Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

Best Paid Authors Quiz – Last week for Round Three

Forbes Magazine released a list of the top 10 highest paid authors from June 2009-June 2010 who earned a combined $270 million in the 12 months.  I’m giving you 15 authors and you need to rank the top 10 in order.  The extra 5 are just ones I added to keep it interesting.

Here are the rules… 1. Open to everyone.  This is the last week for Round Three.

2. No cheating.  No looking at other commenter answers or Googling!  Yes, we’re going by the honor system

3. Your first answers will be the only ones accepted.

Choose the top 10 best paid authors and rank them in order 1-10.   Each correct answer worth 10 points.  And no checking out the magazine!

1. James Patterson

2. Stephenie Meyer

3. Stephen King

4. Danielle Steele

5. Ken Follett

6. Dean Koontz

7. Janet Evanovich

8. John Grisham

9. Nicholas Sparks

10. JK Rowling

Dan Brown

Michael Connelly

Charlaine Harris

Kathy Reichs

Nora Roberts

Answers to last week’s quiz here.  Current Leaderboard here.

August 31, 2010 Posted by | Quizzes | , | 34 Comments

Monday Movie Meme – Child Actors

Feature Presentation…MONDAY MOVIE MEME
This week’s movie topic is all about Child Actors…Share on your blog the roles you’ve enjoyed from the younger set, linking back here at The Bumbles.
  
Here are five child performances I loved.
1. Natalie Portman as Mathilda in The Professional (1994).  She was amazing in this story of being protected by a hired killer after her family is murdered.
2. Abigail Breslin as Olive in Little Miss Sunshine (2006).  She was delightful in this movie.  Who can forget the pageant?  Made me want to get up and dance 😉
3. Tina Marjorino as Jessica in When a Man Loves a Woman (1994).  The girl broke my heart in this movie.
4. Christina Bale as Jamie in Empire of the Sun (1987).  So young to carry such a powerful movie. 
5. Dakota Fanning as Lucy in I Am Sam (2001) and as Pita in Man on Fire (2004).  She’s incredibly gifted.
 
What’s your favorite child performance?  Visit The Bumbles for more.
 
 

August 30, 2010 Posted by | Monday Movie Meme | , | 9 Comments

A few pics from the baby shower

I had a wonderful day yesterday at my family baby shower!  I am truly blessed with the best family and I am forever thankful.  My Aunt Mary Jane opened up her home and provided a very yummy spread.  My cousin Jill provided a few games, including this one…

She melted six different candy bars in diapers and we had to guess what they were.  I only guessed two correctly.

My very talented cousin, Amy, usually gets paid to make these cakes, but I got this one just cause she loves me 🙂

This was the gift that freaked me out the most.  Do you see how small these are?!  Adorable.  Please note the 7+ month baby belly.

Most of my haul for the day.  These next few pics are taken in the baby’s room so you can see the two colors on the walls.

Here are my bookish gifts.  The Raggedy Ann blanket was made for me by a family friend for me as a baby and my Mom included the photos of me with the blanket while  I was still in the hospital. 

I also received  some very cute baby outfits already hanging in the closet, a few personal items for me, and gift cards, of course!  After the girl fun the men came out and we grilled and hung out and enjoyed the evening.  My swollen still have not recovered.

August 29, 2010 Posted by | Pregnancy | 25 Comments

An award and fun Mommy blog

These past few weeks have been very busy and I’m not sure that’s going to change for a while.  Today is my family baby shower, so I’m on my way home (a few hours south) to celebrate with the women who have known me all my life, lots of them have known me since my Mom’s baby shower!  Anyway, I’m looking forward to the girl time before the men all come out and join us for a barbecue.  A long, good day ahead. 

You all know I am a reader, but I consciously made the decision to not read pregnancy books.  I have the What to Expect book and read it as I progress through the stages, but I know so many friends who have become obsessed with books that tell them how to have the best pregnancy.  I’m all for a great pregnancy, I’ve been following the doctor’s orders (ok, ok, except for the weight part :)) and have felt pretty good.  And the best part for a worrier like me?  By not reading all of the ways that I could ruin the baby before he or she draws a breath or all the things that could go wrong I have had a relatively stress-free pregnancy so far.  I mean women have been doing this for quite a while and somehow the human race has flourished so I think my body knows what to do.

