105 Ways to Give a Book

Tenth Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge: Winners!

Of course, we're really all winners to have had so much great reading time! But prizes are fun too, and there are among us some dedicated reader demons and they are...

The One and Only Marfalfa who takes this year's 48HBC with 38.75 hours and 16 books! Incredible! This blogger will receive a prize package of signed books from my Book Expo America trip, along with some other great bookish gifts. Congratulations!

Specific Junkie comes in just behind with 36 hours of reading - on the weekend they got a puppy! He will receive two fantastic signed ARC's from my BEA trip, along with some special speculative fiction. Great job!

Our "Just for Playing" Winners are...

Lapwings Read and From Tots to Teens who will receive selected ARC's and books.

Our 20 Hour Club is seventeen members strong this year!

Abby the Librarian - 20 hours

As Inclination Leads Me - 25 hours

By Singing Light - 24.25 hours

Boys Rule Boys Read - 22.5 hours

Charlotte’s Library - 20.75 hours

Lapwings Read - 27 hours (teen) 20 hours (tween)

Library Chicken - 33.75 hours

Literacious - 20 hours

Merrily Reading - 21.25 hours

More Like a Flower’s - 20.5 hours

MotherReader - 22 hours

Ms. Yingling Reads - 31 hours

The One and Only Marfalfa - 38.75 hours

SonderBooks - 28.25 hours

Specfic Junkie - 36 hours

Write. Sketch. Repeat - 30.75 hours

Thanks to everyone for participating and making the 48 Hour Book Challenge a fun experience! Read on!

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Tenth Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge: Finish Line

Congratulations! You've completed the challenge!

When you finish your 48 hours, sign in with Mr. Linky below with the link to your final summary, which should include the number and/or titles of books read and the amount of time spent on the challenge. Rounding to the quarter hour will do just fine. Given different time zones, all final summary posts should be up by 7:00 a.m. Monday, June 22nd. Winners, prizes and such will be announced on Monday afternoonish.

Thanks to everyone who participated, supported, and promoted the 48 Hour Book Challenge!

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48 HBC: Personal Update II

I'll be editing this post as I finish my reading, but I wanted to get it up so that I can post the 48HBC Finish Line afterwards. So here's my quick update on my second 24 hour period.

Saturday night I read The Girl in the Torch, by Robert Shareow from 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. I really enjoyed the book about an orphaned Jewish immigrant in the early days of New York City. Then I wrote my blog post and checked online stuff for an hour and got back to reading until 1:00 a.m. It was a challenge to keep reading after 11:00 p.m., because I was really tired from my long day. But fortunately Lies I Told, by Michelle Zink was an engrossing book.

But not so engrossing that I didn't take the out offered by a 1:00 a.m cutoff time to go to bed and return to the book at 8:00 a.m. this morning, finishing about 10:00 a.m. I should have done my blog post then, but didn't really think about it and went right into reading Endangered. by Lamar Giles. Then it suddenly hit me that I am not only reading for the challenge but running the challenge, and I might want to get the finish line up. So here we are at about 11:30 a.m., ready to do that and then go back to my own reading.

Edited to add:
Almost at the end of my 48 hour period and I'll have to cut out early for a dance recital, so for the next hour I'll be blogging and connecting with my 48HBC peeps. From 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. I've been reading Endangered, and it was a thriller that kept me excitedly reading in the last hours. But with lunch and a break for seeing teen's dance, I'll say it was more like three hours than four.

Totaling up, I have thirteen hours for the second 24 hour period, with an overall total of 22 hours. Short of my 24 hours goal, but good considering my weekend of work, recitals, and American Idol. I read seven books, which is also less than in the past. But my eyes aren't what they used to be and I did have some longer, denser books.

Hoping to write up and post reviews in the week to come, but for now I'll call it a challenge completed.

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48HBC: Personal Update

Coming up on the 48 Hour Book Challenge I knew that I'd have to contend with working on Saturday and dance recitals on Sunday. I didn't expect to be engaged of the logistics of getting my teen to American Idol auditions, but there you go. So my reading has been disjointed and distracted, putting any writing or connecting on the back burner. Only now, late Saturday evening, can I even figure out what I've been doing.

