Tuesday, March 31, 2009 7 comments By: Suzanne

Tuesday: Where are you? and Teaser

It's Tuesday, Where are you? is hosted on An Adventure in Reading.

Today I am in Africa, realizing that the aid company I work for isn't really aiding anyone but themselves (oh, and I'm trying NOT to die!)

The Teaser is hosted at Should be Reading.

From page 49 of Lords of Corruption by Kyle Mills:

It was like God was following him around with a magnifying glass, punishing him for all those ants he'd burned when he was a kid. He'd never given a lot of thought to why some people were black and others white, but suddenly he was envious of the Africans' excess melanin.
Sunday, March 29, 2009 3 comments By: Suzanne

Home Story: Laziness

Not sure if it comes through in the pictures but my poor little Aurora is slightly overweight. I've always heard (and agreed with) the old adage, if a dog's fat then so is the owner. Yes, that applies here, not that I'm fat! Aurora's slightly overweight, and so am I! We've been working on both. Walking and playing outside much more and long play sessions in the house when the weather's bad. I guess this has taken it's toll my poor baby. The little girl is just simply so tired she didn't want to get out of bed this morning. When I called her for breakfast she came, but oh so very slowly. Then, when I came out of the kitchen with my coffee, (the dogs get fed in the living room when it's cold out because my kitchen is so drafty I keep it closed off) she was lying in front of her food bowl eating ever so slowly. Now this is the height of laziness! She couldn't even be bothered to stand up to eat!

100 Movies

I got this from Stacy's Bookblog, it's Yahoo's list of 100 Movies to See Before You Die. Like Stacy, I don't agree with it (where's the Breakfast Club? Only someone over 40 could have put this list together and leave that off. And where's Camille????). So here's mine, let's see yours!

To choose the titles for the list, we considered factors like historical importance and cultural impact. But we also selected films that we believe are the most thrilling, most dramatic, scariest, and funniest movies of all time.

from Yahoo

1. 12 Angry Men (1957) - AMAZING. I still think about this movie and I saw it high school.

2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - fell asleep half way through.

3. 400 Blows (1959)

4. 8 1/2 (1963)

5. The African Queen (1952)

6. Alien (1979) - wonderful

7. All About Eve (1950)

8. Annie Hall (1977)

9. Apocalyse Now (1979) - ummmmm (that's all I have to say)

10. The Battle of Algiers (1967)

11. The Bicycle Thief (1948)

12. Blade Runner (1982) - I think I saw this....?

13. Blazing Saddles (1974) - I've unfortunately seen this a million times, it didn't get any better

14. Blow Up (1966)

15. Blue Velvet (1986)

16. Bonnie and Clyde (1967) - very good

17. Breathless ( 1960)

18. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) - saw it as a child, don't remember

19. Bringing Up Baby (1938) -

20. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

21. Casablanca (1942) - loved this

22. Chinatown (1974)

23. Citizen Kane (1941)

24. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) - I really enjoyed this and I don't like martial arts movies.

25. Die Hard (1988) - Stacy's says: liked it, but really, what is it doing on this list ?!

I say: I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the Die Hard movies for some weird reason and I don't really like blow 'em up movies.

26. Do the Right Thing (1989)

27. Double Indemnity (1944)

28. Dr. Strangelove (1933) - really? This movie was "Whatever!"

29. Duck Soup (1933)

30. ET the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) - beautiful!

31. Enter the Dragon (1973)

32. The Exorcist (1973) - saw it in college and thought "What's the big deal with this? I grew up with Freddie!"

33. Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982) - funny, very funny

34. The French Connection (1971)

35. The Godfather (1972) - very good

36. The Godfather, Part II (1974)

37. Goldfinger (1964) - is this James Bond? I've never seen a James Bond movie

38. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1968)

39. Goodfellas (1990) - I loved this

40. The Graduate (1967) - irritating and long

41. Grand Illusion (1938)

42. Groundhog Day (1993) - I watch this all the time, still! Love it!

43. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

44. In the Mood For Love (2001)

45. It Happened One Night (1934) - wonderful!

46. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) - seen parts of it, does that count?

47. Jaws (1975) - scary!

48. King Kong (1933)

49. The Lady Eve (1941)

50. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

51. The Lord of the Rings (2001) - It was as good as a movie of the book could be

52. M (1931)

53. M*A*S*H (1970) - funny

54. The Maltese Falcon (1936)

55. The Matrix (1999) - good but again, didn't see what the huge deal was

56. Modern Times (1936)

57. Monty Python & the Holy Grail (1975) - funny

58. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978) - hilarious!

