Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

April Showers Scrambled Quiz – guessing closed

April Showers bring May…Easy right?  Not if you’re in Ohio and many other places in the middle of the US, where the showers have continued.  But let’s think positive thoughts and hope for the best.  See if you can unscramble books that all have one thing in common.  8 points for the title and 2 for the author.  5 easy peasy bonus points if you tell me what they all have in common.  You have until Friday noon to submit your answers in the comments.

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 Color Me Published Quiz here.

1. HTE ATE ORES by NNEFIRJE LNLNYOED  The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

2. ETH CALBK HIDALA by EJSAM LOLREY   The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

3. OLYLS’H XOBIN by LYLHO ENDHAM   Holly’s Inbox by Holly Denham

4. RUNDE HET ACLSIL by OUISAL YAM TOCATL  Under the Lilacs by Louis May Alcott

5. OPPYP ENDO OT AEDTH by RAILCHANE RRSHAI   Poppy Done to Death by Charlaine Harris

6. CHRIOD ACEBH by UTTARS DOOWS  Orchid Beach by Stuart Woods

7. IVOLTES REA LUBE by MESJA TERSONPAT  Violets are Blue by James Patterson

8. SYAID LILMER by RYENH MAJSE  Daisy Miller by Henry James

9. THELO RIIS by KOOY GAWAO  Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa

10. CAMIG ROF GOILDRAM by ML ROYMMNTGOE   Magic for Marigold by LM Montgomery

(Go ahead and print it to work on You know you want to :))

May 17, 2011 Posted by | 5 Word Reviews, Quizzes | | 35 Comments

Monday Movie Meme- Farms

Feature Presentation…MONDAY MOVIE MEME
This week’s movie topic is all about Farms…
Movies have featured farms and farming forever. Their roles in film have changed and even diminished some as the industry of farming has waned. But there are plenty of examples out there. Here are a few that we thought of. Share on your blog movies that are set on a farm, focus on farmers or reference farming in some way, linking back here so that others can find you.
Brought to you by The Bumbles
1. Children of the Corn (1984) was a hit at slumber parties when it came out.  If only to see who would hide in their sleeping bag, who would scream, and who would pretend it wasn’t the creapiest movie ever.
2. Grapes of Wrath (1940) is a the serious side of what happened to farmers during the Great Depression.  A downer of an awesome movie.
3. Footloose (1984) isn’t necessarily a farming movie, but the scene where they play chicken with the tractors is one that came to mind. 
View Image4. Man in the Moon (1991) is a surprisingly good movie.  See it to check out a young Reese Witherspoon.
5. Signs (2002) is a good one.  Who was doing all that damage to the fields?  The answer may surprise you (or not).  This was before Mel Gibson became taboo.
Go to fullsize imageSo, what farming movie would you recommend?
Please contribute your thoughts to my 5 word movie reviews for charity. Post here.  So far, we’re up to $66.

May 16, 2011 Posted by | Monday Movie Meme | | 8 Comments

Sundays with Gage- Can I have some church with those teeth?

Today we took Gage to church for the first time.  It would also be the first time we’ve left him alone with anyone but my parents and I was nervous.  Not that he’d be neglected, but that he’d cry the whole time.  The reason we’ve waited so long to do this is because for the first 6 months he’d been a fussy baby, but the medication for his acid reflux has helped him immensely and we were ready to take the plunge.

The church we attend, Parkside, is a great church.  There are 3 morning services with about 2000 regular attendees.  It also houses a very small cafe and bookshop.  For such a large place it does feel like a community.  With its size also comes some perks.  Like lots of nurseries.  There is one for 0-6 and one for 7-12 month olds.  Since Gage will be turning 7 months old this week we decided to go with the 7-12 nursery.

We managed to keep him awake so that when we delivered him he was snoozing away his morning nap.  We took our pick up card and walked around before entering the service.  We were ‘by ourselves’ with perfect strangers looking after our kid.  Weird feeling.  Well, an hour or so later after a great sermon on the prodigal son we went to the nursery to find Gage being carried around by one of the four people working there.  And he wasn’t crying 🙂

So, mission accomplished.  Next up is trying the day care our community center provides so that I can start to lose some of this baby weight.

Oh, and how many pictures does it take to finally get one that shows his two new bottom teeth without him sticking out his tongue or closing his mouth?  19.

