Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

July’s 5 word movie reviews & money for charity

A very slow month for me, but it was good variety ūüėČ

Once a month I feature the movies I‚Äôve seen for the first time with a 5 word ‚Äėreview‚Äô.¬† Only it‚Äôs not really a review.¬† For that I need your help.¬† I hope that you‚Äôll 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 ‚Äėreview‚Äô.

This month you can give money to charity by contributing your 5 words (Details here).  Please join the fun :)  Past 5 Word Reviews here.  We’re up to $77.

(2011. Cast- Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Colon Farrell, Jamie Foxx)       Grade B+

Awesomely Fun Cast.  Horribly Good.

Pretty crude. Over the top. (Kathy)

Best when three friends featured. (Jenners)

Didn’t wanna like it…did.  (Heather)

But really fun to watch.  (Tony)

(1959. Cast- Sandra Dee, James Darren, Cliff Robertson)   Grade B+

50’s Teens surfing & singing. Cute.

Surfers, singing, beaches, old favorite.  (Kay)

July 29, 2011 Posted by | 5 Word Movie Reviews | | 10 Comments

The Secret Adversary, by Agatha Christie

The Secret Adversary (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)Finished 7-27-11, rating 4.5/5, mystery, 158 pages, pub. 1922

Tuppence and Tommy are two old friends who run into each other in London after WWI is over and jobs are scarce.  Both are out of work and need money.  They decide to advertise in the paper,

“Two young adventurers for hire.¬† Willing to do anything, go anywhere. No unreasonable offer refused-if pay is good.”¬†

Before they place the ad a man approaches Tuppence with an offer of easy money.¬† What she walks into is a world of men bent on ruining England and she and Tommy are thrust into work as spies for the government.¬† The two are searching for a woman named Jane Finn and the papers she saved when she survived the sinking of the Lusitania.¬† There are many who befriend them, but they never know quite who to trust.¬† I didn’t either.

I loved Tuppence.¬† She was quick and¬†sharp and smart.¬† Tommy grew on me too.¬† He was described as slow, but able to see facts for what they were and not to be swayed by lies.¬† Together they were a perfect team.¬†¬†I¬†was completely entertained by¬†this duo as they survived by their wits.¬† I know she wrote more stories about the two of them and I can’t wait to read more of their later adventures.

I enjoyed this one more than her first book.  It felt different, less of a murder mystery, more of a spy novel.

This was from my personal library.

This is my second book for this challenge and Christie’s second novel.

Fun Fact-One of the reasons poison figures so prominently as a means of murder in her
books is because Christie herself worked with pharmaceuticals during WWI.

July 27, 2011 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books | | 10 Comments

Monday Movie Meme – Summer

Feature Presentation…MONDAY MOVIE MEME
This week’s movie topic is all about Summer…
Hop on over to The Bumbles for more.
Well, a few weeks ago I wrote a post about my favorite summer movies (here) so it seems silly to make another list.¬† I think I’ll make a list of summer movies that I’ve never seen but have always thought I should.¬†
Vote for which one I should watch first and I’ll watch it in the next week or so.
 
So tell me, which one of these movies have I been missing out on the most?¬† One vote please!¬† I’ll see what the count is over the weekend.
 

July 25, 2011 Posted by | Monday Movie Meme | | 10 Comments

Sundays with Gage – Can I see some ID, please?

Who says you have to be 21 to go bar hopping?  My cousin, Bill, turned 40 last week and his wife and parents threw him a surprise party at one of his favorite haunts, Weasel Boy Brewing Company in Zanesville.

Gage wasn’t a big fan. I think the live music was too loud for his little ears and all the people just made too much noise.¬† And the air conditioning was off, so it was hot.¬† We were in a big private room, but it was connected to the bar.

Gage toughed it out for an hour or so before he headed home with the grandparents so the parents could enjoy a little more time out.¬† We arrived home at 12:00 on the dot, so we made curfew ūüėČ

Gage at his first bar and birthday party with Bill.

(and yes, Gage’s grandparents were against this being on Sundays with Gage)

 

 

July 24, 2011 Posted by | Gage | | 15 Comments

Husband and Wife, by Leah Stewart

Husband and WifeFinished 7-21-11, rating 4.75/5, fiction, 344 pages, pub. 2011

When Nathan and I married, I was a poet.¬† When we met, I was a poet.¬† When Nathan confessed, I was a mother, a business manager, a wife.¬† I’m not saying I held this against him.¬† I’m saying he held it against me.

Chapter 1

Nathan is a stay at home dad and author.¬† Sarah works a 9-5 job to provide financial¬†stability for their family.¬† On the day the galleys arrive for his new book, Infidelity, Nathan confesses that he had cheated at a writer’s conference.¬† Sarah tries to stay sane, but after only a few days she kicks Nathan out and finds herself a mostly single mother.