I started at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, reading until about 10:30 p.m. I am glad I started off easy, with Elvis and the Underdogs: Secrets, Secret Service, and Room Service, by Jenny Lee. I really enjoyed this lightly funny book about a boy and his former service dog that is now living in the White House. Just a good, fun book - which is what I needed. Last Night at the Circle Cinema, by Emily Franklin was not light, and was too much to finish on a distracted night. The rest of the night was spent on preparations for the American Idol auditions, which included conversations about why we were just figuring out to do this the night before the bus pulled into Baltimore.

Up at 5:00 a.m. to get the teen off to auditions with her dad and sister - along with four frozen water bottles, three umbrellas, two back-up phone batteries, various granola bars, hand sanitizer, and sunscreen. Got them out and started reading about 5:30 a.m., finishing the previous book and starting Those Girls, by Lauren Saft. This is the book I kept checking to make sure it was a teen title, because it was pretty explicit in scenes and language. It was like a old-fashioned, trashy novel but with teens. I read until about 9:00 a.m. and then got ready for my work day.

I had a program to supervise in the morning, but some of it was waiting for people to check in - so I got a little reading done then, plus a little time later in the day. Not my usual approach, but it was an unusual day. My book choice there was Nuts to You, by Lynne Rae Perkins, which I really enjoyed. But again, kind of a distracted reading.

Back home after 4:00 p.m., I spent some time catching up. I knew that my teen did not move on in the American Idol auditions, but was glad to hear more about the day. She was happy with her performance and the experience, and she was really glad that we had made the last minute push for her to be able to go. At 5:00, I got back to reading Nuts to You finishing by my 24 hour mark at 6:00 p.m.

Halfway through the 48HBC, I have four books finished with nine hours to the challenge. Not as good as I'd hoped, but tomorrow is another day.

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Tenth Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge: Starting Line

So it begins. Whenever you start your 48 hour period, sign in with a link to your blog with old, reliable Mr. Linky. Keep track of your time — which includes reading, reviewing, blogging, and connecting (blog reading, tweeting, and general bookish socializing). To keep the Starting Line post at the top of my blog, I won’t publish my personal posts until sometime Saturday evening.

On Sunday, I’ll have a Finish Line post where you can leave the link to your final summary, which should include the amount of time spent on the challenge. Rounding to the quarter hour will do just fine. Winners, prizes and such will be announced on Monday afternoonish. Happy Reading!

48 Hour Book Challenge: Get Ready

Okay, we are seriously close to the Tenth Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge and it is time to get ready. Do you have your books? I've got mine. Do you have your plan? I sort of have mine. Which can serve as an example for those of you without clear schedules.

When I set the dates, I wasn't really thinking about my daughter's dance recitals over that weekend. With a little internal negotiating of what does or does not make me a bad mother, I've settled on going to the last one and skipping one entirely. This isn't quite as awful as it may sound because my teen is less interested in the recitals than others may be. It also turns out that I work on Saturday, so I'm going to lose a huge chunk of time. But so be it. I'm making my own goal to hit 24 hours of reading in the 48 hour period - and I'm not sure I can do it. But that's why it's a Challenge.

So don't worry if you can't put in a whole weekend. Just let it be a weekend where reading is a priority and done with friends. Sign up in the comments and look for the starting line post on Friday. See you there.

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48 Hour Book Challenge: Prizes

One reason to go to Book Expo America was to get books for the 48 Hour Book Challenge this coming weekend. Here are some of the signed books that I plan on reading this weekend and giving away as prizes:

Last-But-Not-Least Lola: Going Green, by Christine Pakkala; Last Night at the Circle Cinema, by Emily Franklin; House of Charms, by Christina Cameron; Lies I Told, by Michelle Zink; Those Girls, by Lauren Saft;
Elvis and the Underdogs, by Jenny Lee; The Girl in the Torch, by Robert Sharenow; Five Nincompoops, The Princess and One Saviour, by K. Edward; Endangered, by Lamar Giles; and The Summertime Girls, by Laura Hankin

There are also potentials for prizes among the ARC's I received. I didn't gather many, so most of these were ones that I requested that the publishers were able to give me.

The Murdstone Trilogy, by Mal Peet; Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, by Hal Johnson; The Bamboo Sword, by Margi Preus; When Mischief Came to Town, by Katrina Nannestad; Samurai Rising, by Pamela Turner; Steve Jobs, by Jessie Hartland;
Hunter, by Mercedes Lackey; How to Capture an Invisible Cat; by Paul Tobin; George, by Alex Gino; Sunny Side Up, by Jennifer Holm; Currents, by Jane Petrlik Smolik; and The Golden Compass: the Graphic Novel, adapted and illustrated by Stephanie Melchior-Durand and Clement Oubrerie.

