2015 Reading “Reflection”

Photo by Bonnyb Bendix via Pixabay.com

Image by Bonnyb Bendix via Pixabay.com

For the past two years I’ve kept track of every book I’ve read using my Evernote account.  Its been relatively easy since I rarely read a physical book these days.  Mostly I read on my iPad mini (Kindle or Overdrive for library books) and once I finish I just hop over to the Evernote app and record the book.  What I love about this is that it allows me to keep track of:

  • “did I read that book?”
  • the authors I’m reading so I can be sure to get follow up books
  • how many books and what type of books I’m reading

While I know I read a lot, I didn’t realize I was reading quite so many books!  I know that these two years I’ve read “slightly” more books than average as I’m a member of the SC Young Adult Book Award committee and this requires me to read a LOT of young adult books.  Really, this just means I’m reading less of what I would normally be reading – only reading my favorite authors vs reading any/all books that sound good.  I wish I’d thought to keep track of my reading sooner so I could do an accurate comparison.

Anyway, this is the breakdown of 2015 vs 2014:

2015 2014
Books Read: 272 264
Books DNF: 11 7
Young Adult Books Read: 101 43
Children’s Books Read: 6 0
Non-YA & Children’s Books Read: 165 221
Most Books Read Month: December (30) August (37)
Least Books Read Month August (13) October (9)

Monthly Breakdown:

Below is a list of the YA and Children’s books I read in 2015.  The headings for each month indicate the number of total books I read (or did not finish/DNF) in the month and not just the YA/Children’s books.  Just an FYI, I re-read Tamora Pierce’s books at least once a year and have since I was in middle school!  I just love her Song of the Lioness series and was thrilled when she received the Margaret A. Edwards Award in 2013 and I was able to hear/see her give her acceptance speech!

January 2015: 28 Read

  • Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
  • Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
  • Alanna: the First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
  • In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce
  • The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce
  • Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce
  • Strike! The Far Workers’ Fight for Their Rights by Larry Dane Brimmer
  • The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin
  • Brave the Wild by Natalie C. Parker
  • Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff
  • The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno
  • First Test by Tamora Pierce
  • Page by Tamora Pierce
  • My Little Pet Dragon by Scott Gordon

February 2015: 22 Read & 1 DNF

  • Squire by Tamora Pierce
  • Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce
  • Skink: No Surrender by Carl Hiassen
  • Eyes Wide Open by Paul Fliechman (DNF)
  • The Accidental Highwayman by Benjamin Tripp
  • The Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan
  • Starbird Murphy and the World Outside by Karen Finneyfrock
  • Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

March 2015: 17 Read & 1 DNF

  • Transgender Lives by Kristen Cronn-Mills
  • Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
  • Because They Marched by Russell Freedman
  • Followers by Anna Davies
  • Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
  • Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
  • The Egg & the Spoon by Gregory Maguire (DNF)
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

April 2015: 21 Read

  • On a Clear Day by Walter Dean Myers
  • The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
  • No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown
  • Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
  • City of Savages by Lee Kelly
  • Conversion by Katherine Howe
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • Tunnel Vision by Susan Adrian
  • #scandal by Sarah Ockler
  • Get Happy by Mary Amato
  • Hold Tight, Don’t Let go by Laura Rose Wagner
  • The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters
  • When My Heart Was Wicked by Tricia Sterling
  • Woven by Michael Jensen

May 2015: 25 Read and 2 DNF

  • Soulprint by Megan Miranda
  • Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Porter (DNF)
  • Alice + Freda Forever by Alexis Coe (DNF)
  • I Was Here by Gayle Forman
  • Some Boys by Patty Blount
  • The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
  • Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom by Lynda Blackmon Lowery
  • How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
  • Death Coming Up the Hill by Chris Crowe
  • Chernobyl’s Wild Kingdom by Rebecca L. Johnson
  • Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

June 2015: 20 Read & 2 DNF

  • Althea & Oliver by Christina Moracho
  • Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King (DNF)
  • We Shoud Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist
  • Homeroom Diaries by James Patterson (DNF)
  • This is How It Ends by Jen Nadol
  • My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
  • Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
  • The Things We Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Cooner
  • Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker
  • Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen
  • Chicken Chicken by Jeanne Willis
  • Penguinpig by Stuart Spendow
  • The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat
  • Abe Lincoln’s Dream by Lane Smith

