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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

More on the Awards

InDarkness More on the Awards

In Darkness, with its Printzly bling on display!

Apologies for the radio silence! Almost as soon as the YMAs were over, it was time for an annual conference on education and technology, and I’m afraid I switched gears 100% from my book self to my tech self, and the blog was the poorer for it.

We will be taking a brief hiatus soon (and actually, readers, how long that will be is something we’d like some input on, but not today), but the past week was just a question of poorly planning for a conference that has significant impact on mine and Sarah’s lives.

With the excuses out of the way, and the high emotions hopefully down to a simmer…

A huge thank you to the RealCommittee, who read and read and read all year! As a YA librarian, as a reader, and as someone who has served on that committee (and unpaid, volunteer position, glory notwithstanding), I truly appreciate how hard they worked and how thoughtfully they deliberated. We wouldn’t be here without them!

Now, how ’bout that Printz award?? [Read more...]

All the Books!

Ok, not all the books, but a whole cluster of the titles that we wanted to cover and hadn’t gotten to yet, tidily rounded up in one post for your perusal.

In the last two weeks, I’ve read two more from the original contenda list (Pinned and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe), one Morris shortlist title (Love & Other Perishable Items) and two dark horse candidates that were brought to our attention by readers (In Darkness and Various Positions).

Sarah will be sharing a few more titles tomorrow, but sadly, neither of us managed to read Andrew Smith’s Passenger, a late addition auto-contender. It is, however, beyond a long shot for the RealPrintz — book 2 of a series, and, based on the first chapter and some student feedback, impenetrable without having read the first book.

(But if you never read the first book, The Marbury Lens, and want a really disturbing, stark, and very well-written book to read next, pick it up, because it really is a powerful read.)

We’re also sad to say that two buzz titles recommended by readers never made it onto either of our piles — Monument 14, recommended by Jen Hubert of Reading Rants, and The Opposite of Hallelujah, recommended by Kelly of Stacked. These are two well-read critics, and Jen definitely has a nose for Printz winners, so do check out their respective reviews. Whether or not either of these titles are named on Monday, they are definitely worth seeking out.

Okay, enough housekeeping! Onto the last of my 2012 reading.

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Lots of Unfinished Books

Tired 300x200 Lots of Unfinished Books

This is how I feel in December.
CC-licensed image by Flickr user Tambako the Jaguar.

One of the things that no one believes when I say it is that I read less on winter break than any other time. There’s just no time — my kid stays up too late, we’re always visiting family or being visited, and if I manage to finish a book it’s a miracle.

And actually, my kid staying up late and visitors? Those are just excuses. Because really what happens is that I burn out. For 7 out of the past 10 years, my reading life has centered on a late January deadline, and my reading selection has been dictated not by my own whims and tastes but by the necessities and vagaries of nomination lists, whether official YALSA lists or our own contender list.

And when late December comes, and all my colleagues and friends talk about all the books they plan to read over break, I feel sad. Because what I have left to read at this point is a pile of books I’m just not that excited to read — that’s how they ended up at the bottom of the pile, after all. A few late additions to the list of must-reads might spark my interest, but my reading at this point is so purpose driven that I don’t feel like I can take the time to finish anything I can’t defend as a necessary read — these days, that means anything that falls below the top 20 or so books I’ve read this year feels like gross indulgence when there are other books clamoring to be read before the YMA announcements. This year, I’d really like to have read the winner and any honor books before they are the winner or honor books!

Mind you, I’m not complaining — all those committees were AMAZING experiences, and Someday is a dream come true. But everyone I know who has served on a selection or award committee has felt this burnout. And it probably colors how I read books that I come to for the first time this late in the award season, and certainly is one of the hazards of committee work.

[Read more...]