Saturday, May 26, 2018

My Victorian Year #21

This week I read from two Victorian novels: Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and Anthony Trollope's Rachel Ray. I also finished watching the newest adaptation of Little Women that aired on PBS. It was good--very good.

Rachel Ray is a reread for me. In the first chapters we meet Mrs. Ray and her two daughters. The youngest, Rachel, is unmarried. The oldest daughter is a widow, Mrs. Prime. Mrs. Ray is the woman who 'cannot grow alone' and whose 'words and thoughts are genuine...but mistaken.' Mrs. Prime is trying to convince her mother that Rachel is misbehaving and up to no good with a local lad named Luke Rowan. He is a clerk hoping to be made partner in a local brewery.

From Rachel Ray:
There are women who cannot grow alone as standard trees; — for whom the support and warmth of some wall, some paling, some post, is absolutely necessary; who, in their growth, will bend and incline themselves towards some such prop for their life, creeping with their tendrils along the ground till they reach it when the circumstances of life have brought no such prop within their natural and immediate reach.
There was nothing hypocritical about Mrs. Prime, nor did she make any attempt to appear before men to be weighted with a deeper sorrow than that which she truly bore; hypocrisy was by no means her fault. Her fault was this; that she had taught herself to believe that cheerfulness was a sin, and that the more she became morose, the nearer would she be to the fruition of those hopes of future happiness on which her heart was set.
In all her words and thoughts she was genuine; but, then, in so very many of them she was mistaken!
It was all gospel to her. The parson in the church, and the parson out of the church, were alike gospels to her sweet, white, credulous mind; but these differing gospels troubled her and tormented her.
Such a one as Mrs. Prime is often necessary. But we all have our own pet temptations, and I think that Mrs. Prime’s temptation was a love of power.
Her sister was, in truth, only seven years her senior, but in all the facts and ways of life, she seemed to be the elder by at least half a century.
Obedience in this world depends as frequently on the weakness of him who is governed as on the strength of him who governs.
There is something in the very name of beer that makes money.
“All eyes will see a loaf of bread alike, or a churchyard stile, but all eyes will not see the clouds alike. Do you not often find worlds among the clouds? I do.”
“Do you never feel that you look into other worlds beyond this one in which you eat, and drink, and sleep? Have you no other worlds in your dreams?”
From Little Women:
It takes people a long time to learn the difference between talent and genius, especially ambitious young men and women.
If “genius is eternal patience,” as Michelangelo affirms, Amy had some claim to the divine attribute, for she persevered in spite of all obstacles, failures, and discouragements, firmly believing that in time she should do something worthy to be called “high art.”
Though after her father had told her that the language was good, the romance fresh and hearty, and the tragedy quite thrilling, he shook his head, and said in his unworldly way . . . “You can do better than this, Jo. Aim at the highest, and never mind the money.”
 Little notice was taken of her stories, but they found a market, and encouraged by this fact, she resolved to make a bold stroke for fame and fortune.
“Don’t spoil your book, my girl, for there is more in it than you know, and the idea is well worked out. Let it wait and ripen,” was her father’s advice, and he practiced what he preached, having waited patiently thirty years for fruit of his own to ripen, and being in no haste to gather it even now when it was sweet and mellow.
“It seems to me that Jo will profit more by taking the trial than by waiting,” said Mrs. March. “Criticism is the best test of such work, for it will show her both unsuspected merits and faults, and help her to do better next time. We are too partial, but the praise and blame of outsiders will prove useful, even if she gets but little money.”
“Do as he tells you. He knows what will sell, and we don’t. Make a good, popular book, and get as much money as you can. By-and-by, when you’ve got a name, you can afford to digress, and have philosophical and metaphysical people in your novels,” said Amy, who took a strictly practical view of the subject.
“You said, Mother, that criticism would help me. But how can it, when it’s so contradictory that I don’t know whether I’ve written a promising book or broken all the ten commandments?” cried poor Jo, turning over a heap of notices, the perusal of which filled her with pride and joy one minute, wrath and dismay the next.
“Come, Jo, it’s time.” “For what?” “You don’t mean to say you have forgotten that you promised to make half a dozen calls with me today?” “I’ve done a good many rash and foolish things in my life, but I don’t think I ever was mad enough to say I’d make six calls in one day, when a single one upsets me for a week.”
 If people care more for my clothes than they do for me, I don’t wish to see them.
 “I’m a crotchety old thing, and always shall be, but I’m willing to own that you are right, only it’s easier for me to risk my life for a person than to be pleasant to him when I don’t feel like it. It’s a great misfortune to have such strong likes and dislikes, isn’t it?”
“You asked me the other day what my wishes were. I’ll tell you one of them, Marmee,” she began, as they sat along together. “I want to go away somewhere this winter for a change.” “Why, Jo?” and her mother looked up quickly, as if the words suggested a double meaning.
“Where will you hop?” “To New York. I had a bright idea yesterday, and this is it. You know Mrs. Kirke wrote to you for some respectable young person to teach her children and sew. It’s rather hard to find just the thing, but I think I should suit if I tried.”
P.S. On reading over my letter, it strikes me as rather Bhaery, but I am always interested in odd people, and I really had nothing else to write about. Bless you!
I’m glad Laurie seems so happy and busy, that he has given up smoking and lets his hair grow. You see Beth manages him better than I did. I’m not jealous, dear, do your best, only don’t make a saint of him. I’m afraid I couldn’t like him without a spice of human naughtiness.
Speaking of books reminds me that I’m getting rich in that line, for on New Year’s Day Mr. Bhaer gave me a fine Shakespeare. It is one he values much, and I’ve often admired it, set up in the place of honor with his German Bible, Plato, Homer, and Milton, so you may imagine how I felt when he brought it down, without its cover, and showed me my own name in it, “from my friend Friedrich Bhaer.”
“You say often you wish a library. Here I gif you one, for between these lids (he meant covers) is many books in one. Read him well, and he will help you much, for the study of character in this book will help you to read it in the world and paint it with your pen.” I never knew how much there was in Shakespeare before, but then I never had a Bhaer to explain it to me. Now don’t laugh at his horrid name. It isn’t pronounced either Bear or Beer, as people will say it, but something between the two, as only Germans can give it.
She took to writing sensation stories, for in those dark ages, even all-perfect America read rubbish.
“People want to be amused, not preached at, you know. Morals don’t sell nowadays.” Which was not quite a correct statement, by the way.
Mr. Bhaer, in one of their conversations, had advised her to study simple, true, and lovely characters, wherever she found them, as good training for a writer. Jo took him at his word, for she coolly turned round and studied him—a proceeding which would have much surprised him, had he known it, for the worthy Professor was very humble in his own conceit.
“I almost wish I hadn’t any conscience, it’s so inconvenient. If I didn’t care about doing right, and didn’t feel uncomfortable when doing wrong, I should get on capitally. I can’t help wishing sometimes, that Mother and Father hadn’t been so particular about such things.”
But much as she liked to write for children, Jo could not consent to depict all her naughty boys as being eaten by bears or tossed by mad bulls because they did not go to a particular Sabbath school, nor all the good infants who did go as rewarded by every kind of bliss, from gilded gingerbread to escorts of angels when they departed this life with psalms or sermons on their lisping tongues. So nothing came of these trials, and Jo corked up her inkstand, and said in a fit of very wholesome humility.
“Well, the winter’s gone, and I’ve written no books, earned no fortune, but I’ve made a friend worth having and I’ll try to keep him all my life.”

