Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May Reflections

I discovered two great authors this May! I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series. I wish my library had more of his books! I really do. If they had as many Stout books as they did Christie, I'd be very, very happy! Have you read Rex Stout? Are you familiar with Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin? Do you have a favorite novel or novella from this series? 

My other discovery this month is Pearl S. Buck. I read two incredibly wonderful books that I just loved--Kinfolk and East Wind: West Wind. The other Buck novels I read this month--The Good Earth, Sons, A House Divided, and Peony--I had mixed feelings about. But even though I haven't loved every book of hers unconditionally, I'm happy to have discovered her. Have you read Pearl S. Buck? Do you have a favorite? I'd encourage you not to judge her by The Good Earth alone.

While most of this month's reads are older titles--my earliest being 1817--I was able to read thirteen 2011 books. (Including City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare, Stay. Deb Caletti, The Throne of Fire. Kane Chronicles #2 Rick Riordan, What Happened To Goodbye. Sarah Dessen, and Bumped by Megan McCafferty.) I'm hoping to read even more 2011 titles in June and July.

I still haven't found the perfect balance in reading and blogging. But I was able to read this month for each of my blogs.

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, Historical Fiction, Chunkster Challenge, Victorian Literature Challenge, Cruisin' Thru the Cozies. Spring Reading Thing, Once Upon a Time.

This month I read 33 books.

Board Books: 1; Picture Books: 6; Middle Grade: 1; Young Adult: 5; Adult: 14; Christian Nonfiction: 4; Nonfiction 2.

Review Copies: 9; Library Books: 19; Bought Books: 5.

My top five:

Kinfolk. Pearl S. Buck.
Some Buried Caesar. Nero Wolfe Mystery. Rex Stout.
The Virginian. Owen Wister.  
The Last Chronicle of Barset. Anthony Trollope.
What Happened To Goodbye. Sarah Dessen.

Reviews at Becky's Book Reviews

East Wind: West Wind. Pearl S. Buck. 1930/1995. Moyer Bell. 288 pages.
Black Orchids. A Nero Wolfe Mystery. Rex Stout. 1941/1942. Random House. 208 pages.
The Good Earth. Pearl S. Buck. 1931/2004. Simon & Schuster. 368 pages.
Sons. Pearl S. Buck. 1932/2005. Moyer Bell. 320 pages.
Kinfolk. Pearl S. Buck. 1945/2004. Moyer Bell. 408 pages.  
The Silent Speaker. Rex Stout. 1946/1994. Random House. 288 pages.   
Northanger Abbey. Jane Austen. 1817/1992. Everyman's Library. 288 pages.
The Pickwick Papers. Charles Dickens. 1836/1837/1999. Penguin Classics. 810 pages.
Some Buried Caesar. Nero Wolfe Mystery. Rex Stout. 1938. Random House. 288 pages.
The Virginian. Owen Wister. 1902. Penguin Classics. 370 pages.
A House Divided. Pearl S. Buck. 1935/2006. Moyer Bell. 348 pages.
Peony. Pearl S. Buck. 1948/2006. Moyer Bell. 352 pages.
The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus. Margaret Atwood. 2005. 220 pages.
The Last Chronicle of Barset. Anthony Trollope. 1867.  928 pages.
The Throne of Fire. Kane Chronicles #2 Rick Riordan. 2011. Hyperion. 464 pages. 
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare. (Mortal Instruments #4) 2011. Simon & Schuster. 424 pages.
Stay. Deb Caletti. 2011. Simon & Schuster. 320 pages.
Bumped by Megan McCafferty. 2011. HarperCollins. 336 pages.
What Happened To Goodbye. Sarah Dessen. 2011. Penguin. 416 pages.
The Miles Between. Mary E. Pearson. 2009. Henry Holt. 272 pages.  
The Story of Britain From the Norman Conquest to the European Union by Patrick Dillon. 2011. Candlewick Press. 352 pages.

Reviews at Young Readers

Your Mommy Was Just Like You. Kelly Bennett. Illustrated by David Walker. 2011. Penguin. 32 pages.
My Side of the Car. Kate Feiffer. Illustrated by Jules Feiffer. 2011. Candlewick. 32 pages.
Chicken, Chicken, Duck! Nadia Krilanovich. 2011. Random House. 32 pages.
The Boss Baby. Marla Frazee. 2010. Simon & Schuster.  40 pages.
Tweak Tweak by Eve Bunting. Illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier. 2011. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 40 pages.
A Ball for Daisy. Chris Raschka. 2011. Random House. 32 pages.
Everywhere Babies. Susan Meyers. Illustrated by Marla Frazee. 2001/2011. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 30 pages.
The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps. Jeannette Winter. 2011. Random House. 48 pages. 

Reviews at Operation Actually Read Bible

The Holiness of God. R.C. Spoul. 1985. Tyndale. 280 pages.
Why One Way?: Defending an Exclusive Claim in an Inclusive World. John MacArthur. 2002. Thomas Nelson. 96 pages.
Joni. Joni Eareckson Tada. 1976. 224 pages.
Our Awesome God. John MacArthur. 1993/2001. Crossway Books. 176 pages.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


fredamans 5:22 PM  

Awesome month! Some great titles there!
Happy June reading!


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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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