Friday, December 31, 2010
I hope to improve the quality of my writing in terms of my book reviews and to provide better analysis and opinion of what I read.
Following Dumbeldore's death, Voldemort has completed his rise to power & gains control of the Ministry of Magic. Harry, Ron, & Hermione leave Hogwarts to hunt down destroy Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes.
Seeing this movie in Imax was very satisfying & enjoyable.Being a big fan of the books & movies, they never disappoint you & they are extremely well done.
I have to say , the movies are kept very close to the book.
Thank you to Selena at The Enchanted Book (an absolutely beautiful blog!) for bestowing on me the Stylish Blogger Award. Please take a moment to visit Selena's blog. It is worth the trip.
There are 4 duties to perform to receive this award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!
Seven things about me.....
1. My favorite book is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I gave my childhood copy from the 1950s to my daughter when she was a girl.
2. No movie made me laugh harder in a public theater than Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson in Anger Management.
3. My favorite Broadway play of all-time is Les Miserables. I saw it in 1996 with fourth row orchestra seats with Ricky Martin as Marius.
4. I am a Vera Bradley fanatic. I must have close to 10 purses in the Betsy style.
5. I like to watch QVC although it gets my credit card in trouble. Lisa Robertson is my favorite host.
6. I like Philosophy skin care/bath products. Cinnamon Buns 3-in-1 shower creme is the best.
7. I am thankful I was able to buy myself a new car this year - a white 2010 Chevy Cobalt.
15 fellow bloggers to award the Stylish Blogger Award to:
1. Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
3. The Book Connection
4. The Spunky Diva
5. Joyfully Retired
7. Grandma Sez So
8. My Love Affair With Books
9. Edgy Inspirational Romance
10. All the Books I Can Read
11. Carol's Notebook
12. And Then They Start to Sparkle
13. My Reading Corner & More
14. Irresistible Reads
15. Amused by Books
It usually goes up somewhere between Black Friday and December 10th and comes down sometime during the week after New Year's.
2. Do you have plans for New Year's Eve?
Yes, I am going out to dinner with my family.
3. Do you have any New Year's resolutions?
The ones my doctor would like me to have - exercise more, eat healthier. Easy to say, hard to put into practice.
4. How did you spend New Year's when you were younger?
I've been spending New Year's Eve the same way for about 30 years. I always go out to dinner with my family.
5. What was the best way you've ever spent New Year's Eve?
One that I remember is when we got an ice storm and every inch of the trees were covered in white with their limbs heavy and hanging across the roadways. It was a very beautiful sight. The type of snow you usually only see in holiday movies.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
A ballerina, played by Natalie Portman, wins the lead performance in "Swan Lake".
She becomes obsessed with the role and becomes more and more like the evil "Black Swan."
She slowly looses her mind after experiencing very intense and distressing periods before the production.
I myself,found the movie extremely uncomfortable to watch.A lot of the scenes were very objectionable.
What is the best book you have read this year?
Best: The Trophy Bride's Tale by Cyrilla Barr
Worst: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Favorite: Everyone Loves Elwood by Karen Quigley
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
This adorable movie about an 8 yr. old girl, whose mother died and is being raised by her rough, quiet father.
Jessica, the little girl, finds a hurt reindeer & believes it is Santa's Prancer. They become very attatched to each other, but eventually she has to free him for Santa's sleigh.
A lot of emotional bonding happens. It is definitely worth watching.
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Shadows of a Down East Summer: An Antique Print Mystery
By Lea Wait
Publication date: April 1, 2011
In the summer of 1890, two young women posed for artist Winslow Homer on the coast of Maine. What happened that summer, the secrets the women kept, and the lies they told, changed their families forever. Now, more than a hundred years later, one of their descendants has been murdered, leaving to antique print dealer Maggie Summer the family papers that may finally reveal the truth. Maggie's vision of a relaxing vacation in Maine- antiquing with beau Will Brewer and visiting his Aunt Nettie- turns into a murder investigation. Maggie must discover which of the family myths are based on reality, before someone she cares about becomes the next victim. With the centennial of Homer's death in 2010, there is renewed interest in his work and in the renovation of his studio in Prouts Neck, Maine, where some of the novel's action takes place.