May 15, 2011 Posted by | Gage | 22 Comments

A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving

Cover ImageFinished 5-12-11, rating 2.5/5, fiction, 617 pages, pub. 1989

John and Owen have been best friends forever.  There wasn’t anything they didn’t talk about or share.  Even when Owen killed John’s mom in a fluke of fate their relationship was solid.  John narrates this story of Owen Meany, the small boy with the strange and scary voice who comes from the quarry with nothing to recommend him but his sharp mind.  The story follows their friendship over the many years and then some.

I wanted to like this book.  I expected to love this book.  The reason it was on my shelf was because I picked it up years ago after so many of my fellow booksellers told me I had to read it.  It would change my life. Then I let my fellow blogger friends choose my reading material and 10 of you, bloggers I love and trust, voted for this one.  So, I have to assume the problem is with me and I am one of a handful of people who did not like this one.  If I had not promised to read this I would have given up after I was 150 pages in last summer.

So, why didn’t I like it?  The details, all of those tedious details, made the story travel at a snail’s pace and I felt like I was reading in quicksand.  Not that I didn’t like Owen or the grandmother and Dan, but it was hard to maintain my enthusiasm.  It was a little like reading someone’s daily diary.  There’s some good stuff in there, but you have to wade through all the rest of the stuff no one but the diarist cares about.

It is very political and anti-church (not anti-God).  I had no problem with either of these issues.  I actually agreed with most of Irving’s thoughts here.  But that was probably part of the problem for me.  I felt like I was reading very long paragraphs and sometimes pages of Irving’s views that did little to advance the story.

Okay, so please don’t hate me for not liking this one.  There were parts I loved, I enjoyed their time and exploits at the Academy.  This was my favorite part of the novel.  I was charmed by Owen, but not enough.

This is from my personal library and was chosen by Mary, Kathy, Hannah, Linda, Em, Jennifer, MsMazzola, Jessica, Mille, and Margie.  Here’s what they had to say…

“The best structured suspense novel I’ve ever read. I’m not a huge fan of Irving, but this one makes it on to my best books list all the time.”  Mille

“I love Irving, he is funny and Owen Meany will break your heart.”  MsMazzola

“Because I’m hoping to read it in 2010, too.”  Jennifer

“I tried other books by this author and couldn’t get into them, but I loved Owen Meany and have recommended it to others.”  Linda

“Classic. Needs to be read.”  Em

“It’s very readable and an instant classic.”  Hannah

“You will be charmed by Owen.”  Kathy

“Because it’s very readable and a classic.”  Mary

May 13, 2011 Posted by | 2 1/2 Stars or Less | | 30 Comments

HeartSick, by Chelsea Cain

Heartsick (Gretchen Lowell Series #1) by Chelsea Cain: Book CoverFinished 5-10-11, rating 4.25/5, thriller, 324 pages, pub. 2007

He picked up the phone. “Yeah,” he said.  He was sitting in his living room in the dark.  He hadn’t planned it that way.  He had just sat down a few hours before and the sun had set and he hadn’t bothered to turn on the light.  Plus, the dingy apartment, with its sparse furnishings and stained carpet, looked slightly less cloaked in blackness.

Henry’s gruff voice filled the phone line.  “He took another girl,” he said. And there you had it.

The digital clock that sat on the empty bookcase blinked insistently in the dim room.  It was an hour and thirty-five minutes off, but Archie had never bothered to reset it.  He just did the math to calculate the time. “So they want to reconvene the task force,” Archie said.

Chapter 2

Archie is a damaged police detective out on medical leave until a serial killer reels him back in.  Susan is a damaged newspaper reporter asked to cover Archie and his new task force as they investigate a series of murdered high school girls.  Gretchen is a damaged serial killer (is there any other kind?) who still has her hooks in Archie, even from prison.

So, this is your standard serial killer thriller until you add all of the baggage these three are carrying.  I love flaws and Archie has many.  He gets aroused by a woman who held him captive and tried to kill him, takes way too many pills, and has abandoned a family who loves him.  And the worst part?  He knows his fate and doesn’t want to be saved.

Susan was my favorite character.  The reporter with the pink hair who has father figure issues and while Archie uses pills to deal with his pain, she uses sex to deal with hers.  But she also had a vibrant  humanity.  She still cared about not exploiting victims and being a real reporter who did stories that matter.

Gretchen is one crazy serial killer.  She and Archie’s relationship really creeped me out.  That she could creep me out from prison is saying something.

