Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to everyone who celebrates!  I'll be busy handing out candy tonight, but for those of you who stop by, here's a little Halloween treat to entertain you for a few minutes.  My mom turned me onto this, and it is the coolest thing ever:

And here's a Thriller one (since that's a classic):

Enjoy your night!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Some new widgets in the sidebar

Hello readers! I wanted to pop in really quick and bring your attention to one of the new widgets in the blog sidebar, especially if you get these posts via feed and don’t see the actual blog very often.

Over on the right hand side, I’ve added a widget for my “currently reading” shelf on Goodreads. This is for two reasons. One, I’ve wanted to put up a currently reading thing for a while, but wasn’t sure of the best way to do it since I often read multiple books at one time. The second reason is that while the Cybils awards get underway for this year, I find myself spending more time reading and less on the internet as I’m fulfilling my judging responsibilities. So review frequency (as well as frequency of other posts) can slow down this time of year. So this at least will show a record of what I’m reading, even if I’m too busy to post about it at the time.

The other widget I’ve had up for a while that you may or may not have noticed, is my 2011 Goodreads Reading Challenge one. It’s also on the right side, although down a bit. I challenged myself to read 160 books during 2011. Right now I’m sitting at about 115. It’s a good thing it’s Cybils season, because I am obviously behind. Do you think I can read 45 books by the end of the year? I guess we’ll see.

By the way, if anyone wants to friend me on Goodreads, feel free. I don’t post a lot of my reviews there, but I give lots of “status” comments on my currently reading shelf, and I do usually rate the books at least.

By the way, the winners of the blogoversary contest WILL be posted soon. I’ve been having some trouble getting the list extracted from my buggy computer. But it will be coming soon, I promise!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Secret Santa HELP!

Halloween is in a couple of days, and as hard as it is to get my head around it, that means Christmas is just around the corner.

One of my very favorite things to do during the holidays is to particpate in Secret Santa exchanges with other book lovers/bloggers. Usually I do about 3 exchanges, but this year, I've only found one, hosted by Kate and Kristen at The Book Monsters. It's made me kind of sad because I really do enjoy doing the exchanges...

So I'm hoping you can all help me out. Are you participating in book/blogger Secret Santa this year? Are the signups still open? Leave me a link in the comments. Help me spread a little holiday cheer!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What do you think?

One of my goals for the rest of this year (call it an early New Year’s Resolution if you will) is to get back into doing reviews on the blog. These used to be my prime focus, and I’ve kind of neglected them in the last little stretch of my blogging activities.

There are many reasons why this happened, but this is the main one. I really have been writing reviews, despite the fact that my blog sometimes shows otherwise. :) Most of my reviews have been written for publication in Sacramento Book Review, a local review newspaper that I review. Originally when I started the reviews were only to be used by the publications themselves, but recently the owners gave permission for us to repost our reviews in other place. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that the reviews were taken down by and that the site’s servers lost most of the archived reviews in a recent move.

So here’s a question for you, my blog readers. Would you like me to repost some of my SBR reviews? Just to keep things fresh and moving while I’m busy with other projects. I do have to warn you, we’re constrained to 200 words, so some of them are a little shorter than my normal reviews.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Something Else I've Been Working On...

Okay readers, things are almost back to normal, I promise. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret. One of the (many) reasons I’ve been lacking in my blogging lately is because I’m working on a new blog.

Yeah, you read that right. A new blog.

Don’t worry, it won’t interfere with this one. I’m still going to talk about all things book related here. But lately, I’ve been wanting more and more to talk about movies that I watch too. So the new blog is going to be a movie blog. And I’m almost done setting it up.

The problem is, I suck at coming up with names. Does anyone have any good ideas for me?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

So now what?

Well, it's been a busy summer for me.  You may have noticed I've been a little quiet lately.  With the 2011 YA Bloggers Book Battle and the 5th Blogoversary both behind me, it's been a good time to take a step back and refelct a bit. 

