August’s 5 Word Movie Reviews & Money for Charity

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’.

FYI-I did not read the book, The Help, so there were no comparisons for me.

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 $83.

(2011. Cast-Viola Davis, Octavia Butler, Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard)     Grade A

Southern Prejudice & Spunk. Inspirational Story. 

Prejudice and inspirational southern spunk. (oh so cleverly fixed by Jill ;))

Perfectly cast story of change.  (Kathy)

Well-done story but slightly patronizing.  (Heather)

(2008. Cast-Ryan Reynolds, Abigail Breslin, Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher, Rachel Weisz)    Grade B+

3rd Grade Sex Ed?  Yikes!

Like the concept but mediocre.  (Heather)

(2005. Cast-Robert Downey Jr., Val Klmer, Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen)                          Grade B

Charming Downey. Sharp, Noirish Mystery.

Rollicking nonsense, but please enjoy.  (Tony)

(2006. Cast- Michael Douglas, Kiefer Sutherland, Eva Longoria, Kim Basinger)  Grade B-

Lie Detector Tests Are Conclusive?

(2010. Cast-John C Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill, Catherine Keener)     Grade D

Twisted Mom/Son Relationship.  Boring.

Not funny. Lame. Terrible idea. (Jenny)

Suicide Quiz – guessing closed

This week it’s all about suicide.  See if you can identify the 7 authors and 8 fictional characters who took their own lives.  And don’t forget the extra easy bonus question.

Please play along with us.  For everyone who plays an extra $ goes to the winner and the everyone is entered for a special prize.  Just leave a comment with your guesses and don’t google the answers. 

Rules & Leaderboard here.  Last week’s Best Paid Authors  Quiz here.


1. This Pulitzer and Nobel winner moved to Idaho in 1959 and shot himself at the age of 61.  Ernest Hemingway

2. This 30 year old put her head in the oven and died of carbon monoxide poisoning while her two children were home.  One of these children would commit suicide himself in 2009.  Sylvia Plath

3. In 1941 this famous author filled her pockets with stones and drowned herself in a nearby river.  Virginia Woolf

4. This author of infinite talent hung himself in 2008 at the age of 46.  David Foster Wallace

5. This New Orleans author wrote one book and comitted suicide after several rejections.  His mother fought to get it published after his death and when it was he won the Pulitzer, posthumously.  John Kennedy Toole

6. In 1997 this author took his own life after allegations of abuse surfaced from two of his children.  Michael Dorris

7. This author left this note to his wife before committing suicide in 2005…   Hunter S Thompson

No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun – for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax – This won’t hurt.

Match these characters who committed suicide with the books they are from.

1. Cecilia Lisbon  D. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides     

2. Willy Loman  E. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller 

3. Edna Pontellier  A. The Awakening by Kate Chopin   C. 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

4. Billy Bibbit  B. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

5.   Inspector Javert      F. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

6. Septimus Waren Smith      H. Mrs. Dalloway by Virgina Woolf

7. George Wilson     G. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

8. Hannah Baker     C. 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

William Shakespeare has over 50 characters commit suicide.  Name 1 for the last 6.25 points.

Sundays with Gage-Sleep

During my 10 months as a mother I’ve learned many things, but some of the most important lessons are labeled, tried this-big mistake  We snuggle Gage to sleep in our bed.  Always have.  At first because we loved the special time and then because it was good for his acid reflux to at least fall asleep elevated, on a pillow.  We have stuck with this because it works and we do enjoy the time together.  At night we sneak him into his crib within an hour with about 90% success.  Sometimes we repeat the process after he cries for an hour in the crib.  This can lead to a few long nights for me, but mostly he sleeps through the night like a champ.

The problem is the napping.  The only way he’ll nap is if he stays in our bed.  I try to move him to the crib he starts crying just before his accusing eyes pop open.  How dare I disturb his nap.  On the rare occasion he doesn’t wake up right away he might last 20 minutes in the crib.  So, for the most part I’ve been letting him nap in our bed as I read or put away laundry or whatever.  I’m a sucker.  I’m being played by a 10 month old!

So, this weekend I asked Jason to help me get him to sleep in the crib because I thought between the two of us we could manage it.  This photo is what happened on our way him from church today (bottle included).  Painless naptime. in the afternoon Jason did manage to get him to sleep in the crib for a little while after about an hour and a half of wearing him out.

My goal is to get him into his crib for naps by the end of the week.  I’m not feeling confident but it must be done.  Is there a child rearing lesson that you learned the hard way?

I really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments about where they live from last week’s Gage post 🙂


Odds & Ends

I contributed one post to the Agatha Christie Monthly Carnival.  There are 12 other posts if you are interested in checking them out.  Agatha is popular this summer!

