Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Small Update

I feel like I've been doing a lot of these posts lately.  I'm so sorry I've been absent lately, and my poor little blog has been so neglected. 

As I mentioned before, I started a new job Monday, so I've been trying to work into my new routine and stuff.  I actually had a couple posts planned for this week, but Monday after work I had the worst migraine headache I've had in about a year and a half.  It kind of went away by Tuesday morning, but still hung around pretty much all week.  So for the most part, I've been coming home from work every day and laying around tyring to get rid of a new headache. 

Plus, things are moving right along with the book battle.  Our wonderful, amazing Round 1 Judges will be turning in their picks by tomorrow (May 1), so I may be absent somewhat next week too as I compile the shortlist and get everything organized for that.  Another Meet the Judges post will be going up soon, hopefully tomorrow or Monday. 

Anyway, things will hopefully settle down soon.  You are such wonderful readers for sticking through this with me.  I appreciate it, I really do.  It's nice to know that even when my life gets crazy, I have this blog to fall back on as a way to escape craziness, even for just a little while. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Meet the 2011 Round 1 Judges: Part 1

I put a lot of work into organizing the YA Bloggers Book Battle.  But I couldn't do that work alone.  I'm very blessed to have a lot of very talented volunteers on my side this year (we had over 50 people apply!).  Due to the sheer number of nominations this year, we added another round of judging to the festivities this year.  These Round 1 judges are currently tearing through the list of around 80 nominations, and they are doing a fantastic job! 

This feature is intended to introduce these magnificent volunteers and thank them for all their hard work.  Today, we're meeting four of the Round 1 judges, but keep an eye on the for future introductions too.  So without further ado, let's get to know some great bloggers a little better!

Natalie from Mindful Musings (You may recognize Natalie from last year's battle.  We're happy to have her back this year!)
My name is Natalie, and I'm a junior in college who's majoring in English Literature and minoring in Spanish. My blog, Mindful Musings, focuses heavily on all genres of YA fiction, so I'm super excited to be participating in the Book Battle as a judge again this year! The fact that this year's theme is Best Overlooked Book is awesome, and I'm hoping that the Book Battle will bring lots of new publicity to books that have yet to step into the spotlight.

Stephanie at Bookworm1858:
I am a soon-to-be college graduate (!) who has used blogging as relaxation from schoolwork. Although I read many genres, YA holds a special place in my heart and I've loved getting to explore its subgenres and virtually meeting others who love YA through blogging. I'm really excited about the battle this year because I missed most of it last year. As a Round 1 Judge, I've fallen in love with some amazing books that I probably would have never known about.

Mouseprints from Thick and Thin Things
I grew up in 5 different countries in Africa (Chad, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, and Lesotho), from shortly after birth until I left at 18 to go to university, and am so grateful to my parents that I had that opportunity. That experience shaped my life, especially when it comes to reading. I am passionate about good books: any knowledge that has stuck with me, I learned either from reading a good book or through first-hand experience.  After graduating from university, I joined the U.S. Coast Guard and served honorably for 4 years.  I married a fellow Coastie who served NO BOAT TIME (scandalous!) He was a crew chief on HH-60 helos. Now he flies a desk as a Project Manager for a building automations company.  Through some careful planning, I get to stay home with three amazing daughters (Olivia, Karina, and Susanna) and learn about whatever floats our boat.  I blog at Thick and Thin Things about books that my children and I are reading, and some (not much) of the etcetera of our lives.

Kailia at Reading the Best of the Best:
My name is Kailia and I’m 16. I love to read and write and I hope to one day have a book published. When I’m not reading I’m usually hanging out with friends or watching a movie or writing. I started Reading the Best of the Best because I loved to read and I loved sharing my thoughts about the books with other people.

Lets give our judges all a huge round of applause!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I'm Back!

Okay, so I've been back from my trip for a few days now.  But I've been so busy my poor little blog has been neglected.  Which brings me to my other big news...

I got a job! 

Okay, so I've had a job.  But working freelance is not the same as working a real-time, 9 to 5 job with benefits.  So I'm excited (and a little nervous).  I start on Monday so this week has been spent running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything ready for next week. 

So, what's coming up at the Shady Glade?  Well, the big news of course is the book battle.   Our Round 1 judges are burning through the 80+ books on the longlist like reading pros.  They'll be submitting their top 10 lists at the end of the month, and the shortlist (and brackets) will be announced shortly after that. 