It’s the characters that made the story, even though the plot was good too.  My only complaint is that the end felt a little too much like a standard thriller wrap up when the rest of the story had been unique.  But that is not stopping me from adding the next book in this series to my reading list.  I can’t wait to revisit these characters.

I almost forgot to mention how much Portland, Oregon comes alive.  I’ve always wanted to visit and now I feel as though I have!

Highly recommended for thriller fans.

This book is from my personal library.

May 11, 2011 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books | | 20 Comments

Color Me Published Quiz

Tell me the name of the author.  Each one is worth 10 points and the title of the quiz is your only clue 🙂  You have until Friday afternoon.

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 What Book is that? Quiz answers here.

1. His last three books have tackled controversial topics and have become bestsellers.  His critics complain he does not write well and his conspiracy puzzlers are inaccurate, but he’s laughing all the way to the bank.  Dan Brown

2. His famous books for kids one about a mouse and one with a spider are classics over 50 years later.  For adults he wrote a how-to with his pal Strunk.  E.B. White

3. She writes erotic, paranormal romances. Shayla Black

4. She is considered by some to be one of the founders of the chick lit genre.  Her latest book is Promises to Keep.  Jane Green

5. He’s written books about Alaska, Katherine, and towns made of paper.  John Green

6. Two books about a street in New Orleans have been published with another promised.  Oh, and she’s written 10 other books mostly set in the south, her latest on a beach.  Karen White

7. This romance and thriller suspense author has written almost 70 novels, 50 of them being NYT Bestsellers.  Her latest about a tough customer.  Sandra Brown

8. This British Nobel Prize winner is best known for his book about young boys stuck together on a deserted island.  William Golding

9. The editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine is the author of the Bailey Weggins mystery series and a new stand alone novel that asks you to use your library voice.  Kate White

10. This favorite children’s author wrote many classics including one about a tree that couldn’t stop giving.  Shel Silverstein

May 10, 2011 Posted by | Quizzes | | 22 Comments

Monday Movie Meme – Kate the Great

Feature Presentation…MONDAY MOVIE MEME
This week’s movie topic is all about Katharine Hepburn…We spent this past Mother’s Day weekend visiting my family in Connecticut. After
a lovely breakfast we ventured over to my brother and sister-in-law’s new place
in Old Saybrook, with the ocean a short walk at the end of their street. A
beautiful town on the Connecticut Shore, its most famous resident was none other than the impressive Katharine Hepburn. She and her family lived there throughout her life and it is where she died. A new theatre was dedicated to her memory and bears her name there. So what other possible topic could there be for this week other than the winningest Best Actress herself? Here is our favorite Hepburn film. Share on your blog your favorite moments, memories or films featuring Katharine, linking back here so that others can find you.
Monday Movie Meme is found at The Bumbles.
It is no secret that I love Katherine Hepburn.  I was really surprised as I prepared to write this post to see that she had been in 51 movies (including tv movies) and I have only seen 10.  How can I call myself a fan if I’ve seen so few of her movies?  Well, I am going to remedy that, so expect to see more of Katherine in my 5 word movie reviews!
Kate is always smart and commanding and it was surprising to see that she was only 5’7 1/2″.  Her onscreen presence, and maybe her thinness, made her appear taller. Here are the 10 movies of hers that I’ve seen in the order that I love them.
1. The Philadelphia Story (1940) is my favorite movie ever not just because Katherine is in it.  Love her chemistry with both Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart. Here’s my post raving about the movie.
2. The African Queen (1951) is another favorite of mine.  Kate plays a missionary and Humphrey Bogart a drunken boat captain in this WWI trip on the water.
3. Desk Set (1957) is probably an odd choice for third, but I did just see it and loved that she was a librarian named Bunny.  Seriously, have you ever met a librarian named Bunny?  It was one of her pairings with longtime love Spencer Tracy.
4. Bringing Up Baby ( 1938) is a zany comedy with Cary Grant .  This is also on my favorite list.
5. State of the Union (1948).  Another pairing with Spencer Tracy.  I am intrigued by politics and it is amazing as you watch this to realize how little it has changed over the years.  (Well, until the last few years where I think social media has made it uglier than usual, but that’s another post)
6. The Lion in Winter (1968) is one that I’ve seen just recently and I loved it.  She starred with Peter O’Toole (Anthony Hopkins was her son) and this is one crazy family.  I want to see it again already.
7. Summertime (1955) is one I could watch again and again because it shows the beauty of Venice.  One of these days I’ll convince Jason we need to go back.  She looked beautiful in this one.
8. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967).  She and Spencer Tracy play the parents of a daughter who brings home her black boyfriend (Sidney Poitier).  I liked it but it was a little too talky for me to love, but this is one of her best known movies.
9. Sylvia Scarlett (1935).  Katherine disguises herself as Sylvester in this fun movie.  It’s been years since I’ve seen it, but I remember thinking Kate was great.  It also stars Cary Grant so you can’t go wrong there.
10. Love Affair (1994) was one of her last films and a remake of two old movies (Love Affair and An Affair to Remember).  Kate as Aunt Ginny was the only part I really liked of this movie.
So, what’s your favorite Katherine Hepburn movie?
Three of these movies are on my 5 Word Movie Review list and you can contribute to charity just by adding your two cents 🙂  Post here.