Don't worry though, things are still happening.  I've been working on a few things behind the scenes, some of which you should be hearing about in the next few days.  Some are blog-related, and some are side projects that are keeping me away from the computer.  I'm also looking forward to Decemeber, which hopefully will be the next big project I'm doing on the blog.  I'm big project worn out! 

I'm going to try to keep blogging while I work behind the scenes, but posts will probably be shorter and more random.  Because I've found that's how I get when I'm busy.  In the meantime, I'm also tallying up winners for the 5th Blogoversary giveaway, so keep an eye out for that post, hopefully in the next week.  That way I can start sending out all of those 30 prizes!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Help a Classroom in Need!

I had an online aquantance reach out to me regarding getting books for her 5th grade daughter's classroom.  The teacher wants to get new books for a reading group but the school doesn't have the budget for the new books. 

So I'm trying to help her out.  If you have any of the books listed below, any condition (new or used), any format (hardcover or paperback) and you would be willing to donate them, please send me an email at shadyglade (AT) mail (DOT) com to let me know. 

You'll be helping kids get great books in their hands.  Can't think of a better way to do a good deed.  :)

Needed Books:
A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck

A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck

Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

Shoeshine Girl by Clyde Robert Bulla, Jim Burke (Illustrator)

The Black Pearl by Scott O'Dell

The BFG by Roald Dahl

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Schooled by Gordon Korman

Monday, October 10, 2011

Random 5th Blogoversary Giveaway

What's this you say?  Another 5th Blogoversary Giveaway?  But haven't we already had one? 

The answer to all of those questions is yes.  But due to some issues with the form and registration, I've admitted defeat and decided to do the giveaway a different way.  While the silent auction format was a good idea, it didn't work as well in execution as it did in planning.  Mostly because everyone was bidding on the same prizes.  So due to the fact that so many prizes went unclaimed, I am reformatting the contest, and extending it until the end of the week. 

Here's how the new contest will work.  For every prize that has not had any "bidders" (or has only 1 bidder with a 1 point bid), I will be re-offering the prizes up for grabs.  EVERYONE can enter this contest, and prizes will be awarded by  All you have to do is pick which prizes you want to enter for.  Easy, right?  So if you didn't enter before, I strongly encourage you to do so now.  Yes, you at the computer.  You know you want free books, right?

This (new) contest will be open until 11:59 pm on Friday, October 14.  To enter, simply fill out the Google form found at the end of the post.  Or you can email me your entries at shadyglade (AT) mail (DOT) com.  Of course, if you prefer to enter the old way, the forms are still open on this page.  It's a great way to increase your chances at winning a particular prize.  Otherwise, prizes are going to be awarded randomly. As before, this giveaway is open internationally.

Here is a recap of the prizes that have been reshuffled for this giveaway.  If you'd more information on these prizes, you can check out the original prize posts (one, two, and three).  Scoll all the way to the bottom for the entry form, or follow this link

Prizes still up for grabs:

Paranormal/Fantasy pack
Dragon's Bait by Vivian Vande Velde and Sunshine by Robin McKinley.

Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl

Ghost set
The House Next Door by Richie Tankersley Cusick and Time Windows by Kathryn Reiss

The Edge on the Sword by Rebecca Tingle

Babymouse, Our Hero by Matt and Jennifer Holm

Handmade Pumpkin Bookmark

Tamora Pierce Prize Pack
A whole box of assorted Tamora Pierce books (Tortall books only)

The Man You'll Marry by Debbie Macomber

Nicola and the Viscount by Meg Cabot

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Ghosts of Kerfol by Deborah Noyes

NERDS pack
NERDS (National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society), and the second book, M is for Mama's Boy, both by Michael Buckley

Ingo by Helen Dunmore

Graphic Novel Mystery Box
A box full of new/like new graphic novels for you to enjoy

