Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Goals

After many years of hosting this meme The Broke and the Bookish has passed it on to one of  their own, Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week it’s all about our bookish goals for 2018.

  1. Reread a favorite book.  It seems every year this is a goal and I rarely accomplish it.
  2. Read 15 classics.  I need to read 30 books over the next two years for the Classics Club so I need to get reading before I break down and read the Spark Notes 😉
  3. Read a new/favorite author’s backlist.  The first ones that comes to mind would be: Fredrik Backman (5), Susanna Kearsley (6), Paula McLain (4).
  4. Read review books in a timely fashion.  I’m terrible.  Unless I’m part of a tour they sit on my shelves way too long.
  5. Accept fewer review books.  See #4 🙂
  6. Finish a series.  I hate to start new series when I’m still behind on so many that I already read.
  7. Read 30 books in September.  I started this on my 30 Day Challenges blog and have done it twice.
  8. Spend more time reading other blogs.  I find it challenging to find time to blog so I find it extra hard to set aside time to visit my bookish friends.
  9. Read More!!
  10. Don’t worry if I fail at all of these goals.  Life will go on and it will still be full of awesome books.

Do you have any bookish goals for the year?

January 16, 2018 Posted by | lists | 10 Comments

Sundays With Gage – It’s so cold and a winner!

Last week I celebrated a decade of blogging and wanted to send a box of goodies to one lucky commenter.  Gage chose the winner…

IMG_2697 IMG_2701 (2) Jennifer T!!!  I’ll send you an email or you can beat me to it and email me your address.

On the Gage front this week, he went back to school from winter break on Tuesday.  Friday they cancelled school because of an ice storm.  Tomorrow is Martin Luther King Jr. Day so no school.  Tuesday he’ll go back (although we’re getting snow tomorrow night so who knows).  In the last month he’ll have had three days of school.  Three. Days.  I love my kid.  He and his dad are my world, but everyone needs to go back to their schedules (Jason has used a lot of vacation time in the last month).  It is so cold and icy and snowy that finding entertainment is challenging.  We’ve already been really sick this winter, so I’m trying to avoid the popular kid sick-infested areas, but Gage requested one tomorrow.  We’ll see if  I can keep my sanity and him healthy another day.  Wish me luck!

 

 

January 15, 2018 Posted by | FREE, Gage | 9 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday-

Ten Books We Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn’t Get To (and totallyyyy plan to get to in 2018!!)  See what else bloggers are looking to read this year at the Broke & the Bookish.

Lincoln in the BardoLincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

The Story of Arthur TruluvThe Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) BodyHunger by Roxane Gay

Far from the Madding CrowdFar From the Maddening Crowd by Thomas Hardy

A Gentleman in MoscowA Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Anything for You (Blue Heron, #5)Anything for You by Kristan Higgins

Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3)Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1)Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

How to Build a Piano BenchHow to Build a Piano Bench by Ruthi Postow Birch

The Salt HouseThe Salt House by Lisa Duffy

And there’s still time to enter my Blogiversary giveaway here.

 

 

January 9, 2018 Posted by | lists, Uncategorized | 19 Comments

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L Sanchez

Title: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, Author: Erika L. SánchezI Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. Finished 1-6-18, 4.25/5, YA, pub, 2017

Unabridged audio read by Kyla Garcia. 9 hours 41 minutes.

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.
But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.
Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.
But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?     from Goodreads

I don’t read a lot of YA books, but last year The Hate U Give ended up being a favorite and this one, a National Book Award for Young People Finalist, also satisfied my desire to learn about American lives so different from my own.  Julia, a Mexican-American teen in Chicago, lost her sister to a freak accident and she struggles in the aftermath.  Her sister was the perfect one, going to community college while living at home, and when she died Julia’s mother lost it.  Julia is trying to understand her older sister after the fact and it leads her to surprising answers.

Julia is a teenager with some issues and she was trying at times, yet she did grow on me.  I had sympathy for her cockroach infested apartment (been there and it was disgusting) and her embarrassment over being poor when she met a boy she was interested in, but it wasn’t until she was sent back to her family in Mexico for a visit that I began to really root for her.  Julia is a memorable teen and I have high hopes for her future as a writer and for a relationship with Connor, her first love 🙂  I wouldn’t mind a follow up book at all!

This is an immigrant story, Julia’s parents are undocumented and used a coyote to cross the border, a mystery when she discovers her perfect sister had a secret, and a coming of age story with a heroine full of angst and mental health issues.  This really is a relatively quick read that delves into many issues that will keep you engaged.  I really liked this one.

