Maddie on Things by Theron Humphrey

Maddie on Things: A Super Serious Project About Dogs and PhysicsMaddie on Things. Finished 12-1-13, rating 3/5, photography, 160 pages, pub. 2013

Maddie is a sweet-tempered coonhound who accompanied her owner, Theron, on a yearlong, cross-country trip while he worked on a photojournalism project. In his spare time, Theron took photos of Maddie doing what she does best: standing on things. From bicycles to giant watermelons to horses to people, there really isn’t anything that Maddie won’t stand on with grace and patience. The poignant Instagram photos of this beautiful dog and her offbeat poses have captured the imagination of all those who long for a road trip with a good dog for company. Maddie on Things celebrates the strange talent of one special dog and will resonate with any dog lover who appreciates the quirky hearts (and extraordinary balance) of canines. 

from Goodreads

I saw this book as I was browsing the library and since I had 20 minutes until I had to go and pick up Gage I picked it up and read the Introduction.  This is the part that hooked me…

I would go into the world, traverse all 50 states in 365 days, and meet one person a day, every day.  I wanted to give them a small gift.  I wanted to share that experience I had then I photographed my grandfather and recorded his voice and his stories for the last time.  I wanted to connect with folks and learn to love my neighbors.  To celebrate all of the moments in between, the moments that aren’t graduations and celebrations, all of those mundane everyday moments that really make up a life.

page 2

Yes, he went on to mention that he would be taking his adorable rescue dog, Maddie, but I thought that the book would be about the other stuff he talked about.  It wasn’t.  It’s 300+ cute images of his beloved coonhound in some of the most creative places and poses you can imagine.  Here are a few random pages.

IMG_4625IMG_4626IMG_4627

It was a cute book, but there was no introspection or even people.  It is a love letter to his dog and I can appreciate that.  Only I wanted people and the journey.  When I looked it up online it looks like he has the people he met on his website if you are interested. I clicked on a few and it was fun.

If you have a dog lover in your life I’m sure they would love this.  They (and you) will be amazed at what Maddie can do.  Remember that Maddie is a professional and try not to injure your own dog by trying some of these things 🙂

We have a QUIZ WINNER!

For this last round of 2013 we have a winner and its….

Hannah!!!  (Word Lily)

Congratulations on a well played quiz season 🙂  You have won a $27 gift card to Barnes & Noble just in time for some holiday shopping 🙂

And Gage did choose a winner from the rest of the participants and I took a picture, but you can’t see who he chose from the pic. Oh well, next time I’ll be a better photographer.  The winner of the special prize from me is….

Ali (worducopia)

A gift will soon be on its way 🙂

I want to thank you all for playing along with me.  I hope to do some new things with the quizzes in 2014 so you might as well get really excited now.  They’ll be back on Tuesdays sometime in January.

Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet, #1)Just Like Heaven. Finished 10-15-13, rating 3.75/5 stars, romance, 374 pages, pub. 2011

Smythe -Smith Quartet #1

Honoria Smythe-Smith is:
A) a really bad violinist
B) still miffed at being nicknamed “Bug” as a child
C) not in love with her older brother’s best friend
D) all of the above

Marcus Holroyd is:
A) the Earl of Chatteris
B) regrettably prone to sprained ankles
C) not in love with his best friend’s younger sister
D) all of the above

Together they:
A) eat quite a bit of chocolate cake
B) survive a deadly fever and the world’s worst musical performance
C) fall quite desperately in love

from Goodreads

I love the cover of this book, don’y you?  Makes me want to buy a white dress just so I can wear killer red heels.  I read this on my Nook so, unfortunately, I don’t get to admire it on my shelves.

This was a very fun, light romance.  I wasn’t sure about Honoria at first, but her devotion to family and tradition won me over and provided more than a few chuckles.  Marcus, the Earl of Chatteris, was easy to feel a warm spot for because of his lack of family and the way he truly appreciated the Smythe-Smith clan.  The two grew up together , but it wasn’t until Honoria’s ill-conceived plan with a shovel that the two realized there was love there.  The story didn’t linger and always felt fresh.

This was a very enjoyable first read of Julia Quinn’s work and I know I’ll read more.  I love historical romances and this is the perfect time of year for light and happy reading.

 

The Never List by Koethi Zan w/audio giveaway

The Never ListThe Never List. Finished 10-18-13, rating 3.5/5, thriller, pub. 2013

Unabridged audio read by Kristen Sieh.  8.5 hours.

For years, best friends Sarah and Jennifer kept what they called the “Never List”: a list of actions to be avoided, for safety’s sake, at all costs. But one night, against their best instincts, they accept a cab ride with grave, everlasting consequences. For the next three years, they are held captive with two other girls in a dungeon-like cellar by a connoisseur of sadism.

Ten years later, at thirty-one, Sarah is still struggling to resume a normal life, living as a virtual recluse under a new name, unable to come to grips with the fact that Jennifer didn’t make it out of that cellar. Now, her abductor is up for parole and Sarah can no longer ignore the twisted letters he sends from jail.

