Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Emails Lost!

Hey everyone!  I know I've been neglecting this, but results for the battle are coming soon.  Just as long as I can get my computer to cooperate with me for longer than 10 minutes a day....

Anyway, the point of this email is that I've sent out several emails about the upcoming blogoversary celebration in September.  My email provider seems to be dropping some emails, so if you have emailed me back and I have not emailed you back yet, please leave me a comment here to let me know!  That way I have a better idea of how widespread the problem is. 

Thanks for bearing with me!  Technology is great, but it can be such a pain sometimes.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Time Is Running Out to Vote

Voting for the 2011 Book Battle Reader's Choice Awards ends tomorrow at midnight!  If you haven't already, please take a few minutes to submit your votes.  There's been few enough votes that things are really split right now, so more participation is badly needed!

Remember, you don't have to vote on all the awards.  Even if you haven't read any of the nominees, you can still vote on those such as Best Cover Art or Most Unique Premise, etc.  If anyone has any problems with the form, please email me at shadygladeATmailDOTcom to let me know.

So please, make sure you let your voice be heard!  This is the first year I've done Reader's Choice and I want them to be a success.  And, as I hinted yesterday, it might just pay off for you next month...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Big Event Coming...

I know, you're probably thinking "again"?  With the Book Battle wrapping up, it's time to turn my thoughts to the next direction for the blog.  Which brings us to my blogoversary, coming up on September 1st.  This year The Shady Glade will be celebrating 5 years, which calls for a big event, don't you think.

So everyone dust off your party hats and get ready for a month-long celebration here in the next few weeks.  In addition to guest posts and other cool features, there will also be lots of prizes and a big contest.  I'm not going to ruin the surprise now, but if you want a better chance at winning stuff in next month, I would get ready to make some comments, do some challenges, oh and make sure you vote for the Book Battle Reader's Choice Awards.  Just a suggestion.  :)

More coming soon....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

2011 Reader's Choice Awards: Time to Vote!

Thanks to everyone who voted on the Reader's Choice Awards poll. The input has been tallied, and we now are ready to vote! As we wait with baited breath to see which of the two finalists win the final bracket in Series 5, it's time for YOU to play judge.

There are 10 awards being given in the following categories: Reader's Choice, Best Cover Art, Most Likely To Re-Read, Most Overlooked, Most Unique, Best Main Character, Best Villain, Best Romance, Weirdest/Most Quirky Character, and Best Setting. You can choose any of the 24 final nominees from Round 2 as your votes. If you need a refresher about which books are eligible, cover art, plot, etc. they are all posted in our Goodreads Group bookshelf page.

To vote, fill out the Google form below (or follow this link). You are required to give your email address, but that's just to track duplicate entries and will be deleted as soon as the voting closes. Voting will be open until August 22nd at midnight.

Remember that even if you haven't read all (or even any) of the nominations, you can still vote for the awards. A vote is not required for every award, so you can pick and choose which ones to do. There's also a box for you to explain any of your choices if you wish to do so.

Questions? Let me know. Otherwise go vote! This is your chance to let your opinion be heard!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book Battle: Round 2 Series 4 Winners

So you know how when it rains, it pours? After all the excitement I mentioned in the last results post, I had my computer get a virus or something that  s   l   o   w   e   d  it down to the point of a crawl. So all of this week I could only access the internet from my phone. Which, although I can do a lot of things, isn't very conduscive to blogging. Ugh.

So now that things are running a little bit smoother, it's time to announce the winners of Series 4. Hey, better late than never, right? We're getting down to the final deicisions here, and the Series 5 judges are already busy on their books. The end is near!

Bracket 22
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper VS. Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner
Judged by ReaganStar of Star Shadow Blog and Melissa of Mel's Books and Info

If there's two book in this battle that have been credited for being the most heartwarming, it's these two. And now that we're down the wire, they've finally come head to head. But alas, only one can move on. It was a hard decision, but ultimately our judges were able to agree on a choice.

Here's what Judge Melissa had to say about both books:
"The both of these novels are remarkable works of fiction, but I think what was our ultimate deciding factor was memorability. [The winning book] is a novel that sticks with you. Long after you have turned that last page, you can't get [the main character] out of your mind."
So which book made it to the next round? Our first finalist for Series 5 is... Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper!

Bracket 23
Stravaganza: City Of Masks by Mary Hoffman VS. StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Judged by Misty from Book Rat and Kate formerly of The Neverending Shelf and now co-blogger at The Book Monsters

A few weeks ago our readers choice StarCrossed as the eliminated title to return during this bracket. With a fresh competitor and a new set of judges would it have a second chance, or was it doomed to be defeated as before?

Judge Misty had this to say about her judging experience this year:
"It was interesting, judging between the two, because in a lot of ways, they are very similar. Both are about courtly intrigue and secrets, and magic where there should be none. And they weren't paired together because of that. This was purely luck of the draw.

It made for a sort of introspective judging experience for me, because I had to sometimes ask myself how the reading of one was coloring the reading of the other - was I treating them as their own, separate books? - while at the same time, there is a very clear side-by-side comparison opportunity. It was easy to say, Oh, well, X definitely did ________ better than Y..."
So which book would move on? In a surprise turn of events, the second finalist for this year's battle is... StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce!

