Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday Teaser

Teaser Tuesdays is 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!
Today's teaser is from Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy:

"He thought highly of me once," he murmured. " Now he'll have me and despise me forever!"

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Movie Review of REAR WIDOW

Synopsis from Amazon. Com: Like the Greenwich Village courtyard view from its titular portal, Alfred Hitchcock's classic Rear Window is both confined and multileveled: both its story and visual perspective are dictated by its protagonist's imprisonment in his apartment, convalescing in a wheelchair, from which both he and the audience observe the lives of his neighbors. Cheerful voyeurism, as well as the behavior glimpsed among the various tenants, affords a droll comic atmosphere that gradually darkens when he sees clues to what may be a murder.

Photographer L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries (James Stewart) is, in fact, a voyeur by trade, a professional photographer sidelined by an accident while on assignment. His immersion in the human drama (and comedy) visible from his window is a by-product of boredom, underlined by the disapproval of his girlfriend, Lisa (Grace Kelly), and a wisecracking visiting nurse (Thelma Ritter). Yet when the invalid wife of Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr) disappears, Jeff enlists the two women to help him to determine whether she's really left town, as Thorwald insists, or been murdered.

Hitchcock scholar Donald Spoto convincingly argues that the crime at the center of this mystery is the MacGuffin--a mere pretext--in a film that's more interested in the implications of Jeff's sentinel perspective. We actually learn more about the lives of the other neighbors (given generic names by Jeff, even as he's drawn into their lives) he, and we, watch undetected than we do the putative murderer and his victim. Jeff's evident fear of intimacy and commitment with the elegant, adoring Lisa provides the other vital thread to the script, one woven not only into the couple's own relationship, but reflected and even commented upon through the various neighbors' lives.

At minimum, Hitchcock's skill at making us accomplices to Jeff's spying, coupled with an ingenious escalation of suspense as the teasingly vague evidence coalesces into ominous proof, deliver a superb thriller spiked with droll humor, right up to its nail-biting, nightmarish climax. At deeper levels, however, Rear Window plumbs issues of moral responsibility and emotional honesty, while offering further proof (were any needed) of the director's brilliance as a visual storyteller.

My Review: This movie was a little creepy for me. Not in a scary sense but in a uncomfortable way. Can you imagine your neighbors looking in your window? Or in the reverse can you see yourself spying into the lives of your neighbors? Would you be surprised at what you would find?

James Stewart plays the character of Jeff who has a broken leg who has nothing better to do but look at his neighbors. At first it was just to pass the time but then stuff happens. Grace Kelly play his lovely girlfriend Lisa. Both actors were believable in their characters. The movie held my attention even though I had to watch it twice because I had so many distractions. His nurse played by Thelma Ritter is great too. Jeff pulls these two women into his voyeuristic world.

The cinematography was excellent shot in technicolor the DVD restored its original form. This one of my favorite films from Hitchcock after Psycho and The Birds. The set was shot entirely in the studio.

I would recommend this to anyone its a great mystery with a touch of voyeurism you feel like you are actually in the small apartment with them.


What are you reading on Mondays

This is a weekly meme hosted by J-kaye.

Here is what I completed Last week:

Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir

What I hope to complete this week:
Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

What I hope to Start this week:
1. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
2. The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe
3. Birth of Britain by Winston Churchill
4. The Winter Queen by Phillipa Gregory
5. The Fruit of Her Hands by Michelle Cameron

Mail Box Mondays

Mailbox Monday is hosted at The Printed Page or In Your Mailbox at The Story Siren. Please stop by those posts and take a look at what packages everybody else got this week! I had some great giveaways start last week so don't forget to enter!

Here is what I received this week;

From Books-a-million:

1. Deadly Mistress by Michael Fleeman

2. If you Really Loved Me by Anne Rule

3. Bitter Harvest by Anne Rule

4. Every Breath You Take by Ann Rule

5. An Almost Perfect Murder by Gary C. King

From Vintage Books via Shelf Awareness(ARC)

1. Undiscovered Gyrl by Alison Burnett

From Harper Collins Publishers via Shelf Awareness (ARC)

1. Red to Black by Alex Dryden

What did you get in your Mailbox?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday 56

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions
on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
Post a link along with your post back to this blog and to Storytime with Tonya and Friends here or at http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Today's passage comes from MiddleMarch.

That was what he said. You ladies are always against an independent attitude--a man's caring for nothing but the truth and that sort of thing

Friday Fill-ins

And...here we go!

1. She had a great _Sense of humor and style about her____.

2. _My family ____ is by my side, always.

3. I know this: _is going to be a long day cause I am cleaning my house____

4. _Shocked on Michael Jackson and Ed McMahon's death____ still.

5. These words apply to me: _straight-forward and blunt____.

6. __This morning___ the sun was shining.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _having a clean house____, tomorrow my plans include _catching up on my reading____ and Sunday, I want to ___watch True Blood.__!


This one of the most tragic weeks I can remember. This was not the way I wanted to remember my pre-birthday week. I remember 10 yrs ago around this time I lost my grandmother. This will be another chapter to that memory.

