June’s Movies

I feel like I’m in the middle of a mess that just won’t end. I should do a post to catch up with all of you who think I’ve forgotten about you.  Too much going on right now. Some of you follow me on FB or IG but the rest of the story defies a short post for sure. Til next time!

Add your 5 words (or less!) to mine in a comment and earn $1 for charity.  Once we get to $100 the person with the most reviews will choose the charity.  Click here to see the past winners, the charities they chose and the other reviews you can add to.  Anyone is welcome to join in at any time.

We’re at $92 right now.

The Incredibles 2.jpgIncredibles 2, 2018 (Voices-Craig T Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Samuel L Jackson, Catherine Keener)     Grade B

That baby could end the world!

Kid-friendly Avengers movie, with heart!  (Heather)


Thor Ragnarok poster.jpgThor Ragnarok, 2017 (Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Anthony Hopkins, Mark Ruffalo, Karl Urban, Matt Damon)                                Grade B

Humor filled fun. Avengers lite.

Best Thor–yay no Portman!  (Heather)


BookClubPoster.jpg  Book Club, 2018 (Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Canice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T Nelson, Andy Garcia, Don Johnson)                     Grade B

Aged well with books and wine (and plastic surgery)

It’s Bergen, then Fonda. Sheesh.  (Brendan)

Looking for love over 70.  (Kathy)


Image result for the week of movie posterThe Week Of, 2018 (Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Steve Buscemi, Rachel Dratch)                                                                   Grade B

Reunited and it feels so good!


Storks (film) poster 2.jpgStorks, 2016 (Voices-Andy Samburg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammar, Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Poole)   Grade B-

Those babies are the cutest!


Masterminds (2016 film).pngMasterminds, 2016 (Zach Galifianakas, Kristin Wiig, Owen Wilson, Kate McKinnon, Jadon Sudeikis, Leslie Jones)                     Grade C+

The hair alone earns points.

I wanted it more dirty!  (Heather)

April & Oliver by Tess Callahan

Title: April & Oliver: A Novel, Author: Tess CallahanApril & Oliver. Finished 6-6-18, 3.5/5 stars, fiction, 326 pages, pub. 2009

Best friends since childhood, the sexual tension between April and Oliver has always been palpable. Years after being completely inseparable, they become strangers, but the wildly different paths of their lives cross once again with the sudden death of April’s brother. Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student finds himself drawn more than ever to the reckless, mystifying April – and cracks begin to appear in his carefully constructed life. Even as Oliver attempts to “save” his childhood friend from her grief, her menacing boyfriend and herself, it soon becomes apparent that Oliver has some secrets of his own–secrets he hasn’t shared with anyone, even his fiancee. But April knows, and her reappearance in his life derails him. Is it really April’s life that is unraveling, or is it his own? The answer awaits at the end of a downward spiral…towards salvation.  from Goodreads

I very much disliked April and this book for about 100 pages.  The only reason I continued is that I remembered so many fellow book bloggers loving it when it came out.  I thought I must be missing something, only that’s not quite right.  I don’t think I was supposed to like April for a while.  This young woman was a complete mess and I didn’t really understand her on any level.  So, what changed?

The book begins as April’s brother dies in a car crash.  April grieves, hides the death from her grandmother, and is beyond prickly with her remaining relatives.  She also has one of a string of abusive boyfriends in the picture.  But, as scenes with Oliver, her childhood best friend who comes back to the area with his fiancée, flesh out more of the younger April, the characters start to grow on me and all of the sudden I am looking forward to seeing where their chemistry takes them.

This is not a sunny, beach reach kind of book.  This is a rainy day read that will ultimately satisfy.  I’m glad I stuck it out.

 

Sundays with Gage – New York City

Two years ago Jason had a work conference in downtown Manhattan and Gage and I tagged along.  It was August and about 100 degrees every day we were there. Gage didn’t want to walk much.  It was not the best experience for this mama who loves New York City.

This year the work conference was in June at the Grand Central Station Hyatt and we decided to try again.  Of the 4 days we were there it was upper 90’s twice, but because Gage was more willing to walk and I planned a bit better the trip was much more successful. Gage loved the city, even though he did mention that it wasn’t really for kids.  We did manage to find a playground he liked in Hell’s Kitchen and it was only a 15 minute walk  through Times Square.  He made friends both times we went.

IMG_3061Being in midtown made it much easier to get to Central Park so that’s where I wanted to spend most of this trip since we had done most of the downtown area last time.  We visited The American Museum of Natural History, the Central Park Zoo as well as walking completely from one side of park to the other on the hottest day because I got completely turned around in the Rambles.  This is what poor Gage looked like by the time we got to the subway that day – dripping with sweat but still happy.
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This is what he looked liked when we got on the completely packed train with nowhere to sit or move.
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We visited a few churches, St. Bart’s and St. Patrick’s, both of which I’ve visited many times before, but wanted to share them with Gage.  We were even able to catch Mass at St. Patrick
IMG_3271We ate lunch at the library in Bryant Park, we walked through Grand Central Station multiple times a day and, for the first time, we parked in New Jersey and took the train into the city.  A fun experience for all three of us.

