Thursday, March 31, 2011

March Reflections

In March, I focused on rereading some of my favorite books. I reread twenty-one books this month! It was a lovely indulgence, I think. Very nourishing. Very satisfying. It was great to reconnect with Sarah Miller's Miss Spitfire, Lois Lowry's The Giver,  and Elizabeth Scott's Bloom. Not to mention, Richard Peck's The Teacher's Funeral! And of course, Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It--and the two companion books. And I read many Beverly Cleary books!!! And reading those just made me want more Ramona!

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, Chunkster Challenge, 42 ChallengeHistorical Fiction, Victorian Literature Challenge, Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Cruisin' Thru the Cozies, Spring Reading Thing. I also joined the Once Upon a Time challenge.

This month I read 55 books! My longest book was Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit.  My shortest book--with an adult audience--was The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger.

Picture Books: 9; Children's Books: 10; Middle Grade: 5; Young Adult: 9; Adult: 10; Christian Fiction: 7; Christian Nonfiction: 4; Graphic Novel: 1. 

Review Copies: 13; Library Books: 36; Bought-Books: 6.

My favorite first lines of March:

A long time ago, when Time was still winding its watch and Sun was trying to figure out which was east and which was west, there was a king and queen.

Lisa is pregnant

If your teacher has to die, August isn't a bad time of year for it.  

The hot Phoenix sun glared down on the car windowsill where my bare, pallid arm dangled shamelessly. 

"Not again." 

My top five:

Bathsheba. (The Wives of King David #3) Jill Eileen Smith.
The Small House at Allington. Anthony Trollope. 
Mansfield Park. Jane Austen.
Rules of the Road. Joan Bauer.
Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller. Sarah Miller.

Reviews at Becky's Book Reviews
Close to Famous. Joan Bauer. 2011. Penguin. 240 pages.
The Teacher's Funeral. Richard Peck. 2004. Penguin. 208 pages.
Ways to Live Forever. Sally Nicholls. 2008. Scholastic. 224 pages. 
Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller. Sarah Miller. 2007. Simon & Schuster. 240 pages.
The Giver. Lois Lowry. 1993. Houghton Mifflin. 180 pages.
Come Juneteenth. Ann Rinaldi. 2007. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 256 pages.
Life As We Knew It. Susan Beth Pfeffer. 2006. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 352 pages.
the dead & the gone. Susan Beth Pfeffer. 2008. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 321 pages.
This World We Live In. Susan Beth Pfeffer. 2010. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 239 pages.
Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083. Andrea White. 2005. HarperCollins. 336 pages.
Nightlight: A Parody. The Harvard Lampoon. 2009. Knopf Doubleday. 160 pages.
Cupid. Julius Lester. 2007. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 208 pages.
Bloom. Elizabeth Scott. 2007. Simon & Schuster. 240 pages.
Rules of the Road. Joan Bauer. 1998/2005. Penguin. 208 pages.
Dead Man's Folly. Agatha Christie. 1956/2000. Penguin. 240 pages.
A Man Lay Dead. Ngaio Marsh. 1934/1997. St. Martin's Press. 192 pages.
Face Down in the Marrow-Bone Pie. Kathy Lynn Emerson. 1997. St. Martin's Press. 208 pages.
Framley Parsonage. Anthony Trollope. 1861. 576 pages.
The Night Bookmobile. Audrey Niffenegger. 2010. Harry N. Abrams. 40 pages.  
Jane Goes Batty. Michael Thomas Ford. 2011. Random House. 304 pages.
A Red Herring Without Mustard: A Flavia de Luce Novel. Alan Bradley. 2011. Random House. 399 pages.
The Small House at Allington. Anthony Trollope. 1864. 752 pages.
Little Dorrit. Charles Dickens. 1855-1857. Penguin. 928 pages.
Lovers' Vows. Elizabeth Inchbald.1798/2007. Dodo Press. 84 pages*.
Mansfield Park. Jane Austen. 1814/1998. Norton. 520 pages.

