April’s Movies & money for charity

Another month and another chance to contribute money to charity.  Add your 5 words (or less!) to mine in a comment 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 the other reviews you can add to.  Anyone is welcome to join in at any time.

We’re at $34.

I hope that you will take a few minutes to participate when you can each month.  It’s fun for me and for everyone else who reads it.  I’m not looking for a critical review, just a few words about how you felt about the movie.  This is ongoing so you can leave your 5 words anytime.

Chef 2014.jpgChef, 2014 (Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara, Emjay Anthony, Scarlett Johansen, Oliver Pratt, Dustin Hoffman)  Grade B+

Yummy heartwarming indie film. #Foodporn

Feel-good movie, great food scenes.  (Kathy)

Theboyposter.jpgThe Boy in the Striped Pajamas, 2008. (Asa Butterfield, Vera Farmiga, David Thewlis)  Grade B

I feel manipulated, sniff, sniff.

Too heartbreaking to bear.  (Michelle)

Trainwreck poster.jpgTrainwreck, 2015 (Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, LeBron James, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, John Cena, Tilda Swinton)   Grade  B-

He could’ve done way better.

Official poster shows the titular hero Deadpool standing in front of the viewers, with hugging his hands, and donning his tradional black and red suit and mask, and the film's name, credits and billing below him.Deadpool, 2016 (Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, TJ Miller)    Grade B-

Smartass superhero plus extra X-Men.

Ryan Reynolds…enough said.  (Michelle)

A look back, April 2010

In January I began a Kay inspired Bookish Nostalgia feature that I call A look back. I’m revisiting my 2010 blogging life and see what was going on. So far, this has been a lot of fun!  If you care to revisit your own blog in April 2010 and want to share your favorite post, I’ll add it here.

I was a stellar book blogger, posting 23 days and reviewing 7 books.  I watched 9 movies (wow!) and gave a rare F (Stepbrothers) and also posted about one of my Top 100, Romancing the Stone.  Molly and I finished up War & Peace with the last three reviews, the recap is here if you are thinking about giving it a try. I posted a challenges update and that was fun to see – I used to sign up and complete so many.  I am definitely not in a place to do that now! I’m happy when I read a book a week 🙂  I gave away 4 books and participated in 3 movie memes.  I also posted 4 quizzes.  I used to be so disciplined!

I did a fun interview with author Maria Semple after her first book, This One is Mine, but her second novel, Where’d You Go Bernadette?, might be the one you remember her for now.

But the big news this month was the big baby reveal.

 My Favorite PostAfter 14 years a pregnant pause. I had such fun rereading the well wishing comments and baby name suggestions. I can’t believe no one suggested Gage!

Jason and I have been together for over 14 years and we decided that we were finally secure enough in our relationship to move forward.  And the reason why I have been so absent from visiting you all regularly is that this step forward has made me sick for the past month, hence the pause in the title.  Obviously, I’m talking about the little one I’m cooking up right now.  Jason and I are just into our second trimester and couldn’t be happier!  Well, okay, once the morning sickness completely goes away I might be a little happier.  By the time this baby comes I will be 39.  I find that so hard to believe.  Where have the years gone?  We do not plan on finding out if it’s a boy or a girl, but we are always open to name suggestions:)

My favorite book (s) – A tie between Harlan Coben’s, Caught

I know when I start reading I’m not going to want to stop til I’m done and this was no exception, I finished it in a day.  He’s a master at twists and turns and even when you get to the end there always seems to be something there to surprise you. 

and Greg Iles’s Blood Memory

The prevailing theme of this thriller is incest and molestation.  If this had been on the back of the book I don’t know if I would have picked it up, but I’m glad I did because it was excellent.  It doesn’t dwell so much on the act, but on the effect on the lives of those harmed and what happens to them after the they’ve escaped the abuse. 

My favorite movie Ratatouille, 2007. I ranked three movies with the same grade, B, but of the three this is the only one I’d be interested in seeing again.

So, there you have it.  I love revisiting my past blogging life every month, you should give it a try!


Book problem Quiz & GIVEAWAY!

Over the weekend I built my annual Mt. TBR (to be read) and I have some exciting news! For the first time since I started documenting this in 2008the number of books actually decreased!! I did some culling in January so that helped.  Here’s my new Mt. TBRIMG_7100

This was a major undertaking and I did it all, construction and deconstruction, in about 9 hours time. It was quite a workout.  Because of that I decided to do another major weeding and that took another day, but well worth it since I pulled another 94 books to donate.  I’ll do more by the numbers stuff next week after the quiz.

