Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sunday Salon: Reading, Read, To Read #9

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you had a good week. A productive week. I personally feel a great sense of accomplishment at finishing Don Quixote. This is a monster-of-a-book that took me all of January and almost all of February (minus two days) to finish.

I've managed to finish three reading challenges so far this year: the Sci-Fi Experience, the 1% Well Read Challenge, and the Young Adult Challenge.

I also decided on the new layout/header for the blog. These are changes that have long been in the works--though blogger isn't always cooperative. I'd been playing around with everything for weeks. But it all came together last week.

How about you?

Well, it's a new month--you can catch up on my February wrap-up post if you like. What was YOUR favorite read of the month? Did you discover a new author? Reread an old favorite?

One of my favorites of the month was Kathryn Fitzmaurice's novel The Year The Swallows Came Early. I participated in her blog tour--I do believe in her book! I would never promote a book I didn't believe in! You can vote for me if you think I did a good job. The voting is open through March 6th! And I'd appreciate your show of support. (But only if you think I did good. If you thought I was awful, obviously vote where your heart is!) Two more things semi-related to this one...the first is the WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY. There were nineteen entries, but there can only be one winner....and has selected Shirley; I've emailed her to let her know. The second is that Kathryn Fitzmaurice will be posting her interview with me this week--on Wednesday, I believe. (I'll let you know when it's up most likely.) I interviewed her last week, you can read that here.

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

The Year The Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice. 2009. HarperCollins. 273 pages. (J Realistic Fiction)
The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snicket. HarperCollins. 2009.

What I read this past week and reviewed:

Pemberley Shades by D.A. Bonavia-Hunt. 1949/2008. Sourcebooks. 376 pages.
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. 1605/1615. (1998 Modern Library Edition) 1240 pages.
Silas Marner. by George Eliot. 1861. 186 pages. Bantam Classics.
The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King. 2009. Flux. 330 pages. (YA Adventure/YA Fantasy)
Just Another Girl by Melody Carlson. 2009. Revell. 221 pages. (YA Realistic Fiction/YA Romance)
Heart Of A Lion by Gilbert Morris. 2002. Bethany House. 344 pages.
Wycliffe New Testament. 1388/2002. British Library. 528 pages
Sword of the Ramurai. by Becky Ances. Illustrated by Ryan Wilson. 2008. 70 pages
Everyday Prayers edited by Jennifer Frantz. 2008. Early Reader. (Harper Blessings) 24 pages
Bedtime Prayers edited by Jennifer Frantz. 2008. Early Reader (Harper Blessings) 24 pages
My Dance Recital by Maryann Cocca-Leffler. 2009. Random House. (Board Book)
Old MacNoah Had An Ark by Sally Lloyd-Jones. 2008. Harper Blessings.

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

The Squad: Killer Spirit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. 2008. Random House. 324 pages.

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

Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba by Margarita Engle. 2009. Henry Holt. 198 pages. (YA Historical Fiction/Verse Novel)

What I'm currently reading:

Chocolat by Joanne Harris
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
Riding by H.S. Cross

What I'm semi-reading:

Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

What I've abandoned:

Dune by Frank Herbert

I just read on Callapidder Days that the Spring Reading Thing challenge is coming soon--March 20th is the day to sign up. This one was the very first reading challenge I ever did...and so it's always happy to see it come around every year. Her site is great, and you can help out. Vote for her blog... it is a finalist in Scholastic Parent & Child’s 2009 Mommy Blogger Awards!

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


samantha.1020 6:16 PM  

Congrats on finishing such a big book! I've read and loved The Book Thief so I will be interested in hearing your thoughts on it when you finish.

Unknown 6:50 PM  

Hey Becky! Love the new blog design. It's nice to change it up now & then.
Btw, you should pick up Dune another time, that is - if you haven't already read it. I loved it. Herbert was an amazing guy. However, he lost me in the sequels...people turning into giant worms...not so much!
See ya :)

Kailana 8:54 PM  

You didn't like Dune, huh? I have had that on my TBR pile forever and never picked it up! I am not even totally sure what it is about anymore, but I will get to it one of these days...

Kathryn Fitzmaurice 8:50 AM  

Yes, my interview of Becky will be posted this Wednesday. And Shirley's book is on its way!

Unknown 11:28 AM  

Favorite book last month? Indigo's Star. That, and probably Trouble at 8.

How are you liking Chocolat?

Vasilly 7:38 PM  

I love your blog's new look!

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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
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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.
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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