That being said this is my favorite Michael Jackson video. This also my 3 yr old favorite too. She can watch it over and over again.

RIP Farrah and Ed McMahon

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursday Thunks

1. Someone knocks at your door. You answer it. It's a kid from the local school selling candy bars for a fundraiser. Do you buy one? No, I don't like candy bars. I would by girl scout cookies though : )

2. The end of the world is tomorrow and you are out of milk - do you go buy some? No, I am not a big fan of milk. I am lactose intolerant.

3. Have you ever picked up the phone and called someone that you hadn't talked to in years? No, I haven't , Well at least not with the invention of the internet most of the time its email.

4. Whats on your computer desktop background? The Tudors Season 2 background with Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

5. What was the very first movie you saw in a movie theater? My Little Pony

6. If you had to take a 10th grade science test, do you think you would pass? No, probably not lol

7. Describe heaven. A place where all my dreams come true and I am with God.

8. Has a place that you lived ever been infested with some sort of insect or rodent? In a dorm, we had water bugs real bad.

9. When you were a youngin', did you hide in the clothes racks at department stores? No, I hated the clothes stores. My mom would let me stay in the bookstore while she would shop in other stores. This was in a different time. I am completely dating myself.

10. Is there anything in your vehicle that is broken? Yes, my A/C

11. What is something in your house that people would be surprise to find? I am not sure I have anything surprising.

12. Do you agree with the death penalty? In certain cases, like mass murder and child molestors.

13. Whats your favorite type of bear? I guess a polar bear.

14. Where was the last place you went? To the gas station and cried when I saw the price of gas

15. What if that person knocking at your door earlier was an adult selling candy bars... would you buy one? No, I hate chocolate so I don't want a candy bar

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wonderous Words Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bermudaonion where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.

Here are this weeks words from The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir.

1. disparged- , to degrade by marriage below one's class, disparage, from Anglo-French desparager to marry below one's class

2. Parvenue- characteristic of someone who has risen economically or socially but lacks the social skills appropriate for this new position

3. rapaciousness-
1. Taking by force; plundering.
2. Greedy; ravenous. See Synonyms at voracious.

Law A supplement or appendix to a will.

5. surfeit-
a. Overindulgence in food or drink.
b. The result of such overindulgence; satiety or disgust.

6. ignominously- Marked by shame or disgrace:

7. perfidy-Deliberate breach of faith; calculated violation of trust; treachery

What new words did you learn this week?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Love Lies and Murder Movie review

Synopsis from VH1. com:

Love, Lies and Murder is based on a true story that began its tragic unspooling on March 19, 1985 in Garden Grove, California. 23-year-old wife and mother Linda Brown is murdered. She leaves behind her computer-consultant husband
Clancy Brown, her 17-year-old sister (Sheryl Lee), a 14-year-old stepdaughter (Moira Kelly) from her husband's previous marriage, and an 8-month-old infant. When police investigate, the stepdaughter confesses to the killing. This closes the case--until Mr. Brown callously marries his late wife's sister, and doubts begin to stir as to whether or not the stepdaughter was coerced into confessing. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

My Review:

Wow, how can human being be that cruel that manipulative is shocking. David Brown manipulated his eldest daughter to shoot her step-mother. A woman she loved and a woman who adored him.

The acting was great. Moira Kelly did a great job as Cinnamon. She felt the emotion of the person she is portraying. Clancy Brown as David Brown was great at manipulating the young girls in the movie. He seemed so real and so creepy. I was glued to the tv for the whole 4 hours and that is rare for me because I have ADHD.

It will probably repeat on lifetime but you should really see this movie. Anne Rule has a book on the case. It is called IF YOU REALLY LOVED ME. I have not read it yet but its on my TBR list.

I give it a 4.5/5

Tuesday Teaser

Teaser Tuesdays is 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!
Today's Teaser comes from The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir:

On 26th of November, 1481, the Cely Letters recorded: 'My young lady of York is dead.'

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Review for Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan

From the back cover of the ARC:

Erick Setiawan's debut in an engrossing fable that chronicles three generations of women under one family tree- their galvanic love and passion, their shifting alliances, their cultural beliefs, their complex domestic politics- and places them in a mythical town where spirits and spells, witchcraft and demons, and ghosts and clairvoyance are everyday reality.

Meridia grows up in a loveless home until she falls in love and , at age sixteen ,marries Daniel- a caring and naive young man. Soon, they have a child of their own, and Meridia can finally escape to live with her husband's family-unaware that they harbor dark secrets of their own. There isa grave hidden in the garden, there are two sisters groomed from birth to despise each other, and there is Eva-The formidable matriach and the wickedest monster-in-law imaginable-- whose grievances swarm the air in an army of bees. As Meridia struggles to keep her young family together, she discovers long-kept secrets about her own past as well as the shocking truths about her new family.
My Review:

All I can say about this book is wow. This book sucked me in from the beginning. The characters were well-developed and real. I could relate to just about all of them. You saw behind their motives and you learned why they did the things they did. This book was far from predictable I was shocked to the end. For a debut author Mr. Setiawan wrote a very good novel. I have been advertising it to everyone. I even offered to let my husband who is a non- reader to read it. I am not usually a supernatural type person but this was not all this story was about it was about family and pain. It was the interweaving of relationships of two families. Its about women and men. I can't say enough about this book. You have to go read it. This will be my favorite of the year. Nothing I have read since has held my attention as much as this one. I look forward to more from this author.

