Friday, January 20, 2012

A WINNER -- Plus a Resolution That May Surprise You!

The winner of the arc of The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges, according to is:


YAY!  Congrats, Katia!  Expect an email from me asking for your mailing address.

*  *  *  *  *

I've noticed a lot of posts this month in which book bloggers talk about their New Year's Resolutions to read more in 2012 than they did in 2011.

Well, I hereby resolve... 

to read fewer books.  


Why?  Because I broke my own record.  In 2008 I read 101 books.  In 2009, I read 107 books.  In 2010, I read 105 books.  But in 2011, I managed to read a whopping 110 books.  I also blogged more often in 2011 (86 posts) than I did in 2010 (56 posts) and finally settled on a regular schedule of Mondays and Fridays (with occasional special posts popping up).

But did I meet my writing goals?

In short:  No.

I failed to finish the rough draft of my second MG novel by Dec 1, 2011.  I didn't even finish it by Dec 31, 2011.  I've now finished it (yay!), but we're well into January 2012.  And I haven't even started revising my first novel or my second, so I'm still too far away from my original plan of querying agents beginning in February.  I'll have to put it off until at least April at this rate!  Grrr...  So while book bloggers all over the blogosphere are resolving to read more and write more, I'm going to try to write and revise more, but spend less time reading.  I think 80 to 90 books a year is a fine number to aim for.  If I read more, great.  And if I don't, that's also fine.  I'll miss keeping up with all the latest releases, but I'll get there eventually.

To recap my reading list from 2011 (and keep in mind most of these are advanced reading copies from the publisher):

In January, I read:
1. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate -- Jacqueline Kelly
2. Words in the Dust -- Trent Reedy
3. Darkest Mercy -- Melissa Marr
4. Ship Breaker -- Paolo Bacigalupi
5. Cliff Hanger: Mysteries in Our National Parks -- Gloria Skurzynski
6. Season of Secrets -- Sally Nichols
7. The Great Wall of Lucy Wu -- Wendy Wan-Long Shang
8. An Abundance of Katherines -- John Green
9. All You Get is Me -- Yvonne Prinz
10. Drought -- Pam Bachorz
11. See What I See -- Gloria Whelan

In February, I read:
12. Cloaked -- Alex Flinn
13.The Wonder of Charlie Anne -- Kimberly Newton Fusco
14. Tending to Grace -- Kimberly Newton Fusco
15. The Last Sacrifice -- Richelle Mead
16. What Happened to Goodbye -- Sarah Dessen
17. Awaken -- Katie Kacvinsky
18. Strings Attached -- Judy Blundell
19. Like Mandarin -- Kirsten Hubbard
20. Small as an Elephant -- Jennifer Richard Jacobson
21. Wither -- Lauren DeStefano
22. Turtle in Paradise -- Jennifer Holm

Here's what I read in March:
23. The Trouble with Chickens -- Doreen Cronin
24. That Girl Lucy Moon -- Timberlake
25. Warp Speed -- Lisa Yee
26. Desires of the Dead -- Kimberly Derting
27. Out of the Dust -- Karen Hesse
28. Flip -- Martyn Bedford
29. The Great Hamster Massacre -- Katie Davies
30. The Last Little Blue Envelope -- Maureen Johnson
31. Sparrow Road -- Sheila O'Connor
32. Divergent -- Veronica Roth
33. Flutter -- Erin Moulton
34. The Resisters -- Eric Nylund

In April, I read:
35. My Not-So-Still Life -- Liz Gallagher
36. You'll Like it Here (Everybody Does) -- Ruth White
37. Beauty Queens -- Libba Bray
38. Tighter -- Adele Griffin
39. A Tale of Two Castles -- Gail Carson Levine
40. Daddy Long Legs -- Jean Webster
41. The Lemonade Crime -- Jacqueline Davies
42. The Penderwicks at Point Mouette -- Jeanne Birdsall
43. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda -- Tom Angleberger

 Here's what I read in May:
44. Dogsled Dreams -- Terry Lynn Johson (I won the book from Natalie Aguirre)
45. Brimstone Key - Derek Benz and J.S. Lewis
46. Liar Society -- Lisa and Laura Roecker
47. Possession -- Elana Johnson
48. Sharks and Boys -- Kristen Tracy
49. The Friendship Doll -- Kirby Larson
50. The Name of the Star -- Maureen Johnson
51. Second Fiddle -- Rosanne Parry (again, won from Natalie!)

And in June:
52. Bigger Than a Breadbox -- Laurel Snyder
53. 8th Grade Super Zero -- Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (free copy from the author! Thanks, Bemi!)
54. The Summer I Learned to Fly -- Dana Reinhardt
55. The Chronicles of Harris Burdick -- Van Allsburg, etc
56. Relic Master -- Catherine Fisher
57. Juniper Berry -- M. P. Kozlowski
58. The Emerald Atlas -- John Stephens

In July I read these books:
59. Forever -- Maggie Stiefvater
60. The Centaur's Daughter -- Ellen Jensen Abbott
61. The Help --  Kathryn Stockett (paperback purchased for vacation reading)
62.  a manuscript of a YA novel by one of my CPs
63. City of Lies -- Lian Tanner
64. Cold Kiss -- Amy Garvey

In August I read:
65. The Elegance of the Hedgehog -- Muriel Barberry (paperback purchased for vacation reading)
66. Supernaturally -- Kiersten White
67. Mostly True Story of Jack -- Kelly Barnhill
68. The Future of Us -- Jay Asher/Carolyn Mackler
69. A Need So Beautiful -- Suzanne Young
70. Everybody Sees the Ants -- A. S. King
71. The Fox Inheritance -- Mary Pearson
72. Bad Taste in Boys -- Carrie Harris
73. 13 Gifts -- Wendy Mass

