Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Sunday Salon: Classics

Okay, I found a site that almost made me giddy. It sounds silly to get this excited about something so quickly, after all, there's no guarantee that this will be life-changing or anything. But still. Do you know about girlebooks? Here is their description from their own "about us" page: "we publish free ebooks by the gals. But much more than a simple free ebook resource, Girlebooks aims to make classic and lesser-known works by female writers available to a large audience through the ebook medium." Some are titles you'd expect--Little Women, Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre. But others have the new-to-me status, I'm curious to read The Female Quixote by Charlotte Lennox and The Lamplighter by Maria S. Cummins. Here's a description of that book: "Second only in sales to Uncle Tom's Cabin during the nineteenth century, The Lamplighter is almost completely unknown today, its very popularity having been used to condemn it in literary critical circles. It tells the story of the development of a young, orphaned girl into a resilient, capable young woman who gets her man." Does that little tidbit not make you a wee bit curious. Of course, after I downloaded it (for free of course) I noticed it was over 700 pages. Still, if I persevere, I'll have to let you know how that one works out. You should definitely give this one some of your time to explore. They've got several different formats including: adobe pdf, eReader PDB, Microsoft Reader LIT, plain text, and Kindle.

Speaking of e-books, Judy has started the Electronic Book Challenge. I haven't joined, not just yet anyway, but I'm pondering doing so. I'm not really a fan of reading electronic books or online books--though I am subscribed to a dozen through daily lit. But sometimes finding a site like girlebooks or Project Gutenberg makes me wish I were. (Also check out the Australian Guternberg site. It has a few titles that the American one doesn't have. Well worth checking out.)

I've mentioned this before, but it always bears repeating (in my opinion) but you might want to consider adding The Classics Tale Podcast to your life. The show is over a year old now, I started subscribing last fall--maybe Septemberish. I don't have all the shows, but I have most of them. And if you subscribe to the podcast, then the shows are free. When you subscribe, you get a handful of back shows free. (I honestly can't remember if it's three or four--but somewhere around there). Unfortunately or fortunately as the case may be depending on your financial status, past shows are available to download at The prices for each show vary. You can see a complete listing of shows/episodes here.

In other related news, in September and October my google group, Reading with Becky, will be reading The Count of the Monte Cristo. I'm a laidback person, so I'm allowing participants to decide for themselves if they want to go abridged or unabridged. As for me, I'm going to *try* to go unabridged.

And also coming soon, Leila from Bookshelves of Doom will be having her BIG READ III. The book this time is A TALE OF TWO CITIES by Charles Dickens. The schedule is supposed to be up soon. I believe she wants to start this Wednesday. (By the time this post goes live, it might already be up.) The original announcement is here.

In completely unrelated news, I can't let today's post close without mentioning the wonderful new project Natasha at Maw Books is putting together for the whole month of September. Read about it here. Here is what she has to say: "during the entire month of September I will be reading and blogging in an effort to create awareness and raise funds for the people of Darfur." She lists six different ways you can get involved in her project. I hope you take a look. I'll be doing option 1 (writing and linking about the project in a post and sidebar) 2 (commit to visiting and commenting on her blog during the month of September), and I'm thinking about 3 as well. I'll just have to see what my local library has and if it is on the shelves.

Also going on in September, is Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Nominations for blogs ends today, August 31rst. So see this post, and email your nominations.

Reviewer X is currently having a great contest--a chance to win $10 to the online retailer of your choice.

Deena at A Peek AT My Bookshelf is also having a great contest--the whole month of September--read the official rules here.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


S. Krishna 10:01 AM  

girlebooks sounds really cool! I will have to check it out!

Anonymous,  12:12 PM  

I'm not a fan of e-books (I tried it once but missed physically turning the pages too much), but Girlebooks looks like a great website and one that will probably expand my to-read list exponentially! ;)

Anonymous,  12:24 PM  

The Dafur project sounds really worth while. Thanks for the information.

SmilingSally 12:43 PM  

I love to read, but I'm resisting anything other than having a book in my hands.

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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
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  • fantasy
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  • 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.
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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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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!

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