Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Salon: Reading, Read, To Read #12

Happy Sunday everyone! Still challenge happy this week! I was expecting the thrill of the Spring Reading Thing (which started Friday) because she'd been posting about it leading up to the big sign-up post, but I was ecstatic to see Carl's Once Upon A Time III challenge pop-up. I must admit I'd been checking his blog for days and days hoping that it would suddenly appear. :) If you've never tried joining a reading challenge, I'd really encourage you to join one of those. These were my very, very first challenges that I ever joined.

I also learned this past week the dates for the upcoming 24 Hour-Read-A-Thon. So consider joining that one when the time comes. (There isn't a post to sign up for being a reader or a cheerleader yet. Those posts will come at some point. And I'll try to let you know when they do.) Those dates are April 18/19th starting at noon GMT.

Have you seen Twilight yet? Are you planning on it? I got my DVD yesterday. And I liked it. There were parts I just burst out laughing. And there were a few places I got the giggles. (I could have done without the "sparkling" side effects. Couldn't anyone have admitted how lame that was?) But I liked it. I can't completely forget that unsatisfied feeling from reading Breaking Dawn. (Though it leads me to guess how anyone might film that into something...worth watching...what with it being 50% vampire marathon sex and 30% weird and creepy pregnant Bella with the horrifying birth scene and odd imprinting of the mutant baby with Jacob. Leaving the rest of the time for building suspense into a non-climax with the villains. It may be in this instance that varying from the book could salvage it. Maybe the script writers could actually spend time with it and have it have a climax worth waiting for. Who knows?!)

I've got a few interviews in the works. I've sent out interview questions to a few authors. And I've emailed a few others. Heard back from some, but not all. I need to write questions for Lisa Mantchev and Carol Lynch Williams. I've got a few questions (in my head, not on paper yet) but if you've got a few you want me to ask...leave a comment!!! Lisa Mantchev is the author of Eyes Like Stars. And Carol Lynch Williams is the author of The Chosen One. (Links to both of those reviews can be found below.)

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

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)

What I read this past week and reviewed:

No Kisses, Please! by Hans Wilhelm. 2004. (Paperback release 2009) (Early Reader) Scholastic
My Summer on Earth by Tom Lombardi. 2008. Simon & Schuster. 243 pages. (YA Science Fiction)
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev. 2009. Feiwel and Friends. (July Pub) 368 pages. (YA Fantasy/YA Romance)
Michal by Jill Eileen Smith. Revell. 382 pages. (Adult/Christian Fiction)
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick. 1962. 272 pages. (Adult/Science Fiction)
Chicken Soup by Jean Van Leeuwen. Illustrated by David Gavril. Harry N. Abrams. 2009. (May) (Picture Book)
Scaredy Squirrel at Night by Melanie Watt. Kids Can Press. 2009. (February) (Picture Book)

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

The Love We Share Without Knowing by Christopher Barzak. 2009. Bantam. 288 pages.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. 1847. Wordsworth Classics. 246 pages.
Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent. 2009. Tyndale. 343 pages.

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

Mansfield Park Revisited by Joan Aiken. Sourcebooks. 201.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. 2009. Quirk. 319 pages.

What I'm currently reading:

Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-Ucci (I'm exactly 100 pages in)
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (middle of chapter twelve)

What I'm just fooling around that I'm reading:

Book Thief by Markus Zusak. (I listened to this on audio in January. I wanted to read along with the audio. But the book reading stopped. So technically I've finished this one already this year.)

What I've abandoned:

Riding by H.S. Cross

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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Janssen 4:49 PM  

Wouldn't it be awesome if the Breaking Dawn movie was just completely different from the book? Maybe Jacob didn't imprint and picked Leah instead and all the wolves took off to Canada?

Anonymous,  8:14 PM  

You review of Twilight made me laugh! Thanks for the review earlier this week on Scaredy Squirrel at Night. I checked out all of the Scaredy Squirrel Books that I could find and my kids love them! I owe you one.

Beth Kephart 3:31 AM  

OH do keep reading Book Thief. Sometimes it's just about where he puts the words on the page...

Debi 9:11 AM  

"These were my very, very first challenges that I ever joined."...Me too! And look where they've led us! :)

Anonymous,  2:28 PM  

I had an abandoned book this week too...bummer.

Sandra 9:46 PM  

I always enjoy the long lists of what you're reading. I'm interestd in what you think about Wuthering Heights and Our Mutual Friend.

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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
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  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

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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.
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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