Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 In Review

In 2012, I reviewed 555 books.

Board Books, Picture Books, Early Readers: 129
My top twelve:
  1. You Are My Cupcake. Joyce Wan. 2011. Scholastic. 14 pages.
  2. Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur: A First Book of Manners. Judy Sierra. Illustrated by Tim Bowers. 2012. Random House. 40 pages
  3. Boy + Bot. Ame Dyckman. Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. 2012. Random House. 32 pages.
  4. My Heart Will Not Sit Down. Mara Rockliff. Illustrated by Ann Tanksley. 2012. Random House. 40 pages.
  5. Baby Bear Sees Blue. Ashley Wolff. 2012. Simon & Schuster. 40 pages.
  6. Zoe Gets Ready. Bethanie Murguia. 2012. Scholastic. 40 pages.
  7. Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile. Gloria M. Houston. Illustrated by Susan Condie Lamb. 2011. HarperCollins. 32 pages.  
  8. Z is for Moose. Kelly Bingham. Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinksy. 2012. HarperCollins. 32 pages.  
  9. Cookies: A Mr. and Mrs. Green Adventure. Keith Baker. Green Light Readers: Level 2. 2002/2012. 24 pages. 
  10. Listen to My Trumpet. An Elephant & Piggie Book. Mo Willems. 2012. Hyperion. 64 pages.
  11. Penny and Her Song. Kevin Henkes. 2012. HarperCollins. 32 pages.    
  12. Penny And Her Doll. Kevin Henkes. 2012. HarperCollins. 32 pages. 
Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels: 175
My top ten YA:
  1. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Jennifer E. Smith. 2012. Little, Brown. 236 pages.
  2. My Family for the War. Anne C. Voorhoeve. Translated by Tammi Reichel. 2012. February 2012. Penguin. 412 pages.   
  3. The Survival Kit. Donna Freitas. 2011. FSG. 368 pages.
  4. Between Shades of Gray. Ruta Sepetys. 2011. Penguin. 352 pages 
  5. Insurgent. Veronica Roth. 2012. HarperCollins. 525 pages. 
  6.  Grave Mercy. Robin LaFevers. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 560 pages. 
  7. Lucid. Adrienne Stoltz and Ron Bass. 2012. Penguin. 288 pages.
  8. Reached. Ally Condie. 2012. Penguin. 512 pages.
  9. Son. Lois Lowry. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 400 pages.  
  10. The Sweetest Spell. Suzanne Selfors. 2012. Walker & Company. 416 pages.
My top ten MG:
  1. A Diamond in the Desert. Kathryn Fitzmaurice. 2012. February 2012. Penguin. 256 pages.
  2. Crow. Barbara Wright. 2012. Random House. 304 pages. 
  3. Enchantress from the Stars. Sylvia Louise Engdahl. 1970/2003. Penguin. 304 pages. 
  4.  Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip. Jordan Sonnenblick. 2012.  Scholastic. 304 pages.
  5. Wonder. R. J. Palacio. 2012. Random House. 320 pages. 
  6. Black Beauty. Anna Sewell. 1877. 245 pages.
  7. Love From Your Friend, Hannah. Mindy Warshaw Skolsky. 1998. DK. 246 pages. 
  8. Splendors and Glooms. Laura Amy Schlitz. 2012. Candlewick. 384 pages.  
  9. The Lions of Little Rock. Kristin Levine. 2012. Penguin. 304 pages.
  10. Almost Home. Joan Bauer. 2012. Penguin. 240 pages.   

Adult Books: 106

 My top ten: 
  1. Babylon 5: Legions of Fire: The Long Night of Centauri Prime. Peter David. 1999. 
  2. Babylon 5: Legions of Fire: Armies of Light and Dark. Peter David. 2000. Del Rey. 255 pages.  
  3. Babylon 5: Legions of Fire: Out of the Darkness. Peter David. 2000. Del Rey. 266 pages. 
  4. Time for the Stars. Robert A. Heinlein. 1956. Tor. 244 pages.  
  5. The Unexpected Miss Bennet. Patrice Sarath. 2011. Penguin. 304 pages.
  6. The Seven Dials Mystery. Agatha Christie. 1929/2012. HarperCollins. 304 pages. 
  7. The Kingmaker's Daughter. Philippa Gregory. 2012. 423 pages.  
  8. Earth Unaware. Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston. The First Formic War. 2012. Tor. 368 pages. 
  9. The Shadow Rising. (Wheel of Time #4) Robert Jordan. 944 pages.
  10. The Magic of Ordinary Days. Ann Howard Creel. 2001. Penguin. 304 pages.  
Special category: story collections
  1. Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version. Philip Pullman. 2012. Penguin. 400 pages.  
  2. The Dead Witness: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Detective Stories. Edited by Michael Sims. 2011. Walker & Company. (Late December 2011). 608 pages.
  3. The Stories of Ray Bradbury. Ray Bradbury. 1980/2010. Everyman's Library. 1063 pages. 
  4. Jane Austen Made Me Do It. Edited By Laurel Ann Nattress. 2011. Random House. 464 pages.  
Top five short stories:
  • "Fire Watch" by Connie Willis
  • "Intolerable Stupidity" by Laurie Viera Rigler
  • "The Diary of Anne Rodway" by Wilkie Collins
  • "The French Governess's Story of Sister Rose" by Wilkie Collins
  • "Dark they Were, and Golden-Eyed" by Ray Bradbury 
Nonfiction Books: 33
My top ten
  1. Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade. Melissa Sweet. 2011. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 40 pages.
  2. His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg: Courage, Rescue, and Mystery During World War II. Louise Borden. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 144 pages.
  3. Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition. Karen Blumenthal. 2011. Roaring Brook Press. 155 pages.
  4. Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way). Sue Macy. 2011. National Geographic. 96 pages. 
  5. The Great Influenza. The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History. John M. Barry. 2004. Penguin. 546 pages.  
  6. Mascot: Unraveling the Mystery of My Jewish Father's Nazi Boyhood. Mark Kurzem. 2007. Penguin. 432 pages. 
  7. Becoming Queen Victoria: The Tragic Death of Princess Charlotte and the Unexpected Rise of Britain's Greatest Monarch. Kate Williams. 2010. Random House. 464 pages.   
  8. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective. Kate Summerscale. 2008. Walker. 360 pages. 
  9. A Passion for Victory: The Story of the Olympics in Ancient and Early Modern Times. Benson Bobrick. 2012. Random House. 160 pages. 
  10. But He Doesn't Know the Territory. Meredith Willson. 1959. 190 pages.  

Poetry: 9
  1. Every Thing On It. Shel Silverstein. 2011. HarperCollins. 208 pages.   
  2. Shiver me Timbers! Douglas Florian. Illustrated by Robert Neubecker. 2012. Simon & Schuster. 32 pages.

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Alu 11:50 AM  

I'm amazed how many books you've read!
Happy new Year! ^^

Vasilly 3:17 PM  

Boy + Bot made my favorites list too! There are so many books on your list that I need to check out. Happy New Year.

Anonymous,  4:14 PM  

is the solution to write reviews as you sleep, or what? lol
here is my wrap-up, with pies and charts, only on 106 books:

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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
  • 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.
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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!

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