Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

24 Hour Read-a-Thon, the final meme

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Well, another read-a-thon is in the books and this may have been my favorite one yet, even if I didn’t make it the whole 24. It seems 21 hours is my sweet spot as far these things go, sometimes I’m crawling, eyes barely open, to get there and other times, like this morning I was surprisingly fresh and just decided to call it a day.  I credit this to spending a big chunk of the time listening to audio books and building my yearly book wall.  I was moving most of the day.

End of Event Meme:

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?  I’ll be honest, at 4:30 am I got tired for the first time – that’s 21 hours in, I decided that I had read and done a majority of what I wanted to do so I headed to bed.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I LOVED all three books I finished this year and would recommend them all…Roll of Thunder, Hear My CryThe ReaderThe Precious OneAll different and all excellent choices.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?  I thought the cheering was great this year. Team Popper was very generous with their comments :)
  5. How many books did you read? Finished 3 and half of a fourth, The Hard Way (Jack Reacher Series #10)
  6. What were the names of the books you read?  Se above
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
  8. Which did you enjoy least?  I liked them all.
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?  I tried to cheer more this year and probably got a few hours in.  I thought the spreadsheets were easy to use and well maintained throughout the day.
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?  I participate every year my schedule allows me and I’ll continue to do so. My husband’s birthday is in April and Gage and I have birthdays in October so I usually miss at least one of the two due to parties or travel :)  Thanks for another great read-a-thon, ladies!!!

April 26, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Hour 19 update and mini-challenge

It hour 19 and I’m still going strong :) I’ve been listening to The Hard Way by Lee Child and am just a few pages away from finishing The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos.  Amazingly I have LOVED all three of the books that I’ll have read by the end of the hour.  Woo hoo!!

Okay, for the challenge

Best Book of Your Reading Year  Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes

Best YA Book of Your Reading Year  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor, winner of the 1977 Newbery Medal

Best Mystery Book of Your Reading Year  The Hound of the Baskervilles by Conan Arthur Doyle

Best Non-Fiction Book of Your Reading Year  The Residence:Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Anderson Brower

Best Cover of Your Reading Year  Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag

The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag

Best Setting of Your Reading Year  my favorite city in the world, Venice, Italy in The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore

Best Story Line of Your Reading Year  Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes made me laugh and brought me to tears.

April 26, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Read-a-Thon Update – the halfway survey

lg new readathonbutton borderAh, just over halfway through this 24 hour read-a-thon and I’m feeling good, mainly because I’ve spent the last several hours creating my yearly book wall of unread books and it’s one mountain of a TBR :)  Moving over 800 piles of books twice is a good workout, no?  I’ll give you read-a-thonners a sneak peak before my official post next week…

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Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? I’ve been listening to The Hard Way by Lee Child while working on the book wall.
2. How many books have you read so far? I’ve finished two and loved them both.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My CryThe Reader
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?  Reading more of The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?  Not any interruption more than 5-10 minutes so it’s been a great day :)
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?  No surprises, just fun!

April 25, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Read-a-Thon update, hour 7

lg new readathonbutton borderWe’re into the 7th hour and I fee like I haven’t gotten enough reading done, but I’m not stressing about it because I’ve had fun visiting old friends and cheering for new ones.

Since the last update during hour two, I’ve eaten lunch (pulled pork sandwich with chips and salsa), fixed Gage lunch (hamburger & grilled cheese) cheered for team Sherlock, visited participating blog friends via Bloglovin, read some of The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos, and listened to The Reader by Bernhard Schlink while cleaning.

I’m having a perfectly bookish day.

I embraced the challenge of the hour to find a book with snow, a tree, and a weapon.  I’ve read all three but Lamb is my favorite.  What about you?

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April 25, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Read-a-thon Update and Mini-challenge

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It’s 10:30 (hour 2.5)and I’ve finished my first book, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor.  LOVED IT!

I spent 30 minutes cheering and 15 minutes preparing this hour 2 mini-challenge.

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These are the four books I chose to represent the four seasons. I ‘ve read and love  all four. What about you?

