Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

And the winner is…


Kathy has won a copy of Ethan Coen’s new poetry book, The Day the World Ends.¬† Mailing it out today ūüôā¬† Thanks to all who entered or participated in the quiz.

If you are interested in last week’s quiz where I used a few poems from the book you can check here later for the answers.

April 16, 2012 Posted by | FREE | 5 Comments

Sundays with Gage – Belly Buttons and Zippers

Gage loves belly buttons and zippers.¬† We thought it was¬†cute and encouraged his interest by letting him lift our shirts and push our belly buttons to make us laugh.¬† Same with zippers.¬† Why not let him try to zip up mom’s jacket?¬† Oh, the dark side of cute toddler obsession.¬† Several times now at My Gym or library storytimes Gage will go up (only to little girls) and try to unzip whatever they are wearing.¬† So far, none of them have been too happy about it.¬† The moms all laugh and tell Gage he’s going to have to wait a few years before the girls will like it.

Last Sunday my best friend from college and one-time Arlington, Virginia roommate and his family¬†stopped by for a visit on their way back home.¬† There wasn’t a zipper in sight, but when their daughter said hi Gage thought a proper greeting would be to lift up her shirt and look for her laugh button.¬† I didn’t capture it on film but you¬†can see from these pictures¬†that he really thinks they had something special.

He’s already working on his moves for the ladies ūüôā

April 15, 2012 Posted by | Gage | 15 Comments

Book vs. Movie- Carrie

I read the Stephen King novel¬†last year¬†(my review here) and I finally got around to seeing the movie.¬† I don’t remember particularly liking the book, but I thought it was worthwhile because of all of the pop references I now understand.¬† This was Stephen King’s first published book and first movie adaptation of his work.¬† He received a $2,500 advance for the novel¬†and $2,500 for the film rights.¬† Must have been a popular number.

King said of Carrie, “I’m not saying that Carrie is shit and I’m not repudiating it. She made me a star, but it was a young book by a young writer. In retrospect it reminds me of a cookie baked by a first grader ‚ÄĒ tasty enough, but kind of lumpy and burned on the bottom.”

The paperback sold over a million copies the first year it was released.  The movie made $33.8 million in 1976 when it came out.

On with the comparison…

The Story/ Plot¬† Carrie is an odd high school girl raised by her very religious mother.¬† Carrie has telekinetic powers and can move things¬†with her mind, when she’s upset it is unintentional.¬† She is an outcast at school and is ostracized even more after starting her period in the gym shower.¬† Sue feels guilty for her role in Carrie’s meltdown and offers up her popular boyfriend, Tommy, to take Carrie to prom.

There are many differences between the book and movie, but the idea remains the same.  Carrie has a crazy mother, can do crazy things with her mind, and goes completely crazy at the prom.

For me, the book’s documentary style telling, using interviews and police reports after the fact, was much more interesting than the straightforward way of the film.¬† Thumbs Up– Book

The Visual Although I preferred what actually happened in the book, the visual of the movie was cool to see and did a pretty good service to the novel.¬† It was like stepping back into the 1970’s.¬† I was completely distracted by Tommy’s hair every time he was in a scene. It was large and shiny and blonde.¬† And the shower scene totally worked on film (although having girls frolic and chat while naked was not my high school gym experience).¬† The actual prom scene was cool, but I was expecting more.¬† Thumbs Up- Tie

Characters vs. Actors¬†¬†I did not really connect with Carrie in the book, but in the movie I was able to see her in a more positive light thanks to Sissy Spacek.¬† She saved the character for me.¬† I was a little miffed at what they did to the character of Sue in the movie, but actress Amy Irving can’t be held responsible for the screenplay.¬† Thumbs up – Movie

(SPOILERS) The Ending¬† The end of the book was a firestorm that brought down a town.¬† In the movie Carrie gets a little knock on the head and she’s dead.¬† There’s really no comparison.¬† I will give a shout out to the movie for its VERY different ending – I jumped and was a bit freaked out, so it’s not all bad.¬† Thumbs Up- Book

And the winner is… the book.¬† I’m not taking anything away from the movie but when compared side by side it was an easy call.

Now it’s your turn to vote

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on: (The Girl on the Train)  (Tuck Everlasting) (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (Still Alice) (The Blind Side) (The Fault in Our Stars) (The Hound of the Baskervilles) (Gone Girl) (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)

April 13, 2012 Posted by | Books vs. Movie | , , | 17 Comments

The Violets of March, by Sarah Jio

The Violets of March: A NovelFinished 4-7-12, rating 4.5/5, fiction, 293 pages, pub. 2011

The moving story told in its pages, of love and loss and acceptance, of secret passions and the weight of private thoughts, forever changed the way I viewed my own writing.  It may have been why I stopped writing.  Joel had never read the book, and I was glad of it.  It was too intimate to share.  It read to me like the pages of my unwritten diary.

