Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

April’s 5 Word Movie Reviews – Join in!

Once a month I feature the movies I’ve seen for the first time with a 5 word ‘review’.  Only it’s not really a review.  For that I need your help.  I hope that you’ll add your 5 words to my 5 words and that someone else will add their 5 words and so on until we have a a fun hodgepodge of words that make up a ‘review’.

This month you can give money to charity by contributing your 5 words (Details here).  Please join the fun 🙂  Past 5 Word Reviews here.

(2010. Cast- John Cusack, Rob Corddry)                                                                 Grade B

Fun & Silly 80’s Romp.

Fun cast. Better than expected. (Jenners)

Rude, crude and totally hilarious! (Staci)

(2002. Cast- Aaron Eckhart, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Northam, Jennifer Ehle)               Grade B

Slow but worthwhile. romantic story.

Surprisingly, better than the book (Stephanie)

(1936. Cast- William Powell, Carol Lombard)                                                    Grade C

Loved Godfrey. Didn’t Understand Romance

Carole: the quintessential madcap heroine (The Gal Herself)

(2004. Cast- Colin Farrell, Robin Wright Penn, Sissey Spacek, Dallas Roberts)              Grade C

Confusingly Odd Gay Love Story

Book much better than movie. (Staci)

 Love Colin, hated the film. (Nolatari)

Colin Farrell earns indy cred.  (Tony)

April 30, 2011 Posted by | 5 Word Movie Reviews | | 13 Comments

Five Words for Charity

When I read through some of the posts from the latest read-a-thon I saw that some people were giving money to charity based on the number of comments left on their posts.  I like this idea.  As with any good idea I must tinker with it and make it my own.  Here’s what I’ve come up with…

Tomorrow is the end of the month and the day I post my 5 word movie reviews and it will also give you the opportunity to add your two cents for charity.

Leave a comment with 1-5 words to describe the movie (don’t forget to tell me which one) and you will have contributed $1 to charity.  How easy is that?!  As a bonus, I’ll also contribute $1 for any 1-5 word review you leave on any of my previously reviewed movies (the list is here).  I’m going to count all the reviews you all have already contributed.  That’s $22 already in the charity fund!

So, what’s the charity?  You tell me.  Once we reach $100 the person who has contributed the most reviews will get to pick a charity and write a blog post about it (if they want).  Since I’m counting previous reviews that means Heather is in the lead with 4, but that’s not so many that you can’t catch up 🙂  She is followed by Stephanie with 3, Bermudaonion, Jo-Jo, Jenners, Hannah and Richard with 2 each, and Kay, Bumbles, Carol, Alice and Margot with 1 apiece.

It’s up to you how long this lasts.  You could all get busy and we could have a winner and a charity before the weekend is over or you could make us wait quite a while to know the lucky charity.  My two stipulations are that the charity must have a website or be able to accept online donations and that the reviews are real and not made up 🙂

Looking forward to your participation and giving money to a worthy charity.

April 29, 2011 Posted by | 5 Word Movie Reviews, movies | , | 14 Comments

The Hellion, by LaVyrle Spencer

The Hellion by LaVyrle Spencer: Book CoverFinished 4-25-11, rating 2.5/5, romance, 293 pages, pub. 1984

It was well known around Russellville, Alabama, that Tommy Lee Gentry drove like a rebellious seventeen-year-old, drank like a parolee fresh out, and whored like a lumberjack at the first spring thaw.  He owned a four-wheel-drive Blazer for his hunting trips, a sixteen-foot runabout for his fishing trips, and a white Cadillac El Dorado to impress the town in general.  He was rarely seen driving any of them without an open beer or an on-the-rocks glass in his hand, more often than not with one arm around some carmine-lipped floozy from up Muscle Shoals way, his left hand dangling limply over the steering wheel and a burning cigarette clamped between his strong white teeth.

first paragraph

Tommy Lee and Rachel were raised together.  They lived next door to each other and their parents were good friends.  When they fall in love as teenagers it was no surprise to anyone.  What was a surprise to the teens was an unexpected pregnancy and a major push from their parents to keep them apart when they needed each other the most.  Now they are both 41 and there are no obstacles between them except the lives they’ve lived while apart.

If you enjoyed the first paragraph I included and would like to know more about Tommy Lee, then this is the book for you.  For me, the story wasn’t deep enough.  Obviously, being a romance and all, Rachel’s love was going to reform the wild Tommy Lee, but unfortunately, I was never really drawn in. Somehow the two of them lived in the same smallish town for over 20 years and yet they never spoke or saw each other.  The missing years made no sense to me.  And I don’t think this is Spencer’s best writing.  It was one of her earlier books and it did feel dated.  I used to gobble up Spencer’s romances as a teen and I remember loving a few of them.  This one was not one of them, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to read the rest of the ones in my stacks.  I just won’t be rushing to do so.  Do you have a favorite LaVyrle Spencer romance?

