Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sunday Salon: Reading, Read, To Read #6

Happy Sunday everyone! Few things would inspire me to wrestle with my Mac's in-built camera...but a new haircut is one of them. For those few friends in my life who saw my untamed mass of hair, this is a fun after shot. It was rare for me to deal with my untamedness--so I pretty much spent eighteen plus hours a day with it in various hair clips. Most never knew just how long my hair was getting. But I did end up getting around ten inches off yesterday. My hair hasn't been this short in a good while.

I have changed (at least temporarily) my profile picture. I still like the old picture, but that one is really, really old. As in five years old this coming Saturday. Maybe you can tell from this bigger shot of it, but the picture was taken at David's Bridal. So you can see racks of wedding gowns in the background. And I believe you can see the teeniest glimpse of my sister in the background trying on a dress. Taken the same day--and actually one that I found to be more expressive and reflective of my mood is this one. It's not that I didn't love my sister--or my soon-to-be-brother in law, it's just that dress shopping is...well...dress shopping.
Mom reminded me it will be five years this Saturday. You see, she 'found' the dress on Valentine's Day. But this also happened to be the day--the big day--that it snowed. In Texas. An event that isn't all that common. The bear was my Valentine's day present from my dad. The tree in the background is my tree. A cedar tree I planted when I was just a wee little thing. I used to be taller than it... But it has definitely soared above me now!

Now down to business....

There is still a week to enter my current giveaway. I'm giving away to one lucky winner a copy of Model Masters: Dragons, Explore Within a Medieval Castle, and Safari Animals.

I began the Do-Re-Mi Challenge. You can sign up (if you're so inclined here).

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

Lyn Cote's The Desires of Her Heart 2009. Avon Inspire.
Philip Reeve's A Darkling Plain. 2006. HarperCollins.

What I read this past week and reviewed:

Amjed Qamar's Beneath My Mother's Feet. 2008. Simon & Schuster. (YA Realistic Fiction)
Wynton Marsalis' Jazz ABZ. 2005. (Poetry/Picture Book)
Leo and Diane Dillon's Jazz On A Saturday Night. 2007. (Picture Book)
Karen Ehrhardt's This Jazz Man. 2006. (Picture book)
Matthew Van Fleet's Cat. 2009. (Picture Book)
Diane Landolf's What A Good Big Brother. 2009. (Picture Book)
Langston Hughes' My People. Photographs by Charles R. Smith Jr. 2009. (Picture Book).
Bill Staines' All God's Critters. Illustrations by Kadir Nelson. 2009. (Picture Book)
John Piper's John Calvin And His Passion for the Majesty of God. 2009. (Nonfiction)

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

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George. 2009. Bloomsbury. 280 pages. (YA Fantasy)
Mothstorm by Philip Reeve. 2008. Bloomsbury. 387 pages. (YA Science Fiction/YA Adventure)

What I've read and really really need to review:

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X. Patterson, James. 2008. Little, Brown. 238 pages (YA Science Fiction/YA Adventure)
Winnie's War by Jenny Moss. 2009. Walker Books. 178 pages. (J Historical Fiction/YA Historical Fiction)

What I'm currently reading:

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Dune by Frank Herbert
The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Old Friends and New Fancies by Sybil G. Brinton

My plans for next week--Introducing Jazz Week-- I'll be reviewing jazz-inspired books both fiction and nonfiction all week long. The first three titles I've read are:

Wynton Marsalis' Jazz ABZ. 2005. (Poetry/Picture Book)
Leo and Diane Dillon's Jazz On A Saturday Night. 2007. (Picture Book)
Karen Ehrhardt's This Jazz Man. 2006. (Picture book)

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Lenore Appelhans 4:21 PM  

I love your new haircut. It looks great on you!

DesLily 6:18 AM  

love your haircut Becky..
and i want your bear! lol.. love the bear! even us old folks still love stuffed animals.. somethings we never outgrow!

maggie moran 9:54 AM  

I love the new hair cut! So cute!

Debi 2:34 PM  

I adore your new haircut, Becky!

And thanks for the recommendation on the cat book! You know my little guy, don't you? :)

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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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