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Our second question is all about your favourite and not-so-favourite parts of the book.

We also noticed in your reviews that many Campers preferred the first half of the book to the second. Was this the case for you and why do you think that was?

Don‘t worry if you haven‘t finished the book yet; you can pop back here any time to post your thoughts and comments.

See All 61 Comments
Bookwormjillk I definitely preferred the first half. It was all new and exciting then, while the second half felt a little repetitive to me. 3w
squirrelbrain For me, although the first half was a tougher read there was more of an emotional connection there. The second half was a bit more about the science than the people. 3w
Megabooks City of Laughter about the amusement park was the most interesting to me. As a veterinarian, I have a lot of opinions about euthanasia, and I feel the emotional aspects of it were handled pretty well. My least favorite was Life Around the Event Horizon about the singularity in the scientist‘s head. Idk it just didn‘t work for me. 3w
squirrelbrain My favourite was Speak, Fetch, Say I Love You. (Closely followed by Pig Son). I think both stories were both sad and hopeful at the same time. There were a couple of stories towards the end of the book where I didn‘t make any notes as they weren‘t interesting to me. (Before you Melt into the Sea being one of them) 3w
Oryx Pig Son was my favorite. Why do I always like the heartbreakers? I liked the spaceship one with the art too (don't have my book just now, can't remember the name). 3w
jlhammar I think the first and last stories were my favorite, then Pig Son packed a big punch emotionally as well as City of Laughter. It wasn't a perfect book for me, I felt less invested in some stories, but the overall concept and the way he ended it bumped it back up. I found it to be a very immersive reading experience. Might make it into my best books of the year. We'll see. I definitely want to read whatever he writes next. 3w
Cathythoughts My most memorable story was City of Laughter, @Megabooks I would have strong opinions on euthanasia too. First half definitely better for me. (edited) 3w
Cathythoughts Least favourite story I can‘t say, as in the second half I lost the plot and the stories merged a lot for me. There were a few moments , Like in Grave Friends , when we hear who the baby was from , in Throw the Garden of Memory , that jolted me back into the story. Or when Hollywood reappeared , I also became very interested again. (edited) 3w
BarbaraBB My favorites were the first one (I forgot the title) and City of Laughter. Both so heartbreaking. Interested in your thoughts on euthanasia @Megabooks 🤍 3w
TrishB 2nd half is a confused jumble in my brain. Pig Son was my favourite. I cried for the pig but not the children. There‘s something up with my emotional radar. 3w
MicheleinPhilly @TrishB 😂😂😂 3w
Megabooks @BarbaraBB well, I certainly believe people should have the right to make decisions as to what their end of life care can be, but the thing that struck me in CoL is the anguish of having to make that decision for someone else. I see that with people and beloved pets, so I can only imagine what it must‘ve been like for the parents in the story to make that decision. Also as far as the employees and operating the roller coaster, there is ⬇️ 3w
MicheleinPhilly City of Laughter was probably my favorite as it was the first story in the collection that made me think about the idea of death with dignity. Especially given what we‘ve all endured over the last 2+ years. My least favorite was A Gallery a Century, a Cry a Millennium as it just veered too far into Star Trek territory. That‘s where the collection started to release its grip on me. 3w
Megabooks @BarbaraBB ⬆️ something very deeply emotional about having to end a life. I thought I was prepared having worked as a technician, but there is a different level to it when you‘re the one with the syringe. I thought that was handled fairly well in the book. What are your thoughts @Cathythoughts ? 3w
Megabooks Some of these stories in the second half, I‘m having to look back in the book to see what people are taking about. They just don‘t pack the punch of memory as much. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ 3w
TrishB @Megabooks @MicheleinPhilly agree- the 2nd half is mainly a fog to me! 3w
Cathythoughts @Megabooks I believe in euthanasia for myself and my pets in terminal illness and old age . When children came into it I got very afraid, its not the natural order, He‘s asking very big questions here, very courageous questions. . I hear you about being the one with the syringe.. that‘s the other side to it. That‘s another level , as you say. 3w
Megabooks @Cathythoughts agree. It is a big life question (children and euthanasia) and one I hope we don‘t come to as a society. I thought it was handled well in the book. 3w