This was from my personal library.

April 27, 2011 Posted by | 2 1/2 Stars or Less | | 16 Comments

John Candy was in that? Quiz – guessing closed

Yesterday’s movie meme reminded me of John Candy an I thought we could take a trip down memory lane.  I’ve seen 14 of his movies and I’ve listed them in the order that I liked them best.  How many can you name? I’ve given you his character’s name. year it came out and a hint.   7 points for each correct answer and 2 bonus points if you can name a John Candy movie not on the list.  You have until Friday at noon to submit your answers.  Same prize as last time.

No cheating.  No Googling, researching, or looking at other commenter answers.  Yes, we’re going by the honor system    Your first answers will be the only ones accepted.  Play every week or just one time, you are always welcome   It only takes once to be eligible for a prize.

Current Leaderboard here.  Last week’s Common Denominator Quiz here.

Go to fullsize image

1. Del Griffith 1987 (he plays a man just trying to get by selling shower curtain rings) Planes, Trains & Automobiles

2. Irv 1993 (a man, a bobsled and a dream)  Cool Runnings

3. Lasky 1983 (guard at Walley World)  Vacation

4. Spike Nolan 1985 (What would you do if you inherited millions?)  Brewster’s Millions

5. Freddie Bauer 1984 (plays a very supportive brother)  Splash

6. Chet Ripley 1988 (plays a very put upon brother) The Great Outdoors

7. Barf 1987 (If you don’t know it from Barf then a clue won’t help you)  Spaceballs

8. Buck Russell 1989 (Would you let this guy watch your kids?)  Uncle Buck

9. Gus Polinski 1990 (he was in the original but not the sequels)  Home Alone

10. Danny Muldoon 1991 (finally a romantic lead) Only the Lonely

11. Dean Andrews 1991 (this one had a lot of stars)  JFK

12. Sheriff Bud Boomer 1995 (Michael Moore directed more than documentaries)  Canadian Bacon

13. Tom Tuttle 1985 (the movie where Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson met and fell in love)  Volunteers

14. Jack Chester 1985 (family vacation nightmare)  Summer Rental

April 26, 2011 Posted by | Quizzes | , , | 37 Comments

Monday Movie Meme – Facial Hair

Feature Presentation…MONDAY MOVIE MEME

This week’s movie topic is all about Facial Hair…

Boston is an Original Six hockey town. And right now the Bruins are caught up in a thrilling series with those hated Montreal Canadiens. The B’s have mounted a determined comeback against the Habs including a double OT win over the weekend to take a series lead. Playoff hockey leads its players to grow playoff beards for good luck. Some of them, such as Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, choose instead to rock a porno stache. In the past, Andy has tried growing facial hair of his own in support of his team. Not my favorite idea. But I do have some favorite movie characters who
rocked their facial hair. Here are a few we are particularly fond of. Share on your blog characters in film with memorable beards and or mustaches, linking back here so that others can find you.

Visit The Bumbles for more.

Gage thinks his grandpa’s mustache is funny, so I’m listing the first five ‘staches that came to mind. What about you?  What’s the first mustache that you think of?

Go to fullsize imageClark Gable in Gone With the Wind.

Go to fullsize imageMarlon Brando in The Godfather

Go to fullsize imageCharlie Chaplin in anything (but in Modern Times here).

Go to fullsize imageBurt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit.

Go to fullsize imageJohn Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

April 25, 2011 Posted by | Monday Movie Meme | | 16 Comments

Sundays with Gage – Happy Easter!

Happy Easter Everyone!

And a few of my favorite pics from his 6 month birthday 🙂

 

April 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 23 Comments

Agatha Christie #1 The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot Series) by Agatha Christie: Book CoverFinished 4-22-11, rating 4.5/5, mystery, 224 pages, pub. 1920

Emily Inglethorp– wealthy mistress of Styles.  Murdered in front of her family.

Mr. Inglethorp– Gold digger and hated and suspected by all.

John Cavendish– Oldest member of the family and in need of money.

Mary Cavendish– Wife of John who is carrying on with another man.

Lawrence Cavendish– Younger brother without charm or influence.

Cynthia– Lives at the house at the invitation of the family.

Miss Howard– Companion to Mrs. Inglethorp.