July 2015: 26 Read & 1 DNF

  • Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
  • The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
  • Jackaby by William Ritter
  • The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson
  • Sway by Kat Spears
  • Webster’s eMail by Hannah Whaley

August 2015: 13 Read and 1 DNF

  • Mosquitoland by David Arnold
  • Forget Me by K. A. Harrington
  • Double Exposure by Bridget Birdsall
  • A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery
  • Audacity by Melanie Crowder (DNF)
  • The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

September 2015: 27 Read and 1 DNF

  • Hunt for the Bamboo Rat by Graham Salisbury
  • Push Girl by Chelsea Hill and Jessica Love
  • Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern (DNF)
  • Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
  • Bleed Like Me by C. Desir
  • Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Stolarz
  • Damaged by Amy Reed
  • Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer
  • Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn
  • Sweet Unrest by Lisa Maxwell
  • Adrenaline Crush by Laurie Boyle Crompton
  • The Stepsister’s Tale by Tracy Barrett
  • The Wrong Side of Wright
  • The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
  • What Waits in the Woods by Kieran Scott
  • We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach
  • The Wraith and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • Undertow by Michael Buckley

October 2015: 20 Read

  • Damage Done by Amanda Panitch
  • Joyride by Anna Banks
  • Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant
  • Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham

November 2015: 21 Read

  • Who R U Really by Margo Kelly
  • The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

December 2015: 30 Read & 2 DNF

  • Double Exposure by Bridget Birdsall
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  • I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
  • Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes (DNF)
  • Chocolate: Sweet Science and Dark Secrets by Kay Frydenborg (DNF)

2016 – New Year!

Happy New Years photo by by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay.com

Happy New Years photo by by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay.com

I’m ready to kick off 2016 with a new batch of books.  My TBR list is already overwhelming with YA titles that I have to read along with ones I want to read (sequels & favorite authors) as well as non-YA favorite authors who have releases in 2016!

I’m even thinking of joining (and/or starting) some challenges with my students/faculty such as:

Does anyone have other challenges/suggestions to motivate teens to read?  I’d love to hear from you!

ALA Annual – San Francisco – Day One

After a “rough” start – meaning no start – yesterday, today was a much better experience!

Arrived just before the exhibits opening and walked through the ALA Store. This was the first time in my experience that the store was outside the actual exhibit hall area – and it was already open! Saw a few interesting items and will stop back on Monday to see if they are still there before I leave to purchase them!

Since I only purchased an exhibits pass, naturally, all I did today was roam the exhibit hall and get author signatures and pick up a few books and promotional items. I was VERY selective in what I would pick up! Only YA titles and/or books by my favorite authors. For the most part I stuck to my guns and ended up only mailing back one “medium” box today and filling half my bag again! Tomorrow I plan to be just as diligent! However, since I’ve been invited to attend a sneak peak tomorrow morning of Libraries Unlimited’s forthcoming School Library Connection, I’m not going to have as much time to spend in the exhibits! Kathy Sutusky has graciously agreed to get a few of my “must have” author signatures on my bag for me (and pick up their books if she can) while I’m in the meeting.

My Bag:



Signatures on my bag in order (front to back): Jayne Ann Krentz; Gabrielle Prendergast; Melody Anne; Jennifer Ryan; Neal Shusterman; Allen Stratton; Laura Ruby; Kelley Armstrong; Joey Pigza aka Rotten Ralph aka Jack Gantos; Megan McDonald; and Gail Giles

The highlights of my day were the first and last signatures I obtained: Jayne Ann Krentz (one of my favorite romance authors) and Gail Giles (my absolutely favorite and best go to YA authors for reluctant readers!) In fact, I waited over two hours just to meet Gail Giles and get her signature. I was first in the booth for her signing and when she arrived I adminted to her I was stalking her and told her my story. I explained that her book “Shattering Glass” has been the “go to” book for me for the past 13 years. I simply hand them the book and say read the first paragraph and you wont give it back. I’ve only had one student ever hand me the book back and I think he only did it ’cause I said no one does!

