Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

Jodi Picoult by the Numbers Quiz

quizI was looking up something for another quiz and got caught up in Picoult’s world for a bit so I thought I’d how much you all know. NO CHEATING!

Take your best guesses, be entered to win a prize – you only need one correct answer to be eligible for a prize.  No cheating (using the web to help find answers) or copying.  All extra details can be found here.

Leave your guesses in the comment section by Tuesday afternoon.

1. How many books has Jodi written?  18, 20, or 23?

2. Which book was about a school shooting?

3. How many months does it take her to write a book?  6. 9, or 12?

4. What does she consider her favorite of her books?

5. How many kids does she have?

6 & 7.  She starts her day at ___with a ___ mile walk.

8. What was her first novel published in 1992?

9-12.picoultOnly one of these has a number in the title but you’ll get points for all you know :)

October 29, 2014 Posted by | Quizzes | Leave a comment

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

The Silent SisterThe Secret Sister. Finished 10-13-14. rating 4.25/5, fiction, 343 pages, pub. 2014

In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager.  Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she’s in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary.  Lisa is alive.  Alive and living under a new identity.  But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?  As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family.  Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality, in this engrossing mystery from international bestselling author Diane Chamberlain.

from Goodreads

I received this from the publisher courtesy of She Reads and it’s the first book I’ve read by Chamberlain.  I’m so glad I discovered another great author!  This book was addicting right from the very first page and I was always looking for a spare minute to read it.

Riley felt lost and abandoned when her father died. She had a brother, but he was fighting his own battles and wanting to relive the past talking about their dad was not something he was willing to do.  Riley started taking care of her father’s estate and made some weird discoveries causing her realize how little she really knew about his life.  I felt for Riley but it was really the secrets that kept me reading.  Yes, Riley was alone (ish) after losing a sister and both of her parents but there was a woe-is-me attitude about her that rubbed me the wrong way at times.

I was invested in Riley’s story and then we switch to Lisa’s and I was disappointed at first, but as the book progressed it worked.  Where Riley felt somewhat entitled to me, Lisa did not.  Lisa, a girl what had been caught in a hard place and only the love of her father gave her a chance at a life, was such an interesting character.  She made such a rich life for herself, with purpose and people, and it was impossible not to like her.

Obviously, I really liked this one.  It didn’t finish as strong as it started, but it was a great ride.

 

October 28, 2014 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books | | 5 Comments

Mailbox Monday – October 27

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.  

I love fall and wish it could last all winter long ;)  Not much reading lately, too busy enjoying the crisp air and beautiful colors of autumn, but a few books are still trickling in here and there.

IMG_1045

The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth (sent by St. Martin’s Press)

A novel about three generations of midwives (a woman, her mother, and her grandmother) and the secrets they keep that push them apart and ultimately bind them together

THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES tells the story of three generations of women devoted to delivering new life into the world—and the secrets they keep that threaten to change their own lives forever. Neva Bradley, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy—including the identity of the baby’s father— hidden from her family and co-workers for as long as possible. Her mother, Grace, finds it impossible to let this secret rest. For Floss, Neva’s grandmother and a retired midwife, Neva’s situation thrusts her back 60 years in time to a secret that eerily mirrors her granddaughter’s—a secret which, if revealed, will have life-changing consequences for them all. Will these women reveal their secrets and deal with the inevitable consequences? Or are some secrets best kept hidden?

 

Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis by Carole P Roman (sent by Red Feather Productions)

Captain No Beard and his crew of loyal pirates heave anchor for another adventure, this time in the icy waters of the Arctic. Captain No Beard’s steering a course due north, sailing by the light of the North Star. Everyone on the crew wonders what the captain’s up to, especially as he gets embarrassed when they ask. When the captain finally admits his plan, the crew discovers he plans to steal the aurora borealis, the beautiful northern lights that brighten the arctic sky. They’re all shocked. They may be pirates, but even they know stealing is bad. Besides, how can anyone steal the lights from the sky? A charming, engaging tale about doing what’s right, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis is the latest installment in Carole P. Roman’s award-winning pirate series. The first book, Captain No Beard-an Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life, received the Kirkus Reviews Best of 2012 award and the Star of Remarkable Achievement. The series presents real-life problems in an imaginary setting and encourages discussion with both parents and educators.

The After House by Michael Phillip Cash (by Red Feather Productions)

Remy Galway and her daughter Olivia are rebuilding their life after a failed marriage in a 300 year old cottage in historic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. Little do they know, another occupant is lurking in the haven of their own home. Will the After House be their shelter or their tomb?

