Stacy's Books

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Tuesday Quiz – Characters – guessing closed

quizOver the years I’ve had the need to consult Cliff’s Notes for help in understanding parts of literature.  I’ve lifted their top 3 character assessments from 10 books.  Think you can name the book?  If it helps, I only chose books written by women.  Good luck! (Thank you, Cliff’s Notes for being so thorough)

Take your best guesses, be entered to win a prize.  No cheating (using the web to help find answers) or copying.  All extra details can be found here.

Leave your  guess or guesses in the comment section until Sunday.  

1. Uncle Tom The central character, a slave belonging to Shelby. Eliza and George Harris Mrs. Shelby’s servant and her husband; they have a young son, Harry. Arthur, Emily, and George Shelby A Kentucky farmer (Tom and Eliza’s owner), his wife, and teenaged son.  Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Stowe)

2. Jonas The protagonist, or main character, in the novel. Jonas is a sensitive, polite, compassionate twelve-year-old boy. At the December Ceremony, he is selected to become the new Receiver of Memory, the most honored position in the community. Jonas is quite complacent, or non-caring, before he begins his training as the new Receiver, but after he gains wisdom from memories and realizes that people gave up their freedoms for Sameness, he becomes angry and frustrated. During his training, Jonas acquires very deep emotional feelings and learns about love.  Mother Jonas’ mother is an intelligent, sympathetic, and understanding person. She holds a prominent position at the Department of Justice. One of her job responsibilities is to punish people for breaking the strictly enforced rules of the community.  Father Jonas’ father is a shy, quiet, considerate, caring man. He is a Nurturer, responsible for the physical and emotional needs of every newborn child during the first few months of life. He is also responsible for the release — killing — of infants who are deemed worthless because something either emotional or physical, or both, is wrong with them.  The Giver (Lowry)

3. Elizabeth Bennet An intelligent and spirited young woman who possesses a keen wit and enjoys studying people’s characters. Although she initially dislikes Darcy, circumstances cause her to reassess her negative impression of him, and she eventually falls in love with him. Fitzwilliam Darcy A wealthy, proud man who falls in love with Elizabeth and reveals a generous, thoughtful nature beneath his somewhat stiff demeanor.  Mr. Bennet Elizabeth’s ironic and often apathetic father. Unhappily married, he has failed to provide a secure financial future for his wife and daughters.   Pride & Prejudice  (Austen)

4. Celie A young black Georgia girl who faces adulthood believing that she has been raped by her father and that he killed both of their babies. The novel examines her struggle to find love, self-esteem, and continuing courage despite harsh setbacks.  Nettie Celie’s sister. Celie loves Nettie more than anyone else in the world.  Fonso Celie and Nettie’s stepfather; shortly after their father is killed, he marries their widowed mother.   The Color Purple (Walker)

5.  Nathan Price An evangelical Baptist preacher who takes his family into the Belgian Congo in 1959 to do missionary work. His experiences in World War II shape his uncompromising desire to be an instrument of God, even at the expense of his family.  Orleanna (Wharton) Price Nathan’s wife. Spirited and beautiful as a young woman, her will has been broken by years of marriage to Nathan. She is desperate to protect her children from the dangers of the Congo.  Rachel Price The oldest of the Price daughters. Beautiful and shallow, she is a product of Western civilization and cares mostly for appearances and fun. She does not hesitate to use her beauty to manipulate others.  The Poisonwood Bible (Kingsolver)

6. Ponyboy Michael Curtis A 14-year-old boy who is the narrator and main character. His parents have been killed in an automobile accident, and he lives with his two brothers.  Soda(pop) Patrick Curtis Ponyboy’s 16-going-on-17-year-old brother. He is a high school dropout and works at the local gas station. He is “movie-star” handsome.  Darrel (Darry) Shayne Curtis The 20-year-old brother and legal guardian of Ponyboy and Soda. He works too hard and too long, and would be in college, if life had turned out different.  The Outsiders (Hinton)

7. Janie Sixteen-year-old Janie Crawford dreams of love and wonders whether love will come with marriage. Twenty-four years and three marriages later, Janie has experienced both love and personal growth.  Nanny Born into slavery on a plantation near Savannah, she bears Leafy, her white master’s child. Disappointed with this child, Nanny, who has no given name, dotes on her granddaughter Janie.  Mrs. Washburn Nanny’s employer and benefactor.  Their Eyes Were Watching God (Hurston)

