Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Salon: Reading, Read, To Read #3

In case you're just joining us for Sunday Salon, I want YOU (yes, you!) to be aware that there is a contest going on here at Becky's Book Reviews! You've got a chance to win one of three books by the incredibly talented (and very awesome author), Michelle Moran! Leave a comment on that post (not this one) by January 23rd. I'll announce the winners that weekend (either 24th or 25th).

What I read in a previous week, but reviewed this week
:

Ten Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah. (Pub Jan 2009) 297. (YA Realistic Fiction/International Fiction)
Keeping the Night Watch by Hope Anita Smith. Illustrations by E.B. Lewis. 2008. 74. (YA Realistic Fiction/Verse Novel/YA Poetry)
What Would Emma Do by Eileen Cook. 2008. (Dec 2008) 307. (YA Realistic Fiction)
An Uncertain Dream by Judith Miller. 2008. 376. (Adult/Christian Fiction/Historical Romance)

What I read this past week and reviewed:

I'm A Happy Hugglewug by Niamh Sharkey 2009. (Board Books/Children's)
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran. 2007. 466. (Adult Fiction/Historical Fiction)
Books are for eating reading. by Suzy Becker. 2009. (Jan 2009) (Board Books/Children's)
Duck & Goose: How are you feeling? by Tad Hills. 2009. (Jan 2009) (Board Books/Children's)
Planet Earth: Baby Penguins by Scholastic. 2009 (Board Books/Children's Books)
Froggy Green by Anna Walker. 2009. Kane/Miller. (Toddler Tales/Children's Books)
Never Talk to Strangers. by Irma Joyce. Illustrated by George Buckett. 1967/2009. Golden Books/Random House (Children's Books/Picture Books)
Anubis Gates by Tim Powers. 1983. (Adult/Science Fiction)
On Church Leadership by Mark Driscoll. 2008. Crossway. (Adult/Christian Nonfiction)

What I read a week ago and really, really need to review:

Far From You by Lisa Schroeder. (Pub. Dec 2008) 355. (YA Realistic Fiction/Verse Novel/YA Romance)

What I read this past week but haven't reviewed yet:

Because I Am Furniture. Thalia Chaltas. 2009. (Pub. April 2009) 356. (Viking) (YA Realistic Fiction/Verse Novel)
Clementine's Letter by Sara Pennypacker. 2008. 150. (Hyperion) (J Realistic Fiction)
The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran. 2008. 383. (Crown) (Adult/Historical Fiction/Historical Romance)
Free To Be You and Me by Marlo Thomas and Friends (Running Press) 130 (J Fiction/Poetry/Short Stories)

What I'm currently reading:

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes*
Starry Rift: An Original Science Fiction Anthology. Edited by Jonathan Strahan.**
Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before by David Yoo. (2008) 374. Hyperion. (YA Realistic Fiction/YA Romance)
The King's Rose by Alisa M. Libby. 2009. (March 2009 Pub) (Dutton/Penguin) (YA Historical Fiction/YA Historical Romance/YA Romance)

What I'm "currently" "reading" (a.k.a. what is still by my bedside but I haven't touched this week):
Emma by Jane Austen***

This week's spotlight:
I cannot begin to tell you how much I'm loving this book!!! Granted, I've *always* had a weakness for Henry VIII and his wives and his children. But seriously, this is GOOD. Here's the author's blog!


*I am on page 328 of this one. It is 1170 for the novel not counting the notes/appendices. So it'll be here for a while. BUT I am making about 100 pages a week.
**If you're reading this on Sunday afternoon, you still have a few hours to join in on Carl's mini-challenge. To read one or more science-fiction short stories. I've read four so far this weekend.
***I'm on page 291. Out of 446. I need some motivation to go ahead and finish this one. It seems I'm stalling out.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

11 comments:

Elizabeth 7:22 PM  

I, too have a weakness for Henry VIII; this is going on my TBR.

Irish 7:56 PM  

The Kings Rose sounds interesting (I love the Tudor times too) and that cover is so intriguing!

Sandra 8:23 PM  

Wow, you've read and reviewed a lot. Good for you.

Booklogged 9:09 PM  

Talk about a chunkster! It sounds really good.

Kailana 4:20 AM  

The King's Rose does look good! On the wish list with it. You have read a lot of good books this week! Isn't Michelle Moran a great author!

samantha.1020 12:39 PM  

The King's Rose sounds really good. Historical fiction is a genre that I usually shy away from but I am challenging myself to read more of it this year. I'll have to give this one a try :)

Anonymous,  2:40 PM  

I'm really looking forward to your review of "The King's Rose" - I too have a soft spot for Henry VIII. I blame Keith Michell. :) L

Anonymous,  12:46 PM  

I've been thinking about your problem with "Emma" - but hesitated whether to comment or no; reading is so subjective that motivation becomes such an individual thing. This is a re-read, isn't it? I recall having seen a review you'd written on it.

One thought I've had was that perhaps it would help if you didn't compare "Emma" with "Pride and Prejudice" and "Persuasion" (two of my favourite books of all time, by the way :) ); rather think of it more as a comedy of manners. I don't love it the way I do the other two, but I enjoy it. I love Elizabeth Bennet and Anne Elliot, and I don't love Emma Woodhouse - but it doesn't matter, one doesn't have to.

Maybe watching a dramatisation might help? To get into it more - the funny thing about the Kate Beckinsale and the Gwyneth Paltrow versions is that they oddly comlement each other - one concentrates more on the beginning of the story and rushes the end, the other vice versa.

I hope you don't mind the length of my comment - a book given up (for whatever reason) becomes strangely hateful; there comes a strong reluctance to resume it; and I thought if you gave up you might never pick it up again. L

Becky 12:58 PM  

Anonymous, I LOVE your comments of any length. You're always so well-spoken.

I attempted to read Emma last year, but gave up on it. I think it was last spring. I don't remember if I blogged about this attempt or not. I also may have commented on the movie since PBS was having their Austen fun.

I think I have actually read it all once. It may have even been before I'd read Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. Probably around the time the movies came out.

It is hard for me to read a book where I don't 'like' the narrator though it isn't a requirement of enjoying a book. I think this time around I actually began getting the book--seeing it as a comedy where the characters were more exaggerated and such. And the first week of January I was mostly involved in this one. But with all the other books I've got going it's hard to stay focused.

I do want to finish it though. And I definitely would hate to put it back on the shelf unread.

Anonymous,  5:04 PM  

Thank you, Becky! It is so kind of you to say that (and it relieves me too - I was wondering if I was being a nuisance. :) )

I understand perfectly - I've always had difficulty reading about characters I don't like. Particularly if the author expects me to approve or sympathise when the character is behaving badly or idiotically. I suppose that's why I've never had a problem with "Emma" - but I wouldn't want to read it as many times as "Pride and Prejudice" or "Persuasion"!

Anyway, good luck - and I can truly say, without exaggeration, that I'm in awe of the amount of books you read! :) L

Anonymous,  5:07 PM  

I meant that Jane Austen doesn't expect us to approve of Emma's behaviour, of course. (Just when you had called me "well-spoken" too! :) )L.

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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.)

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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.

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