Monday, May 18, 2009

Random Musings

Okay, so you might have noticed a few changes around here at Becky's Book Reviews. Probably subtle changes. I won't subtract points if you can't find them all or anything. But I wanted to clean up the sidebars a little without actually getting rid of anything. Let me know if the scrolling helps the load time any. I'm hoping it will. I notice it is faster on my end. But it's your end that matters. Let me know if I need to keep at it.

I got a request via email asking me to clearly label my posts so that folks can match them with the right age group. While I had been doing this in the 'labels' or 'tags' section of the post (the bottom of each post), I have decided that I should make a note in the title itself. That way you know what you're getting right from the get go. MG will be for Middle Grade. YA for Young Adult. I haven't decided if 'A' will be for Adult (since people might think it's a grade/rating) or if I'll just leave that off. Also, since 'adult' can be considered to have two meanings--depending on whether you're in the gutter or not. I don't want there to be any confusion since I don't mean adult adult.

I will keep using labels as well. I'm not always consistent in application though. You would think I could always remember to be both general and specific. (Every YA book being labeled "YA Fiction" regardless of genre.) So using the tag "YA Fiction" (notice on the right sidebar) won't bring you every book ever reviewed. So you might have to try "YA Fantasy" or "YA Historical Fiction" etc. to get every one. If you're looking to see if I've reviewed a specific title or a specific author, your best bet might be to try a search. And I encourage you to use the archives as well. Browsing can be fun. And I hope it would yield some unexpected surprises to add to your TBR pile.

I have a little bit of mixed feelings on labeling in general. In that some books can be equally enjoyed by a sixth grader, a tenth grader, and an adult. After all, it isn't about ability so much as interest and appeal. And a few folks feel shy about reading 'below' their supposed age range. As if reading a book labeled Middle Grade or Juvenile makes them look dumb. So I haven't decided if I'll cross-label (MG, YA) or (YA/Adult) or what. What do you think?

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Anonymous,  6:43 PM  

thanks a lot becky. i appreciate it and i am sure a lot of other people will too. you could us hs=high school or teen for teenager for young adult??????????

Anonymous,  7:23 PM  

I understand your concern about using A for adult, but I really appreciate the scrolling. Your blog loads SO much faster now.

Anonymous,  9:25 AM  

I really does load a whole lot faster! Thanks!

Unknown 11:39 AM  

Well, I can tell you what I just started to do recently since I review a lot of children/YA books plus also a lot of adult books which are not suitable for children at all and I didn't want to drive away the children/librarian/homeschool readers (plus my 10 yo niece reads my blog) I started putting a *minimum* age suitability right near the beginning of my review. I don't really ever put a limit age unless I really feel it's called for. So I just say 8+, 10+, 14+ and for adult books 18+ and if I ever come across an *adult* adult book I may have to put 40+ (but even I'm not old enough to read this!)

Kristi 4:45 PM  

Okay, I had to laugh at the *adult* adult book comment, but I know what you mean. I really do like the new YA and MG in the title though. While I occasionally read YA, I don't have much call for reading MG (unless its a Newbery Award winner or something). Oh, and everything is loading much faster and I've had no problems with it (I'm using Safari, if that helps). Thanks for all the reviews!

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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
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  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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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.
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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!

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