Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Salon: Reading, Read, To Read #16


So much to say...but is anyone awake to read about it? I have always found the Sunday afternoon after the Readathon to be a somber, melancholy, lonesome time. Maybe it's because most bloggers are sleeping, or maybe they're awake but too tired to be online, or maybe there is just no satisfaction after the extreme high of the day before. You know, when every post was getting comments.

Finding a Balance. I'm trying to find the perfect balance between what I want to be, and what I realistically can be. Yes, I like going for the Impossible Dream. The Quest of reading and reviewing anything and everything and then some on my blog. But remember, most people think Don Quixote was out-and-out crazy. So I don't want to model him *too* closely. You can read more of my thoughts on blogging on my post, Why Keep Blogging. More important than the post itself, I've got some very insightful and wise commenters! I knew I had the best readers, but I didn't quite know how very wise they were :) So do take a look if you're interested. I'm considering writing a follow-up of sorts on blogging. I'm either going to write an open letter to new bloggers OR write a post exploring what it means to be a blogger with integrity. Or maybe neither. I haven't thought it through fully yet.

Speaking of letters, here is the letter yahoo won't be receiving from my hands:

Dear Yahoo:

Thank you SO MUCH for taking my complaints seriously regarding regarding error five. I really appreciate how you responded--first by a generic message with tacky exclamation points in all the wrong places and then with a "human" repeating the same "advice" back at me after I took the time to clearly write out the details of the problems I've been experiencing. It takes a lot of effort on your part to not listen to your customers. To assume we can't count how many tabs/windows we might have open that are logged into yahoo. But here's the thing, yahoo, no matter how many times I tell you that I only have ONE yahoo tab open in ONE browser, I have the feeling that you're just going to cut and paste the same old answer back in your reply to me. And for the record, I don't even own a mobile device. So there is NO WAY that is my problem. If you'd read my email, you'd have known that was a non-issue. Though I do realize that yahoo mail is a free service and it's your right to ignore us. After all, what's one person in the scheme of things? Why should you care that I've been using your email services for twelve years? Why should you care that your service has steadily been declining for months? That 80% of my time I can't even access my inbox because of your lovely "error five." Still, I realize this is all my fault. I've thought that you would want to resolve this problem. I've thought that you were doing everything possible to work out the bugs in this "new and improved" yahoo.

The end.

Not that I'm bitter. Okay, I am bitter. But if you're going to take the trouble to respond at all to people who actually follow through with the "report a bug" feedback email, give them some credit and don't respond with insincere apologies and tacky exclamation points. Make me FEEL you actually care that I am a REAL person and not a number. Perhaps they need a new speech writer who can spin the situation and make me believe in promises they have no intention of keeping :)

And I'm even willing to entertain that the problem isn't necessarily all yahoo's fault. It very well could be my browser, flock, not playing nice with yahoo mail. It could equally be a browser problem.

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

Jessica's Guide to Dating On the Dark Side. Beth Fantaskey. 2009. Harcourt. 354 pages.
City of Glass. Cassandra Clare. 2009. Simon & Schuster. 541 pages.
Someone Like You. Sarah Dessen. 1998. Penguin. 281.
Jumped. Rita Williams-Garcia. 2009. HarperCollins. 168.

What I read this past week and reviewed:

Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon. 2009. Sourcebooks. 90 pages.
Horrid Henry Tricks the Tooth Fairy by Francesca Simon. 2009. Sourcebooks. 90 pages.
Horrid Henry and the Mega-Mean Time Machine by Francesca Simon. 2009. Sourcebooks. 88 pages.
Horrid Henry's Stinkbomb by Francesca Simon. 2009. Sourcebooks. 78 pages.
Bird. Rita Murphy. 2008. Random House. 150.
The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum. 2009. Shadow Mountain. 416 pages.
SLOB by Ellen Potter. 2009. Penguin. 208 pages.
Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner. 2009. Random House. 247 pages.
To A God Unknown by John Steinbeck.


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

Emil and Karl by Yankev Glatshteyn. 2006 (translation). 194 pages.

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

Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So Fabulous Life. Rachel Renee Russell. Aladdin. 276 pages.

What I'm currently reading:

The Bone Doll's Twin. Lynn Flewelling. 2001. 463/524
No Woman So Fair by Gilbert Morris. 2003. 137/351
King's Fool: A Notorious King, His Six Wives, and the One Man Who Knew Their Secrets. Margaret Campbell Barnes. 1959/2009. 218/290.
Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen. 1999. 45/228.
The Warden by Anthony Trollope. 1855. 112/284

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

The Secret Holocaust Diaries. Nonna Bannister. 2009. 120/299

What I've abandoned:

None this week.

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

10 comments:

Meghan 4:37 PM  

You're right, it is very quiet today. I participated and I almost wished I could keep reading this morning. I slept, though, so I didn't desperately need the break everyone else did.

Yahoo sounds really incompetent. =/ I have an old, old email address at hotmail and they have gone downhill recently too. My gmail works much better, but I still feel a little uncomfortable knowing Google uses what I write for ads and stuff.

