Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February Reflections

I read 60 books in February 2012!!! True, fourteen of them were picture books and early readers. And yes, The Scrapbook of Frankie Platt had more images than words...but still I'm pleased with the way this year is going so far!

I've decided to bold the titles that are published in 2012. I'm hoping that this will make it easier on me when it is time to make 'best of 2012' lists and nominate books for Cybils.

Favorite Middle Grade Historical: Crow. Barbara Wright.
Favorite YA Realistic Novel: Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip. Jordan Sonnenblick.
Favorite Fantasy-AND-Science-Fiction Novel:  Enchantress from the Stars. Sylvia Louise Engdahl.
Favorite Animal Fantasy:  Dominic. William Steig.
Favorite "Bleakity-Bleak" Survival Novel: The Way We Fall. Megan Crewe.
Favorite Apocalyptic Novel: Alas, Babylon. Pat Frank.
Favorite Vintage Sci-Fi Novel: The Demolished Man. Alfred Bester.
Favorite Science Fiction Novel by Robert Heinlein:  Time for the Stars. Robert A. Heinlein.
Favorite Picture Book To Read Aloud: Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur: A First Book of Manners. Judy Sierra.
Favorite Picture Book That Made Me (Almost) Tear Up:  My Heart Will Not Sit Down. Mara Rockliff.
Favorite Early Reader:  Listen to My Trumpet. An Elephant & Piggie Book. Mo Willems.
Favorite Short Story: "Intolerable Stupidity" by Laurie Viera Rigler from Jane Austen Made Me Do It. 
Favorite Nonfiction Picture Book: Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade. Melissa Sweet.
Favorite Nonfiction:  His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg: Courage, Rescue, and Mystery During World War II. Louise Borden.
Favorite Out-of-My-Comfort Zone:  Left for Dead: A Young Man's Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis. Pete Nelson.
Favorite Poetry:  The Great Migration: Journey to the North. Eloise Greenfield.
Favorite Christian Nonfiction: Loving the Way Jesus Loves. Phil Ryken.
Favorite Charles Spurgeon Book: Grace God's Unmerited Favor. Charles Spurgeon.

Board Books, Picture Books, Early Readers: 
  1. Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur: A First Book of Manners. Judy Sierra. Illustrated by Tim Bowers. 2012. Random House. 40 pages
  2. My Heart Will Not Sit Down. Mara Rockliff. Illustrated by Ann Tanksley. 2012. Random House. 40 pages.
  3. Listen to My Trumpet. An Elephant & Piggie Book. Mo Willems. 2012. Hyperion. 64 pages.
  4. Tales For Very Picky Eaters. Josh Schneider. 2011. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 50 pages.
  5. 14 Cows for America. Carmen Agra Deedy. In collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah. Illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez. 2009. Peachtree. 32 pages.
  6. Pinkalicious. Victoria Kann & Elizabeth Kann. 2006. HarperCollins. 40 pages.
  7. Purplicious. Victoria Kann & Elizabeth Kann. 2007. HarperCollins. 40 pages. 
  8. Goldilicious. Victoria Kann. 2009. HarperCollins. 40 pages.
  9. Silverlicious. Victoria Kann. 2011. HarperCollins. 40 pages. 
  10. Pinkalicious: Pinkie Promise. Victoria Kann. 2011. HarperCollins. 32 pages.
  11. Pinkalicious: Pink Around the Rink. Victoria Kann. 2010. HarperCollins. 32 pages. 
  12. Pinkalicious: School Rules. Victoria Kann. 2010. HarperCollins. 32 pages.
  13. 10 Hungry Rabbits. Counting & Color Concepts. Anita Lobel. 2012. Random House. 24 pages. 
  14. George Washington's Birthday: A Mostly True Tale. Margaret McNamara. Illustrated by Barry Blitt. 2012. Random House. 40 pages.

Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels:
  1. Crow. Barbara Wright. 2012. Random House. 304 pages. 
  2. Enchantress from the Stars. Sylvia Louise Engdahl. 1970/2003. Penguin. 304 pages. 
  3. Dominic. William Steig. 1972. FSG. 150 pages. 
  4. The Way We Fall. Megan Crewe. 2012. Hyperion. 320 pages.
  5. Tankborn. Karen Sandler. 2011. Lee & Low Books. 384 pages.
  6. All Good Children. Catherine Austen. 2011. Orca. 300 pages.
  7. Cinder. (The Lunar Chronicles #1). Marissa Meyer. 2012. Feiwel & Friends. 400 pages.
  8. Crossed. Ally Condie. 2011. Penguin. 368 pages.
  9. Awaken. Katie Kacvinsky. 2011. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 320 pages.
  10. Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip. Jordan Sonnenblick. 2012.  Scholastic. 304 pages.
  11. Rasco and the Rats of NIMH. Jane Leslie Conly. 1986. HarperCollins. 280 pages.
  12. Cleopatra Confesses. Carolyn Meyer. 2011. Simon & Schuster. 304 pages.
  13. The Friendship Doll. Kirby Larson. 2011. Random House. 208 pages.
  14. Sylvia & Aki. Winifred Conkling. 2011. Random House. 160 pages.
  15. Bud, Not Buddy. Christopher Paul Curtis. 1999. Random House. 245 pages.
  16. The Mighty Miss Malone. Christopher Paul Curtis. 2012. January 2012. Random House. 320 pages.
  17. Tuesdays at the Castle. Jessica Day George. 2011. Bloomsbury. 254 pages.
  18. Catherine, Called Birdy. Karen Cushman. 1994. HarperCollins. 212 pages.
  19. The Name of the Star. Maureen Johnson. 2011. Penguin. 384 pages.
Adult Books:
  1. The Demolished Man. Alfred Bester. 1951. Random House. 245 pages.
  2. Alas, Babylon. Pat Frank. 1959/1999. HarperCollins. 325 pages.
  3. The Worthing Saga. Orson Scott Card. 1990. Tor. 465 pages.
  4. Earth Abides. George R. Stewart. 1949/2006. (Introduction to this edition by Connie Willis!) Random House. 368 pages.
  5. Time for the Stars. Robert A. Heinlein. 1956. Tor. 244 pages.
  6. The Puppet Masters. Robert A. Heinlein. 1951. Del Rey. 340 pages.
  7. The Door Into Summer. Robert A. Heinlein. 1957. Del Rey. 300 pages.
  8. Double Star. Robert A. Heinlein. 1956. Del Rey. 245 pages.
  9. Jane Austen Made Me Do It. Edited By Laurel Ann Nattress. 2011. Random House. 464 pages. 
  10. The Mistress of Nothing. Kate Pullinger. 2011. Simon & Schuster. 272 pages.
  11. The Stars My Destination. Alfred Bester. 1956. My edition, published in 1996, has an introduction by Neil Gaiman. Knopf Doubleday. 272 pages. 
  12. We. Yevgeny Zamyatin. Translated by Mirra Ginsburg. 1921/1972*. HarperCollins. 233 pages.
  13. The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt. A Novel in Pictures. Full-Color Vintage Memorabilia On Every Page. Caroline Preston. 2011. HarperCollins. 240 pages.

Nonfiction Books:
  1. His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg: Courage, Rescue, and Mystery During World War II. Louise Borden. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 144 pages.
  2. Left for Dead: A Young Man's Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis. Pete Nelson. With a preface by Hunter Scott. 2002. Random House. 224 pages.
  3. How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: Child-Raising Discoveries from Around the World. Mei-Ling Hopgood. 2012. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. 304 pages.
  4. Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade. Melissa Sweet. 2011. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 40 pages.

Poetry:
  1. The Great Migration: Journey to the North. Eloise Greenfield. Illustrations by Jan Spivey Gilchrist.  2011. HarperCollins. 26 pages. 
  2. Never Forgotten. Patricia C. McKissack. Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. 2011. Random House. 48 pages.
Christian Fiction and Nonfiction:
  1. The Gospel-Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World. Michael Horton. 2009. Baker Books. 272 pages.
  2. Loving the Way Jesus Loves. Phil Ryken. 2012. Crossway. 224 pages.
  3. Grace God's Unmerited Favor. Charles Spurgeon. 1996. Whitaker House. 175 pages.
  4. The Practice of Praise: How To Develop the Habit of Abundant, Continual Praise In Your Daily Life by Charles Spurgeon. 1995. Whitaker House. 170 pages.
  5. Power in the Blood. Charles Spurgeon. 1996. Whitaker House. 190 pages.
  6. Being God's Friend. Charles Spurgeon. 1997. Whitaker House. 175 pages.
  7. A Suitor for Jenny. Margaret Brownley. 2010. Thomas Nelson. 315 pages.
  8. The Toddler's Bible. V. Gilbert Beers. 1992/2012. The 2012 edition is illustrated by Claudine Gevry. The 1992 edition is illustrated by Carole Boerke. David C. Cook. 432 pages.

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 comments:

fredamans 3:16 PM  

Wowsers is all I can come up with.
Happy March reading!

Susan 10:47 PM  

Yes, wowsers is right! 60!!!!! oh my gosh.....And you read some very good ones. I'm still trying to find Alfred Bester at my bookstores (I might have to special order him), and now I'm adding the Pat Frank book to my end of the world books to read. I forgot about that one. I am reading some Sylvia Engdahl now, though I find it cool and distant, if that makes any sense. A friend recommended her to me.

I hope the rest of your reading year is as good as this month was, for you!

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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.
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