Saturday, March 24, 2018

My Victorian Year #12

I'm still slaving away happily reading pressing ahead in Anthony Trollope's Orley Farm. I have only one question: WHAT KIND OF BOOK HAS EIGHTY CHAPTERS?!?!

Every time I think I'm making some kind of progress, I get discouraged. I believe I've read forty-two or forty-three chapters. (Most books these days don't even have forty-three chapters!)

I am also reading Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. I will say this so far: it is more compelling than Orley Farm. (Also darker. Also a LOT more confusing. Characters are so much harder to keep track of when they are Russian and have a couple nicknames per character.)

Quotes from Crime and Punishment:
Efficiency's acquired with some effort, it doesn't just fall from the skies. (179)
'Where was it,' thought Raskolnikov, as he walked onward, 'where was it I read about a man who's been sentenced to die, saying or thinking, the hour before his death, that even if he had to live somewhere high up on a rock, and in such a tiny area that he could just stand on it, with all around precipices, an ocean, endless murk, endless solitude and endless storms--and had to stand there, on those two feet of space, all his life, for a thousand years, eternity--that it would be better to live like that, than to die so very soon! If only he could live, live and live! Never mind what life was like! As long as he could live!...What truth there is in that! Lord, what truth! Man is a villain. And whoever calls him a villain because of it is one himself!' he added a moment later. (191)
Quotes from Orley Farm:
Men will not labour who have gotten all that they require without work.
Why strive to deserve any woman, when women are plenty who do not care to be deserved? That plan of picking up the fallen apples is so much the easier.
Mrs. Furnival had made up her mind that war was expedient, — nay, absolutely necessary. She had an idea, formed no doubt from the reading of history, that some allies require a smart brush now and again to blow away the clouds of distrust which become engendered by time between them; and that they may become better allies than ever afterwards.
At last the battle began. He was not looking, but he heard her first movement as she prepared herself. “Tom!” she said, and then the voice of the war goddess was again silent. He did not choose to answer her at the instant, and then the war goddess rose from her seat and again spoke. “Tom!” she said, standing over him and looking at him.
© 2018 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.

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2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
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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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