This book spoke to me.¬† As a new mom, Sarah’s struggle to find her identity was one I could understand.¬† I think any mom and wife, especially ones with young children now, will find themselves nodding in agreement with many of Sarah’s thoughts.¬† I felt completely understood.

That being said, Sarah is no saint and some of the things she does are destructive and dangerous.¬† But Stewart does such a good job of making me understand Sarah that I never totally wrote her off.¬† I felt her pain.¬† I didn’t like Nathan either, he seemed like a loser with a capital L, until I started to understand their relationship and marriage- the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I love stories about marriage and all the complications that inherently make themselves known.¬† When one person cheats, can trust be restored?¬† Can she stay in the marriage?¬† When a woman becomes a mother, is she still the same woman she was before?¬† Should she be?¬† Is there a way to be a mother and retain your identity and your dreams?¬† Again, the identity issues are ones I’m struggling with right now so I loved this book.¬† As an older mom this passage made me nod my head,

“My mother was twenty-two when she had me.”

“My mother was twenty-five.”

“Can you imagine?¬† That was when we were in grad school.¬† Can you imagine having had kids at that¬†age?¬† I didn’t even know who I was.”

She settled back into the couch cushions.¬† “Don’t you think knowing who you are makes it harder?¬† I mean, you know who you are, and then it becomes really hard to be¬†who you are.”¬†

Chapter 16

For some reason this book inspired me.¬† It made me take a step back to look at me, not just the mom or the¬†wife.¬† And then I had to¬†go¬†back to¬†being mom, but those¬†minutes mattered!¬† I highly recommend it.¬†¬†I look forward to reading Leah’s other two books.

I bought this book on Tuesday night, read my post here.

July 21, 2011 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books | | 16 Comments

An Hour with author Leah Stewart

I love to meet authors.¬† For book bloggers and writers they are celebrities.¬† My local library brought Leah Stewart, author of 3 books, to talk to us and answer questions.¬† I am over halfway through her latest book (and the first one I’ve read) and I’m loving it.¬† It is about a woman’s identity and how it changes once she becomes a mother.¬† Given my nine months of motherhood I relate.¬† I hope to have it finished and my review posted in the next few days.

Leah talked about her writing process.  When she started Husband and Wife she had a 3-year-old and a 7 month old at home.  I am in awe of that!  It took her a little over a year to write and was her easiest writing experience because she knew the story before she started writing.  Her second novel, The Myth of You & Me, took her 5 years to write because she had no clear vision, just the suggestion from her editor to write a contemporary story about a woman.  She offers the advice to know the story before you start writing.

If you’ve read Husband & Wife she based physical likeness of the Rajiv character on Naveen Andrews View Image.¬† A few authors she feels are important because she connects with them personally are Austen, Eliot and Fitzgerald.¬† She had just finished reading a Sarah Dessen book and My American Unhappiness.¬† She does not like the labels of chick lit or women’s fiction, but understands their marketing value.

She was asked if she was happy or sad when she finished a book and she said, “I’m so happy when I’m done.”¬† I loved the honesty.¬† When she was asked the most important quality for a successful writer to have, her answer was perseverance, determination, or the inability to stop doing it.

I really enjoyed her talk and the easy way she listened to the questions and took her time to answer them completely, not just giving stock answers.¬† She describes¬†her books as ambiguous, moral situations.¬† Husband & Wife centers on infidelity and she told us right up front that she has no knowledge of her husband cheating on her!¬† It’s fiction people.

She likes twitter and if you’d like to find her @leahcstewart.¬† Or on her website.¬† I thought the evening was wonderful and that she was a delightful speaker.¬†¬† I do hope you will check her out.

July 19, 2011 Posted by | Book signings | | 16 Comments

Monday Movie Meme – Favorite

Feature Presentation…MONDAY MOVIE MEME
This week’s movie topic is all about Favorites…
A while ago, Sandy @ You’ve GOTTA Read This¬†suggested we do a post about our favorite movie viewed year-to-date. Share on your blog your favorite YTD movie – not necessarily one released this year, just a new-to-you film viewed this year, and link back here so that others can find you.¬† The Bumbles
After looking at what I watched this year Bridesmaids (2011) was easily my favorite.
It wasn’t perfect, but it was funny.¬† I am not a Kristen Wiig¬†fan, on SNL¬†her characters usually annoy me, but she did win me over in this one.¬† The humor is raunchy and over-the-top, but somehow I really felt for Wiig’s character.¬†
Melissa McCarthy was so great in this film.¬†I’ve loved her since she was Sookie¬†on Gilmore Girls.¬† For those that have seen the movie, Air Marshal John (Ben Falcone) is Melissa’s real-life husband.
So, what has been the best movie you’ve seen so far this year?

July 18, 2011 Posted by | Monday Movie Meme | | 16 Comments

Sundays with Gage – Baby Mozart

A few weeks ago my uncle Larry and aunt Mary Jane gave Jason and I my great-grandmother’s old piano.¬† My great-grandmother, Sarah, supported herself¬†in her later years by taking in tenants and giving piano lessons, so I am very happy to have this piece of family history.¬† This was her last piano.

