Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

Sundays with Gage- Sickness in the House

This will be a short one since it is late and we are too sick here to be concerned with lengthy blog posts.  This past Wednesday the three of us here all came down with varying degrees of sick.  To date, I seem to be the only one worse off, but I’m hoping my day of sleep will pay off tomorrow with the return of my voice and a less active cough. 

Gage has also lost some of his voice.  On the plus side he chooses more carefully when he wants to cry.  On the negative side once he cries, his throat hurts and he cries louder and longer.  He needs to be held and walked constantly which would be challenging if we were healthy and since we’re not it has been an exhausting time.  I have a greater appreciation for single moms.  It has taken both Jason and I to get through this (and really we’re not through at all) and I can’t imagine trying to do it alone.  Much respect to the women who can pull it off.

We had him to the doctor on Wednesday and found out he has doubled his weight in under three months!  He’s up to 12 pounds :)

Here’s hoping next Sunday we’ll all be healthy!

January 17, 2011 Posted by | Gage | 27 Comments

Third Degree, by Greg Iles

Third Degree by Greg Iles: Book CoverFinished 1-7-11, rating 2.5/5, thriller, 466 pages, pub. 2007

“You’re lying,” Warren said, still clutching the gun beside his leg.  “I have to say, that’s the last thing I expected from you.”

Laurel refused to acknowledge the gun’s existence, yet it filled her mind with terrifying power.  Where had Warren gotten a pistol?  He owned a rifle and a shotgun, but so far as she knew, there wasn’t a single handgun in the house.  Yet he was holding on now.  Should she acknowledge it?  Was it riskier to pretend the gun wasn’t there?  Would that reinforce the idea that she was lying?  Warren was almost hiding it from her, though.  For now, she decided, she would pretend she hadn’t seen it.

Chapter 5

Laurel had been having an affair for a year before she broke it off when Danny refused to leave his wife.  Now, five weeks later, Laurel has just found out she is pregnant and she doesn’t know who the father is.  She goes home early from work with a migraine and finds her husband waiting for her with a gun.  So, begins a long day of killing, sacrificing, lying, hostages, and discovery. 

I did not like Laurel.  She had two kids and was having an affair with the father of her autistic student.  She was angry that he hadn’t left his wife when he said he would and her pregnancy was just the icing on the cake.  I did not like her husband, Warren, who was clearly off his rocker and I did not like Danny, although he was supposed to be a sympathetic figure.  The fact that all three of these adults had such little regard for the kids made me angry.  I think I was supposed to see all the shades of gray of each of these characters, but some of their actions were so black and white that it was hard to make excuses for them.

Even with all that being said, Iles does know how to write a gripping thriller, so I did finish it, but I really wasn’t all that caught up in all the drama.  I’ve loved the other Iles books I’ve read but this one didn’t do it for me.

This book was from my personal library.

January 13, 2011 Posted by | 2 1/2 Stars or Less | | 15 Comments

What Book is That? Quiz – Guessing Closed

Can you identify these books?  4 points for each title and 2.5 points for each author.  A bonus 5 points if you tell me what they all have in common.

A few rules…No cheating.  No googling or looking at other commenter answers.  Yes, we’re going by the honor system…Your first answers will be the only ones accepted…Have fun!

 This round for every participant I have (the last 2 rounds there have been 34 different players each time)  I will put in a $ for a B&N gift card or a Babies R Us gift card for the winner. Even if you play only once you are eligible to win the second prize (something special I pick out) and you will be adding money to the kitty for the winner.  

You have until noon on Friday to submit your answers as a comment.  I do hide comments until I post the answers on Friday, so if your answers disappear that’s why.

Current Leaderboard.  Answers to last weeks Writers Lost in 2010 Quiz (Florinda kicked butt!)

1. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl  2. I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelson  3. Sophie’s Chose by William Styron  4. What Would Martin Say? by Clarence B. Jones  5. The Secret Papers of Madame Olivetti by Annie Vanderbilt  6.Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom  7. The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy by Sara Angelini  8.  Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught  9. Charming Billy by Alice McDermott  10. Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier  11. The Jewels of Tessa Kent by Judith Krentz  12. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy  13. The Passions of Emma by Penelope Williamson  14. The Tommyknockers by Stephen King  15. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz  16. Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

January 11, 2011 Posted by | Quizzes | , | 45 Comments

Monday Movie Meme – Building

Feature Presentation…MONDAY MOVIE MEME
As in life, movie characters are often building something new.  Visit The Bumbles to read more entries or to join in the meme yourself.
  
1. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) A classic that is a must see.  They built it and they destroyed it, but why?  You’ll have to watch to find out.
 
2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)  What is Andy building?  And where did he get that tool in prison? 
 
3. Bringing Up Baby (1938)  Classic Hepburn and Grant.
 
4. Dinner for Schmucks (2010)  The movie was so-so but Barry’s hobby of using dead mice for making iconic scenes was funny.
 
