Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

And the winner is…

Renee G!  Renee won A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell!

A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell: Book CoverI want to thank everyone for taking the time to enter 🙂  I have another giveaway planned in a few days.

March 31, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Teaser Tuesday- Shantaram, again

teasertuesdays2

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! ;)
  •  

    I sat alone, on a boulder that was larger a flatter than most, and I smoked a cigarette.  I smoked in those days because, like everyone else in the world who smokes, I wanted to die at least as much as I wanted to live.

    Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, Chapter 18

    Cover ImageThis is listed as being in pre-production, with Johnny Depp cast as the lead.  The man described in the above teaser.

    So, whatcha readin’?

    March 31, 2009 Posted by | teaser tuesday | , , | 21 Comments

    First Lines Quiz

    Here’s how to play…Identify the first lines of these famous novels by telling me what book it’s from.  Leave a comment with the # of the first line and the title of the book and I’ll cross it off the list.  No Googling, that’s cheating and no fun!   Last chance to earn entries in the giveaway.

    HINT:  These books are all on my Top 100 list.

    1.  “It wasn’t a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance.”  Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, LuAnn

    2. “I was stunned by Mary Karr’s memoir, The Liars’ Club.”  On Writing by Stephen King

    3. “The small boys came early to the hanging.” The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, Jane

    4. “The last class of my old professor’s life took place once a week in his house, by a window in the study where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed its pink leaves.”  Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom, Nicole

    5. “A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head.” A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

    6. A mile above Oz, the Witch balanced on the wind’s forward edge, as if she were a green fleck of the land itself, flung up and sent wheeling away by the turbulent air.”  Wicked by Gregory Maguire, Kathy

    7. My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie.”  The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, the word jar

    8. You think you know how this story is going to end, but you don’t”  Lamb by Christopher Moore, Donna S

    9. Howard Roark laughed.”  The Fountainhead by Ayne Rand, Tonya

    10. The naked child ran out of the hide-covered lean-to toward the rocky beach at the bend in the small river.”  Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel

    March 30, 2009 Posted by | Quizzes | , | 9 Comments

    Durable Goods by Elizabeth Berg

    Cover ImageFinished 3-28-09, rating 3.5/5, fiction, pub. 1993

    She couldn’t do a whole sentence; it took too much air.  So she would say pieces like that.  Sometimes, even if you were loving her so much, your fists clenched and your heart feeling like it had a tight peel around it, you would get mad like that.

    page 13 of the mass market paperback

    Katie is a twelve year old Army brat living in Texas with her abusive father and her older sister.Her mother has recently died and Katie crawls under her bed to have conversations with her and even harbors a hope that it was all merely a misunderstanding and that one day she will walk through the front door.  Her best friend, Cherylanne, lives next door and is two years older, so Katie learns about kissing boys and sex and shaving her legs from her,  Their conversation about sex was pretty funny.

    Katie is just  a girl trying to make her way in a world without a mother and a sister already halfway out the door.  She is every girl and it is easy to recognize yourself in her, of course, some things are scarier and more painful than others.  When she starts her period she thinks of it as a gift and is excited that she can now have a baby, something to call her own.  When her father tells them that they will have to move again she resists the idea because she would be moving to a place where her mother had never been.

    This is a powerful coming of age story.  I read the second book about Katie, Joy School, first, and liked it better than this one.  I understand her father and her sister now that I’ve read this one, but I did not like the story as much.   I still recommend it,  as I do with anything Elizabeth Berg writes,

    March 29, 2009 Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books | , , , | 4 Comments

    100 Movies To See Before You Die

    This week Yahoo came up with this list of 100 movies to see before you die.  I’m not sure I agree, but it is fun.  I’ve bolded the ones I’ve seen and added my two cents, for what it’s worth.  And two cents isn’t going to go too far these days 🙂  Feel free to join the fun and do your own list.

    To choose the titles for the list, we considered factors like historical importance and cultural impact. But we also selected films that we believe are the most thrilling, most dramatic, scariest, and funniest movies of all time.

    from Yahoo

     1. 12 Angry Men (1957) – loved it

    2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – couldn’t wait for it to end.

    3. 400 Blows (1959)

    4. 8 1/2 (1963)

    5. The African Queen (1952) – loved it

    6. Alien (1979) – loved it

    7. All About Eve (1950) – very good

    8. Annie Hall (1977) – liked it.  love Diane Keaton

    9. Apocalyse Now (1979) – bizarre

    10. The Battle of Algiers (1967)

    11. The Bicycle Thief (1948)

    12. Blade Runner (1982) – interesting

    13. Bllazing Saddles (1974)

    14. Blow Up (1966)

    15. Blue Velvet (1986)

    16. Bonnie and Clyde (1967) – very good

    17. Breathless ( 1960)

    18. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) – loved it

    19. Bringing Up Baby (1938) – loved it. can’t go wrong w/ Katherine Hepburn & Cary Grant

    20. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) – very good

    21. Casablanca (1942) – liked it

    22. Chinatown (1974) – very good

    23. Citizen Kane (1941) – liked it.

    24. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) – cool & different.  liked it.

