Monday, February 25, 2008

Answering A Few Questions

Have questions about the "online reading group"? Just ask!!!

How do I participate? Do I need to sign up anywhere? No 'official' sign ups are necessary. However, if you want to express your interest, your intent to participate, that's good. It encourages me. But everyone is welcome to participate regardless of if they "signed" up or not. A blog is not necessary to participate. Participation comes from reading the book and visiting the online reading group blog. You may share your thoughts and opinions in the comments, OR if you prefer you can write your thoughts in a post on your own blog site (if you have a blog). Just be sure to leave a link so everyone can visit your site.

Do I have to participate on the assigned days? No. If you feel better posting on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and sometime on the weekend, for example, that is fine. I don't know why I chose M,W, F. There really wasn't much logic behind it.

What if I get behind? If you get behind, don't give up. Just comment on those posts as you get to that chapter. It doesn't matter if you're behind schedule. I'm still interested in what you have to say! I'd rather have you a day or two (or even a week) behind schedule, than for you to give up and drop out completely.

What if I start the book and hate it? Do I have to keep going? That's up to you completely. Your comments (or posts if you blog about it on your own site) can be as negative as you like. But if you seriously hate a book and don't want to waste your time, then drop out if you must! I'd rather you do that than come to hate me by association :) I'm not going to *force* you to read anything!

What if my copy is back due at the library before our discussion schedule is "finished"? If you don't want to renew--and I wouldn't blame you if you don't want the hassle--then you can always finish it ahead of schedule. You might want to jot down a few notes about the chapter(s) if anything strikes you as being outstanding--either good or bad. The number of notes you might have to take will vary. If you think you can retain it for a week or two, then none may be necessary. Otherwise, jotting down a key idea or two might help.

What if I read really quickly? What if I finish that month's book in two days? Do I have to "slow" my reading down just to participate? If you want to read at your own pace, feel free to do so. Just comment when you can! Take a few notes if necessary. But basically just retain enough to let your opinions be known as we go along.

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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