Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Reading Challenges

It's almost 2012! I can't believe it. It has been such a fun year of blogging. Last week I reviewed the challenges I did in 2011 but now it's time for us to think about our 2012 challenges!

Kellee has decided on a bunch of challenges and I'm going to tag along on a few of them.
I'll let her tell you about them! Here's Kellee:

Below are the 5 challenges that I am going to participate in during 2012.
This is my first year participating in blog reading challenges (and I think I went majorly overboard) and I am very excited!!!

Hosted by Bonnie of Bookish Adour
For this challenge you can read Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic or Ecotopia books.
Level: Contagion- Choose 15 books to read
1. Fever by Lauren DeStefano
2. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
3. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
4. The Death Cure by James Dashner
5. Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi
6. Bumped by Megan McCafferty 
7. Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin 
8. Legend by Marie Lu 
9. Crossed by Ally Condie
10. The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann
11. Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn
12. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
13. Dark Falls by Kat Falls
14. All of These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
15. The Kill Order by James Dashner
Alternates: 
Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
Shadows by Ilsa Bick
Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky
A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Unwholly by Neal Shusterman
Son by Lois Lowry 
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
Outpost by Ann Aguirre

Hosted by Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
For The Eclectic Reader 2012 Challenge I am challenging myself to 
read 12 books throughout the year from 12 different genres. 

Although I usually hit most of these genres, 
the literary fiction one and classics will definitely push me.  

The genres are: 
1. Literary Fiction
2. Crime/Mystery Fiction
3. Romantic Fiction
4. Historical Fiction
5. Young Adult
6. Fantasy
7. Science Fiction
8. Non Fiction
9. Horror
10. Thriller Suspense
11. Classic
12. Your Favorite Genre (Dystopian!)

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Hosted by Ashley at Basically Amazing Books & Jacinda at The Reading Housewives
With this challenge you get to set your own goal and I am going to go with planning on
reading 10 award winning books this year.  I'm not going to plan, though,
because many of them will probably be award winners from this year.

Once again I'll be participating in the Goodread's reading challenge where I'll challenge myself to read even more than this year.  I set my goal at 255 for this year and then read over 270 books. For 2012, I'll set my goal at 275 and hope that I will hit it and go over like this year.  

Hosted by Carolyn and Laura at Book Chick City
This one is self explanatory.  The 100 cannot include audio books or nonfiction.
As you can see from the GoodReads challenge, I aiming to read 275 books in 2012,
so at least 100 should definitely fit this challenge.


I am also going to start a couple of multi-year (possibly many years) challenges.



Mr. Schu at Watch. Connect. Read. and Mr. Sharp at SharpRead have started a stress free Newbery Medal Reading Challenge (#nerdbery). I am challenging myself to read all of the Newbery Medal winners.  I don't know how long this will take, I don't know if I'll do them in order and I don't know if I'll reread the 35 I've read, but I am accepting the challenge.


Along the same lines, Anna at A to Z Library and Laura at LibLaura5 are also doing #nerdcott which is reading all of the Caldecott winners (and honors; though I am only going to do the winners).  I will jump into this one too, but with the same promise as #nerdbery: I don't know how long this will take, I don't know if I'll do them in order and I don't know if I'll reread the ones I've read, but I am taking on this challenge.

Lastly, Kathy at The Brain Lair is challenging herself to read all of the Printz winners and honors, thus crowning #nerdprintz.  Again, who knows how long it will take, etc. etc., but I am jumping in.


Check out the Goodreads lists for each:
#nerdbery list
#nerdcott list
#nerdprintz list

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Kellee really chose some great challenges! I really like the idea of the Eclectic Reader Challenge...except the horror and suspense/thriller one have me hesitant. I know that I really cannot handle those kinds of reads so I'm not committing to that one. I am, however, definitely doing the GoodReads challenge to read more in 2012 than I read in 2011. That was a goal I set for myself in 2011 and I definitely want to do that again. I did read a ton in 2011 but that's okay, it's a perfect goal for me.

In 2011, I wanted to read more non-fiction because I didn't feel like I read enough non-fiction. This year, for the same rational, I'm choosing to do the Fearless Poetry and Exploration Challenge by Savvy Verse and Wit. I only have to read 2 books of poetry which I don't think will be a problem at all. I will probably read poetry from somewhere in children's literature. And especially novels in verse.

I love audiobooks and listen to them on my long drive to and from work so I am so excited about the 2012 Young Adult Audiobook Challenge hosted by A Book and a Latte! I shouldn't have a problem listening to 12 audiobooks throughout the year but I met a representative for Books on Tape at NCTE and realized I need to make sure to share that I've listened to a book and to incorporate a review of the audiobook aspect of my experience. For me this challenge is about reviewing audiobooks that I read as much as it is about listening to the audiobooks. I already have a great line up ready to go!