59. Network (1976)

60. Nosferatu (1922)

61. On the Waterfront (1954)

62. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) - just got this through Netflix yesterday so I'm going to count it!

63. Paths of Glory (1958)

64. Princess Mononoke (1999)

65. Psycho (1960) - creepy, seriously creeepy

66. Pulp Fiction (1994) - good but...well I don't know, there's a but

67. Raging Bull (1980)

68. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - I love all these movies!

69. Raise the Red Lantern (1992)

70. Rashomon (1951)

71. Rear Window (1954)

72. Rebel Without a Cause (1955) - ok

73. Rocky (1976) - not a fan of Rocky

74. Roman Holiday (1953) - OHHHHH!!! I love this movie!

75. Saving Private Ryan (1998) - this movie made me sick, literally

76. Schindler’s List (1993) - I cried and cried

77. The Searchers (1956)

78. Seven Samurai (1954)

79. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) - loved it all 500 times.

80. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - creepy and wonderful. loved it.

81. Singin’ in the Rain (1952) - oh I love this movie!

82. Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (1937) - I'm still a Disney fan!

83. Some Like It Hot (1959)

84. The Sound of Music (1965) - another Ive seen a million times

85. Star Wars (1977) - these were so much better than the newer ones!

86. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

87. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) - Again from Stacy: no idea why this is on the list

I say: I really liked this better than than the first one but I wouldn't say it should be on the list.

88. The Third Man (1949)

89. This is Spinal Tap (1984)

90. Titanic (1997) - beautiful and sad, unfortunately predictable

91. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) - this movie is amazing

92. Toy Story (1995) - funny!

93. The Usual Suspects (1995)

94. Vertigo (1958) - this movie annoyed me

95. When Harry Met Sally (1989) - love it, love it, love it

96. Wild Strawberries (1957)

97. Wings of Desire (1988)

98. The Wizard of Oz (1939) - love it! Have you seen the newest take called Tin Man? Check it out!

99. Women on the Verge of Nervous Breakdown (1988

100. The World of Apu (1959)

I’ve seen 49 (where's all the wonderful movies of my generation?). How about you?

Saturday, March 28, 2009 0 comments By: Suzanne

Home Story: Skillet

Skillet is a very beautiful pit mix that Jeff was given by a friend. Skillet was about a year old when he was found wandering the open land north of Denton. No one knows his history or what the other part might be but for being part pit, he is the most laid back dog on earth. In fact, he is probably more laid back than a basset hound (well, almost). I've been told that dogs reflect their humans, and in the case of Jeff and Skillet, nothing could be truer. One of Skillet's favorite things is cuddling under the covers.

He also loves to protect his bones. He not aggressive with the bone but he will protect that bone from any other dog. Usually his way of doing this is by hiding them in my bed. Often at bedtime, I find myself crawling under the covers and laying right on top of one. Not a pleasant experience.

The other day, before we got all the rain, I had my two dogs outside playing with a tennis ball. Loki is kind of a jerk with other dogs when it comes to toys. He doesn't want anyone else to play with it. So when Skillet came out to play too, Loki bullied him into not going after the ball. Skillet simply turned around, went in the house, and came back out again with another ball in his mouth.

Here's a couple more pics of him and my babies:

Friday, March 27, 2009 1 comments By: Suzanne

Friday 56:3/27/09

* 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.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Today's selection comes from Lords of Corruption by Kyle Mills:

The former Save the Children vehicle that had passed them earlier was parked on the edge of the road, with the man in back covering twenty or so soldiers as they dragged people screaming from their homes. Josh turned around in the seat, but in a few moments, the village was lost in the distance and smoke.
Thursday, March 26, 2009 0 comments By: Suzanne

Weird Book Request

I recently got a comment from a guy (wont give his name) saying he noticed that I was into memoirs (I'm not) and have I read this great book (will be nice and leave that out too)? It sounded like a fellow reader who greatly enjoyed a book and wanted me to enjoy it too. When I clicked on the link I discovered this person was the author and I felt misled. This made me not want to read it at all. I felt the deception was wrong. In fact I probably would have been more likely to read it if he was more upfront and just said, "hey, I wrote this book and am trying to get the word out. Would you be interested in a book like this?"