Coming SoonNext week Tea Time With Marce is hosting Thrill Week for lovers of mysteries, thrillers, or horror lovers. I plan to join in and maybe you should too.  She’s already giving stuff away!

And then after that it’s BBAW Week.  I’m looking forward to do some judging next week (feel free to kiss up ;))  It’s always a great week.


Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

Cover ImageFinished 8-24-11, rating 4/5, fiction, 319 pages, pub. 2001

I must say a word about fear.  It is life’s only true opponent.  Only fear can defeat life.  It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know.  It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy.  It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease.  It begins in your mind, always. 

Chapter 56

Pi, an Indian teenager, was raised by loving parents who ran a zoo.  He didn’t feel like he had to choose between religions, he studied them all.  He was a Hindu, Christian, and Muslim and no one could convince him this was contradictory.  When his family decided it was best to leave India, they packed up all of the animals (the ones they didn’t sell) and headed for Canada.  They didn’t make it.

Pi finds himself in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a lifeboat with Richard Parker.  Richard Parker is a 450 pound Bengal tiger.  Day after day he must work to survive,  and his only chance is to keep Richard Parker alive too.  From early on you know that Pi is at sea a very long time, but you also know that he survives, so it isn’t that uncertainty that keeps you reading.  The day-to-day struggle is compelling and outrageous.   If you are taking an ocean voyage this book will teach you everything you need to know about staying alive.

This is a consideration of religion, a compassionate view of zoos, and at some points, a test of your ability to listen to/read about savagery of killing, even of only for food.  I listened to the first half of this one on a road trip with Jason and Gage and read the print for the rest.   I have nothing against the audio, but I much preferred reading it.  The play-by-play of animals ripping each other apart is much easier to read than to hear.  Not that this book can be reduced to that, only that’s what made the reading more enjoyable for me.  It is a book about belief and how what you believe can make your life meaningful and livable.

I really loved Pi’s story and grew to love Richard Parker too.  I was nervous that RP would meet the same fate as Wilson in the movie Castaway and I was very nervous for him.  I won’t spoil it by telling you.  I wasn’t crazy about the ending.  Jason loved it.  I’m not sure if my opinion will change after it’s had some time to settle.  I know I’ll be thinking about it for the next several days, but these are my initial thoughts.  The imagery was beautiful and obviously thought-provoking since I know I will be thinking about it, re-evaluating the whole based on the end.


This is from my personal library and chosen by Heather (Gofita’s Pages), Carol, Staci, MsMazzola, Heather (Book Addiction), Kerri, Alita, Julie, Rebecca and Rhapsody in Books.  Here’s what they had to say…

“It will blow you away.”  Rhapsody in Books

“I thought I was the only one left who hasn’t read it yet!”  Julie

“Some people didn’t like the unexpected ending, but I did and I would love to see what you think, too.”  Rebecca

“I’m going to attempt it next year as well”  Kerri

“It is on my TBR list, so I put it on your’s too.”  MsMazzola

“My brother bought it for me and I never read it, but encouraging you to relieves some of the guilt.”  Carol

“It’s on my TBR pile and I hear it’s amazing!”  Heather (Gofita’s Pages)

Emerald Dreams, by Caroline Bourne

Emerald DreamsFinished 8-21-11, rating 3/5, romance, 378 pages, pub. 1993

It’s 1897 and Brett McCullum is looking for a newbie who needs to be led to the Alaskan gold towns.  Paulina Wintrop is poorly disguised as a boy so she could make the journey to find a family friend from her home in Utah.  Time is short and so are tempers.  Sparks fly between the two immediately and lots of sharp exchanges do little to disguise the interest.

This book is a bit of a hot mess. I was enjoying this above average, yet somewhat typical, historical romance when at a point fairly early on I realized this was not a typical romance at all.   There was a hidden city, a prince, and an island of jewels.  I was intrigued, but confused.  Then another turn and I was disappointed but still entertained.  So everything was fine until the end.  The end was such a letdown that I felt like I’d been cheated.  As you can see it’s hard to talk about without giving too much away.

I really enjoyed the dialogue and the two main characters so I might give Bourne another chance in the future, but it won’t be soon.  Isn’t that cover awful?

This book is from my personal library (although I have no idea how it came to be here!)

Best Paid Authors Quiz – guessing closed

Last August I ran this quiz about the highest paid authors and now the new numbers are in. These rankings are based on their total estimated income (books, movies…) from May 2030-April 2011.  I’m giving you 15 authors and you need to rank the top 13 in order.  The extra 2 are just ones I added to keep it interesting.  Only 3 authors have the same spot as last year and if you get those three correct you’ll get  a few extra points (so go ahead and look at last year’s quiz).  Each correct answer is worth 7.5 points.