Reviews at Young Readers

Frog and Toad Together. An I Can Read Book. Arnold Lobel. 1971. HarperCollins. 64 pages.
Frog and Toad Are Friends. An I Can Read Book. Arnold Lobel. 1970. HarperCollins. 64 pages.
Frog and Toad All Year. An I Can Read Book. Arnold Lobel. 1976. HarperCollins. 64 pages.
Days with Frog and Toad. An I Can Read Book. Arnold Lobel. 1979. HarperCollins. 64 pages.
Henry Huggins. Beverly Cleary. 1950/2000. HarperCollins. 160 pages
Mary Poppins. P.L. Travers. Illustrated by Mary Shepard. 1934/2006. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 224 pages.
Henry and Beezus. Beverly Cleary. 1952/2002. HarperCollins. 192 pages.
Henry and Ribsy. Beverly Cleary. 1954/1990. HarperCollins. 192 pages.
Henry and the Paper Route. Beverly Cleary. 1957/1990. HarperCollins. 208 pages.
Henry and the Clubhouse. Beverly Cleary. 1962. HarperCollins. 192 pages.
Llama, Llama Red Pajama. Anna Dewdney. 2005. Penguin. 40 pages.
Bedtime for Frances. Russell Hoban. Illustrated by Garth Williams. 1960/1996. HarperCollins. 32 pages.
A Baby Sister for Frances. Russell Hoban. Illustrated by Lillian Hoban. 1964/1992. HarperCollins. 32 pages.
Bread and Jam for Frances. Russell Hoban. Illustrated by Lillian Hoban. 1964/1992. HarperCollins. 32 pages.
A Birthday for Frances. Russell Hoban. Illustrated by Lillian Hoban. 1968/1995. HarperCollins. 32 pages.
Best Friends for Frances. Russell Hoban. Illustrated by Lillian Hoban. 1969/1994. HarperCollins. 32 pages.
A Bargain for Frances. Russell Hoban. Illustrated by Lillian Hoban. 1970/1992. HarperCollins. 64 pages.
Small Saul. Ashley Spires. 2011. March 2011. Kids Can Press. 32 pages.
Mini Racer. Kristy Dempsey. Illustrated by Bridget Strevens-Marzo. 2011. Bloomsbury. 32 pages.

Reviews at Operation Actually Read Bible

A Bond Never Broken. Judith Miller. 2011. Bethany House. 384 pages.
Hearts Aglow. (Striking a Match #2) Tracie Peterson. 2011. Bethany House. 368 pages.
A Heart Most Worthy. Siri Mitchell. 2011. Bethany House. 384 pages.
Pinocchio. Carlo Collodi. Translated by Emma Rose. Illustrated by Sara Fanelli. Candlewick Press. 192 pages. (Collodi's Pinocchio was published in 1883.)
O Love That Will Not Let Me Go: Facing Death With Courageous Confidence in God. Edited by Nancy Guthrie. 2011. February 2011. Crossway Books. 160 pages.
Bathsheba. (The Wives of King David #3) Jill Eileen Smith. 2011. Revell. 350 pages.
The Everlasting Tradition: Jewish Customs, Holidays, and Historical Events That Reveal Biblical Truth. Galen Peterson. 1995. Kregel Publications. 160 pages.
Love Amid the Ashes. Mesu Andrews. 2011. Revell. 411 pages.
Knowing Scripture. R.C. Sproul. 1977/2009. IVP. 152 pages. 
The World Jesus Knew. Anne Punton. 2003. Moody Publishers. 192 pages.
The Big Picture Story Bible. David R. Helm. 2004/2010. Crossway Publishers. 456 pages.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Cheryl Klarich 10:52 AM  

Wow, Becky! I am all admiration for your reading extravaganza! Very cool.

Liz @ Cleverly Inked 9:42 AM  

You really had a great month

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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.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

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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