Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

Scandal on Rincon Hill by Shirley Tallman

Scandal on Rincon Hill (Sarah Woolson Series #4)Scandal on Rincon Hill. Finished 10-5-14, rating 3.75/5, mystery, 340 pages, pub. 2010

Book #4 of the Sarah Woolson mystery series (Book 1) (Book 2) (Book 3)

A body is found just blocks from attorney Sarah Woolson’s home on Rincon Hill. Sarah is on the case, but 19th-century San Francisco is soon thrown into a state of panic as a gruesome crime spree begins to take hold of the city.

from Goodreads

Sarah, the only female attorney in San Francisco in 1881 and one of two in all of California, has opened up shop but has a hard time making ends meet.  No one is in a hurry to hire a woman lawyer even though she has helped solve several big name cases.  Her heart is always willing to take on the oppressed and marginalized and she has the smarts and support to do it.  She still lives in the family home and her father and three brothers are all successful in their chosen fields. Only her mother still believes she’ll be able to see Sarah married off someday and in this book there is a marriage proposal so she’s not far off.

Brielle, a young mistress is thrown out of her home after she has a baby and has to turn to a madam to make ends meet.  Two men from China, only in town for days, are railroaded for two murders.  Sarah takes on both cases with little hope of successful outcomes for either.  She might just manage to keep her law practice afloat, but she’ll have to rely on old friends for help.

I like this series. Sarah is a focused and unconventional and Tallman is able to give me real sense of life in 1881 San Fransisco.  If you like historical mysteries and female leads you will probably like this series.

This was from my own library.

October 9, 2014 Posted by | 4 Star Books | | 6 Comments

Stephen King Quiz – guessing closed

quizLast week we tried Shakespeare quotes so I thought Stephen King would be the next best choice :)   Good luck matching the quotes from the novels to the title. Each is used only one time.

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.

Titles-Carrie, It, Under the Dome, The Shining, The Green Mile, Misery, Hearts in Atlantis, 11/22/63, Pet Sematary, Full Dark No Stars, The Stand, Cujo

1.“High school isn’t a very important place. When you’re going you think it’s a big deal, but when it’s over nobody really thinks it was great unless they’re beered up.”  -Carrie

2.“’Yeah, but what if you went back and killed your own grandfather?'”  -11/22/63

3. “We all float down here!”  -It

4. “Sometimes dead is better”  -Pet Sematary

5. “Close your eyes and click your heals three times…because there’s no place like Dome.”  -Under the Dome

6. “I believe most people are essentially good. I know that I am. It’s you I’m not entirely sure of.”  -Full Dark No Stars

7. “Wendy? Darling? Light, of my life. I’m not gonna hurt ya. I’m just going to bash your brains in.”  -The Shining

8. “The place where you made your stand never mattered. Only that you were there…and still on your feet.”  -The Stand

9.“On the day of my judgment, when I stand before God, and He asks me why did I kill one of his true miracles, what am I gonna say? That it was my job? My job?”  -The Green Mile

10.“I am your number one fan.”  -Misery

11. “The monster never dies.”  -Cujo

12.“Sometimes when you’re young, you have moments of such happiness, you think you’re living on someplace magical, like Atlantis must have been. Then we grow up and our hearts break into two.”  -Hearts in Atlantis

October 7, 2014 Posted by | Quizzes | , | 15 Comments

September’s Movies

Great theater month!

Now it’s your turn.  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 $53

The Drop Poster.jpgThe Drop, 2014 (Cast-Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini, Noomi Rapace, John Ortiz)            Grade B+

 Quiet man lives by code.

Theatrical release posterThe Maze Runner, 2014 (Cast-Dylan O’Brien, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter)    Grade B

Crazy maze was never boring.

This Is Where I Leave You poster.jpgThis is Where I Leave You, 2014 (Cast-Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne)   Grade B-

Great cast. Funny but sad.

Family dysfunction at its best.   (Kathy)
Marmaduke ver3.jpgMarmaduke, 2010 (Lee Pace, Judy Greer, William H. Macy. Voices of Owen Wilson, Fergie, Keifer Sutherland, Emma Stone, George Lopez)     Grade C

Big dog really gets around.