Has anyone else had this experience?
Wednesday, March 25, 2009 4 comments By: Suzanne

Duma Key by Stephen King

I have read a large number of Stephen King's books. I was a semi-fan of his until a friend moved in with me, and then I began reading way too many (or she might think I still haven't read enough)! I like his style. A lot of people who are turned off by King are not opposed to his horror but to his style. They think he gets too wordy and spends too much time on the descriptive stuff. He can spend a fairly long time describing some one's house or the country side so some people get bored. I like it. I'm a visual person and when I read this stuff I can see it in my head like a picture.

Speaking of pictures, this is exactly what Duma Key is mainly about. Edgar Freemantle is the head of a contracting company who is crushed with a crane. When his wife asks for a divorce, he takes the advice of his shrink and heads out of town for awhile. The place he picks is a little island just off the Tampa/St. Pete area of Florida. Now I lived in this area and when King states at the end that he took liberties with the Florida geography in the book, he's not kidding. Somehow this didn't seem to bother me so much. It wasn't so overtly done that it would be annoying to those that are familiar with the area. The island, Duma Key, is not a real place but the picture King paints of it is very detailed and beautiful. It makes me wish it was! Edgar has some artistic ability before he arrives at Duma but it is greatly enhanced by the mysterious supernatural power (it IS Stephen King guys!) that emanates on the island. From the back of the book:

After a terrible construction site accident severed his right arm, scrambled his mind, and imploded his marriage, the wealthy Minnesota builder faces the ordeal of rehabilitation alone and enraged. Renting a house on a stunningly beautiful and eerily undeveloped splinter off the Florida coast, Edgar slowly emerges from his prison of pain to bond with Elizabeth Eastlake, a sick old woman whose roots are tangles deep in Duma Key. And as he heels, he paints - feverishly, compulsively, his exploding talent both a wonder and a weapon. For Edgar's creation are not just paintings but portals for the ghosts of Elizabeth's past...and their power cannot be controlled.

I have to say that this is probably the first King novel where the main character is not my favorite person. I just love the friend he makes on Duma, Wireman. Wireman in my imagination is a very large (tall and muscular not fat) black man with a very soft voice. I honestly can't remember if he described as being black but, even though he speaks a lot of Spanish throughout the book, that's how I picture him. If this were to ever be a movie I could see Michael Clarke Duncan playing him. The funny thing is, I do remember that Edgar psychiatrist IS described as a very large (fat) black man with a voice like James Earl Jones but for some reason I didn't see him that way in my head! It's funny what our imaginations do when we're reading.

I really enjoyed this book and am glad I finally picked it up again after all this time. There were parts of the story I simply could not stop thinking about when I put it down and never once had to remind myself what was happening if I spent more than a day away from it (as sometimes happens with books that don't make an impression). The weird part for me was that 200 pages before the end of the book, I felt that the story was ending. It's not that there was another part of the story beginning, it really did end for 200 pages. I still enjoyed the 200 pages but kind of had the feeling of "isn't this over yet?"

If you have ever enjoyed a Stephen King book, pick this up. You will love it!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 3 comments By: Suzanne

Teaser: 3/24/09

The Teaser is hosted at Should be Reading. Be sure to go there for the rules and more fun!

My teaser is again from Duma Key this week, pg 237:

A couple with a sports car moved in the house just south of Big Pink, and the distressing strains of Toby Keith began to waft to me around the cocktail hour. On the whole, I might have preferred Slipknot.

This sentence immediately made me think of Jeff, who probably could have said this very sentence. It almost sounds like it was lifted straight from his mouth (he doesn't like Slipknot, in case the sarcasm doesn't come through in type!)
Sunday, March 22, 2009 3 comments By: Suzanne

Once upon a time III Challenge

This is a wonderful challenge being hosted over at Stainless Steel Droppings. There are many levels to this challenge and I'm sure, being the lover of Fantasy that I am, I could easily participate in one of the more involved levels. However, I'm going to honor the commitments I've made to myself to finish other challenges and read something outside of fantasy for awhile. So I'm going with The Journey (as explained on the Stainless blog):

This is really as simple as the name implies. It means you are participating, but not committing yourself to any specific number of books. All reading is a journey, perhaps none more so than reading fantastical fiction. By signing up for The Journey you are agreeing to at least read one book within one of the four categories during March 21st to June 20th period. Just one book. If you choose to read more, fantastic! If not, then we have still had the pleasure of your company during this three month reading journey and hopefully you have read a great book, met some interesting people, and enjoyed the various activities that occur during the challenge. It has always been of utmost importance to me that the challenges that I host be all about experiencing enjoyable literature and sharing it with others. I want you to participate. Hence, The Journey.