I hope everyone will give this one a try.  It’s more fun the more people who play 🙂  And you only need to play once to win a prize!

No cheating.  No googling 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.

1. James Patterson $84 million

2. Danielle Steel  &35 million

3. Stephen King  $28 million

4. Janet Evanovich  $22 million

5. Stephenie Meyer  $ 21 million

6. Rick Riordan  $ 21 million

7. Dean Koontz  $ 19 million

8. John Grisham  $18 million

9. Jeff Kinney  $17 million

10. Nicholas Sparks $16 million

11. Ken Follet  $14 million

12. Suzanne Collins  $10 million

13. JK Rowling  $5 million

Michael Connelly

Charlaine Harris

Leaderboard and details here.  Last week’s What book is that? Quiz here.

Sundays with Gage- Location, location, location

I like big cities.  When Jason and I moved to Solon 11 years ago we expected it to be a relatively short stay so I accepted the suburb for what it was.  Well, we’re still here and I’m still accepting, if not the most enthusiastic cheerleader.  So, imagine my surprise when I saw the latest Money Magazine that named Solon the 3rd best small town in America.  Read the article here.

One of the reasons we have stayed is one of the reasons they listed.  Solon was the highest-achieving district in Ohio last year. Originally we thought investing in a community that invested in its schools was a no brainer.  Now that we have Gage we are very happy to be here.  It’s a little over half a mile to the elementary school and we’ve been walking there every evening because Gage loves the swings.

Living in a suburb I give up some things I love about big cities, but I reap the benefits too.  So what about you.  What’s your favorite thing about the place you live?

Someone is the House, by Barbara Michaels

Someone in the HouseFinished 8-15-11, rating 4/5, mystery, 300 pages, pub. 1981

God only knows how it all began.  After all the searching and seeking, the rationale debate and wild, intuitive guessing.  I’m not sure we really arrived at the truth.  We poor humans are so imprisoned in narrow boundaries of space and time, so confined by five meager senses.  We are like ants, running frantically back and forth on meaningless errands that consume our years, taking a few square inches of earth for a universe.

first paragraph

Grayhaven Manor, an English Gothic mansion, was moved stone by stone (graves in the basement included), to rural Pennsylvania.  When Kevin’s parents won the lottery they bought the extravagant home and asked Kevin to live there for the summer to watch over it while they traveled.  He invited his fellow college professor, Anne, so they could work on a textbook they were writing together.  And then Aunt Bea and opinionated neighbor, Roger, show up and the house seems full, especially with the ghosts that make themselves known at night.  They are ghosts, right?

This spooky story is told in first person from Anne’s perspective and she had spunk.  I enjoyed her intelligence and identified with her insecurity about her looks.  She felt very real to me and if Anne saw a ghost then I believed her.  Kevin was a hot guy who everyone woman desired, maybe even Anne, to her disgust.  I liked Kevin and his easy-going nature, but did find him a bit shallow.

There was a considerable amount of history and I did love the way the three differing opinions were shown.  This book was haunting and I really want to visit a gothic mansion to see if I can detect ghost activity.

I did feel like the end was a little rushed and I was a bit disappointed, but not enough to take away from my enjoyment of the book.

Did you know that Barbara Michaels is Elizabeth Peters?  I recomend this for cozy mystery lovers and ghost story fans.

This was from my personal library.

Enter my giveaway for All for Love:A Romantic Anothology here.

Try my latest quiz here.

What Book is that? Quiz- guessing closed

Tell me the title of the book for 9 points and the author for an additional 1.  If you tell me what they all have in common you’ll  get an extra 5 points!  You have until noon Saturday to submit your answers.

A few rules…No cheating.  No looking at other commenter answers, but feel free to browse around the net to find the answers this week (you can always come back and add an answer if you find it later).  Yes, we’re going by the honor system…Your first answers will be the only ones accepted…Have fun!

This round for every participant I have (currently at $14)  I will put in a $ for a B&N gift card or a Babies R Us gift card for the winner. Even if you play only once you are eligible to win the second prize (something special I pick out) and you will be adding money to the kitty for the winner.

Answers to last week’s Mad Gab Quiz here.  Current Leaderboard here.

1. Best Friends Forever by Jeniifer Weiner  2. Jericho Cay by Kathryn R Wall  3. The Outer Banks House by Diann Ducharme  4. The Beach Trees by Karen White  5. Now You See Her by Joy Fielding  6. On Hallowed Ground by John Lantigua  7. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri  8. The Fine Art of Insincerity by Angela Hunt  9. To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal 10. Delirious by Daniel Palmer