    25. Die Hard (1988) – liked it, but really, what is it doing on this list ?!

    26. Do the Right Thing (1989)

    27. Double Indemnity (1944) – liked it

    28. Dr. Strangelove (1933) – hated it.

    29. Duck Soup (1933) – didn’t like it

    30. ET the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) – made me cry in 1982

    31. Enter the Dragon (1973)

    32. The Exorcist (1973)

    33. Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982) – funny

    34.  The French Connection (1971) liked it

    35. The Godfather (1972) – very good

    36. The Godfather, Part II (1974) – still very good

    37. Goldfinger (1964)

    38. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1968)

    39. Goodfellas (1990) – not a big fan

    40. The Graduate (1967) – loved it

    41. Grand Illusion (1938)

    42. Groundhog Day (1993) – wanted the day to end, like yesterday.

    43. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

    44. In the Mood For Love (2001)

    45. It Happened One Night (1934) – one of my absolute favesCover Image

    46. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) – what’s not to love?

    47. Jaws (1975) – still don’t like swimming in the ocean

    48. King Kong (1933) – okay

    49. The Lady Eve (1941)

    50. Lawrence of Arabia (1962) – very good

    51. The Lord of the Rings (2001) – LOVED it.  Wish I was young enough to have an Aragorn poster i nmy bedroom 🙂Cover Image

    52. M (1931)

    53. M*A*S*H (1970) – funny

    54. The Maltese Falcon (1936) – loved it

    55. The Matrix (1999) – very good.  but I could watch Keanu in anything.

    56. Modern Times (1936) – good

    57. Monty Python & the Holy Grail (1975) – funny

    58. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)

    59. Network (1976) – Hell yes!

    60. Nosferatu (1922)

    61. On the Waterfront (1954) definitely a contender

    62. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) – funny

    63. Paths of Glory (1958)

    64. Princess Mononoke (1999)

    65. Psycho (1960) – creepy and good

    66. Pulp Fiction (1994) – saw it twice.  did not like it either time.

    67. Raging Bull (1980) – good

    68. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – it was better in 1981

    69. Raise the Red Lantern (1992)

    70. Rashomon (1951)

    71. Rear Window (1954) – loved Jimmy Stewart. liked the movie

    72. Rebel Without a Cause (1955) – I get the James Dean thing, but the movie was just okay for me.

    73. Rocky (1976) – I love Rocky and have watched them all (but 5) many times. 

    74. Roman Holiday (1953) – LOVE Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck and Rome.

    75. Saving Private Ryan (1998) – not a fan of war movies or ones that make me cry, but this was really good.

    76. Schindler’s List (1993) – hard to watch, but excellent

    77. The Searchers (1956) – not a John Wayne fan, but this was okay.

    78. Seven Samurai (1954)

    79. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – loved it.

    80. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – creepy and wonderful.  loved it.

    81. Singin’ in the Rain (1952) – love musicals.  this was pretty good.

    82. Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (1937) – it’s Snow White, of course it’s great!

    83. Some Like It Hot (1959) VERY funny

    84. The Sound of Music (1965) – one of my all time favesCover Image

    85. Star Wars (1977) – very good in a campy sort of way

    86. Sunset Blvd. (1950) very good

    87. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) no idea why this is on the list

    88. The Third Man (1949) – very good

    89. This is Spinal Tap (1984)

    90. Titanic (1997) – loved it, but wouldn’t need to see it again

    91. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) – loved it.  named our cat, Scout

    92. Toy Story (1995) – okay

    93. The Usual Suspects (1995) – good

    94. Vertigo (1958) – didn’t really care for it

    95. When Harry Met Sally (1989) – love it

    96. Wild Strawberries (1957)

    97. Wings of Desire (1988)

    98. The Wizard of Oz (1939) – love it

    99. Women on the Verge of Nervous Breakdown (1988

    100. The World of Apu (1959)

    I’ve seen 70.  How about you?

    March 28, 2009 Posted by | movies | , | 3 Comments

    Behind the Mask…No More, by Byron Nease

    Behind The Mask...No MoreFinished 3-27-09, rating 3.5/5, memoir, pub. 2008

    On the difficult days, denial helps, but denial ends.  Forgetfulness helps … a call from a friend helps me, a hug from someone I love, a stiff drink, a wonderful audience, but my forgetfulness ends.  And what I am left with is something I cannot create, cannot fabricate, cannot innovate.  It’s something that my grandmother called Grace.  It’s not about being good or bad, right or wrong.  It’s about being loved, anyway.

    page 60

    Byron Nease shares his life from the early days of abuse and abandonment, through his Broadway days in New York and Toronto, past his many trips around the world, all with the never ending courage of a man who finds out he  is HIV positive at a time when it is a death sentence.  He is a survivor and an inspirational one.

    I agreed to review this book because I love going to the theatre and Nease spent five years in Toronto in Phantom of the Opera and I wanted the scoop. What I found was the heartfelt story of his life told with heartbreaking honesty and vulnerability.  There were stories about his days on Broadway, but the purpose of the book is to paint a picture of a life full of opportunity and hope.

