Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

Teaser Tuesday – Smart Women

teasertuesdays31

Teaser Tuesdaysis a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read

  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! ;)

“You killed Bobby and now you’re trying to take Sara so that I’ll have nothing left, nothing to live for.  You won’t be satisfied until then, will you?”

Smart Women by Judy Blume, Chapter 20

Cover Image

Before anyone asks, this is an old book, 1983, 

So, what are you reading today?

May 19, 2009 Posted by | teaser tuesday | , , | 18 Comments

Monday Movie Meme – Tearjerkers

This week’s movie topic is all about Tear Jerkers…

The Bumbles aren’t big criers. In fact we find “a good cry” to be quite the oxymoron. So therefore we don’t go looking for sad movies – but every now and then a movie tricks us into thinking it is going to be perfectly fun and some damn sad scene gets snuck in there. Why don’t you share some others with us so that we aren’t caught off guard without our tissues?

Here are a few movies that have caused a tear or two to fall

1.Old Yeller - can’t handle death or injury to animals

2. E.T. - still don’t understand why he had to leave

3. Terms of Endearment - I was a mess!

4. Schindler’s List - brutality and hate are hard to watch

5. To Kill a  Mockingbird - when Atticus walks out of the courtroom…well, you know.

6. The Passion of the Christ - same as 4

7. Dead Poet’s Society - loved this movie, but it got me.

8. Love Story - anything titled Love Story should n0t be sad!

What about you?  What’s the last movie that made you cry?

May 18, 2009 Posted by | Monday Movie Meme | , | 7 Comments

Tom Hanks Was In That? Quiz

Tom Hanks - 288 x 340This weekend we saw the movie Angels & Demons and while I liked the movie it was not one of my favorite Tom Hanks movies.  This week’s quiz answers are my 10 favorite Hanks films.  I’ll give you the character he played and the year it came out.  Leave a comment telling me the # and the name of the movie.  No Googling – that’s cheating and no fun!

1. 2002 – Michael Sullivan (also starred Paul Newman)Road to Perdition , Barbara

2. 1986 – Walter Fielding Jr. (also starred Shelley Long)The Money Pit , Barbara

3. 1992 – Jimmy Dugan (Also starred Madonna)A League of Their Own , Barbara

4. 1998 – Capt. John H. Miller (Also starred Vin Diesel) – Saving Private Ryan , Jo-Jo

5. 1984 – Allen Bauer (Also starred John Candy) Splash , Kathy

6. 1993 – Sam Baldwin (Also starred Meg Ryan) Sleepless in Seattle , Kathy

7. 1994 – Forrest Gump (I don’t think you need any more help!) Forrest Gump , Kathy

8. 1989 – Det. Scott Turner (Also starred Mare Winningham) – Turner & Hooch , Kathy

9. 1988 – Josh Baskin (Also starred Elizabeth Perkins)Big , Barbara

10. 1998 – Paul Edgecomb (Also starred Michael Clarke Duncan)The Green Mile , Barbara

Don’t see your favorite Tom HAnks movie on here?  Which one is yours?

May 18, 2009 Posted by | movies, Quizzes | , , | 9 Comments

Blood Bayou, by Karen Young

Blood BayouFinished 5-14-09, rating 3.5/5, Christian fiction, pub.2009

“Don’t you feel some responsibility for letting these criminals out on the street, Ms. St. James?”

The question came from a woman carrying a sign that read “Victims Have Rights Too.”  “Mr. Pelham had no previous record when he was arrested.  I don’t see him as a threat in any way.”

Camille and Jack haven’t seen each other for seven years and were only married for three before alcoholism and a fatal accident led to their divorce.  Camille feels compelled to go back to Blood Bayou to offer her personal condolences to Jack when his sister, his only family, is brutally murdered.  Jack is a minister now, but his civility is tested by Camille’s unfailing support for his sister’s murderer.  Camille is out to prove that the man she got off death row did not get out of jail and immediately murder again.

This novel is a murder mystery, faith journey, and love story in one.  As Camille stays in Blood Bayou to prove Chester innocent, she comes in close contact with Jack and old feelings rekindle.  Jack has completely turned his life around and shares with Camille the journey his he has taken to find God and His purpose for Jack.  Camille is skeptical and finds Jack’s turnaround self-serving and she questions his motives.  Camille herself is no church-goer and she is uncomfortable with Jack’s strong faith and chosen profession.

