Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

Weekends with Gage- A World of Colors

A World of Colors: Seeing Colors in a New WayGage has known his colors for a while, but when I saw this book at the library I thought he’d enjoy it. A World of Colors by Marie Houblon and published by National Geographic is one I can recommend enthusiastically to all kids from 2-5 or 6.  Let me start with the photos – they are gorgeous, interesting and international.  Each color has 4 pages and the text isn’t something the child will read by themselves, but the text makes this book interactive so it isn’t something they’d want to read by themselves anyway.  For each color it asks that you look around and find something that color and because of that it would be fun to go around the house reading it in different rooms.  Let me show you a few pages…

yellowpink

So sorry about the blurry pink page  but I’m including it so you can get an idea of the photos.  So after we read this I decided that tis might be a good way to start categorizing and practicing gluing abilities.  So I let Gage choose a color in the morning at breakfast and over the course of the day I collected things that he could attach to a piece of construction paper.  Next time we do something similar (and we will just with other categories) I’ll let him help with the scavenger hunt (but to be honest just the gluing part was all the time Gage wanted to spend on this activity, 5-10 minutes, so I’d break it up into two activities).

Today was our last day and we did green.  Here’s how it went down…

greenHis standard pose for the camera to start.

green 1I always think it’s fun to see what he’s going to choose first.  Today it was the grasshopper.

green 2This is so blurry because this mom doesn’t like to have her hands so far away from a 2 year old with glue.

green 3After the grasshopper is a small green craft stick. I did try to have a few tactile items for each color for more interest.

green 4Some days he would put everything I put out on there, other days he just chose a few.  Today he told me he was done and I told him he had to add 3 more things. He chose 3 dinosaur stickers.  When I asked him to point to his favorite thing he chose Kermit the frog.

green 5His final color collection.

I have a big plastic bin where I keep old torn up books and misc. craft supplies to use for projects just like this one.  The book was the inspiration for this activity. So much fun 🙂

September 29, 2013 Posted by | Gage, Kids Books | 16 Comments

What Color is Monday: How Autism Changed One Family For the Better by Carrie Cariello

What Color Is Monday?What Color is Monday? Finished 9-25-13, rating 4.5/5, autism, 216 pages, pub. 2013

This book was sent to me months ago, and I put it on my shelf and promptly forgot all about it.  Then I read The Spark and it sparked a memory in my brain that I’d agreed to read another book by a mother of an autistic son.  I appreciated this book so much more than The Spark so I’m glad I read it after or else it might have spoiled the first one completely.

Carrie is a mom to five kids aged 3-9 and wife to a dentist super dad.  In this fast paced and amazingly upbeat book, Carrie warmly and humorously lets the reader have an inside look at life with Jack, her second son, diagnosed with autism at two.  She stresses the positives but doesn’t shy away from the day to day drain it takes on her, her kids, and her marriage.  She is not trying to cure Jack, she is trying to make him the best he can be.  From meltdowns to triumphs this book is such joy to read.  As an only child and mother to an only child I wanted to jump right into her big and loving family.

Today 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys is diagnosed with autism.  This tells one story of autism and I think that if you have anyone in your life who has been diagnosed that you should read this book, it tells the story of so many families so well.  Do it as a favor to the mother and father but also as a favor to yourself.  I think you will find yourself entertained and enlightened.  It’s an easy read that will touch your heart and probably make you want to spend a day with the Cariello clan.

I should mention that this is not a how-to book on treatments or how to navigate therapies after a diagnosis.  This book is for you to read, smile, and nod your head in agreement.  She gets it.

This book was sent to me by the publicist.

September 26, 2013 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books | | 5 Comments

I’m Hungry Quiz – guessing closed

You just need to fill in the blanks of these titles.  The title of the quiz will help  🙂

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. 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.

1. Green Eggs & Ham

2. Like Water for Chocolate

3. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café

4.The Lemon Orchard

5. Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

6. Peaches for Father Frances

7. Benny & Shrimp

8. Playing for Pizza

9. The Bean Trees

10. Paris Trout

11. The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society

12. The Gingerbread Girl

13. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

14. The Long Quiche Goodbye

15. The Sugar Queen

16. The Proof is in the Pudding

Answers to last week’s Numbering Quiz here. Leaderboard here.

September 24, 2013 Posted by | Quizzes | , | 17 Comments

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty, loved it!

The Husband's SecretThe Husband’s Secret. Finished 9-16-13, rating 4.75/5, fiction, 395 pages, pub. 2011

I want to thank Kimberly Brock from She Reads for inviting me to be a part of this talented group of book bloggers.  This is the September choice and I loved it so much. If you are interested in winning a copy you can visit the She Reads review and leave a comment.

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read
My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died. . .