So, I haven’t really been seeking out baby reading yet, but I found Constance Marie’s blog by accident and have fallen in love.  She is an actress, most recently known as George Lopez’s wife on his sitcom.  She has a 15 month old daughter and posts candidly on her difficulties in conceiving to Mom groups to getting your body back.  The post I found most helpful was greening your nursery.  Did you know that all cribs in major department stores come from China and are sprayed with pesticide?  The baby does put that wood in his or mouth!  Anyway, the information is good and her writing style is engaging and full of personality.  If you are pregnant or have a baby I think you’ll love her perspective.  Here’s the link.

On to a non-baby related topic, I want to thank Trisha (Eclectic/Eccentric) for this cheery award.  I’m supposed to write 10 things that make me happy, and then pass the award on to ten other bloggers.  Here goes…

1. Eating for two 2. Books 3. Friends 4. Family 5. Autumn 6. Walks 7. Keeping busy 8. Ohio State football (first game Thursday) 9. My hubby and daddy-to-be 10. Blogger friends who take the time to read my posts, especially the ones I know by name because they leave comments or send sweet emails.

I’m not passing this on to 10 people, but I’ll encourage you all to check out Constance’s blog and see if you find it refreshing too.

August 28, 2010 Posted by | awards, Pregnancy | 21 Comments

Winter Solstice, by Rosamunde Pilcher

Cover ImageFinished 8-23-10, rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 2000

Elfrida is a sixty-something retired actress who moves from London with her new dog Horace to a village in northern England.  She can afford a small cottage and has enough money to get by, but not much more.  She quickly makes friends with Oscar and Gloria who make her feel comfortable at their luxurious home.  When tragedy strikes Elfrida is thrown into an unlikely role, that of caretaker.

Elfrida is one of five people thrown together in a Scottish home over the Christmas holiday.  There is also a teenage girl, her aunt, an older man who has lost his faith, and a businessman moving there for work.  Elfrida has spunk, warmth, opinions, and I felt as taken in by her as the others in the house.  These people are all forced to live together because of events out of their control and manage to make Christmas work for them.

This was a very satisfying read.  I enjoyed Elfrida immensely and the house felt so alive and warm with the stories of the characters.  Some of the happenings seemed more than a little improbable but I closed the book having spent time with people I liked.

This is from my personal library and was chosen by Linda, Margot, FleurFisher, and Sandy.  Here’s what they had to say…

“Set in my part of the world.”  FleurFisher

“I love her books and wish there were more of them.”  Linda

August 26, 2010 Posted by | 4 Star Books | | 11 Comments

As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner

Cover ImageFinished 8-19-10, rating 3.5/5, fiction, pub. 1930

He had a word, too.  Love he called it.  But I had been used to words for a long time.  I knew that the word was like the others: just a shape to fill a lack; that when the right time came, you wouldn’t need a word for that anymore than for pride or fear. 

Addie, page 172

The Bundren family lives in Mississippi in the 1930’s and they are preparing for the death of their matriarch, Addie.  Anse, Addie’s husband, has promised her that he will take her body to Jefferson and bury her with her kin.  This promise was easily made but not easily kept.  There were many obstacles in the way of the family’s journey and Anse and their five children had to band together to make the promise happen.

This is my first Faulkner novel and it was a unique reading experience.  Jason tried listening to the audio last year, but gave up and now I see why.  This book makes you work for it and I think listening to the audio in the car would be a difficult proposition.  There are 15 different narrators in this 261 page novel.  I started by writing each of them down for a reference as I was reading and even with that I totally missed who one of the important narrators was and cheated by checking online after I was done.  So, you really have to be one your toes!  And because of that I really think this books begs to be read in one sitting. Faulkner’s writing is spare, but beautiful, and it takes a few chapters to really get into the rhythm.  Once I got it I did not put the book down until I was done.

