Sunday, September 06, 2009

Sunday Salon: Reading, Read, To Read #36

Happy Sunday everyone! How is your September going? Are you looking forward to Book Blogger Appreciation Week? It is fast approaching, you know.

I wanted to talk about several things this week--mostly on topic, I hope!

Do you ever feel the need to reread a book before you get ready to review it? I read Ash this week. That's good news, mostly. The bad news is that I read the first third of the book when I was cranky. I had problems connecting with the story. But the rest of the novel I just loved. There wasn't any disconnect on my part for the rest of the novel, which leaves me wondering. If I were to reread the novel again, would I feel differently about it? Would it have me at hello? Or is the second half of the novel really better than the first half? Do I owe it to the book (and the author) to give this one a reread before I write my review?

As I mentioned above, early in the week, I was a bit cranky. I don't know if cranky is truly the right word. My mood was that I was having a hard time truly enjoying reading. Sometimes I felt obligated to be reading certain books. Other times I felt bored by what I was reading. And at times, I felt confused and frustrated. In one of those moods where you're always counting pages and looking at the clock. I was in one of those moods where I was always wanting to start something new because what I was reading just wasn't working out for me. But at the same time, I felt guilty for not wanting to read what I was reading. And having ten books that you've started but not finished sitting by your bed isn't exactly inviting. So I made myself power through some of these. For the record, I wasn't struggling with Cleopatra's Daughter. I was loving the time I spent there. It was 'my reward' at the end of each day. [I plan to review Cleopatra's Daughter in the next day or so. To celebrate this author and her new release, I've reposted my reviews of her other books. These reviews appeared on one of my other blogs in January.]

The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness turned me all around. I went from cranky to sleep-deprived. On the surface, that might not appear to be a good thing. But trust me, it is! I felt so happy to be reading. So happy to be so completely absorbed by a book. To be so surprised by a book. If that makes sense. I absolutely loved the experience of reading this. It reminded me of everything I love about reading.

Big (and Little) happenings going on this past week:

Nerds Heart YA final round...part one, part two! And don't miss Nymeth's Sunday Salon post about realism in books.
Meg Cabot had a great post on "How to Foster a Hatred for Reading."
John Green had a great post in response to Shannon Hale's great post. "A Book Reviewer's Apologies."
And Libri Touches post on Ratings.
And then there's The Reading Zone's "In This Corner...Junk Books vs. The Classics."
And "Half-Read Books" over at The Miss Rumphius Effect.
Pam's post on Book Buzz.
Remember to Read from The English Teacher's Companion
ETA: I forgot to mention this thoughtful little post...What Does Your Favorite Book Say About You? I think loving Frankenstein shows that I love, value, and appreciate the Other in society. It's more than just a meaning-of-life book to me, it's a book all about what it means to be human.

Movies this week:

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
Star Trek: Generations (1994)
Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

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

The Martian Child by David Gerrold. 2002. 190 pages. Tor.
The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth. Kathleen Krull. 2009. (September 2009). Random House. Illustrated by Greg Couch.
The Immortal Fire. Anne Ursu. 2009. Simon & Schuster. 510 pages.

What I read this past week and reviewed:

The Little Dump Truck. Margery Cuyler. 2009. Illustrated by Bob Kolar. Henry Holt.
One Dragon's Dream by Peter Pavey. 1978/2009. Candlewick Press.
The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr. 1968/2009. Candlewick Press.
Kisses on the Wind by Lisa Moser. 2009. Candlewick Press. Illustrated by Kathryn Brown.
Mortimer's First Garden. Karma Wilson. 2009. Simon & Schuster. Illustrated by Dan Andreasen.
Where is Baby's Beach Ball? A Lift the Flap Book. Karen Katz. 2009. Simon & Schuster.
Night Runner by Max Turner. 2009. St. Martin's Press. 288 pages.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. 1831. 283 pages. (Dover Large Print Edition)
The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan. 2009. Candlewick Press. 203 pages.

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

Ash by Malinda Lo. 2009. Little, Brown. 272 pages.
Fearless by Max Lucado. 2009. Thomas Nelson. 221 pages.
Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran. 2009. Crown. 448 pages.
The Ask and The Answer. Patrick Ness. 2009. 519 pages.

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

What I'm currently reading:

Opening Atlantis by Harry Turtledove
The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
A Monster's Notes by Laurie Sheck
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

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

Putting the Amazing Back Into Grace by Michael Horton
The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope

What I've abandoned:

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Debi 3:38 PM  

Oooh, I'm so excited to hear how much you loved The Ask and the Answer! I just (and I do mean just--I'm on page 10) started The Knife.

Glad to hear you got past the "crankys"...that's just a totally sucky feeling, isn't it?

She 3:39 PM  

Ooh, I loved 10 Things I Hate About You! ! !

&&& The Ask and the Answer-- I cannot wait to read it, and your post has made me even more excited!

Ana S. 4:01 PM  

yay, I'm so happy to hear you loved The Ask & The Answer! Especially because I remember you not being too crazy about the first book - or did my brain completely make that up? :P Anyway, I can't wait to read your review. Looking forward to your review of Ash too.

Aubrey 9:42 PM  

I can't wait to read a more in depth review of Ash. I have heard things about it that make me not want to read I'm interested to see why you liked that last half.

Michelle Fluttering Butterflies 7:24 AM  

I'm about 100 pages into The Ask and the Answer at the moment. Loving it. Knife of Never Letting Go was my favourite read of last year so I've been holding off on reading Ask. Hasn't disappointed so far!

Kristen 8:44 AM  

WOW! That's a lot of books girl! I wish I had time to read that much in a week.

Hazra 10:12 AM  

I'm so jealous. You've managed to watch almost all the Star Trek movies, and here I am, dying to watch them.
The Ask and the Answer sounds really good. Looking forward to your review.

Gavin 5:06 PM  

I was feeling cranky and frustrated trying to read for several challenges and decided to drop the one's I wasn't enjoying. Much better now!

Can't wait to hear your thoughts on The Ask and The Answer!

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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.
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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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