MrsV My favorites were City of Laughter and Pig Son. I agree with those that said the 2nd half was too “sciencey”. My brain just isn‘t equipped to follow along with that 3w
squirrelbrain So many of us seemed to like City of Laughter, even if it was the most challenging read. It certainly gives voice to a subject that isn‘t frequently discussed. I wonder if the author wanted to provoke such discussions by making it so extreme. It wouldn‘t have had the emotional heft had it been about adults. @Oryx @jlhammar @Cathythoughts @BarbaraBB @TrishB @Megabooks @MicheleinPhilly @MrsV 3w
merelybookish My experience is similar to everyone else's. Loved most of the stories in the first half and can't even remember much of the second half. I do think it's interesting how that somewhat mimics what it's like to live through a pandemic. How initially with COVID everything was new and strange and scary and emotional. And how post/not post COVID is wearisome. 3w
youneverarrived Agree with the majority of you City of Laughter was the best chapter - absolutely heartbreaking and hard to read but memorable and so well written. A few of the latter chapters were my least favourite- I didn‘t gel with the second half as much as the first. I think it was just a bit too sci-fiey for me. 3w
jlhammar I think Helen is right. City of Laughter is so charged. I was completely wrecked having to make the decision for my beloved cat several years ago. I can't even wrap my mind around making a choice like that for a child. I think in this story it came across as a very loving choice given the circumstances. 3w
batsy I did have the same experience in the sense that the second half flagged at points, though I did like Songs of Your Decay. The other stories in the 2nd half sort of blended together for me, like @Cathythoughts mentioned. I really liked 30, 000 Years, City of Laughter, & Pig Son. The first set up a premise that I would gladly have seen expand into a novel of its own. City & Pig Son handled really complex, tough emotions without sentimentality, imo 3w
jlhammar And I can't begin to imagine how difficult it is for the ones there supporting, advising, navigating and/or administering euthanasia, even with pets, as you have, @Megabooks . It is a gift in so many ways, but it has to leave scars. CoL made you think about the impact on all involved. 3w
Ruthiella Before You Melt Into the Sea is maybe my least favorite. It could easily have been cut. It was just another example of the funerary biz. I mean, it did have a human aspect to it too, falling for someone you will never meet IRL, but still, it didn‘t add much IMO. Like everyone else, City of Laughter and Pig Son were standouts for me. 3w
jlhammar @merelybookish Yes, such a great observation! I hadn't thought of that, but so true. 3w
Megabooks @jlhammar that‘s the way I had to think about it. Relief of suffering is a gift to both the animal and pet parent, but it can be very emotionally exhausting dealing with it every day because I wanted to give as much respect and care as I could for each family. Some days it was just overwhelming. 3w
Soubhiville @TrishB I‘m 100% with you on Pig Son. I cried for the pig too. It was definitely the story I connected with most. Like @Megabooks I‘m in the animal field and euthanasia is something I‘ve had a lot of experiences with in both work and personally having had lots of pets. I think humane life-ending practices for humans are much too difficult to access. 3w
Kdgordon88 The first half was outstanding. The second half it was harder to feel a connection to the stories. I really lost focus in the story about leaving earth to find a new planet/home. 3w
Megabooks @Soubhiville @TrishB I think one of the things that hit me with pig son was how brave snortorious was to give up his life to save others. It is a really courageous thing to expect of anyone. 3w
squirrelbrain I agree with you @jlhammar - @merelybookish made a great point about the fatigue setting in once we all got used to the ‘newness‘ of the pandemic. 3w
Cinfhen Same same same @jlhammar and I also loved Speak, Fetch @squirrelbrain I can‘t recall the names, but I sort of fast forwarded two stories in the middle of the book. I did enjoy the story when the grandmother took her granddaughter into space to search for a new planet and we were reacquainted with characters from previous stories. Also as difficult as this book was there were some moments of levity, which I appreciated. A very satisfying read 3w
TrishB @Megabooks that bit really got me 💔 3w
TrishB @Soubhiville @Megabooks you‘ve definitely given me food for thought on the animal euthanasia front. Dealing with the animals and the emotional people, must be very hard. Grateful to those that do it ❤️ 3w