I give it a 5/5

What are you reading on Mondays

This is hosted by J-Kaye. I finish one of many books this week. This was a slow week reading wise. So many things came up plus I entertained my son this week before he starts camp today. So I am hoping to complete a few this week and the rest of the list by Tuesday and have them reviewed by Wednesday so I can start off July refresh since I will be on Vacation the first few weeks in July and don't know how my internet connection will be.

Here is what I completed last week:
Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan

This is what I am reading this week:

1.The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir (30 of 258)
2. Moll Flanders by Daniel DeFoe (36 of 259)
3. Middlemarch by George Eliot (297 of 890)
4. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy(172 of 306)
5. Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (via Daily Lit 21 of 96)
6.Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens ( 286 0f 844)

What I hope to start this week:


Mail Box Mondays for 6/22/09

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.

My mailbox was pretty good this week. Here is what I received:

Child of Darkness by V.C. Andrews (Borders)

The Lincolns Portrait of Marriage by Daniel Mark Epstein(Borders)

One Deadly Sin by Annie Solomon(Giveaway)

OBAMA'S BLACKBERRY by Kasper Hauser(Giveaway)

Beowulf on the Beach by Jack Murnighan (From Books on the Nightstand)

Bloggiesta Wrap-up Posts

Whew, That was a lot of work lol. I would like to thank Natasha at Mawsbooks.com for hosting this challenge. I really need to do it to catch up on my reviewing and updating my blog. I still have a lot to learn but this is a start. Too all the hosts of the mini-challenges thank you. Sorry if I did not get a chance to do some of your challenges. I will however use them to improve my blog in the future. Thank you to everyone who answered my questions on twitter and to all the cheerleaders.

Here are my stats:
Reviews done:16
Mini-Challenges: 2
Blog updates: 5 different things
Time spent in the challenge: 24hrs which was 12 hours a day.

Too all the participants you did well and I will be commenting on your blog shortly.

Review for A Doll's House

Summary from Amazon.com: Norwegian-born Henrik Ibsen’s classic play about the struggle between independence and security still resonates with readers and audience members today. Often hailed as an early feminist work, the story of Nora and Torvald rises above simple gender issues to ask the bigger question: "To what extent have we sacrificed our selves for the sake of social customs and to protect what we think is love?" Nora’s struggle and ultimate realizations about her life invite all of us to examine our own lives and find the many ways we have made ourselves dolls and playthings in the hands of forces we believe to be beyond our control.


I would have to say this is one of my favorite plays by Mr. Ibsen. I saw it as a movie about two years ago. I thought I would read the play when an online group of mine called Banned Books decided to read it for this month's read. One of the questions was why was it banned at the time. Well when reading the play the wife leaving her husband and finding herself was considered scandalous in the Victorian Era. Here is an example: I have been performing tricks for you, Torvald. That's how I've survived. You wanted it like that. You and Papa have done me a great wrong. It's because of you I've made nothing of my life(Nora, Act 3)

Nora was a well developed character who felt trapped all her life under the thumb of men. She was told how to act and how to talk. Finally, she realized she was tired of it. She wanted to do something for herself.

If you ever wanted to know read about the start of woman's liberation start this is the play for you and also see my review on The Awakening by Katie Chopin. Both are very good.

I rate this a 5/5

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Review of SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson

From the inside cover:
Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't know hate her from a distance. It's no use explaining to her parents; they've never known what her life is really like. The safest place for Melinda to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she admitted it and let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have no choice. Melinda would have to speak the truth.

My Review:
This book is written in a diary like format without the dates. Each chapter has a different theme. Ms. Anderson's novel was also one of the saddest novels I read this year. You get to see inside the head of the Melinda. You know how she feels and how she copes with what has happened to her to cause all the chain of events at that one party that summer. Before that she was preparing for high school like every teenager but one even made her selectively mute. This book was hard to read yet you could not put it down. Her feelings were real and they were raw. It is also a good introduction to this author. I look forward to reading to read her current bestseller Wintergirls.

Overall I give this book a 5/5. I loved it.

Review of the Middle Ages edited by Antonia Fraser

From the Inside Cover:
On 14 October 1066 two armies met at Hastings. Beautifully illustrated and accessibly written. The Middle Ages begins at the most famous date in English History and covers the three centureis during which England arguably began its transformation into a modern state: during these years the Curia Regis was formed, which paved the way for parliamentary assembly, and the principle of strong hereditary monarchy was established.
Yet, this short volume covers not only the politics of the time, an age of contested succession, but in vivid biographies convey the personalities of the medieval kings: from the brutal, unattractive William I to the 'mythical' Richard the Lionheart and the mighty Edward I. Their fascinating lives are played out against some of the central events of English history: the Domesday Book, the Crusades, Magna Carta, the Hundred Years' War and the Black Death.

