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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

The List, Revisited (and Shorter!), Plus Thoughts on Other Lists

pen and list closeup 300x300 The List, Revisited (and Shorter!), Plus Thoughts on Other Lists

Actually an order list, but a lists is a list, right? Also, for any fellow stationery geeks: that’s a Nemosine Singularity pen (filled with Noodler’s Squeteague and tuned by me) on a Levenger Circa notebook. If you’re going to make lists you might as well enjoy yourself.

Oh lists, we love you so!

And it’s open season for year end lists — PW’s early entry was followed by SLJ, and then Kirkus, NPR, the New York Times, and The Horn Book all joined the fray. Plus the Morris and YA Excellence in Nonfiction finalists (both YALSA awards, like the Printz) were made public. SO MUCH DATA. It’s amazing. So let’s take a look, crunch some numbers, and revisit what actually seem to be the real (for a purely speculative value of real) contenders of the year.

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Oh! Oh! List Season Has Begun!

PW Best Books 2014 cover 225x300 Oh! Oh! List Season Has Begun!I love me some year end lists. Sometimes they affirm, sometimes they challenge and sometimes they bring me totally new books that I would have otherwise missed. And that’s even before we get to the comparing lists stage of things.

First up, released this weekend, we have the Publisher’s Weekly lists, which wins for affirming — almost all of these are books we’d put on our longlist — but also has two surprises.

Because one list doesn’t give us enough to start drawing big picture conclusions, I’m going to look at this in the really narrow lens of PW’s YA list vs Someday’s longlist. It’s a surprisingly good match. [Read more...]

Best of…

We’re at the time of year when every day seems to bring us a new list — the past 24 hours alone saw Horn Book’s Fanfare, NPR’s (new! fun!) Book Concierge, and the Morris Award shortlist.

And while I’m not a data junkie, I like lists. I like cross-referencing, comparing, seeing how the end-of-year lists stack up against our longlist and my own personal favorites, and looking for weird correlations, like the way Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly are often on the same page.

So read on for what my quick and dirty look through a pile of lists tells me about the books of 2013, as always through our narrow lens of Printz speculation.

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Another Year-End List, with STATS!

my stats Another Year End List, with STATS!

This is how I do statistical analysis. There's a better way, right?

The Kirkus list posted yesterday, and it’s a whopper: a full 100 books.

Happily, since we’re talking 100, I can do some statistical analysis!

We had 42% of the books on the Kirkus list on our own contender list from the beginning — that’s not yet half, but more than a third, which is not a bad overlap.

(I’m not listing all 42 titles, though.)

An additional 7% of the list are on our unofficial list of books we will cover if we can get them read in time — two for their Morris nods (Wonder Show and Love and Other Perishable Items), one for multiple Pyrite write-ins (In Darkness), and four because we’ve been hearing things (See You at Harry’s, Enchanted, although I started that and felt a bit meh, The Broken Lands, and Vessel).

We’re also adding two more to our unofficial list now, since Kirkus marks the second year-end recognition for Drama (also on the PW list) and My Name is Parvana (also on the SLJ list).

A further 11% of the list are books that one or more of us have already read and didn’t think rated a post. We don’t disagree that that these are (or at least could be argued as being) in the top 100 of the year, but we felt these were not close enough to the top of the pile to merit the extra time. That said, they might find their way into a post eventually, time permitting.

Of the remaining 38%, I see a fair number of series books, many of them books with a strong fan base but which no one is reading except as part of the larger body of work and which, statistically speaking, are such Printz longshots that they aren’t worth covering here. We’ll call the rest dark horses, and see if we see them again or if they are just outliers.

Thoughts?

What a Day!

Stars What a Day!

CC-licensed image "How Many Stars" by Flickr user cobalt123

Today we had not one but two great lists (I’d like to say “that go great together,” but actually there is zero overlap).

First, the morning greeted me with the Morris shortlist, which I wasn’t expecting until Monday, and settled the pesky question of whether Seraphina counts as a debut. (It does, clearly, since it made the shortlist.) Of the other four titles, we’ve talked about After the Snow and The Miseducation of Cameron Post (although we didn’t point to either of these as books we were guessing we’d see on the Morris list, which I find interesting. Did we not realize they were debuts? Hmmm.) Wondershow I started earlier in the year but thought was so clearly a middle grade novel that I put it down about a third of the way in, so I am startled to see it here. But I guess it counts as young YA (that pesky crossover 10-14 range). So now I’ll need to revisit it. And the fifth book? Love and Other Perishable Items, by Laura Buzo? Yeah, never seen it! This one was totally under my radar, although it turns out Kelly of Stacked is a big fan, so now I am totally wanting to read it! Sadly, it’s not even out until next week, and I don’t have an ARC, so does someone have a copy to loan me??

Then, just to make the day even more full of listy goodness, midday-ish brought us The Horn Book Fanfare. I like how short and sweet this list is. It features everybody’s favorite, The Fault in Our Stars, as well as Pyrite nominees The Brides of Rollrock Island and Code Name Verity. In addition, a few other contenders made it — My Book of Life by Angel (which I’ll be posting in the next day or two, and is beautiful but, I thought, flawed), No Crystal Stair, A Certain October, and Dodger (perfect timing as we’ve been watching the tv miniseries of Going Postal in my house, and just last night I watched Sir Terry’s cameo as a postmaster. It’s been a pterrific week!)

I’m hoping to consult Jen’s fantastic records next week and start looking at the trends so far, but in the meantime, I have reviews to write! And we are woefully behind our schedule! We’re hoping to get caught up soon with the rest of the Q3 and 4 books.