Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Salon: Reading, Read, To Read #25

Happy Sunday! Happy Father's Day! Have you got a bookish confession you'd like to make? I'll get us started...

I confess that I haven't been reading Anna Karenina.
I confess that I haven't missed Anna all that much either.
I confess that I've started too many books. Way too many books.

A Year of Reading. Franki and Mary Lee have a one-a-day summer project that I just discovered. The idea is to do one thing, once a day, all summer long.

Amanda at The Zen Leaf has a good post up on Staying Power. The truth is, you just don't know--you don't have a clue--how you're going to feel about a book after some time has passed. The book that you gush about and praise today might not even be worthy of remembering six months from now. And it's true that sometimes it does work in reverse. That some books improve with a little time and distance. (I don't know why!) For me, Man and Wife by Wilkie Collins is a good example of a book that has stayed with me despite me having so many issues with it at the time I reviewed it. Amanda's post mentions ratings--and if ratings should be changed to reflect your current feelings about a book. Or if the ratings should reflect that first impression. I don't rate books at the moment--there were a few months a year or so ago where I did--and this is one of the reasons why. My ratings are even more subjective than my reviews. (If that makes any kind of sense.) And I've found that people misinterpret ratings at times. Even if you clearly state what those ratings mean to you. I think many people just take a quick glance and equate the scale to Amazon's. Which isn't fair to anybody. I do think there are pros and cons to rating books.

Teresa from Shelf Love has a great Sunday Salon post today on Why Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.
She writes about how it's a struggle to decide to give up on a book. There's always the risk that you're giving up a chapter or two too soon. That you might be missing out on a great book, but that you're just being too impatient. I struggle with many of the same issues. I'm trying for more balance now. I want to read the books I want to read. And I don't want to finish books out of guilt or obligation. So I've been allowing myself the privilege of quitting a book I'm not enjoying. But it isn't always done without guilt.

What I've Reviewed This Week:

The Poison Diaries. Maryrose Wood. 2010. HarperCollins. 288 pages.
The Clearing. Heather Davis. 2010. April 2010. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 212 pages.
Monsters of Men. Patrick Ness. 2010. September 2010. Candlewick Press. 608 pages.
Soulless by Gail Carriger. 2009. Orbit. 384 pages.
This Is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee. 2010. Simon & Schuster. (April 2010) 272 pages.
The Babysitters Club: The Summer Before. Ann M. Martin. 2010. Scholastic. 224 pages.
A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer. 2010. June 2010. Bethany House. 352 pages.
Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico by Lena Nelson Dooley. 2010. May 2010. Summerside Press. 320 pages.
Unburdened: The Secret to Letting God Carry The Things That Weigh You Down. Chris Tiegreen. Tyndale. 240 pages.
Toy Story 3: A Limited Collector's Edition Read-Aloud Storybook. Adapted by Christine Peymani. 2010. Random House. 72 pages.
Brand-New Baby Blues by Kathi Appelt. Illustrated by Kelly Murphy. 2009. December 2009. HarperCollins. 32 pages.
The Sword Thief (The 39 Clues #3). Peter Lerangis. 2009. March 2009. Scholastic. 160 pages.
House of Dolls. Francesca Lia Block. Illustrated by Barbara McClintock. 2010. June 2010. HarperCollins. 61 pages.
Toy Story 3: The Junior Novelization by Jasmine Jones. 2010. Random House. 128 pages.
Kisses for Daddy. Frances Watts. Illustrated by David Legge. 2010. April 2010. Simon & Schuster. 26 pages.
Daddy Calls Me Doodlebug. J.D. Lester. Illustrated by Hiroe Nakata. 2010. Random House. 26 pages.

Currently Reading:


Anna Karenina. Leo Tolstoy. Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. 2004, this translation. Penguin. 864 pages.


Armadale. Wilkie Collins. 1866. (My edition. Oxford World's Classics.) 880 pages.



Maid to Match. Deeanne Gist. 2010. June 2010. Bethany House. 368 pages.


Black Sheep. Georgette Heyer. 1966/2008. Sourcebooks. 280 pages.


These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine. By Nancy E. Turner. HarperCollins. 416 pages.

What I Hope To Begin/Finish Soon:


The Curse of Chalion. Lois McMaster Bujold. 2002. HarperCollins. 512 pages.


The Book of Three. Lloyd Alexander. 1964. Henry Holt. 190 pages.



Desolation Road. Ian McDonald. 2009. Prometheus. 440 pages.


A Crack in the Sky. Mark Peter Hughes. 2010. August 2010. Random House. 416 pages.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

6 comments:

Cathy 2:23 AM  

These Is My Words is a wonderful book! I hope you enjoy it.

Liz 11:34 AM  

I've never read Anna Kareina either. I think my life remains complete, despite this omission!

As the years have gone on, I've gotten over the "can't quit a book" idea. I quit with great regularity! I feel like I give a book enough of a shot and if I'm not enjoying it, well, life's too short. I was going to quit one just last week, but decided to give it a little more, and ended up being glad I did.

As for my current read, I'm really enjoying a non-fiction book, Streetwise Spirituality by Carol Marleigh Kline. It gives you "28 days to inner fitness and everyday enlightenment." The book has true stories and exercises to look at shame and blame, spin and all the many, many ways we disconnect from life. (I love books with real-life stories in them, because I find them so easy to relate to.) The author uses the stories to illustrate the 3 fundamental skills that can turn your life around: patience, perseverance and adaptability. The book gives you a lot of common-sense insights from psychology to help you get a handle on what could be holding you back. (That's really important to me right now, as I struggle with that very issue.)

Stephanie 4:22 PM  

I "read" Anna Karenina as an audio book. It was fantastic that way. I checked it out at my local library and it was done like a play. Made it very enjoyable.

Jeane 4:41 PM  

I liked These is My Words, although my husband still constantly makes fun of the title for its incorrect grammar! I've been wondering if I should pick up the sequel...

Marg 6:49 AM  

I am currently reading the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of War and Peace at the moment. I read Anna Karenina years ago and really enjoyed it, but it has taken me this long to get a bit motivated to read this one!

The Book Chook 11:30 PM  

I look forward to reading what you think of Black Sheep. I believe Heyer captured the sort of clinging, cloying, controlling affection perfectly in Selina. Miles is a delight!

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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
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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:

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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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