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Keep it Short #21

This week I read two fairy tales from The Blue Fairy Book.

Felicia and the Pot of Pinks.

First sentence: Once upon a time there was a poor laborer who, feeling that he had not much longer to live, wished to divide his possessions between his son and daughter, whom he loved dearly.

Premise/plot: Felicia's brother Bruno is BAD NEWS. He has no intention of treating his sister well. You would think--perhaps if this wasn't a fairy tale--that he wouldn't begrudge his sister a pot of pinks--a flower pot. I mean it makes a little sense to begrudge a silver ring. But a flower pot?!?!

Felicia has left her home to fetch water so she can water her pot of pinks. She meets someone unexpected on her way--the 'Queen of the Woods.' But when she returns her pot of pinks is GONE. In its place is a CABBAGE. Upon seeing the replacement, she is so upset that she hurls the cabbage out the window. Much to the cabbage's dismay! You see, this is a TALKING CABBAGE. Because of course that makes perfect sense! The next day, she makes amends to the offended cabbage and she learns what happened to her pot of pinks. BRUNO. Felicia is tempted to take revenge--on her brother's hen. Fortunately, the hen is a TALKING hen. And the hen is able to convince her that all is not as it seems. (Felicia should have suspected as much by now, right?!)

Who is Felicia really? And will she get her pot of pinks back? If I've intrigued you, you can read what happens next

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this one! 

The White Cat

First sentence: Once upon a time there was a king who had three sons, who were all so clever and brave that he began to be afraid that they would want to reign over the kingdom before he was dead.