Part One – Guess how many books are in Mt. TBR.  I’ll base points on how close you come on relation to others guessing.  If you come within 20 I’ll give you a 50 point bonus!

Part Two – These are books I pulled from the pile to give away and  they are all brand new.  Nothing wrong with them just trying to be realistic about my reading.

Tell me what the titles are and tell me if you’d like any of them to added to YOUR Mt. TBR. I love to share books so I hope you’ll find at least one you’d like to read.  10 points for every title and I don’t even really care if you want to do some googling to figure out what they are. I do want them in your hands after all!


Good luck!

At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

Title: At the Water's Edge, Author: Sara GruenAt the Water’s Edge. Finished 4-7-16, rating 4.25/5, historical fiction, pub. 2015

Unabridged audio read by Justine Eyre. 10 hours.

After embarrassing themselves at the social event of the year in high society Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve of 1942, Maddie and Ellis Hyde are cut off financially by Ellis’s father, a former army Colonel who is already embarrassed by his son’s inability to serve in WWII due to his being colorblind.

To Maddie’s horror, Ellis decides that the only way to regain his father’s favor is to succeed in a venture his father attempted and very publicly failed at: he will hunt the famous Loch Ness monster and when he finds it he will restore his father’s name and return to his father’s good graces (and pocketbook). Joined by their friend Hank, a wealthy socialite, the three make their way to Scotland in the midst of war.

Each day the two men go off to hunt the monster, while another monster, Hitler, is devastating Europe. And Maddie, now alone in a foreign country, must begin to figure out who she is and what she wants.   from Goodreads

This was a slow but rich story about a young woman coming into her own during World War II. At first, the drunken, entitled trio of Maddie, her husband Ellis, and friend Hank, were so unlikeable that I’m sure some people stopped reading.  The self-absorption was just too much. Maddie and Ellis turned out of their wealthy Philadelphia home, headed to Scotland with Hank and his money.  They were going to find and record the Loch Ness monster, something that had brought shame to Ellis’s father.  As  they crossed the ocean headed toward the war zone instead of away from it, Maddie started to see more than just herself and her own needs.  To see her eyes opened to class, to war, to her husband, makes a very fulfilling journey.

We read this for book group and everyone liked it, most even more than Gruen’s Like Water for Elephants.  The discussion centered around Maddie’s growth, the World War II backdrop, Ellis and Hank’s relationship, and, yes, whether the Loch Ness monster is real.  As a counterpoint, Jason tried to listen to it and made it through two cds before giving up. There wasn’t enough going on for him.

Readathon wrap up

So, stayed awake until 6:15 am, that’s hour 23! I missed almost 6 hours during the day because of this

IMG_7075playdate and thisIMG_7087birthday party but then started working on my yearly inventory wall and finished around 3am.

IMG_7100More details in a later post, but needless to say, I may getting too old (or out of shape) for this! I listened to my two audio books during the Mt. TBR construction and relocation.

End of Event Survey
  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? At 6am I was moving at a snails pace trying to move all the books back to their homes and listening the The 9th Girl (still) when I just couldn’t take one more step.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?  I think graphic novels are great, and happened to be the only thing I managed to finish this time around.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season?  More cheering?  I don’t think I had one cheerleader stop by my blog.  But I thank my blogger friends who did stop by to say hi!
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?How many books did you read? I only managed to finish 1 graphic novel, but am almost done with the two audio books I was listening to.
  5. What were the names of the books you read? I finished How To Be Happy by Eleanor Davis. I’m almost done with The 9th Girl by Tami Hoag and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
  6. Which book did you enjoy most? I’m really enjoying The 9th Girl.
  7. Which did you enjoy least? The only one I finished 😉
  8. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I will definitely participate again and hopefully set aside the whole day. But if I have to choose between those happy faces and reading more I will choose the happy faces every time!

Readathon – Halfway point

readathon1_lgThe Readathon waits for no reader and I missed reading from 12-2:30 (playdate) and 4-7:15 (birthday party), so my 24 hours, if I make it that long will be minus almost 6 hours.

Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now? Listening to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but after I post this I’m going to start a graphic novel.

2. How many books have you read so far? I’ve finished none, just listened to two, which is why I’m taking a couch break with a graphic novel.  I need to feel some sense of accomplishment 🙂

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?I’m looking forwardto finishing the two I’ve started, a few graphic novels and then we’ll see.  If my eyes are up to it, a Kristan Higgins romance, if not, a Harlan Coben audio.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? As I noted above, I had a few social obligations today, but ready to get my reading on for the next 12 hours!

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?  I miss being in my jammies all day stuck on my couch.  Next time I’ll plan better.

