Stacy's Books

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2017 Movie Favorites & Stats

I watched 50 movies this year, that’s up from 41 last year and doesn’t even include the 30 documentaries that Jason and I watched last January.

I wrote 5 Book Vs. Movie posts (The Girl on the Train, Tuck Everlasting, Northanger Abbey, Me Before You, And Then There Were None)

My second most popular post of the year was Book Vs. Movie And Then There Were None.

I wrote about 3 of my Top 100 Movies (17-Shawshank Redemption, 89-Catch and Release, 90-Desk Set)

We saw more movies at the theater than in years past with 20.

The oldest movie I watched was It Happened One Night, 1934

My favorite animated movie was Captain Underpants.

Newest crush is Matthias Schoenaerts (Far From the Maddening Crowd)

Cutest Couple- Will & Louisa (Me Before You)

My most watched actor was Keanu Reeves with 3 movies (To the Bone, Brotherhood of Justice, John Wick 2)

My most watched actress was a 3 way tie with 2 movie a piece  –Anna Kendrick (Trolls, Drinking Buddies), Janelle Monae (Moonlight, Hidden Figures), Reese Witherspoon (Home Again, Sing)

Most despised movie of the year – Mother!

I continued my 5 Word Movie Reviews with $ for Charity and in April gave $100 to the American Red Cross, as Tony requested.  Keep adding to my reviews and maybe you can choose the next charity!

My 5 favorite movies this year

The Big Sick.jpgThe Big Sick, 2017. Humor and heart in a perfect combination.

Wonder (film).pngWonder, 2017. Such a heartwarming story of acceptance.

Room Poster.jpgRoom, 2015. So disturbing, but full of love between a mother and son.

Three women standing in the foreground. In the background a rocket is launching.Hidden Figures, 2016. Trailblazing women for the win.

Dunkirk Film poster.jpgDunkirk, 2017. Not your typical war movie.

What were your favorite movies this year?

 

December 31, 2017 Posted by | lists, movies | 13 Comments

July’s Movies & Money for Charity

I saw some great films at the theater this month.  How as your movie month?  Anything I need to see?

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 $57.

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.

The Big Sick.jpgThe Big Sick, 2017 (Kumail Nanijani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Adeel Akhtar, Anupam Kher)      Grade A

Laugh, cry, cringe, smile,  love.

Love beats out cultural differences (Kathy)

Funny and truly heart-warming romance.  (Heather)


Dunkirk Film poster.jpgDunkirk, 2017 (Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Mark Rylance, Tom Glynn-Carney, Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles)   Grade A-

Overlooked WWII struggle that never wavers.


Baby Driver poster.jpgBaby Driver, 2017 (Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Eiza Gonzalez)    Grade B+

Getaway driver tries straight life.


Despicable Me 3 (2017) Teaser Poster.jpgDespicable Me 3, 2017 (Voices-Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gair, Julie Andrews)   Grade C+

Not my favorite, but okay.

 

August 1, 2017 Posted by | 5 Word Movie Reviews | 3 Comments

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Title: Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Classics Series), Author: Mary ShelleyFrankenstein. Finished 4-29-17, rating 4/5 stars, classic, 206 pages, pub. 1818

Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.    from Goodreads

I read most of this one first thing during the 24 hour readathon.  During the readathon you want short books so this classic fit the bill, but you also want books that read fast and this failed in that department for sure.  I had a hard time with the archaic language at first, but got into the rhythm after about 20 pages or so and really got into the story.  Yes, I knew some of the bigger plot points just from, you know, living life, but the majority of the story was completely new to me and quite compelling.

Victor Frankenstein became interested in the ancient alchemists when he was a teen in Geneva.  He heads off to university to study chemistry when he becomes obsessed with bring inanimate objects to life.  He succeeds and Frankenstein’s monster is born.  Horrified by the ugliness before him he retreats, sickened.  Henry, a childhood friend visits from home and nurses him back to health not really understanding that Victor’s nightmares are not make believe at all.  After Victor gets better and life seems normal again, the monster finds Victor and begins a quest to hound him until a mate is made so the monster can have the companionship he deserves.

This story is almost 200 years old and still resonates for good reason.  It has all the elements of a great story with something to say.  The monster, aptly nicknamed, does horrific things, and yet, his first speech to Victor really inspired sympathy. The monster wanted only friendship and instead received nothing but terrified people in his wake.  What happens if a person is shunned by everyone, even the one who made him?  Especially the one he made him.  Nothing good.

It’s a story still worth the time and effort. I’ve never seen any of the movies, so  I might have to give those a look this summer.

