I turned 8 yesterday! And, yes, I’m giving books away.

IMG_5011This is the advent book tree I made for Gage this year and has nothing to do with my blogiversary, but I think it looks bookish and festive!  I don’t have any big insights to share of my eight years posting here.  According to my stats, this is my 1961st post!  Wow.  I had no idea how fulfilling and time-consuming blogging would be when I started and the years have flown by.  Seriously, it does seem like a throwaway to say that, but when I look at how long I’ve known some of you I can hardly believe it.

I usually give away something to mark the occasion and this year is no different.  My two favorite books that first year were

fpoStephen King’s On Writing.  This is what I said,  I loved this book.  I loved the mix of humor, truth, detail, and brevity.  I have been charmed by a horror writer and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

fpoOrson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. This is what I said, I loved this book.  It was psychological, political, philosophical and just plain fun. 

I’m going to give them both away.  Just leave me a comment and tell me which one (you can say both) you want.  I’ll draw names at the end of the month.  Open internationally.

If you’ve already read these and want me to send them to a friend if you win that’s okay too.  Thanks for supporting my blogging habit over the years!  It’s only because of the friends I’ve made that I’ve made it this long 🙂

 

Writers Lost in 2015 – guessing closed

This is always my first quiz of the year.  Let’s see if you can figure out what authors passed on last year.  Sorry I’m late!

Leave your guesses in a comment.  Good luck!

No Googling or looking at other commenter answers.  Yes, we’re going by the honor system 🙂  Play every week or just one time, you are always welcome 🙂  It only takes once to be eligible for a prize. 

  1. She has a famous sister and is famous in her own right, all of her 32 novels made it on the NYT Bestseller list. She died of breast cancer in September at the age of 77.
Jackie Collins
  1. This American writer of historical fiction won numerous awards for his writing.  I remember reading Ragtime, one of his 12 novels, in college. He died last July at the age of 84.

EL Doctorow

  1. This queen of true crime worked alongside Ted Bundy without knowing he was a serial killer and wrote a book about him.  She died in July at 83.

Ann Rule

  1. Richard Chamberlain and Barbara Stanwyck starred in the 1983 mini-series based on this Aussie’s best known novel.  She died last January at the age of 77.

Colleen McCullough

  1. Call him Sir.  This English fantasy author is best known for his series that consisted of 41 books, the last one being published last year 5 months after his death at the age of 66.

Terry Pratchett

  1. A Baroness who sat in the House of Lords isn’t who you might expect to write psychological murder mysteries.  She died last May at the age of 85 after suffering a stroke.

Ruth Rendell

  1. Considered by some an American West author, this novelist did set many of his 17 books in and around his native Montana.  During his 8 years suffering with multiple myeloma, he wrote his final 4 books. He passed away in April at the age of 75.

Ivan Doig

  1. This lawyer successfully prosecuted Charles Manson and later turned to writing, most notably Helter Skelter. He died of cancer last summer at the age of 80.

Vincent Bugliosi

  1. The 1990 movie Awakenings was based on the book he wrote about his work.  He died last August at the age of 82.

Oliver Sachs

  1. A two-time Pulitzer nominee and 5 time National Book Award nominee which he won in 1975 for Dog Soldiers.  He died last January at the age of 77.

Robert Stone

A year of firsts and a look at BG (Before Gage)

I joined Instagram.  Why would I join yet another time-sucking social media site (I mean really, when does it stop?)?? Well, I was thinking of taking one photo to capture the day for a whole year and then I joined and wanted a bit more focus.  So, it’s my goal to capture a year of firsts. Everyday.  It’ll be a challenge for sure.  You can follow me if you click on my link on the sidebar.

Now onto my other project for the year, one inspired by Kay’s Bookish Nostalgia.  I love her glimpses into her reading past and have been thinking of a way I could steal the idea but make it my own 😉  I think I have it.  I am 5+ year mother.  Due to many things (stay-at-home mom to a kid with medical mysteries and special dietary needs being the biggest one) I remember carefree reading and blogging days from afar.  So, I decided to choose the year Gage was born and revisit it every month.  If January is any indication, I think this will inspire me.

I loved looking back at January 2010, I was such an active blogger! I posted 30 days. That’s right, 30 out of 31 days. I went back and read them all and, if you don’t mind me saying, they were all pretty good.  I had just finished 2009 by reading 130 books and thought this might continue, lol.  I was giving away books monthly, posting quizzes, joining challenges.  I was also getting pregnant, but I didn’t know that yet.  I attended two author events (Beth Hoffman, Tracy Chevalier) and posted two author interviews (Beth Hoffman, Shirley Tallman). I would love to do more author interviews, but probably not this year, unfortunately, they took a lot of time.  I read Garden Spells and fell in love with all thinks Sarah Addison Allen.

