Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

Sundays with Gage – Christmas in the House That Grandpa Built

 We headed home this weekend to celebrate Christmas with my Grandma and the family.  My Grandpa was the oldest of 12 and my Grandma the second oldest of 9 and they had 6 kids (and in-laws), 8 (then 10) grandchildren (and 8 in-laws), and with Gage 12 great-grandchildren.  My Grandpa died in 1992, but the rest of the family he and my Grandma made still get together every year in the house that he built.  It’s a favorite time for me because I grew up surrounded by a lot of family and it is a treat for me to travel home and be surrounded by the love of relatives.  As an only child my extended family is important to me and I am thankful for them. 

This year was special because Gage is the first baby in 7 years so he got lots of attention and as you can see by his picture he was worn out by the time we headed back today.  And today marks two months that Gage has graced us with his presence and we are excited to celebrate his first Christmas next week even if the only part of his presents he showed any interest in yesterday was a ribbon (and I’m using interest in very lightly).

Hope this holiday season hasn’t worn you out as much as it has Gage 🙂

December 20, 2010 Posted by | Gage | | 31 Comments

700 Sundays, by Billy Crystal

Cover ImageFinished 8-18-09, rating 4/5, memoir, pub. 2005

Now you can’t pick the family that you’re born into.  That’s just the roll of the dice.  It’s just luck.  But if I could pick these people, I would pick them over and over again because they were lunatics.  Fun lunatics.  What a crazy group of people, and great characters too.  It was like the Star Wars bar, but everybody had accents.

Chapter 2

Actor and comedian Billy Crystals writes a touching memoir of the 700 Sundays that he had with his father before before his death when Billy was 15.  Although this is a tribute to his parents, it is also a celebration of his family.  He has an impressive and accomplished extended family and his love for them is evident on every page. 

His family owned Commodore Music Shop in midtown Manhattan and because of the connections made there Billy grew up surrounded by artists.  He included snapshots of these meetings and relationships.  My favorite may have been when the great Billie Holiday took him to see his first movie and he watched Shane sitting on her lap.  These stories added to the book, but were not the focus. 

One page I was laughing out loud as he discovered his newfound manhood and on the next I was in tears as I read about the last time Billy saw his father.  There was humor (most of it successful), but it really reached out and touched my heart as I raced to the end. 

I will admit that there were several chapters at the beginning that I found boring, but the second half of the book made up for it.  A man who loves and appreciates his family, like Billy, is one to admire.

It is relatively short and includes photos of the people he’s writing about.  He also performed this book on Broadway in a one man show and I wish I’d had the chance to see it.  I highly recommend this memoir of his memories with his father and mother.

August 20, 2009 Posted by | 4 Star Books | , , , | 6 Comments