Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

I need your help!

Last year Jason and I started doing monthly challenges and created a new website to keep us honest, My 30 Day Challenges.  Last September I read a book a day for the month and, while difficult, it was fun.  This September I want to read a book a day and make it just a tad bit harder.  I want it to be a month of reading a biography or autobiography a day.  I don’t read enough of them, but when I do I always come away a bit smarter and definitely filled with more empathy.  But, because they aren’t my genre of choice I’d love to hear some suggestions.

I need biography/autobiography recommendations.  They can’t be too long (I only have one day to read them!) so let’s not go over 400 pages. 

For every recommendation in the comments (here on the blog – not FB) I’ll put your name in a drawing for my favorite book of the month 🙂

I’ll keep this open for a month, let’s say August 24th, so I have time to track down the books I’m interested in.

Thanks so much!!!

 

 

July 19, 2017 Posted by | Bookish Stuff, FREE | 14 Comments

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 🙂

 

January 8, 2016 Posted by | FREE | | 21 Comments

A GIVEAWAY you won’t want to miss!

Last night I had the pleasure of taking my mom to a “Meet the Author” event at a local library where we ran into a friend who was also there with her mother! Both of us have children on the autism spectrum and were there to hear Eli Gottlieb talk about his just released book, Best Boy.

Best Boy is written from the voice of Todd, a 50-something autistic man who lives in a group facility and has since he was eleven.  He misses his mother (these have been emotional points for me so far) and just wants to go home. Both of his parents are gone and his brother who lives far away has responsibility for his care.  Todd is straightforward, loves the encyclopedia, and likes routine.

This book has received rave reviews and it was released last week. Eli read two chapters from the book and then opened the floor for questions.  Here are a few of the things I found interesting…

*his older brother is autistic and Eli is his guardian.  While the character of Todd was high functioning, his brother is not and he does not consider this a memoir.  He doesn’t even want to say it’s an accurate representation of autism (and a passionate parent asked), instead he sees it as a sympathetic work that is an emotional journey for the reader.

*when asked if he resented his brother growing up he responded with, “how could you not? he absorbed all the oxygen in the room.”  He was brokenhearted and angry and writing was his outlet.  This was the part that my friend and I talked about afterward.  She was sitting there, a mother of three, listening to the reality of sibling angst and I was sitting there wondering who is going to be looking out for my guy when I’m gone.  There is no perfect answer and Eli didn’t attempt to give one.

*this took 3 1/2 years to write although the voice was there for as long as he could remember. It left him psychologically exhausted to live inside Todd’s head for that long.  When asked about how he writes he said that he is disorganized with no blueprint or notes and he is in the dark, linking one sentence to the next until an arc emerges.

*His brother, who inspired the character of Todd, will be featured in a New York Times op-ed this week or next.

Okay, so my friend sent me an ARC of the book that I’ve been carrying around in my purse for at least a week (I’m halfway through) and I had Eli sign it tonight to give to one of you!

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Sound good?  All you need to do is tell me you want it in a comment.  Please include an email address so that I can easily reach you if you win.  Open internationally.

It would be cool if you included how autism has touched your life, if at all.

I’ll draw a winner in 2 weeks, the week of September 14th.

September 2, 2015 Posted by | Book signings, FREE | | 6 Comments

Winners and a freebie!

Gage is done with school and some of our tutors left us so, I get about two hours a day to myself (unless I beg my mom to come play with Gage so I can take a shower or accomplish something :)). So, I will be resuming the QUIZZES at the end of the summer when Gage will be going to school from 8-2:30 Monday-Thursday. I can’t even comprehend right now what I will do with all of that time!  Tonight’s our second horseback riding session (last week his two classmates canceled so he had all three ladies to himself!)

horse1

Okay, now for what you really clicked on for, WINNERS!  For the first round of 2015 we have a fourth time winner, her first since 2013….

Hannah!

Congratulations, Hannah!  A Barnes & Noble gift card will be on its way to you shortly 🙂

Now for my randomly selected winner (it really was a random draw but my camera has been refusing to take pictures when I want it to so I missed Gage drawing the winner)….

Leslie!

A fun, bookish gift will be on its way to you shortly 🙂

Thank you all so much for playing along with me every week, your participation is what makes it fun.  I actually have two quizzes started already, so be ready in late August to start again!

Now for an offer of a free book. It’s been on my shelf forever, but it’s never been read. I listened to the audio a few months ago and am not interested in keeping the book. The first person who tells me they want it can have it, free of charge 🙂  Make sure I have your email address to contact you.

GIVEAWAY OVER!  Claimed by Vicki!

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Hope you all have a great Thursday 🙂

June 11, 2015 Posted by | FREE, Quizzes | 12 Comments

TLC Book Tour & GIVEAWAY! The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore

The Serpent of Venice: A NovelThe Serpent of Venice.

