Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday Salon: Reading, Read, To Read #11


Happy Sunday everyone! This week has found me challenge-happy! Are you a reading challenge addict? Do you want to be? What makes you more likely to sign up for a challenge? Is there anything a challenge host should or shouldn't do that might persuade you to join?

I've created SIX challenges this past week. And I'd love to tell you about them. First off, there is the It's The End of the World II Challenge. The link will tell you all about the challenge--how to sign up, what to read, and where to leave your links with reviews. (Reviews aren't required. (Blogs aren't required either). But it's nice to hear back which titles you've read...even if you don't talk about the books.) To read reviews from fellow participants, visit this link. You'll notice--if you're on the blog itself and not the feed--that I've dedicated some space on the sidebar (left side) for the challenge. Find lists of participants. Find links on sharing/reading reviews. So if you've signed up for the challenge. You should be able to always find where to go. Now, I haven't mentioned the other five challenges on this blog yet--probably one very good reason why no one has signed up...yet. (Okay, one other person has signed up, but I did a personal email invite there.)

These five challenges are being hosted at Mini-Challenges Hosted by Becky. The authors this go round are as follows: Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Anthony Trollope, Leo Tolstoy, Elizabeth Scott. The challenges vary in length--but some extend on into 2010. And these are "mini" challenges which means the magic number is two. Either two books, two movies, or one book and one movie. Of course, you can always go above and beyond. But two is all it takes to play along. Now, four, I'm sure you've noticed are classic authors. But one, Elizabeth Scott, is contemporary. I just love her YA books, and I think YOU will too.

Reading. Let's talk about favorites. I have had one of the BEST weeks ever. In the past ten days, I've read so many books that I'd classify as best-best-best. I have NO IDEA how I'm ever going to make a top five for the month of March. Seriously. So if you haven't caught every post, please check the archives (and links below). You might find your next read here! I certainly hope so!

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

Joe and Sparky Get New Wheels by Jamie Michalak. 2009. Candlewick Press. (Early Reader)
Zelda and Ivy: Keeping Secrets by Laura McGee Kvasnosky. 2009. Candlewick Press. (Early Reader)
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. 2009. Viking. 278 pages. (YA Realistic Fiction)
Fade by Lisa McMann. 2009. Simon & Schuster. 248 pages. (YA Fantasy)
TROPICAL SECRETS: HOLOCAUST REFUGEES IN CUBA. by Margarita Engle. 2009. (March 31, 2009 Pub.)Henry Holt. 198 pages.
The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson. Thomas Nelson Publishers. 313 pages.
Journey to the Well by Diana Wallis Taylor. Revell. 329 pages.
Classic Bible Storybook by Kenneth N. Taylor. Tyndale. 270 pages. (children's book)
Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck. 224 pages. (Adult/Classic)

What I read this past week and reviewed:

The Night Before St. Patrick's Day by Natasha Wing. Penguin. 2009.
Pajama Mamas by Kate Spohn. Random House. 2009. Random House.
Jacob Lawrence In the City by Susan Goldman Rubin. 2009. Chronicle Books.
Magritte's Imagination. By Susan Goldman Rubin. 2009. Chronicle Books.
In My Pond by Sara Gillingham. Chronicle Books. 2009.
The Forest of Hands and Feet by Carrie Ryan. 2009. Random House. (YA Fantasy/Dystopia/YA Romance/YA Suspense/YA Thriller) 310 pages.
The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry. 2009. Bloomsbury 308 pages. (YA Fantasy/YA Romance)
The Wayward Bus by John Steinbeck. 272 pages. (Adult/Classic)
Burning Bright by John Steinbeck. 128 pages. (Adult/Classic)
The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck. 304 pages. (Adult/Classic)
The Morgesons. Elizabeth Stoddard. 1862. 260 pages.

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

Chicken Soup by Jean Van Leeuwen. Illustrated by David Gavril. Harry N. Abrams. 2009. (May)
Scaredy Squirrel at Night by Melanie Watt. Kids Can Press. 2009. (February)
No Kisses, Please! by Hans Wilhelm. 2004. (Paperback release 2009) (Early Reader) Scholastic
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff. 2004. Random House. (YA Fiction/YA Romance/Dystopia/War) 194 pages.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore. 2008. Harcourt. 471 pages. (YA Fantasy/YA Romance)
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams. St. Martin's Griffin. 224 pages. (YA Realistic Fiction)
Mansfield Park Revisited by Joan Aiken. Sourcebooks. 201.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame Smith.

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

None!

What I'm currently reading:

Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (8 chapters in, or is it nine?)
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

What I'm semi-reading:

Riding by H.S. Cross (It's lost momentum.)
Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

What I've abandoned:

I'm considering abandoning Riding, but I'm not to that point yet. It's been four days since I last picked it up. It started off strong, I was hooked from the beginning. It had a good pace there for a while. It seemed to be moving along, going towards something. But I've got several hundred pages at least (maybe even four hundred) and it's just dragging--for me. The plot has been on a plateau for at least a hundred or two hundred pages. I can't tell that it's building to a climax at all. I hate to have gone this far and not finish, after all, it could turn around and finish off just as strong as it started. But I don't know if my patience is more or less than the average reader. Would an average reader give up on a book at this point?

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
If you're reading this post on another site, or another feed, the content has been stolen.

8 comments:

elizabeth scott 2:35 AM  

An Elizabeth Scott challenge? WOW!!!!!

Debi 7:19 AM  

Wowza...that's a lot of reading! As usual!

I'm going to be signing up for the Elizabeth Scott challenge. I've really been wanting to try her books. (I have Living Dead Girl on my pile right now.) So this will give me just the nudge I need. (Besides, I just love that picture of her! Impossible not to smile yourself when you see that smiling face!)

Molly 8:37 AM  

I love the idea of a mini-challenge. It sounds so doable, and I need to experience that feeling of success. Now....I just need to decide which one I want to join.

J. Kaye 12:00 PM  

What I'm semi-reading?

ROFTL! I like that!

Serena 12:36 PM  

you are a challenge maniac! Nice new blog for the end of the world challenge. I have my hands full with the WWII reading challenge, so I can't sign up, but I wish you luck.

nice new look to the blog by the way!

L. Diane Wolfe 12:50 PM  

Hi Becky!
Been getting some really good reviews of The Circle of Friends Book I...Lori and can't wait to hear your take on it.
If I missed it for some reason, let me know!

L. Diane Wolfe
www.circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com
www.spunkonastick.net
www.thecircleoffriends.net

Robin of My Two Blessings 2:11 PM  

And I thought I read alot. Wow, what a great list of books. Happy Reading. My post is here

Louise 2:45 PM  

A great deal of reading and interesting to surf around your blog(s) which I haven't been visiting for some time because I have been abroad and not able to get online for almost two weeeks. But now I am back and your reading list is very interesting!

Louise

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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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