I liked it because of the innovative writing style, but wasn’t that crazy about the story itself.  The Bundren family is full of characters, but not necessarily any that I truly cared about.  Since I appreciated the writing I will definitely read Faulkner again, but only when I’m ready to devote some time and brain power to the reading.

This is from my personal library and was chosen by…Candice, Hannah, and Molly.  Here’s what they had to say…

“Faulkner is my favorite. This book is a great example of what I love about him. Makes you think, makes you laugh, makes you crazy.”  Molly

“Because this one is often read in high school English classes, but somehow you and I both missed out.”  Hannah

August 25, 2010 Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books | | 27 Comments

Pictured Title Quiz

This week we’re going to try something new.  See if you can guess the titles of the books from the pictures.  For example, if there was a picture of an executioner and a song the answer would be The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer.  8 points for the correct answer and 2 points if you know the author too.

Here are the rules… 1. Open to everyone.  Play once or every week, that’s okay.  I’m happy to have you here today.

2. No cheating.  No looking at other commenter answers or Googling!  Yes, we’re going by the honor system

3. Your first answers will be the only ones accepted.

Last week’s answers here.  Current Leaderboard here.

You have until Thursday night to submit your answers.  If you have a problem with the pics let me know.  Happy guessing!

1.The  of

The Art of War by Sun-Tzu

2.  

Animal Farm by Orwell

3. In  

In Cold Blood by Capote

4. The  

The Painted Veil by Maugham

5.  & Demons Black Evil Image 31000

Angels & Demons by Brown

6. The   

The Lace Reader by Barry

7.  &

War & Peace by Tolstoy

8. The  

The Time Machine by Wells

9. The  

The Sugar Queen by Allen 

10. , ,

Eat, Pray, Love by Gilbert

August 24, 2010 Posted by | Quizzes | , | 35 Comments

Monday-ish Movie Meme – John Hughes

Feature Presentation…MONDAY MOVIE MEME
Visit the Bumbles for more John Hughes fun.
This week’s movie topic is all about John Hughes…
This week’s topic is all about the films of the late John Hughes. Admit it. Once upon a time (in your life), you were bitten by the John Hughes bug. I haven’t seen all of his movies, but those I saw still beat those chick flicks running around these days. Show how much you love John Hughes’ movies by answering this:
 
John Hughes… How do I love thee? Let me count the ways

Being a gal of the 80’s I couldn’t pass this one up – even if I’m late!

1.Planes, Trains, & Automobiles (1987).  He wrote, directed, and produced.

waking up after sharing the same bed on the motel]
Neal: Del… Why did you kiss my ear?
Del: Why are you holding my hand?
Neal: [frowns] Where’s your other hand?
Del: Between two pillows…
Neal: Those aren’t pillows!

2.The Breakfast Club (1985). He wrote & directed.  Iconic movie with music that always takes me back to the 80’s!

3.Sixteen Candles (1984). Wrote & Directed.

4.Pretty in Pink (1986).  Wrote screenplay.  I love this movie and soundtrack.

5.Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)  Wrote screenplay.  I’ve included a few bookish quotes from the movie.

Keith Nelson: You can’t tell a book by its cover.
Watts: No, but you can tell how much it’s gonna cost you.
Keith Nelson: Wow, I never knew you were so deep.
Watts: You want shallow, call Amanda Jones.

Watts: It must be a drag to be a slave to the male sex drive.
Keith: It’s not just sex.
Watts: Oh, you want to start a book club with her?

I’m limiting myself to 5 or this post would be way too long!  Do you have a favorite John Hughes movie?

August 20, 2010 Posted by | Monday Movie Meme | , | 18 Comments

The Pact, by Jodi Picoult

Cover ImageFinished 8-16-10, rating 3.5/5, fiction. pub. 1998

There was nothing left to say.  He covered her body with his, and as she put her arms around him she could picture him in all his incarnations: age five, and still blond: age eleven, sprouting: age thirteen, with the hands of a man.  The moon rolled, sloe-eyed in the night sky; and she breathed in the scent of his skin. “I love you,” she said. 

He kissed her so gently she wondered if she had imagined  it.  She pulled back slightly, to look into his eyes.

