Z is for Z Quiz

Blogging from A-Z

It’s the end of the month and we’re finally at Z.  Needless to say, I’m glad to see this month of every day blogging done.  For today’s quiz it’s all about the Z.  Good luck.

 I hope that you’ll try your hand at my (mostly) bookish quizzes every week, but it’s okay if you just want to play when the quiz interests you.  If you play you are eligible for a prize at the end of the round (sometime in June).  For all of the details, click here.  Submit your answers in the comment section – I will stop by and hide them throughout the week but try not to copy off anyone else :)   You have til Sunday to guess.

No need to know all the answers, one guess and you’ll be eligible for a prize.  No Googling:)

1. This Timothy writes sci-fi novels, notably in the Star Wars series.  What’s his last name?  (I’ll give you and hint-it starts with Z) Timothy Zahn

2. This Aussie’s most popular book is about a Thief.  Marcus Zusak

3. Zadie Smith(from Goodreads profile)  Zadie Smith

4.Carlos Ruiz Zafón(from Goodreads profile)  Carlos Ruiz Zafon

5. This Frenchman died in 1902. (signature from Wikipedia)  Emile Zola

6. This Cleveland native won numerous Nebula and Hugo awards.  Best known for the Chronicles of Amber series.  Roger Zelazny

7. I loved his book about the Pigman!  Paul Zindel

Can you unscramble these author names (the z’s might not be at the beginning)

8. GME ZTERWOLI  Meg Wolitzer

9. SHOJ ZALEBL  Josh Bazell

10. DANE ZOOTNK  Dean Koontz

Answer’s to last week’s Trilogy quiz here.  Leaderboard here.

Y is for Fave Film #63 – Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

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Yankee Doodle Dandy

Cast-James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, Richard Whorf

Oscar winner for Best Lead Actor (Cagney), Best Music, Best Sound Recording

A biopic film of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer and singer George M. Cohan, from his start in his family’s vaudeville act to his success on Broadway.  A true American success story.

Why I love it- I love musicals and I love Broadway so this movie is a perfect fit for me.  The choreography and music of the stage shows is based on the original Cohan productions and are showstoppers.  It feels like getting a behind the scenes looks at a way of life few get to experience and knowing Cohan was a real person makes it all that more enjoyable.

The music and story will make you feel proud to be an American without that theme seeming heavy-handed.  This is the story of America before and during the two World Wars and patriotism is inherent to the time.

This is the only movie I’ve ever seen James Cagney in and I’ve read it’s considered his best.  A few fun trivia facts for those who have seen the movie (or plan to), the woman who played his sister was really his sister and the woman who played his mother was actually 12 years younger than him.

This is on the AFI Best 100 movie list which is why I first saw it.  Both Jason and I were surprised at how much we liked it.  There’s singing and dancing, laugh-out-loud moments and tearful goodbyes.  The time in history makes this story of the American dream shine.


Check out the rest of my 100 favorite movies.

Read-a-thon Cover Me mini-challenge – RESULTS AND WINNER POSTED

Are you all still awake?  You can do it!  Take a break and have some fun. I think all of these colorful covers will perk up those tired eyes!

At Oscar time I asked my readers to vote on their own Bookish Ballots for 2012. I thought I’d let you do the same for 2013 so far.

There are two ways to participate-1 Vote for your favorite in each category by leaving a comment (when challenge is over come back and I’ll have them tallied up)  2. Post your own winners in said categories and leave a link in the comment section.  I encourage you to do both!  If you do you’ll be entered twice for the prize 🙂  Wanna know what you’re playing for?  Fun! Oh, and a $10 B&N gift card plus some cute paper and pens.  You’ll be entered by voting and/or by doing your own post.

Cast your votes and I’ll tally the votes and randomly choose a winner when the challenge is over.

The Results Are In!  I’ve listed them in the order they placed after 43 votes were tallied and the actual numbers are listed after. 

And the randomly chosen winner is Alison Doherty (Hardcovers & Heroines)!  Congratulations 🙂

1. Best Title

Let's Explore Diabetes with OwlsBlue-Ribbon Jalapeno Society JubileeYaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your AssThe Proper Words for SinHow to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel(23,9,6,3,0)

2. Best Dressed

The EliteHattie Ever AfterNameless: A Tale of Beauty and MadnessThe Aviator's WifeThe Smart One(19,12,6,3,1)

3. Cutest Couple

Jane Austen, Game TheoristWithout a SummerMy Mother's WarsThe Homicide Hustle (Ballroom Dance Mystery Series #3)Star Crossed(10,9,8,7,7)

4. Most Delicious Cover

Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie's KitchenBake It Like You Mean It: Gorgeous Cakes from Inside OutCooking with Flowers: Sweet and Savory Recipes with Rose Petals, Lilacs, Lavender, and Other Edible FlowersSuperfood Smoothies: 100 Delicious, Energizing & Nutrient-dense RecipesNo Bake Makery: More Than 80 Two-Bite Treats Made with Lovin', Not an Oven(15,14,4,4,4)

