Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

Murder List, by Julie Garwood

Murder List by Julie Garwood: Book CoverFinished 12-12-10, rating 4/5, mystery, pub. 2004

They both pulled out their notepads.  Regan wrote across the top of the paper, “Murder List” and underlined the words twice.  Underneath she wrote, “People I Want Dead.”  Now what?  Stalling for time, she tapped her pen against the folder until the man in front of her turned and frowned.

Chapter 10

Regan is a successful hotel heiress with three older brothers and two very best friends, all hot, of course.  She is leading a charmed life until one silly exercise while helping a friend turns into a nightmare.  She makes her Murder List and then the people on it start showing up dead and she is put under police protection.  Enter the very sexy detective assigned to her, Alec, who can’t believe his good luck in guarding someone like Regan.

I liked this book a lot because it was fun and entertaining.  I finished the last page satisfied.  The chracters were likeable and each had their own story.  I wouldn’t mind reading more about each of the brothers.  The two best friends too could use their own stories.

It is only now that I’m typing this that I realize there were quite a few aspects that could have been better.  I wish we’d spent a little more time in the mind of the killer and the execution of the list was not exactly edge of your seat entertainment.  So, if you are looking for a light read with some mystery and romance this is a good one.  Anything more and you may want to skip it.

This is from my personal library.


December 16, 2010 Posted by | 4 Star Books | | 7 Comments

Christmas Movie Quiz

It’s the last week for Round 4!  The top point earner and one randomly chosen quiz participant will both get a prize, so if you haven’t participated before do it today so you have a chance to win! 

These quotes were all taken from popular Christmas movies.  Just tell me which ones.  Each one is worth 10 points.  Because everyone is so busy you have until next Tuesday(12/21) to submit your answers.  Winners will be announced next Wednesday.

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 googling, other internet searches or looking at other commenter answers.  Yes, we’re going by the honor system

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

Last week’s quiz here.  Current Leaderboard here.

1. I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!  A Christmas Story

2. Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?   National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

3. This is *Christmas*. The season of perpetual hope. And I don’t care if I have to get out on your runway and hitchhike. If it costs me everything I own, if I have to sell my soul to the devil himself, I am going to get home to my son.   Home Alone

4. Merry Christmas, you beautiful old savings and loan! Merry Christmas, you beautiful beat-up old house!  It’s a Wonderful Life

5. Oh, Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind… and that’s what’s been changing. That’s why I’m glad I’m here, maybe I can do something about it.   Miracle on 34th Street

6. Look, Charlie, let’s face it. We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It’s run by a big eastern syndicate, you know.   A Charlie Brown Christmas

7. We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.   Elf

8. Happy birthday! Hey, I said my first words. But… But snowmen can’t talk. Ha ha ha, come on now, what’s the joke? Could I really be alive?   Frosty the Snowman

9. Ah, Christmas. The time for Santa Claus and his eight flying rein-bear.  A Muppet Family Christmas

10. You’ll never fit in! Now you come to elf practice, learn how to wiggle your ears, chuckle warmly, go hee-hee and ho-ho, and important stuff like that. A dentist! Good grief!   Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer

December 15, 2010 Posted by | Quizzes | , | 38 Comments

Monday Movie Meme- Family Dynamics

Feature Presentation…MONDAY MOVIE MEME
You’re only as interesting as the family you come from. Many of us spend a lot of time hiding those “interesting” family moments! The movies are filled with dynamic families creating all sorts of food for thought and sources of laughter. Share on your blog the families the movies portray that struck a chord with you.
Visit the Bumbles for more movie selections.

1. While You Were Sleeping (1995) I love this movie as much for the great Callaghans as for the love story.  Peter Boyle, Glynis Johns, Jack Warden, and Micole Mercurio were the glue that held this story together and made every scene fun to watch.  I loved the leads too (Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman and Peter Gallagher) but the family was the fourth main character.  This is #25 on my Favorite Movie list.

2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) The Portokalos family must come to terms with their daughter not marrying a Greek, but the audience just gets to sit back and smile, thankful that they are not our family.

3. Meet the Parents (2000) So, how bad can things really go when you take home your boyfriend for a family wedding?  Pretty bad if the head of that family is Jack Byrnes and the boyfriend is Gaylord Focker.  With a name like Focker you just knew there was going to be trouble.  This movie makes me laugh, a lot.  The second one not quite as much, but still funny.  I’m hoping the one coming out this month with the Focker children will be funny too.  This is one of my top 10 Favorite Movies.

4. Dan in Real Life (2007) This is one of those big family movies where all the kids and grandkids get together and hijinks ensue.  I am an only child, so these movies always make me wish I’d had a sibling or two.  This movie was funny, but tackled  more serious issues too.

5. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) I thought I’d add one movie that wasn’t a comedy.  This movie was all about complicated family dynamics and it has powerhouse performances by Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp.  Another one on my Favorite Movie list.