This was my 12th selection for the Classics Club and it also counts for my Reading Harder challenge.

May 9, 2017 Posted by | 4 Star Books | 11 Comments

Q – Quotes from my 25 favorite movies

Blogging from A-Z

You’ll never be a first class human being or a first class woman until you’ve learned to have some regard for human frailty.   (The Philadelphia Story, 1940)


Only grown-up men are scared of women.  (The Sound of Music, 1965)


I’m like cat here, a no-name slob. We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don’t even belong to each other.   (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961)


I wouldn’t give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn’t have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little looking out for the other fella, too.   (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 1939)


We all go a little mad sometimes.   (Psycho, 1960)


I understand you may have had sexual relations with my daughter before, but under our roof, it’s my way or the Long Island Expressway. So just keep your snake in its cage for 72 hours.   (Meet the Parents, 2000)


Mary: I want a guy who can play 36 holes of golf, and still have enough energy to take Warren and me to a baseball game, and eat sausages, and beer, not lite beer, but beer. That’s my ad, print it up.
Brenda: “Fatty who likes golf and beer.” Gee, Mary, where are you gonna find a gem like that?   (There’s Something About Mary, 1998)

Frodo:I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. 

Gandalf:So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.    (The Fellowship of the Ring, 2001)

I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.  (The Shawshank Redemption, 1994)


You know, you may be the first attractive woman I’ve not wanted to sleep with in my entire life.   (When Harry Met Sally, 1989)


Those aren’t pillows!   (Trains, Planes, and Automobiles, 1987)


Oh, I don’t know, Charlie. Unlike you, I never expected “the thunderbolt.” I always just hoped that, that I’d meet some nice friendly girl, like the look of her, hope the look of me didn’t make her physically sick, then pop the question and, um, settle down and be happy. It worked for my parents. Well, apart from the divorce and all that.   (Four Weddings and a Funeral, 1993)


We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.   (The Breakfast Club, 1985)


You’re my knight in shimmering armor. Did you know that?   (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, 1992)


If you fit into my pants I will kill myself.   (While You Were Sleeping, 1995)


Sometimes things happen between people that make it impossible for them to stay together. (A Walk on the Moon, 1999)


Unthinkably good things can happen even late in the game. It’s such a surprise.   (Under the Tuscan Sun, 2003


I don’t think you’re an idiot at all. I mean, there are elements of the ridiculous about you. Your mother’s pretty interesting. And you really are an appallingly bad public speaker. And, um, you tend to let whatever’s in your head come out of your mouth without much consideration of the consequences… But the thing is, um, what I’m trying to say, very inarticulately, is that, um, in fact, perhaps despite appearances, I like you, very much. Just as you are.    (Bridget Jones’s Diary, 2001)


You can’t navigate me. I may do mean things, and I may hurt you, and I may run away without your permission, and you may hate me forever, and I know that scares the living shit outta you ’cause you know I’m the only real thing you got.    (Reality Bites, 1994)


Thank God its not a bullshit detector or none of us would get in.   (No Way Out, 1987)


A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.   (The Silence of the Lambs, 1991)


You can’t handle the truth!  (A Few Good Men, 1992)


You swim alone, climb rocks, rescue servants, is there anything you don’t do?   (Ever After, 1998)


You know the Greeks didn’t write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: “Did he have passion?”.   (Serendipity, 2001)


No, sir, I have no experience but I’m a big fan of money. I like it, I use it, I have a little. I keep it in a jar on top of my refrigerator. I’d like to put more in that jar. That’s where you come in. (The Wedding Singer, 1998)


What are some of your favorite movie quotes?


April 20, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, movies, Say What? | 2 Comments

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!

 

April 28, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 12 Comments

40 Quiz

 

Jason turns 40 tomorrow!  In honor of my younger half, this quiz is about bestselling authors who first published when they were 40 or older.  The best is yet to come 🙂

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 published “Little House in the Big Woods” at 64. Laura Ingalls Wilder
  2. He was 66 when “Angela’s Ashes” was published.  Frank McCourt
  3. He was 41 when his first novel, “Tom Sawyer” was published.  Mark Twain
  4. She wrote “Black Beauty” at 57 when she was sick and she died a year later.  Anna Sewell
  5. He was 50 when his first adult novel, “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” was published.  Alexander McCall Smith
  6. She published her first novel, The Bluest Eye” at 40.  Toni Morrison
  7. “Watership Down” was published when the author was 54.   Richard Adams
  8. She published her first novel, “Adam Bede” at 40.  George Eliot
  9. “The Big Sleep” the author’s first novel, was published at 51.  Raymond Chandler
  10. Your turn-give me an over 40 success story!

