Monday, December 31, 2012

December Reflections

In December, I read 48 books!!! I read plenty of fantasy this month! I really enjoyed reading The Hobbit and James Owen's series. In addition, I also read several books with movie connections: War Horse, The Magic of Ordinary Days, Who Gets the Drumstick, and two Meredith Willson biographies. 

My favorite picture book: This is Not My Hat. Jon Klassen.
My favorite board book: Fa La La. Leslie Patricelli.
My favorite fantasy: The Hobbit. J.R.R. Tolkien.
My favorite historical fiction: The Magic of Ordinary Days. Ann Howard Creel.
My favorite horse book:  War Horse. Michael Morpurgo.
My favorite collection: Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version. Philip Pullman.
My favorite autobiography: Who Gets the Drumstick? Helen Beardsley.

Board Books, Picture Books, Chapter Books
  1. This is Not My Hat. Jon Klassen. 2012. Candlewick. 40 pages.
  2. Because Amelia Smiled. David Ezra Stein. 2012. Candlewick. 40 pages.
  3. Day by Day. Susan Gal. 2012. Random House. 40 pages.
  4. Unspoken. Henry Cole. 2012. Scholastic. 40 pages.
  5. Fa La La. Leslie Patricelli. 2012. Candlewick. 26 pages.
  6. Huggy Kissy. Leslie Patricelli. 2012. Candlewick. 26 pages.
  7. Mine. Shutta Crum. Illustrated by Patrice Barton. 2011. Random House. 32 pages.
  8. Sky Color. Peter H. Reynolds. 2012. Candlewick. 32 pages.
  9. Penny And Her Doll. Kevin Henkes. 2012. HarperCollins. 32 pages. 
  10. Let's Go For A Drive. Mo Willems. 2012. Hyperion. 64 pages. 

Middle Grade and Young Adult Books:
  1. The Hobbit. J.R.R. Tolkien. 1937.  320 pages. 
  2. Here There Be Dragons. James A. Owen. 2006. Simon & Schuster. 326 pages.
  3. The Search for the Red Dragon. James A. Owen. Simon & Schuster. 384 pages.
  4. The Indigo King. James A. Owen. 2008. Simon & Schuster. 375 pages.
  5. The Shadow Dragons. James A. Owen. 2009. Simon & Schuster. 417 pages.
  6. The Dragon's Apprentice. James A. Owen. 2010. Simon & Schuster. 376 pages.
  7. The Dragons of Winter. James A. Owen. 2012. Simon & Schuster. 389 pages.
  8. War Horse. Michael Morpurgo. 1982/2010. Scholastic. 176 pages.  
  9. Dear America: The Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart, The Winter of Red Snow, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Kristiana Gregory. 1996/2010. Scholastic. 192 pages. 
  10. Dear America: The Diary of Lydia Amelia Pierce, Like the Willow Tree, Portland Maine, 1918. Lois Lowry. 2011. Scholastic. 224 pages.
  11. Reached. Ally Condie. 2012. Penguin. 512 pages. 
  12. The House Without a Christmas Tree. Gail Rock. 1974. 84 pages. 
  13. Bitterblue. Kristin Cashore. 2012. Penguin. 563 pages.
  14. Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick: A Year in Stuff. Jennifer L. Holm. 2012. Random House. 128 pages.
  15. The City of Ember: The Graphic Novel. Jeanne DuPrau. Dallas Middaugh, Niklas Asker illustrators. 2012. Random House. 144 pages.
  16. Starry River of the Sky. Grace Lin. 2012. Little, Brown. 304 pages. 
  17. Gossamer. Lois Lowry. 2006. 176 pages.
  18. The Humming of Numbers. Joni Sensel. 2008. 256 pages. 
Adult Books:
  1. The Magic of Ordinary Days. Ann Howard Creel. 2001. Penguin. 304 pages. 
  2. Rilla of Ingleside. L.M. Montgomery. 1921. 280 pages. 
  3. A Crown of Swords. Robert Jordan. 1996. Tor. 896 pages. 
  4. The Queen of Hearts. Wilkie Collins. 1859. 484 pages.  
  5. Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version. Philip Pullman. 2012. Penguin. 400 pages.  
  6. The Daughter of Time. Josephine Tey. 1951/1995. Simon & Schuster. 208 pages. 
  7. A Heart for Milton. Trudy Brasure. 2011. Createspace. 398 pages.
  8. A Gentleman of Fortune. Anna Dean. (A Dido Kent Mystery #2) 2011. 336 pages.
  1. Growing Up Humming. Mike Spinak (text and photographs). 2012. CreateSpace. 46 pages.
  2. And There I Stood With My Piccolo. Meredith Willson. 1948/2009. University of Minnesota Press. 256 pages. 
  3. But He Doesn't Know the Territory. Meredith Willson. 1959. 190 pages.
  4. Who Gets the Drumstick? Helen Beardsley. 1965. Random House. 215 pages.

Christian Fiction and Nonfiction: 
  1. God Loves You: He Always Has, He Always Will. Dr. David Jeremiah. 2012. FaithWords. 320 pages.
  2. Grace, Gold, & Glory. Gabrielle Douglas with Michelle Burford. 2012. Zondervan. 222 pages.
  3. Walking with Bilbo. Sarah Arthur. 2005. Tyndale. 224 pages.
  4. Gentleman of Her Dreams. Jen Turano. 2012. Bethany House. 68 pages.
  5. A Lancaster County Christmas. Suzanne Woods Fisher. 2011. Revell. 198 pages.
  6. Where God Finds You: 40 Devotions Bringing Bible Characters to Life. Anita Higman. 2012. Standard Publishing. 240 pages.
  7. Marriage Carol. Chris Fabry. 2011. Moody. 128 pages.
  8. Pierced by the Word: Thirty-One Meditations for Your Soul. John Piper. 2003. Multnomah. 140 pages.

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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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.
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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