Do you have a favorite family in film?

December 13, 2010 Posted by | Monday Movie Meme | | 6 Comments

Sundays with Gage – Delayed Blessings

Last week I tried to write a post on miscarriage because it had been  about three years since I had suffered one, but wasn’t really feeling that I was saying it quite right.  I watched Lisa Ling on The View on Friday she captured everything I had wanted to say, only much more eloquently.  So, if you have a miscarriage know that it happens more than you think and that someday you can still come home with one of these…

December 12, 2010 Posted by | Gage | 22 Comments

The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Cover ImageFinished 12-5-10, rating 5/5, fiction, pub. 2001

This is a place of mystery, Daniel, a sanctuary.  Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul.  The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it.  Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens….When a library disappears, or a bookshop closes down, when a book is consigned to oblivion, those of us who know this place, its guardians, make sure that it gets here.  In this place, books no longer remembered by anyone, books that are lost in time, live forever, waiting for the day when they will reach a new reader’s hands.  In the shop we buy and sell them, but in truth books have no owner.  Every book you see here has been somebody’s best friend.  Now they have only us, Daniel.  Do you think you’ll be able to keep such a secret?”

The Cemetery of Forgotten Books

This is a book for book lovers just in case you couldn’t tell from the passage above.  And the above is pretty much why I haven’t bought an e-reader, but on to the story.  In 1945, Daniel is just a boy when his father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books hidden in the back streets of Barcelona and when his obsession with the mysterious author, Julian Carax begins.  Daniel chose The Shadow of Wind to take home and he soon began to search out other Carax titles.  Only there weren’t any.  Someone had been destroying them all one by one.  Daniel was sixteen when he began to search out the books in earnest and he was aided in his quest by the cagey and charming Fermin.

I couldn’t help but fall in love with Daniel and Fermin and I was drawn into the mess they got themselves into when they started asking questions about Carax.  Why were so many people trying to keep the truth hidden?  And who were the good guys?  The characters they meet along the way heightened the suspense and I loved them all (well, I loved their addition to the story!).

It takes a lot to keep my attention these days.  Trying to find a balance between me for 39 years and mother of an infant me is trickier than I thought.  I have the attention span of a gnat these days, but this book kept me reading every spare moment I had, even if it was only a few minutes at a time.  I loved the drama, the mystery, the love, the Spanish setting, the wide cast of characters, and the love and respect of books shown in the story.  This book has a little bit of everything and I loved it.  Since I’m rating this a 5 it is obviously one of my favorites this year!

This was from my personal library and chosen by Vasilly and Alessandra.  Here’s what they had to say…

“Set in Barcelona in the 1950s, a masterpiece about the love for books.”  Alessandra

“You want to dig deeper into the book as you read.”  Vasilly

December 9, 2010 Posted by | 5 Star Books | | 20 Comments

Put on Your Crown: Life-Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom, by Queen Latifah

Put on Your Crown by Queen Latifah: CD Audiobook CoverFinished unabridged audio on 12-1-10, rating 3.5/5, inspirational for girls, pub. 2010

Read by Queen Latifah, with her mother Rita Owens

Queen Latifah has always seemed like a genuine and charming person to me.  I’m not really familiar with her music, but I do like to watch her on the big screen.  I even remember her from the 1990’s TV show, Living Single. So, I was very happy to win this audiobook from Zia.  I really like when authors read their work and I enjoyed listening to her tell her story.  Her mother also reads a small portion of the book.

Queen Latifah, real name Dana Evans, has led a life full of ups and downs and still managed to come out on top full of confidence and spirit.  This book is all about helping girls and young women find the confidence to be bold and brave and smart.  She does not claim to be perfect, far from it, she admits mistakes.  I think girls, especially those who like her and those who need the courage not to follow the crowd will really benefit from listening to this.  It is inspirational. 

I was not the target audience but I did enjoy it and Queen Latifah still seems like a genuine and charming person.  I am giving away this unabridged audiobook this month, you only need to be the first one to comment on this post and request it.

December 8, 2010 Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books | | 4 Comments

Name Game Quiz

As I looked through my tbr shelves to try to find some titles to help me finish challenges I realized that I have a lot of titles with proper names.  So, here’s the challenge and it’s a little different this time around, I want you to list up to 20 titles (you can list only 1 if you want) with proper names, first or last, in the title.  You will get points if other participants also list the same title, so choose popular ones.  If two people guess the same title it’s 2 points for both them.  If three people then it’s 3 points for the trio and so on.   

An example- Tex by SE Hinton.  If four people had entered it those four people would have gotten 4 points.  It’s not complicated, just have to guess what other people will list.  I don’t need the author and you can’t choose Tex!

Feel free to leave a few now and come back to leave more later.  You have until Saturday since I am getting this up late.  The points this week are unlimited!