My favorite picture from January 2010

b hoffman 009Bonnie (Redlady’s Reading Room), bestselling author Beth Hoffman and me.

Tonight  I met Bonnie from Redlady’s Reading Room for the first time.  We only live about 20 minutes from each other and we decided to get together and meet Beth Hoffman, author of Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt.  Bonnie is a fellow Ohio State grad and we had a lot of fun chatting before we headed to the library for the book discussion and signing.  I have exchanged a few emails with Beth and knew that she was sweet.  However, I think she was even sweeter in person!  She was full of charm and warmth and if you have the chance to meet her on her book tour, take the opportunity!  (tour locales here)  She was truly inspirational. 

I should note that before her discussion she talked to Bonnie and when Bonnie introduced me, Beth said, “Oh, Stacy,  Max’s Mom!”  Well, let’s be honest, I was floored that she remembered to mention him.  How cool is that?! 

Favorite PostMy Reread Project.  I’m not sure why I stopped doing this, but am ready to try again.

…What does this have to do with rereading books?  Well,  what I get out of a book is based on many things, not the least of which is what was going on in my life when I read it.  So, maybe if I read it five years later and I’m happier, sadder, more stressed out, whatever, I might have a completely different opinion of the book.  So, last year I decided to commit to rereading at least one book from my Favorite Books list every year.  Yes, if I only read one a year it will take me 100 years, so it is obviously not a perfect plan, but quite a few of the books on the list I have read more than once already….

Favorite BookSaving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman.  I continue to love and recommend this book!

…Okay, first book of the year and the one I’ll be judging others by since I’m giving it 5 stars.  This book made me cry and laugh and left me with a smile on my face, not something that happens very often.  CeeCee was a charming girl who had led a hard life to date and my heart broke for her.  I loved her and her mistakes were both funny and important, reminding me that she was still just a girl no matter how grown up she sometimes seemed…

Favorite new movie  Avatar 3D.  But I did also post about one of my all-time faves – Pride and Prejudice, the mini-series with Colin Firth.

Why I love it Um, Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.  I know there are lots of other great reasons to love this movie, but if you take Colin Firth out of the picture, this is no favorite!  I thought Jennifer Ehle was a great Lizzie.  She had warmth, sparkle, and a quick wit.  The rest of her family was suitably annoying and ridiculous, but in a good way.

Now that I’ve read the book I can truly appreciate how closely this follows Austen classic.  The sets were perfectly lovely and not Hollywood in any way.  There were added scenes to let us see a bit more of Mr. Darcy and that made it easier for me to see him apart from only the times Elizabeth saw him, as was the case in the novel.

Well, the reason I’m reviewing this now is because Jason really, really loves me.  We watched an hour a night for a week.  It was so much fun introducing Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth to him.  He really didn’t get Mr. Darcy’s appeal, especially for the first half of the movie.  I kept telling him it was Colin Firth and that’s all he needed to know, but he still wasn’t convinced.  And I’m still waiting for him to come home with a 5 hour miniseries about the history of the stock market or 100 years of Michigan State basketball.

If you were blogging in January 2010, why not leave a link to your favorite post? I’d be happy to post it here and then we’d all be taking a trip down memory lane?


Nise from Under the Boardwalk chose this post as her favorite.  I looked over my posts of January 2010 and was tickled to see one about book shelves. Only one of the shelves has remained – I stack my library books on the steps in the order of their due date!  

 JoAnn from Lakeside Musing chose this post as her favorite.  After three attempts spaced over 25 years, I’ve finally managed to finish a Virginia Woolf novel. And not only did I finish it, I liked it. I really liked it…

 

 

 

First Book of 2016

Welcome to 2016, friends!  My only new blogging goal right now is a new look for the blog so be on the lookout 🙂1st aI couldn’t resist joining Sheila this year in celebrating the first book I’m going to read this year.  I considered many but decided on one that I won from fellow blogger Lloyd.  It was his favorite of the year a few years back and it’s been sitting on my shelves for that long (this happened last year when I won Lisa’s favorite book and it took me years to read. I mention it only because it ended up being my favorite book last year! But no pressure Lloyd :)).

first bookI read the first few chapters last night and have a very good feeling about The Language of Flowers.  Have you read it?  What will be your first book of 2016?