My Review:
This book was a fairly short read. It gave little biographies of each of the Kings during this period and some of the major events that occurred in their reign. I think this book was well written and well researched. I think it will be a great introductory book for someone who wants to learn a little more of the middle ages but does not want a huge book. Its great for a high school or college student who is studying this period in time. This is a part of a series of 6 books on the the different Monarchs of England from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II. This particular volume ends with Richard II.

Review of ANA'S STORY by Jenna Bush

From the inside cover:
She's seventeen
She's been abused
And She is HIV-positive.
She is Ana, and this is her story. It begins the day she is born infected with HIV,transmitted from her young mother, Now she barely remembers her mama, who died when Ana was only three. From then on, Ana's childhood becomes a blur of faint memories and secrets---secrets about her illness and about the abuse she endures.
Ana's journey is a long one. Shuffled from home to home, she rarely finds safety or love. And then she meets a boy. Berto is one of the only people Ana trusts with all her secrets. That trust puts Ana on apathe to breaking the silence that has harmed her and leads her to new beginnings, new sorrows, and new hope.

My Review:
This was one of the saddest books I have read in a long time yet it ended up sort of positive. One thing I did not like is that it ended up abruptly and I wanted to know more on what has happened to Ana. You find yourself wanting to protect her. The stuff she had to go through was horrid. I am glad that she did not let that deter her and made her a stronger person. Ms. Bush did a fairly good job in documenting this true story while on a mission with UNICEF.

I rate this book a 3.5/5 for the abrupt ending.

Review Of I'd Tell You Love, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

From the Back Cover:
Cameron Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school- typical, that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses, but it's really a school for spies.
Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man seven different ways with her bare hands, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl.
Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real "pavement artist"- but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?

My Review:
I really liked this book. It was good look at what it is like to attend an exclusive boarding school with more than your normal classes. Cameron is a likable character and the author lets you get inside her head. She is used to working as spy but when love comes and bites her she is complete confused. Her training in being a spy does not prepare her for Josh a cute boy who goes to a local public school. She goes through a lot of shenanigans. The rest her classmates were minor character in the story but I did take a liking to one them, Macy McHenry, daughter of a senator. I hope to see more of her as I continue the series.

I give this book 4.5/ 5

Review for Skinny by Ibi Kaslik

From the Back Cover:
Holly's older sister, Giselle, is self-destructing. Haunted by her trouble relationship with her late father, Giselle is fighting an all-consuming battle with anorexia. Once a role model and top medical student, her life is spiraling out of control.
As a track star, Holly struggles to keep her own life in balance while coping with her sister's mental and physical deterioration. And together they are holding on for dear life.
Told from both girls perspectives they narrate alternating chapters, Skinny explores love, pain and hunger for acceptance that drives us all.

My Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is well written and I even gained some medical knowledge from it . In every other chapter there is a medical term and definition as related to how Giselle is feeling. For example: For each minute the heart is stopped, it loses a high percentage of capacity to perform muscular activity and becomes weakened. She is at a hospital going to a group meeting and she meets her sisters classmate. She is nervous it feel like her heart stopped. It is her first group meeting for her Anorexia. There are lot of medical information throughout the book. Its amazing how this is used to let you know what the character is think.

I really enjoyed this book and it was a quick read I read it in 2hrs. I would recommend to anyone who has a child who is suffering from this tragic disease.


Review of Fat Camp

Summary from the back cover:
The sent me to lose some weight... Camp! Songs by the fire, first kisses, summer fun... but not at Camp Calliope, prison came for the overweight. That's where my parents have shipped me off to eat controlled portions, endure rigorous exercise, and sleep in a room full of girls who'd rather exchange recipes than ghost stories and gossip. There is one cool girl from Texas, Faith Masters, who is normal enough to help me stay sane and temporarily replace my best friend Evie. How I miss Evie. And ice cream. And french fries...
but I feel like I'm losing my mind.
And then there's Jesse- the only thing even close to droolworthy on this camp's menu. I can totally relate to him, since his basketball coach sounds a lot like my perfectly thin, successful mom. It looks like for the next eight weeks the issues( and not the food) on my plate will be supersized...

My Review:
This book was a cute book about summer camp for kids who have to lose a few pounds. The main character Cameron is funny at times the way she describes people. The camp is eight weeks and she meets a lot of interesting people including a girl who has Bulimia. She also discovers a lot about herself and even gets a boyfriend. By the time the summer ends she finds out who her real friends are. I think this book is good for anyone who has a child who is a little on the heavy side and thinking about sending them to camp. It gives them a little insight to what goes on at the camps. Cam is a character they can relate to.

I give this book a 4/5

Review of Queen Isabella by Alison Weir

From the Back cover:
In this vibrant biography, acclaimed author Alison Weir reexamines the life of Isabella of England, one of history's most notorious and charismatic queens. Isabella arrived in London in 1308, the spirited twelve-year-old daughter of King Philip IV of France. Her marriage to the heir to England's throne was designed to heal old political wounds between the two countries, and in the years that followed she became an important figure, a determined and clever woman whose influence would come to last centuries. Many myths and legends have been woven around Isabella's story, but in this first full biography in more than 150 years, Weir gives a groundbreaking new perspective.

