Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

Y – Yawns

Blogging from A-Z

Today Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon started here in Cleveland at 8am.  I’m starting to feel a little tired.  It could be that for many hours now I’ve been listening to audio books and reconstructing my yearly Mt. TBR.  I have just completed it but I don’t have a final book count yet.  Want to see how many books I own that I haven’t read yet?


Now, I’ll take a little break before I take that thing down and resort the books as I put them away. Every year I sort them differently so we’ll see what makes sense to me tonight 🙂  I’ve only got 7 1/2 hours to go!  I’m listening to The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin right now and it’s interesting so far.  Is a four year old a little nuts or could it be reincarnation?

April 29, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Why Would anyone read for 24 hours straight?

Blogging from A-Z

Why? That’s often a question asked if you tell someone that you will be participating in a 24 hour read-a-thon.  It’s a valid question. It was one of the first big book blogging events I participated in during my second year at Stacy’s Books.  I fell in love with the camaraderie and the fun of interacting with so many readers around the world.  Every hour there’s a host and a mini-challenge (I’ve hosted several and will be hosting one this Sunday morning at 4 am :)) and always cheerleaders stopping by to cheer you on.  You may even win prizes!  It’s such a fun day.

And, let’s be honest, I love reading challenges because it gives me a great excuse to do what I love.

This will be my 7th Read-a-Thon in 8 years.  The first 2 years I made it the whole 24 hours.  Yay me!  Then I went 20, 21.5, 21, and last year, 23.  I’m still amazed I didn’t have enough juice to finish that last hour.  My goal is always to make it the whole 24, but you never know what the day will bring.

Last year I combined the Read-a-Thon with my yearly reconstructing of Mt. TBR (to be read) and it worked beautifully.  I listened to audio books as I rebuilt this.  I have given so many books away this year that I am confident that number will be closer to 700 than 800 this year.

So, anyway, have I convinced you to join in yet?  Read these warm up posts and join in the fun!  Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

Wanna know what I’m reading first?  Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

April 27, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

V – Viggo Mortensen

Blogging from A-Z

Viggo Mortensen had many roles before his star making turn as Alagorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  I’d already noticed him in G.I. Jane (not in a good way), A Perfect Murder, Psycho, A Walk on the Moon and 28 Days.  But it was his role as Aragorn that most of us sat up and took notice of his leading man abilities.  Since then his roles have only gotten bigger and more varied.  I will watch whatever he is in.

As the controversial dad in Captain Fantastic…

The softer side of Aragorn…

As the sexy Blouse Man with the backwards name…

He wasn’t the nicest guy in Eastern Promises…

What’s your favorite Viggo role?


April 26, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, movies | 2 Comments

U – Unbroken

Blogging from A-Z


Title: Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation): An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive, Author: Laura HillenbrandUnbroken. Finished 4-24-17, 4.5 stars, YA non-fiction, pub. 2014

On a May afternoon in 1943, an American military plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary sagas of the Second World War.
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. As a boy, he had been a clever delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and stealing. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a supreme talent that carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when war came, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.
Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a sinking raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would respond to desperation with ingenuity, suffering with hope and humor, brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would hang on the fraying wire of his will.
In this captivating young adult edition of her award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller, Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of a man’s breathtaking odyssey and the courage, cunning, and fortitude he found to endure and overcome.  from Goodreads

Jason read this and we saw the movie together when it came out.  I liked the movie, but he was disappointed and now that I’ve read the book (the YA version, but still) I see why.  A word about the YA adaptations of bestsellers…This is the second time I’ve been burned by the YA abridgement.  When searching for this title on the library website the first audio that popped up was this one so I put it on hold, only it wasn’t the original.  I will be paying better attention next time.  Fool me twice and all that.

Louis was an amazing force of nature.  He was rebellious, talented, a hard worker, a survivor, a drunk, and ultimately a man of God.  His story was so inspirational.  The story of he and two of his comrades on the life boats in the middle of the ocean for 46-47 days with no food or water after the first few days.  Imagine having to fight of sharks that jump into your raft.  Imagine that when found, it’s your enemies not your friends.  Amazing.

The book was great, but I wish I had read the full-length book instead of the abridged version.  But one plus was that the late, great Edward Hermann read the 8 hour audio.  Do yourself a favor and read the book, skip the movie.

April 25, 2017 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books, Blogging from A-Z | 3 Comments

T – Book vs. Movie – Tuck Everlasting

Blogging From A-Z

Tuck Everlasting25.png  vs.  Tuck Everlasting (2002 film) poster.jpg

This is a semi-regular feature where I talk about which was better, the book or the movie.  Most of the time I don’t know which will come out on top until I’ve worked my way through some of the criteria, and this is one of those times.  Let’s see how it all pans out.

