Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Salon: Reading, Read, To Read #25


Happy Sunday everyone! I am so happy that Chris is back online. As is Debi! I've missed both of them terribly. Now that that is out of the way, let's see if there is anything I need to catch you up on...

I discovered the glory of It Happened One Night. This little gem from 1934 starring Clark Gable is just delightful. I highly recommend it. I'm having such a great time "finding" old black and white movies. I'm a total newbie, so feel free to recommend some of your favorite classic movies. And if my library has them, I'll make time to watch them!

Second Canadian Reading Challenge. For this challenge I chose to read L.M. Montgomery exclusively. A fun little treat for me! Most of these I hadn't read since I was a teen. This weekend, I finished up my last book, my thirteenth book, for the challenge. A review of The Blue Castle will be coming in the next day or so.

The Banned Books Challenge will be ending soon as well. There's a good post over at Stephanie's about a recent book challenge that you might be interested in. It's never hard for me to have an opinion--especially when it comes to intellectual freedom. There are so many different takes on this. But simply put, every reader (no matter what) deserves the chance to be able to find themselves in books, see themselves in books. To be able to recognize characters that are "like them." Libraries serve diverse populations, and their collections should reflect that. Does that mean every book belongs in every library? No, not necessarily. (That is where community and age-appropriateness comes in. There are books that are appropriate for teens and adults that are not appropriate for children. Does Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist belong in an elementary school library? Never. That's not censorship, that's common sense.) And just because a book belongs in a public library or a school library doesn't mean it's the best choice for required reading in a curriculum. Believing in intellectual freedom means trusting that readers are smart enough and responsible enough to decide for themselves what they want to read and if they so choose what they want their own children to be able to read. The problem always comes up that people want to expand their authority, they want to be able to say who should have access to what. And that's not right.

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

A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist. 2009. Bethany House. 365 pages.Ghost Town by Richard W. Jennings. 2009. Houghton Mifflin. 165 pages.

What I read this past week and reviewed:

My Father The Dog by Elizabeth Bluemle. 2006. Candlewick Press.
A Day With Dad by Bo R. Holmberg. 2008. Candlewick Press.
Hook. Ed Young. 2009. Roaring Brook Press.
Egg Drop by Mini Grey. 2009. Random House.
Tsunami by Kimiko Kajikawa. Illustrated by Ed Young. Penguin. 2009.
Eyes Wide Open by Jud Wilhite. 2009.
A Tangled Web by L.M. Montgomery. 1931. 257 pages.
Middlemarch by George Eliot. 1871/1872. 795 pages.
The Anne Frank Case: Simon Wiesenthal's Search for The Truth. Susan Goldman Rubin. Holiday House. 40 pages.
Margaret Mitchell & John Marsh: The Love Story Behind Gone With The Wind by Marianne Walker. 1993. 554 pages.
Chronicles of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery. 1912.

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

The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd. Dial (Penguin) 309 pages.
The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. Bantam. 218 pages.

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

Darkwood by M.E. Breen. 2009. Bloomsbury. 273 pages.
Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link. 2008. (Do I need a more in-depth review?)
The City In the Lake. Rachel Neumeier. 2008. Knopf (Random House) 294 pages. (Again, do I need a more in-depth review?)

What I'm currently reading:

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Cashay by Margaret McMullan. Houghton Mifflin. 208 pages.
The Local News by Miriam Gershow. Spiegel & Grau. 360 pages.

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


Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran (I'm very interested in this one. It just got books stacked up on top of it and I couldn't find it for a few days.)
Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope (Again, the interest is there, but the time is not.)

What I need to start reading this week:

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Love's Pursuit by Siri Mitchell
God's Little Princess Devotional Bible by Sheila Walsh

What I hope to start reading soon:

Nation by Terry Pratchett
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer
The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

What I've abandoned: none this week

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

10 comments:

Betty and Boo's Mommy 7:32 PM  

I love classic b/w movies, too. They just seem so much better than most of what's out there now, don't they? My favorite one is The Bad Seed. (Kind of dark and disturbing, but so well done.) Also Desk Set and The Philadelphia Story.

Chris 7:38 PM  

You make me smile Becky :D I'm thrilled to be back! I've missed you so so so so much!! It's great to be over here again! And as usual, I'm left speechless by what you've read and accomplished this week :p

Dani in NC 8:11 PM  

My #1 classic movie recommendation is always "The Women". You will enjoy it even more if you haven't been spoiled by watching the modern remake with Meg Ryan. Avid readers love words, and there is wonderful wit and wordplay in the original.

Suko 10:35 PM  

Becky, what a nice post to read on a Sunday night!

Dani, now you've got me interested in viewing The Women. : )

Julie J. 10:42 PM  

I curious to read your review of Darkwood. I'll be reviewing it on my blog tomorrow.

Julie J. 10:42 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
DesLily 6:45 AM  

oh crikey becky! lol I am as old as many of those movies! I love them all and wouldn't know where to begin to tell you what to watch. Mostly your mood determines a lot.. like to watch Yankee Doodle Dandy is best viewed near the 4th of July that's coming up so maybe I will suggest that one! But then Arsenic and Old Lace should not be missed and.. oh never mind the list goes on forever! If you have cable tv don't you watch Turner Classic Movies channel???? You can get your fill and more from that channel!!

bookwormans 7:56 AM  

"It Happened One Night" is one of my all-time favorites. Gable and Colbert are wonderful together. I especially love their first night in the motor camp ("Quit bawlin'!").

Here are a couple of my other favorite B&W films:

"Rebecca" (1940) starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine.

"Roman Holiday" (1953) starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.

Stephanie 9:38 PM  

Thanks for weighing in on the whole book burning issue. I don't want anyone to think I'm against a good protest. Never. I think every person has a right to their opinion. But it's when one person/group of people think they have the right to dictate their opinions to everyone...well that really gets to me.

And burning the book? Come on!

Erin,  7:39 PM  

Re old movies: try "The Good Fairy", with Margaret Sullavan -- really delightful. Also two Ernst Lubitsch films: "Trouble in Paradise" and "The Shop Around the Corner" -- and almost anything written and directed by Preston Sturges.

Fun times!

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

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.
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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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