Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Salon: Reading, Read, To Read #30

Happy Sunday! There's been plenty to 'inspire' this week, hasn't there? What with the cover controversy of Liar going on. The blog world has been anything but quiet the past few days. (I'm just glad it isn't a blog-angst frenzy this time.) What do you think of this mess?

The book, Liar, by Justine Larbalestier, is quite thought-provoking. The main character, Micah, is a compulsive liar. She challenges readers--constantly--to piece together the narrative. To weigh, to consider fact from fiction. How much of Micah's story is believable? Do you believe any part of what she says?

Personally, I did NOT like the cover. Sure it was fine before I started reading the book. But several chapters into the book, I realized how very wrong this cover is for this book. The cover portrays a white girl with very long hair. The main character of the book is black with very short hair. This cover adds to the puzzle. If the author had intended this, if she approved of it, it would be one thing. But to know that this was not the case, just makes it upsetting all the way around.

I really appreciated this post by A Chair, A Fireplace, & A Tea Cozy called Getting the Books. She mentions two things which I think are key to keep in mind: for reviewers to review a book, they have to know about it (know it exists in the first place) and they have to have access to it. Bringing it into context, for a blog to be multicultural--to have titles representing people of all races and ethnicities, to be diverse, it may require the blogger to do a bit of homework.

This week in movies:

Carefree
Move Over Darling
Prince and the Pauper
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
Henry VIII
Some Like It Hot (second time)

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

Cart and Cwidder. Diana Wynne Jones. 1975. 214 pages.
Pet Vet: The Mare's Tale. Darrel & Sally Odgers. 2009. Kane/Miller. 88 pages.
Jack Russell: Dog Detective: The Buried Biscuits. Darrel and Sally Odgers. 2008. Kane/Miller. 80 pages.
Jack Russell: Dog Detective: The Kitnapped Creature. Darrel and Sally Odgers. 2008. Kane/Miller. 80 pages.

What I read this past week and reviewed:

Jack Russell: Dog Detective: The Blue Stealer. Darrel and Sally Odgers. 2009. Kane/Miller. 80 pages.
Family Reminders. Julie Danneberg. Illustrated by John Shelley. Charlesbridge. 2009. 105 pages.
The Last Colony. John Scalzi. 2007. 320 pages.
The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer. 1940/2009. Sourcebooks. 261 pages.
A Mirror to Nature. Jane Yolen. 2009. Wordsong.
The Enclave by Karen Hancock. Bethany House. 492 pages.
Suddenly Supernatural: Scaredy Cat by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. 2009. Little Brown. 250 pages.
Suddenly Supernatural: The Unhappy Medium. Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. 2009. Little Brown. 277 pages.
The Emerald Tablet. P.J. Hoover. 2008. CBay Books. 288 pages.

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

Clara's War: One Girl's Story of Survival by Clara Kramer. 2009. HarperCollins. 352 pages.
Lunch Lady And the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. 2009. Random House.
Lunch Lady And the League of Librarians by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. 2009. Random House.
The Importance of Wings. Robin Friedman. 2009. Charlesbridge. 170 pages.
I, Lorelei. Yeardley Smith. 2009. HarperCollins. 339 pages.

What I've read and really, really need to review: none!

What I'm currently reading:

Offworld by Robin Parrish
The Navel of the World by P.J. Hoover
The Plight of the Darcy Brothers: Pride and Prejudice Continues: A Tale of The Darcys and The Bingleys by Marsha Altman
Goth Girl Rising by Barry Lyga

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

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran

She by H. Rider Haggard

What I hope to start reading soon:

Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce.
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko.
Five Children and It by E. Nesbit.

What I've abandoned: none this week

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

5 comments:

debnance 3:42 PM  

You are completely caught up on your reviews! Good job!

Anonymous,  3:49 PM  

Darcy brothers? I am, of course, curious. L.

Suko 8:17 PM  

Liar sounds interesting. Truthfully.

Suko 8:25 PM  

(P.S. Thanks for linking to the cover controversy, which is rather unbelievable.)

infiniteshelf 4:44 AM  

Wow, you certainly kept busy! I really need to get on reading Cleopatra by Michelle Moran; it's such a huge book though! I carry my books around a lot, so weight is an issue :/

And I've heard of the Liar's controversy. I have nothing to add that hasn't been said already, but I think Bloomsburry were wrong from the start, and their excuses are ridiculous. If a black girl sells less, then they could have at least gone for a cover more like the original! (and I won't even get on that "black girl on a cover sells less" mentality!)

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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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