Books Read in 2008
Cybils Shortlists Are Up! Happy New Year!

Wednesday Afternoon Visits: New Year's Eve Edition

_IGP0749W Happy New Year to all! (Photo by Paul Anderson, shared at MorgueFile, and technically from July 4th, but relevant to today) It's been another great year of blogging, one during which many new authors and parents and teachers and librarians and book fans joined the Kidlitosphere. I'm back from a densely-packed nine-day trip to Boston (spending Christmas with the families), and have been slowly catching up on the doings of the Kidlitosphere. Thank goodness this is a relatively slow time on the blogs! Still, I have a few things to share with you.

Over at the NCFL Literacy Now blog, Meg Ivey is collecting family literacy resolutions. She says: "It’s that time of the year when everyone is making positive changes in their lives. But instead of resolving to eat fewer desserts or exercise more, how about making a family literacy resolution? ...Whatever your resolution is, please let me know!". Meanwhile, at The Tiger's Bookshelf, Janet asks that people remember to give the gift of reading for the New Year. She says: "Please think of how different would be without the joy of reading, and think of how you can be sure that somewhere, somehow, a child will learn to experience that same joy." I, naturally, agree with them both.

Another post that I enjoyed was by Susan from Wizard's Wireless, about "how to write a book by your favorite author in ten steps or less." She outlines, for example, the structure found in most of the Harry Potter books (with a few admitted deviations), concluding with "Harry deep in thought about whatever happened during the climax, takes the train home and dreads another summer with the Dursleys." Then she moves on to other favorite authors who have relatively predictable story structures.

My friend Cory emailed me the other day about a New York Times story by David Streitfeld on the changes in the book publishing industry caused by people buying deeply discounted used books on the Internet. Walter Minkel comments on the same article, and on what he sees as the future of book publishing, at The Monkey Speaks. For example, he thinks that in the future "We’re much more likely to be reading books from a mobile phone than from specialized e-book-reader devices like the “Readius”. Interesting stuff all around. I'm a die-hard fan of the printed book, but I do agree that a higher percentage of electronic reading is coming, whether we like it or not...

Tons of people are publishing their end of the year reading lists, "best of 2008" lists, and/or reading resolutions for 2009. There are far too many to link to (though a few books have been popping up enough to convince me to read them, like The Knife of Never Letting Go). But do check out this post at Fuse #8 for a link to a site that Jim Averbeck set up for tracking people's mock Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz lists. I also especially enjoyed Sarah Miller's "completely subjective, unordered, and unorthodox mish-mash of my various favorites from 2008", featuring categories like "Book I would feel remiss if I didn't mention" and "Book that prompted the most sniggering". Fun stuff!I also found that Jackie Parker's list, for Readergirlz, of ten "best girl-power books that we read this year, regardless of copyright date" really resonated with me. Speaking of Readergirlz, congratulations to the newest postergirl, Shelf Elf. 

Another year-end post that I enjoyed was Just One More Book's 500th podcast, in which Andrea and Mark talk with their daughters, Lucy (9) and Bayla (7) about their thoughts on favorite chapter books read during 2008. It's a true pleasure to hear from two young girls who so clearly love and appreciate books, including remarks like "Eva Ibbotson usually writes about orphans, that is something I've noticed" and "I would really really love to read it" on the prospect for a third Penderwick title. Great stuff! Here's wishing JOMB 500 more posts.

Congratulations, also to Esme Raji Codell for her 200th post at Planet Esme. She shares her personal appreciation for the book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (which I have to admit I don't think I've ever read, though clearly I should). And, congratulations to Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery. Their book Two Bobbies was recently featured on NPR's All Things Considered. Also, happy one year blogaversary to Trevor Cairney for Literacy, families and learning.

In sadder news, the Disco Mermaids are signing off. Oh, they'll each have their own blogs, but it won't be quite the same... Do check out their final post, though.

Award_butterfly And finally, I received a couple of nice compliments for my blog this week (in addition to the many wonderful comments from the recent carnival/birthday post). First, Nadine Warner from Kiddos and Books gave me a Butterfly Award, for having a "cool" blog. She did accuse me of being a robot, but trust me, it was a compliment. I actually passed along this award a while back, so I won't do it again, but it definitely brightened my Christmas weekend. And then Donalyn Miller, the Book Whisperer, named my blog as one of her Reading Rabbit Holes, saying: "I have some gems in the rabbit hole—Websites that make my eyes glaze over with reading bliss, and surprisingly, enhance my classroom instruction and my conversations with students about books." It's an honor to be one of Donalyn's rabbit holes.

And that's it for today. I look forward to reading many more of your posts in 2009. Happy New Year to all!! And stay tuned for the Cybils short lists announcements tomorrow!