So I've got my reading cut out for me. Are you gathering your choices for the 48 Hour Book Challenge this weekend? If you haven't signed up to participate, there is still time. And remember, you don't actually have to read the whole 48 hours. Consider it more like blocking off the time to make reading a priority. Check out the 48 Hour Book Challenge info and read along.

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Book Expo America: Part IV

I know by Friday that some of my blogging buddies were beginning to wear out, but not me. I was ready for another day of authors, books, and kid lit learning. I got it all, plus some.

I started off tracking down my new best friend from the previous night, Jory Johns, who was listed in a number of places pretty much simultaneously. I took my chances on the table signing being the closest to accurate, and was able to get my own copy of Goodnight Already! signed by this one-to-watch author. I jumped into Sarah Durst's line to pick up her book, The Girl Who Could Not Dream, and was attracted by the lively jacket of her neighbor author to grab a copy of You Can't Ruin my Day, by Allen Klein. I also couldn't resist Carol Alt, so took her book too. Then I grabbed one of the last rounds of bagels at the Library Lounge, and sat in on the YA Book Buzz.

I made sure I was back at the signing area to see Sophie Blackall, who was signing prints from Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear. But I also got a bonus Alvina Ling sighting, who was helping out there. Then it was on to pick up Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, written and illustrated by Don Tate. I've followed this guy online for years, so it I really enjoyed the chance to meet in person - and to get this lovely book!

After those signings, I was doing a little wandering around the booths and catching the nonfiction panel led by Betsy Bird and the Middle Grade Buzz session. Starred on my agenda was the signing by Felicia Day, which Liz informed me was getting rock star lines an hour early. Eeek. I couldn't get there that quickly, but did make it there in time and the line moved very efficiently. So my payoff was a minute with Internet star, where I told her that my daughter had her hair - which was a bit alarming, until I clarified that I meant that she had used a photo of Felicia Day to chose her new hair color and was playing her character in a school show, and ohmigod I'm an idiot. But she couldn't have been sweeter, and I can't wait to get her book You're Never Weird on the Internet.

With three hours before my bus trip back to DC, it seemed wise to get books shipped off. Indeed it took a while to get them sorted out and packed tidy enough to fit in one box. The packing up also limited what else I could take from the floor, so I tried to avert my eyes. Okay, with the one exception of picking up a copy of Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon. I also snapped a quick pic of Gloria Steinem's signing which is too stalkerish to share. Instead here's the day's highlights:

I ended Friday with my BEA Buddies - Liz, Jackie, Leila, and Gwenda - hanging out at an unused publisher's table, hoping we wouldn't get kicked out and yet too tired to keep walking around. It was a great way to close out, just talking books and such. My bus trip back was not ideal, but with so many good things to reflect on, it was overall a win of good friends, good books, and good visit. What more could I ask for.

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Book Expo America: Part III

The Random House cocktail party was Thursday night and Liz Burns was taking me as her guest. Because she is the best roommate ever. We didn't know what it would be like, but it was certainly a good sign when we saw that that party had taken over the whole restaurant of A Voce at Columbus Circle. And then there was an actual sign that was also a good sign for the evening.

I mean, right? This was a great group of authors, and the Random House staff couldn't have been nicer about facilitating the meetings. And in case you needed some fortitude, the wine was flowing. Liz and I were there for only a few minutes when we were introduced to Nicola Yoon who is releasing her first novel, Everything Everything, about a girl who is allergic to everything. We had a nice conversation and even got copies of the book, which wasn't even like part of the deal. I only had to stand around Marc Brown with an awe-struck look in my eyes, before someone helpfully introduced me. I didn't know what to say to a children's literature icon, so I think I went with the weather. I feel like I mentioned libraries and thanked him for being an icon, or something like that. I can't say that it was my best.

Before things got too busy, Liz and I both wanted to chat with Rebecca Stead. Of course, because she's awesome, but also because we both had known her before her first book came out. So it's always fun to check in with your friends who are now amazing, award-winning authors. We also got her new book, Goodbye Stranger - and there were only like five copies on the table, so go us. Our selfie was ridiculous, so fortunately someone took this photo for us instead.