Premise/plot:  The youngest son has the BEST adventure in this fairy tale. So the king, I believe, eventually gives his three sons three TASKS or three TESTS to see who will be his heir. The tests are whimsical, almost nonsensical in nature. Find me the most beautiful dog. Find me a piece of muslin so fine that it could be drawn through the eye of a needle. Bring home the loveliest princess. The last request makes a little bit of sense. The other two, not so much. Each task is given a full year to complete. So this story spans three full years!

As I said, the youngest son has the BEST story. On his journey, he comes across a mysterious castle with a LOVELY mistress--a white cat. He is CHARMED and DELIGHTED and completely CAPTIVATED. He forgets himself--literally. But the White Cat is always ready to help. She sends him back to the king with--you guessed it--the littlest dog, the finest piece of muslin, and the loveliest princess.

My thoughts: I loved, loved, LOVED, LOVED this story. Why did no one tell me about this fairy tale?!?! What other tales have I been missing out on?!



© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Me? Listen to Audio #20

This week I listened to Anne of Green Gables.

Anne of Green Gables. L.M. Montgomery. 1908. Version 3. Read by Karen Savage. Librivox. 2007. 8 hrs. 40 minutes.

I really enjoyed listening to Anne of Green Gables. Anne and I have long been kindred spirits. I've loved the book going on thirty years. I've reread it more times than I can count. This was my second time to listen to it on audio. (But my first time to enjoy it).

I would recommend this reader to anyone. Here are some of my favorite quotes.