8. Howard Roark The hero of the story. It is his struggle to succeed as an architect on his own terms that forms the essence of the novel’s conflict. His independent functioning serves as a standard by which to judge the other characters — either they are like Roark or they allow others, in one form or another, to control their lives. Roark is the embodiment of the great innovative thinkers who have carried mankind forward but are often opposed by their societies.  Henry Cameron Roark’s mentor. He is an aged, bitter curmudgeon — and a commercial failure — but he is the greatest architect of his day. He is an early modernist, one of the first to design skyscrapers and a man of unbending integrity. Roark admires Cameron as he does no one else in the novel. His life exemplifies the fate of many innovators who have discovered new knowledge or invented a revolutionary product, only to be repudiated by society.  Dominique Francon An impassioned idealist who loves only man the hero. Dominique is Roark’s lover, his greatest admirer, and, simultaneously, an ally of Roark’s most implacable enemy — Ellsworth Toohey — in the attempt to ruin his career. Dominique, though a brilliant woman, holds a pessimistic philosophy throughout much of the novel that prevents her from fulfilling her vast potential.   The Fountainhead (Rand)

9. Heathcliff The main character. Orphaned as a child, he is constantly on the outside, constantly losing people. Although he and Catherine Earnshaw profess that they complete each other, her decision to marry Edgar Linton almost destroys their relationship. He spends most of his life contemplating and acting out revenge. He is abusive, brutal, and cruel.  Catherine Earnshaw The love of Heathcliff’s life. Wild, impetuous, and arrogant as a child, she grows up getting everything she wants. When two men fall in love with her, she torments both of them. Ultimately, Catherine’s selfishness ends up hurting everyone she loves, including herself.  Edgar Linton Catherine’s husband and Heathcliff’s rival. Well-mannered and well-to-do, he falls in love with and marries Catherine. His love for her enables him to overlook their incompatible natures.   Wuthering Heights (Bronte)

10. Scout (Jean Louise Finch) Narrator of the story. The story takes place from the time Scout is aged 6 to 9, but she tells the story as an adult. Scout is a tomboy who would rather solve problems with her fists than with her head. Throughout the course of the book, Scout comes to a new understanding of human nature, societal expectations, and her own place in the world.  Atticus Finch Maycomb attorney and state legislative representative who is assigned to represent Tom Robinson. A widower, Atticus is a single parent to two children: Jem and Scout.  Jem (Jeremy Atticus Finch) Scout’s older brother who ages from 10 to 13 during the story. He is Scout’s protector and one of her best friends. As part of reaching young adulthood, Jem deals with many difficult issues throughout the story.   To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee)

August 5, 2014 Posted by | Quizzes | 14 Comments

Sundays with Gage – filling in the gaps

As a mother, I want to pass on my passions and knowledge to my son.  As a self-aware adult, I know there are areas that I know little about.  Gage loves when his classes have a music therapist come and he always comes home happy and excited.  I, on the other hand, have had very little music to share outside of library storytimes when Gage was 1 and 2.  I rarely listen to the radio and am more likely to have CNN on as background noise than music.  I am woefully uninformed about the latest song or group.  So, as any self-respecting book blogger would do, I checked a book out of the library

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Not surprisingly  I only had one in my possession, Synchronicity by The Police.  I placed holds on some at the library and set up our old cd player in the foyer.  Every morning Gage and I listen to some music and dance together.  These are not kids songs, we have those and sometimes he’ll switch to one, but I want to expose him (and myself) to music I’ve never taken the time to listen to before.  A few pics from one of our jam sessions…

gage music1  gage music 2  gage music 3  gage music 4

A few thoughts on some of what we’ve listened to so far…

Biggest Surprise – Gage seems to like Frank Sinatra.

Biggest Comeback – After listening to The Jesus and Mary Chain’s first album (Psychocandy) and not getting it at all I really liked their second on the list (Darklands).

Most likely to purchase – So by Peter Gabriel

Most likely to have Gage changing the CD after one song – Pump by Aerosmith

Gage first danced on his own to  – Synchronicity by The Police

I’ll keep you all updated on our music journey through this book.