There is a lot to like about this book.  The people of Blood Bayou are ones that you will recognize if you have ever lived in a small town and the mystery keeps the story moving along.  I found Camille’s lack of faith refreshing and honest.  And I really liked the fact that the author did not wrap up Camille’s religious journey with a shiny bow at the end.

I will say that the mystery wasn’t much of a mystery.  It did not take me too long to figure out what was going on and there were not really too many surprises.  It seemed that the mystery was just a vehicle to get Jack and Camille together and talk about faith.  This is not a bad thing – I found it very enjoyable – but I wouldn’t have minded a few twists I didn’t see coming.

I recommend it for a nice friendly read.

Book provided by Library Thing Early Reviewer

May 17, 2009 Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books | , , , | 3 Comments

Angels & Demons (2009 movie)

17 Again PosterMy husband and I went to the first showing today and we both enjoyed it.  We also both thought it was much better than The Da Vinci Code (movie), mainly because it moved at a brisk pace.  Of course, this fast pace made light of every event in the book.  I found the scenes that were the most detailed were ones not in the book at all!

Anyway, you know right from the first scene with Robert Langdon that the movie is not going to follow the book.  After the first scene I turned to my husband and commented that they skipped a good fourth or fifth of the book right from the get go.  And the changes did not stop there.  It would be quicker to tell you what was the same as opposed to what was different from the book.  But, I just the read the book this year so it was fresh in my mind.

But, the movie was good.  I loved the Italy backdrop and enjoyed revisiting the country we just visited last year.  Made me want to go back, but that’s a different post.  I will say without giving too much away that I disliked the ending of the movie.  To me, the book was so much better and there was no reason to change it.  My husband said the change was due to a time crunch, but I believe they made a story choice and I did not like it!

So, if you liked the Da Vinci Code or liked the book, I think you will like the movie.  Tell me what you think after you see it!  Or, you can leave a comment just to say hi:)

May 15, 2009 Posted by | movies | , | 7 Comments

Dead Sleep by Greg Iles

Cover ImageFinished 5-10-09. rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 2001

The paintings look modern for the most part, or what my idea of modern is, anyway.  A lot of stark color arranged in asymmetrical patterns, but it means little to me.  I’ve been called an artist-often during attacks by purist photojournalist-but that doesn’t qualify me as a judge of art.  I’m not even sure I know it when I see it.

Chapter 3

Renowned photojournalist Jordan Glass has been everywhere, with much of that time spent in the most dangerous, war-torn places on earth.  Her father, winner of two Pulitzers, died while obtaining his last award winning shot in Cambodia during the Vietnam War.  At least the world believes that, but Jordan is not convinced.  Jordan is in Hong Kong when she comes face to face with a painting of her, apparently dead.  The popular collection of ‘Sleeping Women’ at first thought to be women in repose is now rumored to be dead women.  Jordan is thrown because she knows she is not looking into the mirror, but at the face of her twin sister who has been missing for over a year.

As Jordan races back to New York and the seller of the portraits, she contacts the FBI for help.  As it becomes obvious that Jordan’s life could be in danger the FBI bring her in to help with the investigation.  The case takes Jordan home to New Orleans, where her sister’s husband and two children still live.

The action is non stop, the characters have depth, and the mystery is top notch.  The paintings and the possibility that the women may be dead haunted me just as the possibility did Jordan.  The spooky vibe and the sexual tension between Jordan and FBI Agent John Kaiser keep the book operating on  all cylinders.  This is a great thriller and I look forward to reading more from Greg Iles.

I won’t give away the ending, but I will say that I liked it, but didn’t love it for a few reasons I can’t say without saying too much.  But that is only the difference between a 4 and 4.5, so obviously I loved it!  It is wonderfully original story with a strong woman leading the way.

May 14, 2009 Posted by | 4 Star Books | , , , | 3 Comments

Educating Esme: A Diary of a Teacher’s First Year, by Esme Raji Codell

Cover ImageFinished 5-9-09, rating 3/5, education, pub. 1999

The older teachers shook their heads and told me my room looked overstimulating, which means they are totally jealous because I have the most insanely beautiful classroom ever, of all time.  Oh, God!  I have beautiful portraits of explorers over the chalkboard, the cloakroom has a cutout panorama of an international open-air market, and there’s a learning center with flags of all nations.  I’m sorry, this room is so fun it’s sickening.  I feel sorry for any kid who is not in this room.

September 18

Esme is beginning her first year as a teacher and keeps a diary of her successes and struggles.  This is that honest and often funny journal. 

I loved the passion, committment , and take no bull attitude as she maneuvered her way through unruly students, abusive parents, and out of touch administration.  Her fifth grade class was lucky to have this unconventional teacher who went out of her way to make the classroom a safe environment for these at-risk inner city Chicago kids.  She went above and beyond, even keeping a student’s 2 year old sister with her all day while teaching.

There were many things to like a few aspects that fell short.  These were vignettes that lacked a big picture to frame the story.  This is not her fault since it was a diary, but it was lacking for the reader.  Also, as much as I liked her, her supreme self-confidence did get tiresome, although I think this confidence was great for her students.

This is a short read and is a great look inside a first year teacher’s classroom.   I do think this would be a nice graduation gift for anyone planning to study education in college.

May 13, 2009 Posted by | 3 Star Books | , , , | 6 Comments

Teaser Tuesday – Blood Bayou

 

teasertuesdays31 Teaser Tuesdaysis a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

 Grab your current read

  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! ;)

Cover ImageThey were divorced and with good reason.  Maybe God had forgiven him, but just because he wore a clerical collar – or whatever he wore on Sundays – didn’t mean she forgave him.  And she bet there were still a few people out there who felt the same way.

from Blood Bayou by Karen Young, Chapter 3

So what are you reading this week?

May 12, 2009 Posted by | teaser tuesday | , , , | 19 Comments

Book Problem, Year 2

Last May I wrote a post on my book problem.  I gathered all of the books I’d collected over the years and had not gotten around to reading and took this photo

So, I thought it was time to assess the progress I’ve made in a year.  I recreated the photo exactly (excluding Max who decided not to cooperate), leaving out the books I’ve read and came up with this

book problem 09 1

Okay, you may not be able to tell because of the angle, but the piles were smaller!  49 books smaller to be exact (I read 43, donated 6 I will never read)  So, I took the smaller pile on the left and distributed it on the other piles and added the books I’ve acquired and not read this year and came up with this 

book problem 09 2

And guess what?  I only added 43 books this year!  So this is my TBR pile, 380 books in all.  I am trying to work my way through and I just need to concentrate on not adding more than I’ve read from my TBR pile.  I am participating in the RYOB Challenge and have 20 more to reach my goal, so that will help :)

What about you?  I know some of you have posted about this and if you want to leave a link I’ll add it here.

Other TBR piles

Golda

Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea

May 11, 2009 Posted by | Photos | | 19 Comments

Fox River, by Emilie Richards

Fox River by Richards Richards: Book CoverFinished 5-8-09, rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 2001

“It’s a fork in the road,” Maisy said, stroking her daughter’s hair.  “And you don’t even feel up to walking a straight line.  But you will.  You can.  You’ll get through this honey, and make all the right choices.  There’s no question.”

For once in her life Julia was profoundly grateful to be suffocated in her mother’s soft arms.  But as she sobbed, she wondered who was comforting Christian.  Who would tell Christian that at this critical fork in the road he would take the right path?  Who would hold him and reassure him?

 She knew, without a doubt, it should have been her.

Chapter 11

This grand sweeping romance will draw you into the world of horses and fox hunting and the privileged people who live there.  Julia, who comes from the most respected of horsemen families, is a woman who has had to deal with a lot of tragedy in her almost 30 years and it all culminates with a fall off a horse that leaves her blind.  Her father died when she was too young to remember, her best friend was murdered, her boyfriend was sent to prison for the murder, and the last of the foursome was killed in a car crash.  And this is all before she begins to think her nine year marriage may be over.

Christian was released from prison when another inmate confessed to the murder, but nine years is a long time to serve for a crime you didn’t commit.  He is welcomed back to Virginia horse country by the man who had taken him in as a teenager and had never stopped believing in his innocence.  Now he just has to face down locals who still believe he’s guilty and face up to Julia, whose trouble on the stand helped send him to prison.

Julia’s mother, Maisy, is a wonderful character who takes in her daughter and granddaughter and shares a novel she’s writing which becomes another story within Fox River.  There is no shortage of action and it all weaves together perfectly for a wonderful family saga full of life and death, lies and betrayal, love and revenge.

I adored this story.  I think if you are interested in horses or fox hunting you might appreciate it more, but it is certainly not a necessity.  This is my first Emilie Richards novel, but it won’t be my last!  Read my interview with her here.

May 10, 2009 Posted by | 4 Star Books | , , , , | 7 Comments

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