Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Random Day 2: How It Should Have Ended

Today for our Week O' Random Entertainment... how it should have ended!

I know I've mentioned HISHE before on here, but for those of you who are new, this is an animated series that features ideas on how various movies should have ended.  What would really happen if you strip away all the Hollywood drama?  Well, the results are pretty humorous. 

About a month ago my brother talked me into watching Inception for the first time.  And it made my brain hurt.  A lot.  But I did ultimately enjoy the movie.  So here for your viewing pleasure today, how Inception really should have ended:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Random Day 1: New Pirates!!

Welcome to Day 1 of the Week o' Random Entertainment! 

Today I have a video my brother tipped me off on  from his blog post last week.  If you're a longtime blog follower, you know I'm a huge Disney fan.  And one of my favorite things about Disney is the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.  The new Pirates movie came out just a week ago (I've already seen it) and it is awesome! 

For those of you who aren't on the west coast, Disney's California Adventure (sister park to Disneyland in Anaheim) has a new nighttime show called World of Color.  I haven't seen it in person yet (my brother has, lucky kid) but the videos I've seen look super epic-y awesome!  And they just added a new section for the new Pirates movie.  It's pretty neat, so here's a video so you can see.  This actually goes through the end of the show too, just to give  you a glimpse of how amazing it is.  And it has the princesses too, which next to pirates is my favorite Disney thing.  :)  

So without further ado, check out this Pirate awesomeness. It begins with the new mermaid section from the fourth movie (and mermaids are scary!) moves on to feature the new villian Blackbeard, the one-of-a-kind Captain Jack Sparrow, and the pirates music you all love. Oh, and fire too. Lots and lots of fire...

Captain, I'd like to report a mutiny.  I can name fingers and point names.  Classic.  I love it.  :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Plans for the Next Week

So, responses from my Round 2 judges have been coming in slowly but surely, so I'm still organizing the shortlisted books into brackets.  Hopefully after this week it will be all done.  :)  So if you haven't answered my email yet, you're not too late.  And in the same vein, if you didn't get an email, but think you should have, let me know.  Also, a few people have dropped out, so if you're still interested in being a Round 2 judge, check out this post for all the details to sign up. 

So what to do in the meantime?  My poor little blog has been so neglected as I've been busy organizing things this past few weeks.  I spend all my free time behind the scenes rather than posting much content.  So to make up for it, I'm holding a special event all week long.  I call it:

The Week O' Random Entertainment

What is that, you say?  I'll tell you.  Pretty much what it sounds like.  But here's where it came from.  One of my favorite things to do (other than read) is to watch random clips on YouTube.  Things my brother finds, things I've seen posted other places, etc.  I usually plan to do a random post about various videos, but oftentimes my plans get off track (for whatever reason).  But not this week!

Every day this week (starting Monday) I will be posting a random video for your entertainment.  It gives you something to watch while I'm busy setting things up for Round 2, and I get to share some stuff I've been wanting too.  Two birds with one stone. 

Some come back tomorrow to see what random video is in store.  And if you're not up for this sort of thing, feel free to completely ignore the blog this week.  And we hope to see you back here on the 5th for the Round 2 kickoff. 

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Last Call for Volunteers

Now that the shortlist has been announced, it's time to get Round 2 of the YA Bloggers Book Battle running.  I have a few spots left for volunteers to judge Round 2, so if you haven't applied yet and you think you might be interested, pay attention to the information below. 

Those of you who are already Round 2 judges, your confirmation emails went out this morning, so look in your inbox for them and let me know if you don't get anything. 

So, think you want to volunteer?  Here's what it take to be a Round 2 Judge.  You'll find info on how to sign up at the very bottom of this post:

About Round 2 Judging
Round 2 of the battle will have 24 book finalists divided into five series of brackets. Each bracket will have two books which will be read by the judges for that bracket. The judges will decide which of the two books will move on, and the winner will move to the next series to face off the winner of another bracket. This will continue until only 1 book is left. In Series 4, one eliminated book will be chosen by battle spectators to be brought back into the competition for a final chance at the last spot.