My Review:

Alison Weir's goal is to get the reader to develop sympathy for Isabella of France. She states the reason why she did what she did. Her claims for the reason Isabella did what she did was 1. She was neglected wife who husband picked men over her, 2. Her husbands male companions were trying to harm her and 3. Her husband was a weak man who was easily persuaded. When she brought over from France she had high hopes for her marriage even though she was very young she soon realized that her dreams will never be realized. She also goes on to state that she is not responsible for the demise of Edward II of England. She state possible theories for why this is so. That being said this is not one of my favorites by her I liked her Children of Henry VIII the best so far.

Review The Awakening by Kate Chopin

From the back cover:
Her most famous work, certainly roused many. This novel tells of a Louisiana wife who discovers the strength of her own sexuality and tries to wrench it from the hands of a patriarchal society. And just as Edna Pontellier is ostracized fro trying to master her own sexual fate, so was Chopin shunned after writing this book, her reputation and career destroyed. Today, however, The Awakening is considered a masterpiece, and along with her short stories, it has set a standard for younger generations of women, who have learned to value their individuality and independence.

My Review:

I really liked this short story by Katie Chopin. I kind of understand why Edna feels the way she does. Here she is keeping up appearances for her husband that she does not love but feeling empty inside. Why I don't agree that she should have left her children behind when she decided to claim her independence. I understood her need to find herself, what she is about and what she can accomplish. I read this for a book club called Banned Books. I understood why it was banned back in the Victorian Era. Women were not allowed to have opinion on anything. They were expected to very agreeable to their husbands and turn the other cheek when he did something that would disappoint her. The were like little puppets. Katie Chopin was criticized for this work so much so that she never wrote another novel again.

Overall I rate this 4.5/5

Review of I Don't Want to Be Crazy

From the Back Cover:
This is a true story of growing up, breaking down, and coming to grips with a psychological disorder. When Samantha Schutz first left home for college she was excited by the possibilities- freedom from parent, freedom from a boyfriend who was reckless with her affections, freedom from the person she was supposed to be, At first, she reveled in the independence-but as pressures increased she began to suffer anxiety attacks that would leave her mentally shaken and physically incapacitated. Thus began a hard road of discovery and coping, powerfully rendered in their poetry memoir.

I picked this book out because I to suffer from an anxiety and I want to read a memoir about it. This book was a quick read. It help you get deep into her inner thoughts. This book is written in a poetic style. The prose was good I like a few passages in the novel that I will share with you.

We go around the Thanksgiving table
saying what we are thankful for.
I don't want it to be my turn.
I don't want to say something generic
like, I am thankful to have my family together,
when we're not all here
What I want to say is,
I am thankful for Rebecca's support
for Klonopin,
for Jean.

You can sense the anxiety in this passage. Samantha was taken on and off meds to control her anxiety. It can sometimes be paralyze to her where she can not function without them. I really liked this story and I would recommend it to anyone suffering from anxiety.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Update for Bloggiesta

Its been 13 hours since I have started the Bloggiesta and here is my update

Reviews done: 6
Mini-Challenges: 1
Blog Improvements: A grade badge and added a new challenge to my sidebar.

I think I was kind of productive today. I will see how tomorrow goes. I am having a time with my feeder so I might have to do my feed manually which I am sometimes to lazy to do. Wish me luck.

Have a good night and see you in the morning

Review of Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell

Summary from the Back of the Book:
Set in Manchester in the 1840z- period of industrial unrest and extreme deprivation-Mary Barton depicts the effects of economic and physical hardship upon the city's working-class community. Paralleling the novel's treatment of the relationship between masters and men, the suffering of the poor, and the workmen's angry response, is the story of Mary herself: a factory-worker's daughter who attracts the attentions of the mill-owner's son, she becomes caught up in the violence of class conflict when a brutal murder forces her to confront her true feelings and allegiances.

The beginning started out slow. It was mostly about society and politics of the period for the first 100 pages. The last 200 pages were filled with excitement that kept you at the edge of your seat. I am glad I stayed past the first 100 pages because I ended up liking the book after all. The character were interesting and did wonder what was happening to them. The prose was great and it help you get inside the mind of the characters. Also included in my copy are two lectures on Lancashire dialect. Which at times in the book was hard to understand. While I did not read the lectures I may go back and read them at a later time. This is not my first work by Ms.Gaskell it certainly won't be my last. My advice is after the first 100 pages you will get to the meat and potatos of the the story.

My overall rating is: 4/5

Persuasion by Jane Austen

This was Miss Austin's last work. It also has an alternate ending as well. This is a story about Anne Eliot who refuses to marry Captain Wentworth because he does not have any money. Well eventually he leaves and many years have passed and he comes back with money but he also has fell for Louisa Musgrove who he begins to court. Well, of course Anne does not like that. Something bad happens to Louisa and she is incapacitated. Anne and Captain Wentworth meet in Bath and realize that they never stopped loving each other. Well I won't spoil the ending for you. You will have to read to find out what happens next.