Did anything interesting arrive in your mailbox this week?  Books or otherwise :)

 

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Mailbox Monday | 12 Comments

Sundays with Gage – And birthday makes 4!

October 19, 201020112012bdcake12013

4th birthday 34th birthday2014!

As I suspected it might be, Gage’s first big birthday party was a lovely chaotic few hours.  I am so thankful that Gage has friends who want to celebrate with him.  We had 14 kids between 3-5 and they were great. I planned the party myself and I learned a lot for next time, lol.  Here’s what we did.

IMG_0932We put up our bounce house in the family room and Gage welcomed the kids by taking them there first thing.  It got crazy so I put Jason in charge ;)  Lesson learned-need lots of alternative activities close by for the kids who are waiting.

balloons 2Robert the Rogue (he came sans pirate gear) made awesome balloon animals for all the kids.  Lesson learned-definitely worth the money since I really considered this the big part of their take home favors.

pumpkinsThen the kids headed down to the basement to decorate their own little pumpkins.  Lesson learned-needed someone helping the kids the whole time, more supervision.

dance partyStill in the basement we turned out the lights and turned on the disco ball and music. I didn’t really get any good pics of this but Gage will tell you that this was his favorite part of the party.  There was a box of noisemakers for them to choose from and keep but I don’t think I made that clear.  Lesson learned-if you don’t want a lot of extra noisemakers in your house make sure that you pass them out to the kids with instructions to take them home!

 

IMG_0957Headed back upstairs and Robert the Rogue did a short magic show.  Gage missed some of this by having a mini-meltdown in the kitchen but he made a pretty quick recovery.  Lesson learned-Robert earned his money.

IMG_0961Cake time! Everything we served was gluten free-dairy free. This cake was made by a vegan bakery and we served almond ice cream.  Gage ate neither deciding instead to eat as many grapes and pretzels that he could get his hands on.  Lesson learned-So many things I wish I could have done better here, but my biggest problem was not taking a deep breath and actually making sure all of the food and drinks got to all of the kids.  Parents started chatting and lots of food got left on the island.

 

lilyIt was time for his friends to go and I couldn’t get a smile from Gage in any of these pics, not even with his best bud Lily.  Lesson learned-Gage likes parties and friends and we should have more of both in our house!

It was a great day and I think a good time was had by the kids.  All 14 of them and their parents ;)   As for me, the last guest who came by for Gage’s birthday left at 10 pm.  Needless to say I was happily exhausted.

Can you believe my guy is 4?!?!  If you want Gage to take up a few more minutes of your time you can read all about his entry into the world here.

October 26, 2014 Posted by | Gage | 19 Comments

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)

The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike Series #1)The Cuckoo’s Calling. Finished audio 10-10-14, rating 4.5/5, pub. 2013

Unabridged audio read by Robert Glenister. 16 hours.

Book 1 of the Cormoran Strike series.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.

from Goodreads

Like most readers of Harry Potter, I am a JK Rowling fan, but unlike some I wasn’t too keen on reading her adult books.  I think I just wanted her to live in my Hogwarts bubble and that would have been a shame.  After reading mixed reviews of her first book The Casual Vacancy I decided to skip it, but when I started seeing the reviews for this one I knew I’d have to give her a post Harry Potter chance to win me over again.  And she did.  I loved the start of this new series.

Strike is a smart but struggling private investigator in London who has money and girl problems.  He hires a new temp, Robin, and manages a new client, an old childhood acquaintance, so things are looking up.  The only problem is that he has to prove the infamous suicide felt ’round the world wasn’t a suicide at all.  As far as mysteries go this was solid with lots of characters and potential suspects.  I didn’t know for sure what would happen at the end although I had a sneaking suspicion every now and then.

What sets this apart from others in this genre is the flawed and solid character of Strike.  He’s a mess but an honest and earnest one.  While his fledgling business shows his shortcomings, the way he treats people and his intelligence made me love him.  I am excited to see what’s in store for Strike and his not-so-temp Robin in the next book. I already have it on hold at the library.

I loved the narration by Robert Glenister. He became Strike for me so it looks like I’ll be going the audio route for the series.

Checked this one out of the library.

October 23, 2014 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books | | 21 Comments

Bestseller to Box Office Quiz – guessing closed

quizSo many great books have become movies so far this year.  Let’s see wht you can figure out from Goodreads description of the book – no cheating!

Take your best guesses, be entered to win a prize – you only need one correct answer to be eligible for a prize.  No cheating (using the web to help find answers) or copying.  All extra details can be found here.

Leave your guesses in the comment section by Tuesday afternoon.

1. Is the heart-rending story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they’ve taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world.   The Best of Me

2. Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.   The Fault in Our Stars

3. When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.   Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.  The Maze Runner

4. On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River.    Gone Girl

5. The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family—including Judd’s mother, brothers, and sister—have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd’s wife, Jen, whose fourteen-month affair with Judd’s radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public.  Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch’s dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together.   This is Where I Leave You

6. Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?  Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.   If I Stay

7. Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training.  The Giver

8. In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both.   Divergent

9. New York City is subsumed in arctic winds, dark nights, and white lights, its life unfolds, for it is an extraordinary hive of the imagination, the greatest house ever built, and nothing exists that can check its vitality. One night in winter, Peter Lake, orphan and master-mechanic, attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side.  Though he thinks the house is empty, the daughter of the house is home. Thus begins the love between Peter Lake, a middle-aged Irish burglar, and Beverly Penn, a young girl, who is dying.   Winter’s Tale

10. St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .   Vampire Academy

 

October 22, 2014 Posted by | Quizzes | | 10 Comments

Read-a-thon Winners!

Sorry I’m late in announcing these, balloon decorating fest til 12 when I couldn’t do anything but fall into bed!  And the winners of my Beloved Cover mini-challenge are…

Debbie Chute -you have won $15 to spend at Book Depository!  Congratulations!

Jamie (Valia’s Page Turner) -you have won $10 to spend at the Book Depository! Congratulations!

Thank you all for participating. I have quizzes like this every Wednesday for fun and prizes :)

October 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Beloved Books Mini-challenge

Welcome Read-a-Thon peeps!  I hope you’re all having a fun day so far.  This is my only participation this time around because I am knee-deep in birthday party preparations for my son who turns 4 tomorrow.  When I do participate though I always love the mini-challenges and since I’m cleaning up lots of books today I thought I’d see how many of these picture books you could recognize.  I only need the title.  Every answer that you get correct you’ll get your name thrown into the hat, the more you know the more entries you receive to win $15 at the Book Depository.  I’ll periodically hide your comments so you won’t be tempted to cheat ;)  And no google searches.

I’m also going to encourage you to go and choose some picture books (for kids or adults) from your own home and take a picture.  Cover the titles best you can, leave a link so I and anyone else who wants to can visit and guess.  If you do this your name will be thrown into a separate hat for $10 at the Book Depository.  And why not take a few minutes and read a few?

You can play both ways and be entered to win both.  Open internationally.

I’ll be drawing for a winner  during hour 15.  Good luck :)

 

kids

 

Guess How Much I Love You-McBratney

Llama Llama Red Pajama-Dewdney

The Three Pigs-Wiesner

Harry the Dirty Dog-Zion

Green Eggs and Ham-Dr.Seuss

Amimalia-Base

Where the Wild Things Are-Sendak

Olivia-Falconer

The Very Busy Spider-Carle

Harold and the Purple Crayon- Johnson

October 18, 2014 Posted by | Read-a-Thon | | 89 Comments

Updates & a giveaway winner

Things have been a little crazy around here and the blog (and blog visiting) has gone by the wayside.  My birthday was last week and Jason took me away for a night, our 16 year anniversary is Friday, and Gage is turning 4 on Saunday!  This is his first year having a friend party and like a newbie I worried about renting a place and having no kids show up.  sigh.  So, I foolishly decided to have it at our house.  Then they ripped off our deck and won’t put it back on until someone else comes and takes a look at something.  Next Wednesday. Ok, no deck, it’ll be chilly no big deal (except for the hideous looking cavernous space right outside the biggest door/window in the house).  Remember how I was worried no one would show up?  We’re up to 11 kid rsvps plus parents. That’s 11 3-5 year olds to entertain for 2 hours.  Plus I did invite a few other people who work with Gage.  Bah! Anyway, as I sit typing this I am really thinking about how much needs to get done before Sunday.  But I do love a party :)

I need to get a few things off my to-do list.

I promised a prize for a quiz a few weeks ago and I have a winner. Both Hannah and Nise got perfect scores (no surprise there!)  and Gage drew a name….Hannah!  There’s no photo evidence because I’m having technical difficulties (of course!).  I will be mailing off her surprise gift from the Library of Congress soon (soon means after the party).

I made a quiz this morning, but it’s for Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon this weekend.  You still have time to sign-up!  My quiz will be hour 11 (6pm EST) if you want to come back and take a look.

You may see me around this week here or elsewhere on the blogs but if not don’t take it personally. It’s been a long time since we had a party here and I’m probably just freaking out :)

 

October 15, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 11 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 (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 | , | 15 Comments

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 263 other followers