I will be choosing Memory and Dream by Charles De Lint. I already have it sitting on my shelf waiting to be read....I can't wait!
Saturday, March 21, 2009 0 comments By: Suzanne

Ruthanne's Giveaway

Ruthanne over at the Genco Journal had giveaways for her 1 year "blogaversary" this week. One of her giveaways was a $10 gift card for Amazon.com and I won!!! YAYYYY! I decided to use mine toward the purchase of the books to finish reading for the Whitcoulls List Challenge:

1. The Power of One
2. Angela's Ashes
3. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (substitution for the one I couldn't finish)

With these and the two books I've signed up to review, I'm expecting to be a real busy reader soon! I can't think of anything better.
Friday, March 20, 2009 1 comments By: Suzanne

Home Story: Happy Ostara!

I written about my babies and now I've decided to write a little about me. Don't worry, I'm not going to embarrass myself and everyone else with personal details!

Well today is the Spring Equinox, as most of you probably know. It is one of two days per year when the day and night are equal in length (equal = equinox). In all of the religions (major and "minor") in the world, it is a time of rebirth, renewal, and new beginnings. They don't all celebrate on this day but fairly close (within the month). This is one of my favorite times of year. I get to start my gardens (yes, plural) and I get time off from work (a whole week of Spring Break is coming to a close). Three years ago, I started something new and wonderful (well, wonderful most of time!): Jeff and I began dating during the last week of March. This is year I've started something new that's solely for myself.

As some of you know, I am a music therapist. I work with children with disabilities in the schools. I have been a musician all my life; played piano when I was young, learned flute in junior high and majored on it in college. When I went to grad school for music therapy I got to do something I had always wanted to do but was too shy to, I learned guitar and began writing my own music. I've been playing and singing for several years now, though most of the time I sing for children. Trust me, you could have the most terrible voice but if you sing "ABCs" and "Twinkle Twinkle," children will treat you like a rock star. Obviously, this is no indication of whether or not my voice is good enough to be on stage. But for a long time, that's what I've wanted to do. Yeah, I know it's a cliche: chick folk singer with her guitar. We're a dime a dozen but I don't care about trying to make it. I simply want to get on stage every once in awhile and sing to a crowd that appreciates good music and have someone tell me, "Hey, that was really good!" I've sang a few times during intermission at one of Jeff's bands' shows and I sang a couple times at parties. I've always gotten pretty good reception but I wanted something different. I wanted something that was outside of what Jeff does. Yesterday I finally got up the nerve to do it. I went to open mic night at a little place called the Banter in here in Denton. I was supposed to go with a friend but he had an emergency and couldn't come. This actually made me less nervous. I wanted to sing for strangers. They probably won't ever see you again to look nervous and embarrassed for you if you screwed up real bad. So I got on that stage, did my ten minutes, and for a brief moment I felt like a rock star! It's not much, but it's a new beginning. Happy Spring.

Friday 56: 3/20/09

* 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.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Ok, this is a little harder when the book that's closest is the same one I used last week. I walked to my bookshelf and picked up the first book my eyes landed on. ahhhhhh, Anne with an E we love you...

Aren't those gulls splendid? Would you like to be a gull? I think I would - that is, if I couldn't be a human girl.
--Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Thursday, March 19, 2009 1 comments By: Suzanne

BTT: Worst "best" book

This week's question over at Should Be Reading is:

"What the worst 'best' book you've ever read - the one that everyone says is so great but you can't figure out why?"

This is easy because it happened to me recently: Catch-22. I talked about this a few times on here and it's time to admit to everyone that....I did not finish the book. I'm sorry to everyone out that thinks this is the most wonderfully, hilarious book ever. I didn't think so. Yeah it was funny but I simply didn't care what happened to Yossarian or any of the characters in that book. After I got about a third of the way through I stopped making myself pick it up.

Another is The Catcher in the Rye. I thought Holden Caulfield was simply a spoiled, rich brat who was bored with life and trying to make things a little more interesting for himself. Of course, I guess that premise does sound pretty interesting. I didn't like him and can't explain any better than that why! Maybe it was because he reminded me of other entitled, arrogant man-boys I've known. I finished this one but by sure will.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009 2 comments By: Suzanne

Home Story: Lucina

Lucina is an albino cockatiel. Not that it means anything regarding true albino-ism. It just means that she's an all white cockatiel with red eyes. To get an albino cockatiel, one must cross breed a Whiteface cockatiel with a Lutino cockatiel, making a Whiteface Lutino but referred to as "albino." This may not be very interesting to non-bird people but I find it fascinating!