TLC Book Tour here.  I want to thank TLC for providing a book for the giveaway!

Venice, a really long time ago. Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from Britain who also happens to be a favorite of the Doge: the rascal-Fool, Pocket.

This trio of cunning plotters—the merchant, Antonio; the senator, Brabantio; and the naval officer, Iago—have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising a spirited evening with a rare Amontillado sherry and a fetching young noblewoman. Their invitation is, of course, a ruse. The wine is drugged; the girl is nowhere in sight. These scoundrels have something far less amusing planned for the man who has consistently foiled their quest for power and wealth. But this Fool is no fool . . . and the story is only beginning.

Once again, Christopher Moore delivers a rousing literary satire and a cast Shakespeare himself would be proud of: Shylock; Iago; Othello; a dozen or so disposable villains; a cadre of comely wenches; the brilliant Fool; his sidekick, Drool; his monkey, Jeff; a lovesick sea serpent; and a ghost (there’s always a bloody ghost).

Wickedly witty and outrageously inventive, The Serpent of Venice pays cheeky homage to the Bard and illuminates the absurdity of the human condition as only Christopher Moore can.

If you haven’t tried a Christopher Moore novel then you haven’t tried everything.  My first Moore reading was Lamb:The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal and I was amazed at the quality of the story and storytelling.  Irreverent is how I often describe it.  And with this novel, I am back on board the Moore bandwagon.  As I mention any chance I get, I love Venice.  It was my first overseas trip and that amazing city will always have a place in my heart so when I saw that Moore was taking on Venice AND Shakespeare (another love of mine) I knew I’d have to read it.

The sheer amount of talent it took to connect some of Shakespeare’s more recognizable characters from The Merchant of Venice, Othello and King Lear (with a little Edgar Allen Poe walled in) is impressive.  Moore’s sense of humor and wit is on prominent display in this over-the-top homage.

One of the main characters, Pocket, a favorite of the Doge who shows up first in Fool, grew on me as did this whole assembly of colorful characters.  There was sex, murder, revenge, resurrection, a monster, Marco Polo, and love.  Not bad for a few hours of delightful reading.

I don’t think Moore’s comic genius is for everyone.  You have to be willing to buy into the crazy.  And then you have to be able to tolerate, if not appreciate, quite a bit of juvenile boy language.  If you can do those two things I think you are a candidate for the Christopher Moore bandwagon.  Hop on in!

I HAVE A COPY TO GIVE AWAY!  To celebrate the release of the paperback edition I will randomly select one lucky winner on February 28th.  You’ll want to enter even if you are on the fence about the story because the cover is gorgeous and fun and you’ll want it on your shelves.  Open internationally.

To enter just tell me you want entered in a comment and you’re done.  If you want an extra entry you can Tweet about it and/or post about it on your blog.  Just let me know you did.  Good luck!

February 18, 2015 Posted by | 4 Star Books, FREE | , | 13 Comments

Winners – something to be thankful for

IMG_1367[1]joannIMG_1368[1]IMG_1379[1]

Just in time for Thanksgiving tomorrow I’ve got a few winners to announce-

 

Nise (Under the Boardwalk)  winner of Round 3 of my Quizzes!  An amazing 9th win!!!  $16 B&N giftcard is on the way.

Rita winner of a special quiz participation prize.

JoAnn (Lakeside Musing) winner of First Darling of the Morning, a signed book by Thrity Amrigar

 

Congratulations and I hope you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2014 Posted by | FREE | 5 Comments

A reminder about my giveaway

GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

Gage got me up before 5:30 this morning so I’m too tired to write a review, but I wanted to remind you that I’m giving awaya signed copy of Thrity Umrigar’s book about growing up in India and a bag this month.  You can see my original post here.  I’ll even give you a chance to get an extra entry. Comment here AND there and get an entry for each!  If you want to tweet about it and let me know in your comment I’ll  throw in another entry.  Make sure you leave an email address.

Open internationally.  I’ll draw a winner November 25.

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First Darling of the Morning:Selected Memories of an Indian Childhood by Thrity Umrigar

First Darling of the Morning is the powerful and poignant memoir of bestselling author Thrity Umrigar, tracing the arc of her Bombay childhood and adolescence from her earliest memories to her eventual departure for the United States at age twenty-one. It is an evocative, emotionally charged story of a young life steeped in paradox; of a middle-class Parsi girl attending Catholic school in a predominantly Hindu city; of a guilt-ridden stranger in her own land, an affluent child in a country mired in abysmal poverty. She reveals intimate secrets and offers an unflinching look at family issues once considered unspeakable as she interweaves two fascinating coming-of-age stories—one of a small child, and one of a nation.