Dark Divine Nail Polish
Two bottles, one for you and one for a friend

History Prize Pack
Historical Tweets by Alan Beard and Alec McNayr and Don't Know Much About History by Kenneth C. Davis

Lady Grace Mysteries: Betrayal by Patricia Finney

The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine

Pride and Prejudice Prize Pack
Mr. Darcy's Dream and The True Darcy Spirit by Elizabeth Aston (both sequels to Pride and Prejudice) and a copy of Darcy's Story by Janet Aylmer (Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy's point of view)

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Need a New Template

I'm looking for a new blog template... not for this blog though, a different one. ;) Those of you who are bloggers, do you have any ones you've used that you've particular loved? I would prefer free or relatively cheap, since I don't have a huge budget. Oh, and relatively easy to use since I can find my way around a computer, but the programmer in the family is my brother.  I prefer ready to use templates, but if you know of somewhere that has great backgrounds I could always use those too.

If you could leave any suggestions for me in the comments, it would be much appreciated!


Wednesday, October 05, 2011

5th Blogoversary Giveaway Extravaganza: Place Your Bids!

Hello everyone!  This is the culmination of everything we've celebrated for the last few months, the 5th Blogoversary Giveaway Extravaganza!  Here is where I am giving away 30 prizes to you, my blog readers.  Cuz prizes are the best part of any birthday.  :)

Before we go any further, if you have not completed registration, STOP!  Go do it.  You cannot win anything before completing that first.   UPDATE 10/9/11: Remaining prizes are being given away randomly through October 14th.  Check out this updated post to enter Or continue to enter the old way below. 

So here's how things will work.  As I mentioned in the beginning of September, this will work in a silent auction style, with a slightly modified format.  At the end of this form will be 3 Google forms, one for each set of "lots" (aka prizes).  Fill in your name and email address.  Using the number of points you totaled up in registration, you can then "bid" these points on each prize that you wish.  There is one slot for each prize. 

For example: Say you earned 30 points.  You have 30 points to spend.  You really want Lot #201, so you bid 10 points.  You have 20 left.  So you bid 5 points on Lot #309, 3 points on Lot #107, 1 point on Lot #100, and 1 point on Lot #206.  There's your 30 points.  You can bid as much or as little on any combination of lots. 

The person who bids the highest number of points for each lot will win that prize.  In the case of a tie (say 2 people bid 10 points on the same thing) then the winner between those who tied will be picked by 

  • You must be registered to bid
  • Auctions will be open from now until 11:59 pm PDT on Saturday October 8th
  • All prizes are open internationally
  • You must provide either your mailing address or country of residence (if you don't want to give your address unless you win)
  • You cannot bid more than the points you earned in registration
Any questions/problems?  Let me know and I will update this post as need be.  Otherwise, the forms you need to enter are linked below. 

Good luck!

Lots 100-109 Bidding form (Preview of these prizes found here)
Lots 200-209 Bidding form (Preview of these prizes found here
Lots 300-309 Bidding form (Preview of these prizes found here)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

One Last Reminder

Remember that the (slightly modified) silent auction Blogoversary Extravaganza opens tomorrow (Oct 5th).  If you haven't already, remember to register so that you can start "bidding" with your earned points tomorrow.  Registration must be completed first before you can win any of the 30 prizes. 

If anyone has any questions, please let me know.  Otherwise, see you tomorrow!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Update on Amazon Associates

As I announced earlier this summer, due to a new California law Amazon discontinued it's Amazon Associates program. So although I was no longer participating, I still had the notice on my blog, simply because I couldn't figure out how to remove it

Today I found out that this law was recently appealed, and Amazon has continued the Associates program for California residents.  So you can consider the disclaimer notice on the blog to be in effect once more.  I will be reinstating the missing Amazon links over the next few weeks. 

Just FYI.  :)

Challenge Deadline Reminder!