I am sorry to say this is one of my least favorites of Jane Austen works. It was not as engaging as Pride and Prejudice or held my attention as much as Northanger Abbey which most people do not give good reviews. I found myself hoping the story would finally be over. I guess I am not a big of a romance fan so to me it was painful. While I think she is a great writer this book did not do if for me. I still have to read Emma, Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park. Then I will have finished all of her works.

Overall rating 3/5

Review of Glinda of Oz by Frank Baum

Summary and Review:

This is the last book in the Oz series but I am reading this series out of order.

Even though it entitled Glinda of Oz, Glinda is not a major character in the story. The two main characters in the story are Dorothy and Ozma and how they travel to the lands of the Skeezers and Flatheads. Along the way the have some mishaps and challenges. When they eventually get to the land of the Flatheads they find that they are going to war with the Skeezers. The all fighting over fish in the pond. Not just any fish but the 3 Adepts who were turned into fish by the leader of the Skeezers. Well Ozma tries to stop them and she and Dorothy end up in the middle and are eventually trapped in the land of the Skeezers. Will they get out? Well you will have to read to find out.

This book as well as most of Frank Baum's books are filled with lessons for children. This novel is not different. This book includes bullying, lying and cruelty. I think any child would love this book its full of fantasy and not to scary for the little ones. This book is very engaging and you are immediately immersed in the beautiful language of the book. This book is a rather quick read even though I recieved it daily via Daily Lit. I finished it in about 2wks reading 4 entries a day.

I would recommend this to any family who wants an escape to the land of OZ.


Review and Synopsis:

This move start with a married woman, played by Grace Kelly who is discussing the past with her ex-boyfriend. They are just finishing a passionate embrace when her husband comes in. She immediately introduces her her old friend to her husband. They were supposed to go out to dinner but the husband changes his mind saying he has work to do. Here is where the the backdrop of the movies comes into place. I wont say anymore except she is accused of murder but will she have to suffer? What happens for her to be charged? Well you have to watch the movie to find out.

I would have to say I loved this movie. It will easily be one of my favorite movies. It was based on a play. This movie had the right amount of suspense. There was a remake in the '90s with Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow called a Perfect Murder.This is what I have known of Hitchcock rather than his movie North by Northwest.

The acting was wonderful and the character were very believable. Grace Kelly is one of my favorite actresses and its a shame her life was cut short by and accident. The male actors were really good in their roles too especially Ray Millard and Robert Cummings. I would like to see more of their work too.

Overall I give this movie a 5/5

Summer Reading Challenge 2009

  • Challenge: Summer Reading Challenge 2009
  • Start date: June 21, 2009
  • Finish date: September 21, 2009

    Hosted By: A Southern Daydreamer Reads


    1. Make a list of books you want to read this summer.
    2. Write a post with your list on your blog. (You can add to or change this list at any time during the challenge)
    3. Please post the direct link to your Summer Reading Challenge 2009 post. (so that other participants can visit and see what you are reading)
    4. You can write another post in September to let everyone know how you did
    Here is my list of books I want to complete this summer:

  • 1. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
    2. Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir
    3. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
    4. MiddleMarch by George Eliot
    5. Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
    6. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
    7. The Lost Princess of Oz by Frank Baum
    8. Birth of Britan by Winston Churchill
    9. The Winter Queen by Phillipia Gregory
    10. Ghost Stories by Edith Wharton
    11. The Fruit of Her Hands by Michelle Cameron
    12. Homer's Oddessy by Gwen Cooper
    13. It Happened in Italy by Elizabeth Bettina
    14. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dresier
    15 The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens
    16. New World by Winston Churchill

    North By Northwest Review

    My Review: While this was not one of my favorite genres the movie was ok for me. I know a lot of people would say different. I watched it 2 times to get the gist of it but it was too much going on for me. It seem like good looking man meets good looking girl and they have big adventure hiding from people who are after them. This movie did not hold my attention. I found myself dozing off and it was the middle of the day. From other reviews people loved it but I did not. While I like Cary Grant as an actor this was not his best film.

    The scenary in the film was typical 1950's style you saw the sets were not real especially when the characters were driving and of course in the Mount Rushmore scene. I though the acting was good but as I said before the plot did not hold my attention.

    I love a lot Hitchcock's work I did not love this one. I am not a person who is into James Bond Films, I did not like the Fugitive and other spy movies. I am more familiar with his more sinister and darker films. Which is what I like complete with MURDER.

    So overall I give this film a 2/5 but if you are into action thrillers this is the one for you.

    My 6 hour update for the Bloggiesta

    Here is my update for the Bloggiesta:

    Number of reviews completed: 1
    Number of Memes completed: 2
    Number of Mini-Challenges completed: 1
    Blog improvement: 1 badge from Site Grader

    This looks worse than I expect I need to get on the ball with my bloggiesta stuff. I hope to complete at least 5 reviews tonight. So it will be 2 movies reviews and 2 book reviews for tonight. I think I will do the rainy day post since I will be at Disney during the discussion of Psycho and The Birds

    How is your bloggiesta going?