In addition, author Duffy Brown graciously contributed a great canvas bag highlighting her new series set on Mackinac Island, Geared for the Grave.

November 18, 2014 Posted by | FREE | , | 4 Comments

Mailbox Monday – November 3- with a giveaway!

mmb-300x282Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.  

Nothing arrived via mailbox this week but on Saturday I attended the 27th annual Buckeye Book Fair.  It was an hour drive but I considered it a personal date and enjoyed my excursion without pickups or meal planning or swim lessons for the little man.  It was bit overwhelming at first because it was so crowded, but then I took a deep breath and dove right in.  There were many well-known authors and lots I’d never heard of. It was tough talking to an author and looking at their books and then deciding not to purchase, but I could only justify so many books!!  Read or skip to the end to see what signed book I’m giving away!

I was really there thanks to author Emilie Richards since she mentioned it on Facebook last week and so I made sure to find her.  She was so nice in person, even insisting on a photo with the two of us. I’m a fan and am working my way through her books.  I purchased Somewhere Between Luck and Trust, the second in the Goddesses Anonymous series.

emilie IMG_1150

Cristy Haviland served eight months in prison, giving birth behind bars to the child of the man who put her there and might yet destroy her. Now she’s free again, but what does that mean? As smart as she is, a learning disability has kept her from learning to read. And that’s the least of her hurdles.

Georgia Ferguson, talented educator, receives a mysterious charm bracelet that may help her find the mother who abandoned her at birth. Does she want to follow the clues, and if she does, can reticent Georgia reach out for help along the way?

Both women are standing at a crossroads, a place where unlikely unions can be formed. A place where two very different women might bridge the gap between generations and education, and together make tough choices.

Next up is the one I chose by the cover alone because I loved it so much. Ghosting by Edith Pattou.  She even gave me a paper crane she had made herself.  Gage loves it 🙂

IMG_1148  edith

On a hot summer night in a Midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims—with tragic outcomes altering lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario all too familiar from current real-life headlines. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.

Told through multiple points of view in naturalistic free verse and stream of consciousness, this is an unforgettable, haunting tale.

I stopped to chat with Shelley Costa because I had seen this title around and I wanted to tell her how clever I thought it was.  We chatted  few minutes and I learned that she lives in the next town (where I would love to live if we ever moved again) so I had to buy it, the first in a series, You Cannoli Die Once.

IMG_1149shelley

At Miracolo Northern Italian restaurant, one can savor brilliantly seasoned veal saltimbocca, or luscious risotto alla milanese, but no cannoli. Never cannoli. Maria Pia Angelotta, the spirited seventy-six-year-old owner of the Philadelphia-area eatery that’s been in her family for four generations, has butted heads with her head chef over the cannoli ban more than once. And when the head chef is your own granddaughter, things can get a little heated.

Fortunately, Eve Angelotta knows how to handle what her nonna dishes out. But when Maria Pia’s boyfriend is found dead in Miracolo’s kitchen, bludgeoned by a marble mortar, the question arises: Can a woman this fiery and stubborn over cream-filled pastry be capable of murder?

 

My next two purchases were by authors I didn’t know but something about the books made me want to give them a try.  Fourth Down and Out by Andrew Welsh-Huggins is about a disgraced Ohio State quarterback who lives in Columbus and since this is football season I had to have it.  The second is what happens to us as the world runs out of water.

fourth

Fourth Down and Out by Andrew Welsh-Huggins

The job seems easy enough at first for private investigator Andy Hayes: save his client’s reputation by retrieving a laptop and erasing a troublesome video from its hard drive. But that’s before someone breaks into Andy’s apartment in Columbus; before someone else, armed with a shotgun, relieves him of the laptop; and before the FBI suddenly shows up on his doorstep asking questions.

Soon, there’s a growing list of people with a claim on the computer, all of them with secrets they don’t want uncovered. When one of those people ends up dead, Andy has his hands full convincing authorities he’s not responsible, while trying to figure out who is—and who’s got the laptop—before someone else dies. Soon the trail leads to the last place Andy wants to go: back to Ohio State University, where few have forgiven him for a mistake he made two decades earlier in his days as the Buckeyes’ star quarterback. That misjudgment sent him on a downward spiral that cost him a playing career, two marriages, several wrecked relationships, and above all his legacy in Ohio’s capital city, where the fortunes of the OSU team are never far from people’s minds.

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

Two for Gage.

egg

Whose Egg is This? by Lisa Amstutz

Eggs come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Some eggs are hard. Other eggs are soft. Can you match each egg to its owner? Fun clues and multiple choice photos will have you puzzling to learn more!