Don't forget, today is the last day to complete any of the Blogoversary Challenges for extra points at registrationThe roundup post has links to all the challenges you can still complete. 

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Blogoversary Extravaganza: Registration Open

Well, it is now officially October 2nd, which means registration for the 5th Blogoversary Extravaganza is now open!  Remember, you must complete registration in order to win prizes starting October 5th!

For those of you who want a refresher of how this will work, here you go.  30 prizes are being given away starting October 5th.  (Prize preview posts here: one, two, and three).  The giveaway is being conducted in a silent auction style, which means you will "bid" for the prizes using points you have earned throughout the blogoversary.

The purpose of registration is to help me know how many points everyone has.  This way I can keep track of your bids and make sure that no one bids over their limit.  After completing registration, you will know how many points you have to spend come October 5th.

If you are still completing open challenges (some are open until 11:59 on October 3rd), the please wait until you have submitted all your challenge entries before registering.  That way you won't have to submit more than once.  If you earned any bonus points from your entries, I will total them up and email you to let you know of the change to your point total.

To register, all you have to do is fill out the Google form using the link or entered below.  If anyone has problems, please contact me at shadyglade AT mail DOT com and we'll get you entered manually.  Any questions?  Feel free to let me know.

Good luck!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Blogoversary Challenge #12

So I figured we'd make this a round dozen of challenges. Once again, this will be another great way to rack up points to earn prizes.

October 1st is a very important day in the kid lit blogosphere. It marks the opening of the Cybils (Children's and Young Adult Literary Awards) nominations. I've been participating in the Cybils for 5 years now, so they are near and dear to my heart. But the awards wouldn't be possible without nominations, which brings me to this challenge.

Challenge Details:
Points: +1 for every nomination you submit.  There are 10 categories, and you can nominate up to 1 book per category, for a possible point total of 10 points.
Deadline: Nominations are open until Oct 15, but if you want points for this, you must submit your nominations by midnight on October 3rd
How To Enter: Head over to the Cybils page to enter your nominations.  Once you're done, come back here and leave a comment on this post with the titles of the books you nominated.

Blogoversary Challenge #11

Well, we're getting down to the wire here.  Registration for the Giveaway Extrvaganza starts tomorrow, so I figured I'd better get up these last two challenges before then.  Both of these are pretty easy, so this is a great way to rack up points right before the end here.

As some of you may know, and some of you may not, I'm hosting my first reading challenge this fall: the Tamora Pierce reading challenge. The idea is to celebrate the upcoming relase of Pierce's new book in October.  All you have to do for this challenge is sign up to participate, or spread the word about the challenge.

Challenge Details:
Points: +5 for signing up for the challenge, +1 for grabbing the button, +1 for linking to the challenge page
Deadline: Midnight on October 3rd
How To Enter: Sign up on the challenge page.  If you have grabbed the button for your blog/website or linked to the challenge page, leave me a comment on this post with the link to enter.

Blogoversary Giveaway Extravaganza: Prize Preview #3

And here we are at the final prize preview for the Blogoversary Giveaway Extravaganza.  Here I am presenting the final 10 prizes that will be given away starting October 5th.  More info can be found on the introduction page, and details will be coming soon.  Don't forget registration on October 2nd!

If you missed the previous prize previews, you don't know what kind of awesome prizes you're missing.  Check out the first and second posts to see what else you'll have to choose from. 

Lot #300: Graphic Novel Mystery Box
By now, you should recognize the wrapped ribbon boxes. It means it's another mystery box! After four years on the graphic novels nominations committee, I've had a lot of graphic novels come and go in my house. Plus, I've found plenty of graphic novels on my own too. So if you like graphic novels, or wanting to give them a try, this is the prize for you. I've got traditional comics, unique art styles, manga, color, black and white, and a mix of all genres/ages/bindings. The winner of this lot will get at least six books (probably more) many in new/like new condition.