From the book Nature's Secret Messages: Hidden in Plain Sight (page xiii) by Elaine Wilkes.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Last night, I watched Joyeux Noel, a film which was nominated for Best Foreign Language film at the 78th Academy Awards.
It was based on true stories of a Christmas Truce along the Western Front during World War 1.
They have a cease fire on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day, the Officers have coffee together and "bury their dead".
This film centers mainly around six main characters, it is definitely worth viewing.
1. The Trophy Bride's Tale by Cyrilla Barr
2. The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
3. The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
4. Ghost Hunt: Chilling Tales of the Unknown by Jason Dawes & Grant Wilson
5. The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner
6. A Man and His Maniac: The Bunkie Story by Charles Franklin Emery III
7. Citizen Mitten by William Voedisch
8. High on a Mountain by Tommie Lyn
9. Expiation by Greg Messel
10. A Season of Seduction by Jennifer Haymore
"We lie in the lap of immense intelligence." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Stop. Look. Listen. My kindergarten teacher taught me that. I remember carefully lining up the tips of my patent-leather shoes exactly at the edge of the curb and stopping–then carefully looking to my right and left, quiet and aware, listening for any clues. Feeling that it was safe to proceed, I'd grasp my classmate's hand, jump off the curb, and happily venture into unknown territories on the other side of the street.
Now I barely glance from side to side as I hurry on my way.
What happened? Where did that wide-open feeling of awareness go? In the rush of adulthood, it seems to vanish, but what would happen if we simply stopped, looked and listened…even as busy adults?
As a learning addict, I've hunted for insights through countless books, seminars, experts, masters and more. Eventually, I realized that my kindergarten teacher had it right from the beginning, long before I started my quest. Who knew that she was so profound?
Monday, December 27, 2010
Dexter's blood slides that he had hidden in his air conditioner are missing.
Doakes is locked up in Jimenez's cabin, actually in a cage. He tells Dexter about the shocking truth that his father committed suicide.
This show really has me on edge and wanting to see more.
"I asked the sailor what an Elephant looked like; he replied that it was like nothing on earth."
England, 1766: After a long voyage from the East Indies, a ship docks in Bristol, England, and rumor quickly spreads about its unusual cargo—some say a mermaid is on board. A crowd forms, hoping to catch a glimpse of the magical creature. One crate after another is unpacked: a zebra, a leopard, and a baboon. There's no mermaid, but in the final two crates is something almost as magical—a pair of young elephants, in poor health but alive.
Seeing a unique opportunity, a wealthy sugar merchant purchases the elephants for his country estate and turns their care over to a young stable boy, Tom Page. Tom's family has long cared for horses, but an elephant is something different altogether. It takes time for Tom and the elephants to understand one another, but to the surprise of everyone on the estate, a remarkable bond is formed.
The Elephant Keeper, the story of Tom and the elephants, in Tom's own words, moves from the green fields and woods of the English countryside to the dark streets and alleys of late-eighteenth-century London, reflecting both the beauty and the violence of the age. Nicholson's lush writing and deft storytelling complement a captivating tale of love and loyalty between one man and the two elephants that change the lives of all who meet them.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Every Christmas season, you just have to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" featuring Jimmy Stewart.
He portrays a desperate , frustrated businessman, who's luck turns really bad, during the holiday season. An angel comes down to show him ,what life would be like if he never existed, after he tried to jump off of a bridge. He comes to appreciate life even more ,after he is shown ,what matters most. This movie has been around since 1946, if you haven't seen it yet, it is definitely worth watching.
Which book changed your life?
