Monday, January 31, 2011

January Reflections

January was the month I discovered Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. I was charmed by Miss Marple, intrigued by Hercule Poirot, and fell head over heels in love with Lord Peter Wimsey.
I also spent some time with a good friend of mine, Orson Scott Card. I just loved reading The Lost Gate and Pathfinder.

My favorite quote comes from Dorothy Sayers' Gaudy Night:
"Do you find it easy to get drunk on words?"
"So easy that, to tell you the truth, I am seldom perfectly sober. Which accounts for my talking so much." (330)
January was also exciting because of the ALA announcements. Because of these awards and best lists, I read Interrupting Chicken, A Sick Day For Amos McGee, Bink & Gollie, Heart of a Samurai, and Five Flavors of Dumb.

I read eight new authors this month--including Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Margi Preus, Pedro de Alcantara, Antony John, Marilee Brothers, Robert J. Randisi, and Arthur Conan Doyle.

As far as challenges go, I was able to read at least one book for each of these challenges: New Author Challenge, 2011 TBR Challenge, TBR Pile Challenge, War Through the Generations, Historical Fiction, Victorian Literature Challenge, Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Cruisin' Thru the Cozies.

Altogether, I read 45 books.

Board Books: 4; Picture Books: 4; Children's Books: 3; Middle Grade: 2; Young Adult: 6; Adult: 16; Christian Fiction: 4; Christian Nonfiction: 4; Nonfiction: 1; Poetry: 1.

Review Copies: 18; Library Books: 23; Bought-Books: 4.

My favorite lines of January 2011:

For the record, I wasn't around the day they decided to become Dumb

It is a truth less frequently acknowledged, that a good mother in possession of a single child, must be in want of sleep.  

There were crimson roses on the bench; they looked like splashes of blood.

By the day I was born, April 3, 1990, I had already lived several lives.

Panty hose are a tool of the devil

My top five:

Pathfinder. Orson Scott Card. 
Five Flavors of Dumb. Antony John.
Strong Poison. Dorothy L. Sayers. 
Five Little Pigs. (Hercule Poirot) Agatha Christie.
Murder at the Vicarage. A Miss Marple Mystery. Agatha Christie.

Reviews at Becky's Book Reviews

The Last Full Measure. Ann Rinaldi. 2010. [November 2010]. Harcourt. 218 pages.
Heart of a Samurai. Margi Preus. 2010. [August 2010] Harry N. Abrams. 320 pages.
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan. 2010. [October 2010] Random House. 272 pages.
Backtracked. Pedro de Alcantara. 2009. Random House. 272 pages.
Entice. Carrie Jones. 2010. [December 2010] Bloomsbury. 272 pages.
Five Flavors of Dumb. Antony John. 2010. [November 2010] Penguin. 352 pages.
Pathfinder. Orson Scott Card. 2010. November 2010. Simon & Schuster. 662 pages.
Clockwork Angel. (Internal Devices #1) Cassandra Clare. 2010. Simon & Schuster. 479 pages.
Whose Body? Dorothy L. Sayers. 1923/1995. HarperCollins. 224 pages.
The Mysterious Affair At Styles. A Hercule Poirot Mystery. Agatha Christie. 1920/2006. Black Dog & Leventhal. 224 pages.
Unnatural Death. Dorothy L. Sayers. 1927/1995. HarperCollins. 288 pages.
Murder on the Orient Express. Agatha Christie. 1933/2006. Black Dog & Leventhal. 272 pages.
Strong Poison. Dorothy L. Sayers. 1930/1995. HarperCollins. 272 pages.
Murder at the Vicarage. A Miss Marple Mystery. Agatha Christie. 1930/2006. Black Dog & Leventhal. 288 pages.
The Matters at Mansfield: Or The Crawford Affair. A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery. Carrie Bebris. 2008. Tor. 288 pages.
Have His Carcase. Dorothy L. Sayers. 1932/1995. HarperCollins. 448 pages.
The Lost Gate. Orson Scott Card. 2011. January 2011. Tor. 384 pages.
The A.B.C. Murders. (Hercule Poirot). Agatha Christie. 1935/2006. Black Dog & Leventhal. 256 pages.
Gaudy Night. Dorothy L. Sayers. 1936/1995. HarperCollins. 512 pages.
The Body in the Library. (Miss Marple) Agatha Christie. 1941/2006. Black Dog & Leventhal. 192 pages.
The Rock & Roll Queen of Bedlam. A Wise-Cracking Tale of Secrets, Peril, and Murder! Marilee Brothers. 2009. Medallion Press. 300 pages.
Five Little Pigs. (Hercule Poirot) Agatha Christie. 1941/2006. Black Dog & Leventhal. 256 pages. 
Everybody Kills Somebody Sometime. Robert J. Randisi. 2006. St. Martin's Press. 288 pages.
A Study in Scarlet. Arthur Conan Doyle. 1887/2003. Random House. 160 pages.

Reviews at Young Readers

For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart. Elizabeth Rusch. Illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. 2011. February 2011. Random House. 32 pages.
A Dazzling Display of Dogs. Betsy Franco. Illustrated by Michael Wertz. 2011. Random House. 40 pages.
Interrupting Chicken. David Ezra Stein. 2010. [August 2010] Candlewick Press. 40 pages.
The Curious Garden. Peter Brown. 2009. Little, Brown. 40 pages.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Philip C. Stead. Illustrated by Erin E. Stead. 2010. Roaring Brook Press. 32 pages.
I'm Not. Pam Smallcomb. Illustrated by Robert Weinstock. 2011. Random House. 32 pages. 
Gossie. Olivier Dunrea. 2002/2007. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 16 pages.
Gossie and Gertie. Olivier Dunrea. 2002/2007. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 16 pages.
Ollie. Olivier Dunrea. 2003/2007. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 16 pages.
Peedie. Olivier Dunrea. 2004/2008. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 16 pages.
Play, Louis, Play!: The True Story of A Boy and His Horn. Muriel Harris Weinstein. Illustrated by Frank Morrison. 2010. [December 2010] Bloomsbury. 112 pages.
Babe: The Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith. Illustrated by Mary Rayner. 1995 (Reprint). Random House. 128 pages.
Bink & Gollie. Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee. Illustrated by Tony Fucile. 2010. [September 2010] Candlewick Press. 96 pages. 

Reviews at Operation Actually Read Bible

The Attributes of God. Arthur W. Pink. [This edition 1975/2000] Family Christian Press. 96 pages.
The Girl in the Gatehouse. Julie Klassen. 2011. [January 2011]. Bethany House. 400 pages.
Courting Miss Amsel. Kim Vogel Sawyer. 2011. Bethany House. 346 pages.
Serendipity. Cathy Marie Hake. 2011. Bethany House. 352 pages.
Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ. John MacArthur. 2010. December 2010. Thomas Nelson. 227 pages.
Jesus in the Present Tense: The I AM Statements of Christ. Warren W. Wiersbe. 2011. January 2011. David C. Cook. 208 pages.
Stars Collide. Janice Thompson. 2011. [January 2011] Revell. 324 pages.
A Million Ways To Die: The Only Way to Live. Rick James. 2010. October 2010. David C. Cook. 336 pages.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Melissa (Avid Reader) 11:28 AM  

"Do you find it easy to get drunk on words?"
"So easy that, to tell you the truth, I am seldom perfectly sober. Which accounts for my talking so much."

That is just fantastic!

fredamans 1:23 PM  

WOWSERS! That's an awesome month!

Oddmonster 3:43 PM  

I love your set up with all the quotes! And hooray for Agatha Christie!

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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:

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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.

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