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Thanks for the fun challenge, Darren!

April 25, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

It’s 24 hour Read-a Thon time!!!

lg new readathonbutton borderI’m so excited! I’ve set aside the next 24 hours for all things books, reading and Read-a-Thon.

Opening Meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?  the Cleveland suburbs
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?  Finishing up Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?  I have knockout cake waiting for me in the frig
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I love the fun, community and, yes, the challenge of participating in the whole 24 hours.  I’ve only managed the whole 24 twice before so we’ll see how it goes today.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?   I am planning a VARIETY of bookish things today. Reading books, listening to books while I clean and cook, reading my regular blogs, cheering other readers, and building my yearly bookwall of unread books.  Here’s last year’s wall and start to finish it takes about 4-6 hours so I’ll be doing it in spurts when I need to move around.  (and I’ll start after my 4-year-old has left for grandma’s for the night).

I’ll be doing different posts fairly often.  Happy reading everybody!

April 24, 2015 Posted by | Read-a-Thon | 11 Comments

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon with a throwback quiz

If I’m in town I always have the Read-a-thon on my calendar.  What is more fun that spending 24 hours straight reading and connecting with others who are doing the same thing?  It starts for me at 8am on Saturday, but each time zone around the world is different, and I always try to make it the whole 24 hours.  If you are interested in joining me and hundreds of other readers then you should go and sign up right now!

I love the mini-challenges, both as a participant and a challenge maker.  For the first time in 3 years I was not chosen to be a challenge host :(  I was disappointed, but admit that it did free up an hour making it and close to that in choosing a winner.  In honor of the Read-a-Thon, I’m posting one of my past min-challenges (some of you may remember it!).  I just need the titles of the books in my clock.

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April 22, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

The Residence:Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower

The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White HouseThe Residence. Finished 4-20-15, rating 4.5/5, history/politics, 320 pages, pub. 2015

Thanks to Trish at TLC Book Tours  for inviting me to be a part of this book tour.  I received the book in exchange for my thoughts (and thankfully my thoughts are good :))

America’s First Families are unknowable in many ways. No one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, The Residence reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the President and First Family.

These dedicated professionals maintain the six-floor mansion’s 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, three elevators, and eight staircases, and prepare everything from hors d’oeuvres for intimate gatherings to meals served at elaborate state dinners. Over the course of the day, they gather in the lower level’s basement kitchen to share stories, trade secrets, forge lifelong friendships, and sometimes even fall in love.  from Goodreads

I like keeping up with current politics, so reading this book that spans 50+ years of White House inside information was fun for me.  The stories from the full-time and part-time workers who make  the first family’s time in the White House run smoothly were told with pride.  I loved hearing about the bullying Johnson, the warm Bushes (the first ones there), the partying Clintons, the domineering Nancy, and secret scene of the Obamas first night in America’s house.

I had no idea that the White House was designed by James Hoban, who won a competition planned by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and that it was built on the backs of slaves being paid in pork, bread and whiskey.  In 1941 the annual budget was $152,000 and today it comes in around $13 million.  That’s a lot of inflation!  I was surprised to learn that with all that money in the budget the first family is still required to pay for their move into and out of the White House and pay for all the food that they and their friends  eat (I always assumed we were feeding them).  President Carter didn’t think so much tax payer money needed to go to flowers (in other administrations $50,000 for state dinner flowers was the norm) so he sent the staff out to parks to find flowers, with one staffer even being arrested.  It was stories like these that had me chuckling.

The staff does their best to make each and every family, regardless of party, feel at home.  They take pride in serving not only the first family but representing the United States at state dinners and when taking care of the dignitaries from around the world.  I loved these behind-the-scenes looks at the best and worst of times.  I was shocked at the complete chaos on 9-11.

I was struck by how Brower wrote about the discretion of the workers on one page and then included unflattering tidbits about the children a page or two later.  I felt like the Chelsea and Secret Service story was disrespectful in a way that she tried to avoid in the rest of the book. There was another story of some bong-loving sons that I felt didn’t need to be included either.  She went out of her way to paint them in a positive light later, but I wish she could have saved the unflattering stories for the President and First Lady.

Definitely worth reading for anyone with an interest in history, the White House, or even current politics.

Oh, and there’s still a few days to enter the Goodreads giveaway.

April 21, 2015 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books | , | 8 Comments

Mailbox Monday – April 20 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.

IMG_3020I went to bag day at our library book sale (something I try to avoid because I don’t need any more books).  I picked up 11 books for $2, cha-ching!

AND they had a nice used copy of one of my favorite books, The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende.  I picked this up for one for you, dear reader friends.    Would  you like to give it a try?  Let me know you’d like in the comments and I’ll have Gage choose a winner on Thursday.  

House of Spirits by Isabel Allende.

In one of the most important and beloved Latin American works of the twentieth century, Isabel Allende weaves a luminous tapestry of three generations of the Trueba family, revealing both triumphs and tragedies. Here is patriarch Esteban, whose wild desires and political machinations are tempered only by his love for his ethereal wife, Clara, a woman touched by an otherworldly hand. Their daughter, Blanca, whose forbidden love for a man Esteban has deemed unworthy infuriates her father, yet will produce his greatest joy: his granddaughter Alba, a beautiful, ambitious girl who will lead the family and their country into a revolutionary future.

Here’s what else I picked up

Petals on the River by Kathleen Woodwiss.  I picked this one up because she’s a romance author I’ve always wanted to read and then I saw that the hero’s name is GAGE!  Had to have it.

Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood. I really like the quirkiness of his first book and I’m hoping for the same with this one.

Read It and Weep by Jenn McKinley. Haven’t read the series but I want to!

The Paris Affair by Teresa Grant. I admit that I picked up this one based on the cover alone.

I Dare Me:How I Rebooted and Recharged My Life by Doing Something New Everyday by Lu Ann Cahn

Tarzan by Walt Disney

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith.  Really liked the first one so excited about this one!

Field of Prey by John Sandford. Didn’t realize I was behind on the series until I found this one!

Still Life With Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen.

You on a Diet by Drs. Roizen and Oz

None of these are new.  Have you read any?

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you want to win The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende.

April 19, 2015 Posted by | Mailbox Monday | 13 Comments

Saved from Gage’s Slush Pile

Gage has plenty of places for books, but sometimes, when the books start spewing over the places I need to walk, I make him go through his entire library and give a yea or a nay.  Yea and we keep it;nay we give it to other kids by donating it.  The nay pile is never very big and this time around I thought he did great with nine.  Sometimes there are books I think he might like but we just haven’t read them at the right time so I make him read it one more time to decide.

The first one I knew he’d probably reject but since it’s all rhyming words and that’s something we’re working on right now (this concept is proving difficult for some reason), we read it anyway.  Play Day by Bruce McMillan .  And, as expected, it was placed in our giveaway pile.

The second was one that Jill sent us last year, The Bedtime Book for Dogs by Bruce Littleworth and illustrated by Paul Heath. 32 pages, published in 2011.

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It’s about a dog who wants to play but his human friend is busy so he takes himself out for a play date.  He carries his own leash, opens the door, and goes to the park.  But even as he plays he is lonely because he doesn’t have a friend to share in the fun.  When he returns home he is happily greeted by his friend with a treat.

The illustrations are colorful and simple. There aren’t a lot of words and the story is short.  I didn’t care for the takeaway of not being able to enjoy the park because he was by himself though but it was a fun book.

When I asked Gage to find me his favorite part of the story was, he decided on this…

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He liked when the dog opened the door and let himself out. Of course this would be his favorite part, because this is the other bad lesson of the book, the dog is being naughty!  Just recently Gage has decided it’s okay for him to go out into the garage without anyone knowing, where before he would patiently wait by the door until mom or dad was there, so the fact that this bad dog let himself out made Gage laugh, but not this mama.

After reading it this time he decided he wanted to keep it after all :)

April 19, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 9 Comments

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