The long platform was almost deserted; the only living creature in sight being a girl who was sitting on a pile of shingles at the extreme end. Matthew, barely noting that it WAS a girl, sidled past her as quickly as possible without looking at her. Had he looked he could hardly have failed to notice the tense rigidity and expectation of her attitude and expression. She was sitting there waiting for something or somebody and, since sitting and waiting was the only thing to do just then, she sat and waited with all her might and main.
A child of about eleven, garbed in a very short, very tight, very ugly dress of yellowish-gray wincey. She wore a faded brown sailor hat and beneath the hat, extending down her back, were two braids of very thick, decidedly red hair. Her face was small, white and thin, also much freckled; her mouth was large and so were her eyes, which looked green in some lights and moods and gray in others. 
"Would you rather I didn’t talk? If you say so I’ll stop. I can STOP when I make up my mind to it, although it’s difficult.” 
But if you call me Anne please call me Anne spelled with an E.” “What difference does it make how it’s spelled?” asked Marilla with another rusty smile as she picked up the teapot. “Oh, it makes SUCH a difference. It LOOKS so much nicer. When you hear a name pronounced can’t you always see it in your mind, just as if it was printed out? I can; and A-n-n looks dreadful, but A-n-n-e looks so much more distinguished. 
It’s all very well to read about sorrows and imagine yourself living through them heroically, but it’s not so nice when you really come to have them, is it?
“Do you never imagine things different from what they really are?” asked Anne wide-eyed. “No.” “Oh!” Anne drew a long breath. “Oh, Miss — Marilla, how much you miss!”
Somehow, things never are so good when they’re thought out a second time.
“Saying one’s prayers isn’t exactly the same thing as praying,” said Anne meditatively. 
Boiled pork and greens are so unromantic when one is in affliction. 
Isn’t it good just to be alive on a day like this? I pity the people who aren’t born yet for missing it. They may have good days, of course, but they can never have this one. 
“I think your Gilbert Blythe IS handsome,” confided Anne to Diana, “but I think he’s very bold. It isn’t good manners to wink at a strange girl.” But it was not until the afternoon that things really began to happen. 
Gilbert Blythe wasn’t used to putting himself out to make a girl look at him and meeting with failure. She SHOULD look at him, that red-haired Shirley girl with the little pointed chin and the big eyes that weren’t like the eyes of any other girl in Avonlea school. Gilbert reached across the aisle, picked up the end of Anne’s long red braid, held it out at arm’s length and said in a piercing whisper: “Carrots! Carrots!” Then Anne looked at him with a vengeance! She did more than look. She sprang to her feet, her bright fancies fallen into cureless ruin. She flashed one indignant glance at Gilbert from eyes whose angry sparkle was swiftly quenched in equally angry tears. “You mean, hateful boy!” she exclaimed passionately. “How dare you!” 
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it? Look at these maple branches. Don’t they give you a thrill — several thrills? I’m going to decorate my room with them.” 
I love bright red drinks, don’t you? They taste twice as good as any other color. 
Well, I suppose I must finish up my lessons. I won’t allow myself to open that new book Jane lent me until I’m through. But it’s a terrible temptation, Matthew. Even when I turn my back on it I can see it there just as plain. Jane said she cried herself sick over it. I love a book that makes me cry. But I think I’ll carry that book into the sitting room and lock it in the jam closet and give you the key. And you must NOT give it to me, Matthew, until my lessons are done, not even if I implore you on my bended knees. It’s all very well to say resist temptation, but it’s ever so much easier to resist it if you can’t get the key. 
You didn’t know just how I felt about it, but you see Matthew did. Matthew understands me, and it’s so nice to be understood, Marilla. 
“It’s because you’re too heedless and impulsive, child, that’s what. You never stop to think — whatever comes into your head to say or do you say or do it without a moment’s reflection.” “Oh, but that’s the best of it,” protested Anne. “Something just flashes into your mind, so exciting, and you must out with it. If you stop to think it over you spoil it all. Haven’t you never felt that yourself, Mrs. Lynde?”
When Miss Barry went away she said: “Remember, you Anne-girl, when you come to town you’re to visit me and I’ll put you in my very sparest spare-room bed to sleep.” “Miss Barry was a kindred spirit, after all,” Anne confided to Marilla. “You wouldn’t think so to look at her, but she is. You don’t find it right out at first, as in Matthew’s case, but after a while you come to see it. Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.
“Yes; but cakes have such a terrible habit of turning out bad just when you especially want them to be good,” sighed Anne.
“Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” “I’ll warrant you’ll make plenty in it,” said Marilla.
Mrs. Lynde says I’m full of original sin. No matter how hard I try to be good I can never make such a success of it as those who are naturally good. It’s a good deal like geometry, I expect. But don’t you think the trying so hard ought to count for something?
It isn’t very pleasant to be laid up; but there is a bright side to it, Marilla. You find out how many friends you have.
Mrs. Allan says we should never make uncharitable speeches; but they do slip out so often before you think, don’t they? I simply can’t talk about Josie Pye without making an uncharitable speech, so I never mention her at all. You may have noticed that. I’m trying to be as much like Mrs. Allan as I possibly can, for I think she’s perfect.
“Isn’t this evening just like a purple dream, Diana? It makes me so glad to be alive. In the mornings I always think the mornings are best; but when evening comes I think it’s lovelier still.”
Mr. Allan says everybody should have a purpose in life and pursue it faithfully. Only he says we must first make sure that it is a worthy purpose. I would call it a worthy purpose to want to be a teacher like Miss Stacy, wouldn’t you, Marilla? I think it’s a very noble profession.
Why can’t women be ministers, Marilla? I asked Mrs. Lynde that and she was shocked and said it would be a scandalous thing. She said there might be female ministers in the States and she believed there was, but thank goodness we hadn’t got to that stage in Canada yet and she hoped we never would. But I don’t see why. I think women would make splendid ministers. When there is a social to be got up or a church tea or anything else to raise money the women have to turn to and do the work. I’m sure Mrs. Lynde can pray every bit as well as Superintendent Bell and I’ve no doubt she could preach too with a little practice.” “Yes, I believe she could,” said Marilla dryly. “She does plenty of unofficial preaching as it is. Nobody has much of a chance to go wrong in Avonlea with Rachel to oversee them.”
There are so many things to be thought over and decided when you’re beginning to grow up. It keeps me busy all the time thinking them over and deciding what is right. It’s a serious thing to grow up, isn’t it, Marilla? But when I have such good friends as you and Matthew and Mrs. Allan and Miss Stacy I ought to grow up successfully, and I’m sure it will be my own fault if I don’t.
As Mrs. Lynde says, ‘If you can’t be cheerful, be as cheerful as you can.’
It’s good advice, but I expect it will be hard to follow; good advice is apt to be, I think.
“No, I wasn’t crying over your piece,” said Marilla, who would have scorned to be betrayed into such weakness by any poetry stuff. “I just couldn’t help thinking of the little girl you used to be, Anne. And I was wishing you could have stayed a little girl, even with all your queer ways. You’ve grown up now and you’re going away; and you look so tall and stylish and so — so — different altogether in that dress — as if you didn’t belong in Avonlea at all — and I just got lonesome thinking it all over.”
It won’t make a bit of difference where I go or how much I change outwardly; at heart I shall always be your little Anne, who will love you and Matthew and dear Green Gables more and better every day of her life.
“Wouldn’t Matthew be proud if I got to be a B.A.? Oh, it’s delightful to have ambitions. I’m so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be any end to them — that’s the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.”
“That Anne-girl improves all the time,” she said. “I get tired of other girls — there is such a provoking and eternal sameness about them. Anne has as many shades as a rainbow and every shade is the prettiest while it lasts. I don’t know that she is as amusing as she was when she was a child, but she makes me love her and I like people who make me love them. It saves me so much trouble in making myself love them.”
For we pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self-denial, anxiety and discouragement. 
“Well now, I’d rather have you than a dozen boys, Anne,” said Matthew patting her hand. “Just mind you that — rather than a dozen boys. Well now, I guess it wasn’t a boy that took the Avery scholarship, was it? It was a girl — my girl — my girl that I’m proud of.” He smiled his shy smile at her as he went into the yard. Anne took the memory of it with her when she went to her room that night and sat for a long while at her open window, thinking of the past and dreaming of the future. 
It was the last night before sorrow touched her life; and no life is ever quite the same again when once that cold, sanctifying touch has been laid upon it. 
Marilla, I’ve almost decided to give up trying to like Josie Pye. I’ve made what I would once have called a heroic effort to like her, but Josie Pye won’t BE liked. 
When I left Queen’s my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend, Marilla. I wonder how the road beyond it goes — what there is of green glory and soft, checkered light and shadows — what new landscapes — what new beauties — what curves and hills and valleys further on. 
“Dear old world,” she murmured, “you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.” 
“‘God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world,’” whispered Anne softly. softly.