And then there was a shot.

Opening of book

Right from the beginning we know that Emily is dead and her boyfriend Chris is not.  At the hospital Chris tells the police that they had made a suicide pact and he had chickened out in the end.  Only the police don’t believe him.  Chris and Emily’s parents are next door neighbors and long-time best friends, so this tragedy is compounded by the close relationship the two families share.  What really happened that night and can they all get past it?

Chris is the popular high school jock who is unprepared for the storm of accusations coming his way.  He is not used to being doubted.  His parents, Gus and James, don’t know how to deal with Chris, their daughter, or each other.  While Gus hovers around Chris protecting him, James expects things to get back to normal ASAP and refuses to really acknowledge what’s happened.

Emily was an only child, so her death at 17 hit her parents especially hard.  Melanie entered the grieving stage with anger and she never really got past it.  Michael wanted to do the right thing by his daughter and Chris, but he didn’t know what that was.

I’ve only read a few Picoult novels, but I’ve enjoyed them.  There is always a twist in the end, but this one wasn’t really much of a shock. Compelling, yes, shocking, no.  This was a story about teen suicide, love, and friendship.  I thought the impact of the death on the friendships was the most successful and honest part of the book.  It was the teen suicide and love storylines that didn’t work as well for me.  It did suck me in and I was very much involved, but some of it fell flat because it just didn’t make sense.  I know that suicide rarely makes sense to the living, so maybe that is unfair, but it’s how I felt nonetheless.

I usually love the shades of gray in Picoult’s novels, but this one was more black and white.  And the very end disappointed me.  Still it made me think and is a great book for discussion.

This is from my personal library and was chosen by Sharyn, Em, Colleen, Sheral, and Margie.  Here’s what they had to say…

“Love her books.”  Sheral

“Jodi Picoult’s stories are always very compelling and this is no exception.”  Colleen

“It got me hooked on her, couldn’t put it down.”  Em

August 19, 2010 Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books | | 31 Comments

The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series #1) by Alexander McCall Smith: Book CoverFinished 8-11-10, rating 4/5, fiction/mystery, pub. 1998

She was a good detective, and a good woman.  A good woman in a good country, one might say.  She loved her country, Botswana, which is a place of peace, and she loved Africa, for all its trials.  I am not ashamed to be called an African patriot, Mma Ramotswe.  I love all the people whom God made, but I especially know how to love the people who live in this place.  They are my people, my brothers and sisters.  It is my duty to help them solve the mysteries in their lives.  That is what I am called to do.

Chapter 1

When Precious Ramotswe loses her beloved father she gains independence in her inheritance.  She decides to open a detective agency in Botswana and becomes the only female private eye in the country.  At first she gets only a few small cases and has some mishaps that are both funny and endearing.  The cases get more involved and Precious shows her spunk and common sense.

This isn’t exactly what I expected, but I enjoyed it.  I thought it would be a mystery and while Precious did solve cases, none of them took too much time, so it didn’t feel like a typical mystery.  I really enjoyed the first part of the book as we got to know about her life and the wisdom she accumulated, but it did seem separate from the second half about her agency.  I liked Precious and the Botswana setting and can see why so many people enjoy these books.  Precious is the reason to read the book and has more appeal than the mystery aspect. Now I want to see the HBO movie based on the book.

This book is from my personal library and was chosen by Hannah, JoJo, Sharon, Alita, Bonnie, Sarah, Wendy.  Here’s what they had to say…

“A heart-warming novel about a lady’s detective agency established in Zimbabwe, the many adventures of its owner as she goes about her detective work, as well as wonderful characters in the village.”  Sarah

“Sweet mystery series based in South Africa. I love the characters and the mood of these books. A wonderful series.”  Bonnie

“Love it! I’ve read this whole series and loved every one. It is not an edge of your seat story, but pulls you along. You wish you could know this woman.”  Sharon

“Because it’s a fun, quick, uplifting read with a hint of mystery and a strong female lead. Plus, it’s set in Africa!”  Hannah

August 18, 2010 Posted by | 4 Star Books | | 22 Comments