squirrelbrain I liked that story too about the grandmother @cinfhen - it started to tie up some of the links between the characters. 3w
squirrelbrain @Kdgordon88 - I agree; I think the second half stories were more science-y and futuristic and therefore there was less of a connection. 3w
Megabooks @TrishB yeah, I think he hit upon something true about domesticated animals. My dogs are much larger-hearted and more forgiving than I. And thank you. 💜 3w
Hooked_on_books I read this back in March, and Pig Son has stuck with me most. It was so compelling and unique. I just loved it. Like many others, I also really liked City of Laughter, both for the chapter itself and how it‘s characters kept popping up through the rest of the book. If anyone‘s interested, this is an interesting book about euthanasia/assisted suicide. It‘s thought provoking. (edited) 3w
Leniverse I think the second half of the book had less of an impact both because the shock had worn off and because the epidemic had mostly worn off. It was more about the way onwards after the apocalypse, and it wasn't a dystopian hellscape (for a change!) and I rather liked that. I enjoyed finding out what happened to the baby from the coma dream. But the best stories were the first few, yes. 3w
Kitta Like @squirrelbrain my favourite was speak, fetch, say I love you. Least favourite was the ending one about the world builder. The one I‘ll remember most is the City of Laughter though. I feel like it really defines the stories as a collection for me. 3w
Kitta @Leniverse I don‘t remember finding out what happened to the baby! What happened? 3w
Leniverse @Kitta Grave Friends. The final story before the reveal of the creator. The grandmother they had the funeral for. She used to tell them about a recurring dream where she was a baby in the dark and was lifted up into the air after crawling through hundreds of arms and legs. 3w
Kitta @Leniverse oooh I must have missed that. I fell asleep reading at one point. Oops. Thank you! 3w
Sparklemn My favorite story was Songs of Your Decay. I loved reading about the music that we all know from real life and how Aubrey and Laird bond by listening. My least favorite was Before You Melt into the Sea. @ruthiella I agree this could be cut and never missed. Overall, I agree with others that the 2nd half had much less impact. When I go back and think about the 2nd half chapters, there were stories I enjoyed but overall, it was too sci-fi for me. 2w
thegreensofa My favourites were the first one, it was for me the most real/probable. And also the coma one where they were building pyramids and wondering around, it was a somewhat visual chapter and found that one easiest. But I really didn‘t like the kids on the funrides chapter, I was so appalled and kept thinking ‘no no don‘t-but what if!‘. 2w
squirrelbrain Thanks for that book recommendation Holly @Hooked_on_books - another one to add to my list! 😁 2w
squirrelbrain As for least favourite, less people commented and there was a much broader range of answers, with the only consensus being that we didn‘t much like Before You Melt. 2w
BarbaraBB Love your excel 🤓 2w
KarenUK @barbarabb @megabooks @squirrelbrain I truly am the worst buddy reader! Always too slow and behind! I‘m working every weekend long shifts right now, so missed all these questions both weekends, but loved catching up this morning (before heading off to work again!) I just finished the book, and agree with most that the first half spoke to me so, much more than the second half. City of laughter was easily my favorite story. 2w
cariashley Totally agree with others about City of Laughter - it was the most powerful vignette in the collection for me. Chilling in so many ways. 2w
BarbaraBB @KarenUK Take care of yourself, even though you‘re having our dream job 💕💕 (edited) 2w
squirrelbrain @KarenUK - we love having you along anyway! It‘s still great that you can read through everyone else‘s comments, even if you don‘t have time to comment. Don‘t work too hard…😘 2w
squirrelbrain @cariashley - it must say something about the author, that the story we all found the most challenging to read was also our favourite. 2w
BkClubCare I don‘t really have a favorite story, nor a least favorite and my copy doesn‘t have a ToC. 😠 I went back to reread the Life around the Event Horizon (introducing Theresa) to see if she had the pendant. Maybe I should have taken notes. I was excited to catch at least 3 pie mentions! WIN #iLovePie 2w
squirrelbrain It‘s definitely a book where taking notes would help! @BkClubCare 2w
BkClubCare @squirrelbrain - I always wonder if I “should“ but while in the flow, I can't figure out what to make note of. LOL 2w
49 likes61 comments
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“The flesh of this particular pear 🍐 is soft and sweet and infused with a certain spiciness that lends itself to jams and pies.” #pieinliterature #LitPie #iLovePie #CaresPieShow

