Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Sunday Salon: Going with the Flow

This is my first week participating in The Sunday Salon. I thought I would start with just the briefest introduction. My name is Becky, obviously, and I've been blogging since August 2006. I still can't believe I'll be turning two soon. At times it seems so unreal. And at other times it feels like I've been blogging forever. I love it. I do. I guess you could say that blogging gave me a definite voice which I might not have found otherwise. If anyone should care to read more about my 'mission' statement see these two posts: To Blog or Not To Blog and Becky's 5 W's. I also posted a tad bit more about the subject here. I review children's books, young adult books, and adult books. I participate in a LOT of challenges. I generally am known for my passionate obsessions.

So what have I been reading lately? Yesterday I completed two books. In Mozart's Shadow by Carolyn Meyer. A novelization of the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's sister, Nannerl. It was rich in details but quite a downer. Seriously frustrated woman there! It's the kind of book that makes you appreciate how far society has come in terms of gender/sex equality. So many choices and opportunities and freedoms that were not even remotely possible or plausible then.

Slightly out of order but thematically connected, I am currently reading THE QUEEN'S SOPRANO by Carol Dines. Set in Italy, in Rome, in the seventeenth century, it tells the story (again a novelization of an actual person) of a young and talented woman, a singer, who was oppressed by society because she was female. Music not being a "suitable" field or occupation or pastime during the reign of Pope Innocent XI. Women were forbidden to sing in public. To show one's face while singing would be immoral and corruptive. Anyway, I'm only halfway through it...but it's simply fascinating.

The second book which I finished yesterday was I AM SCOUT by Charles J. shields. It is a biography of Nelle Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird. I found it well-written, exceedingly well-researched, and just completely fascinating. I'd definitely recommend it. Did you know that Dill was based on her childhood friend Truman Capote? That's just one of the I-didn't-know-that facts I picked up along the way.

I'll be reviewing I Am Scout soon--tomorrow for Nonfiction Monday--and I'll be finishing up The Queen's Soprano later on today. I'm sure I'll start another book or two as well. I like to have several books going. A nonfiction. A fiction. Something light. Something more substance. I like to be balanced :)

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Wendy 4:25 PM  

Welcome to the Sunday Salon, Becky! It is GREAT to see you here :) By the way, I really like your new header (I usually read your posts via Google Reader so perhaps your header is not new...but it's new to me!).

Becky 4:38 PM  

Wendy, it is new. Brand new. I made it yesterday :)

jlshall 4:59 PM  

Hi, Becky. Can't believe you haven't been a Saloner before now! But welcome, now that you're here. I really, really wish I could read as fast as you do.

The Bookworm 5:14 PM  

Hi Becky, welcome to SS :)
I like your new blog header, very pretty.
sounds like you are very busy reading! Off to check some of your reviews out.
enjoy your weekend :)

Anonymous,  5:28 PM  

Hey Becky! It's nice to see a familiar name as a new member of The Sunday Saloners! :)

Anonymous,  6:12 PM  

Oh, wow, thanks for the review of I AM SCOUT!! To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite book ever written. I had such a great time teaching it to high schoolers this year and watching them discover it and fall in love. I am adding that to my TBR list for sure!

Anonymous,  7:35 PM  

I agree with Joy and J. Kaye. I can't believe you haven't been here before this...but welcome to the Sunday Salon. That biography of Harper Lee sounds very good.

Susan 1:01 AM  

Hey Becky - I just wanted to let you know that you won Hattie Big Sky! I'm so excited for you. Check out my blog for more info.

Clare - The Super Mommy Club 1:57 AM  

Hey Becky - welcome to the Salon!

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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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Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
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