t wait to see how it translates to film.

Have you read this? Have you seen the movie? Do you have any other FOODie books to recommend?

RATING:   FOUR slices of chocolate cream pie with loads of whipped cream and a few strawberries and maybe rose petals.
HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

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.