Dr. Bauerstein– A little too familiar with certain memebers of the family.

Captain Hastings has been sent home to recover from sickness on the field of WWI, but has nowhere to go when he runs into his old friend, John Cavendish who invites him to stay at the family estate of Styles in Essex.  While there Hastings sees his old friend and ex-Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, who is also familiar with the family.  When Emily is murdered in locked room (and yes, also in front of her family), Hastings and Poirot are on the case and find no shortage of suspects.

So, I’ve never read an Agatha Christie novel (but I did listen to one on a car trip last year).  Yes, I know, why then sign up for a challenge to read ALL of her over 80 novels?  I have no good reason except that I kept reading Margot’s posts for the challenge, I like mysteries and I wanted to do it.  The challenge is to read them in order, so I started with this, her first, and confess that it was better than I thought it would be.  I was really impressed by how easy  and entertaining this book was.  Captain Hastings and Hercule Poirot are both characters I look forward to seeing again in later books and am going to see if I can track down the movie for this one.  I loved the mystery and did not figure it out until I was told by Hercule.  Hopefully, I’ll get more adept at recognizing the clues as I continue.

I am happy I signed up for this challenge and recommend this book to all mystery lovers.  It does not feel as though it was written in 1920 and I think you’ll be impressed at Christie’s debut novel.

Fun Agatha Christie fact – Agatha Christie is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Bestselling Author. Her books have sold over 2 billion copies in 44 languages.

I checked this book out of the library.

April 23, 2011 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books | | 15 Comments

Live Wire, by Harlan Coben

Live Wire (Myron Bolitar Series #10) by Harlan Coben: Book CoverFinished 4-17-11, rating 4.5/5, fiction, 371 pages, pub. 2011

Book 10 of the Myron Bolitar series.

“I’m not going to rehash my mistakes right now.  That’s not the point anyway.  We were good parents, I guess.  Most are.  Most are trying their best and if they make mistakes, it’s from trying too hard.  But the truth is, we parents are at the most, say, auto mechanics.  We can tune up the car and make sure it has the proper fluids.  We can keep it running, check the oil, make sure it is road ready.  But the car is still the car.  When the car comes in, it’s already a Jaguar or Toyota or Prius.  You can’t turn a Toyota into a Jaguar.”

(Myron’s dad)  Chapter 8

Myron started his business, MB Reps, working as a sports agent after a knee injury ended his NBA career before it began.  He is an agent with a heart and his business has expanded to represent all types of jocks and artists.  When one of his first clients comes to him for help, he doesn’t hesitate to do what he can.  And when he does what he can he gets caught up in a mess that has serious repercussions for everyone he loves.

Myron’s best friend, Win, is there to back him up with his influence and muscle even when he knows Myron is making a mistake.  His Dad tells him to step away, but Myron can’t, not when his estranged brother’s wife shows up hooked on heroin and he sees his 15-year-old nephew for the first time.  Now all Myron needs to do is figure out why his brother’s wife is harassing his client.  There are rock stars, mob bosses, and drug dealing teachers all in the way of Myron and his quest to save his client and maybe even his brother.

Myron is a smart ass, but one with a certain humanity and goodness and I am always rooting for him and his even bigger smart ass friend, Win, to save the day.  And they usually do, but this time they do not come away unscathed.  I love this series but by the end of this one I was sad.  Not because I didn’t want it to end (although there was that), but because the series felt like it was winding itself down and now I wonder if we’ll see Myron and gang in the same way again.  I don’t think I’m spoiling anything here by saying that Myron’s nephew, and by association Myron, will be the focus of Coben young adult book due out in the fall.   I hope Myron will be back front and center someday.  That being said, if you have not read any of the other Myron books, this is not the place to start and I think you will be missing very important background info.

Coben is the king of pop culture references.   If you haven’t read him yet, you are missing out on a witty and current author.

This book is from my personal library.

April 20, 2011 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books | | 23 Comments

Common Denominator Quiz guessing closed

I’ve done these before and I know they can be hard.  Here’s a link to the first one I did to give you an idea of what it’s all about.  Tell me what the five books have in common-it can be anything-awards, title, main character, setting, etc.  Each one is worth 10 points.  If you come up with something more specific than I did I’ll add 5 points, if it’s less specific I’ll give you 5 points.  Feel free to come back and add answers in later comments, but I’m only accepting the first answer for each number.  You have until Friday at noon to submit your answers.  Same prize as last time.

