2011 Plans

Happy New Year!

As you can tell by my 2010 Sonderbooks Stand-outs post below, (Be sure to look it over if you haven’t yet!) I’m way, way behind on writing reviews.

My main problem (besides dealing with job changes and divorce court in the last few months) is that I’m trying to not only write the reviews on this blog, but also post them on my main site, www.sonderbooks.com. Both things take some time, since I then reset all the links between reviews and upload it all.

It would be simpler if I would just use the blog — but I’m not willing to give up my website. I’ve been writing Sonderbooks since before I’d even heard of blogs — In August 2001, I started it as an e-mail newsletter. For 2010, I was mainly writing the reviews as drafts in the blog, and then posting reviews individually later. That takes too long, and I’m getting way behind.

So — my resolution for 2011 is this: I will write reviews as fast as I can, and post them when written. Then, once a week — usually on Friday or Saturday, whichever is my day off — I will post all the reviews I wrote that week on my main site.

This plan might crash and burn right away — because this week, I want to post the Stand-outs on my site, and that will be a big job. But I’m going to try! This way, people can either follow my blog or check Sonderbooks once a week to see what’s new. Here’s hoping it will work!

For reading plans, right now I’m madly reading the books that the Heavy Medal blog posted for a shortlist for their Mock Newbery. They will be opening voting on Monday, and they don’t want you to vote unless you’ve read all the books on the shortlist. Out of 12 books, I actually have 6 to go. However, I did save the shortest for last, so it’s slightly possible that I might finish the books on time — depending a bit on how long they give you to vote!

I must admit that I’m enjoying the books I’m reading for that list. I finished Forge, by Laurie Halse Anderson, last night at 4:00 am, and decided that was close enough to include in my 2010 Sonderbooks Stand-outs. Now I’m halfway through Keeper, by Kathi Appelt, and am loving that, too.

So far my hope list for the actual 2011 Newbery Medal (announced January 10) is:

Medal: A Conspiracy of Kings, by Megan Whalen Turner
Honor Books (in order of my preference):
One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia
The Dreamer, by Pam Munoz Ryan
Forge, by Laurie Halse Anderson

If I were betting, instead of hoping, I’d bet on One Crazy Summer, and I admit I’ll be very happy if it wins. But we shall see!

They also announced the Cybils Short Lists today!

Now, I would dearly love to be a Cybils judge, and am planning to apply again this year. I thought it would be fun to read all the books on the Young Adult Fantasy short list. This way, I will see if I can really do it in the time allotted, and if I can really stand to limit my reading to one genre for a couple months. I will be posting more about which books I would like to win as I read them. So far, the only one I’ve read is Plain Kate, by Erin Bow, which I did list as one of my 2010 Sonderbooks Stand-outs.

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