Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

What Christmas Book is That Quiz?

Answers to last week’s Thanksgiving Movies Quiz here.

Can you identify these books by their censored titles?  Leave a comment with the number, title and author or authors.

1. MURDER IN THE AIR BY ELLEN HART

2. CHRISTMAS JOURNAL BY MARY ENGELBREIT

3. The Night Before Christmas – Wrighty’s Reads

4. THE CHRISTMAS BOX BY RICHARD PAUL EVANS

5. Searching for Santa by Janet Dailey – Nise’

6. The Christmas Thief by Mary Higgins Clark & Carol Higgins Calrk – Nise’

7. THE SNOW BRIDE BY DEBBIE MACOMBER

8. Deck the Halls by MaryHiggins Clark & Carol Higgins Clark – Wrighty’s Reads

9. WHEN CHRISTMAS COMES BY DEBBIE MACOMBER

10. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham – Wrighty’s Reads

November 30, 2009 Posted by | Quizzes | , | 14 Comments

November Movie Thoughts in 5 Words

I love movies, not as much as I love books, but close.  I review movies on my Top 100 list and a few here and there for challenges, but wanted to keep a running tab on the other movies I watch.  I don’t want to review them all, so I’ll give the movie a grade and 5 words to describe it.  If you’ve seen any of these and want to add  one word of your own leave a comment and I’ll add it to my post.

(2009. Cast includes: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Bana, Winona Ryder) Grade-A

Original Characters. Space & Time Travel.

Spock Gets the Girl, Woot! (Heather)

Gets everything right and more. (Stephanie)

So much better than anticipated. (Nolatari)

Just Want Real Kirk Back (Beth)

Old Spock was the cherry.  (Tony)


Waitress film poster.jpg(2007. Cast includes: Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Cheryl Hines, Andy Griffith, Jeremy Sisto) Grade-B

Unwanted Pregnancy.  Abuse.  Affair.  Touching.

Pies, Love, Independence, Freedom (Heather)

Adorable, with the greatest casting. (Nolatari)


(2009. Cast includes: George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey) Grade-B-

Psychic Soldier Spies.  Iraq.  Crazy. 

Surprisingly true events. Good story.  (Heather)

Did this really happen, dude?  (Tony)


(2009. Cast includes: Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne) Grade-C

Puzzles.  Interesting Space Travel Concept. 

Lame (Heather)


(2001.Cast includes:Jake & Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jenna Malone, Patrick Swayze, Drew Barrymore)  Grade-C

Bizarrely Original.  Time Travel.  Complex.

No idea what happened. Twice.  (Heather)

 

 

November 29, 2009 Posted by | 5 Word Movie Reviews | , , , , , | 10 Comments

Words Behind the Pictures Challenge – The Big Sleep

Words Behind The Pictures Challenge

This month Michael challenged us to read and watch one of three Humphrey Bogart movies.  I chose The Big Sleep because it was the one I hadn’t seen before and ended up watching the movie before reading the script.  This may have not been the best way to do it, because I didn’t really enjoy the movie.  I know it is a classic, but even though I like old movies I can’t like them all.

The Movie

Philip Marlowe is a private detective hired by the dying General Sternwood to look into the gambling debts of one of his two daughters.  As Marlowe visits the general at his huge estate, he also meets both of the daughters, one appearing a little crazy, Carmen, and the older, haughty one, Vivian.  Vivian tells him he should also be looking in to the disappearance of a close mutual friend, Sean Regan.  The man who owned the debts, Geiger, is murdered and Marlowe finds Carmen on the scene.

Okay, the plot gets much more complicated from here, so I will not try and unravel it.  There were murders, secrets, lies, beatings, and disappearances and I was not playing close enough attention to make sure I got it all right.  Humphrey Bogart was very compelling as Marlowe and Lauren Bacall did a good job as the secret keeping tempter.  Bogart and Bacall were married when they filmed this and their chemistry is obvious.  The best part of the movie was watching Bogart in a perfect role for him. 

The Screenplay

I enjoyed the script so much more than the movie.  It was co-written by William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett, and Howard Hawks and based on the book by Raymond Chandler.  I found the script to be a great read.  It was so descriptive that it read almost like a book.  And there were scenes in the second half of the script that made more sense to me than the ones in the movie.

Actually, I would have liked to have read the book first, then the screenplay, and finished by watching the movie, but it’s too late for that.  In the first movie for this challenge  (The Fast Times at Ridgemont High) I preferred the movie, but this time I really liked the detailed script more than the star heavy movie.  Go figure.

Why not join us  next month?

November 27, 2009 Posted by | movies | | 6 Comments

Happy Pardoning the Turkey Day!

Tomorrow I will be with family, being thankful for my life.  I am truly blessed.  I hope that all of you will all be with loved ones, celebrating all of the good things.  I am very thankful for all of my wonderful blogging buddies and wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving.