I am NOT enjoying the Anna parts - the going-backwards-in-time ain‘t working for me. But I am already heartbroken for the Anastasia storyline. I am about 75% in.

Hoping to finish tonight so I can devour True Biz tomorrow.

BkClubCare Also big SHOUT OUT to my friend @Nutmegnc for all the tips & tricks on image-creation. 😍 3w
AvidReader25 I tend to struggle with books that switch back and forth in time because one plot line is usually better than the other! I just started it. 😊 3w
BkClubCare @AvidReader25 - I saw you read and didn‘t like The Kitchen Boy. You probably know more than I do abt the Romanovs? 3w
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Hooked_on_books I didn‘t love the backward telling of this, either, but at the end it made sense. For me, this is her weakest book. Her best, by far, is one I strongly recommend if you haven‘t read it: 3w
BkClubCare @Hooked_on_books - thanks! The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress looks good, too - especially because I know absolutely nothing abt it. (edited) 3w
Nutmegnc 😍🥰 3w
AvidReader25 @BkClubCare That one fell short for me, but I‘ve been thinking about it while reading this one. I don‘t love the Anna parts so far. The timeline is hard to follow! 3w
BkClubCare If you can, and don‘t think it will spoil the experience, read the author‘s note 📝 3w
BkClubCare @AvidReader25 - -If you can, and don‘t think it will spoil the experience, read the author‘s note 📝 3w
AvidReader25 @BkClubCare I‘ll check out! I wish Anna‘s sections didn‘t bounce around so much. 3w
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The Candy House | Jennifer Egan
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“… tweezing forkfuls of turkey or PECAN PIE through a rectangular mouth slot.” #PieinLiterature #ILovePie

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“ A number of these were stalking the grounds of Cassowary House, eating cut-up bananas and gobbling up any pies unwisely left on windowsills to cool.”
#PieinLit #ILovePie #CaresPieShow

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A Spindle Splintered | Alix E. Harrow
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#CaresBooksandPie #CaresPieShow

Starting this #TOB2022longlist now, after baking the custard part of these Apple Cider Cream Pies for today‘s pre-Thanksgiving dinner with my parents. #iLovePie #ApplePie

xicanti They look so good! 🤤 7mo
BkClubCare @xicanti ah, but wait til cloudy mounds of heavenly whipped cream is heaped upon these beauties 7mo
32 likes2 comments
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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What does the photo have to do with the book? Nothing. I am trying to transition away from IG where I usually post my #CaresPieShow photos. I just finished The Radium Girls audio+print and am now listening to tagged #audiobook.
VERY EXCITED abt the #TOB2022LongList #hashtagmania #TournamentofBooks #TOB #TOB2022 #ApplePie #iLovePie #PieLit #PieinBooks #CaresBooksandPie #WhenYOUencounterPIEinabookthinkofme

SamanthaMarie Yum 😋 7mo
Lindy 🥧😍 7mo
Ruthiella Just throw in an audio baking tag and you connect to a book...😉 7mo
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BkClubCare @Ruthiella - !!! I have missed this idea. I don‘t think I can: bake AND listen. Baking pie takes all my concentration 🥴 (edited) 7mo
Ruthiella How about you listen to the featured book while doing the cleanup after baking.... 7mo
Ruthiella Hashtag audio baking and cleanup 😆 7mo
BkClubCare @Ruthiella - I will just have to be more intentional. (edited) 7mo
34 likes7 comments
Good Bones | Maggie Smith
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My goal to read more #Poetry continues.
#DutchApplePie #CaresPieShow #iLovePie

Ruthiella 😋 🥧 8mo
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Invisible Man | Ralph Ellison
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“but now a new, painful, contradictory voice had grown up within me, and between its demands for revengeful action and Mary‘s silent pressure I thrived with guilt and puzzlement. I wanted peace and quiet, tranquility, but was too much a boil inside.”
#guilty #Scarathlon #PhotoChallenge #Funwhenthethemeappearswhenneeded #pieinlit #iLovePie #hotfriedpies

BkClubCare Sorry pic doesn‘t match the quote. Got distracted by the hot fried pies😂 But LOTS of the word guilt so far in this book. 8mo
Linsy Lol i didnt notice! 8mo
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Again, I look to my goodreads booklists for inspiration. #Haunted #Scarathlon #PhotoChallenge
Another favorite author 🏚👻 I read Hill House last year; saw the movie forever ago. There is a pie quote in the book: Eleanor says, “I like apple pie with sour cream.” #PieinLiterature #LitPie #iLovePie 🥧

Linsy I didn't know there were stories from The Haunted Mansion! I might need to try. 9mo
BkClubCare @Linsy - This is why we “Litsy” — to find books we need to read 🤣 9mo
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Meet Cute Diary | Emery Lee
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Pastelitos are Cuban meat pies! So this counts for my #PieinLiterature tag. #iLovePie

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