October 3, 2014 Posted by | 5 Word Movie Reviews | | 9 Comments

Prospect Street by Emilie Richards

Prospect StreetProspect Street. Finished 9-23-14, rating 4/5, fiction, 498 pages. pub. 2002

In one fell swoop, Faith Bronson loses her marriage, her financial security and her home. Despite the protestations of her father, she moves her family to a run-down town house in Georgetown. As she works on the house and attempts to put her life back together, she begins to discover secrets that have been long buried in the house on Prospect Street. Secrets that will change her family forever…

from Goodreads

I don’t want to give away too much so I won’t tell you why Faith’s marriage broke up, but the beginning of the story that concerned this worried me.  It was not the story I wanted from Richards whose heartfelt novels always leave me satisfied.  But as the story became more about Faith discovering her strength, I became more invested and less worried that it would fall down a rabbit hole I didn’t want to be trapped in.  This book was not in a hurry to get anywhere fast and I loved that. I loved meandering through the lives of Faith, her children, her family, and neighbors.  They each had their own story to tell and a mystery that connected them all.

It felt a little like a throwback, I was surprised that it was published in 2002.  Maybe the topic seemed dated, but I don’t know why because it’s not.  Anyway, I got caught up in the people, the mystery of a kidnapped baby and the rich Georgetown setting. I was reading this on our recent trip to Washington DC and we were planning on spending some time there, but it got late and I was too tired to walk across the bridge.  I love Georgetown and the idea of living in the townhouses there. Love it until, like Faith, I learn that renovations are extensive and expensive in those old homes.

It was a warm story of a woman coming into her own while battling the mysteries of her past.  I was captivated.

This was from my own library.

 

October 1, 2014 Posted by | 4 Star Books | | 14 Comments

Shakespeare Quiz with a special giveaway – giveaway closed

quizThis is a toughie, but take a few minutes and see if you can match the quotes to the play correctly.  Each title has only one quote.  The person who scores the highest will win a small gift I bought when visiting the Library of Congress. If there is a tie, I’ll have Gage pick a name :)  Good luck!!

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.

 

Titles- Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice, Richard III, The Merry Wives of Windsor

1. To be, or not to be:that is the question.  Hamlet

2. Beware the Ides of March  Julius Caesar

3. A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!   King Richard III

4. Parting is such sweet sorrow.  Romeo and Juliet

5. This is the short and long of it.   The Merry Wives of Windsor

6. Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em.   Twelfth Night

7.The course of true love never did run smooth.   A Midsummer’s Night Dream

8.All the world ‘s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.   As You Like It

9.Double, double toil and trouble.   Macbeth

10.All that glitters is not gold.   The Merchant of Venice

September 30, 2014 Posted by | Quizzes | , | 16 Comments

DC Quiz – guessing closed

quizJason and I had a great time visiting Washington DC last week.  We lived there for three years eons ago and would love to move back to the area someday.  Until then I’ll watch movies and read books set there!  See if you can recognize these movies from their movie posters. (resist the urge to search for the images – that’s no fun!)

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 until Monday.

1.1White House Down

2.2Dave

3.3All the President’s Men

4.4Primary Colors

5.5Protocol

6.6A Few Good Men

7.7An American President

8.8St. Elmo’s Fire

9. 9State of Play

10.10In the Line of Fire

September 24, 2014 Posted by | Quizzes | 10 Comments

Roadside Crosses by Jeffery Deaver

Roadside Crosses (Kathryn Dance Series #2)Roadside Crosses. Finished 8-26-14, rating 3.75/5, mystery, pub. 2009

Unabridged audio 16 hours. Read by Michele Pawk.

Book 2 of the Kathryn Dance series. (Book 1)

Kathryn Dance, kinesics expert with the California Bureau of Investigation, made her first appearance in the Lincoln Rhyme series (Cold Moon) and then started her own series with The Sleeping Doll.  She is caught up in a string of nasty crimes that culminate with roadside crosses being left before the crime is committed nearby.  It all seems to stem from a blog post and the comments section. (Oh, to have such power!)  As she tries to track down all those who made a comment blaming a maybe innocent teen, she spends less time reading body language and more time relying on help from tech experts.  I think that’s what made this less enjoyable than the other two books with Dance.  This became a good mystery, but little to set it apart from other good mysteries.