Here's what I read in September:
74. Imaginary Girls -- Nova Ren Suma
75. Secrets at Sea -- Richard Peck
76. The Beginning of After -- Jennifer Castle
77. Starstruck -- Cyn Balog
78. Year Without Autumn -- Liz Kessler
79. The Wave -- Todd Strasser (old paperback)
80. Pie -- Sarah Weeks
81. Island's End -- Padma Venkatraman
82. Impulse -- Ellen Hopkins (paperback I purchased)
83. Goliath -- Scott Westerfeld

October's reads:
84. Hound Dog True -- Linda Urban
85. Crossed -- Ally Condie
86. Invisible Inkling -- Emily Jenkins
87. Legend -- Marie Lu
88. The Lost Songs -- Caroline B. Cooney
89. May B -- Caroline Starr Rose
90. Cracked -- K.M. Walton
91. Winterling -- Sarah Prineas
92. Under the Never Sky -- Veronica Rossi
93. Darkfall -- Janice Hardy
94. Liesl & Po -- Lauren Oliver
95. Darth Paper Strikes Back -- Tom Angleberger
96. Variant -- Robison Wells

And now for November:
97. Scorpio Races -- Maggie Stiefvater
98. Daughter of Smoke and Bone -- Laini Taylor
99.  Unraveling -- Elizabeth Norris
100. Becoming Naomi Leon -- Pam Munoz Ryan
101. Try Not to Breathe -- Jennifer R. Hubbard
102. Diary of a Wimpy Kid #6 Cabin Fever -- Jeff Kinney
103. The Great Rabbit Rescue -- Katie Davies
104. The Cabinet of Earths -- Anne Nesbet
105. The Catastrophic History of You and Me - Jess Rothenberg
106.  Partials -- Dan Wells

Finally, in December I managed to read a few books:
107. Don't Expect Magic -- Kathy McCullough
108. The Mighty Miss Malone -- Christopher Paul Curtis
109. Tunnel Vision -- Susan Shaw
110.  Glory Be -- Augusta Scattergood

So I topped my previous record, but at what cost?

Do you keep a reading list? And if you're a writer, do you ever feel you're spending too much time reading (or blogging or tweeting...) and not enough time writing?

If you've read this far, you've reached the best part!  You can watch what happens in a bookstore after hours in this clever and imaginative video made by a Toronto bookshop owner.  


  1. I hope to read more. I'm so slow. Yeah for your goals and finishing. I think all our projections to query get pushed. That's probably when I'm going to query too. I have line edits and it's taking me forever. Can't wait to read my TBR list is so long. :) Thanks.

  2. Read less. I love that, Joanne. ANd the best to you with your writing goals! We've got some of the same ones this year.

  3. I do keep a reading list too. I try to put agent & publisher info with it. I read 70-75 books last year. I'm not going to read less because I love it. But you're way ahead of me.

    But I do need to cut down on blogging so I write more. So I can relate.

  4. Loved the video! I have the same problem. Blogging has taken up time I shouldn't have let it. I've decided not to put so much pressure on myself to get all my reading done for reviews. If I don't have a book to review on a week, then that's okay, since writing is way more important (at least to me in my life.) Great goals and good luck with them!

  5. Hi Christine. Hope you like those books. Don't worry about being a slow reader. Sometimes I think I should read more slowly to savor the books. And I'll bet you'll be ready to query before I am.

    Barbara, all the best to you too. We can cheer each other on.

    Natalie -- Yay for reading lists! And 75 books is impressive, considering everything else you do!

    Hi Jennifer. Yeah, isn't that an adorable video? I figured mostly everyone's seen it by now, but I liked the idea of saving it for all time on my blog. And great idea not to put so much pressure on yourself. Sometimes I review an older book that I read years ago to give myself a break.

  6. I'm trying to read and blog less this year for the same reason. I hope you reach your writing goals. :o)

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  8. Joanne,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for my first blog book win EVER!
    And a big huge "yay" for your new writing goals. For us writers, reading stuff, old and new, good and bad is so so so important, as it feeds our own writing in most wonderful and unexpected ways. But what's the point if there is no time to do any actual writing??

    Maybe you had to have gone through this intense reading and blogging spree. That feeding period, like a caterpillar. And now it's time to spread your wings!
    Go for it, Joanne.

  9. My word, Joanne, but you've read a lot of books! I don't keep a list, but I have a gut feeling I've read more books lately than I have in the past. Very imprecise, but there it is.

  10. Thank you, Myrna. I hope you do too!

    Yay, Katia! So glad I could be the one to present you with your first blog book win. Excellent point about having time to do the actual writing. And thank you for that lovely analogy.

    Kim, it's fine if you don't keep a list. As long as you're reading! Personally, I love being able to look back at the titles of books I read because I fear without the list I'd forget some of them!

  11. I think this is a great goal. You blow us all out of the water with your reading numbers!

    1. Hi, Katharine. Actually, there are plenty of book bloggers out there who read way more than I do! I don't know how they have time to do anything else. I happened on someone's blog last week and she was talking about reading 200 or 300 books a year! Egad!

  12. Wow! 110 books??? That is really impressive!

    1. Thanks, Corey. Keep in mind many of them are MG novels, which are not exactly lengthy. I don't even count all the picture books I read or the list would be way longer!


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