Today President  Obama pardons a turkey.  Heather at The Secret Adventures of a Writer Girl  featured this clip a few days ago and I loved it.  You don’t have to be a fan of the show to appreciate it.  Enjoy two minutes of fun 🙂

November 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 10 Comments

The Year of Pleasures, by Elizabeth Berg

The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg: Audio Book CoverFinished audio 11-23-09, rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 2005

Betta Nolan is recently widowed and feeling alone in the world.  With no family, her husband had been the center of her universe and now in her mid-fifties she is set to embark on an adventure.  She sells her home in Boston and buys a large Victorian home in a small town outside of Chicago.  She chose the town at random and bought the house on a whim and she has her weak moments where she thinks she has made a big mistake.  Betta is still grieving and by making a few new friends and finding old ones she is able to start healing.

Betta’s heartbreak was touching and I felt for her as she tried to let go of her old life and forge ahead with new dreams.  It was easy to put myself in her place.  I was proud of her for taking her friend’s advice to purposefully do something everyday that makes you happy.  We should all take that advice.

I really liked this book.  I’ve seen people compare Berg’s books to sitting down with an old friend and I agree.  There is a familiarity in her writing that draws me in.  I felt that way about this one, but it was not without faults.  A few of the storylines were skipped over at the end and I felt a bit cheated out of knowing what happened.  So, while this wasn’t my favorite Berg novel I did enjoy it.

This was a library copy.

November 25, 2009 Posted by | 4 Star Books | , | 10 Comments

Monday Movie Meme – We are the Champions

Molly over at The Bumbles decided this week’s movie topic should revel in all things victorious. Share on your blog movies focusing on champions, victories and winners.

Well, here are my choices.  What do you think?

1.Cover ImageLove this man who is all heart.

2. Cover ImageLove basketball and this story of the underdog.

3. Cover ImageCleveland rising from the cellar with hilarity (we could use a little of this now!).

4. Cover ImageThere’s no crying in baseball.

5. Cover ImageRalph Macchio, where are you?

Hey, my list has five different sports, sort of.  Which is kind of funny since I’m not even a baseball fan.  Do you have a favorite?

November 23, 2009 Posted by | Monday Movie Meme | | 16 Comments

Thanksgiving Movies Quiz

Answers to last week’s Renee Zellweger quiz here.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and one of my favorite movies is about one man’s struggle to get home for Thanksgiving (it’s #1).  So, I thought I’d feature some other movies that featured the day for giving thanks.  See if you can identify these movies by their quotes or stills.  Leave the # and your answer.  No googling.  That’s cheating and no fun!

1. Planes, Trains, & Automobiles Wrighty’s Reads

Neal: What’s the flight situation?
Del: Simple. There’s no way on earth we’re going to get out of here tonight. We’d have more luck playing pickup sticks with our butt-cheeks than we will getting a flight out of here before daybreak.
Neal: I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
Del: Yeah, but by the time the airline cancels this flight, which they will sooner or later, you’d have more of a chance to find a three-legged ballerina than you would a hotel room.
Neal: Are you saying I could be *stuck* in Wichita?
Del: I’m saying you *are* stuck in Wichita.
 

2.  HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Adele: I’m giving thanks that we don’t have to go through this for another year. Except we do, because those bastards went and put Christmas right in the middle, just to punish us.  (picture Anne Bancroft saying this)

3. Pieces of April – Calila

 April: [discussing old-fashioned turkey shaped salt and pepper shakers that Bobby bought] We had these when I was a kid.
[pause]  The one time Joy let me hold them she said, “Be careful, they’re worth more than you are.”

Bobby: Well, that’s terrible.
April: Next year they were gone.
Bobby: So, what happened?
April: A hammer I was holding fell on them.
(picture Mrs. Tom Cruise)

4. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Wrighty’s Reads

 

5.  HOUSE OF YES

6. TADPOLE

(Miss Sigourney Weaver and Bebe Neuwirth are showing us their backs)

7. Joan Chen as Trinh Hguyen, Kristy Wu as Jenny Nguyen (daughter) and Kieu Chinh as Grandma Nguyen in "What's Cooking?" WHAT’S COOKING?

8. HANNAH & HER SISTERS

Mickey: I had a great evening; it was like the Nuremberg Trials.

(picture Woody Allen)

9. Dutch‘Nise

 Dutch: Listen you little son of a bitch, you could’ve killed someone with a stunt like that. That poor bastard was on his way home to see his family and because you wanted to play some kind of a spoiled brat prank, you put his life in jeopardy. Now what gives you the right to do that?
Doyle: I guess I didn’t think about that.
Dutch: Well you better start thinking about a little something else besides your own spoiled ass! I took on this idiotic assignment because I love your mother. I gotta wonder how nuts I am. Man I’ve met some scum in my life but you beat all, man, you are absolutely worthless. You know what, this is a full blown mission, you’re not gonna beat me. I’ve had my head split open, my nose mashed, I’ve been kicked and beat and left for dead, and when I set you on your mama’s doorstep, you’re gonna be one whipped little puppy.