May 9, 2011 Posted by | Monday Movie Meme | | 9 Comments

Sundays with Gage- First Mother’s Day edition

I have been blessed with the most wonderful mother ever.  I always thought she was great, even during those adolescent years when your parents can’t seem to do anything right.  She is patient and kind, understanding and forgiving, a peacemaker.  I always knew that there was no way I could be the mother that she was and is.  Thankfully, she’s a big part of Gage’s life, so he gets to benefit from her awesomeness too.

Motherhood is hard.  The week I was in the hospital to have Gage was difficult for me, but wasn’t easy on anyone.  My Mom took that week off work and the next to help at home as I recovered from the c-section.  Couldn’t have done it without her.  Then when Gage got sick she stayed that week and the next after he was home and, again, couldn’t have done it without her.  I was a mess that week after his hospital stay and she let me cry and break down and I never had to worry that I was passing that stress on to Gage.  Grandma saved the day.

I will never be the mother that she is, but I can try.  I will fail, but I know that she will be proud of me anyway.  Love you. Mom.

May 8, 2011 Posted by | Gage | 17 Comments

Black Out, by Lisa Unger

Black Out by Lisa Unger: Book CoverFinished audio 5-5-11, rating 3/5, fiction, pub. 2009

Unabridged audio 13 hours 24 minutes. Read by Ann Marie Lee

Annie Powers is crazy.  I don’t think I’m spoiling too much by telling you that since the title of the book comes from her spells of losing her memory.  Annie also used to be Ophelia March, daughter of one present parent,  her mother who is in love with a death row convict.  When the convict is released and he and his son are living with Ophelia her once crappy life takes a turn for the worse.  She becomes involved with her new stepbrother, Marlo.  But currently, Annie is a rich wife and mother who has everything she never dreamed possible when she was growing up.

So, does jumping around from past to present annoy you?  If it doesn’t then this book should hold your interest.  Do you like reading books that have no true sympathetic character?  This is the book for you.  As much as I wanted to like Annie/Ophelia the way the story was told made it impossible.  After reading the end of a book do you like knowing what happened?  What was real and what wasn’t?  If so, be prepared to be disappointed.  There were plenty of questions at the end, enough to make me rethink some of my basic assumptions, and I’m not sure if even a reread would answer them.  At the very least there are so many different stories all tied together so precariously that it feels exciting at first but then becomes a little hard to take seriously.

I liked the audio, but maybe I needed to have more focus (ie not when I’m driving around with Gage) when listening to it.  Maybe being able to read at a slower pace would have helped.  Or maybe I would still be just as confused and ambivalent about Annie/Ophelia.  She was not a warm and fuzzy character.  I liked the story through most of the book, but it had no real wrap up and I need a story that at least lets me think I’ve known what has happened.  The end had the potential to save the story but instead I was really disappointed.

I checked the audio out of the library.

May 5, 2011 Posted by | 3 Star Books | | 20 Comments

Free Books for May

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.

1. The Sands of Time by Sidney Sheldon. mass market.  published 1988. 427 pages. B&N review herefor Julie

2. Billy Budd by Herman Melville. mass market. originally published 1924. 114 pages.  B&N review here.

3. Moscow Rules b y Robert Moss. mass market. published 1985. 439 pages. B&N review here. Amazon review herefor Carol

4. Testimony by Anita Shreve. trade paperback. published 2008. 305 pages.  B&N review here. for Misha

Happy Reading!

May 4, 2011 Posted by | FREE | | 4 Comments