When Lucina was a baby, she was very loving to everyone. She wanted to be held by everyone and would let anyone scratch her neck (her favorite). Now that she's a little older, 5 years, she's pretty much bonded to me. She'll fly around the house looking for me when I'm not in her sight and whistle for me to come back when I walk out of the room. All cockatiels (and cockatoos too) can hiss (yes, hiss like a cat). Lucina uses her hiss often. When someone comes too close to her cage when she's not wanting them there, she hisses while spreading her feathers in a get-away-from-me manner. I've tried slowly get her to bond to Jeff over the past three years, but it's been difficult since he has a dog that likes to eat birds.

One thing Lucina enjoys is music in a high register. When I play my flute she whistles along, when she hears whistling on a song she sings along, and when Jeff plays the piano she whistles and dances. Genious that he is, he brought her out one day when I wasn't home and began playing Cradle Song by Theodor Kullak on the piano with her on his shoulder. He plays it in the very top octave. Now, whenever he plays it, she yells to come out of the cage, she dances and bangs on bars or if she's out, she flies around the room. Cradle Song is Lucina's new theme song and she and Jeff have finally bonded.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 4 comments By: Suzanne

Where are you?: Florida

I found another meme to be a part of only I wish it were on another day. It's also on Tuesday and is called It's Tuesday, Where are you? Hosted on An Adventure in Reading. I like the way this is set up. Typing about being in the place, doing the things that your main character is doing. I might switch back and forth between this and the Teaser. It won't be every Tuesday that I'm on Spring Break and can spend the day in front of the computer!

So, for today I am in Florida. Specifically in the Gulf just west of the Tampa/St Petersburg area (incidentally where my family really is from!) on an little island called Duma Key. I am recovering from a horrific accident that has left me without 1 arm and an speech disorder but I am learning to paint...and I might be pretty good if all these weird things would stop happening. (Duma Key by Stephen King).

Teaser: Duma Key

The Teaser is hosted at Should be Reading. Be sure to go there for the rules and more fun!

My teaser comes from Stephen King's Duma Key:

I had become very selfish about it, and anything that might come after - a promised interview with Mary Ire, the lecture, the show itself - seemed to be not ahead of me but somehow far above me.
pg. 350
Monday, March 16, 2009 4 comments By: Suzanne

Monday Musing: Book talk

It's been quite awhile since I participated in a Musing Monday. Today's topic grabbed me and I felt I just had to write about it! Rebecca over at Just One More Page hosts this one. Go check out her page to participate and read some her posts.

Here's today's question:

We were all warned as children "never to talk to strangers," but how do you feel about book-talk with random people. When you see people reading, do you ask what it is? Do you talk to people in the book store or the library? Why or why not? What do you do if people talk to you?

I love talking about books, which is a must to have a blog like this! When I see people in public with a book I often try to look to see what they're reading. If the cover looks interesting (i.e. not some half naked woman draped around a half naked man which would indicate romance) then I'm likely to ask what they're reading. Most people are happy to tell you. There must be some sort of secret I'm-a-book-lover-too sign that goes along with asking someone what they're reading. I'm sure I'll figure out one day exactly what I'm projecting when I ask this question because I can ask almost anything else of random people and not get that light that comes just before someone pours out their heart and soul. Always happens when people talk about their books.

I always carry a book with me in my purse. Sometimes, I'll eat out for lunch instead of bringing mine to work. In those cases I'm usually sitting at the table reading my book while I eat. While I was reading Catch-22, an older man actually turned around in the booth in front of me to tell me that was his favorite book. He talked for a while about how he saw some of the same crazy things himself when he fought in WWII. He was disappointed that I wasn't as into it as he was, just as I always am when I discover someone doesn't love a book as much I do. I think the real reason we stop people to ask what they're reading is so we can find others to say, "Yes, that book was wonderful! Aren't we wonderful for enjoying it together?" Or maybe we simply want the whole world to feel inside the way we did when we read THAT book.
Sunday, March 15, 2009 3 comments By: Suzanne

Home Story: Aurora

When my collie, Aurora, was puppy she didn't like to cuddle. She was just so full of energy that all she wanted to do was play and wrestle and chew on bones. I devised a way to get her to cuddle with me (because, come on, that's the best part of having a dog). I would take one of her bones and hold it in my hand beside me on the couch. She would jump up next to me and sit there chewing on the bone while I petted her. To do this day (4 1/2 years later) she still brings her bones to people she wants to sit next to. Poor baby, no one will do this for her except mama! Everyone else thinks it's kind of gross (I think they have some notion that it's a little weird too).