We did a lot of walking and I was proud of him.  I will say that my biggest complaint was staying at the Grand Hyatt.  We could not walk out of our hotel (even the just the lobby, really) without having a tight grip on our seven year old.  He was a champ and loved all of the people and I convinced him that we needed Daddy to find a job here for a year so we could do more exploring 🙂  No more than a year.

It was a great experience and this was a perfect age to introduce him to one of my favorite cities, two years ago was too soon.  Even though he had fun when we asked him his favorite part of our trip he chose the day before we got to New York where we stopped at Hershey Park in Pennsylvania.  We happened to be there the same day that my cousin from Maryland was there with her family and we were able to meet up briefly.IMG_3030 I know he chose the Park because of all the roller coasters he was able to ride now that he’s 48 inches, but I like to believe that seeing family had a little something to do with it!

 

 

Freebie Friday

We took a little trip to New York City and got back last night, so I’m trying to catch up.  More on Gage’s time in the Big Apple on Sunday.

I’m weeding my personal library by giving away books.  On Fridays for as long as I can I’ll be offering to mail these books to you free of charge.  Please request no more than two.

I’ve read all of these but they are still in good shape.

 

This One is Mine by Maria SempleIMG_3296

The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan

The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy

Dream Country by Luanne Rice

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens  for Guatami

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I’m also offering this selection of early reader books to one lucky person 🙂  for Jordana

Also, there are a few left from last week if you want to take a look.

The first one to request each book in the comments will ‘win’.  Thanks for helping keep my book hoarding in check! Come back next week and grab up some more!

 

Last Words by Michael Koryta

Title: Last Words (Mark Novak Series #1), Author: Michael KorytaLast Words. Finished 5-30-18, 4/5 stars, thriller, pub. 2015

Unabridged audio read by Robert Petkoff

Mark Novac book 1

Still mourning the death of his wife, private investigator Mark Novak accepts a case that may be his undoing. On the same day his wife died, the body of a teenage girl was pulled from the extensive and perilous cave system beneath Southern Indiana. Now the man who rescued the girl, who was believed to be her killer, begs Novak to uncover what really happened.

Garrison is much like any place in America, proud and fortified against outsiders. For Mark to delve beneath the town’s surface, he must match wits with the man who knows the caverns better than anyone. A man who seemed to have lost his mind. A man who seems to know Mark Novak all too well.    from Goodreads

 

Mark Novac works for the Innocence Foundation, due in great part to his deceased wife, who was following a lead when she was murdered.  Fast forward a few years and Mark is not coping with her unsolved murder as well as his bosses would like so they send him to Indiana on a wild goose chase.  Only it turns into something more for Mark as his life is threatened and he begins to care again.

I liked this thriller and recommend it to fans on the genre.  There was a lot of caving details in it and I appreciated learning about something new that wasn’t boring because the story fit the setting perfectly. I like Mark and see that there’s a second book so I’ll have to get that soon.

 

Freebie Friday

The first few years of this blog I culled my personal library by giving away books.  Well, the time has come to cull again so on Fridays for as long as I can I’ll be offering to mail these books to you free of charge.  Please request no more than two.

This week they have all been read but are in good shape.

IMG_2896

1.Water Tales by Alice Hoffman  headed to Cali on Monday

2.Playing for Pizza by John Grisham

3.The Sister by Poppy Adams

4.Bloodman by Robert Pobi

5.The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain  off to Erica’s soon

Also, there are a few left from last week if you want to take a look.

 

The first one to request each book in the comments will ‘win’.  Thanks for helping keep my book hoarding in check! Come back next week and grab up some more!

Alice Hoffman’s Water Tales (Aquamarine & Indigo)

Water Tales: Aquamarine and...Water Tales. Finished 4-29-18, 3/5 stars, YA, 198 pages, pub. 2003

If you haven’t encountered Alice Hoffman’s watery fairy tales of modern magic, dive in! Aquamarine The tide brings in something unexpected that will change best friends Claire and Haley’s last summer together. Indigo Martha and her friends discover that running to follow a dream is the only way they’ll find the true meaning of ‘home’.   from Goodreads.

It’s been over a month since I read this and as I sat down to start typing I only remembered the first of these stories, but in great detail so that’s something.  As I skimmed through the second story I realized that the one I had completely forgotten was the one I liked best.  I’m not sure what that says about the accuracy of anything I say here.

I love YA fairy tale books and these two novellas revolve around the water and mermaids.  In the first story the two soon-to-be-separated best friends meet, set up on a date, and rescue a mermaid.  They are resourceful girls and it is one demanding mermaid.  In the second story, two strange brothers need a flood to see who they truly are.  I think I liked this one because it felt more mystical to me, whereas the first felt more matter of fact.  I feel like mermaids deserve some magic.

