Thursday, June 30, 2011

June Reflections


June was a very exciting month! I read some great mysteries. I read a little Rex Stout, a little Dorothy Sayers, a little Agatha Christie, a little Lilian Jackson Braun. I also read some middle grade and young adult books! I haven't been reading as many of those in recent months, so it was nice to get back to that. I had some reading lows (books that I had to keep forcing myself to read) and some reading highs (books that I didn't want to put down at all). There were times I was super-excited to be reading, and a few times where I didn't want to read ANYTHING at all.

As far as challenges go, I was able to read at least one book for each of these challenges: New Author ChallengeTBR Pile Challenge, Historical Fiction, Cruisin' Thru the Cozies. I also joined the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge and the Not-so-Mini Nero Wolfe challenge

This month I read 56 books! It helped that I participated in two read-a-thons, the Spring Into Summer Readathon and the 48 Hour Readathon! I also completed two challenges: The Once Upon A Time challenge and the Spring Reading Thing challenge

Picture Books: 3; Children's Books: 3; Middle Grade: 8; Young Adult: 7; Adult: 16; Christian Nonfiction: 5; Christian Fiction: 10; Nonfiction: 2; Graphic Novels: 2.

Review Copies: 27; Library Books: 23; Books I Bought: 6.

My top five:

The Golden Spiders. Rex Stout. 
The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic. Jennifer Trafton.
Doggirl. Robin Brande.
To Dream in the City of Sorrows. (Babylon 5: Book #9). Kathryn M. Drennan.
A Monster Calls. Patrick Ness. 

Reviews at Becky's Book Reviews

Our Only May Amelia. Jennifer L. Holm. 1999. HarperCollins.
A Monster Calls. Patrick Ness. Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd. 2011. September 2011. Candlewick Press. 224 pages.
Doggirl. Robin Brande. 2011. Ryer Publishing. 269 pages.
The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic. Jennifer Trafton. With illustrations by Brett Helquist. 2010. Penguin. 352 pages.
The Rumpelstiltskin Problem. Vivian Vande Velde. 2000. Houghton Mifflin. 116 pages.
William's Midsummer Dreams. Zilpha Keatley Snyder. 2011. Simon & Schuster. 224 pages.
Small Acts of Amazing Courage. Gloria Whelan. 2011. Simon & Schuster. 224 pages.
The Boy at the End of the World. Greg van Eekhout. 2011. Bloomsbury. 224 pages.
As I Wake. Elizabeth Scott. 2011. September 2011. Penguin. 224 pages.
Beauty Queens. Libba Bray. 2011. Scholastic.  400 pages.
Legend by Marie Lu. 2011. November 2011. Penguin. 336 pages.
Ruby Red. Kerstin Gier. 2011. Henry Holt. 336 pages.
Rage. Jackie Morse Kessler. 2011. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 228 pages.
Front and Center. Catherine Gilbert Murdock. 2009. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 256 pages.
Miles from Ordinary. Carol Lynch Williams. 2011. St. Martin's Press. 208 pages.
Crocodile on the Sandbank. Amelia Peabody Mystery #1. Elizabeth Peters. 1975/2002. Hachette Books. 272 pages.
The Golden Spiders. Rex Stout. 1953. Random House. 206 pages.
True Grit. Charles Portis. 1968. Overlook Press. 224 pages.
Too Many Cooks. A Nero Wolfe Mystery. Rex Stout. 1938/1993. Bantam. 240 pages.
Death of a Doxy. A Nero Wolfe Mystery. Rex Stout. 1966/1996. Chivers Press. 202 pages.
Three at Wolfe's Door. Rex Stout. 1960. Viking. 186 pages
The Cat Who Could Read Backwards. Lilian Jackson Braun. 1966. Compass Press. 227 pages.
The Cat Who Turned On and Off. Lilian Jackson Braun. 1968. Penguin. 265 pages.
The Cat Who Saw Red. Lilian Jackson Braun. 1986. Penguin. 250 pages.
The Cat Who Played Brahms. Lilian Jackson Braun. 1987. Penguin. 256 pages.
Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance. Gyles Brandreth. 2007. Simon & Schuster. 368 pages.
Fer-de-lance. A Nero Wolfe Mystery. Rex Stout. 1934/1997. Random House. 304 pages.
Clouds of Witness. Dorothy L. Sayers. 1927/1966. Avon. 224 pages.
Nemesis. Agatha Christie. 1971/2011. HarperCollins. 304 pages.
The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club. Dorothy L. Sayers. 1928/1995. HarperCollins. 256 pages.
To Dream in the City of Sorrows. (Babylon 5: Book #9). Kathryn M. Drennan. Based on the series by J. Michael Straczynski. 1997. Random House. 352 pages. 

Reviews at Young Readers

Should I Share My Ice Cream: An Elephant and Piggie Book. Mo Willems. 2011. Hyperion. 64 pages.
Back to School with Betsy. Carolyn Haywood. 1943. 176 pages.
Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator. Mo Willems. 2011. HarperCollins. 72 pages.
How To Get a Job By Me The Boss. Sally Lloyd Jones and Sue Heap. 2011. Random House. 40 pages.
Slightly Invisible: Featuring Charlie and Lola. Lauren Child. 2011. Candlewick Press. 40 pages.
Press Here. Herve Tullet. 2011. Chronicle. 56 pages.
Just Being Audrey. Margaret Cardillo. Illustrated by Julia Denos. 2011. HarperCollins. 32 pages.
If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet. Leslie McGuirk. 2011. Random House. 48 pages.
Babymouse Mad Scientist (Babymouse #14). Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. 2011. Random House. 96 pages.
Squish Super Amoeba (Squish #1) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. 2011. Random House. 96 pages.

Reviews at Operation Actually Read Bible

Hope Rekindled. Tracie Peterson. 2011. Bethany House. 352 pages.
In Grandma's Attic. Arleta Richardson. 1974/2011. David C. Cook. 144 pages.
More Stories from Grandma's Attic. Arleta Richardson. 1979/2011. David C. Cook. 144 pages.
Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself. Joe Thorn. Foreword by Sam Storms. 2011. Crossway Books. 144 pages.
How Huge the Night. Lydia Munn and Heather Munn. 2011. Kregel. 304 pages.
China Cry. Nora Lam with Richard Schneider. 1991. Thomas Nelson. 260 pages.
Saint Training. Elizabeth Fixmer. 2010. Zonderkidz. 256 pages.
Pompeii: City On Fire. T.L. Higley. 2011. B&H Publishing Group. 368 pages.
Mirror Ball. Matt Redman. 2011. David C. Cook. 176 pages.
Troo Makes A Splash (Rainforest Friends). Cheryl Crouch. Illustrated by Kevin Zimmer. 2011. Zonderkidz. 32 pages.
Troo's Secret Clubhouse. Cheryl Crouch. Illustrated by Kevin Zimmer. 2011. Zonderkidz. 32 pages.
Troo's Big Climb. Cheryl Crouch. Illustrated by Kevin Zimmer. 2011. Zonderkidz. 32 pages.
Tombstones and Banana Trees: A True Story of Revolutionary Forgiveness. Medad Birungi with Craig Borlase. 2011. David C. Cook. 208 pages.
Am I Really A Christian? Mike McKinley. Foreword by Kirk Cameron. 2011. Crossway. 160 pages.
Martha. Diana Wallis Taylor. 2011. Revell. 256 pages.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

fredamans 8:15 PM  

Fantastic month!
Happy July reading!

http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2011/06/june-monthly-news.html

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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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