This week  you are allowed to look at book info for answers. No looking at other commenter answers.  Yes, we’re going by the honor system :)    Your first answers will be the only ones accepted.  Play every week or just one time, you are always welcome   It only takes once to be eligible for a prize.

Last week’s Authors Portrayed Quiz here.   Current Leaderboard here.

1. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield: Book Cover The Romance Readers' Book Club by Julie L. Cannon: NOOKbook Cover The Writing Circle by Corinne Demas: Book Cover Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey Series #1) by Deanna Raybourn: Book Cover How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson: Book CoverBooks on Cover

2. Sahara (Dirk Pitt Series #11) by Clive Cussler: Book CoverThe Lincoln Lawyer (Mickey Haller Series #1) by Michael Connelly: Book CoverContact by Carl Sagan: Book CoverA Time to Kill by John Grisham: Book CoverBooks made into movies starring Matthew McConaughey

3. Frankenstein Mary Shelley by Mary Shelley: Book Cover The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton: Book Cover Eragon (Inheritance Cycle Series #1) by Christopher Paolini: Book Cover The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: Book Cover The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi: Book Coverwritten by teenagers

4.    Praying for Sleep by Jeffery Deaver: Book Cover The Angel by Carla Neggers: Book Cover  Double Cross (Alex Cross Series #13) by James Patterson: Book Cover The Footprints of God by Greg Iles: NOOKbook Cover The Ark, the Reed and the Fire Cloud by Jenny Cote: Book Coverreligious terms in title

5. The Running Mate by Joe Klein: Book Cover Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie: Book Cover Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman: Book Cover Killer Mousse by Melinda Wells: NOOKbook Cover A Gentle Rain by Deborah Smith: Book Coveranimals on cover

6. Ellery Queen by Ellery Queen: Book Cover Case of Lies (Nina Reilly Series #11) by Perri O'Shaughnessy: NOOKbook Cover The Other Side of the Door by Nicci French: Book Cover The Real Mother by Judith Michael: Book Cover Love Bites by Tori Carrington: Book Cover2 authors, 1 name

7. Les Miserables (Rose Translation) by Victor Hugo: Book Cover Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace: Book Cover War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy: Book Cover The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas: Book Cover The Stand by Stephen King: Book Cover Over 1,000 pages long

8. The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand: Book Cover Summer House by Nancy Thayer: Book Cover Compulsion by Keith Ablow: Book Cover The Beach House by Jane Green: Book Cover Death in a Cold Hard Light (Merry Folger Series #4) by Francine Mathews: NOOKbook Coverset on Nantucket

9. Blindness by José Saramago: Book Cover Beloved by Toni Morrison: Book Cover The Pickup by Nadine Gordimer: Book Cover Herzog by Saul Bellow: Book Cover The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing: Book Coverauthors all  Nobel Prize for Literature winners

10. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd: Book Cover Off Season by Anne Rivers Siddons: Book Cover The Secret Papers of Madame Olivetti by Annie Vanderbilt: Book Cover Buried Evidence by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg: NOOKbook Cover Chill Factor by Sandra Brown: Book Covermain characters named Lily/Lilly

April 19, 2011 Posted by | Quizzes | , | 33 Comments

Monday Movie Meme – Running

Feature Presentation..MONDAY MOVIE MEME
This week’s movie topic is all about Running…Monday marks the 115th running of the Boston Marathon – the oldest annually contested marathon in the world. Having studied, lived and worked along its storied route for half my life, it holds a special place in my heart. I fulfilled my lifetime quota for running during 4 years of track in high school. Andy, as a former cross country athlete,has run in the challenging Falmouth Road Race on Cape Cod. But neither of us have or ever plan to run a marathon. Driving the route is tiring enough. We do know folks crazy enough to be running in Boston this year and wish them nothing but the best. Lots of movies feature runners, running scenes and foot races. Here is a small sampling of those off the top of our heads. Share on your blog those movies that make your feet tired just watching and link back here so that others can find you.
Visit The Bumbles to participate.
1. The first one that comes to mind is an old favorite of mine, Running Brave (1983)Go to fullsize imageBased on the true story of Billy Mills, an American Indian who overcame prejudice and circumstance to become a gold medal Olympian.  Truly inspiring.
2. Prefontaine (1997) Go to fullsize imageis another true story about an Olympic runner. 
3. We’ll go a little lighter on my next selection.  What about Danny earning his track letter in Grease (1978Go to fullsize image?
4. And what about his iconic scene from North by Northwest (1959)?Go to fullsize image
I don’t have time to come up with a 5th one.  Any suggestions?

April 18, 2011 Posted by | Monday Movie Meme | , | 12 Comments