Everyone will be working with a partner (if things go well). Partners will be paired up based on availability, access to shortlisted titles, and if necessary by time zone. Every judge will have two weeks to read their assigned books. If you can read faster than that, that’s great and helpful, but please don’t take any longer. Once you finish your assigned books, you will need to discuss with your partner which of the two books you think is better, and come to a consensus on which book will move on to the next series.

You will be responsible for gaining your own copies of books for judging. However, if you are having trouble finding a title, let me know and I will do my best to help you find a solution. In some cases we may be able to find a copy you can borrow via mail (or a digital copy) but please do your best to try and find the books on your own. If you’ll need help tracking down a copy, please let me know ASAP so we can have maximum time to get you one.

At the end of your series, each judge team will email me your decision. I will assign you both a posting date for your announcement. Then you will be asked to post on your blog about which book you chose and why on your assigned date.

As bloggers, you are welcome (and even encouraged) to blog as much as you want about the battle, and the process along the way. But please do not indicate which book you will choose to win the bracket before your assigned posting date. If you have any questions about whether or not a post reveals too much, you can always email me and ask.

Revised schedule (if things get organized quickly, this schedule will move up one week)
Organization period (to prep for Round 2): May 22nd-June 4th
Kickoff for Round 2: June 5th
Reading period for Series 1 brackets in Round 2: June 5th-June 18th
Series 2 brackets: June 19th-July 2nd
Series 3 brackets: July 3rd-July 16th
Series 4 brackets: July 17th-July 30th
Series 5 (final bracket): July 31st-August 13th

So, still interested?  If you haven't applied yet and you'd like to volunteer to be a Round 2 Judge, send me an email at shadyglade(AT)mail(DOT)com with the following information:
  1. Name
  2. Email address
  3. Blog URL (if you have a blog)
  4. Any dates in the above schedule you think you may be too busy/absent from your computer and unable to participate
  5. Any of the shortlisted titles you don't think you'll be able to get a copy of
  6. Any of the shortlisted titles you have already read. We’ll try our hardest to get you in a bracket with books you have not read, but I have less control for brackets that come later in the competition. If you don’t mind rereading a title, please let me know you are flexible.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Battle 2011 Round 2 Shortlist (and a trailer too)

Well, here it is as promised. After several weeks of delays I am pleased to announce both the shortlisted titles that are moving on to Round 2 for the 2011 YA Bloggers Book Battle, and reveal our battle trailer. If you've forgotten the contenders, check them out first here at the post about the battle's longlist.

In case you hadn't guessed yet, this is the small suprise I hinted at in yesterday's post. One of the reasons the shortlist took so long is I was trying to get the trailer just right (like last year's awesome video), so I hope you enjoy the result.  If you like the way it turned out, let me know, I'm always happy to know something I worked hard on was enjoyed:

(for thsoe who would rather watch on YouTube, you can find it here).

For those of you who don't watch videos, or the link isn't working, here's the shortlist in text form:

Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund
Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L.A. Meyer
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
Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Polly and the Pirates, Volume 1 by Ted Naifeh
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Song Of The Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell
StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Stork by Wendy Delsol
Storm Thief by Chris Wooding
Stravaganza: City Of Masks by Mary Hoffman
The Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle
The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan
Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress by Tina Ferraro
Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher

So what now?  Judge confirmation emails will be going out in the next day or two and after a (hopefully) brief organization period, we'll get Round 2 of the battle underway!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Bit of News

I know, I know, it's like I've fallen off the face of the earth.  I also know the battle is behind, so this post is in an attempt to catch things up a little bit.  But first...

Congrats to my little brother, who graduated yesterday.  We're all really proud of you!  (And that's partly why I've been gone, because I've been running around doing graduation type stuff for the last couple weeks).

So with that out of the way, here's an update on the battle.  I am (finally) done with the shortlist.  Yay!  That will be announced at noon tomorrow, and I know that for sure because I've already scheduled the post.  So come back tomorrow for that, as well as another little surprise revealed along with it.

I will be sending confirmation emails out to the Round 2 judges in the next few days, so if you signed up to be one, keep an eye on your inbox for that.  So after organizing everything into brackets we should be able to get the battle back on track.

So sorry for the wait everyone, but let's get ready to see things rolling off soon!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

More Brackets? What Are Your Thoughts?