This book was interesting from a blogger’s perspective since it showcased blogs, websites, social media and virtual gaming.  Deaver likes to educate on a given topic and when this was written in 2009 it probably was more cutting edge than today.  Still, for those three people still offline, this would be eye-opening.  It is a cautionary tale about how much of our lives and ourselves we put online for the world (strangers whose motives we don’t know) to see.  The longer I blog and comment the less I am aware of the lurking evil so this was a nice refresher for me :)

I like Dance and will read her next book, but I hope she uses more of her skills in reading people.

This was from my personal library.

 

 

September 23, 2014 Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books | | 6 Comments

Monday Mailbox – September 22

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.  

Jason and I went to Washington DC for a few days last week and surprise, surprise, not much reading was done BUT that didn’t stop Mt. TBR from growing :)

The Silent Sister

 The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain (sent by the publisher)

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.

Murder Strikes a Pose

Murder Strikes a Pose by Tracy Weber (a signed copy won from Vicki at I’d Rather Be At The Beach – THANK YOU TRACY AND VICKI!!!)

When George and Bella—a homeless alcoholic and his intimidating German shepherd—disturb the peace outside her studio, yoga instructor Kate Davidson’s Zen-like calm is stretched to the breaking point. Kate tries to get rid of them before Bella scares the yoga pants off her students. Instead, the three form an unlikely friendship.

One night Kate finds George’s body behind her studio. The police dismiss his murder as a drug-related street crime, but she knows George wasn’t a dealer. So Kate starts digging into George’s past while also looking for someone to adopt Bella before she’s sent to the big dog park in the sky. With the murderer nipping at her heels, Kate has to work fast or her next Corpse Pose may be for real.

Did anything fun show up in your mailbox last week?

September 21, 2014 Posted by | Mailbox Monday | 15 Comments

Traveling!

Oh, how I miss traveling.  It is difficult to plan trips with Gage because of his therapy schedule and even more, his allergies.  Hopefully we’ll be taking a short family trip at the end of the month, BUT this week (like in a few hours) Jason and I are sneaking off for 3 whole nights!  Jason has a conference in the DC area so I’m tagging along to visit old haunts (this is where Jason and I met 18 1/2 years ago).  No quiz. Haven’t had the time or the energy. Maybe the few days away will revive me :)

IMG_0626Gage at the library yesterday.  Isn’t his new haircut cute?

September 17, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 15 Comments

The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice

The Lemon OrchardThe Lemon Orchard. Finished 9-15-14, rating 3.5/5, fiction, pub. 2013

Unabridged audio read by Blair Brown. Approximately 8.5 hours.

In the five years since Julia last visited her aunt and uncle’s home in Malibu, her life has been turned upside down by her daughter’s death. She expects to find nothing more than peace and solitude as she house-sits with only her dog, Bonnie, for company. But she finds herself drawn to the handsome man who oversees the lemon orchard. Roberto expertly tends the trees, using the money to support his extended Mexican family. What connection could these two people share? The answer comes as Roberto reveals the heartbreaking story of his own loss—a pain Julia knows all too well, but for one striking difference: Roberto’s daughter was lost but never found. And despite the odds he cannot bear to give up hope.

from Goodreads

Julia lost her daughter and her estranged husband in one instant and the grief is still fresh after five years.  As she and her dog Bonnie start to heal in Malibu it is the lemon orchard’s manager that provide’s a connection to her daughter and the bond between Julia and Roberto is the heart of the story.  As Julia tries to help Roberto find peace she also comes closer to peace herself.

I liked this gentle love story and the setting of Malibu, but I found the illegal/undocumented immigrant aspect to be somewhat overdone.  Roberto’s story of crossing the border would have been enough to tell of the horror and heartbreak, but it seemed to go further than that at times. It also had a few extra perspectives in the story, family friend Lion the most prevalent and the most head-scratching. Julia and Roberto were the only stories I wanted even though Lion was a likeable enough guy.  I still liked the novel and Julia and Roberto and I loved the end.

A must read for those who are interested in the border immigrant story.

I won this from Elyse at Pop Culture Nerd last year.

September 16, 2014 Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books | | 7 Comments

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