Readathon – Hour 4+

readathon1_lgIt’s been slow going here, but I’ve managed to listen to 2 different books. I’m on disc 3 of The 9th Girl by Tami Hoag and maybe an hour in to The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.  Both are very good.  I’ve done lots of cleaning and am now ready to take a break and hang out with some friends 🙂

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon has begun!

readathon1_lgIt’s Readathon time!  I usually participate at least once a year, and today will be on a limited basis since we are having friends over for a few hours and then have a 4 hour birthday party to attend for a friend of Gage.  But I’d like to see if I can make it the whole 24 minus those 5 hours 🙂

Opening Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Just outside Cleveland, Ohio
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Not sure. What do you think?

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Whatever I end up making for our visiting friends. I plan on lots of audio today.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!  I’m a forty-something wife and mother who loves to read.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?  I’ll be listening mostly today as I cook and clean for company.  This is the first time I signed up when I’ve had other obligations but I decided to not let that stop me.

Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child

Title: Bad Luck and Trouble (Jack Reacher Series #11), Author: Lee ChildBad Luck and Trouble. Finished 4-12-16, rating 4.5/5. thriller, 477 pages, pub. 2007

#11 Jack Reacher series (1-Killing Floor, 2- Die Trying, 3 – Tripwire, 4 – Running Blind, 5 – Echo Burning, 6 – Without Fail, 7 – Persuador, 8 – The Enemy, 9 – One Shot, 10 – Hard Way)

I went back and read my reviews of the first 10 books of the series because I’m running out of ways to describe the mysterious Jack Reacher.  I’m going to give you a taste of what I’ve sad in the past.

“Jack Reacher is a man’s man, but one that women are drawn to because of his sheer masculinity and unavailability.  He is who he is, take him or leave him and that confidence and physical presence makes him a force to be reckoned with.” (Die Trying)

“Many series have a main character or two and many recurring characters.  This series only needs one, loner extraordinaire, Reacher.  He’s a badass.  He makes his way around the country righting wrongs and fighting injustices.  He doesn’t have a home, an ATM card, close friends, but he does have a heart and lots of confidence.  He’s retired military police so he knows his stuff and his talents and he is not afraid to give into his baser instincts for vengeance.  Oh, and he absurdly attractive to women.  Me included.” (Without Fail)

“Jack Reacher, loner extraordinaire, wasn’t always such a hard man.  There was a time when he had a job, a family and friends.  He was a star in the military police force and he was content with life.” (The Enemy)

With that out of the way, I can say that this has been one of the better ones of the series.  Since 9/11 he’s been forced to get an ATM card, but other than that he’s the same Reacher.  It’s the ATM card that enabled one of the members from his old elite military group to find him and get him to Los Angeles.  One of their old team met a grisly death and they need to find the rest of the team to assess the damage.  What Reacher finds in the those old friends shatters some of Reacher’s confidence. It was enlightening to see Reacher with his old squad, those who knew him well and respected his talents, and it was also great to see Reacher questioning his life, something we haven’t seen until this point.

Great series. It makes me want to start the next one right away. Oh, and I really should have been keeping count of Reacher’s conquests since the beginning of the series.  In the span of a couple of weeks he made two this go round.

I read my very own paperback. I think I prefer reading them, the narrator of the series, Dick Hill, is good but the books read so much faster than the audio allows.




Retro Baby Movie Quiz – guessing closed

From April 2010 – have fun!

I decided to quiz you on a few movies that feature pregnancy and/or babies as a main storyline.  I’ve ranked these in the order I liked them best.

Leave a comment telling me the # and the name of the movie.  No Googling or looking at other commenter’s answers – that’s cheating and no fun!

1. Diane Keaton was never pregnant, but she was a great mom in this 1987 film.  Baby Boom

2. Mia Farrow’s pregnancy was much more difficult than mine in this 1968 horror classic. Rosemary’s Baby

3. This 2007 cautionary tale made Ellen Page a star. Juno

4. In 1990 Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, and Steve Gutenberg made the best dad!  Three Men & a Baby

5. Raising Arizona

6. Becoming a father and a grandfather at the same time kept Steve Martin on his funny toes.  Father of the Bride II

7. This 1988 John Hughes film starts Kevin Bacon as a new husband and somewhat reluctant father.  She’s Having a Baby

8. Keri Russell’s life was pretty bleak until the birth of her baby brought her real happiness.  Waitress

9. Junior

10. Knocked Up

11. Bruce Willis is perfect as the baby in this 1989 comedy with Kirstie Alley as his mom. Look Who’s Talking

12. Hugh Grant becomes a bit freaked out when his girlfriend, Julianne Moore, becomes pregnant.  Nine Months