    Last week’s color quiz was fun and there were very few repeats!!

April 6, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 13 Comments

The 3rd Woman by Jonathan Freedland

The 3rd Woman: A ThrillerThe 3rd Woman. Finished 7-15-15, rating 4/5, thriller, 480 pages, pub. 2015

The first two murders went unnoticed. The third will change everything. . . .

She can’t save her sister.

Journalist Madison Webb is obsessed with exposing lies and corruption. But she never thought she’d be investigating her own sister’s murder.

She can’t trust the police.

Madison refuses to accept the official line that Abigail’s death was an isolated crime. She uncovers evidence that suggests her sister was the third victim in a series of killings hushed up as part of a major conspiracy.

She can expose the truth.

In a United States that now bows before the People’s Republic of China, corruption is rife—the government dictates what the “truth” is. With her life on the line, Madison must give up her quest for justice—or face the consequences. . . .

Los Angeles and the rest of California has become a dark, dreary place thanks to the smog and Chinese military bases along the coast, placed there after The U.S. defaulted on its debt.  Maddy, award winning journalist, publishes a expose at the same time her little sister is murdered and the already high-wired writer starts an immediate investigation.  She knows her sister did not do heroin but she’s having a difficult time convincing the police of  this and when she finds a connection to other murders her life starts to spin out of control.

It was around this point in the story that Maddy, as a real person, lost me.  She took maybe five minutes out of her life to tell her distant sister and then check in with her sick mom.  Finding Abigail’s killer was all she could focus on, with little regard for the family she had left, and it made her seem cold.

Now, aside from Maddy not being a character I understood or much liked, the story of the murders of young blond women, the Chinese takeover, and the political intrigue made this an exciting thriller.  The internet could bring people together to stand up to the powers that be, even of the all of the things that are wrong with politics now are still wrong in this new world.

I liked the premise since I can see a version of it happening and there were so many twists and turns that I was always excited when I found time to read it.  Maddy was a kick-ass lead character and the end did not temper her, but she remained true to herself and I can respect that.

Jonathan Freedland is an award-winning journalist, a number one bestselling author, and a broadcaster. He is the Guardian’s executive editor for Opinion and also writes a weekly column. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times and the New York Review of Books, and presents BBC Radio 4’s contemporary history series The Long View. In 2014 he won the Orwell special prize for journalism.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for having me as a tour host and providing the book 🙂

August 19, 2015 Posted by | 4 Star Books | 7 Comments

Book vs. Movie – Gone Girl

This is semi-regular feature where we can talk about which was better, the book or the movie.  I read the book in January 2013 (post here) and watched the movie last Friday, the day it came out.  Let’s break down how they compare.

*This is as spoiler free as possible!!!

The Story/Plot  Nick and Amy meet in New York and fall in love.  When the money gets tight and Nick’s mom gets sick they move to Missouri.  One or both of them turns into a sociopath and the paparazzi cameras are rolling.  I think both the movie and book do an excellent job of telling the story of this couple and the crumbling facade of their marriage.     Thumbs Up-Tie

The Visual  The book is dark and the movie was also dark, really at times it felt like the X-Files and you needed a flashlight.  I don’t really feel that the movie added anything visually to the book.  There’s no real reason to see it on the big screen unless you just can’t wait to spent more time with Nick and Amy.  To me, the descriptions in the book were just as effective in creating a visual image.     Thumbs Up-Tie

Characters vs. Actors   I think Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike became Nick and Amy.  Excellent choices and great acting (at least I hope it was acting!).  I love Neil Patrick Harris but he was not exactly who I pictured as Desi.  Margo, Nick’s sister was played by a new actress to me, Carrie Coon and I thought she did a great job.  I know people are complaining about a character missing, but I really wasn’t bothered by the minor exclusion.   Thumbs Up-Tie

The Ending  Up until this point I think both book and movie were on equal footing.  In the book, the ending packed a punch for me.  I was upset.  In the movie, the ‘ending’ went on so long with so many scene cuts that I just wanted it to figure out what it wanted to say and to do it.  For me, it was a weak. It did change just enough to make the ending different while still being the same in spirit. If that makes any sense.     Thumbs Up-Book

And the winner is…the Book!

Now it’s your turn to vote

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on: (The Girl on the Train) (Tuck Everlasting) (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (Still Alice) (The Blind Side) (The Fault in Our Stars) (The Hound of the Baskervilles) (Gone Girl) (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)

October 9, 2014 Posted by | Books vs. Movie, movies | , | 18 Comments

My 5 year Blogiversary with a chance to win a favorite book!