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . . Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

from the publisher

Perfect mom and wife, Cecilia, finds the letter in the beginning of the book but we don’t actually find out what’s in it until almost halfway through and that’s when this page-turner became difficult to put down. The beginning is us getting to know the three main women and their stories. As the uber-mom, I had a difficult time connecting with Cecilia (at least until the end when her emotions were the most heartfelt to me) because I don’t get that perfection. I find motherhood all kinds of messy! And she ASKED her husband if she could open it!  Either open it or not, but don’t ask. For the record, I may have held on to it for a few days but I believe that I ultimately would have opened the letter, but I can be a nosy so that’s to be expected.  The most interesting question isn’t whether you’d open it, but what you’d do after you read it.  It’s a toughie and one that begs to be discussed with others!

Tess and Rachel were the other alternating storylines that intersect more and more as the story picks up steam.  Tess just found out that her husband and best friend from birth were in love with each other. As she hightailed it back to Sydney with her son, Rachel, the school secretary whose own daughter was murdered as a teen, was there to enroll him in school.  I liked Tess’s story best probably because I understood her social awkwardness, as many of us can.

This story addressed so many aspects of a woman’s life: marriage, secrets, infidelity, friendship and motherhood.  Tess and Cecilia had different marriage problems, but both came down to secrets and how much we really keep from and know our spouse.  By the end it was Cecilia’s marriage that was the most fascinating and that’s all I can say about that without giving anything away. The epilogue was like nothing I’ve read before and it elevated the already great story.

I am lucky.  This is my first Moriarty book so I still have more to read from this talented author.  Do yourself a favor and pick this one up.

This book was sent to me by the publisher.

September 19, 2013 Posted by | 5 Star Books | | 34 Comments

Numbering Quiz – guessing closed

Since last week was challenging I thought I’d make it an easy matching quiz.  Just list the One-Ten titles. No googling (or goodreading!). That’s no fun 🙂

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. 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.

1. One                             E. Ready Player ____

2. Two                             C. The _____ Towers

3. Three                           I. ___ Junes

4. Four                             B. ____ Blondes

5. Five                            H. Slaughterhouse-___

6. Six                               G. Rainbow ___

7. Seven                         F. ____ Up

8. Eight                             J. ___ Cousins

9. Nine                            A. ____ Dragons

10. Ten                           D. ____ Little Indians

Answers to last week’s Won quiz here.  Leaderboard here.

September 17, 2013 Posted by | Quizzes | | 14 Comments

Saturday Snapshot-first full week of preschool status

Gage went to school 5 mornings this week for 2.5 hours each day. I don’t get a lot of conversation and what I do get takes so much effort I’m usually tired by the end. He has no problem telling you things that he wants you to know, but is less interested in whatever question I may have. I think this may be a boy thing. Anyway, on Wednesday I had to pick him up early from the city school to take him to orientation for the Jewish school. There was nobody in his room, but I did take notice of this…
IMG_3528

Hmm.  Think I should be worried?

It was also picture day on Tuesday so I’m  excited/scared to see what those look like.  This is the one I took when he got home…

school

So, first full week done and he’s still enrolled at both schools 🙂

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy.  It’s easy to participate – just post a picture that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Melinda’s site.

September 14, 2013 Posted by | Gage, Photos | 17 Comments

Book and movie favorites via postcards

I’ve written a few posts about my little hobby with Postcrossing (details here and here if you want them) and I thought I’d give you an update. Since I started in November last year I’ve sent 79 postcards around the world (367,700 miles) and received 70 (332,568 miles). In the spring I added a request to my profile for the people sending me cards, asking them to add their favorite book or movie and, to date, 29 have added one or more favorites. I love receiving the postcards in the mail, but it’s extra fun when they share books and movies with me too! Here are the 29 that sent me titles

IMG_3530

I thought some of you might like to see some of the results by country.  The movie Cloud Atlas made the list twice (and the book once), and Stephen King and Haruki Murakami both show up twice. Danielle from the Netherlands hopes to be a writer someday and Nic from Great Britain is a children’s picture book editor.

The list (some countries have more than one contributor)

Australia
movie-Last Holiday

Belarus
book-Flowers for Algeron by Daniel Keyes
movie-1:1

China
book-author Haruki Murakami
movie-Titanic

Czech Republic
book-author Jenny Nowak, Fevre Dream by George RR Martin
movie-Cloud Atlas, The Host, My Sister’s Keeper, Woman in Black

Finland
book-Cider House Rules by John Irving, Looking for Alaska by John Green
movie-Dear John

Germany
book-Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Great Britain
book-Tess of d’Urbevilles by Thomas Hardy, His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman

Hong Kong
movie-Toy Story 3

Japan
book-Alive by Piers Paul Read

Ireland
movie-Finding Nemo

Lithuania
book-author Haruki Murakami
movie-director Tim Burton

Netherlands
book-The Shining by Stephen King, The Shack by William Paul Young, Beyond Sleep by Willem Frederik Hermans

Poland
book-Under the Dome by Stephen King

Portugal
book-The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maughan

Russia
book-Glue by Irovine Welsh
movie-The Devil Wears Prada, Cloud Atlas

Sweden
book-Harry Potter
movie-The Hunger Games

Taiwan

movie-Life of Pi

Turkey

book-The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton

Ukraine
book-The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, 50 Shades trilogy by EL James, author Jules Verne

USA
book-CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Life of Pi by Yann Martel
movie-Marathon Man, My Family & Other Animals, Sweet November, The Wizard of Oz, The Producers, Dr. Strangelove, Sound of Music, Fried Green Tomatoes, actor Tom Hanks, actress Meryl Streep, Pixar movies

If you are interested in sending and receiving postcards, visit www.postcrossing.com. It’s free!

