Saturday, October 19, 2013

Week In Review: October 13-19

Venetia. Georgette Heyer. 1958/2009. Harlequin. 368 pages. [Source: Gift] 
Insurgent. Veronica Roth. 2012. HarperCollins. 525 pages. [Source: Library]
Sophie's Squash. Pat Zietlow Miller. Illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf. 2013. Random House. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Great Tales from English History, volume 3. Robert Lacey. 2008. Little, Brown. 320 pages. [Source: Library]
The Fantastic Family Whipple. Matthew Ward. 2013. Penguin. 400 pages. [Source: Review Copy]
Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Robert Louis Stevenson. 1886. 144 pages. [Source: Bought]
Noah Barleywater Runs Away. John Boyne. 2010/2012. Random House. 240 pages. [Source: Review Copy]
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Roald Dahl. 1964. 155 pages. [Source: Library]
To Live Is Christ To Die Is Gain. Matt Chandler. 2013. David C. Cook. 224 pages. [Source: Bought]
A Call To Spiritual Reformation. Priorities from Paul and His Prayers. D.A. Carson. 1992. Baker. 232 pages. [Source: Bought]
When Comes The Spring. Janette Oke. 1985. Bethany House. 252 pages. [Source: Library]
A Wreath of Snow. Liz Curtis Higgs. 2012. Waterbrook. 224 pages. [Source: Library]

Last month, I believe, I mentioned my eagerness to answer questions that you leave on my blog. Well, Sherry asked a great question today on my Venetia post. She asks, "How do you choose what to read next? Is is totally by whim and what captures your interest on any given day?"

I've discovered that--for better or worse--I have a bit of Toad (The Wind in the Willows) in me.
I know him her from old. He She is now possessed. He She has got a new craze, and it always takes him her that way, in its first stage. He'll She'll continue like that for days now, like an animal walking in a happy dream, quite useless for all practical purposes. Never mind him her.
I read whimsically for the most part, following my 'crazes' and 'passions.' I have three or four genres that I'm just crazy about (historical romances (clean not smutty), historical fiction (for all ages), especially if its set in Britain OR during one of the world wars. (I have a new passion for the Italian Renaissance if anyone has further recommendations! I've got a review of Prince of Foxes coming this week. I am super excited about that one!!!) I really LOVE vintage mysteries. I tend to reach for dystopias, apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic fiction. I have a weakness for classics--particularly those from the Victorian period. Middle Grade Fiction is one of my favorite genres. I definitely try to keep up with it!

But I also follow certain authors. There are authors I keep up with faithfully; there are authors I read and reread and reread. There are books I read again and again and again. Rereading is part of who I am as a reader. If I love it and truly think it is "best book ever" I am GOING to read it again and again.

The library plays a big part too! I check the library site to see what's new and coming soon. I put things on hold sometimes weeks or even months in advance. So the library list definitely determines what I read and when I read it!

This year I had three BIG goals. 1) READ OR REREAD all of Georgette Heyer's historical romances IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. 2) READ OR REREAD all of L.M. Montgomery's novels in CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.  3) Read and review a children's classic each Sunday. It has been lovely to have some structure!!!

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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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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