Friday, December 31, 2010

Book Thoughts: 2010 in review

In 2009 I was a rather casual blogger, but in 2010 I stepped up my pace dramatically - I wrote 108 blog posts in 2009 and this will be my 245th post of 2010. What prompted the increase in activity? Because in 2010 I finally stepped in to become part of the kid/YA lit blogging community. In 2009 my blogging was pretty solitary, with only a handful of comments coming in when people would randomly stumble across my blog. In 2010, I started searching for community in the very first week, participating in the comment challenge and my first Bloggiesta (I know dates for Bloggiesta have been set - and I CAN'T WAIT - but does anyone know if the comment challenge is happening again?). Through the two events (plus my second Bloggiesta in the summer) I found lots of new blogs to follow - which in turn increased the number of books I added to my TBR list, as I didn't have to search out new titles; they came to me!

Speaking of the TBR list, at some point in January (maybe during the Bloggiesta?) I created a Google spreadsheet where I tracked all of the books I wanted to read. Not only was this easier than just starring posts in Google Reader or immediately requesting titles from the library, but it made it easier for me to keep track of links back to where I'd first seen the book recommended - I was having far too many instances where it'd be weeks between requesting the book from the library and finally reading it where I'd be asking myself "Why on Earth did I ever think this was going to be good?!" Now when that happens, I can easily look back and see what the inspiration was and determine whether maybe I misread a review or if the reviewer and I just have totally opposite tastes (and if a pattern develops, it's sometimes a signal that I should pare down the list of blogs that I follow, if someone is constantly recommending stuff I despise!).

Since I kept separate tabs on my spreadsheet for what I want to read, what I have read, and what I've abandoned or changed my mind about even starting, it gives me a good overview of what my reading was like this year. It's not a perfect system yet, as one of the tweaks I'll have to do for 2011 is remember to note when a book has been sent to me for review. My Read & Reviewed tab tells me I've reviewed 127 books this year, but I know books like Prisoners in the Palace, which was sent to me, or Monsters of Men, which I picked up as an ARC at ALA, aren't on the list.

Here's what I've read but haven't reviewed (some will be reviewed in the next month, but by February I hope to be reviewing mostly 2011 books)

  • Supergirls by Mike Madrid
  • She's So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott
  • My Life With the Lincolns by Gayle Brandeis
  • Freak Magnet by Andrew Auseon
  • Sources of Light by Margaret McMullen
  • Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride
  • Kiss by Jaqueline Wilson
  • Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
  • Jump by Elisa Carbone
  • Best Friends Forever: A WWII Scrapbook by Beverly Patt
  • Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart
  • Trickster: Native American Tales by Matt Dembicki
  • The Girl in the Song by Michael Heatley
  • Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord
  • House of Dead Maids by Claire B. Dunkle
  • No and Me by Delphine de Vigan
  • Where the Streets had a Name by Randa Abdel-Fattah
  • Seven Souls by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando
  • Girl, Stolen by April Henry
  • Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein
  • The Fire Opal by Regina McBride
  • Resistance by Carla Jablonski
  • Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
  • The Jumbee by Pamela Keyes
  • Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

25 books... and there's still 54 books on my list that I want to read! I have a feeling I'll never be able to get to  the all (in no small part because some of the books have been on my list all year and my library just never got them).

In 2010 I signed up for my first reading challenges...and kinda failed miserably at them. Not that I didn't read enough books to fulfill the challenges (I purposefully chose challenges where I was already interested in the subject), but I had a terrible time remembering to go log my reviews at the challenge sites. And then they weren't the community builders I was hoping for - I'd love to participate in a challenge with roundups like Nonfiction Monday does, maybe with a post once a month that the participants submit their links to so there's a monthly reminder to check out what your fellow participants are reading and blogging about. So for 2011 I'm not participating in any other challenges; instead I'm focusing on my own What Have I Missed? challenge - I'll be posting my tentative book list for that one tomorrow, so there's still time to leave a suggestion or two!

How was 2010 for you?
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