List of the albums we listened to from the book (Pump by Aerosmith, Tidal by Fiona Apple, So and Melt by Peter Gabriel, Darklands and Psychocandy by The Jesus and Mary Chain, Regatta de  Blanc and Synchronicity by The Police, Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim and In the Wee Small Hours by Frank Sinatra)  10/1001

August 3, 2014 Posted by | Gage | | 24 Comments

July’s Movies

Wow!  I saw a lot of movies this month.  And some good ones too :)

Add your 5 words (or less!) to mine 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.

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.

We’re up to $50

Austenland Poster.jpgAustenland, 2013 (Cast-Keri Russell, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Seymour, JJ Field, Bret McKenzie)                          Grade A-

I want Austenland immersion too!

Slapstick, cheesy comedy with romance!   (Heather)

 I want who she got :)   (Michelle)

Lorax teaser poster.jpgThe Lorax, 2012 (Voices-Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Betty White, Zac Ephron, Taylor Swift, Rob Riggle)      Grade B+

Trees, trees – I love trees!

Cute and fun. Save trees!   (Heather)

Total cuteness, go the trees!   (Teddyree)



Belle poster.jpgBelle, 2013 (Cast-Tom Wilkinson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Emily Watson, Penelope Wilton, Sarah Gadon, Sam Reid)       Grade B

Seemingly romantic view of history.


Winters bone poster.jpgWinter’s Bone, 2010 (Cast-Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Lauren Sweetser, Garret Dillahunt)     Grade B

Ozarks aggressive take on  justice.

Better on second time watching.  (Michelle)

Acting amazing…story so sad.   (Heather)


Just Go with It Poster.jpgJust Go With It, 2011 (Cast-Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Brooklyn Decker, Nicole Kidman)      Grade C+

Aniston makes 40’s look good.



Sex Tape (film).jpgSex Tape, 2014 (Cast-Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob Corddry, Rob Lowe, Ellie Kemper)      Grade C

Laughs, eye rolls, laughs, shrugs.



Lucy (2014 film) poster.jpgLucy, 2014 (Cast-Scarlett Johanssen, Morgan Freeman, Min-Sik Choi, Amr Waked)       Grade D

90% really, really disliked it.

  Mind-blowing – really makes you think.   (Michelle)

July 31, 2014 Posted by | 5 Word Movie Reviews | | 14 Comments

Love Life by Rob Lowe

Love LifeLove Life. Finished July 2, 2014, rating 4/5, memoir, pub.2014

Unabridged audio read by the author

When Rob Lowe’s first book was published in 2011, he received the kind of rapturous reviews that writers dream of and rocketed to the top of the bestseller list. Now, in Love Life, he expands his scope, using stories and observations from his life in a poignant and humorous series of true tales about men and women, art and commerce, fathers and sons, addiction and recovery, and sex and love.

from Goodreads

I loved Rob Lowe’s first memoir about his start in the movie industry (Stories I Only Tell My Friends).  It even ended up on my favorite list at the end of the year.  Here’s what I said about Lowe’s narration at the time, “the audio is definitely the way to go with this one.  Lowe’s charm and intelligence come through loud and clear and I looked forward to getting in the car and visiting with him every day because that’s what it felt like.  He was very conversational and it was just a fun and easy listen.”  This is again true with this second memoir.

This one is a little less focused than the first, with stories ranging from acting to fatherhood to marriage, but no less engaging.  He still does lots of name-dropping, but the stories are told with respect and they aren’t always easy to hear. I’m thinking of the one when he went to rehab and his experience with other well-known celebrities; it broke my heart.  His stories about his boys growing up and leaving home, as well as his love for his wife, might have left a tear or two in my eyes.  But, for the most part I was smiling and chuckling.

If you want inside info on the movie industry or enjoy hearing fun stories about famous people then I recommend this one with both thumbs up.  And if you like those things I say listen to the first one too :)

I checked the audio out from the library.

July 30, 2014 Posted by | 4 Star Books | , | 12 Comments

1,000 Quiz – guessing closed

quizRecognize these books that all have over 1,000 pages?

Take your best guesses, be entered to win 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 until Sunday.  