Chapter 1

Emily, author of one bestselling novel years ago,¬†has just signed her divorce papers.¬† Not able to write and not sure what to do about it her best friend convinces her that a change of scenery will help, so Emily contacts her Aunt Bee on Bainbridge Island, Washington.¬† Once she’s back on the island where she spent the wonderful summers of her youth, she finds a hidden journal written by the mysterious¬†Esther, and Emily wonders if she is somehow connected to her family.¬† Totally immersed in Esther’s story and frustrated by her aunt’s refusal to talk about family secrets, Emily found the perfect way to forget about her divorce and the muse to start writing again.

The story in the journal parallels¬†current day Bainbridge Island and as Emily pieced together who was who I tried to keep up.¬† I admit I had some ideas, but did get a bit confused by the large cast.¬† I didn’t really care though, I was just happy to be along for the ride.¬† One of these days I hope I find¬†my way to Bainbridge Island.¬† The place felt magical.

I loved this book.¬† The writing was beautiful, there was such depth and beauty on every page.¬† The awesome writing coupled with the two addicting storylines make this one easy to recommend.¬† I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump (probably because I have so little time for it these days so I tend to choose shorter books) but this one had me reading well into my sleep time and that’s not something I give up lightly!

There are two things that kept this from being perfect for me.¬† I wish there could have been another chapter to wrap things up¬†a little more and I was surprised by how fast Emily recovered from her divorce.¬† She did not waste any time jumping back into the dating pool and seemed to think very little of her old life.¬† This¬†felt a bit odd, but I’ve not gone through a divorce so maybe it is that easy to forget (and I mean forget a week later).¬† Both of these¬†are minor complaints.

This is my favorite book this year, so far, and it was from my personal library.

Enter to win a copy of The Day the World Ends by Ethan Coen here.

April 11, 2012 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books | | 33 Comments

Ethan Coen Poetry Quiz – guessing closed

In honor of National Poetry Month this first quiz of round 2 features poetry from Ethan Coen’s new book The Day the World Ends (read yesterday’s post for details about the book).¬† I’m also giving away the copy they sent me so I could make this quiz.¬† All you have to do is guess at least¬†answer¬†on the quiz.¬† You don’t have to get any right to be entered ūüôā

You have until noon Sunday to submit your answers as a comment.  Comment will be hidden until I post the answers.  No Googling!

This round starts today and will last til August.  The person with the most points will win a B&N gift card (total $ based on # of total participants, so please play) and a randomly selected participant will win a fun prize from me.

Have fun and Good Luck!

Unscramble the words in these poems

1. Uh-huh, I¬†(LOVED) you once, it’s true,

And acted like the man that I

Believed you’d be attracted by-

And I myself (BELIEVED) the lie.

2. His (BRIEFCASE) was a lightish brown:

Its leather (TONGUE) would buckle down

3. A (HORSE) and (WAGON) bore you here:

We duly filed behind.

The day was dull, the winter drear,

Yet no one seemed to mind.

4. Eyes open to find-


Yes, (DARK).

And everything is still.

5. You rise

To dump a paw on either (SHOULDER),

And my (BODY) steadies as you let loll

Your great rough tongue.

6. They hurl their lightning bolts at me.

I duck- and dodge- and feint- and flee.

The great contend; the mighty (STRIVE);

The slippery, like me, (SURVIVE).

7. Who is this (NEWBORN),

Time will tell;

The old man (DYING)

We know well.

Leave a comment on yesterday’s post for another chance to win.

April 10, 2012 Posted by | Quizzes | 20 Comments

Have you seen…Giveaway

The Day the World Ends: PoemsEthan Coen’s new book of poems, The Day the World Ends?¬† It was released last week and I have a copy to give away.¬† I was offered the book for review, but honestly, I just don’t think I’d do it justice.¬† I am not a poetry lover.

Synopsis¬†From one of the most inventive and celebrated filmmakers of the twentieth century, and co-creator of such classics as Fargo, No Country for Old Men, and True Grit, a collection of poems that offers humor and insight into an artist who has always pushed the boundaries of his craft. Ethan Coen’s screenplays have surprised and delighted international audiences with their hilarious vision and bizarrely profound understanding of human nature. This eccentric genius is revealed again in The Day the World Ends, a remarkable range of poems that are as funny, ribald, provocative, raw, and often touching as the brilliant films that have made the Coen brothers cult legends.