In the meantime, I hope to be doing some review roundups of longlist titles in the meantime.  So definitely keep an eye out for that.  And I sent out emails to the Round 1 judges today for our Meet the Judges feature this year so as soon as I get enough responses I'll be posting some of those.  (By the way, if you're a Round 1 judge and you didn't get an email from me, please let me know). 

And I got some other ideas boiling around in the background too, so keep an eye out for those.  It kind of depends on how things go in the next couple weeks, so things might be a little crazy for a little longer, but hopefully won't take too long to straighten out. 

Ah, it's good to be back!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Gone for Bit

So I know I've been absent the last few days.  Unfortunately I got sick early Friday, and I've been spending most of the last few days in bed sleeping and feeling like a general slug.  Luckily today I've been feeling much better. 

Unfortunately, I just found out this morning that tomorrow (Monday) I'm leaving for a week-long trip to visit my grandparents in Idaho.  My grandparents are really anti-technology, and they live in a rural part of town where there isn't a wi-fi connection to be found for miles.  So although I'm bringing my computer, it's doubtful how often I'll be able to get on and check things. 

So everyone behave while I'm gone, and I'll try to answer emails as best as I can when I manage to steal some time on the internet. 

Back next week!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

2011 Battle Long List

Well, here it is. After going through each and every nomination, the long list for the 2011 YA Bloggers Book Battle is now out. In the end, 80 nominations made it to the long list, so our Round 1 Judges have their work cut out for them!

Over the next month, they will be reading as many of these books as they can, and ultimately 16 books will be picked to move to Round 2 and be organized into our battle brackets.

Why isn't my nomination on the list?
I know I'm going to get this question, so I want to hit it on the head before we even get there. If you nominated a title, and it isn’t on the long list, here’s why. After each nomination was submitted, myself and a couple other helpers checked each title to make sure it met the eligibility requirements. If the book didn't have the right publication date, was too popular (Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson comes to mind), or had previously been featured in a book battle, it wasn't added to the list. If you have any questions about why a particular nomination is not on the list, please email me and I can let you know.

So now, without further ado, I present the 2011 YA Bloggers Book Battle official long list (in alphabetical order):

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley
Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund
Adios, Nirvana by Conrad Wesselhoeft
Alien Invasion and Other Inconveniences by Brian Yansky
Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia
Aya by Marguerite Abouet
Birthmarked by Caragh M O'Brien
Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L.A. Meyer
By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
Carpe Diem by Autumn Cornwell
Compromised by Heidi Ayarbe
Crowned by Julie Linker
Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon
Diamond of Drury Lane by Julia Golding
Dreamhunter (The Dreamhunter Duet, Book 1) by Elizabeth Knox
Elixir by Hillary Duff
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
Fat Cat by Robin Brande
Hannah (Daughters Of The Sea) by Kathryn Lasky
Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Heist Society by Ally Carter
High Heat by Karl Deuker
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson
Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
Intrinsical by Lani Woodland
John Belushi Is Dead by Kathy Charles
Kathleen's Story (Angels in Pink) by Lurlene McDaniel
Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth
Keturah And Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kristen Miller
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt
Meridian by Amber Kizer
Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
Nomansland by Lesley Hauge
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
On Viney's Mountain by Joan Donaldson
Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Polly and the Pirates, Volume 1 by Ted Naifeh
Powerless Book 1: The Synthesis by Jason Letts
Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice) by Joseph Delaney
Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson
Shades of Atlantis by Carol Oates
She Smells the Dead by E.J. Stevens
She's So Money by Cherry Cheva
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Song Of The Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell
StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
Stork by Wendy Delsol
Storm Thief by Chris Wooding
Stravaganza: City Of Masks by Mary Hoffman
The 10 PM Question by Kate De Goldi
Cry Of The Icemark by Stuart Hill
The Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
The Flappers: Vixen by Jillian Larkin
The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle
The Last Knight (Knight and Rogue) by Hilari Bell
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose by Mary Hooper
The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell
The Shifter: The Healing Wars #1 by Janice Hardy
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan
The Third Pig Detective Agency by Bob Burke
The Trouble with Kings by Sherwood Smith
Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress by Tina Ferraro
Tyger Tyger: A Goblin Wars Book by Kersten Hamilton
Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
Winter's End by Jean-Claude Mourlevat