Once upon a time, I earned a Master's Degree in Literature and was a Professor of Literature and Composition. I had a wonderful time writing my Master's Thesis about Children's and Young Adult Literature, and I considered earning a Ph.D. so that I could continue to pursue the written word, including British, American, Latin American and other Global Literatures, Children's and Young Adult Literature, all types of genres and occasionally even poetry. But life takes you in unexpected directions, and so now I am working for a non-profit agency (you can read about that on my other blog, A Little Bit of Wonder). Although my job keeps me too busy to post as many book reviews as I would like, Recommended Reading is a place where I can continue to share my literary discoveries and knowledge as time allows.

Please note that I post reviews for books that I recommend reading, just like the blog title says. This means that I typically won't post a review for a book that I completely dislike. This isn't because I shy away from making negative comments, but rather because I don't want to waste your time or mine (I won't even bother to finish a book if it's not any good). For more on this, see the explanation of my Rating System.)

Rating System and Review Policy for Little Wonder's Recommended Reading

Rating System
I currently only post reviews for books that I feel merit a three, four or five-star rating – worthy of a recommendation, in other words.

A novel with a five-star rating has left me feeling either exceptionally elated, crushed, or both.  It has given me a particular insight, changing the way that I think or feel about something in the world around me.

A novel with a four-star rating has left me feeling either buoyant, introspective or moved in some way, but I would not call the reading experience life-changing or the novel itself ground-breaking.  Many of my favorite books still fall into this category, so please keep in mind that four star novels are still very well-written and enjoyable.

A novel with a three-star rating is enjoyable, but something about the story – whether it is plot, theme, characterization, etc. – has detracted from my personal enjoyment.  This may be primarily an issue with my individual taste or pet peeves, so I do my best to describe what bothered me in the review.  Other readers may not take issue with these things and enjoy the novel more than I have.  It is still a book that is worthy of your time, in my opinion.

Review Policy

Advanced Review Copies:

I am fairly selective about the titles that I accept for review.  While I will accept some titles from debut authors, I mostly prefer to read established writers.  Many of my reviews are actually of literary classics and recipients of various literary awards.  My main goal as a book blogger is to enjoy my own reading experience and expose readers to a variety of novels of which they may not be aware.  I would, however, like to help support newly published writers if their work is of a particularly high quality, so if the description of a new author’s work piques my interest, I will accept an ARC for a debut novel.

Please note: if I accept an ARC, this does not guarantee that the novel will be reviewed on my site.  If I have requested the title, I will do my best to read it in a timely manner. If after reading it, I do not feel that the novel is noteworthy, then I will not post it on my blog since that would imply a recommendation.  This is why my rating system currently only includes the option of receiving three, four or five stars.

Please also note that titles that I personally request will receive precedence over all other titles, and novels that I receive without any interaction with the publisher are not likely to be read in a timely manner unless the summary happens to pique my interest in a particular way.  Again I am fairly selective about the unknown titles that I read, since my stack of books to read already contains several hundred novels.  If I have no interest in reading an ARC that I receive, it will be passed along to another blogger, friend who enjoys reading, or donated to my library.

Types of NOVELS accepted:

I enjoy reading and reviewing all types of literature, but my preferred genres include Young Adult Literature/Coming-of-Age Stories and Global Literature.  I do not review non-fiction genres, although I will consider reading/reviewing a memoir.

Content of my Book Reviews:

The content of each individual review varies slightly, but because I have a degree in literature, I tend to write slightly more in-depth and analytical reviews than some book bloggers; I will sometimes discuss the social context of the book or the history of its genre as well.  I always summarize the story and share my personal reactions to different elements of the book, including plot structure, characterization, prose style, themes, etc.  Ultimately my reviews are meant to help a reader understand why I personally enjoyed the book, how it relates to the world around us, and whether or not they would enjoy reading it based on their own tastes.

Time frame of my Book Reviews:

If I am interested in reading a particular ARC, I will do my best to read and review it within the month preceding or following its release date.  Career deadlines and other personal time constraints will sometimes interfere with that, however.  I do not guarantee a review by any particular date.
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