The Story/Plot- A family, two parents and two sons, discover not just a fountain of youth but a spring of immortal water.  They drink it without realizing what it was until later.  Every ten years each member of the family reconvenes where they drank the water, which happens to be in Winnie’s backyard.  Winnie is 11 in the book and around 15 or 16 in the book.  The family kidnaps her when she discovers their secret so that they can explain why she must keep their secret, none of them realizing that a man in a yellow suit is hot on the family’s trail and ready to cash in on the water.  The two mostly aligned but the movie really played up the Jesse/Winnie flirtation and made that central to the story.  In the book the whole family drew her in.   Thumbs up…book.

The Visual  I thought the movie was beautifully shot and really brought the land to life.  Thumbs up…movie.

Characters vs. Actors  I have loved Jonathan Jackson since he was Lucky on General Hospital as a kid (I remember watching GH on and off until Gage came along), so he was a real draw for me.  The rest of the cast, too, was top notch; William Hurt, Sissy Spacek, Alexis Bledel, Ben Kingsley, Victor Garber, Amy Irving.  My issue, really, is with the aging of Winnie.  I know there’s not a lot of difference between a 106 year old making a play for an 11 or 16 year old, but it was easier to keep the innocence when Winnie was 11.  Thumbs up…book.

The Ending There were some differences in the ending, it’s really just about preference.  If you like the romance you’ll probably prefer the movie, but I really liked the book.  I don’t want to spoil anything if you haven’t read it or seen it yet 🙂  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 (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)

April 24, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, Books vs. Movie | 1 Comment

R – Mom R&R with Chris Rock (and friends)

Blogging from A-Z

Some presents you give to your spouse may seem a little self serving.  For example, Jason’s birthday was this month and I gifted him tickets to the Chris Rock Total Blackout Tour at Playhouse Square and a room at Metropolitan on The 9.  I’m not a huge stand-up fan, but Jason is and he’s always liked Chris Rock so it was a solid gift.  But it also ended up being a sweet night for me as well.

My parents picked up Gage around noon and I took the train to downtown Cleveland.  The Chocolate Bar was on the way to the hotel and it had been too long since I’d had one of their divine chocolate martinis.  So, this happened.

chocolatebarI ordered my favorite, the salted caramel chocolate martini and I’m still thinking about it…

I got to the hotel feeling pretty happy and had time for a 45 minute nap before Jason got off work.  He works a block from the hotel and the hotel is only a few blocks from Playhouse Square, so great location and a very fun place.  It’s sexy.  I know that sounds silly, but it’s true.  It’s housed in the old Ameritrust Bank complex and it’s basement was perfectly described in this NPR interview with author DM Pulley.   I was anxious to check it out so we headed to the basement.  In 2001 Pulley visited the building after it had sat abandoned for years and found bank vaults and safe deposit boxes hanging open or still locked up.  And 15 years later they turned it into a really cool bar, with safes intact.

Such a cool place.  As we were waiting for the elevator to take us back up, we were taken aback when it arrived.  A SWAT team in all their glory got off and went through one of the back hallways of the hotel.  No idea, but they could have been headed to the Chris Rock Show via tunnels because I’ve never had to go through that much security to get into a show of any kind.  We even had to lock up our cell phones when we got there, kind of an annoyance, but gave more opportunity for people watching.  And with 3,000+ people in attendance that was fun.

The show opened with Arnie Fuqua (one of the comedians in the crash with Tracy Morgan a few years ago) and then gave us our first surprise.  Native Clevelander Arsenio Hall was going to act as our host for the evening.  The crowd went crazy.  After about 15 minutes he decided to bring out another surprise. Dave Chappelle came onstage and brought the house down.  Arsenio came back out and a little bit later Chris Rock took the stage.  What a fantastic night of stand-up and I don’t even like stand-up!!

We were feeling happy as we walked back to the hotel at 11:30 and noticed that there were vintage 70’s cars parked on the street.  We decided to try out the bar above the lobby before turning in and were surprised to watch as they prepared to shoot a movie scene.  Matthew McConaughey has been in town filming a movie so I’m assuming that’s what it was.  We watched them bring out bags of fake snow and put it all along E. 9th.  Cracks me up since it snows like 5 months of the year here and they wait to use fake snow!  Anyway we watched until they had shut down the street and only 70’s cars were going by.  It only took an hour from start to finish so I’m assuming Matthew wasn’t there, but who knows.  Here was our view from the bar…


It’s hard to see with the glare but it was fun to watch in person.  So, it was after midnight when we headed back up to our room and Jason had to be at work 6 and half hours later.  Luckily, it was only a 5 minute commute.

