Category Archives: Just Cool

The Elf’s Best Reads of 2009

So here is my list of awards for best books read in 2009. (Note: not all of these titles were published in 2009. That’s just when I read them).

“And the 2009 Elfies go to…”

Best book read after a recommendation:

Hold Still – by Nina LaCour

Best book almost not read in 2009:

Paper Towns – by John Green

Best book to make me want to read On the Origin of Species:

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate – by Jacqueline Kelly

Best ARC ever received:

Catching Fire – by Suzanne Collins

Best audiobook read by a Brit (or by anyone, I think):

The Graveyard Book – by Neil Gaiman

Best book to make you start stockpiling canned goods:

the dead & the gone – by Susan Beth Pfeffer Continue reading

Naughty & Nice – Lots of Lists for Book-Giving


Tis the season of lists. Lists and lists of books recommended by book lovers. I like reading these lists. I find them reassuring  because they remind me that there will always be many brilliant books out there waiting to be read by yours truly. Here are some of the lists I’ve read over the past few weeks. Plenty of ideas of gift-giving:

Reading Rants’ 2009 Top 10 Titles

Mother Reader’s truly outstanding collection of ideas, “105 Ways to Give a Book.” This is the list of lists, in my opinion. Go Mother Reader!

The Times Christmas books for children

Kids’ Indie Next List for Winter 2009/2010

Horn Book’s Holiday High Notes

New York Times Notable Children’s Books 2009

Quill & Quire 15 Books that Mattered

Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books of 2009

For many, MANY more lists, you must check out Largehearted Boy’s incredibly long, super-duper extensive “list of lists.”

What would make your top 10 list? I’m still finalizing mine, to be posted on New Year’s Eve.

Two free laughs (John Green + Freaky unicorns)

John Green on Twilight. It’s about time:

And, quite possibly the most genius YA marketing idea ever (by yours truly), inspired by Diana Peterfreund’s Rampant:

closer…

You only need to take one look into that sparkly pink creature’s giant eyes to see that it is a force for evil. Duh.

Obviously Diana Peterfreund is a writer who knows how to think outside the box (way, way outside the box). Don’t you think that is the perfect Christmas gift idea for a bookworm teen with an awesome sense of humour?

I think John Green needs to read Rampant. Now that we know his view on icy hot vampires, I wish to hear what he thinks about killer unicorns.

Elf Envy: Random Roundup

I am happy because WordPress has brought back the gently falling snow to Shelf Elf, and it will be there until January 4th. Right now, outside my window it is raining and absolutely foul. Nothing even a tiny bit Christmas-y. Well… ha! I will make my own Christmas, right here on my blog, where it is snowing prettily.

Here are a few links to delightful things that they Elf likes around the kidlitosphere this week:

Check out Kate Messner’s piece in SLJ on using Twitter in the classroom. Now there’s a hip teacher.

Stacy at Welcome to My Tweendom loved Calamity Jack. I want it.

If you have a tween on your gift list, you must check out Sarah’s posts on Tween Book Buying Ideas for the Holidays over at The Reading Zone.

Mother Reader can help out with gift ideas too, with her personal Best of 2009 list.

Feeling desperate for some delish art? Then be sure to read 7 Imp’s post on Matthew Cordell, Steve Jenkins and Scott Magoon. Wowza! That’s a lot of talent.

Enjoy the snowflakes everyone.

(Photo from stock.xchng)

Shelf Elf’s Swap-er-ama: Day 2 – Ice

So it’s day two of my “Swap-er-ama.”

Want to swap books with me?

Yesterday, I offered up Sara Zarr’s amazing latest book, Once Was Lost. (Click here to swap for that one).

Today I am offering Sarah Beth Durst’s newest, Ice. Loved it, loved it, loved it:

This one is perfect for winter reading. Read my review here.

So here’s a quick recap on how this swap business goes down:

You like the book I’m offering to trade? Then you, dear elf-y readers, will leave a comment, offering me a book in exchange.

You will receive extra special consideration if:

a) you link to a review you’ve written of the book you’re offering to trade
b) you can tempt me with one of the books on my Wish List of Happiness, although I am entirely happy to receive other fab suggestions for a trade! (See said Wish List here).

At the end of the week, I’ll contact the winners of each title and we’ll set up the trades.

Thanks for playing!

Shelf Elf’s Swap-er-ama: Day 1 – Once Was Lost

I realized two things this morning:

1) My book piles are getting seriously, dangerously out of control.
2) I still want more books.

So, I have hatched a brilliant plan to address both of these issues:

Everyday this week, I will offer up a book that I have read and enjoyed to swap with one lucky reader. I’m talking good books here folks.

I will link to my review, just to prove that it is, indeed, a book worth swapping for.

Then you, dear elf-y readers, will leave a comment, offering me a book in exchange.

You will receive extra special consideration if:

a) you link to a review you’ve written of the book you’re offering to trade
b) you can tempt me with one of the books on my Wish List of Happiness, although I am entirely happy to receive other fab suggestions for a trade!

The Wish List of Happiness
Newsgirl -  Liza Ketchum
Princess of the Midnight Ball -  Jessica Day George
Hold Still -  Nina LaCour
The Indigo Notebook – Laura Resau
Into the Wild Nerd Yonder – Julie Halpern
The Season – Sarah Maclean
Ash – Malinda Lo
Angus, thongs, and full-frontal snogging – Louise Rennison (been stuck on my TBR list for years!)
Something you think I just have to read

At the end of the week, I’ll get in touch with the winners, and we’ll arrange the swaps. I will also send every trader a tiny surprise something along with the books, just to say thanks for joining in on the Swap-er-ama.

So… let’s get going. The first title I offer for the Swap-er-ama is…

Sara Zarr’s Once Was Lost is one the best YA books of the year. Read my review here, and my interview with Sara here.

Then, drop off a comment with your name, your suggested swap title and your review link (if possible).

(Note #1: Open only to residents of the US and Canada, since the Elf’s penny supply for shipping is limited.
Note #2: Ms. Elf lives in Canada, so that’s where you’ll be mailing your book).