5. Take a few minutes and enjoy this scene from Modern Times (1936).  Charlie Chaplin is testing an eating machine.
 

January 10, 2011 Posted by | Monday Movie Meme | | 9 Comments

Sundays With Gage – What’s in a name?

Choosing a name for our baby was harder than I thought it would be.  It is, after all, something he will live with for the rest of his life.  I don’t know anyone named Gage and I’m not even sure why it popped into my head, but it was the first name either one of us suggested out loud.  It was the first name we tried out on the belly.  Other boy names that made the short list and were also tested to see of the belly liked them were Logan, Evan, Adam, Aidan, Lincoln, and Quinn.  The two finalists if  the babe was a girl were Lily or Tara, but Ella, Ally, and Hailey were also considered.  We both liked Taylor, but I liked it for a boy and Jason for a girl and we never could agree!

So, how did we decide?  First thing we did was check out the Social Security website.  This site is awesome.  We knew we wanted a name that wasn’t the most popular or trendy but also didn’t want it to be too out there,  so we printed the list of the 200 most popular names of the last decade to see where our favorites were on the list.  We were surprised to see Gage at 147 since we weren’t sure it would show up on the list at all.  You can also check to see how a particular name had trended over time.  The year I was born my name was 32nd in popularity, but today it’s all the way down to 825.  That’s quite a drop!  You can also look at popularity by state.  Gage is more popular in Ohio in the country as whole.  It ranked 82nd last year.

Once we got done playing with all of the cool tools on that site we had fun on this one.  The interesting thing about this one is that users voted on how they felt about different names.  Here’s how the 82 voters felt about Gage.  It’s highest ratings were in the Strong, Modern, and Rough categories.  The one that gave me the most pause was the 58% that felt the name was unintellectual.  I decided that the slight majority was wrong in this case.  Go ahead and see how people feel about your name.  My name was high in the Wholesome, Informal and Simple categories.  Search for your name here and when it comes up click on the Ratings in the box on the right side.

By the end we had it down to Gage and Tara and the first name we tried on the belly was the winner.  There were so many great names discarded because one of us had a negative feeling about the name due to a past history with it.  These feelings sometimes went back to high school which cracked me up.  You really never can shed high school can you?  But in the end the choice was made by me and Jason and we hope Gage learnss to love it someday.  Now whether the name makes the person or the person makes the name is a whole other post I might someday explore.

Isn’t the blanket so cute?  My awesome Aunt Carol had it made and sent last month.

January 9, 2011 Posted by | Gage | | 24 Comments

So What Can You Win By Guessing In My Quizzes?

I love my quiz feature and I love when people participate, even it it’s only a few times a round.  That’s why I give two prizes, one for the top scorer and one for a randomly chosen participant.  I would love to have even more people join in the fun so I’m upping the stakes a little.  This round for every participant I have (the last 2 rounds there have been 34 different players each time)  I will put in a $ for a B&N gift card or a Babies R Us gift card for the winner.  So, if have another 34 people play then the winner would get a $34 gift card.   Even of you play only once you are eligible to win the second prize (something special I pick out) and you will be adding money to the kitty for the winner.  

So, why not join in the fun.  And if you are already a regular tell a friend and make the prize worth more money :)  You can take a look at the Quizzes Leaderboard every week to see how much money winning is worth. 

If you want to jump in this first week you have until noon EST so jump in the fun!  Here’s this week’s Tuesday Quiz.  I do hide comments until I post the answers on Friday, so if your answers disappear that’s why.

January 7, 2011 Posted by | Quizzes | | 7 Comments

The Snow Globe, by Sheila Roberts

The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts: Book CoverFinished 1-1-11, rating 4/5, fiction, 166 pages, pub. 2010

“So she sent it off with a hope and a prayer that the snow globe will work a holiday  miracle for someone new.”  He cocked an eyebrow.  Would you say you qualify?”

No boyfriend, no job?  “I’d say I’m overqualified.”  Kiley looked at the little globe sitting on its ornate base.  Costly as it was, she was sure it was underpriced.  Even if it had gone for a small fortune at some fancy auction house it probably would have been underpriced.  It symbolized hope, and how did you put a price tag on hope?

Chapter 1

Kiley walks into an antique shop when on vacation with her girlfriends and walks out the proud owner of a magical snow globe.  This snow globe has been passed down from one generation to the next by its maker so that they would see their future.  Kiley shakes it and sees a toy store with a man standing at the door.  When she tracks down the toy store there is, in fact, a man there, and a good-looking one at that.   Kiley gave it to Suzanne next who did not believe in the miracle snow globe until the wife and mother not only got a miracle but she learned a little about herself on the process.  Last of the friends to receive the globe was Allison and she was a believer until months went by with nothing to show for it.

I thought Kiley and Suzanne’s stories were great.  All three of the friends was expertly drawn for the reader, surprising in such a short book.  I was entertained and drawn in for the few hours I sat down with this one.  Only Allison’s story left me unimpressed.  For some reason I just couldn’t make myself care about it.