Hey everyone, I know I've been scarce, but I've been super busy with work and my spare time has been spent trying to compile the shortlist for the battle. 

So here's the thing.  There were 80 titles on the shortlist.  Each judge turned in a Top 10 list in order to narrow the list down, and counting each book that made it on a list at least once narrowed it down... to 69.  Counting in only those titles that were highly recommended cuts the list again... to around 30.

So here's where I'd like your opinion.  This year, since judging was broken up into two rounds, I had planned at having 16 books on the shortlist to be organized into four series of brackets.  Last year we had 24 books done in 5 series, with one eliminated book being "resurrected" in the fourth series. 

So this question goes out to you out there who are spectators this year (and judges too if you'd like to chip in).  Would you rather see 16 finalists or 24?  The latter option will add another two weeks (give or take) to the length of the battle, but there will be more chances for judge participation and a 8 additional books will get a chance to be highlighted. 

However, if we add more books to the shortlist, I will need more volunteer participation, since I don't have enough coverage with the volunteers I currently have.  So if you want that option and you haven't volunteered to judge yet, would you be willing to do so (or know of someone who might)? 

So what do you think?  If you'd rather not leave your thoughts in the comments here, feel free to email me or message me privately on Goodreads.  I really want to know what you all think, so let me know in the next day or two while I'm still working on the shortlist. 


Monday, May 02, 2011

Meet the 2011 Round 1 Judges: Part 2

Hey Book Battle Fans! 

Our Round 1 Judges have finished their frantic reading and have turned in their Top 10s.  So while I'm busy the next few days tallying up their decisions and organizing brackets, here's a chance to get to know a few more of the judges better.  If you missed the first Meet the Judges post, you can find it here

And now, some more of the totally amazing people who made this battle possible:

Pam from Bookalicious:
Pam blogs at Bookalicious and partners with her indie for events. Her house is an every growing grey goo of books. She lives in Northern California with her Dutch husband, her two kids and her awesome dog Jackie. When not blogging Pam can be found at the beach reading, baking horrendously ugly cupcakes or putting together an event for bloggers to get to know each other better. Pam believes she has gotten very good at speaking about herself in the third person.

Kristen from Bookworming in the 21st Century (Kristen is another return judge this year!):
Kristen is an Elementary School Media Specialist as well as a YA Book Blogger. She has a wonderful and supportive husband who deals with her obsession with books, even if he constantly complains of tripping over stacks of them and claims she has a serious problem. When Kristen took her hubby to the library to get all of these book battle books, he asked what she was thinking and she only responded that it was for "a blog thing" and he just nodded his head. Kristen was a strange little girl who played school and library with her older sister and had a card catalog system on notecards and would pretend to check out all of her books. While her older sister was always the teacher, Kristen was always the librarian. I guess she knew then that she couldn't grow up and do anything else that didn't involve books.

Andrea from Loud Words and Sounds (Andrea also designed our blog button this year):
I'm a high school senior actively involved in the music department and many other organizations at my school. Other than loving to read and play clarinet, I love writing and I'm currently working on a paranormal book called Conversions. When I decided to start blogging I wasn't sure what to do or who to follow, and then I found some blogs that helped me through the beginning process. And now here Loud Words and Sounds is (even if I'm going through a lull period right now because of personal reasons). It basically features YA and sometimes both Manga and Adult books, but also music too! I plan on majoring in both Business Administration and Secondary Education when I move into the college dorms of a beautiful campus this fall so that I can teach Applied Technology later on in life. I love the idea of this years battle because I know some very great books that are always over looked, and one of my favorites is on the master list too! I can't wait to see what the Round Two Judges do with the list they're given!

Erika from Moonlight Book Reviews:
Hello everyone! My name is Erika and my book blog is Moonlight Book Reviews. I love reading and have been in trouble by multiple teachers for reading in class. I currently have a TBR pile that is taller than me, and I am running out of shelf space. I am seventeen and a Junior in High School. I live in Michigan where the weather is unpredictable. For example last week the temperature was 60 Monday, and there was 5 inches of snow on Wednesday! The YA Book Battle Best Overlooked Book, is such a phenomenal topic. For there are a lot of books out there that in my opinion need more attention for they are AMAZING! So I am thrilled and enjoying my time as a Round 1 judge!!