What challenges have you signed up for in 2012?
We look forward to another great year of reading and sharing books!

 and

Friday, December 30, 2011

Kellee's 42 (+15) Best Books of 2011

2011 was a fabulous year.  I joined Jen here on Teach Mentor Texts, my Twitter PLN has grown tremendously and I was lucky enough to be able to go to NCTE/ALAN again.   So, to celebrate the year I wanted to do a best of 2011 post.  

Now, this is one of the hardest posts that I have ever done.  I've started 4 times and just could not figure out how I wanted to share my best of as there were so many great books this year.  But, finally, I decided on a Oscar-esque type best of list with many different categories.  

So *drum roll* here is my list:

Young Adult

Best YA Realistic Fiction Novel of 2011
Shine
Shine by Lauren Myracle

Best YA Sci-Fi Novel of 2011
Divergent (Divergent, #1)   Awaken (Awaken, #1)   Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)   Delirium (Delirium, #1)   Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)  Enclave (Razorland, #1)
Divergent by Veronica Roth 
Runner ups: All of the other dystopian novels of 2011 I've enjoyed- Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky, 
Wither by Lauren DeStefano, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, Across the Universe by Beth Revis, 
Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Best YA Novel in Verse of 2011
The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic   Under the Mesquite   Perfect (Impulse, #2)
Runner ups: Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Perfect by Ellen Hopkins

Best YA Fantasy Novel of 2011
A Monster Calls
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Best YA Horror Novel of 2011
Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)   Ashes (Ashes Trilogy, #1)
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Runner up: Ashes by Ilsa Bick

Best YA Humor Novel of 2011
Beauty Queens
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (though it was scarily serious as well as hilarious.)

Best YA Graphic Novel of 2011
Anya's Ghost   Page by Paige
Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Runner up: Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge

Best YA Historical Fiction Novel of 2011
Forge (Seeds of America, #2)
Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson

Best YA Sequel of 2011
Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)
Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Best YA Survival Novel of 2011
Lost in the River of Grass

Middle Grade

Best MG Realistic Fiction Novel of 2011
   Okay for Now
Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt

Best MG Fantasy Novel of 2011
Bigger than a Bread Box   Breadcrumbs
Bigger than a Bread Box by Laurel Snyder 
Runner up: Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

Best MG Historical Fiction Novel of 2011
Wonderstruck   Woods Runner
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick 
Runner up: Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen

Best Overlooked MG Novel of 2011
Down the Mysterly River
Under the Mysterly River by Bill Willingham

Best MG Picture Book of 2011
I Want My Hat Back
I Want my Hat Back by Jon Klassen

Best MG Humor Novel of 2011
Darth Paper Strikes Back (Origami Yoda #2)
Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger

Best MG Graphic Novel of 2011
Squish: Super Amoeba (Squish, #1)   Squish: Brave New Pond (Squish, #2)
Squish #1 & #2 by Matt and Jenni Holm

Children's & Picture Books

Best Children's Chapter Book of 2011
Marty McGuire (Marty McGuire #1)   Frankie Pickle and the Mathematical Menace
Marty McGuire by Kate Messner
Runner up: Frankie Pickle and the Mathematical Menace by Eric Wight

Best Fiction Picture Book of 2011
Should I Share My Ice Cream?  Happy Pig Day!   I Broke My Trunk!    Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator!
Should I Share my Ice Cream? by Mo Willems
Runner ups: Happy Pig Day! I Broke my Trunk! & Horray for Amanda and her Alligator! by Mo Willems

Best Nonfiction Picture Book of 2011
Can We Save the Tiger?   Seabird in the Forest
Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins 
Runner up: Seabird in the Forest by Joan Dunning

Miscellaneous

Best Final Book of a Trilogy of 2011
Everfound (Skinjacker, #3)   The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #3)
Everfound by Neal Shusterman
Runner up: The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

Best Finale Book of a Series of 2011
Scorpia Rising (Alex Rider #9)
Scorpia Rising by Anthony Horowitz

Best Audio Book of 2011
The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning #1)   Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2)
The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens, narrated by Jim Dale
Runner up: Red Glove by Holly Black, narrated by Jesse Eisenberg

Read this year, but not published in 2011

Top 15 Novels/Books I Read in 2011 (that aren't from 2011) in no particular order
Sticky Burr: Adventures in Burrwood Forest (Sticky Burr #1)Of Thee I Sing: A Letter To My DaughtersBruiserThe OdysseyAnna and the French KissA Tale Dark and GrimmMockingbirdSugar and Ice
Luka and the Fire of LifeOut of My MindChalkThe Kissing HandThe Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques CousteauThirteen Reasons WhyTiger Eyes (Mass Market Paperback)

Sticky Burr #1 by John Lechner
Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama
Bruiser by Neal Shusterman
The Odyssey Graphic Novel by Gareth Hinds
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner
Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Chalk by Bill Thomson
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume

I hope you enjoyed my best books of 2011 list!
What was your favorite book from this year? 

Happy new year! 

Here's to another year of great books, lots of reading and fabulous friends,