(picture Ed O’Neil)

10. Son-In-Law – Calila

Walter: Lets chow down and munch on some grindage!

(picture Lane Smith.  Don’t know him?  Pauley Shore is also in this one)

November 23, 2009 Posted by | Quizzes | , | 15 Comments

Killing Floor, by Lee Child

Cover ImageFinished 11-21-09, rating 4/5, mystery, pub. 1997

Jack Reacher series, book 1

They had come prepared.  They’d known there was going to be a lot of blood.  They’d brought overshoes.  They must have brought overalls.  Like the nylon bodysuits they wear in the slaughterhouse.  On the killing floor.

Chapter 12

Jack Reacher is an ex-military cop who is roaming the United States, seeing the country he barely knows after a lifetime (36 years) spent on military bases around the world.  A random memory of a story that his brother told him makes him step off the Greyhound bus and walk 14 miles to the small, pristine town of Margrave, Georgia.  As he is having breakfast at the diner he is arrested for the murder of two bodies found while he was on the road.  And this is where the fun begins.

Jack has an alibi, but that will not save him from dangerous time in prison or from people trying to frame him.  He does get some help from new friends, but he will have to rely on his own considerable skills to get him out of this mess.  And Jack is more than able to take care of himself.

I love graphic, gritty, and grisly mysteries.  I wouldn’t want to read a steady diet of them, but occasionally that’s all that will fit the bill.  This one fits all of those descriptors and a few more.  It is an amazing debut novel from Lee Child, it even won a few mystery awards when it was first published. 

I really liked this book and it can be read as a stand-alone novel.  There is nothing left hanging that will make you finish the series unless you need more of Jack Reacher.  And for me, Jack is not a guy I fell in love with.  He’s a hard man and while some of the book may have had too much detail, there was too little time spent addressing Jack’s sense of right and wrong.  So, I was left feeling a little uneasy about him. 

I liked this book and if you like the Jason Bourne type character then I think you will like this one.  I will read the next in the series to see the growth of Child and Reacher from book one to book two. 

This was a library book.

November 22, 2009 Posted by | 4 Star Books | , , | 14 Comments

The Rosy Rivalry Game

Ohio State University Buckeyes Rivalry Flag Banner ImageToday’s the day.  The Ohio State-Michigan football game.  It often the most important game of the Big Ten season because these two teams are always in the hunt for a championship.  But this year it’s a little different.  Ohio State has already secured the Big Ten Champions title for the 5th year in a row and we are headed to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 13 years!!!  Michigan has had a rough couple of years and a win today would give them bragging rights, a moral victory. 

I love this game, always the last game of the season, but I’m always a little sad too because that means that college football is coming to an end for another year.  Yes, the bowl games are a couples of days on non-stop football, but Ohio State has not been putting their best foot forward in the past few years, so the bowl game comes with trepidation.

So, here’s hoping for a Buckeye victory today.  Feel free to leave a little love for your favorite team.

November 21, 2009 Posted by | Ohio State | , , | 12 Comments

Fave Film #16 – A Walk on the Moon

1999

Cast- Diane Lane, Viggo Mortensen, Liev Schreiber, Anna Paquin

It’s 1969 and the Kantrowitz is spending another summer away from the city.  Marty (Schreiber) and Pearl (Lane) have been parents since they were 17, and 14 years and two children later they are comfortable in the life they have made.  Well, Marty is comfortable and Pearl is restless, wondering if life has passed her by.  Enter the Blouse Man (Mortensen).  In the age of hippies, Woodstock, and men on the moon, Pearl finds her own sexual revolution.

Why I love it – I should confess that I watched this movie after I fell in love with Aragorn in Lord of the Rings and I needed to see every movie that Viggo Mortensen had been in.  Imagine my surprise when I found this gem with Diane Lane, who I also love watching onscreen.  These two have some seriously hot love scenes in this movie.  I loved the Blouse Man and was hoping for a happy ending for him, I mean, it’s Viggo, so of course I was rooting for him.  Imagine my surprise when by the end of the movie I also had a crush on Liev Schreiber. 

The acting of these three with the teenager Alison (Paquin) and Marty’s mother (Tovah Feldshuh) was top-notch.  Actually I think Feldshuh stole every scene she was in and I loved her character, caught in the middle with the knowledge of infidelity. 

Apart from the outstanding cast and excellent acting I could feel for Pearl.  I do not have children, but every woman can relate to romanticizing the road not taken.  I may not have agreed with her actions, but I understood the motivations behind them.  The choices we make at 17 will still be with us at 31 (how old I think Pearl is).

And this was a story about marriage and what makes it work or fall apart.  It’s never black or white and this movie shows all of it shades of gray.  Oh, and did I mention it was hot? 

According to IMDb Lane wanted Mortensen for this role so much that she gave up part of her salary so they could afford him.  Smart girl.  Take a look at trailer and see if this might be a movie that you’d like too.

The rest of my Top 100 List.

November 20, 2009 Posted by | movies | , , , , | 7 Comments