So a previously defeated book moves on, and becomes one of our finalists, while the other in an undefeated strong contender through the whole battle. Keep an eye on the blog for the final results, as Out of My Mind and StarCrossed go head to head for the final title of 2011 Book Battle Champion.

In the meantime, come back in the next day or two to see more about those Reader's Choice Awards you voted on before. The categories have been chosen and it's time to vote on the books!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Book Battle: Reader's Choice Awards Poll

Those of you who follow our Goodreads group for the battle have already heard about this, but it's time to share with everyone.

New to the battle this year, I've instituted the Reader's Choice Awards category.  To help fill the time between now and when the final winner is announced, I'm giving you the choice to have your say in choosing the top books from our battle finalists.

About a month ago I asked for suggestions from our Goodreads group members for categories they'd like to see for a series of Reader's Choice Awards.  Well, now it's time to vote on what awards will make the final cut.  Fill out the Google form below (or click the link) to pick the categories you'd like to give as awards this year. There's also a spot for you to pick your own.  Pick up to 5 categories.  Those with the most votes will become actual awards this year.

I'm tracking entries by email address, so you will need to enter that.  Don't worry though, they will be deleted as soon as entries are closed this Saturday at midnight.  So vote now while  you still have a chance!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Book Battle: Round 2 Series 3 Winners

So this is super, super late in being posted.  Unfortunately, my life took a turn for the crazy the last few weeks.  Without getting into gory details it involved major sunburns, borderline anaphylactic shock, some nasty rashes, a broken car, a local festival, a crafting class, and then all the normal stuff you would expect, like work.  Phew.  Anyway, thanks to our awesome, awesome, totally and utterly amazing judges, the battle has been proceeding on even with my crazy life, so the only thing that's behind so far is announcing winners.  So without further ado, let's work on getting caught up, shall we?

Bracket 19
Intrinsical by Lani Woodland VS. Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Judged by Linda of Most Important Letter

I think this third round is where decisions start to get really tough. The first two series almost unavoidable have some easy choices, even though the finalists had already passed one rigorous round of judging. But here we have two very highly praised books, finally pitted against each other. Which one would triumph?

Judge Linda had this to say about the process:
"Let me first tell you how difficult it is to choose if a book is better than another. Honestly, who can be the judge of that? I mean, as long as the book is written well (developed plot and characters with correct grammar and so forth), books are generally the same. All it weighs on from that moment on is the judge’s taste. So that’s why I was so surprised by my choice for the winner"
So which book did it come down to? The winner is... Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper! And so the highly rated Intrinsical is ultimately defeated, but it sounds like an awesome book anyway, so you should check it out.

Bracket 20
Song Of The Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell VS. Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner
Judged by Jennifer of Reading With Tequila

Did I mention that these brackets are getting harder to judge? Both of these books came highly praised by our previous judges. They're also both very different, one a fantasy novel in prose and the other an emotionally touching historical novel. But only one can move on...

Judge Jennifer states that for her, at least, it was an easy choice:
"Choosing between Threads and Flames and Song of the Sparrows was an easy decision. One book took things I couldn't even pretend to be interested in and made me care deeply and passionately about them. The other took something I loved and made it less exciting and harder to read than it should have been. "
So which one came out unscathed? The winner for this bracket is Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner! I have to admit I was a little surprised this book has made it this far. Although I loved it, it almost got cut in Round 1, since it didn't come super highly recommended by those Round 1 judges who had a chance to read it. Still, it did make the cut, and here it is now! Threads and Flames moves on to Bracket 22, where it will battle it out against Out of My Mind in the next round.

Which brings us to our last announcement for this series...

Bracket 21
Stravaganza: City Of Masks by Mary Hoffman VS. Stork by Wendy Delsol
Judged by Jillian of Heise Reads and Recommends and Cait of Escape Through The Pages

It seems that as our underdog, City of Masks is still going strong. But would our Series 3 judging pair think the same thing when matched up with the highly praised Stork?
New Judge Jillian had this to say about her first battle judging experience:
"I was excited to participate and was assigned a round 3 bracket to judge, which meant I was dependent on some choices from those who came before me. One of the titles I thought sounded good didn't make it past an earlier round, but as I read my books I came to see that these were not exactly easy decisions. The decision was made especially difficult when you have two very different feeling books...one contemporary teen and the other more middle grade fantasy. "
Here's what returning battle Judge Cait had this to add:
"Once again, I found myself trying to judge two books that couldn’t be more different, yet similar in how wonderful they are. But, along with my fellow judge...we came to a decision fairly quickly."
So which book went on? I'm very excited to announce that the winner is Stravaganza: City Of Masks by Mary Hoffman! I've said it before, but I'll say it again: this is one of my favorite books and I'm so happy to see it get more attention. I'm sad to see Stork go too, but as mentioned before, there are no easy decisions at this point in the battle.

So there you have it! And since I was so behind in announcing these, it means you all don't have much longer to wait to hear results from Series 4. In the meantime, there will be a new poll up tomorrow, so definitely come back for that.

And as always, make sure you click through to read all the judges' posts in their entirety. They've got great analysis for all the books, and I can only give you a small peek at what they write for these roundups.

Until tomorrow, battle fans!