I would have to say the Harry Potter and Twilight series because they sparked so many conversations with people I know well and people I just met. It's also fun talking with people about the different aspects between the books and the movies.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
And the winner of Skating With The Stars is Rebecca Budig, and deservedly so, she was hands down the best skater.
Rebecca did a repeat performance from week two and received a perfect 10 from all three judges.
Bethenny Frankel did a "re-skate" from an earlier routine and received her only 10 for artistic performance from one of the judges.
Johny skated and had a couple of stumbles in his final performance.
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
How to Knit a Heart Back Home
By Rachael Herron
Publication date: March 1, 2011
Lucy Harrison sells books by day and volunteers with the Cypress Hollow fire department by night. Her life is just the way she likes it—full, even-keeled, and smooth—until bad-boy ex-cop Owen Bancroft comes back to town. Lucy has always been fearless, never scared about diving in to help others. When it comes to risking her heart, however, she realizes she's absolutely terrified.
In a small town like Cypress Hollow, everyone knows your business—and there is nowhere to hide. Then Lucy and Owen are thrown together by the discovery of the lost work of local legend, knitting guru Eliza Carpenter. Now Owen, adrift and struggling to redefine himself as a civilian without a badge, will have to learn how to open himself up to life's new possibilities . . . while Lucy decides just how much of herself she's willing to gamble on love.
bur·qa or bur·ka (bo͝orˈkə)noun
From the book Lipstick in Afghanistan (page 1) by Roberta Gately.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
A shocking surprise on skating with the stars last night , Johnny Mosely got voted off , much to the surprise of everyone, including himself.
He skated really well and was in a tight second place after the judges votes, but the people' votes didn't keep him on the show.
We shall see tonight who will emerge the winner. I give them all a round of applause just to be able to stand up on the ice. They came a long way from week one.
1. Hunger Games triology box set by Suzanne Collins
2. Millennium/Girl with the Dragon Tattoo box set by Stieg Larsson
3. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
4. Matched by Ally Condie
5. Vampire Academy box set by Richelle Mead
6. Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama
7. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
9. Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
10. Strange Fate by L.J. Smith
"Do you hear it?" The voice was almost a whisper.
Elsa held her breath, and then she heard it too, a faint rustling of footsteps over twigs and leaves. Out of the corner of her eye, she glimpsed several shadowy figures darting through the trees, and when she turned, she saw a glint of sunlight reflecting off the barrel of an assault rifle.
There was no denying it—the Taliban had found them.
Oh, Jesus! she thought. We'll never escape.
Elsa knew the Taliban's ruthless hatred; the death and destruction they wrought was undeniable.
Seized by a sickening wave of fear, she wanted to cry or throw up, but there was no time. She tried to catch Parween's eye, but her friend was looking back, intent on finding the source of the sound.
"Run!" someone shouted, and suddenly, the chase was on.
Monday, December 20, 2010
What happens next? You'll have to read the book to find out.
Overall, a lot of very descripitive love scenes, not one of my favorites.
A Season of Seduction by Jennifer Haymore is available for $6.99 at Amazon.com and at JenniferHaymore.com.
A review copy was provided by The Book Tree.
Gripped by haunting magazine images of starving refugees, Elsa has dreamed of becoming a nurse since she was a teenager. Of leaving her humble working-class Boston neighborhood to help people whose lives are far more difficult than her own. No one in her family has ever escaped poverty, but Elsa has a secret weapon: a tube of lipstick she found in her older sister’s bureau. Wearing it never fails to raise her spirits and cement her determination. With lipstick on, she can do anything—even travel alone to war-torn Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11.