Jason and I do not play any instrument, but both wanted Gage to have lessons on an instrument early and those lessons can’t start early enough!¬† Jason sat down and taught himself 3 songs over the first week (he’s really awesome/annoying that way) and Gage has finally started to warm up to the idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How cute are my guys?  So did you or your kids take music lessons?  What age did they start?

July 17, 2011 Posted by | Gage | 18 Comments

My favorite high school movies

I read Carrie this week and it got me thinking about some of my favorite high school movies.¬†¬†As a teen in the 80’s that decade is¬†well-represented.

1. The Breakfast Club (1985)¬† I know this one is always showing up on this blog, but I can’t help it.¬† Here’s the post about why I love it so much.

2. Sixteen Candles (1984)¬† This one actually gets better with every viewing.¬† That whole movie is full of teen insecurity.¬† Here’s the post about why¬†I love it so much.

3. the Harry Potter movies (2001-2011)  Can you imagine attending Hogwarts?  I think the fact that we all can proves how spectacular this series is.  While I liked the books better, each movie has gotten better and now I love the movies too.  I think The Goblet of Fire (2005) was my favorite onscreen.

4. Grease (1978) I can sing every song in this musical.  I had a hard time believing that any of the cast was young enough to be in high school, but it was great fun anyway.

5. Mean Girls (2004) This is a great movie about, what else, how mean teen girls can be to each other.  This is probably the last time I actually enjoyed watching Lindsay Lohan onscreen.

6. The Karate Kid (1984) I love this story of the new kid on the block who did nothing wrong but talk to the wrong girl.  He overcame bullying by beating them at their own game.

7. Pretty in Pink (1986) Aw, Duckie.¬† Who didn’t love Duckie in this love story about a ‘richie’ falling for a poor girl.¬† Their prom certainly beats the one Carrie had!

8. Dead Poet’s Society (1989) Teaching boys raised to appreciate their priveleged status a different way to look at life is at the heart of this movie that requires at least one tissue.

9. Bring It On (2000) Do not ask me why I love this cheesy movie because I do not know.¬† I was not a cheerleader nor did I ever have a desire to be.¬†It’s a mystery, but I really liked it.

10. Heathers (1989) I haven’t seen this one in forever and really need to watch it again.¬† I remember the bitchiness and the angst and the wit.¬† Loved it.

11. Election (1999) This dark comedy was a great story about an overachiever going too far and her teacher going even further.  Great stuff.

12. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)¬†I didn’t fall in love when I saw this the first time in high school, but each viewing makes me appreciate it more.

July 15, 2011 Posted by | lists, movies | | 11 Comments

Carrie, by Stephen King

CarrieFinished 6-14-11, rating 4/5, horror, 245 pages, pub. 1974

“You’re bleeding!” Sue yelled suddenly, furiously.¬† “You’re bleeding, you big dumb pudding!”

Carrie looked down at herself.

She shrieked.

The sound was very loud in the humid locker room.

A tampon suddenly struck her in the chest and fell with a plop at her feet.  A red flower stained the absorbent cotton and spread.

Then the¬†laughter,¬†disgusted, contemptuous, horrified, seemed to rise and bloom into something jagged and ugly, and the girls were bombarding her with tampons and sanitary napkins, some from purses, some from the broken dispenser on the wall.¬† They flew like snow and the chant became: “Plug it up, plug it up, plug it up, plug it–“

page 8

Carrie is an often maligned high school student¬†who is treated poorly by her overly zealous mother and by fellow students who see her as a freak.¬† When she gets he first period in the school shower and has no idea what is happening to her something broke in her.¬† Or maybe it’s better to say that something awoke in her.¬† She started using her powers to move things and later for acts of utter devastation.

I’m sure a lot of people know this story, either from the book or movie, or maybe even from pop culture references.¬† I haven’t seen the movie, but thought I’d give the book a try and¬†I wasn’t disappointed.¬† I wasn’t completely wowed either, but I did think it was good.¬† The characters were well-drawn and I was as disgusted with the hateful Chris as with any other character I’ve recently encountered.¬† I steered clear of girls like her in school, but I’m not sure anyone I knew was as awful as she was.

I wasn’t sympathetic to Carrie much.¬† A little in the middle and I guess at the end for a moment or two, but for the most part she started strange and ended strange and vengeful.¬† Not a combo to have me rooting for her.

I liked the way the story was told, from lots of different viewpoints.¬† Sometimes we read Carrie’s perspective or another student, like Sue, and these were intermingled with reports that happened after the fact, after the prom from hell.

Not my usual genre but as a pop culture reference I’m glad I read it.¬† I wasn’t bored and I was alternately disgusted and disapproving.¬† Not two emotions that endear me to a book, but it was still an entertaining read.

This was from my personal library.

July 14, 2011 Posted by | 4 Star Books | | 8 Comments