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 googling, other internet searches or looking at other commenter answers.  Yes, we’re going by the honor system

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

Last week’s quiz here.  Current Leaderboard here.

Results are in!  Since I wanted you to get a few more points I’m giving an extra 5 points for titles that I have on my own shelves. 

10 points-Jane Eyre, Emma

9 points-Harry Potter, David Copperfield

8 points-Frankenstein, Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt, Oliver Twist,

7 points-Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Romeo & Juliet, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Lady Chatterly’s Lover, Ethan Frome

5 points-Are You There God It’s Me Margaret?, Cordouroy, The Da Vinci Code, Dear John, Holly’s Inbox, Scarlett, Three Junes, The Joy Luck Club, Jude the Obscure, King Lear, Life of Pi, My Antonia

4 points-Aloce in Wonderland, Anna Karenina

3 points-The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Sarah’s Key, Mrs. Dalloway

2 points-Rebecca, Still Alice, Tess of D’Ubervilles, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Meridian, Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English, The Other Bolelyn Girl, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Angela’s Ashes, Anne of Green Gables, Charlotte’s Web, Cleopatra’s Daughter, Don Quixote, Dracula, How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly, Jacob Have I Loved

December 7, 2010 Posted by | Quizzes | | 27 Comments

Sundays with Gage – Book Recommendations

Gage received two books from his Aunt Amy that he would like to recommend. 

The first is On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman.  I did tear up when I read it to him for the first time.  It is a perfect book for a new baby and his or her Mom & Dad.  The story is all about the special qualities that make each child unique.   I love the illustrations and the message is very sweet and setimental. 

The Boss Baby by Marla Frazee is a fun book, too.  As new parents Jason and I laughed while reading this spot on story of what goes on in a house when a baby is brought home.  Perfect for a baby shower or for new parents.  The illustrations are great too, with the baby wearing a sleeper with a tie.  A very cute book!

So, do you have any suggestions for Gage?  I know I want to buy him a bag full of gifts for Christmas!

On the Night You Were Born (Board Book) by Nancy Tillman: Book CoverThe Boss Baby by Marla Frazee: Book Cover

December 5, 2010 Posted by | Gage | 16 Comments

November’s 5 Word Movie Reviews

If you’ve seen any of these movies leave me your 1-5 words in the comments and I’ll add them to the post.  Or, if you are feeling ambitious and want to do this on your own blog leave me a link in the comments and I’ll add it to the bottom of the post.   Of course,  you can always just comment.

(2009. Cast- Renee Zellweger, Harry Connick Jr., JK Simmons)                 Grade B+

Sweet Romantic Comedy. Minnesota Flavor.

 Terrible. Stopped at 25 minutes. (Nolatari)
Renee, Harry, meh. OK plot.  (Heather)


(2006. Cast- Josh Hamilton, Ayesha Dharker)                Grade B+

Funny Culture Shock Love Story


A man in a ragged blue shirt with his wrist in a cast, and his arm around a smiling bearded man holding a bulldog that is wearing a protective cone around its neck.(2010.  Cast- Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan, Jamie Foxx)    Grade B-

Funny But Not Funny Enough

Vulgar, not funny, and annoying.  (Heather)


(2009. Cast- Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall                     Grade C

Depressing and Bleak.  Barren Wasteland.

Troubling and dark, enjoyed journey.  (Heather)


(2007. Cast- Shia LeBeouf, Sarah Roemer, David Morse, Carrie-Ann Moss)     Grade C-

Nosy Hormonal Teen Causes Trouble

Unexpectedly enjoyable. Morse is scary! (Nolatari)

 Entertaining Rear Window teen remake.  (Heather)

December 3, 2010 Posted by | 5 Word Movie Reviews | | 13 Comments

Free Books for December

In my ongoing quest to keep books moving out and not just in I give away a few books each month.  Leave a comment, tell me which book you want and I’ll get the book to you for FREE either by mail or personally if I’ll see you soon.  The first one to request each book wins.  Once you’ve ‘won’ the book I can get your shipping address if I need it.  Also, you can come back and get a free book every month if you want.  These have all been read a time or two.

I know I’ve been getting the books out late the past few months and I apologize.  Happy reading 🙂

1. Put on You Crown: Life-Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom by Queen LatifahUnabridged Audio on 4 CDs.  4 hours.  Published 2010.

2. Midnight Warrior by Iris Johansen.  Mass market romance. 358 pages. Published 1994. for Linda H

3. See Jane Run by Joy Fielding.  Mass market fiction. 404 pages.  Published 1991.  for Mariska

4. Great Modern European Short Stories selected by Douglas and Sylvia Angus.  Trade Paperback, like new. 303 pages. Published originally in 1967.  This is the 1996 version. for Amy

December 2, 2010 Posted by | FREE | , | 5 Comments