5. Cutest Animal

A Little Book of SlothThe Secret of Happy Ever AfterLove Saves the DayThe Patron Saint of Lost Dogs: A NovelObjects of My Affection: A Novel(23,9,4,4,1)

6. Cutest Kid

I'll Take What She Has: A NovelFrom the Kitchen of Half TruthGarden of StonesScenes from Early Life: A NovelThe Real Mother(18,11,7,3,2)

7. Best to Avoid in a Dark Alley

In Search of Goliathus HerculesA Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady TrentDark TriumphCrisis Diplomacy (Super Bolan Series #157)Firebrand(19,10,10,1,0)

8. Best Tattoo

Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo, Third EditionWalking Disaster: A NovelMaya's Notebook: A NovelPrince of PowerImmortal Craving(16,11,8,3,3)

9. Best Cover

Fly AwayHysteriaThe DinnerThe Last CamelliaThe House at the End of Hope Street: A Novel

AngelopolisThe Mermaid of Brooklyn: A NovelEvidence of LifeThe Carriage House: A NovelGulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal(9,8,5,4,4,4,3,3,1,0)

X is for eXtremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011)

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Extremely loud and incredibly close film poster.jpgThis movie was so emotional and it broke my heart more than once.  Oskar Schell, a boy who has problems dealing with other people, loses his father in the attacks of 9/11.  Through a series of flashbacks we see the close relationship he had with his father and how his father worked hard to get Oskar to overcome his discomfort with strangers by planning a series of scavenger hunts around New York City.  After 9/11 his relationship with his mother deteriorates but he does become closer to his grandmother who lives across the street.  On the one year anniversary , Oskar finds a key and the name Black marked on an envelope in his Dad’s untouched closet.  So begins his quest to find the Black that can help him find what the key opens.

When I saw all of the reviews for this book and movie I thought that it would be too emotionally heart wrenching for me and I was right.  I knew Jason would like it, so we watched it over a few nights and we were blown away by the story and the actor who played Oskar.  Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock were great in their roles, but Oskar was the movie.  This was Thomas Horn’s first acting role and I am surprised that he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar.

The critic’s didn’t like this one very much although it did get nomitated for a Best Picture Oscar.  It makes an obvious attempt to play on your emotions, at times I found it hard to watch Oskar, but I think it is successful. Some movies that try to manipulate your emotions aren’t as smart or have the edge this one has.  It is a drama wrapped in tears and achievement.  When Oskar finally finds the Black who could help him I was devastated for him.

Since this is Autism Awareness Month I should note that Jason and I both thought Oskar had Asperger’s, a condition on the autism spectrum, so I did a little digging after the movie.  The author of the book, Jonathan Safran Foer, says that he did not think of Oskar that way when writing the book.  The director of the film, Stephen Daldry, says Oskar is “a special child who is somewhere on the autistic spectrum, trying to find his own logic – trying to make sense of something that literally doesn’t make sense to him.”  So I do wonder what those of you who read the book and saw the movie thought. Did you think Oskar was portrayed differently in both?  I am sure now that I’ve seen the movie that I am not going to read the book and I want to know what you think.

W is for World Book Night

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April 23 is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, as well as Shakespeare’s birthday. It was also chosen in honor of Miguel de Cervantes, who died on April 23, 1616 (the same day as Shakespeare). In the Catalan region of Spain, the day is celebrated by giving a book and a flower to a loved one.

World Book Night was the product of a round table discussion at London’s Book Industry Conference in May 2010, the purpose of which was to imagine a way to encourage more adults to read. What better way to spread a love for reading than to inspire passionate readers to go out into their communities and share copies of their favorite books with those who don’t regularly read? Giving is an incredibly powerful part of our culture—and culture, art, and a writers’ talent are all themselves ‘gifts’.

World Book Night was first celebrated in the UK and Ireland in 2011; in 2012, it was also celebrated in the USA and Germany.

 On April 23,  25,000 passionate volunteers across America gave a total of half a million books within their communities to those who don’t regularly read. In 2012, World Book Night was celebrated in the U.S., the UK, Ireland, and Germany and saw over 80,000 people gift more than 2.5 million books.

from World Book Night

I was honored and excited to participate for the second year in a row.  Last year I was able to pass out one of my favorite books, The Glass Castle, but this year was tougher for me since there wasn’t a favorite being offered.  I’d read 5 of the choices but wasn’t wowed by any of them.  I settled on the Tina Fey memoir, Bossypants.  My pick-up location was my old stomping grounds, the Bainbridge Library.  They asked the 3 of us Givers to come at the same time and gave us a nice bag of goodies-Panera cookies, chocolate, and a cute Yankee candle.  Needless to say, the treats did not last til April 23 🙂  One of the other women wanted to trade some books and I did.  It’s a good idea, BUT I hadn’t read her book and that made it hard for me to pass out.  It looked like a very nice book, Population:485,  but I won’t trade again unless I’ve read it.

On Tuesday, a friend who considers herself a light reader got a book, as did the dog walker we see when Gage and I take afternoon walks.  She was not a Tina fan so she chose the other one.  Then I went to the Cleveland Clinic Health Center in our city and passed out the rest, mostly to people who worked there, but I did give to the expectant moms waiting to see the doctor, telling them to read while they had the chance 🙂  I also got to meet a 3 day old baby.  Seriously, you forget how small they are.  I thought for sure he was a preemie and tiny, but no, he was a healthy 7.8 pounds and the sweetest thing.