I accepted this from the publicist because I loved the cover.  It is actually more pretty when it’s in your hands and if you combine that with its sweet story you have a perfect gift.  It doesn’t have to be Christmas.  As long as there is snow outside I think this would be a great gift.  I”m not a big reader of Christmas fiction, but this one convinced me that I will definitely be reading Sheila Roberts again.

January 6, 2011 Posted by | 4 Star Books | | 8 Comments

Free Books for January

In my ongoing quest to keep books moving out and not just in I give away a few books each month.  Leave a comment, tell me which book you want and I’ll get the book to you for FREE either by mail or personally if I’ll see you soon.  The first one to request each book wins.  Once you’ve ‘won’ the book I can get your shipping address if I need it.  Also, you can come back and get a free book every month if you want.  These have all been read a time or two.

I so rarely get Max and Scout in the same picture.  Aren’t they cute?

1. The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie. 189 pages.  Copyright 1942.  B&N review here. for gautami

2. Blood Test by Jonathan Kellerman. 349 pages.  Copyright 1987.  B&N review here. for Misha

3. Once and Always by Judith McNaught. 375 pages. Copyright 1987.  B&N review here.  for Mariska

4. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.  235 pages. Copyright 1998. B&N review here. for Heather

Happy reading!

January 5, 2011 Posted by | FREE | , | 10 Comments

Writers Lost in 2010 Quiz – Guessing Closed

These writers wrote their last chapters in 2010.  Leave a comment with the # and writer’s name.  Each one worth 10 points.  You have until noon on Friday to submit your answers.  Be the first to get on the Leaderboard!

A few rules…No cheating.  No googling or looking at other commenter answers.  Yes, we’re going by the honor system…Your first answers will be the only ones accepted…Have fun!

1.  This British born mystery writer often set his crime novels in the horse racing world, a world he was comfortable with because of his time as a jockey.  Dick Francis (2-14-10)

2. Holden Caulfield became the face of teen angst and this reclusive author became a legend.  J.D. Salinger (1-27-10)

3. This American novelist wrote women’s fiction, including the Werner family sagas.  Belva Plain (10-12-10)

4. After creating some iconic television (Rockford Files, A-Team, etc.), he turned to novels, writing 14 before his death.  He had a successful writing career despite suffering from dyslexia.  Stephen Cannell (9-30-10)

5. This Portuguese novelist won the Nobel for Literature in 1998.  His last book, Caim (or Cain), was published in 2009, but I always think of him as the man who wrote a story about a mass epidemic of blindness.  Jose Saramago (6-18-10)

6. He wrote this novel and screenplay about love and how it means never having to say you’re sorry.  Erich Segal (1-17-10)

7. He wrote lots of  books about his activist views, but is most popular for People’s History of the United States .  Howard Zinn (1-27-10)

8. This comic book writer was a Clevelander who is perhaps most famous for the American Splendor comic series.  He is buried in a Cleveland cemetery next to Eliot Ness.  Harvey Pekar (7-12-10)

9. This crime writer wrote the popular Spenser series, also made into a popular 1980′s tv show.  Robert P Parker  (1-18-10)

10. Although a politician’s wife she wrote two very personal books discussing her bouts with cancer.  Elizabeth Edwards (12-7-10)

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Quizzes | , | 33 Comments

Monday Movie Meme – Transformations

Feature Presentation…MONDAY MOVIE MEME

This week’s movie topic is all about Transformed Characters…
 The movies are always giving us characters who undergo some sort of change during the story’s arc. These changes aren’t always for the better – that’s what makes them so compelling.  Visit the The Bumbles for more choices.

 
 
I’m focusing on the positive transformations today, it’s a new year why not? 
 
1. Vivian from Pretty Woman (1990) is the first that comes to mind.  It wasn’t love that transformed her from a hooker to future college student, it was that someone believed in her.  Edward gave her confidence in herself and in the end he also gave her the fairy tale she dreamed of..
 
2. Charlie Babbit from Rain Man (1988) transformed from selfish ass to caring brother after the death of his father.  A cross country trip with  his autistic brother teaches him that money isn’t everything, something too many never seem to learn.
  
3.  I was never a high-powered career woman, but as a new mom I can appreciate Baby Boom (1987) even more. When faced with an impossible choice J.C. doesn’t shirk from responsibility, she meets it head on with attitude. 
  
4. I think the fellowship of nine from the Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003) were all transformed in some way by the epic journey and battle against evil, especially Frodo.
  
5. And I leave you with this unforgettable transformation by Sandy in Grease (1978).  I have to think she was responsible for more than one teen girl falling prey to an eating disorder.
  
This week’s movie topic is all about Transformed Characters…
 The movies are always giving us characters who undergo some sort of change during the story’s arc. These changes aren’t always for the better – that’s what makes them so compelling.  Visit the The Bumbles for more choices.

January 3, 2011 Posted by | Monday Movie Meme | | 10 Comments

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