Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

April’s Movies

It was a sad movie month. We’ve been going out doing other things AND Jason is making me watch the last season of Game of Thrones so that I will then become an addict like him.  I think we have one or two more before we start the newest season.

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.

We’re up to $83!!

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.

EndlessLove2014Poster.jpgEndless Love, 2014 (Cast-Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde, Bruce Greenwood, Joely Richardson)    Grade B/B-

Much needed sappy teen romance.


21JumpStreetfilm.jpg21 Jump Street, 2012 (Cast-Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Dave Franco, Ice Cube)       Grade B-

High school has new rules!

Fun way to pass time.  (Kathy)


May 1, 2015 Posted by | 5 Word Movie Reviews | | 6 Comments

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Roll of Thunder, Hear My CryRoll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Finished 4-25-15, rating 5/5, YA, 288 pages, pub. 1976

Winner of the Newbery Medal
A National Book Award Nominee

Why is the land so important to Cassie’s family? It takes the events of one turbulent year—the year of the night riders and the burnings, the year a white girl humiliates Cassie in public simply because she’s black—to show Cassie that having a place of their own is the Logan family’s lifeblood. It is the land that gives the Logans their courage and pride—no matter how others may degrade them, the Logans possess something no one can take away.   from Goodreads

Oh, how I loved this book!  It has been with me for at least 5 moves and 17 years and when I signed up for the Classics Club I added it to my list so I would finally read it.  I’m just sad it took me so long.  Did you ever get halfway through a book and just know it was going to be a 5 star book?  This was one of those few books for me.  I fell in love with the writing, the protagonist, the family, the setting, the story.  Not a false word to be found.

It’s the Depression and the Logan’s are one of the rare black landowners in their area of Mississippi. They have land but not enough money from farming to pay the bills, so the father of four must spend half the year away from his family to support them.  Cassie’s voice is the voice of anyone with a conscience and an acceptance of equality.  She diesn’t really see the world in black and white but over the year she learned firsthand how brutal and dangerous racism could be.  Her parents were both leaders and pragmatic, knowing that holding on to their land made just as big a statement as rallying boycotts. The book is not an after-school-special, there are hard times and difficult truths. I was struck by this passage when I read it because it seemed the wrong message to a child, but after finishing the book and taking it as a whole, it did fit into the narrative.

“But Papa, I don’t think Jeremy’d be that way.”

Papa’s eyes narrowed and his resemblance to Uncle Hammer increased.  “We Logans don’t have much to do with white folks.  You know why? ‘Cause white folks mean trouble. You see blacks hanging ’round with whites, they’re headed for trouble. Maybe one day whites and blacks can be real friends, but right now the country ain’t built that way. Now you could be right ’bout Jeremy making a much finer friend than T.J. ever will be. The trouble is, down here in Mississippi, it costs too much to find out…So I think you’d better not try.”

Chapter 7

I fell in love with this family. For me, it was perfection, but I was happy to discover that it’s book four of seven about the Logans.  I don’t know if I will read them but I’m so happy I have the option.  I’d recommend this to anyone and everyone :)

 

April 30, 2015 Posted by | 5 Star Books | | 16 Comments

Book problem, year 8 – Plus some giveaways!

I spent years working for Barnes & Noble and a year at our local library, so it’s not a surprise that I like books. I always thought that this yearly project of collecting my To-Be-Read books showcased not only my OCD tendencies, but also my problem of buying too many books, but this year I discovered something else.  Once a year I get to touch all of my books.  I used to have the time to shelve and reshelve and rearrange, but then I gave birth to Gage and that free time was no more.  So, I would buy books but they would languish on a shelf, untouched.  This year,  I spent my time during the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon recreating my book wall and I felt like I was rediscovering the books I’ve added to the house the last few years.  It made for an enjoyable read-a-thon.

Anyway, here are the details.  I started with 837 books from last April and over the past year I’ve read or given away 31, so that left me with 806.  I looked over the shelves and chose 5 that I knew I would never read and pulled them out, leaving 801.  And then I added the new books that I’d acquired over the past year, all 75 of them, and created this, my new Mt. TBR.

bookwall 2015

876!

None of the stacks fell over this year (although I did catch a few with my body before that happened!), but the weak link, there always is one, was that second stack from the left on top.  And I had to add  yet another row to the bottom right.

I only had a net gain of 39. so, not bad, right? When I told Jason he seemed to think that it should have gone down, but I was thrilled that it hadn’t been more!  Lots of great reading ahead.

Now for the giveaway (if you’re still with me).  I have 2 brand new books that I’ve received duplicates of, 1 that I won’t read, and the 5 old books that I pulled from the stacks knowing I’ll never read them.  All you have to do is tell me in a comment if you’d like to win one or more of them.  I’ll draw winners over the weekend.  Open internationally :)

bw free

April 27, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 26 Comments

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 | Read-a-Thon | 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 | Read-a-Thon | 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 | Read-a-Thon | 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 | Read-a-Thon | 7 Comments

Read-a-thon Update and Mini-challenge

lg new readathonbutton border

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.

minichallenge

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 | Read-a-Thon | 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

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow ChildThe Snow Child. Finished 4-21-15, rating 4.25/5, fiction, pub. 2012

Unabridged audio read by Debra Monk.  10.75 hours.

Finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart–he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm, she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning, the snow child is gone–but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them. from Goodreads

Whenever I read books set in Alaska, I become immersed in the barren, yet lush and beautiful landscape and this was no different.  Ivey’s words describing Alaska were mesmerizing.  In the beginning, when Mabel and Jack were first learning their way in the new, wild country, the often depressing tone of the story was mirrored by the hard nature of Alaska and I was drawn in.  As the story moved from dark to light, so did the reality of Alaska’s land.

The story was based on a Russian folk tale of the snow child but I wasn’t familiar with it.  This skittish girl who Jack and Mabel, who were still longing for children in middle age, saw more and more frequently was real, or maybe she wasn’t.  In the end, did it matter?

I loved the struggle of living off the land and their outspoken neighbor Esther.  I also loved how the words drew such vivid pictures in my mind that I can still see Alaska in my mind over a week after finishing the book.  The writing wasn’t sparse, but emotions and intentions were described in such a simple way that the story seemed somewhat magical.

Was she a snow child or just a girl?  That’s what kept me reading when the story dragged and the ending was both a surprise and expected.  Not bad for a debut novel, I’d say!

Recommended for anyone looking for something a little different.

April 23, 2015 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books | , | 7 Comments

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