Lot #301: Dark Divine Nail Polish
You may have recognized this prize from contests past. Well, in cleaning out my shelves the other day I found I still have a bit left. This lovely fuchsia purple/pink shade has been perfectly matched to the color of the The Dark Devine by Bree Despain. So now you can paint your nails just like the model on the cover! This lot includes two bottles, one for you and one for you to share (or keep for yourself, whatever you want :).

Lot #302: History Prize Pack
Now don't run anywhere when you hear the word history. This pack actually includes a couple good books. For those of you who do Twitter, what do you think history would look like in 140 characters or less? Well, you can find out in Historical Tweets by by Alan Beard and Alec McNayr. And then if you like to take a more *ahem* accurate version of history, this pack also includes Don't Know Much About History: Everything You Need to Know About American History but Never Learned by Kenneth C. Davis. So you should be pretty well covered in the history department.

Lot #303: Lady Grace Mysteries: Betrayal by Patricia Finney
Speaking of history, this prize combines some of my favorite things: historical fiction and diary books. Add in a little mystery and the fact that this series takes place in Queen Elizabeth I's court, and you have a win-win combination. If you haven't heard of these books yet, this is your chance to try them. This prize is a like new hardcover.

Lot #304: The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
Speaking of favorite authors as I did in the last prize preview, I would be remiss if I didn't include Gail Carson Levine on my list. She does excellent fairy tale books, although this isn't one of them. It may contain princess, dragons, magic, and adventure, but this is a tale that's all her own. If you haven't tried this one yet, you really should pick it up. Pretty much all of Levine's books are wonderful.

Lot #305: Raiders' Ransom by Emily Diamand
Here's one for those of you who love dystopian fiction. Although in this future melting ice caps have flooded nearly all of England, and technology is feared above all else. Rarely do books surprise me anymore, but this one succeeded in doing that. I imagined I would mildly enjoy it (hence the reason I picked it up in the first place), but by the middle of the book I was so concerned about what would happen to the characters I had to finish it. Plus it has a kitty in it. Always a plus. :)

Lot #306: Real Princesses: An Inside Look at the Royal Life by Valerie Wilding
It looks like this list is the one for princesses. But this book is a little different for a couple reasons. One, it's actually non-fiction, and two, it's in picture book format. Still, I really enjoy this book. It talks about a lot of modern princesses I didn't know existed, and it has a special section about tiaras! Sorry, I just like sparkling things. Still, it was interesting to get a look inside a modern princess' life, as well as some historical facts about famous princesses too. Great for older and younger readers alike.

Lot #307: Pride and Prejudice Prize Pack
Wow, did that title have enough "P"s in it? I love everything Jane Austen themed. Her original novels, movie adaptations, sequels, retellings, books about her life. So yeah, just about everything. This prize pack is great for all you closet Janeites out there. The winner will receive three gently used paperback Austen themed books: Mr. Darcy's Dream and The True Darcy Spirit by Elizabeth Aston (both sequels to Pride and Prejudice) and a copy of Darcy's Story by Janet Aylmer (Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy's point of view).

Lot #308: The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Here's another book that if you haven't read it yet you really should. There's a movie version too, but I think the book is better. It's another one of those fairy tale books that really isn't based off a real fairy tale, but has that feel to it. Despereaux is so cute, you just have to love everything about him, including his big ears. This prize is a like new paperback.

Lot #309: ARC Prize Pack #2
Yes, it's another mystery box full of ARCs! This one was generously donated by one of the blogoversary guest posters, Kristen of The Book Monsters (Thank you Kristen!). And because it's the second box, and since this is the last prize to reveal, I'll give you a hint about some of the books that are in here. In addition to some mystery titles, this box will contain ARCs of Still Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley (signed), Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Death Cloud by Andrew Lane and some others. So trust me, this is going to be a great prize!

So that concludes the prize preview. Don't forget to come back on October 2nd to register, so you can win some of these awesome prizes.