Finally, Sarah decides to confront her phobias and the other survivors—who hold their own deep grudges against her. When she goes on a cross-country chase that takes her into the perverse world of BDSM, secret cults, and the arcane study of torture, she begins unraveling a mystery more horrifying than even she could have imagined.  

from goodreads

Living in Cleveland, this storyline reminded me of  Cleveland’s own horrific abduction and torture reality and even though it isn’t the type of plot I usually enjoy I thought I’d give it a try.  Jason and I listened to the audio on our road trip in October and we both thought it was eh or good depending on who or when you asked.  Around the halfway point we considered bailing because we just weren’t all that invested in it.  The story, while fast-paced and well written, was improbable and mired in the world of BDSM.  There were lots of things I didn’t like about it and when we were done I felt like I needed to take a shower to get clean from all of the depravity, but it was interesting and not like anything else I’ve read.  I’d read more from this debut author but not a sequel if that what she’s working on.

For the giveaway-BermudaOnion sent me her audio copy and I’d love to continue the goodwill and pass it on to one of you.  Just leave a comment and tell me you want it.  I’ll have Gage draw a winner next Thursday (12/12).  Open internationally.

Almost Always by Bobbi Reed – my Mom stops by for a review

Almost AlwaysAlmost Always. Published in 2012, 320 pages

When Bobbi contacted me in October and asked me to read her book I said yes right away.  She is a fellow buckeye and the cover was too cute to resist.  As I took it with me on our Thanksgiving trip home I realized that I might not get this read much before Christmas so I asked my Mom if she would read it and post a few thoughts.  She said yes 🙂  I hope to read it soon, especially since my mom loved it so much.  Thanks, Mom!

Here’s the way Eva sees it: if John is so concerned about her butting into strangers’ lives, he shouldn’t leave her sitting at a table in Bob Evans with nothing to occupy her time . . .

Enter Cecelia-a pregnant teenager who needs a family for her baby.  Fate has placed her at the table behind Eva and John.

Now Eva has a chance-a chance to give her daughter, Shelly, the one thing Shelly desperately wants.

But nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

Because sometimes daughters are not born to us-they are gifted by desperate teenagers-or seated behind us at Bob Evans . . .

Mom’s take…

Eva is a kind-hearted meddler who does her best to influence others to make the same choices she would make.  She tries to orchestrate things to fit her idea of a perfect outcome.  It is entertaining to see how this personality trait plays out in Eva’s interactions with her family and friends.  In the process of trying to fix up others’ lives, she makes a few mistakes.

This book encompasses so much more than Eva trying to find a baby for her daughter.  She longs for the ‘Mommy days’ when she was the most important person in the world and could make her children happy.

I was easily drawn to the characters and the story line.   Everyone can find some things to relate to in the book that will make you laugh and cry.

This was a great read that I couldn’t put down.  I loved it and highly recommend it.

Actors Lost in 2013 Quiz – guessing closed

With the death of Paul Walker over the weekend, I thought for this possibly last quiz of the year I’d have you remember the other actors that were lost this year.  I’m giving you their names I want you to put them in order of their age at death.  This would be an easy one to cheat one, RESIST the temptation 🙂  Leaderboard here.

Paul Walker (famous for Fast & Furious movies), Cory Monteith (played the popular Finn on television’s Glee), James Gandolfini (made his mark as The Sopranos mob boss), Annette Funicello (of Mickey Mouse Club fame), Jean Stapleton (the long suffering Edith Bunker on All in the Family), Jonathan Winters (a comedian who I’ll always remember as baby Mearth on TV’s Mork and Mindy), Dennis Farina (was in lots of films, but also spent a few years as a detective Law & Order), Eileen Brennan (this funny actress got around but I loved her as Goldie Hawn’s foil in Private Benjamin), Esther Williams (known as the Million Dollar Mermaid), Lee Thompson Young (first role on Disney’s The Famous Jett Jackson his last role as Rizzoli’s partner on TNTs Rizzoli & Isles)

29  Lee Thompson Young

31  Cory Monteith

40  Paul Walker

51  James Gandolfini

69  Dennis Farina

70  Annette Funicello

80  Eileen Brennan

87  Jonathan Winters

90  Jean Stapleton

91  Esther Williams

November 5 Word Movie Reviews & $ for Charity

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, it was busy around here.  Gage got his first haircut last week so I’ll have to post pics soon.

You know the drill, add your 5 words to mine and earn $1 for charity.  Once we get to $100 the person with the most reviews will choose the charity.  Click here to see the past winners, the charities they chose and to see the other reviews you can add to.  We’re getting close with $82 so far.  Anyone is welcome to join in at any time.

Catching-Fire poster.jpgThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire, 2013 (Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks)      Grade A

Total girl crush on Katniss!

*Squeee* no please don’t end :)  (Sheree)

 Heart-felt, action-packed, and Katniss rocks!  (Heather)

 Anything Jennifer Lawrence can’t do?  (Jill)

50 50 Poster.jpg50/50, 2011 (Cast-Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogan, Anna Kendrick, Angelica Houston, Bryce Dallas Howard)      Grade B+

Tears. Laughs. Cancer. Thoughtful. Real.

Ender's Game poster.jpgEnder’s Game, 2013 (Cast-Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin, Ben Kingsley)      Grade B

Good, but read the book.

The Family Tree Movie PosterThe Family Tree, 2011 (Cast-Hope Davis, Dermott Mulroney, Chi McBride, Max Thieriot, Britt Robertson)     Grade C-

Silly little movie with chuckles

Four Christmases-Movie Poster.PNGFour Christmases, 2008 (Cast-Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn, Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight, Mary Steenburgen)  Grade C-

A no chemistry romantic comedy.

Love anything with Vince Vaughn.  (Michelle)