If your preteen likes a good bizarre mermaid story then you have found the right book!  Come back on Friday and I’ll be giving it away 🙂

 

Freebie Friday

The first few years of this blog I culled my personal library by giving away books.  Well, the time has come to cull again so on Fridays for as long as I can I’ll be offering to mail these books to you free of charge.  Please request no more than two.

This week they have all been read but are in good shape.

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The Fountain by Emily Grayson

How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gages Gill

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion  headed up north to Em

The First Patient by Michael Palmer  off to Kay’s house

We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations that Matter by Celeste Headlee  headed to Care’s

Also, there are a few left from last week if you want to take a look.

 

The first one to request each book in the comments will ‘win’.  Thanks for helping keep my book hoarding in check! Come back next week and grab up some more!

May Movies

The usual end of school year chaos – even with a 1st grader – and Jason’s mom being really sick a state away that have defined May around here.  I’m actually surprised that we watched two movies this month!  Tomorrow is Gage’s last day of school and I’m working at the library party for kids who improved their reading by at least one level this year.  I worked at the older kids party last week and tomorrow I’ll be with grades 1-3, including Gage.  Fun 🙂

Add your 5 words (or less!) to mine in a comment and earn $1 for charity.  Once we get to $100 the person with the most reviews will choose the charity.  Click here to see the past winners, the charities they chose and the other reviews you can add to.  Anyone is welcome to join in at any time.

We’re at $87 right now.

Wonder Woman (2017 film).jpgWonder Woman, 2017 (Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Danny Huston)                            Grade B+

I want to be a kick ass Amazon!

Female hero for new generation!!  (Kay)

Gadot’s my kind of gal.  (Brendan)

Charlie st cloud poster.jpgCharlie St. Cloud, 2010 (Zac Ephron, Charlie Tahan, Amanda Crew, Kim Basinger, Ray Liotta, Donal Logue)       Grade C+

Zac sees the slowpoke dead.

 

Book vs. Movie – Charlie St. Cloud

Title: The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud, Author: Ben Sherwood vs Charlie st cloud poster.jpg

I read the book (with the longer title) last month and was happy to see that Netflix had the 2010 movie ready for me.  I actually had the copy of the book with Zac Ephron on the cover so was picturing him as I read and that wasn’t really a problem 🙂 Sometimes I don’t know which will come out on top until I work through the categories, but I know even before I start which one worked better here.  I’ve tried not to contain spoilers.

The Story/Plot Charlie St. Cloud is a young man who was going places before a crash in high school killed his little brother.  He made a promise to his brother not to leave him and to meet him in the woods every evening to practice baseball.  So, Charlie takes a job at the neighboring cemetery so that he can keep that promise.  Not only can he interact with his dead brother but also the other spirits who are dead but have not yet crossed over.  Enter Tess who catches Charlie’s eye and tests his commitment to his brother.

This framework is the same for both the book and movie.  There were fewer spirits in the movie (which I missed), his relationship with his brother was closer in the book, the stuff with Tess happened way out of order in the movie to the detriment of the story, and there was more discussion about life after death in the book.   Thumbs up…the book

The Visual  The New England Coast is a beautiful place and the movie held up its end, although I read that they filmed in Canada.  Either way, it was beautiful.   Thumbs up…the movie

Characters vs. Actors  Since I pictured Zac Ephron as Charlie while I was reading the book he became Charlie for me.  I thought that they would have someone else play his younger 15 year old self in the movie, but instead they made his younger self 18 so there wouldn’t be another actor.  I wasn’t a fan of the aging, but I liked Ephron in the role.  My husband’s favorite part of the movie was the younger brother, Sam, but that’s because he hadn’t read the book I think. The book Sam was a much happier spirit and I preferred him.  Kim Basinger was the mom who made a brief appearance in the movie, but the mom was never part of the action of the book.  She didn’t add much or serve any purpose.  For some reason they aged and changed the EMT who saved Charlie’s life so Ray Liotta could play him.  The only reason I can see that they did this was so they could get a big name in the movie even if only for a scene or two.  The movie messed with the second scene between these two characters so the big name was a wash for me.  Amanda Crew was fine as Tess.  There were additional secondary characters in the movie that were completely unnecessary.   Thumbs up…the book

The Ending  The end result was almost the same, but I could’ve skipped the extra melodrama of the movie.  Thumbs up…the book

And the winner is…the book!  If they had stuck with the simplicity of the book the movie would have been so much better.

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on: (Far From the Madding Crowd) (The Girl on the Train) (Tuck Everlasting)  (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (And Then There Were None) (Still Alice) (The Blind Side) (The Fault in Our Stars) (The Hound of the Baskervilles) (Gone Girl) (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)