So, it was a great gift all the way around 🙂

April 21, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, Photos | 5 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?, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

P – Paper Towns

Blogging From A-Z

Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff as Margo Roth Spiegelman and Quentin "Q" Jacobsen respectivelyI could do a movie/book comparison, but I’m too tired today.  I read the book a few years ago (here) and watched the movie last night.  Amazingly, they both felt the same to me.  I’m sure there are differences, but my feelings about the story and each of the characters was the same for both.

Q and his buddies are not popular in high school, but they’re seniors so that part of their life is almost at an end.  Margo is popular, really popular, and Q has been in love with her since she moved in across the street over a decade before.  They had been friends before high school sorted them into different spheres.  One night not long before graduation, Margo sneaks into Q’s room and convinces him to join her on what turns out to be the best night of his life.  Thinking it was the beginning of something special, he is confused when Margo disappears the next day.

This was a good movie starring Nat Wolff who was Isaac in another John Green movie The Fault in Our Stars and Augustus from that same movie, Ansel Elgort, has a funny cameo.  My favorite part of the book and movie was the friendship between the three boys and the road trip they took together, even if it ended in heartbreak for one.

Solid movie based on a solid book.

April 19, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, movies, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

O – A Man Called Ove

 Blogging from A-Z

I was going to blog about Outlander, the series of books and the Starz series, now preparing for season 3, BUT my book group read about Ove last week and I need to gush a bit.  Ove, a cantankerous Swedish man, was at a crossroads and contemplating ending his life, but living got in the way.

Title: A Man Called Ove, Author: Fredrik BackmanFinished 4-12-17, 5 stars!, fiction, pub. 2014

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.    from Goodreads

I fell in love with Ove and his collection of merry wo(men) around him.  For every trouble he caused those surrounding him, at least one blessing was given out.  Ove was a man with a heart, who didn’t always play well with others.  I think everyone knows an Ove, some of us better than others.

His pregnant neighbor, Parvaneh, was really the catalyst that got things rolling the right way for Ove.  She picked him up and kept him moving, until finally, he embraced the loving circle that surrounded him.

Everyone in my book group loved it.  One had even seen the Swedish movie (with subtitles) and said it was very good and true to the book.  I have no doubt that this will end up on my favorite list at the end of the year.

I’m not doing Ove or the book justice, but I have 20 minutes to get this posted for the A-Z challenge so I’m just going to leave it here.  I’m late to the Ove bandwagon, but I made it 🙂




April 18, 2017 Posted by | 5 Star Books, Blogging from A-Z | 3 Comments

N- Book Vs. Movie – Northanger Abbey

Blogging from A-Z

I wasn’t sure I was going to compare the two because I listened to the book in 2014 and so many of the details alluded me, but after I watched the 2007 movie and re-read my book review I think I can manage a limited comparison.

The Story/Plot  Catherine, one of 10 children living in the country, was invited by her neighbors to visit Bath and attend some balls.  Catherine was young, read so many gothic novels that her imagination was vivid, and was drawn into a friendship under somewhat false pretenses.  She meets Henry and his sister and is invited back to their home.  There, with the death of their mother still lingering and an abrasive father present, she imagines the worst and her time at Northanger Abbey is cut short.   I felt like there were some differences at the end, but I may just be remembering the book wrong. Either way, both worked.  Thumbs up…tie.

The Visual  Hm.  Like with most stories that are set in a period long gone I think that the movie can bring to the story to life in a way that your imagination might not be able to accomplish.  So, the dresses, the complicated dances at balls, the old castles, all gave the movie the edge.  I even found Catherine’s bookish daydreams fun in the context of the movie, even of they felt a little cheesy.  Thumbs up…movie.

Characters vs. Actors  I LOVED the casting of this movie.  A young Felicity Jones was perfect as the wide-eyed Catherine and JJ Field, who I recognized from Austenland, had that twinkle in his eye that had me (and Catherine ) falling for him.  Carey Mulligan was fantastic as the gold digging friend.  The whole cast was amazing.  Thumbs up…movie

The Ending  As I said in the plot section, I don’t remember the end of the book in enough detail.  If I track down my book and find the time to re-read it I’ll come back and change this 🙂

And the winner is… the movie!

Now it’s your turn to vote

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on (Me Before You) (And Then There Were None) (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)

April 17, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, Books vs. Movie | 1 Comment