Daily Archives: January 1, 2008

Reading Plans 2008

 I had initially thought to call this post “Reading Resolutions” – but I changed my mind (wisely, I think), since I came to my senses and realized that the word resolution belongs nowhere near the word reading. Resolution implies that you almost have to tie yourself down and force yourself to face something, or close your eyes and plug your nose and then do it as fast as you can. How could I possibly think reading was that kind of task? If I make reading “plans” it sounds entirely more hopeful and promising, and then of course there is the potential to change said plans without feeling all weak and horrible about myself.

This said, there are a few things I would like to try to achieve as a reader this year – all completely do-able, I should think:

1) Track my reading. I have never done this before, but now that technology has become my friend, I think it should be simple. It will also help me a great deal come this time next year, when I wish to name my favourite reads of 2008!

2) Read more non-fiction. I ALWAYS say I’m going to do this because I really feel there is an unacceptable hole in my book knowledge in this area, and so I will strive to make it happen this year. 1 Non-Fiction title for every 5 Fiction titles seems like a neat and tidy way to do it.

3) Read more books with male protagonists and books written by men. I read a lot of books by women, about girls and women. I know it. I always have. I need to try harder. Men are people too! (I guess).

4) Reread the following books: Atonement, The Book Thief, The Diary of Anne Frank (and maybe a few more).

5) Check a few titles off my “I am so embarrassed I haven’t read this yet” list, such as:  The Higher Power of Lucky, Octavian Nothing, The Arrival, The Wall…

I think that should do it.

(photo © Mylene Bressan for openphoto.net CC:Attribution)

Cybils Finalists are up!

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Happy New Year! What better way to begin here in blog-land than to salute the best of ’07. 3 cheers, because… the Cybils finalists are beginning to pop up over at Cybils Headquarters.

I am immensely excited about all of this, in part because I was one of the Middle Grade panelists. Boy was it a challenge to whittle so many worthy books down to only 8. It was almost painful. After much reading (much, I tell you, much), some careful scoring, hours of discussion, a little defending, and some tears (kidding), the lovely crew shook hands and settled on these beauties:

41qqcr6yakl_ss500_.jpg Leap of Faith – Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

518q160dwtl_ss500_.jpg Cracker – Cynthia Kadohata

9780670061532h.jpg Louisiana’s Song – Kerry Madden, my review

411lhhio2cl_ss500_.jpg Miss Spitfire – Sarah Miller

51yzmgtotcl_ss500_.jpg Wild Girls – Pat Murphy

9780739347966.jpg Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree – Lauren Tarshis, my review

0152060073_150.jpg A Crooked Kind of Perfect – Linda Urban, my review

51xdvcdqial.jpg Leepike Ridge – N.D. Wilson, my review

My first year of involvement with the Cybils could not have been more fun. And this was, in large part, due to my excellent fellow panelists, whom I wish to thank:

Miss Erin
Little Willow
Teen Book Review
Kate’s Book Blog
A Patchwork of Books
Semicolon
and our fearless coordinator: A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cosy

I think that all of the nominated titles deserve congratulation. It was a treat to discover many authors that were new to me, and to marvel at so much great talent. (I’m glad I don’t have to choose the winner. Too hard).