If you didn’t participate, there is always next year!


V is for Victors

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I know I said I was going to draw winners on the 26th, but I think the entries have stopped coming in and I want to talk about World Book Night tomorrow.  Jen, who won my contest this month, chose to receive Coming to Terms by William Safire from my stacks.  Here are the other Victors…023I’ll be in touch 🙂

U is for The Uncommon Reader

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The Uncommon Reader: A NovellaThe Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. Finished 4-22-13, rating 5/5, novella, 120 pages, pub. 2007

My to-read list is small this year.  I started with only 9 books and this is the fourth I’ve read so far.  It made my list because Carol (Carol’s Notebook) had it on her end of 2012 survey as having the greatest impact, and it was even a reread!  So I need to thank Carol because this is my favorite book so far this year – thanks 🙂

What she was finding also was how one book led to another, doors kept opening wherever she turned and the days weren’t long enough for the reading she wanted to do. (p.21)

The Queen is out with her dogs one day when she discovers the bookmobile parked by the palace.  So begins her discovery of the joys of reading for pleasure.  Always one to take her duties seriously, reading somehow begins to creep into her schedule, making her mundane duties most unpleasant since she must leave her book behind.  And as the staff becomes more put-off by the reading, the Queen takes a hard look at her obsession.  She is a doer, and ultimately, a choice must be made.

Had she been asked if reading had enriched her life she would have had to say yes, undoubtedly, though adding with equal certainty, that it had at the same time drained her life of all purpose.  Once she had been a self-assured single-minded woman knowing where her duty lay and intent on doing it for as long as she was able.  Now all too often she was in two minds.  Reading was not doing, and that had always been the trouble.  And old though she was, she was still a doer.

She switched the light on again and reached for her notebook and wrote: ‘You don’t put your life into  your books.  You find it there.’  (p.100-101)

This delightful story enticed me with its lightness, but captured me with its unabashed love of reading books.  As the Queen notes, reading is a generally solitary pursuit and many of her thoughts on this stuck with me, especially as I was passing out books to strangers for World Book Night.  Thankfully, we can and do find ways to connect through reading.  This will make you take a look at your own reading life, and most likely, you’ll identify with the Queen’s discovery of the new worlds books open and her eagerness to share what she’s read.  I don’t think the general public is as unread as this author seems to think, but maybe they are and I just don’t want to see it.

This is a must read for all book lovers. I plan on gifting this lovely novella to the readers in my life.  I had this one on my shelves (and waited way too long to read it).

T is for Trilogy Quiz – guessing closed

Blogging from A-Z

Oh, the trilogy.  They seem to me everywhere these days.  Let’s see if you can put these trilogies in the correct order.  (You don’t need the whole title, just enough so I know what you mean)

I hope that you’ll try your hand at my (mostly) bookish quizzes every week, but it’s okay if you just want to play when the quiz interests you.  If you play you are eligible for a prize at the end of the round (sometime in June).  For all of the details, click here.  Submit your answers in the comment section – I will stop by and hide them throughout the week but try not to copy off anyone else :)   You have til Sunday to guess.

No need to know all the answers, one guess and you’ll be eligible for a prize.  No Googling:)

1. Stieg Larsson, author

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked Hornet’s Nest

2. Cormac McCarthy

All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, Cities of the Plain

3. Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass

4. Jennifer Donnelly

The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose, The Wild Rose

5. Tom Rob Smith

Child 44, The Secret Speech, Agent 6

6. Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay

7. William Gibson

Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive

8. Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, Monsters and Men,

9. Kate Mosse

Labyrinth, Sepulchre, Citadel

10. Ally Condie

Matched, Crossed, Reached

Last week’s Name Game quiz here.  Leaderboard here.

S is for Sold on You by Sophia Knightly

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Sold on YouSold on You. Finished on 4-5-13, rating 3/5, romance, pub 2012

Straight-laced social worker Gabriella agreed to let herself be auctioned off for a fundraiser that would benefit her home for teen mothers and their babies.  Who knew that underneath those oversized clothes there was a rockin’ body that would make men, especially Dr. Marcus Calderon, see her in a new, white-hot light?  He paid a hefty price, but he also needed to convince her to be his fiance when his grandmother came to town that weekend.  He needed a conservative Latina impress the grandmother he so loved.  What he didn’t expect was that prickly Gabriella would hit it off with his abuela and that suddenly being engaged didn’t feel so bad.

An easy, breezy novella with a pretty good story and likeable characters (except when they weren’t supposed to be).  A few times I rolled my eyes at the clichés (a serious, conservative dresser has a world-class collection of sexy lingerie?  How shocking) but overall I thought it was a fun, light read.  I liked that Marcus loved his grandmother so much and she was a hoot.  And who doesn’t love the idea of a decent woman, working hard to make the world a better place, finding her sexy doc and living happily ever after?

I picked  this one up on my Nook.