1. “Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them.”   Don Quixote

2. “Jean Valjean had this peculiarity, that he might be said to carry two knapsacks; in one he had the thoughts of a saint, in the other the formidable talents of a convict. He helped himself from one or the other as occasion required.”  Les Miserables

1000 quiz

3.War and Peach (Tolstoy)   4.The Fiery Cross (Gabaldon)   5. Shantaram (Roberts)  6. And the Ladies of the Club (Santmyer)   7. It (King)   8. Imfinite Jest (Wallace)   9. The Executioner’s Song (Mailer)   10. Gone with the Wind (Mitchell)

Answers to last week’s James Garner quiz here.

July 29, 2014 Posted by | Quizzes | 19 Comments

That Night by Chevy Stevens

That NightThat Night. Finished 7-22-14, rating 4.25, fiction, 384 pages, pub. 2014

As a teenager, Toni Murphy had a life full of typical adolescent complications: a boyfriend she adored, a younger sister she couldn’t relate to, a strained relationship with her parents, and classmates who seemed hell-bent on making her life miserable. Things weren’t easy, but Toni could never have predicted how horrific they would become until her younger sister was brutally murdered one summer night. 

Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were convicted of the murder and sent to prison.  Now thirty-four, Toni is out on parole and back in her hometown, struggling to adjust to a new life on the outside.

from Goodreads

It’s hard to put my thoughts on this one in a cohesive review.  If I hadn’t agreed to read this for She Reads (who has chosen some of my favorite books of the year), it would probably still be sitting on my nightstand with a bookmark that moved forward ten pages a week.  For me, it was the tale of two books.  The first half was so slow and, well, slow.  Toni seemed like your typical angst, chip-on-her shoulder teen who fell prey to the bitchy girls of high school.  She had the perfect relationship with her boyfriend, a most imperfect one with her clueless parents and she and her sister were never close.  I. Was. Bored.  I powered through because of She Reads and also because I remember reading another blogger say that it took a long while for the story to pick up.  And I am so glad that I continued reading because pick up it did and the second half of the book had me reading late into last night when I closed the book with a satisfied sigh.

Since Toni was our narrator, it was easy to see that most conflict was skewed in her favor, and there was a lot of conflict. I viewed her as someone who wanted everyone to think she was tough and because of that she attracted trouble wherever she was – high school, prison, halfway house, going back home when no one really wanted her there.  I had sympathy for her but I also was hoping that she could somehow rise above it all.  You’ll have to read it and make up your own mind on whether that happens or not.

I thought the book really highlighted the problems of our prison and rehabilitation system here in the States.  Here was a girl who was innocent, sent to prison, and then expected to learn how to live in a world hostile and distrustful of her.  Maddening and saddening at the same time.

If you are willing to get past a slow beginning you will be in for a great thriller that will have you turning pages as quickly and as long as possible.  Like me, you might even give up some sleep for it.

I received this book from She Reads.  Go on over and see what other bloggers think about this one.   There’s still time to enter for a free copy here.  

July 24, 2014 Posted by | 4 Star Books | | 15 Comments

A Scrambled James Garner Quiz – guessing closed

quizJames Garner passed away at the age of 86 this week and I didn’t realize until I read about his life that he had earned two Purple Hearts in the Korean War. I remember watching The Rockford Files when I visited my grandparents, but I think that even if you don’t know much about James Garner that you’ll be able to recognize thses 10 films.

Take your best guesses, be entered to win a prize.  No cheating (using the web to help find answers) or copying.  You have til Sunday to enter.  All extra details can be found here.

Leave your guesses in the comment section.  

James GarnerUnscramble these Garner film titles (from oldest to newest)

1. ELWOMAR – Marlowe

2. MVOE  REVO  INGADLR – Move Over Darling

3. HTE  TEARG  EESCAP - The Great Escape

4. ETH  ILDRENCH’S  OHUR - The Children’s Hour

5. ROVITC / VRIAITCO - Victor/Victoria

6. PHMURY”S  NCERMOA - Murphy’s Romance

7. ICKMAVER - Maverick

8. PECSA  YSOOCWB - Space Cowboys

9. INEIDV  REECSTS  FO  HET  AY-AY STERIDOOHS – Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

10. HTE  OOONKTEB – The Notebook

Answers to last weeks American quiz here.