But violent nights as an ER nurse in South Boston could not prepare Elsa for the devastation she witnesses at the small medical clinic she runs in Bamiyan. As she struggles to prove herself to the Afghan doctors and local villagers, she begins a forbidden romance with her only confidant, a charming Special Forces soldier. Then, a tube of lipstick she finds in the aftermath of a tragic bus bombing leads her to another life-changing friendship. In her neighbor Parween, Elsa finds a kindred spirit, fiery and generous. Together, the two women risk their lives to save friends and family from the worst excesses of the Taliban. But when the war waging around them threatens their own survival, Elsa discovers her only hope is to unveil the warrior within. Roberta Gately’s raw, intimate novel is an unforgettable tribute to the power of friendship and a poignant reminder of the tragic cost of war.
***I received for review Laney (The Brookehaven Vampires Series #1) by Joann Sowles from the author.
As Laney’s sophomore year of college begins, so does an unbelievable adventure–including a love she didn’t know she longed for. She soon learns that Oliver is not ordinary, nor is the rest of his family, including a sister who openly hates her and a brother who will stop at nothing for revenge. As she fights for her life, and Oliver’s love, Laney discovers that the fictional world of vampires isn’t so fictional after all. Nobody is safe, especially Laney, Oliver’s most important priority, and he will stop at nothing to protect her. With her mortality at risk, and a commitment revealed that she, without a doubt, knows she wants, Laney’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn…
Friday, December 17, 2010
Rudolph, known as Santa's ninth reindeer and who pulls his sleigh and leads the way with his shiny "red nose" is another of my all time favorite classic christmas shows.
My favorite character in the show is the "Bumble", the abominable snow monster of the north-a yeti-. The sight of Rudolph's red nose drives him into a rage. The land of the mis-fit toys is also another favorite part of mine.
Robert L. May created Rudolph in 1939, and it has been enjoyed by everyone of all ages ever since.
I regifted the skinny Santa on the old fashioned, big wheel bicycle (that I mentioned last week). The person ultimately rejected it and it ended up on my mother's dresser.
2. Do you know what you are getting for Christmas this year?
3. Who bring the most gifts in your family, you or Santa?
4. What store do you love to buy jeans from?
QVC - Personify by Denim & Co.
5. Christmas meal: Big, All Out Meal or Snacks and Apps?
Big, All Out Meal
I did not go to college, and I am currently retired. I worked for over 15 years in the secretarial division of Emery Air Freight in the 1960s and 1970s. I was a stay-at-home mom for the 1980s and 1990s, and now I am helping my daughter with her business, Tribute Books as the volunteer office manager.
Definitely the characters - if I can't connect with them on an emotional level the plot is meaningless to me.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Every Christmas,I have to add The Grinch to my list of Christmas shows to enjoy. This green ,catlike creature, "who has a heart,two sizes too small"lives on a high mountain by Whoville. The Who's are small very happy, jolly people , who drive the Grinch crazy with all their merriment.He then goes into the town and steals all their Christmas presents,even their trees. But their example of kindness, results in his heart growing three times it's size.
This great Christmas show came out in 1966, narrated by Boris Karloff.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
This movie was really captivating, it was about a young man Charlie, Zak Efron, who was really close to his younger brother. They are involved in a car accident, which kills his younger brother. Charlie is so overcome with grief, that he believes he sees him in a field , where they used to play catch. They make a pact to meet there daily to practice there catching. Charlie even takes a job as a caretaker in the cemetary. It is worth seeing and very heartwarming.
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide
By Stephenie Meyer
Publication date: April 12, 2011
This must-have hardcover edition--the only official guide--is the definitive encyclopedic reference to the Twilight Saga and provides readers with everything they need to further explore the unforgettable world Stephenie Meyer created in Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, and The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. This comprehensive handbook—essential for every Twilight Saga fan—is full-color throughout with nearly 100 gorgeous illustrations and photographs and with exclusive new material, character profiles, genealogical charts, maps, extensive cross-references, and much more.