Aurora still doesn't cuddle as much as Loki or Lucina, but when she does, it's a full out, smother you in love, cuddle session. She can't just sit next to you, she has to sit on you or lay length-wise next to you. And if you want to move for any reason, be prepared for a 60 pound sack of potatoes. She's not going anywhere just because you want her to. It's cuddle time.

This morning, she and Loki climbed in bed with me and I got one of her wonderful length-wise cuddles. This is kind of like spooning with your significant other. She lays with her head next to mine and her tail down by my feet with either her feet over top of me or facing away from me (the former is practically impossible to get away from). I turned my head to look at her and she turned her face to me. We were touching nose to nose, with her big, brown eyes staring directly into mine and I was thinking, "What a sweet baby," when she sneezed in my face. This was not a cute, high pitched, baby sneeze. This was a full out, snot in my face, up my nose, elephant sneeze. Oh yeah, what a sweet baby.
Saturday, March 14, 2009 3 comments By: Suzanne

The Secret Life of Bees: Audio

I just finished the audiobook of the story by Sue Monk Kidd. I won't take the time to type out the description of the book or it's back cover since most people have either seen the movie or know what it's about by now. I saw the movie first, which (if you read my blog) you'll know that I recommend for most movies that have been made into books. I loved the movie and cried (like I always do) at all the sappy scenes. I believe that Dakota Fanning is doing a fine job of moving from child star to adult actress. Yeah, yeah, I know she's still a child but it's seems she's taking roles that are more about putting her in the public's attention as an ACTRESS not a child star. That appears pretty hard to do in Hollywood. At least from the perspective of someone sitting on her couch writing about the book that spawned her movie! I just wish she wasn't so da** skinny! She looks like a Holocaust victim.

On to the book. I also loved the book and cried at the sappy parts. The girl reading the story, Jenna Lamia, had a very infectious accent. Not sure if it's real or she just took it on for this reading, but I couldn't stop thinking in my head like I was from South Carolina myself. This happens sometimes when I listen too much to a type of accent. If I'm watching too many British movies,my thoughts take on a British accent. I can easily see why some people "lose" their accents when they move to another country. What they're really doing is picking up the accent they're hearing all around them because their thoughts are now in this accent!

Lily's story is one that I felt was at once just too sad (her mother's death and the circumstances around it) and too unrealistic (being able to live with black women in the 60s without more repercussions than people throwing paper at her). I loved both aspects of the story though. It reminded me that in all of our trials and sorrows there are wonderful things that can be happening if we just look in the right direction.

What impressed me was how true the movie seems to be to the book. Except for the ages of some of the characters (which annoys SOME people to no end!), the storyline was the same. I even noticed little nuances in the book, like Lily's actions when she received the hat box with her mother's things, that are just the same in the movie. I love touches like that.
Friday, March 13, 2009 1 comments By: Suzanne

The Friday 56: 3/13/09

* 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.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Finally, I have a new book to read. YAYYYY! This is from Stephen King's Duma Key:

Tired as I was, I could feel the old dismal panic setting in. The old dismal anger. The fear that this would go on for the rest of my life.

Now, isn't that better than last week?
Thursday, March 12, 2009 1 comments By: Suzanne

Home Story - 3/12/09

I decided I'm going to start including some of my own stories, what I'll call "Home Story." Often my animals do some the funniest things and I would love to share these wonderful things that happen around my house. After all, this blog is called "Storytime With Tonya and Friends." It's about time I include some stories about us. My original idea was to have my sister post some her stories or chapters from her book on here, that's where the "and Friends" part came from, but I think the idea fell flat with her! I'm truly sad too, she's a wonderful writer (and hopefully reading this too)!

My first story is about the mouse in my house. Yes, I'm almost positive that I have my very own Jerry around here somewhere. A little info on my house might help to begin with. Picture a cute little house on the outside that looks like it could be a 3 bedroom, 1 bath, small living room type house on a corner lot. Ok, now take that house and cut it in thirds. Make the front 1/3 of the house a small one bedroom apartment and the back 2/3 thirds another one bedroom apartment. I rent the back of the house. My kitchen faces the north and the back door (my front door) faces the east. I noticed sometime in the fall, when the wind started blowing more, that my kitchen was fairly breezy. I could literally feel the wind rushing through the cabinets. Everything that touched an outside wall to the north and west had air rushing through it. I put plastic sheeting up over the windows, the cabinets under the sink and the cabinet just the left of that (which is just one large cabinet on the inside). This means, of course, that I can't use these cabinets but it's better than the wind rushing in. It doesn't completely kill the wind though. I have a refrigerated utensil drawer. I kid you not. When it's cold outside, I could freeze Popsicles in my utensil drawer.