    The book is full of photos and family stories.  I also really appreciated Nease’s description of how he reconciled the religion of his youth as a preacher’s son to the reality of his life as a gay man.  He really is an interesting man and this book provides great insight into his over 20 year struggle with HIV and his strained family relationships due to his sexuality.  I think this would be great book if you are interested in either of these topics.

    I was a little disappointed in the Broadway part of the book only because it was such a small part.  What stories he does tell are fun and I enjoyed hearing about the wardrobe malfunctions and the antics on stage that the audience is not aware of .

    Byron Nease has led an interesting and truly inspirational life.  I am glad that he let us see behind the mask.  I’m better off for it.

    March 27, 2009 Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books | , , , , | 7 Comments

    The Sisterhood Award

    Wrighty has presented me with this award and I am thrilled to receive it from a blogger who I read everyday 🙂  You should check her out if you haven’t already.  This award honors the attitude  and passion of the blogger. 

    Now here are the details for passing on this honor.

    1. Put the logo on your blog or on a post.
    2. Nominate up to 10 other bloggers which show great attitude and or gratitude.
    3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
    4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
    5. Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.

    Here are my esteemed nominees-

    1. Margot at Joyfully Retired

    2. Bobbie @ Book Reviews by Bobbie

    3. Virginie @ Camille.wintenberger

    4. Kaye @ Pudgy Penguin Perusals

    5. JJ @ JJMachshev Book Reviews

    If I haven’t mentioned you, that in no way means I don’t love your blog!

    March 25, 2009 Posted by | awards | 3 Comments

    An Invisible Sign of My Own, by Aimee Bender

    Cover ImageFinished 3-20-09, rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 2000

    The clock said noon so I went into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator but the food inside looked too complicated and I peered into the cupboards but I didn’t want turkey soup, or garbanzo beans, or tuna, and I wandered into the bathroom, and without even really thinking about it, unwrapped the spare package of soap that I kept in the cabinet beneath the sink.

    I bought the same brand my mother did.  A bright white bar, rocking on its back, friendly.  I brought it to the living room couch, and held it for awhile, smelling it, and there was a knife sitting on the side table from the previous day’s apple, which seemed convenient, and after a few minutes of just holding and smelling, I picked up the knife, sawed off a portion of the oval, set it sailing inside my mouth, and bit down.

    Chapter 1

    Mona Gray is a mess.  She is confused and confusing and bizarre and bizarrely lovable.  She has just turned twenty and decides to buy herself an ax for her birthday, which she takes into her elementary class and hangs it up on the wall.  Not surprisingly, this will lead to a few problems down the road.  She feels separate from the world, almost invisible, and this propels her to destructive and absurd behavior.

    All of this, as becomes apparent, is due to her father giving up on life when she was young and pulling her mother into his ever insolar world.  The only person who ever really saw her, flaws and all, was her math teacher, but he fails to see enough and she resents him for it.

    But now Mona has a chance of normalcy (the normalcy is relative) with a new job, students who challenge her, and a man who appreciates her unique appeal. 

    The book is charming in a twisted way.  It was a fun, quick read.  I think my favorite part was the first chapter which is a fairy tale her father told her when she was ten.  It was wonderful.  The only problem with the book was that all of the central players were so far removed from anyone that I know that it was difficult to really relate to Mona’s troubles.  I was happy to read her story, but not as personally involved as I might have been. 

    Aimee Bender has a unique voice and I look forward to reading more from her.

     

    March 25, 2009 Posted by | 4 Star Books | , , , | 2 Comments

    Teaser Tuesday- An Invisible Sign of My Own

    teasertuesdays3

    TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

    • Grab your current read.
      Let the book fall open to a random page.
      Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
      You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

      Please avoid spoilers!

    “The ax was clean and bright and manly.  There was a sick feeling in my stomach, this side of throwing up, but it had, within its center, the undeniable bubbling of excitement.  I could change my life, right here.  I could make my whole life different and I would be different that way for my whole life, forever, and this – right here – would be he moment where everything turned.”

    An Invisible Sign of My Own by Aimee Bender, Chapter 10

    Cover Image

    Hosted my MizB.  So, what do you think?

    March 24, 2009 Posted by | teaser tuesday | , | 15 Comments

    What Book is That? Quiz

    I am very impressed with you all!  I’ll do this one again in a few weeks.  Extra entries for Nicole (2), Wrighty (4), and Jessica.

    I thought I’d do something a little different this week.  I was doing some shifting of books this weekend and was admiring some of the fun covers.  Can you identify these books by their censored titles?  Leave a comment with the number, title and author.  If you are the first one to get it right you will earn an extra entry in my book giveaway.  If you can get them all that would be a lot of entries!

    blog-quiz-3-235

     

    1.  The Quilter’s Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini, Nicole

    2. The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, Heather

    3. The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber, Wrighty 

    4. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, Heather

    5. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham, Jessica

    blog-quiz-3-23-22

    6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Nicole

    7.  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling, Wrighty

    8.  The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, Wrighty

    9. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, Heather

    10. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz, Wrighty

    Do I need to make them bigger?

    March 23, 2009 Posted by | Quizzes | , , | 12 Comments