    Mini-Challenge Courtsey of Bookish Ruth

    We were asked to run a website grader to see what our blog was graded. Here are my results:

    Website Grade 71
    Google page rank: Was not Ranked
    Google Index Pages: 174
    Traffic Rank : 4,121,267
    Blog Rank :
    Inbound Links 641

    Well I will check on Sunday after I improve and see if the results have changed. Happy Blogging

    Review of Emerald City of Oz

    Summary(via Amazon.com):

    Join Dorothy and the Wonderful Wizard as they take Aunt Em and Uncle Henry on a fabulous tour of Oz. During their journey they encounter such amazing and amusing people as King Kleaver with his Spoon Brigade and Miss Cuttenclip of the land of paper dolls. But while Dorothy and her friends play, the wicked Nome King has joined forces with the terrible Whimsies, the fearsome Growleywogs, and the evil Phanfasms in a plot to capture the Emerald City. Will Dorothy's friends discover the danger before it's too late?

    My Review:

    This was a quick read that I received over a couple of weeks via Daily Lit. It had two plots running throughout the novel but they were not confusing. The first one being Dorothy,her Aunt and Uncle moving to Oz because they have lost their farm due to finances. This type of situation is relevant now because their are lot of people losing their home due to recession but unfortunately they do not move to a happy place like OZ. The plot featuring the Knome King was about the Knome King upset because he felt that Ozma in the Emerald City took a belt he felt was rightfully his. This is sort of like two children fighting over something and one being the better party in the situation and figuring out what to do themselves. So a lot of this story can be used as a teaching lesson for your children. I though some the parts of the story were funny and that most kids would love to imagine their utensils talking. Overall a very engaging read.

    I give this a 5/5


    Since I forgot to post my goals here they are:

    1. Catch up on all my reviews so I won't be so overwhelmed next month
    2. Update my blog picture
    3. Catch up on my memes
    4. Learn ways of making my blog more appealing
    5. Watch Dial M for Murder and review it for the weekly discussion for MY Friend Amy
    6. Do at least 2 mini-challenges
    7. Complete all the above goals.

    Friday 56

    * Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
    * Turn to page 56.
    * Find the fifth sentence.
    * Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions
    on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
    Post a link along with your post back to this blog and to Storytime with Tonya and Friends here or at http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/
    * Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

    This weeks entry is from Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe:

    However, he took it as I meant it, that is, to let him think I was inclined to go on with him, as indeed I had reason to do, for he was the best-humoured merry sort of a fellow that I ever met with; and I often reflected how doubly criminal it was to deceive such a man; but that necessity, which pressed me to a settlement suitable to my condition, was my authority for it; and certainly his affection to me and the goodness of his temper, however they might argue against using him ill, yet they strongly argued to me that he would better take disappointment than some fiery-tempered wretch, who might have nothing to recommend him but thoue passions which would serve only to make a woman miserable.

    Wow that was a real run-on sentence lol.

    Friday Fill-ins

    1. All children alarm their parents, if only because you are forever expecting__something bad to happpen sheesh___.

    2. Show me a good loser and I will show you a _a good winner____.

    3. __sleeping___ is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs at one time.

    4. Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy __doing nothing _

    5. I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine _sex____ and _food____.

    6. It is impossible to think of any good meal, no matter how plain or elegant, without ___screwing it up__ or ____missing something_ in it.

    7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __working on some much overdue blog posts___, tomorrow my plans include _working on much needed blog posts____ and Sunday, I want to __catch up on my reading___!

    Thursday, June 18, 2009

    Thursday Thunks

    Welcome to the June 18th version of Thursday Thunks!

    (which we always seem to post on Wednesday)
    Where we make you think a little bit before you blog!

    This week we will answer some crazy questions brought to you by
    , the number 3000 and the color grape ape.

    1. Are your ears dirty? No
    2. Would you rather be stung by a scorpion or bit by a snake? (Don't say either...no one wants to be in pain, that's the point. Pick one.) I rather be stung by a scorpian
    3. Do loud noises make you snappish? (i.e. A loud restaurant, screaming child next to you, booming stereo from a neighbor's house?) Yes, I like my quiet too much noise makes me very testy
    4. PETA- thoughts on this org.? They have some positive points and some negative like the humane bug trap.

    5. Would you rather be the discoverer of the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot? (Imagination!) I would rather discover Bigfoot because in the Sims 2 He makes a great nanny and housekeeper
    6. When in a public toilet and it's not flushed: do you flush & use or move on to a clean one? I move to the clean one
    7. Neighbors are having a noisy, party bonfire, what do you do? If its late call the cops
    8. Do you play Monopoly? If so which version of the game? I used to but when I do play its online via Club Pogo
    9. Are you a remote hog? Yes
    10. Do you like the smell of paint? No
    11. My questions obviously suck this week. {I've had a bad week.}
    So do you think Kimber should have...
    ~smoked pot before doing these questions?
    ~drank liquid courage?
    ~begged Berleen to do them (she's better at them anyhow)?
    ~just piss off! I could have done better!

