Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck

Cover ImageFinished 6-8-09, rating 4/5, young adult, pub. 1972

“But when you kill pigs for a living, you can’t always smell like Sunday morning.   You just smell like hard work.”                      Chapter 2

I finished this last night about midnight and it was a two tissue book.  I know many read it as kids, but not me.  I had no idea what to expect or else I may not have read it, but I’m better off because I did.  Maybe it hit me harder because I was already a little bummed after Jason and I watched the movie We Are Marshall last night.  It was a good movie, but not one to leave you happier than when you started.  Anyway…

Rob is a twelve year old Shaker living on a Vermont farm.  This book chronicles that year of his life as he grew into a man.  Rob’s life consisted mainly of his farming chores and school.  He was the last child left at home and he was the only one left to help his dad.  His story was exciting and heartbreaking.  Rob birthed a calf and received a brand new pig, Pinky, for payment.  Pinky and Rob became inseparable.  Rob had many life lessons that year and they were all touching  and some (three in particular) moved me to tears.

Being a city girl, these are a few of the things I learned about farm life.  Pigs and cows cannot live next to each other.  If you need to top your chocolate cake with nutmeats, kill a gray squirrel and take the chewed nutmeats out of his belly and toast them before putting them on your cake.  Weaseling a dog is barbaric.  There are more, but these were the ones that stuck, although I did gain a greater appreciation for farmers.

This is based on the life of the author growing up as a boy in Vermont and if you haven’t read it you should.  It will take you back to a simpler time when 13 year old boys were forced to become men.  It will make you smile and it will break your heart.

June 9, 2008 Posted by | 4 Star Books | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alternate Titles

Thanks for playing!  I’ve got a new one coming soon :)

Here’s how to play…Identify the correct title of these classics. Leave a comment with the # and the answer and I’ll cross it off the list. No Googling, that’s cheating and no fun! If you know them all, please don’t guess every one, maybe five max?

Example-The Hearing and the Rage is really The Sound and the Fury by Faulkner

1. Creature Cropland  Jason, Animal Farm by Orwell

2. Along the Avenue Golda, On the Road by Kerouac

3. The Orb Also Climbs Jill, The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway

4. The Era of Virtuousness Golda, The Age of Innocence by Wharton

5. The Craft of Conflict  Jill, The Art of War by Sun-Tzu

6. Fearless Fresh Cosmos Janet, Brave New World by Huxley

7. Demise of a Clerk, Jason, Death of a Salesman by Miller

8. In Frigid Kin  Janet, In Cold Blood by Capote

9. The Saintly Farce Mark, The Divine Comedy by Dante

10. Departed with the Draft Janet, Gone With the Wind by Mitchell

 

June 8, 2008 Posted by | Quizzes | , , , | 7 Comments

Skinny Dip, by Carl Hiaasen

Cover ImageFinished 6-7-08, rating 3.5/5, fiction, pub. 2004

“At the stroke of eleven on a cool April night, a woman named Joey Perrone went overboard from a luxury deck of the cruise liner M.M. Sun Duchess.  Plunging toward the dark Atlantic, Joey was too dumbfounded to panic.

I married an asshole, she thought, knifing headfirst into the waves.”   –First three sentences of the book

Chaz throws his wife over the side of the cruise ship that they happen to be on to celebrate their 2nd wedding anniversary.  He has planned and thinks that he has done everything right, the perfect crime.  Only Joey is rescued by ex-cop, Mick.  Revenge is sweet and Joey, instead of going to the police decides to play dead and drive her husband crazy.

Chaz has no redeeming qualities, except in bed, but even that skill has abandoned him after he kills Joey.  He is also a man on the take and his benefactor gets nervous and sends a bodyguard named Tool.  The detective on the case knows something is wrong, but can’t prove anything.  Chaz slowly unravels and tries to commit another murder and then one after that. 

I enjoyed this very much.  It was fun and zany and had all of the crazy characters you’d expect from Hiaasen.  I only wish Joey had more depth.  Tool was the character with the most growth and that was  an interesting choice for Hiaasen to make.  Not a bad one, just a little unexpected.  This is my second Hiassen novel and while I preferred the first one this one is good too.

June 7, 2008 Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books | , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Book Reading

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.  The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”      -Mark Twain

There is a website for those of you who think you do not have time to read.  Visit www.dailylit.com and choose from a wide range of books.  The site will email you a small portion of the book each day that takes less than five minutes to read.  Many of the books are free, although some of them do cost money.  I decided to try it with a short classic, The Prince.  I signed up yesterday and it took me one minute.  Really.  If you feel like reading more you can request the next installment be emailed to you immediately.  It’s largest categories are classics, contemporaries and romance, but there are many more.  Take a look and tell me what book you chose to start reading today.

June 6, 2008 Posted by | Say What? | , , | Leave a comment

Dark Of The Moon, by John Sandford

Cover ImageFinished audio on 6-4-08, rating 3/5, fiction, pub. 2007

This is a fast paced mystery featuring BCA officer Virgil Flowers from Sandford’s popular Prey series.  Virgil is sent to investigate a murder in the small town of Bluestem, Minnesota and while there more dead bodies pile up.  Virgil is old friends with the sheriff, Stryker, and in bed with Stryker’s sister, Joan, within a few days.  Virgil doesn’t know who to trust or who to believe and he must wade through a whole town of suspects.

Virgil had occasional check-ins with Lucas Davenport from the Prey novels, but I much prefer Virgil as a secondary character in those novels.  Jason and I listened to this on our way to and from Atlantic City and we were both laughing by the last cd because Virgil had not eliminated a single suspect in the the first 8 cds!  The story kept moving and I enjoyed the reader a lot, but this is only an average thriller.  Read the Prey series for great reading.

June 4, 2008 Posted by | 3 Star Books | , , , | Leave a comment

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