And of course, Jack Gantos was a hoot! First one to have fun and take liberties when filling in my bag/date dues and using his alter egos and doodling! Loved it!

I capped off the day with a South Carolina librarians meet up at the Thirsty Bear and dinner at Fang with my SCASL peeps! Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

ALA You Done Me Wrong

This post is a rant, so I warn my readers now. I know you’re not supposed to write something when your angry, but I’m gonna do it anyway.

Background: I’m a member of ALA ($135); AASL ($50); and YALSA ($60) and have been for the past 13+ years. For the past few – intermittent – years I’ve attended ALA Annual (Orlando, Chicago, Anaheim, New Orleans) and I’ve paid full registration ($255 early bird rate). I’ve not really seen the benefit of full conference attendance as at sessions there have not been enough geared toward school library and/or technology to my satisfaction. Therefore, based on feedback from others who have gotten exhibits only passes and have attended with me at those above mentioned conferences, I purchased an exhibits only pass to ALA Annual for San Francisco. I have always enjoyed the exhibits and the activities there (Pop Top Stage, Graphic Novel Stage, Book Buzz Theater) and author signings (and free books) and of course the Exhibits Grand Opening.

So imagine my surprise when I get there before the opening tonight and am told by one of the “workers” that because my badge says Exhibits Only that I’m not allowed in tonight!! What! I paid for exhibits and cannot attend during exhibit hours??? WTH?

I go to the Information Booth and the lady tells us (I’m with a retired librarian who attended last year on an Exhibits Only badge and got in on Friday) that, nope, we cannot get in. Our badge isn’t good for tonight, it doesn’t start until tomorrow. That tonight is only for members (what – we are members) due to the food being served. WTH? I already ate dinner and I don’t go to the opening for the food — I go for the vendors and the books/authors/great stuff! She then said if we have a complaint, take it up with the membership booth upstairs. So we do.

We get to the membership booth and are told we weren’t the first to say this, but she can’t help us, we need to go to the Special Services booth. So we do. There the girl says she’s only been hired for the weekend and all of the on-site registration material says that Exhibits Only is for Sat-Mon entrance only. If we want to lodge a complaint or speak to someone she’d have to get her “supervisor”. She then brought over an on-site staff member. This person, who I assume works for ALA, states that the online registration states the new policy and that it was changed last year (which if it was, they fell down on the job as my colleague got in with an EO pass on Friday) and that there was nothing she could do. If we wanted to take if further we could go to the ALA on-site office and speak to someone there. By now we know they weren’t gonna do anything but give us the brush off — so we just left.

Oh, maybe I should also mention that the person behind us in line also had on an EO badge and when I said ‘Guess you’re here for the same reason’ she said ‘maybe’, and when I explained why we were she said ‘no that isn’t why I am in line. But I’ll be sure to ask because when I registered today I was told I could go into the exhibits tonight!!!’

So, we come to now. I check the ALA website and it does say on the registration rates page that Exhibits Only Badge is for Sat-Mon. However, I never saw this fine print since I didn’t read this page. I just clicked on “register now” – and I can’t see what it says under register now since I”m already registered. I know I never saw any restrictions there! I do know that the confirmation email I received does NOT state anywhere that my EO pass is only for Sat-Mon. The confirmation email shows ALL of the exhibit hall hours of operations with no restrictions to full attendees vs. exhibits only attendees.

So ALA, You Done Me Wrong! If you have an issue with an EO pass, you shouldn’t sell one. If you’re gonna place restrictions on it you should be sure to indicate those restrictions ON THE FREAKING BADGES!!!! And on the email confirmations you send to those registered. Please don’t spring it on folks who have expectations of getting into exhibits using an exhibits badge during exhibit hours when they show up on Friday’s Grand Opening! Especially when traditionally we’ve been able to attend this event.

I’m just saying. I’m not too happy with you right now. Not a great way to start off my conference experience. And I was having such a great time in San Francisco up until now.