Amanda 4:46 PM  

I went to church and then came home and slept for 2 hours. Which will totally screw up my mental clock since I wasn't even one of those that made it the whole night!

And you know what?? I've been having a major problem with Yahoo lately too. I don't know what's going on with it but 75% of the time I can't in my inbox either. Weird. Glad to know they were so helpful about the issue though. :(

I have a new giveaway up, maybe that will cheer you a bit about the Yahoo problem! hehe

I can't wait to see your review of Emil and Karl, since I still haven't been able to get a copy...

And now I'll stop taking up space in your comments section. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Chris 6:04 PM  

Phew...I know what you mean. Today is a day best spent in bed :p And oddly enough, I'm reading, lol! Didn't think I'd have any desire to read today!

Debi 6:26 PM  

My general problem "the day after" isn't that I'm asleep or that I'm not on-line, I think it's that my brain is pure mush and I'm afraid of making a complete fool of myself if I open my mouth. (Okay, so maybe that's really not much different than any other day.)

I'm sorry about all your yahoo problems. Really, truly I am. But I couldn't help laughing like crazy over your thank you letter! Hope you somehow manage to get things worked out soon!

Kristi 7:09 PM  

I didn't get a chance to do the read-a-thon this year, but I've been enjoying reading about everyone else's adventures with it.

Yahoo can definitely be a pain in the patootie. Your letter to them made me laugh though ;o). Hope they can figure out what error 5 really means and let us all in on it one day! Good luck...

Liz 7:11 PM  

Happened upon your blog by chance (link from another readathon site.) Where I am it is cold, rainy and dreary -- a perfect day to lie low! I hope you get caught up on sleep. I also was drawn to your Don Quixote remarks, because a local high school did "Man of La Mancha" this weekend. It was great. Didn't get as much reading in as I personally would have liked and did NOT do the readathon, though I'm envious of those who did.

Personally, I just finished re-reading, for the umpteenth time, a classic YA book, one of the "Betsy-Tacy" high school books. Just love those. On the non-fiction side, I'm absorbing "Dominance and Delusion" by M.A. Curtis. Very thought-provoking, as it explores the WHYS of our behavior and thought. If nothing else, the book outlines a totally unique way of looking at religion.

Get some rest!

Becky 7:24 PM  

Meghan, thanks for stopping by! I'm glad I'm not the only one awake and semi-functioning at least :) I haven't had hotmail in ages. I like gmail the best of anything I've tried. I like the way you're able to filter messages. (If yahoo has that function, then I missed that somewhere.) But I do *want* yahoo to resolve its issue.

Amanda, I went to bed last night because I knew I'd have to be up and at church this morning. I teach Sunday School so I can't really go about skipping church :)

Yahoo. I don't know if you've been getting error five or not. But what I've just tried is to de-clutter my inbox. I had an embarrassingly large number of emails in my main inbox. Imagine if you haven't cleaned your inbox out since the fall of 2004. It was bad. Very bad. So I started sorting my year. Who knew I got 1,000 to 1,200 messages a month? Some months were even worse than that. Anyway, I'm not saying your problem is a messy inbox. But I *think* at least a contributing factor to my yahoo problems--an inbox that had trouble loading (and loading/scrolling/sorting) is it was just too big.

So we'll see how it goes from now.

And I'll be reviewing Emil & Karl soon. A day or two at most.

And I do like long comments :)

Chris, that feeling goes away quickly doesn't it. One minute you're thinking not another book...and then the next day you're back for a fix. :)

Debi, that would be impossible :) There's no making a fool of you. I hoped the yahoo bit would make people smile :) I just wish the people who ran yahoo were as open and friendly and as real as some of these others...like the ones who run adaptive blue and flock.

Thanks for stopping by, Kristi!

Liviania 9:58 PM  

I love The Bone Doll's Twin. Hope the books soothe the annoyance of Yahoo!

Stephanie 12:18 AM  

Loved the Letter to Yahoo!! Seriously, I think you should send it! Of course, I'm not sure they will get the sarcasm!

Glad you had a successful Read-a-Thon. But I'll tell you the same thing I told Kelly (kailana). You read so much your LIFE is a read-a-thon! I'm in awe of you!

libritouches 6:58 AM  

I think, with the Read-a-Thon, time zones can also play a big part. I know I wasn't around much during the day time in the US, because I was fast asleep! I don't know how much of the quietness is due to time zones, though, but I think it does add.

As for yahoo... Urgh. That's awful. I'm sorry to hear you've been having so many problems with them. I do love the letter. I'm just sad you've had to write it in the first place.

Your round-ups boggle me, you know. You read so much at the same time. I'm having book envy and reading speed envy here! (And juggling skills envy and... Envy all round! ^-~) Are you one of those people who secretly has 32 hours in the day? (I have a friend like that. I'm always amazed to hear she has time to breathe, never mind sleep!)

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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.
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