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Friday, May 25, 2018

The Orphan Band of Springdale

The Orphan Band of Springdale. Anne Nesbet. 2018. Candlewick. 448 pages. [Source: Library.]

First sentence:  Gusta Neubronner hadn't expected to be on a bus in Maine when she lost her father. She hadn't expected to be sitting alone scrunched up next to the dark blue coat of a woman she didn't know, or to have her French horn case balanced between her ankles, or for the weight of a night's worth of not sleeping to be pulling at her eyelids and making her mind slow and stupid just at the moment when she needed to be even more alert than her usual quick-brained self.

Premise/plot: The Orphan Band of Springdale is set during World War II in the months leading up to Pearl Harbor, to America officially joining the War. It's set in a small town in Maine. Nesbit does a MARVELOUS job with the setting.

Gusta--or Augusta--is our heroine. She has gone to live with her grandmother. Her father has fled the country--he's being hunted down by officials who dislike his union leanings. (Remember this is when standing for 'the union' and workers' rights means being a communist). Her mother has sent her to her grandmother for safekeeping. She soon finds friends her own age--a cousin who lives near by and a houseful of foster children that her grandma is caring for. (Some are not truly orphans, just children whose parents can no longer care for them. Remember this is during the Depression.)

School is school. She loves some aspects of it; not all aspects of it. There are a few SNOBS in her class that assume the worst about her, that accuse her of being an alien, of being a foreign spy, of being THE ENEMY.

Gusta needs glasses. Since money is hard to come by and the need is pressing, Mr. Bertmann, the oculist offers her a deal. She'll work for him in the afternoons in exchange for her glasses. Part of her work will include taking care of pigeons.

The other story has to do with 'the band.'

My thoughts: The Orphan Band of Springdale is a character-driven historical novel with HEART. Some books are ALL about the journey and not the destination. Such is The Orphan Band of Springdale. (I loved spending time with Gusta and her friends Delphine, Bess, and Josie.) I loved her at home and at school. I loved her when she was trying to be brave and do the right thing. I loved her when she got into messes. I loved all the banter between the competing milk company kids. It's just a great coming-of-age story.

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Three Edwards

The Three Edwards (The Plantagenets #3) Thomas B. Costain. 1958. 480 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: The Crusades were running down like an unwound clock.

Premise/plot: The Three Edwards is the third volume in the nonfiction series by Thomas B. Costain on the Plantagenets. It covers the reigns of Edward I, Edward II, and Edward III. It covers the politics, the wars, and the personal dramas. It highlights various men and women who were influential during these years. 

Except perhaps for the reign of Edward II--that had its own dramas and conflicts--much of the book is spent on wars at home and abroad. Wars with Scotland and Wales. Wars with France.

My thoughts: I enjoyed this one--for the most part. My interest in specific battles is low I admit. I have no interest in battle tactics, etc. But there was also plenty of personal drama: wives and husbands, fathers and sons, and daughters being used as bargaining tools. Costain does a good job of presenting the strengths and weaknesses of each Edward. No person is solely good or evil. Holding onto power can be tricky, and power can go to one's head and corrupt.  

Other books in the series: The first volume is The Conquering Family. The second volume is The Magnificent Century.

© 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.

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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