September 12, 2013 Posted by | Postcrossing | | 13 Comments

Look at the books I’ve won Quiz

Over the last several months I’ve had the good fortune of winning many great books from fellow bloggers.  I am always happy when I find a book in the mailbox.   It’s the little things that make my day 🙂  Let’s see if you can guess what books have made their way into my home. If you want an extra point or two you can include the name of the author too.

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. 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.

Credit to the blogs where these books were so generously shared. Bermudaonion’s Weblog, Jenny Loves to Read, The Eclectic Reader, Amused by Books, Truly Madly Pink, Pop Culture Nerd, Redlady’s Reading Room, She Reads

won bookswon books 2

1.The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty  2.Swoon by Betsy Prioleau  3.Life After Life by Kate Atkinson  4.March by Sunni Overend  5.Someday,Someday,Maybe by Lauren Graham  6.The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice  7.The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan  8.The JM Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Society by Barbara J Zitwer  9.Anything But Sweet by Candis Terry  10. Web of Deceit by Katherine Howell

Last week’s After quiz here.  Leaderboard here.

September 10, 2013 Posted by | Quizzes | | 23 Comments

Still Life by Louise Penny

Still Life (Armand Gamache Series #1)Still Life. Finished 9-1-13, rating 4.5/5, mystery, 312 pages, pub. 2005

Book 1 in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series.

I made a small 2013 reading list based on other blogger’s best-of lists and whether I had the book or not (here). Still Life was on Staci’s 2012 list and I can see why.  I am really anxious to get my hands on the next one on the series. Thanks for the recommendation, Staci! I’m guessing this will end up one of my favorites of the year too.

Is this is a cozy mystery? Yes, but it’s one with that thing that makes it extra special.  To me, that means it never turns into classic caricatures following the same whodunit script.  The characters were real, even if some still have their secrets.  That can only be a good thing as the series continues.

Chief Inspector Gamache is a well-respected detected up in the Montreal area.  He is caring, thoughtful, patient, insightful, a bit of a rebel, a teacher and he gets the job done.  This was not his first case, he’s been around the block a few times and I loved that it felt like I was meeting a fully developed character, not just the bare bones version that sometimes happens in the first book of a new series.

The people of Three Pines are a varied collection of characters and I was fully invested in Jane  even though she died on the first page because of the way her friends saw her.  They loved her and that made me love her. I’m actually sad that she won’t be around for the next book!

It did take me a little while to get used to the writing style.  My eyes often had to drift back or forward to figure out who was talking, but once I got it I was hooked and I couldn’t put it down until I knew who had killed Jane.  And there were no shortage of suspects, even to the very end.

Highly recommend to every mystery lover.

This was from my own library.

September 5, 2013 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books | , | 16 Comments

After Quiz- guessing closed

I’ve read one Elmore Leonard book (Striptease and I really liked it) and was sad to see that he died.  I don’t know what will happen to the book he was writing when he passed, but there is a long line of books that are published after an author’s death.  Let’s see if you can guess them.

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. 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- this is for fun!

1. Maybe my favorite Jane Austen novel was published after her death. The one with that kick-ass love letter.  Persuasion

2. Another all-time fave of mine. This one was published in 1980, 11 years after the author’s suicide and it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.  A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

3. This Diary was published by Anne’s father after her death in a concentration camp.  The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

4. The Millenium Trilogy was published after this Swedish writer had a heart attack at 50.  Stieg Larsson

5. Which one Of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple mysteries was published after her death: Nemesis, The Moving Finger, or Sleeping Murder?  Sleeping Murder

6. Another author, E Lynn Harris, died of a heart attack in his 50’s (54). Which one of his books was NOT published after his death? Mama Dearest, Just As I Am, or In My Father’s House Just As I Am

7. The author of Roots was writing another historical book about his family when he died.  He asked someone to finish it and they did. The name of the book and/or author.  Queen by Alex Hailey

8. Tolkien wanted this published with the Lord of Rings, but the publisher decided no. It wasn’t published until 1977 when his son helped organize it.  The Silmarillion

9. Another author won the Pulitzer Prize after his death when his family published his autobiographical novel two years after his death in 1957.  A Death in the Family by James Agee

10. This prolific author had more than 700 novels published before her death 13 years ago.  It was just announced that her son will be releasing 160 more in The Pink Collection.  Who is this Dame?  Barbara Cartland

September 3, 2013 Posted by | Quizzes | | 15 Comments