366 Books – First Update

It’s 20 days since I woke up on New Years Day and decided (a little impulsively) to set myself a challenge – to read 366 books this year (you can read my initial post on this here). So I thought it might be time for an update.

So far, I’m right on track – I’ve managed 20 books in 20 days. This is my list so far:

1. Straight Line to My Heart Bill Condon Allen & Unwin Young Adult
2. Only Ever Always Penni Russon Allen & Unwin Young Adult
3. Harry’s War John Heffernan Omnibus Children’s
4. Just Like That Janet Poole Mountain View Self Help
5. Shadrach Meindert Dejong Harper Trophy Children’s
6. Nanberry Jackie French Angus&Robertson Young Adult
7. Extinction 2 Lizzie Wilcock Scholastic Young Adult
8. The Fitlh Licker Cristy Burne Frances Lincoln Children’s
9. Crow Country Kate Constable Allen & Unwin Young Adult
10. Note on the Door Lorraine Marwood Walker Children’s/Poetry
11. The Golden Door Emily Rodda Scholastic Children’s
12. Lily Gets Her Wings Elizabeth Pulford Scholastic Children’s
13. Animal People Charlotte Wood Allen & Unwin Contemporary Adult
14.  Lily Has a Secret Elizabeth Pulford Scholastic Children’s
15. Button Boy Rebecca Young & Sue deGennaro Scholastic Picture Book
16. I Heart You, You Haunt Me Lisa Schroeder Simon Pulse YA Verse Novel
17. Froi of the Exiles Melina Marchetta Penguin Young Adult
18. The Red Bridge Kylie Dunstan Windy Hollow Picture Book
19. Nog and the Land of Noses Bruce Whatley Scholastic Picture Book
20. How Now Brown Frau Merridy Eastman Allen & Unwin NonFiction – Memoir

I am really enjoying keeping track of my reading in this way, and seeing just what the spread is of age groups, genres, formats etc. Of the 20 so far,  18 are Australian, 7 are young adult, 7 are children’s/younger readers, 3 picture books, thee for adults (one fiction, two non fiction). There is one collection of poetry, and one verse novel. Allen & Unwin and Scholastic are well represented in the list of publishers – which is a reflection both of the number of books those two produce and the number they send me to review.  Another interesting statistic is in the gender balance – four books by male authors and sixteen by women. Interesting because there has been no conscious decision there, it’s just how it’s fallen.

So, how do I choose my books. Usually from the top of my review pile (which is actually not a pile but a shelving system in my office. I shelve them in the order I receive them and generally read them in that order. But this year I am trying to read more  books not from my review pile, and have started a little pile of books I want to read for the first time or re-explore. Also, I do occasionally move books up my review pile if I’m simply hanging out to review them or f I need a shorter read. For example, whilst I was ploughing my way through Froi (almost 600 pages), which happened over four days, each day I also read something shorter.

Am I still enjoying the challenge? Yes. No regrets at having set it for myself at all.
Will keep you updated as it expands

Hope you, too, are having fun reading whatever you can during this National Year of Reading.

Oh, BTW – where I’ve reviewed a title in the list above, I have linked to that review!

A Big Welcome

Welcome to the new look Aussiereviews!  Having been here on the world wide web sharing reviews for over ten years, the site was well overdue for a bit of a facelift.  And now, after a redesign and manually transferring all of the old reviews (over 2000 of them)  from the old html based files to the new WordPress based management system, it is ready to go live. Hurrah!

A screenshot of the old Aussie Reviews layout
The old website

So, what’s new?

  • The look and layout of the pages, especially the pretty new banner designed by Murphlet 2
  • The easier to navigate menus, with the ability to browse the categories easily from the top menu.
  • This blog, which will allow me (and, perhaps, guest bloggers) to chat about the running of the site as well as news and views aboutAussie books and publishing.
  • The use of tags at the end of each review which will make it easier to find books by publisher, author, illustrator or topic

    A screenshot of the current Aussie Reviews layout
    The new website

What is unchanged is that Aussiereviews will continue to review as many new release Australian books as possible.

So, have a look around, see what you think, and please keep enjoying our reviews.

Lots of Love

Sally

 

PS

May I ask one favour? If you are an author, illustrator, publicist, website manager or blogger who has previously linked to this site or, especially, particular reviews, could you take a few moments to update your links? If you have linked to the homepage your link should still work, but if you have linked to particular pages or reviews, it will need updating.  You should be able to locate the new page using the search box in the menu bar above.  Once you’ve found the right page,  simply copy and paste the new url wherever you had an old one. Thanks heaps!

366 Books in 366 Days

Happy New Year to you! I had a pretty awesome 2011 but am really excited about the promise of a brand new year and loving that 2012 is the National Year of Reading. Also really excited about my role as local ambassador for Bunbury, WA.

I had toyed with the idea of a reading meme for the National Year of Reading, but there are so many other really good ones already that I hesitated to add another which might duplicate what was already being done.

But then I woke up this morning and had this great idea for a reading challenge for myself. It’s the YEAR of reading, isn’t it? So what if I could truly make it a year of reading by reading a book for every day of the year? That would be 366 books in 366 days (the leap year gives me the chance to squeeze in an extra book).

No sooner had I formed the idea than I was tweeting and facebooking it, so suddenly I’d made this partly formed idea into something I’d announced to the world. But hey, making it public might motivate to actually do it – or to give it a darn good shot.

So, yes, I am going to try to read 366 books in 2012. These will come from across genres and age groups, so they will range from picture books through to very serious works of literature, and nonfiction too. I’m already an eclectic reader, so don’t plan to change that too much.

However, to avoid the urge to just sit down with my picture book collection and read my way through the first 366 of those, I’m making a rule for myself that I’ll only count picture books that I read for the first time, and also review – because the time it takes me to read and review a picture book is equal to reading a much longer book.

Where possible I will review the books I read on Aussiereviews, if they fit within Aussiereviews parameters – ie I only review Aussie author or published books here, and don’t review a book if I can’t review it mostly positively. But I have also decided independently of this challenge that I need to spend a bit more time in 2012 reading stuff that I don’t plan to review – because there are so many wonderful books from overseas, and classic books, and childhood favourites and so on that I never get around to reading because of my focus on Aussiereviews.

So here’s my plan:

  1. Read at least 366 books in 2012.
  2. Keep a list of these, and chronicle my progress on my Nameless blog and on Aussiereviews, as well as through social media (twitter and facebook)
  3. Review those which can be reviewed on Aussiereviews
  4. Include as many as possible that I read because I want to (whether or not I’ll be reviewing them)
  5. Only include picture books in the 366 if I also review them
  6. Lastly, and importantly, I’m only going to stick to this challenge if I enjoy it. If I find myself beating myself up over getting behind, or not blogging about it often enough or whatever, I’ll stop. Reading should be fun!

I’ll keep you informed with my progress as much as possible. Would love to know if anyone else decided to give this idea a shot.

Now I’m off to do some reading. Happy National Year of Reading!