But I did offer to use it in¬† quiz and give a copy to one lucky reader.¬† Why would I accept¬†a book of poetry if I’m not a fan?¬† Well, he is a¬†Coen brother who, along with his brother Joel, has written some of the best scripts.¬† You can thank Ethan and Joel for Raising Arizona, Fargo, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men, Burn After Reading, and 18 others.

Want to win a copy?¬† Leave a comment with an email address and then come back tomorrow to see how I used the poems for¬†a quiz and enter again.¬† I’ll draw a winner on Sunday, April 15th.

April 9, 2012 Posted by | FREE | | 7 Comments

Easter with Gage

The first thing Gage saw at the Easter egg hunt yesterday was Elmo.  He loves Elmo.










The jury is still out on the Easter Bunny.











Gage getting ready for the ‘hunt’







Gage collecting one of his 4 eggs.






Happy Easter!


April 8, 2012 Posted by | Gage | 23 Comments

Driven to Ink, by Karen E. Olson

Driven to Ink (Tattoo Shop Series #3)Finished 4-4-12, rating 4/5, mystery, 299 pages, pub. 2010

Third book in the Tattoo Shop mystery series (Book 1) (Book 2)

Brett, intrepid tattoo artist and shop owner, loans her car to Sylvia and Bernie so they can get married, the drive-through style only found in Las Vegas.¬† When Brett returns home and looks in the car she discovers a dead body in the trunk (I would normally say she was surprised to discover, but I don’t think she can be surprised by all the dead bodies she comes in contact with anymore).¬† Sylvia and Bernie are nowhere to be found and Jeff, Sylvia’s son and Brett’s tattoo nemesis turned friend, is worried enough to go looking for them.¬† When he can’t find them he takes Brett as his fake bride-to-be¬†to That’s Amore wedding chapel¬†to do a little digging.¬† What they find is that the singing Dean Martins appear to be dying off.¬† Brett sticks her nose where it doesn’t belong, again, and finds herself in a mess that forces her detective brother to babysit.

Is there anything more Vegas than competing drive-through wedding chapels, one side serenading Dean Martins and across the street singing Elvis’s?¬† I do love the setting for this series.¬† The Strip and it’s underbelly really does feel like a main¬†character.

Brett is just as strong and nosy as ever and I still admire her spunk.¬† The love interest that dumped her at the end of the last book is back and the spark is rekindled, only that doesn’t mean it will work out, there are other possibilites.

I loved the first of the series, really liked the second and liked this one.¬† The problem is it felt a little too similar to the other two for me to be blown away.¬† That’s not to say that I’m not eager for the next one, I am.¬† I find these books so fast and easy and entertaining that they are perfect for the limited time I have to read these days.

In my review of the last book I mentioned that I felt like Brett may be getting too many tattoos and the author, Karen E Olson stopped by and left this comment:

The Napoleon tattoo is near and dear to Brett’s heart, since the painting is by her favorite neoclassicist artist, Jaques Louis David. It’s a copy of the painting of him on his horse climbing the Alps. Look it up online. It’s very cool. Thanks much for the great review! I’m thrilled you’re loving my books!

So I looked it up and it is pretty cool.¬†Click here to see what Brett had tattooed on her leg.¬† I think that if I ever do dare to get a tatto I might start with something smaller, but then I’m not Brett Kavenaugh, who can obviously pull this off!

I checked this book out of he library.

April 5, 2012 Posted by | 4 Star Books | 11 Comments

2012 Round One Quiz WINNERS

Round One is officially over and we have a repeat winner…

Nise!! (Under the Boardwalk)

This is Nise’s¬†very impressive¬†5th win in 8 rounds!¬† ¬† You all need to study up to beat her, LOL!¬† This round there were 24 participants so she will be receiving a $24 gift card to Barnes & Noble.¬† Congratulations!

And now for my randomly chosen winner, or maybe I should say Gage’s randomly chosen winner…

Carol M!!

Carol will be receiving a special gift from me just for participating¬†ūüôā

Thank you both for playing along with me on Tuesdays and letting me get back to my teaching roots by making quizzes and grading them ūüôā

Sorry for the quality of the picture, someone was on his way to bed.

For those who read Gage’s April Fooling post the TRUE statement is that he rocks out to La Bamba.¬† He has a dog that dances and plays La Bamba when you push its foot.¬† A surefire way to turn a frown upside down around here¬†is to push the foot and dance around the room with complete abandon.¬† And that works for the adults too!

April 3, 2012 Posted by | Quizzes | 15 Comments

It all comes down to this

A Kansas win and I see Beauty & the Beast in 3D in my future.¬† If Kentucky wins I’m sure it’ll be 5 action flicks coming my way.

Let’s go Jayhawks ūüôā

(I’m only half kidding about Beauty in the Beast)

April 2, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments