Thursday, January 31, 2008

2007: Book Reflections

Here it is, the last of my 2007 posts. Happy dance! It took me a month into 2008 to get this posted, but here it is at last.

The purpose of this post is to look back on the things I read in 2007. It was certainly a busy year for me; I read 115 books totaling over 21,000 pages. That’s a lot of reading. And yet, I’m still playing catch-up… *sigh*

Here’s a list of my favorites from this year. Yes, I know that I haven’t written reviews for many of these yet, but they are coming! And while you wait for the reviews, you may want to click over and check the books out on anyway. Trust me, these are all worth reading.

Aftershocks by William Lavender
The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition by Lewis Carroll
Bad Girls Club by Judy Gregerson
Cinderella illustrated by Kinuko Y. Craft
Flight Volume 2
Forging the Sword (The Farsala Trilogy) by Hilari Bell
Full Moon, Volume 1: O Sagashite (Full Moon) by Arina Tanemura
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)
Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City: Inside the Shadow City (Kiki Strike) by Kristen Miller
Penguin's Special Christmas Treeillustrated by Molly Idle
Public Enemy Number Two: Diamond Brother Mystery #2 (Diamond Brothers Mysteries) by Anthony Horowitz
Secrets of Disney's Haunted Mansion by
Sense and Sensibility (Oxford World's Classics) by Jane Austen
South By Southeast: The Diamond Brothers (Diamond Brothers Mysteries) by Anthony Horowitz
Terrier: The Legend of Beka Cooper #1 (Beka Cooper) by Tamora Pierce
The Twelve Dancing Princesses illustrated by Kinuko Y. Craft
Kiki Strike: The Empress's Tomb (Kiki Strike) by Kristen Miller
The Persian Cinderella by Shirley Climo
The Rumpelstiltskin Problem by Vivian Vande Velde
The Safe-Keeper's Secret (Firebird) by Sharon Shinn
Sisters of Isis: The Summoning (Sisters of Isis #1) by Lynne Ewing

And for those of you who are wondering just where all those pages came from…here’s a (mostly) complete slideshow of everything I read! I didn’t include those things which aren’t on (for obvious reasons) but it’s still a pretty big list. If nothing else, I like watching just to revel in the sheer numbers of these books…

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

2007: Blogging Reflections

So I know I promised the rest of my 2007 posts awhile ago, but it has taken this long to be able to write these up! So here’s my second post, hopefully to be followed by my third before long.

My life as a blogger was dramatically changed in 2007. My first real blogging project was the 2006 Cybils, which really introduced me into the blogging world. After that, it was only a matter of time before I really got involved.

I’ll admit, I’ve been lax on posting reviews lately. Part of the problem is that I just don’t have time to write them anymore. But I did really well in the beginning of last year. Hopefully someday soon I’ll have a nice long free day to get caught up on all those reviews. That’s one of my blogging resolutions for 2008…I promise!

My post about headless covers in February marked the first post I had with a significant number of commenters…how fun! I admit it was a fun post to write, and I still enjoy looking for covers that follow this trend. Perhaps 2008 will bring a follow-up post…

I also took my first challenge last year, the Spring Reading Thing. Since then I can’t seem to get enough of challenges. While there are a lot that I don’t participate in, I do dabble in a few, especially if I think that I it won’t be too hard to accomplish. It’s even inspired me to host my own challenges, including the currently open Young Adult Literature Challenge.

Speaking of challenges, I also hosted a summer writing challenge for the first time. The theme was retold fairy tales, which are some of my absolute favorite tales. We got quite a few good entries, and if you haven’t ever read these, you may want to head over to the post and check it out.

One of my absolute favorite posts this past year was the Are You a Bibliophile? quiz I found on Shannon Hale’s website. It was absolutely hilarious, and I still enjoy going back and looking at it. And if it’s your first time seeing the quiz, just know that I’m even more guilty of being book-addicted than I was then.

I hope you have enjoyed this little trip down blogging memory lane. And if you didn’t, well then I hope you keep coming back to read the blog anyway! Here’s to a wonderful blogging year in 2008!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Huge Book Giveaway!

If you have never heard of Bookburger, now might be a good time to check it out. This YA book blog has all sorts of fun reviews, interviews, and trivia to offer. Plus, right now they're offering a HUGE contest. So you should check it out. You really should...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Help! Fundraising Ideas?

My brother is currently in need of help. He’s trying to earn enough money so that he can go and play at Disneyland with his school band. Does anyone have any good ideas for ways that a 14-year-old can raise money for a school fieldtrip? The school’s not really doing anything to offset the cost, and we can’t afford the ticket by itself.

Any ideas would help immensely! Just leave me a comment or send me an email at shadyglade(AT) Thanks!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Young Adult Literature Challenge

Well, thanks to my previous post about my YA Lit class this semester, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. It’s definitely going to be a challenge to get through all the required reading, but it’s going to be a lot of fun.

So in the spirit of Young Adult Literature, I’ve created the Young Adult Literature Challenge. If you’ve ever wanted the experience of taking a YA lit class in college, here’s your chance to participate along with me!

1. The Challenge runs from whenever you sign up until April 20th, 2008.

2. Feel free to combine with other challenges.

3. You must read at least one book that covers each of these 9 categories:
  • Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
  • Poetry, Drama, or Humor (any of these will work)
  • Sports, Mystery, Supernatural/Paranormal (any of these will work)
  • Fantasy or Science Fiction
  • Historical Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Classic “juvenile” fiction (first published pre-1920)
  • Graphic Novel
  • Audiobook
4. There can be overlap between categories. For example, if you read a graphic novel that’s fantasy, then it counts for both. Or maybe your audio book is historical fiction. You get the idea. So you may have 9 books on your list, you may not.

5. Only 1 book per author is allowed. This means once you’ve read something by that author, you can’t read another book by the same author.

6. If you’d like an extra challenge, see below the prizes section for details.

7. It’s not required to start with a list, but it’s a nice thing to work for if you do. Feel free to use the above banner on your challenge post.

8. Sign up with Mr. Linky below. If you don’t have a blog/website, send me an email to participate. If you’ve created a challenge list, post the direct link, not your overall link.

9. If you’d like, you can post reviews of the books you read. Please email me if you’d like to see a Mr. Linky just for reviews. An optional follow-up post will also be available in April.

1. Every person that signs up will be eligible for one pick from the Prize Box, whether you finish your list or not. Winners will be chosen randomly from the participants.

2. In addition, I will be giving out random prizes throughout the competition.

Extra Challenge:
If you’d like, you can dial the challenge up a bit. These are the full requirements of the class I’m taking, so if you want the real YA Lit college experience, add these rules to your list:
1. Instead of reading enough books to just cover the above categories, read a total of 25 books.

2. Only read books that you have NOT read for at least the past 5 years (so if you read it 6 years ago, you’re okay).

3. Read as many of these required novels as you can (I have to read them all) and count them towards the 25:
  • The Only Alien on the Planet by Kristen D. Randle
  • Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Fisher Staples
  • Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
  • A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
  • Deathwatch by Robb White
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Jason’s Gold by Will Hobbs
  • Life Lists for Teens by Pamala Espeland
  • Shipwrecked at the Bottom of the World by Jennifer Armstrong
4. If you decide to extend your YA Lit challenge, indicate that you’re doing the Extra Challenge on your sign up post.

Here’s Mr. Linky. Have fun and good luck!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Reading Meme

Jocelyn over at Teen Book Review tagged me with a meme! a few days ago, but I didn't have time to do it there. But now the homework is done (for now), so here goes:

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews? Honestly? Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I just can't seem to bring myself to read it, although I will be doing so in a few weeks for my YA class.

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be? Hmmm, that would be hard. I think it would be fun to travel somewhere. I would pick Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, Ella from Ella Enchanted, and Kate from The Hollow Kingdom.

(Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave? I know I'm going to get flak for this one... I've heard War and Peace is pretty boring, so that might just do it.

Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it? I can't think of one of the top of my head, but I've faked a lot of english assignments.

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to ‘reread’ it that you haven’t? Which book? I can honestly say I don't think that's ever happened to me.

You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (if you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead of personalise the VIP) I think I'd like to be book advisor to a big VIP's children... it would be more fun. I'd probably start them off with the Stravganza series, since I'm still trying to get my brother to read it.

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with? Spanish. I already know a bit, and for some reason it holds the most interest for me.

A mischievious fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick? Um, probably a Harry Potter book, since I already reread those so often. I really feel guilty when I reread something because there is so many new books that need to be read!

I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)? I;ve learned about a ton of new books, which could be taken as a good or a bad thing.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free. My dream library
would look a lot like the library in Beauty and the Beast; lots and lots of book. Plus, my library would come with an unlimited book budget so I could buy any book I wanted. Oh, and a time-stopping device would be cool too. That way I could spend hours reading and never actually lose any homework time. And no library would be complete with at least two cats... one to sleep on the bookshelves, and one to sit on my lap and purr as I'm reading.

I tag Em, Sarah, and InkMage. Have fun!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I have something I really want to post. But I can’t. Unfortunately, I’m in the middle of a 10 hour Genetics test. That’s right…10 hours. So my news will have to wait. Maybe tomorrow, maybe Monday.

Anyway, just wanted a break. Back to the grind...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

YouTube Cats

Once again, I spend too much time with YouTube. Someone on my cat list posted this video, and I just thought it was too adorable to refuse.

The cat's name is Brandon, and he's about to learn the trials of getting in (and out) of narrow cardboard boxes...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Back Online

Yay! The internet is finally working again. I should have new stuff for you to read soon, so keep an eye out...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

2007 Posts…An Update

So I know I meant to post the rest of my 2007 Reflections posts shortly after my last one. Obviously it didn’t happen. Let’s just say it was a weird combination of travel delays and internet issues (Have I mentioned how much I hate the people in charge of my apartment’s internet connection? It goes down ALL the time!)

Anyway, I’m working on getting them posted right now. Hopefully I’ll get my internet up and running soon, because I’m stealing this time on a borrowed computer at the moment. The posts are coming, promise!

After thinking about it, my posts will probably end up being the 2007 posts that are posted the latest, but maybe that will make them unique? Think about it, Reflections of 2007, coming to you live in March 2008!

Okay, so they probably won’t be that late…

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Random Subject: YA Lit in College

So I’m taking this YA Lit class this semester at school. I’m really excited about it so far, although I have yet to attend a class so far. I’m not really sure what to expect, but I can tell you this: I need to find more time to read.

That’s right. Because this course doesn’t just require you to read the 9 books that are required. No, those are the books the WHOLE class reads. But individually we have to finish another 16 books of our choice (sorta) for the course of the semester. That’s only 13 weeks to read 25 books, not including all the homework I have for my other classes and the 6 books I also have to read for my Modern American Lit class either. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed, can you tell?

I was hoping to have more time to work on this blog, but it looks like I might not have as much as a chance to do that as I thought. :-( I’m going to try really hard to keep up on this, but please understand if something happens.

The one good thing is that I’m sure I’ll have some interesting discussions about YA literature. The class looks like it’s mostly set up for Secondary English teachers (it’s required for that major) but I think it will have some more widely applicable stuff anyway. Perhaps if nothing else, I can use my class discussions/homework to spark a few random posts on this blog.
So what do you think? Care to hear my random YA lit thoughts? Guess we’ll just have to see what the next 13 weeks brings…

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Another Challenge- Royalty Reading

The Magic of Ink is hosting a new first challenge: The Royalty Rules Reading Challenge. Now you know I just have to join this one! It's way too cool to pass up. It runs from Feburary 1-April 30, 2008.

Here's the rule as copied from the Challenge Post:
Read two, three, or four books of whatever genre you choose, whether you want to read about historical kings, modern queens, or fairytale princesses. The only parameter is that the books are about a royal personage, although not necessarily as the main character. It’s perfectly all right if you want to read a book about, say, the queen’s lady-in-waiting, as long as the story incorporates the rise and/or fall of a crowned head, or a sovereign’s entire life.Crossover with other challenges if you like.Young adult or children’s titles are encouraged, but not required.

Just like my 2008 challenges, I don't think I'll post a list ahead of time on this one. I just found out I have to read 25 books for my YA lit class this semester. So I'm not sure what time I'll have for reading!

Friday, January 04, 2008

2007: Reading Reflections

As 2008 rolls around it’d only normal to look back and reflect upon the year that has just passed. You’re probably going to see a lot of these posts in the next few weeks, but I think I’ll join the pack anyway. I think it’s fun to look back on how things have changed. It’s amazing how a year can seem like such a long time, and yet such a short time too.

This is the first of three different posts reflecting on 2007. This post will focus on my experience as a reader this year. Posts reflecting on books I’ve read in 2007, and my favorite posts of this year will be coming soon. Happy 2008 everyone!

My experiences as a reader in 2007 (in no particular order):

1. I’ve rediscovered the delight in reading Children’s literature. I’ve avoided reading anything other than teen or adult books for a couple years now. I think this was mostly fueled by the fact that my mother used to give me a hard time when I was younger when I read books below my grade level (she wanted me to challenge myself…). But no longer! I’m proud that I’ve finally gotten to the point that I can read children’s books with no guilt. Just because these books are written for kids doesn’t mean they’re “dumbed down.” In fact, I think a book that can be equally enjoyed by adults and children is a true classic.

2. I’ve reminded myself of how good it is to read books by favorite authors. It’d been awhile since I read anything by Tamora Pierce, Clare B. Dunkle, Orson Scott Card, or a Diamond Brothers mystery. But I managed to read at least one of each of these this past year. I just love falling in love with a book/author/series all over again.

3. I participated in the Cybils again. This experience was just as rewarding as last time. My group doesn’t announce until January 7th, so I’m not quite done yet. However, I’m still having a blast finishing up my duties.

4. My reviews have gone down. So I think the number of reviews I’ve posted this year have definitely gone down, even though I’ve read the same amount (and even more) books than usual. This is not necessarily a growth for this year, but it is a good place for a goal. I plan to spend a lot more time in the new year.

5. My personal library has expanded. I suddenly own a lot more books than I ever have. Growing up I always used the library, since I couldn’t afford to buy my own books. However, thanks to my reviewing job, and also to book swapping sites such as Bookmooch, I’ve been able to own a large number of the books I read. I’ve decided I enjoy owning my own books. There’s just something about knowing a book is yours that makes it a little more special.

6. I’ve rediscovered a love of classic literature. This could be partly due to my English college courses, but I’ve decided that a lot of these classics aren’t so bad. One of my favorite authors is now Jane Austen, though I’ve really taken a liking to Shakespeare as well.

7. I’ve started to read with an editor’s eye. My eventual goal is to work as an editor, so I particularly enjoyed my editing class this past semester. This has opened my eye to a whole new level of reading. In some ways it’s not so great (I notice mistakes a lot more) but I’ve also learned how to appreciate great writing. It makes reading a lot more fun.

Well, that’s pretty much if for my reading reflections of 2007. May 2008 bring a lot more growth!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Cybils Nominees have been announced

For those of you who aren't aware, the first round of Cybils nominees have been announced. You can go over to the Cybils blog to see who. This is only the first half of the nominees, the second half will be announced Jan. 7.

I will be posting the nominees on this blog over the next few weeks or so, especially if there is a slow day. Hopefully, I have enough blog posts written up at the moment to do one every other day or so (including reviews, yay!), but we'll see what happens. tThe new semester starts soon, so there you go...