January 8, 2017:
I'm standing for the 2019 Newbery Committee! Check all the reasons why you should vote for me on my Sondy for Newbery! page.
Welcome to Sonderbooks, a website about good books.
I'm Sondra Eklund, a book lover, librarian, and a writer. I began Sonderbooks in 2001, as an e-newsletter to share with my friends all the wonderful books I was reading now that I was working at a library.
The title of the site was easy. All my life, my name was confused with "Sandra," so imagine my delight when I moved to Germany in 1996 and learned that "Sonder" is a German prefix meaning "special."
Over the years, the e-newsletter turned into a website with more than a hundred "issues" and more than a thousand reviews. Now it's converting into more of a litblog with an archive site listing all the back reviews by type of book. I did give the site a facelift in 2007, and started over listing reviews, so to find the older reviews, click on one of the links to Earlier Reviews.
When I started Sonderbooks, I was a half-time library technician at Sembach Base Library on an American Air Force Base in Germany. Now I am a full-time and full-fledged Youth Services Librarian at a public library in Northern Virginia.
I think of myself as part of the Kidlitosphere of bloggers focusing on children's books, since children's and young adult books are my first love. However, I can't bring myself to limit myself to those books only, so you'll find a wide variety of reviews on this site, all books I have actually read.
Naturally, the books I read reflect my life experiences. In 2005, my husband left me. In the difficult times that followed, I found help and comfort in God, and in the people -- and books -- He brought into my life. You'll find that process reflected in these reviews. That was also when I decided to get my Master's in Library Science and become a librarian, and the result, after the hard times, has been so much joy. I hope that's reflected here, too!
Of course, you'll find other quirky interests here. My first Master's degree was in Mathematics, and I spent ten years teaching college math. I love to knit; I love castles; I loved living in Europe and books about it; I love taking pictures. Oh, and I was once a computer programmer and enjoy the process of making this website.
For Fiction, my favorite genre is undeniably Fantasy, especially written for Young Adults. I've noticed I've been reading a slew of mysteries, too, always cozies. My taste has leaned toward lighter, more cheerful books after my husband left me -- I had enough trouble in real life!
One thing I have loved most about writing Sonderbooks is connecting with people who love the books I love. I've actually made some new friends through this website, which is an incomparable treasure. Do comment on the reviews on the blog if something I say strikes a chord or if you find a book you love because of my review! Few things make me happier than hearing that someone found a book they love because I recommended it!
All books reviewed are recommended. Books I particularly enjoy are given a starred review, and every year I post a list of the favorite books I read the year before, Sonderbooks Stand-outs.
Support This Site
There are two ways you can support my website. One is to follow my links to Amazon.com. If you buy a book I recommend, I get a small percentage, and I also get a small percentage if you buy anything else after going to Amazon by way of my site.
The second way is to make a donation via the Paypal button below. Although I haven't made a profit yet, this is not a nonprofit corporation, so donations are not tax deductible. If I should some day receive donations beyond the cost of hosting the website, I would use them to purchase more books to review.
Writing Sonderbooks has become very time-consuming, so supporting the website with donations will help me rationalize that as time well-spent, and will help keep the website going.
Thank you for your support!
I hope that my reviews and these books will give you some pleasure and some food for thought.
I can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please put "Sonderbooks" somewhere in the subject line.