From the book The Elephant Keeper (page 5) by Christopher Nicholson.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Last night I watched , the behind the scenes making of Eclipse. The profiles and back stories of some of the vampire and werewolf actors and how they trained them months before they started filming was very interesting. They even had to re-construct a house they used as the vampire's home in the other movie, down to the last detail. After they were finished with it , they had to label all the parts , to be put away for the next movie.The special effects people were simply amazing, I don't know how they do it, they are very talented individuals. Seeing all this made me appreciate the movie even more.
I used to be the kind of guy that would have no problem reading Playboy or Hustler on an airplane, but that me in "the before," and nearly everything has changed since that time in my life a little over a year ago.
This is not a coming of age story.
If that's what you're wanting then I suggest you put this down and read something else: something with a happy ending. Like Penthouse.
Or: the funny pages.
This is me giving you your official warning.
Because where this goes, you might not be ready for.
Monday, December 13, 2010
At the recommendation of my daughter, I just started watching Dexter. I am at the beginning of season 2. He is a very interesting serial killer, Dexter only kills bad people, who have done bad things to good people.I was really taken by surprise how he did kill these people and got rid of their body parts. I shall say no more. The show catches your attention, having to come back for more.
Joe B. enjoys the sweet life as a vice president at a huge conglomerate, Universal Whirligig. But along with the Big Boss' favor, he has also gained the notice of a bitter human resources manager, Luci Fernandez. Hateful of any success but her own, Luci manages to get him demoted to the mail room! A rollicking comedy of errors follows as Joe B. tries to figure out what's happened to him, and attempts to get a meeting with the Big Boss. Joe B.'s great expectations have taken a dickens of a twist. His family is forced to make a series of hard adjustments, and he gets only lame comforts from a string of the worst friends anyone could have. Will he finally track down the cause of his frustrations? Or will he only learn a lesson about what it is to be the boss, and that what is apparent is often only a shadow of a greater ongoing good? "The Job: Based on a True Story (I Mean, This is Bound to Have Happened Somewhere) is a modern parable of ancient troubles and truths.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Reviews - "A Very Simple Crime" by Grant Jerkins and "Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms" by Mark Whiteway
In their early years, Monty had an affair at their summer home with a young girl who wore braces on her legs, but could still walk. They went swimming one night and she drowned. Monty knew that she could not swim. While everyone thought it was an accident, Adam knew his brother had killed her.
In their adult life, Monty became a playboy lawyer and Adam married a crazy lady, who came into a hefty inheritance. They had a disturbed son, which led to another murder trial. It came to a somewhat surprising ending.
Overall, the book holds a reader's interest with the happenings of these two brothers. It wasn't at all boring.
A Very Simple Crime by Grant Jerkins is available for $14.00 at Amazon.com and at GrantJerkins.com.
A review copy was provided by Berkley Trade.
Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms is an abundance of different and imaginative characters which transport you to a different realm of science fiction. The reader is really drawn into the story by strong descriptions of Whiteway's Kelanni World. Page by page you are captured by the pure adventure of it all.
It certainly keeps the reader's interest peaked throughout. Those who enjoy this genre of book will love reading it.
Overall, It was not my usual type of book, but I have to say it is very well done for Whiteway's first science fiction novel.
Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms by Mark Whiteway is available for $14.95 at Amazon.com.
A review copy was provided by Mark Whiteway.
Last night's Christmas episode of the office was dramatic in a somewhat funny way. Jim & Dwight's snowball fight turned into a very frightening turn of events. Dwight terrorized Jim relentlously throughout the show. Holly returned to fill in for Toby, who had jury duty. Michael was thrilled at seeing Holly again, and planned a very posh office Christmas party. But to his dismay, Holly's boyfriend comes to the party. We shall see if Michael gets back with Holly again.
I can heartily recommend our own Tribute Books author, Molly Roe. She is the author of the young adult historical fiction, Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires. It is the first of a trilogy of books about three sisters growing up in a coal mining town during the Civil War era. It also won the Mom's Choice Award.
I also love the books of Tommie Lyn - a fantastic self-published author.