I can hardly believe I’ve been blogging for 5 years!  I started slow, got involved with the community through memes, challenges and events, and then slowed down again these past few months have really slowed down due to home demands.  This slowdown will continue for the next few months, but I will still be here, reading, writing, quizzing and visiting your blogs.  Only on a more laid back schedule!

It’s really the community that makes it worth the time and effort.  There have been one or two times in the past year when I’ve considered giving it up because I only have so much time in the day and while I love all of you, you aren’t the ones giving me hugs and kisses at night.  But I would miss it so here I am 5 years in and looking forward to 5 more.

I’ll be going some Best-of-the Best posts this weeks with giveaways.  For the first one I thought I’d compare my favorite lists over the years.  The only big difference I see is that I read less romances these days.  I bolded my 5 favorites from these lists (at least my favorite 5 today :)).  My 5 faves from the last 5 years.

GIVEAWAY-Tell me what your favorite is from these lists and you’ll be entered to win a favorite pick of your choice!  Make sure you leave your email too.  I’ll draw a winner on Saturday.  Look for more giveaways this week!

When I started on January 7, 2008 these were the books I listed as favorites from the year before…

the 5 Prey novels by John Sandford (Broken, Chosen, Mortal, Naked, Hidden)

Natural Born Lover by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows by JK Rowling

Sophie Metropolis by Tori Carrington

A year later and my 2008 list looked like this…

On Writing by Stephen King

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr

The Coffin Dancer by Jeffrey Deaver

Splendor by Brenda Joyce

Fear & Trembling by Amelie Nothomb

A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler

Here are my 2009 favorites

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Watchers by Dean Koontz

Joy School by Elizabeth Berg

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Broken Window by Jeffery Deaver

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

My 2010 faves may be my favorite of the lists…

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

2011 had more great reading

Good Grief by Lolly Winston

Roots by Alex Haley

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigani

Husband and Wife by Leah Stewart

Live Wire by Harlan Coben

The Missing Ink by Karen Olson

Buried Prey by John Sandford

A Room with a View by EM Forster

Heart Sick by Chelsea Cain

And finally last year’s  list

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

In the Woods by Tana French

It by Stephen King

Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe

Thank you all for being such great reading buddies these past years and always steering my to awesome books I wouldn’t have found otherwise.

January 7, 2013 Posted by | FREE, lists | | 44 Comments

Bloodman by Robert Pobi

Let me start by saying that when I received this for the blog tour I couldn’t make myself pick it up even though I thought it would be a book I’d love.  Why?

BloodmanThis cover is seriously creepy and I had such a negative reaction every time I walked by it.  So, last week I took the jacket off and put it away.  Deep Sigh.  I was finally ready to read!

This psychological thriller has it all.  Jack Cole, FBI agent who investigates the worst of the worst killers in the country, doesn’t look or act the part.  He is covered in one big Dante’s Inferno tatoo from his neck to his ankles with an attitude to match.  Jake is one of the more interesting characters I’ve encountered in awhile.

In simple terms he solved riddles – it was as mundane as that.

The element of the otherworldly that his coworkers subscribed to was simply confusion in the face of a mental acuity they could not understand.  Like a musical or mathematical savant, Jake was able to tap into something that those around him could not and the result was that they were uncomfortable around him.  Some were even afraid.

Chapter 19

When Jake heads home to take care of his sick father, famous artist Jacob Coleridge, he is called in to help the local police solve a grisly murder.  The two victims had been skinned alive, not a sliver of skin left on the two bodies, just like his mother 30 years before.  There is also the biggest hurricane ever recorded headed straight for them, so time was in short supply.  More bodies pile up and disturbing works are found in his father’s studio.

Those are the only details you need. I stayed up until 1 am racing through this book.  I really could not put it down.  (I regretted this 5 and a half hours later when Gage decided to get up early) I went to bed disturbed, woke up disturbed and have mentioned parts of the book to Jason all day.  The end was a mixed bag.  The reveal was great, but the end was a little unsatisfying.

I recommend this book for grisly murder and horror lovers who don’t mind liberal use of the f-word.  I think you’ll race through this debut novel and look forward to the next one by Pobi.  I am.  And so is Oprah! “O, The Oprah Magazine’s August issue, on stands now, named Bloodman one of their “Titles to pick up now” and called it a “Very suspenseful novel”!

I received this book from Wunderkind PR as part of a blog tour.  Thanks so much – loved it.

Bloodman  Finished 7-24-12, rating 4/5, horror, 345 pages, pub. 2012

July 25, 2012 Posted by | 4 Star Books | | 18 Comments