    Drank liquid courage lol.

    Don't forget to go visit your other Thursday Thunkers & comment on their blog post!

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Tuesday Teasers

    MizB at Should Be Reading hosts Teaser Tuesdays. Here's how it works: Grab your current read; let the book fall open to a random page; and share 2 “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. For more teasers, click on through to MizB's blog.

    Today's Teaser comes from Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

    From page 154:
    Lucetta as a young girl would hardly have looked at a tradesman. But her ups and downs, capped by her indiscretions with Henchard, had made her uncritical as to station.

    Monday, June 15, 2009

    Mail Box Mondays

    I received this past week. I have won 6 and I have to review 2. So this was a very active week for me mail wise. Prior to this post I received 2 to be included in next weeks mailbox. Here is what arrived at my doorstep:

    From Literary Housewife I received:

    1. Mirage by Nina Burleigh
    2. 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill

    3.The Jewel Trader of Pegu by Jeffrey Hantover

    4.Between War and Peace by Victor Davis Hanson

    5. America's Hidden History by Kenneth C. Davis

    From Random House I received:

    1. Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant

    From Thomas Nelson Publishers I received:

    1. It Happened in Italy by Elizabeth Bettina

    From Members Giveaway via Library Thing I received:

    1. The Rules of Attraction by Mark Deo

    What did you receive in your mailbox?

    What are you reading on Mondays

    Its time for another week of What are you reading Mondays. I completed a few, continuing a few and have failed to start a few that I want to get done by the end of the month. Again this is brought to you weekly courtesy of J-Kaye.

    What I completed last week:

    Glinda of Oz by Frank Baum
    A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen
    The Awakening by Katie Chopin

    What I am currently reading:
    MiddleMarch by George Eliot
    Mayor of Castebridge by Thomas Hardy
    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
    Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan
    Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

    What I hope to Start this week:
    Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir
    Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

    Friday, June 12, 2009

    Friday 56

    * Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
    * Turn to page 56.
    * Find the fifth sentence.
    * Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions
    on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
    Post a link along with your post back to this blog and to Storytime with Tonya and Friends here or at http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/
    * Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

    My entry is from The Awakening by Katie Chopin.

    "I would give up the unessential; I would give my money, I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn't give myself"

    Thursday, June 11, 2009

    Friday Fill-ins

    And...here we go!

    1. I grew up thinking _Life was tough and it still is____.

    2. _Library Thing____ was the last website I was at before coming here.

    3. Why don't you _clean up your room____?

    4. __Reading___ helps me relax.

    5. Thanks for the __40 dollar Amazon Gift card___.

    6. __Know-it-alls are very off putting___ very off-putting.

    7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _nothing____, tomorrow my plans include ___nothing__ and Sunday, I want to __do nothing___!

    Thursday Tea

    Thursday Tea is hosted by Anastasia at Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog. Here's how it works: Tell us what tea you are drinking (and if you like it). And then tell us what book are you reading (and if you like it). Finally, tell us if they go together.

    THE TEA:

    Celestial Seasonings Cinnamon Apple Tea

    The Awakening by Kate Chopin

    THE Assessment:

    The tea was a wonderful blend of Cinnamon and apple flavors. The book was a refreshing look at a woman who is married who falls in love with another married man. While I have not finished the book as of this posting I hope to finish it sometime tonight. Both were a relaxing and helped ease me into the evening.

    Thursday Thunks

    Welcome to the June 11th version of Thursday Thunks!
    (which we always seem to post on Wednesday)
    Where we make you think a little bit before you blog!
    This week we will answer some crazy questions brought to you by Berleen, the number 1 (because I am) and the color nude.

    1. What is your least favorite candy bar? Mounds
    2. If I were to call you, what would you say? I don't know what I would say don't know you I guess hello
    3. What is your favorite type of leaf? I don't have one
    4. When was the last time you....
    - had sex? None of your business
    - swam in a lake? Never did
    - went barefoot outside? Yesterday
    - ate peas? Several months ago
    5. Since Father's Day is right around the corner, tell us about the person that you are celebrating. Nothing much to say. I will not be around anyone that day.
    6. Were you dropped on your head as a child? No, I don't think so
    7. How often do you clean your toilet? Not often enough. I hate cleaning toilets
    8. Have you ever been sunburned? Tell us about it. Yes, On my nose when I was in California and in Florida at Disney
    9. On average, how many hours a sleep do you get a night? 4-5 if I am lucky
    10 How many hours did you get last night? 6
    11. Take a picture of something. Post it. I don't have time to do it this morning.
    12. Are the bottom of your feet dirty? No, They are clean
    13. Do you know the names of every member of the family who lives next door to you? No, I don't no either of the names on either side. They are hermits.

    Tuesday, June 9, 2009

    Awards Won Recently

    From Rebecca from Lost in Books:

    From J-Kaye I received

    Thank you , I really appreciate these awards. I have to figure out how to put them in my side bar.