Now recently I found mouse droppings in one of my drawers in the kitchen. Needless to say this freaked me out and I cleaned everything in the drawer. I was curious though, why I wasn't seeing signs of the little guy anywhere else. When my mom had mice in her house, we saw evidence of them everywhere. Why only this one drawer?

One night I was sitting on my couch reading. The whole house was pretty quiet and heard this scratch, clank, scratch sound coming from the kitchen. It seriously sounded like someone trying to get in the house. I live with two fairly noisy dogs, so I can't imagine anyone believing they can break into my house but I was still a little freaked out. I went into the kitchen and noticed the sound seemed to be coming from the cabinet under the sink. I opened the doors only to see...A MOUSE! The damn thing is scurry down a little hole in the floor of the cabinet to get under the house!

Now remember when I said I put plastic sheeting up there? This means not only can I not use these cabinets, but also that the mouse has no way to get to the rest of my house unless he makes new holes. I've seen a teeny little hole going to the drawer where I found the droppings so I guess that's how he got there but I don't believe he can get to any other part of my kitchen. I even closed the dogs out of the kitchen one day while I was at work and put out some food on the floor. It was still there when I got home. I'm pretty sure if he could have got to it, he would. Mice love people and dog food.

My cocker spaniel, Loki, aparently has noticed our newest resident. Every morning now when I get up and go make my coffee, I have to kick Loki out of my way because he has his nose stuck under the cabinet. I can only figure he either hears or smells something back in there and is just WAITING for it to come out. I dare you, he seems to be telling it. He has to be forced out of the kitchen, because god forbid he not be in there if it does decide to tempt fate and show itself. After coming back in the house from doing his business, he literally RUNS to the kitchen to stick his nose in his spot. It's starting to get a little disturbing. I haven't seen any evidence of the little guy in a couple weeks, but Loki seems obsessed with him. See for yourself:

The Liar's Club: New Classics Challenge #2

This wonderful, inappropriately funny book took me an absurdly long time to finish. Not sure why, because I did like the book, but I had no "need" to read as I normally do with books I enjoy. (I just started Duma Key by Stephen King today and am already on page 57, even with working!) Maybe it's because I just don't really like non-fiction. I've never been able to finish a biography. I find people's lives really interesting but I would prefer to learn about them through documentaries, not literary biographies. I've read very few memoirs. I enjoyed them, but still don't go out looking for the next memoir.

This is Mary Karr's story of her tumultuous early childhood, mainly from the years of 1961 - 63. We get to live with her through her parents turbulent marriage, divorce, and reconciliation; her grandmother's overly orderly and abusive presence during a time when she's diagnosed with cancer; her families chaotic traditions; her mother's ultimate breakdown; and the many other crazy things that could have damaged a child without Karr's internal strength.

The book begins with Karr and her older sister being taken from home by the sheriff. We know that something terrible has just happened and we know that her mother is in a psych hospital for a "nervous condition." Throughout the story we're given glimpses of her mother's slow slide into "nervousness," just as a child might see small glimpses but not be able to see the whole picture until much later. We're also told about some mystery in her mother's past that is either caused by her "nervousness" or is the the cause of it. The most beautiful and poignant moment comes near the end when Karr, as an adult, finally confronts her mother. I actually cried. Of course that's not so difficult, I cry at sappy commercials too. It's truly sad.

If you like to read about other people pain, I definitely recommend this book. Otherwise, read it anyway. It's a good book!
Monday, March 9, 2009 6 comments By: Suzanne

Reading and Yahoo Answers

Sometimes I forget that not everyone reads as much as I do, so I get real frustrated when I come across people that only read part of something and think they know what you mean. Or maybe they're reading what they want and not what's really there. I asked a question in Yahoo! Answers, it was:

Does anyone know about the real case that is similar to the one that the movie Changeling is based on?
I remember seeing a story about a case that was similar to the Collins case. The movie Changeling is based on the Collins case, but I remember one that was like it on a crime show. In the one I remember, the mother could not be positive that the boy they returned to her was not her son because it had been too long (maybe a couple years) so she raised him as her own. The family never knew for sure if it was the right boy or not. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

The answer I got back was:
I asked a question about this a while back....have a look at the answers i was given http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/ind...