July 22, 2014 Posted by | Quizzes | 19 Comments

Monday Mailbox – July 21

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 came in the mailbox this week but I did pick up these two books for $3 at Half-Price Books :)  What a steal!


I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells 

John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it. He’s spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential. He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation. Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there’s something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat—and to appreciate what that difference means. Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could. Dan Wells’s debut novel is the first volume of a trilogy that will keep you awake and then haunt your dreams.

An Affair Before Christmas by Eloisa James

One spectacular Christmas, Lady Perdita Selby, known to her friends and family as Poppy, met the man she thought she would love forever. The devilishly attractive Duke of Fletcher was the perfect match for the innocent, breathtakingly beautiful young Englishwoman, and theirs was the most romantic wedding she had ever seen. Four years later, Poppy and the duke have become the toast of the ton… but behind closed doors the spark of their love affair has burned out.

Unwilling to lose the woman he still lusts after, the duke is determined to win back his beguiling bride’s delectable affections…and surpass the heady days of first love with a truly sinful seduction.

Have you read either of these? Did anything fun arrive in your mailbox this week?


July 21, 2014 Posted by | Mailbox Monday | 17 Comments

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)A Discovery of Witches. Finished 6-28-14, rating 3.75/5, fantasy, pub.2011

Unabridged audio narrated by Jennifer Ikeda.  24 hours.

First in a trilogy

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

from Goodreads

I am not a vampire or witch lover.  I occasionally get intrigued by the hype and check out a book with these characters (Twilight) but haven’t really fallen in love with any.  I’m not sure what made me pick this big book up at the library sale (value by page count?) but I did and I also checked out the Playaway so most of my reading of this one was really listening.  It was good.  I might listen to the next one if it’s the same narrator because I liked her performance.

Some things I liked

  • the concept of a lost book containing the origins of creatures (witches, vampires, daemons)
  • the easy relationship between Diana and Matthew
  • when Diana was trying to figure out what to make a vampire for a romantic dinner – totally made me giggle
  • the setting of Oxford and France
  • all of the well-known historical people who Matthew had known in his 1.500 years of existence
  • Diana. I really liked Diana and her aunts

A few things I didn’t care for

  • the story really slowed once in Wisconsin at the Bishop house
  • too much dialogue and the addition of so many characters in the last third of the book made it peter out for me a bit at the end

I am really curious about the time-walking coming up for Diana and Matthew and I would like to know what happens.  Harkness has made a fun world and I would like to see how it all pans out.

I’ve heard not so great things about the second one, but maybe she redeems the trilogy with the third?  Anyone read them?

July 16, 2014 Posted by | 4 Star Books | | 12 Comments

It’s as American as apple pie QUIZ! – guessing closed

quizReady for another round of quizzes?  I haven’t got as many in the draft folder as I’d like, but I’m excited to start again!  I do have a favor to ask. I know many of you like the quizzes (it’s always one of the things that get mentioned  first in an email) but my number of participants has gone down.  If you like them but don’t want to take part could you please spread the word so your friends might join in too?  Thanks so much for humoring my quizmaking ways :)

Okay, let’s get started!  An American themed quiz.

Take your best guesses, be entered to win a prize.  No cheating (using the web to help find answers) or copying.  You have til Sunday to enter.  All extra details can be found here.

Leave your guesses in the comment section.  

1. Who is the best selling American author of all-time? both would be acceptable because I think several places still have Robbins listed, but it is save to say that the winner is Danielle Steel with over 120 books totalling anywhere from $500-800 million in sales.

   A.Stephen King

   B. Danielle Steel

   C. Nora Roberts

   D. Harold Robbins

2. The Hornet’s Nest, a novel of the Revolutionary War, was written by which U.S. President?  Jimmy Carter

3. Who is the last American author to win the Nobel Prize in Literature?  Toni Morrison, 1993 for Beloved

Give me these titles…

flag quiz

4.Jamie’s America (Jamie Oliver)  5.American By Choice (Craig Ferguson)  6.The Execution (Dick Wolf)  7.The Traitor’s Wife (Allison Pataki  8.America (Daily Show)  9.Ragtime (EL Doctorow)  10. North and South (John Jakes)

Happy Guessing!

July 15, 2014 Posted by | Quizzes | 17 Comments


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