January 8, 2018 Posted by | 4 Star Books, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

It’s been a decade! – with a box of goodies

Read all the way to the bottom for the giveaway 🙂

Ten years ago I opened up shop here at Stacy’s Books with no other goal than just to write.  I didn’t have high hopes for followers or fame and I certainly had no understanding of how people who I met here could become real friends. I didn’t read blogs and I didn’t do any research on how to start one.  I just did it.  I really had no idea what I was doing.

I love this blog even though it has gone through periods of neglect.  I’ve documented travels, Gage’s birth and first years, and talked about the books I’ve read and movies I’ve watched.  I’ve dipped in and out of memes, participated in 24 hour read-a-thons (who knew there was such a glorious thing before blogging?!), interviewed dozens of authors and even quizzed you guys for years (always tempted to start this again, we’ll see what 2018 brings).

I’ve met a few bloggers in real life with Bonnie being the most memorable since she brought be into her wonderful book club over a year ago.  I’ve also met a few others briefly and always wish it was longer and happened more frequently.  Facebook has let me into the everyday lives of bloggers friends which is especially great for keeping in touch with those friends who have shut down their blogs.

This morning I spent some time looking over the stats wordpress lets me see and will share the top pic, post and book review of each year.  I was surprised at how many of these were tops in the years after I posted them.  Thanks to Google I guess.  Plus I think I changed some of the photo settings because why else would me eating fries in Rome in 2008 be a top pic in 2017?  I’ll have to look into it.  Unless anyone can clue me in?

*Edit – because a few of the pics were way too big I just provided a link 🙂


2008 

Florence, Italy

Top post- Florence pics  Top book review- WITSEC: Inside the Federal Witness Protection Program by Earley and Shur

2009

 

Rome, Italy

Top post- Rome pics Top book review- The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

2010

 

5,000 piece puzzle of Florence

Top post- Baby-to-Be Update  Top book review- The Second Son by Charles Sailor

2011

 

Parking in Rome

Top post- My Book Problem  Top book review- The Devil and Tom Walker and other Stories by Washington Irving

2012

 

Venice, Italy

Top post-Monday Movie Meme- Bring on the Heat  Top book review-The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

2013

Baby Shower

Top post- Book vs. Movie-Under the Tuscan Sun  Top book review- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

 

2014

bookwall2014

Top post- 101,102,103…Mini-challenge  Top book review- The Vessel by Taylor Stevens

2015 

Sundays with Gage-A weekend of Firsts

Top post- Book vs. Movie-The Secret Life of Bees  Top book review- The Precious one by Marisa de los Santos

 

 

 

2016

first bookFirst book 2016

Top post- Baby Movie Quiz  Top book review- J is for Jane Eyre, the graphic novel

 

2017

Rome, McDonald’s and the Pantheon

Top post-Book vs. Movie – The Hound of the Baskervilles  Top book review- Yesterday I Saw the Sun by Ally Sheedy


Thanks for stopping by over the years and chatting with me.  Every comment and connection is meaningful and I’m so happy to have met you.  I hope that the next ten years brings continued friendship.

Now for the giveaway- Leave a comment and I’ll enter your name for a box of bookish goodies!  I’ll have Gage draw a winner next Sunday!

January 7, 2018 Posted by | Bookish Stuff, FREE | 27 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday – New Authors I Discovered in 2017

Today’s topic is new-to-me authors we discovered in 2017. Which authors did you discover last year? Head on over to the Broke and the Bookish to see who other bloggers found.

Obviously, these are new-to-me authors.  I didn’t read enough books to discover 10 first-timers!

  1. Fredrik Backman.  I’m so excited that I read A Man Called Ove this year and discovered that Backman has written many other books for me to enjoy!
  2. Lisa Kleypas is up here because I read the first two of her Ravenels historical romance series and I’m anxious to read the next two this year.
  3. Alice Walker is no debutante, but I read A Color Purple this year and want to read more of her backlist.
  4. Amor Towles came on my radar when I read about his latest, but our book club ended up reading Rules of Civility first and I loved it.
  5. Blake Crouch.  I’d never even heard of him until I saw Dark Matter recommended around  the blogs.  Loved it so I’m excited to see what else he’s written.
  6. Paula McLain is a local Clevelander and I loved Circling the Sun and I’m looking forward to her even more popular The Paris Wife this year.
  7. Celeste Ng is another (sort of) local who wrote about the Cleveland where she grew up in Little Fires Everywhere.  Now I need to read her first book.
  8. DM Pulley has written three books, and I read the first two by this Clevelander.
  9. Ernest Gaines is another one who has been around awhile but just got around to reading him for the first time.
  10. Nancy Horan.  I read Loving Frank and want to read her other, Under the Starry Sky.

Who was your favorite 2017 author discovery?

 

January 2, 2018 Posted by | lists | 14 Comments

2018 First Book of the Year

Every year Sheila hosts this fun event so that we can all show the book we’re starting the year reading.  It was a no brainer for me.  As soon as I saw the movie Wonder last month I knew that I wanted to read the book (it didn’t hurt that it was also sitting on my TBR stacks).  I don’t know how much time will be devoted to reading today since hubby and kid are both home and that means family time, but I’ll see if I can carve out some time in bed this afternoon since I am still trying to conquer this bad cold that found it’s way into the house a week and a half ago.  For the first time in I don’t know how many years I didn’t make it to midnight to bring in the New Year.  I guess that means I’m well rested, right?

Hop on over to BookJourney and see what everyone else is reading today.  You’ll even find my pic in her collage 🙂

IMG_2564

So, what’s your first book going to be this year?

January 1, 2018 Posted by | Bookish Stuff | 11 Comments

2017 Movie Favorites & Stats

I watched 50 movies this year, that’s up from 41 last year and doesn’t even include the 30 documentaries that Jason and I watched last January.

I wrote 5 Book Vs. Movie posts (The Girl on the Train, Tuck Everlasting, Northanger Abbey, Me Before You, And Then There Were None)

My second most popular post of the year was Book Vs. Movie And Then There Were None.

I wrote about 3 of my Top 100 Movies (17-Shawshank Redemption, 89-Catch and Release, 90-Desk Set)

We saw more movies at the theater than in years past with 20.

The oldest movie I watched was It Happened One Night, 1934

My favorite animated movie was Captain Underpants.

Newest crush is Matthias Schoenaerts (Far From the Maddening Crowd)

Cutest Couple- Will & Louisa (Me Before You)

My most watched actor was Keanu Reeves with 3 movies (To the Bone, Brotherhood of Justice, John Wick 2)

My most watched actress was a 3 way tie with 2 movie a piece  –Anna Kendrick (Trolls, Drinking Buddies), Janelle Monae (Moonlight, Hidden Figures), Reese Witherspoon (Home Again, Sing)

Most despised movie of the year – Mother!

I continued my 5 Word Movie Reviews with $ for Charity and in April gave $100 to the American Red Cross, as Tony requested.  Keep adding to my reviews and maybe you can choose the next charity!

My 5 favorite movies this year

The Big Sick.jpgThe Big Sick, 2017. Humor and heart in a perfect combination.

Wonder (film).pngWonder, 2017. Such a heartwarming story of acceptance.

Room Poster.jpgRoom, 2015. So disturbing, but full of love between a mother and son.

Three women standing in the foreground. In the background a rocket is launching.Hidden Figures, 2016. Trailblazing women for the win.

Dunkirk Film poster.jpgDunkirk, 2017. Not your typical war movie.

What were your favorite movies this year?

 

December 31, 2017 Posted by | lists, movies | 13 Comments

2017 Book Favorites and Stats

I read 74 books this year. That’s 6 more than last year.

42 Fiction and 32 Non-Fiction.  My non-fiction numbers are up this year because I made an effort to read memoirs in September.

Of those 42 fiction 23 were authors new to me.

30 male authors, 40 female authors and 4 that were both.

27 were audiobooks.

I continued with 2 series (Blue Heron 3&4, Kinsey Millhone 5) and started 2 new series (The Ravenels 1&2, Penn Cage 1).

I read 8 classics for the Classics Club (The Color Purple, 1984, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Three Men in a Boat, Winesburg Ohio, Cat’s Cradle, Frankenstein, Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman).

Oldest book read-Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, 1818

Shortest novel-Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 155 pages

Longest novel-The Quiet Game by Greg Iles, 559 pages

Most read authors with 2 books a piece – Kristan Higgins, Lisa Kleypas, DM Pulley, Nora Roberts

Most visited locales – England, New York City, Massachusetts, Los Angeles, Chicago

My 5 favorite books

Title: A Man Called Ove, Author: Fredrik Backman I fell in love with Ove and his collection of merry wo(men).  For every trouble he caused those surrounding him, at least one blessing was given out.  Ove was a man with a heart, who didn’t always play well with others.  His pregnant neighbor picked him up and kept him moving until, finally, he embraced the loving circle that surrounded him.

Title: Mariana, Author: Susanna Kearsley There is history, romance, and a perfect sense of place in all Kearsley books. Julia was sure she’d found her house and she packed up and moved from London to a small English village without a second thought.  She was a children’s book illustrator and was able to make a few friends right away just as she was being transported back in time.  It’s tricky when you are going back and forth between time periods and characters.  Inevitably, you are drawn more to one story than the other.  This one did a great job of tying the two together so I was invested in both.

Title: The Color Purple, Author: Alice Walker Abused by her father and then her husband, Celie relied on the love of her sister to get her through. When Nellie goes away and Celie doesn’t hear from her she begins writing letters to God. When her husband brings home his mistress to live with them, Celie finally starts to see herself in a new light.  This is not an easy read.  It’s emotional, sexually explicit and might wake you up in ways that you don’t like. Celie’s perseverance gives a voice to all the women who experience abuse and still manage to stay on their feet.  It exceeded expectations and now I’m anxious to get my hands on the movie.  Set in 1930’s Georgia it’s still relevant and addictingly readable.

Title: The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Author: Ernest J. Gaines Jane was a true survivor.  This fictional book, spanning her 110 year life really comes full circle in the end and I would have been happy to spend another 110 with Jane.  Jane was a little girl of 10 or 11 when Lincoln freed the slaves and she left her plantation with a small group hoping to walk their way north from Louisiana.  When something bad happens Jane is left in charge of 3 year old Ned and she must rely on her wits to keep them safe and free.  She eventually comes to raise him like her own son and find both happiness and heartache, never leaving her beloved Louisiana.  Jane is a warrior, a realist, and a trailblazer.

Title: Little Fires Everywhere, Author: Celeste NgShaker Heights is a real place and I love it.  Ng chose to show the Shaker that she grew up in and I think it’s fair, and even though it has changed over the years it does still remain a progressive hotspot with old mansions lining picturesque streets. The Richardson family embodies this perfectly.  I understood and felt for every one of the characters and even when I didn’t like them I understood them.  The story centers around not only the fight over a baby left at a fire station by a distraught mother but also the mysterious Mia.  So many layers to this story and they were all connected by mothers.  I loved this book because it is overflowing with gray area.

Did you do a list?  Leave a link in the comments so I can check it out.

 

 

December 30, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 10 Comments

December’s Movies and $ for Charity

How as your movie month?  Anything I need to see?

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 $66.

I hope that you will take a few minutes to participate when you can each month.  It’s fun for me and for everyone else who reads it.  I’m not looking for a critical review, just a few words about how you felt about the movie.  This is ongoing so you can leave your 5 words anytime.

Wonder (film).pngWonder, 2017 (Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay, Mandy Patinkin, Izabela Vidovic                   Grade A

“When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”

Full of heart and love.  (Kathy)


Lion (2016 film).pngLion, 2016 (Sunny Pawar, Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham, Nicole Kidman, Divian Ladwa)    Grade B

That boy stole my heart.


ToTheBonePoster.jpgTo the Bone, 2017 (Lily Collins, Carrie Preston, Keanu Reeves, Lili Taylor, Alex Sharp, Leslie Bibb, Brooke Smith)    Grade  B+

“Your courage was a small coal

that you kept swallowing” -Anne Sexton


Ferdinand (film).pngFerdinand, 2017 (Voices-John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Cannavale, Peyton Manning)         Grade B

Cute take on classic story


Two men and two women, sitting on the floor, shoulder to shoulder.Drinking Buddies, 2013 (Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, Jake Johnson, Ron Livingston, Jason Sudeikis)           Grade B

Can women and men be friends?


BrightPoster.jpegBright, 2017 (Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry, Edgar Ramirez, Ike Barinholtz     Grade C+

Bringing LOTR into modern times.


Trading Places.jpgTrading Places, 1983 (Dan Ackroyd, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche)    Grade C

Genes versus Environment circa 1980’s

One of Eddie Murphy’s best.  (Kathy)



The Brotherhood of JusticeBrotherhood of Justice,  1986 (Keanu Reeves, Keifer Sutherland, Billy Zane, Lori Loughlin)         Grade C-

Watch for the 80’s cast only.


Frankenstein (2015 film).jpgFrankenstein, 2015 (Xavier Samuel, Carrie-Anne Moss, Tony Todd, Danny Huston)                                                        Grade D

Disturbing on so many levels.

 

December 28, 2017 Posted by | 5 Word Movie Reviews | 3 Comments