When I looked at this person's question it was:

Who is Angelina Jolie's new film 'The Changling' based on?
I've heard this film is based on a true story and was wondering if anyone could tell me about it as it sounds really interesting. Also if anyone has seen the film is it any good??

This is not the same question I asked! So I clarified:

Please re-read my question. I'm not asking what case the movie is based on, I'm asking about another that I remember hearing about that was similar. It was not the one about Christine Collins but about another mother who actually raised a son that was brought to her but may not have been her real son.

And this is the answer I got:

The Wineville Chicken Coop Murders

Which is the story that the movie the Changeling is based on! Seriously, are people stupid? Why do I feel like the only sane person here?
Friday, March 6, 2009 5 comments By: Suzanne

The Friday 56: 3/6/09

* 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.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Ok, seriously, this was the closest book at hand. And this is truly the 5th sentence on page 56. The book is Symptoms: Their Causes And Cures and the title at the top of page 56 says in big, bold-face type: BLEEDING AFTER INTERCOURSE: WHEN TO SEE YOUR DOCTOR.

And rarely, bleeding can result from abnormal cell changes in the cervix, certain blood diseases, and uterine cancer.

Doesn't everyone feel just a bit awkward after reading that?
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 4 comments By: Suzanne

Can You Keep A Secret: Audio

This hilarious and moving story story is by Sophie Kinsella, the author of the Shopaholic series (which I have not read but will now after I see the movie). From the cover:

Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets:
From her parents: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur. From her boyfriend: I've always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken. Secrets she wouldn't share with anyone in the world: My G-string is killing me.

Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger...

There's actually a little more on the back but I think it's fun to leave that part out and let you find out for yourself! I really enjoyed this right from the beginning. Emma made me laugh right out loud as I was driving several times. She reminded me a bit of Bridget Jones, and I just loved those. The narrator, Emily Gray, was just wonderful too. She's has the right amount of frustration at the world, sarcasm, and naivete at just the right times. There were several times that I almost brought the cds in the house with me so I could finish but I knew I'd be very sad the next time I got in the car and didn't have it to listen to. Pick up the book, listen to the audio book, whichever you prefer, but you must read this book!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009 5 comments By: Suzanne

Teaser: Same book

The Teaser is hosted at Should be Reading. Be sure to go there for the rules and more fun!

Ok, so I'm still reading The Liar's Club. I feel like a loser because it's only 320 pages but for some reason I'm just not making it very far. It's a good book but....I don't know what my problem is!

Otherwise, he lay still, the flask balanced on his breast bone at the perfect angleso he could sip steady without lifting his head or spilling down his chin.
Monday, March 2, 2009 1 comments By: Suzanne

The City of Falling Angels

This John Berendt's follow-up to Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil. I greatly enjoyed that movie, which is the reason I even picked up the book. I like kooky characters, they're always my favorite in a book. For example, my favorite character in the Harry Potter books is Moaning Myrtle. The City of Falling Angels also has it's share of kooky characters. From the back:

Venice - a city of masks and riddles, where narrow streets and passageways form a giant maze that deepens the sense of mystery. As captivating as it is elusive, the city teeters in precarious balance between endurance and decay. Architectural treasures crumble even as efforts to preserve them are underway. In The City of Falling Angels, John Berendt...unveils the enigmatic Venice as only he can.

The story begins with the burning of the historic Fenice Opera House and winds through the many different odd and glorious people that are involved with the fire and the reconstructions. Interspersed throughout the story is the tale of Ezra Pound's mistress, Olga Rudge, and their daughter dealing with a couple who has taken advantage of Olga in her old age.

This is another story I listened to on cd in the car. Doing a lot more of that lately than actually reading books! It was hard for me to get into this and I might have stopped listening if I had something else to listen to in the car. However, I did finish it and enjoyed it for the most part. The story felt a little disjunct (spell checker says this is not word but I know it is! I hate that!) though. Not only did the author never unite the two stories in any meaningful way, besides the fact that they both take place in Venice, but he also did not make me feel that the main story of the Fenice was all that important to the people involved. It seemed more important to outsiders than to the people of Venice itself. And maybe it was, I don't know. Maybe that was the point. Overall, I enjoyed listening to Berendt read his tale, but I doubt this will make my list of favorite for the year.

Dedicated Reader?

This was a fun, short quiz. Take and tell me what you are:

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz