ALA Midwinter-Where to Find Me and What I’m Looking Forward To

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So, in a few days I’ll be heading to Chicago for the American Library Association’s (ALA) Midwinter Meeting (sidenote to conference coordinators: why can’t the midwinter events be in WARM places?!?)  Although I’m not really looking forward to the cold (at least it won’t be snowing, right?), I am looking forward to connecting with librarian friends, attending some interesting sessions, and, of course, getting my hands on some ARCS of upcoming titles (lucky for me, this is both a professional AND personal benefit).

If you are also going to be in Chicago this weekend, here are some places you might find me:

ERT/Booklist Author Forum-I know graphic novels are super popular and a great way to get kids reading, but I still don’t feel that confident about developing a great graphic novel collection, so I’m looking forward to learning even more about them during this session.

ALA Masters Series-Start a Revolution: Stop Acting Like a Library-While I’m still a firm believer in libraries as places to find books, I also see libraries as community centers, and as such they need to meet their communities’ needs, which include more than just books.  So it will be interesting to hear what other libraries have done/are doing to innovate and provide good services for their patrons.

Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Feedback Session-This is my first Midwinter meeting, so it’s my first opportunity to attend one of these feedback sessions, but I’ve heard in years past that it’s great to hear what teens have to say about books, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Women In Geekdom: How to Reach Out to the Nerds in Your Community-This sounds like a fun exploration of pop culture as well as a way to steal some cool programming ideas from great librarians.  Plus I love the focus on women-there are plenty of female nerds who can see the library as a place for them.

YA Smackdown-Although I don’t work in a public library, I do work with teens, and I think this will be a great opportunity to learn from and share with some great librarians.

ALA Youth Media Awards-So excited to get to go to the YMAs in person instead of watching the webcast this year!

These are just a few of the sessions I’m hoping to attend, in addition to a couple of the Book Buzz Theater events.  I’ll also be spending a fair amount of time in the exhibit hall, checking out what upcoming titles publishers are promoting. Here are a few of the books I’m really hoping to find at the conference:

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Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen-Sarah Dessen is an auto-read for me; her characters are always so interesting and compelling, and this book sounds like it’s going to be as good as the rest.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas-While I would prefer the next installment of the Throne of Glass series, because I NEED TO KNOW what happens, this new series sounds equally intriguing (and swoony).

Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway-This book has an interesting concept, and I LOVED the Also Known As books, so I’m excited to read more from Robin Benway.

Tonight the Streets are Ours by Leila Sales-Frankly, the concept of this one is a tiny bit creepy to me, but I’ve loved the author’s previous books, so I want to give it a shot.

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller– Trish Doller is SO great.  Plus I love road trip books, and this one has a very interesting twist to it.

Plus my super long shot because from the sounds of Twitter she’s still editing but I really, really, really want it book: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han- I’ve read all of Jenny Han’s books, and enjoyed them all, but To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was, far and away, her best work.  and I need to know what happens next.

Are you going to be at ALA Midwinter?  What are you looking forward to?  What books are you excited to get your hands on?

2014 End of Year Book Survey

Hello 2015.  Another year of reading is in the books, and, although I have been slacking on keeping track of what I read on this blog, I do like reflecting on my reading with this survey created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner (I did this for my 2012 reading, but skipped 2013).  So, my 2014 in reading looked a little like this:

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Number Of Books You Read: 170
Number of Re-Reads: 8
Genre You Read The Most From: this was definitely the year of contemporary realistic fiction for me

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1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

Well, I just spent like 15 minutes just staring at the books I read this year, because it’s almost impossible to make this decision…the books I loved this year all have different elements.  So I’m just going to do a top 3 (and possibly later go back and do a top books of 2014 post…?):

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1. Breakfast Served Anytime, by Sarah Combs

2. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han

3. The Winner’s Curse, by Marie Rutkowski

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Sadly, I really did not love We Were Liars.  My love for The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks knows no bounds, so I was really looking forward to a new E. Lockhart novel, but this one just wasn’t a great read for me.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

I guess I’m most surprised by Love Letters to the Dead, by Ava Dellaira.  I’m surprised it’s ended up on so many favorite lists, when I found it to be fairly derivative and uninspired.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

Although I didn’t read them this year, I continue to recommend a trio of YA books I think all people should read:

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart

The Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson

The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

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Best Series Started: I LOVED The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkowski, and am excited to read the sequel very soon!

Best Sequel: I am a total Elizabeth Eulberg fangirl, and it was so amazing to have a sequel to The Lonely Hearts ClubWe Can Work It Out was great.

Best Series Ender:  While I don’t think it was my favorite of the series, Dreams of Gods & Monsters was an interesting series end.  I will certainly miss Laini Taylor’s gorgeous writing and a lot of the characters in this series.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

I think I have to go with Kasie West.  I read 3 of her books this year, and they were all read-in-one-sitting books for me.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Etiquette & Espionage and the others in the Finishing School series by Gail Carriger.  I never thought steampunk would be for me, but once I got into them I really loved them.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

For me, this is a tie between Free to Fall by Lauren Miller and Love is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson.  In both of these books, I kept turning the pages because I had to know what happened next.

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

The Harry Potter series.  Although I like to reread, there are so many new books to read that I often don’t do that much of it, but I generally reread Harry Potter every year.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

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11. Most memorable character of 2014?

Sophronia (and her friends) from the Finishing School series.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

 Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

 Me Before You by JoJo Moyes.  After reading this, I thought (and continue to think) a lot about the ending of the book, what I would choose if I were in that situation, quality of life, etc.  It’s definitely stuck with me.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

ifistayIf I Stay never appealed to me; I didn’t love the premise and thought it would just be really hard to read.  but after Just One Day and Just One Year, I wanted more Gayle Forman in my life, and I had picked it up at a library book sale, so I decided to just dive in.  And, as usual, Gayle didn’t disappoint-I ended up loving it.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

I don’t really keep track of quotes I like, so sadly, I don’t have anything for this one.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2014?

Shortest: Just One Night by Gayle Forman

Longest:  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

All Fall Down by Ally Carter.  While I didn’t love the book, I also didn’t expect the ending to happen the way it did.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Paige and Max from The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Harry, Ron, and Hermione.  Always (yes, I know part of that becomes romantic.  but whatever, they were friends first).

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

I don’t get a lot of peer pressure to read books (I’m usually the one doing the pressuring), but I do read a lot based on book blogs I read, so I guess the best thing I read based on good reviews was the Legend trilogy by Marie Lu.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Ziri from Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor (I guess technically he became a crush when I read Days of Blood and Starlight, but I didn’t do this survey last year, so I’m claiming him for this year).

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

 No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

 The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkowski

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

 To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes.  All the tears.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

I haven’t heard a ton of people talking about Breakfast Served Anytime by Sarah Combs, but I really, really loved this book.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Me Before You, again.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott (and pretty much all other books where the parents need some sense knocked into them)

Well, there you have it, my year in books.  I am hoping 2015 will be an even better year of reading (in which I finally reach my Goodreads goal), and maybe even one with more blogging, as well.  Happy new year and happy reading to you all.