The Giant of Seville:A “Tall” Tale Based on a True Story by Dan Andreasen

In the 1870s, a circus giant named Captain Martin Van Buren Bates left the circus and set off to find a town where he and his wife (also a circus giant) could live in peace. Captain Bates happened on Seville, Ohio, a sleepy little town that charmed him from the moment he arrived and welcomed him with open arms.


GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

I picked up a book signed by Thrity Umrigar to give away.  I’ve heard her speak and have several of her books already so I wanted to give you the chance to experience a respected Ohio author for free. She lives up in the Cleveland area just like me!  This is not a new book but I chose it because I think most of you will like it.

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First Darling of the Morning:Selected Memories of an Indian Childhood by Thrity Umrigar

First Darling of the Morning is the powerful and poignant memoir of bestselling author Thrity Umrigar, tracing the arc of her Bombay childhood and adolescence from her earliest memories to her eventual departure for the United States at age twenty-one. It is an evocative, emotionally charged story of a young life steeped in paradox; of a middle-class Parsi girl attending Catholic school in a predominantly Hindu city; of a guilt-ridden stranger in her own land, an affluent child in a country mired in abysmal poverty. She reveals intimate secrets and offers an unflinching look at family issues once considered unspeakable as she interweaves two fascinating coming-of-age stories—one of a small child, and one of a nation.

In addition, author Duffy Brown graciously contributed a great canvas bag highlighting her new series set on Mackinac Island, Geared for the Grave.

I’ll draw a winner on November 25 so I can get it mailed before Thanksgiving.  It would make  great Christmas gift for yourself or someone else 🙂  Open internationally.

Wanna win?  Just tell me so in your comment and leave an email address. Good luck!

 

 

November 2, 2014 Posted by | Book signings, FREE, Mailbox Monday | , | 26 Comments

The End of Everything by Megan Abbott w/ giveaway

The End of Everything: A NovelThe End of Everything. Finished audio 4-19-14, rating 3/5. fiction, pub. 2011

Unabridged audio 8 1/2 hours, read by Emily Bauer

Thirteen-year-old Lizzie Hood and her next-door neighbor, Evie Verver, are inseparable, best friends who swap clothes, bathing suits, and field-hockey sticks and between whom, presumably, there are no secrets. Then one afternoon, Evie disappears, and as a rabid, giddy panic spreads through the balmy suburban community, everyone turns to Lizzie for answers. Was Evie unhappy, troubled, or upset? Had she mentioned being followed? Would she have gotten into the car of a stranger?

Compelled by curiosity, Lizzie takes up her own furtive pursuit of the truth. Haunted by dreams of her lost friend and titillated by her own new power as the center of the disappearance, Lizzie uncovers secret after secret and begins to wonder if she knew anything at all about her best friend.

from Goodreads

Once I finished this book, the one word that kept coming to mind was creepy.  Our narrator, Lizzie, perhaps most of all.  Her reaction at the disappearance of her best friend was puzzling to me, mainly because there didn’t seem to be one.  Her almost-casual willingness to help find her was all about spending time with Mr. Verver.  There were a lot of damaged characters in this book, but none so more than Lizzie.

The writing was good and the mystery surrounding Evie kept me reading, so I’d consider checking out another from this author, but the over-sexualized barely teen girls of this one will probably leave a bad taste in my mouth for awhile.

I know lots of bloggers loved this one, so I do wonder if the narration led to some of disappointment.

I own the hardcover book (even though I listened to the audio) and since it’s not something I want to keep, I’m offering it to one of you free of charge!

Leave a comment with your email address and I’ll throw your name in to win.  I’ll draw a winner on May 15th!

May 7, 2014 Posted by | 3 Star Books, FREE | , | 7 Comments

Lost Quiz with Lost Lake giveaway! – CLOSED

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I ended up with 2 hardcover copies of the new Sarah Addison Allen book Lost Lake Lost Lake and was going to give one away. Well, now’s the time!  My review will post tomorrow and you can get entries for the giveaway both days.

No cheating (using the web to help find answers) or copying.  You have til Monday (3/31) to enter.  All extras can be found here.

Leave your guesses in the comment section.  

Fill in the titles.  Each GUESS will earn you one entry (and every Correct answer will get you 10 points for the big prize).

 

1. Lost in a Good Book (Fforde)

2. Paradise Lost (Milton)

3. The Lost Symbol (Brown)

4. The Book of Lost Things (Connolly)

5. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent (Alvarez)

6. Lost Memory of Skin (Banks)

7.  Lost Souls (Brite)

8. The Keeper of Lost Causes (Adler-Olsen)

9. Lost Boy Lost Girl (Straub)

10. The Lost City of Z (Grann)

March 24, 2014 Posted by | FREE, Quizzes | 22 Comments