Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What's On Your Nightstand (February)


The folks at 5 Minutes For Books host What’s On Your Nightstand? the fourth Tuesday of each month in which we can share about the books we have been reading and/or plan to read.
Holy Bible. 21st Century King James Version (KJ21) Edited by William D. Prindle. 1888 pages. [Source: Bought]

This is my second Bible to tackle in 2017. I finished the New English Bible in January. I've read most of the Old Testament in this one. (I lack 2 Kings, Psalms, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Hosea, I believe). I've got most of the New Testament still ahead of me. I hope to finish this Bible this month.


The Quincunx by Charles Palliser. 1990. 787 pages. [Source: Library]

This chunkster is set in Victorian England. I took a break most of February. But I'm back in this one now. I hope to finish it this month. It really is quite good, if one can forgive the monstrously long chapters.

The Idiot. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. 1868. 667 pages. [Source: Library]

I read two Dostoyevsky books in February. The Adolescent and Best Short Stories. In March, I hope to finish another. I'm over fifty pages into it. So I've got a bit of a head start.

Caught in the Revolution. Helen Rappaport. 2017. 464 pages. [Source: Review copy]

This one is good--intense. I'm about halfway through this one.

City of God. Augustine. 1097 pages. [Source: Bought]

I started this one. I'm not sure how many months I'll be reading it. I've read the first five books of it, I think. But there are so many "books" still to go. Perhaps for readers at the time, Augustine stayed on task and was relevant. But I'm finding the "foundation" for his book to be on the boring side.

Two books that I haven't started yet...but plan on starting in March...


Confidence. Henry James. 1879. 224 pages. [Source: Bought]

I'm reading Henry James--for the first time--in chronological order. I started this project in January. This is the fifth book he wrote.

Three Clerks. Anthony Trollope. 1858. 648 pages. [Source: Bought]

I'm also reading Anthony Trollope in chronological order. Trollope has been a favorite of mine for a few years now. I haven't read all of his books. But this project of mine will include a few rereads. The Three Clerks will be new to me. And it sounds delightful. 
It is impossible that for the reader any character in fiction should live which has not been alive to its creator; so is it with Trollope, who, speaking of his characters, says, ‘I have wandered alone among the rooks and woods, crying at their grief, laughing at their absurdities, and thoroughly enjoying their joy. I have been impregnated with my own creations till it has been my only excitement to sit with the pen in my hand, and drive my team before me at as quick a pace as I could make them travel.’

© 2017 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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