We split up to mix and mingle. I made sure to meet every one of the authors, like I was getting a prize. I also made sure to get some of the light food and most of the tiny cheesecakes that came my way.

Julianna Moore was there for her Freckleface Strawberry series and I had to put my celebrity author issue on hold for the night, because it was Julianna Moore and she was right there. I talked to Tad Hills about his new Rocket book and his last visit to Virginia. Very nice guy. One of my favorite conversations of the night was with Bob Shea and Jory Johns. I had great success in my library storytimes with each of their books - Don't Play with Your Food and Goodnight Already! - and it was fun to be able to share that. We also talked about humor for kids, the value of art and theatre, the importance of good design, and fart jokes. Now I'm looking forward to their book, I Will Chomp You.

The event was over too quickly, but we both were so happy to have been there. Our hotel was only a short walk away and we picked up the world's tiniest cupcakes to top off our night - mostly because only in New York could you have an entire store devoted to bite-size desserts.

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Book Expo America: Part II

Thursday was my whirlwind Book Expo day, so I'll hit some highlights, but will have to miss many of the books I gathered and authors I met. But even looking at what I know from my notes, this day is killer.

I started off again in the author signing area with a couple of goals, which I easily met. I have really enjoyed Maryrose Wood's series of "Incorrigible Children," so I was excited to get the fifth book, The Unmapped Sea. It was fun to share my booktalking strategy for the first book, which is howling like a wolf. Seeing a cool picture book nearby, I jumped into that line to pick up Ellen Jackson's Beastly Babies which was illustrated by Brendan Wenzel, who asked my favorite animal and added it to the book. Cool, right?

I spend much of my time in the Erin and Philip Stead line showing off the drawing and directing fellow book lovers to Brendan's table. Except for the time I was explaining to my friend and co-waiter Jackie that, "no, I'm sorry it's not Rebecca Stead's line. Wrong award-winning Stead." But we were both pleased to pick up the team's new title, Lenny & Lucy." I had to get a picture too, because I admire these guys so darn much.

After that, we ran into Paula Wiley and all headed over to the Library Lounge for a bagel and a discussion session with Barry Lyga and Libba Bray. The talk was interesting, but situated in a weird way, so I got into a nice seat but my buddies were left watching Barry's elbow, so they left before picking up the distributed ARC's After the Red Rain and Lair of Dreams. I stuck around a bit to say hello to Barry, who I've known since his first book and who has worked on projects with my husband. Wish we could have talked more, but fabulous authors have schedules to keep.

After that talk, I hurried over to pick up one of my priority books - Hurry Up and Wait. I love Maira Kalman's art, so it was wonderful to be able to tell her so. Looking around the booths, I touched base with my BEA buddies, who happened to be nearby. We made plans to escape the Javits Center and go to a nearby diner for lunch. While I might have happily stayed out of the New York humidity, it was a great opportunity for a quieter visit with friends.

Liz Burns and I were both interested in Laura Amy Schlitz's new book The Hired Girl, and made it back in time to pick up a copy - which was quite lucky. We were both also interested in M.T. Anderson's new book, Symphony for the City of the Dead, along with saying hello to this cool guy. I may have slipped out of line momentarily to grab a book for my ballet girl, Unlovely, by Celeste Conway. Then I joined the long line for the Welcome to Night Vale book. It was something I wanted to get for my college girl who is a huge fan of the series. Sent her a text from the line and she was so happy!!!!

Afterwards, I hurried over to Capstone where my friend Gwenda Bond was signing her new book about Lois Lane, Fallout. She had such a rockstar line that I was lucky to get there in time! She ended up going through all 250 copies of the book, with not a one left for possible stragglers. (Like I had expected to be after the Night Vale line.) Can't wait to read it! Gwenda's signing was our meeting place for some of the blogger crowd, so I was able to touch base with Sheila Ruth and Charlotte Taylor. But after looking unsuccessfully for a publisher booth party, I had to excuse myself to head back to the hotel and get ready for an evening activity that turned out to be A-mazing. So, tune in for that later. For now, here's the hit list of books from Thursday.

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Book Expo America: Part I

Like many others I attended Book Expo America, but unlike many others I needed another week to recover before writing about it. I also needed a full week to get my voice back, but that's another part of the story.

Being from the Washington, DC area I was able to take advantage of a full range of choices of express bus services to New York, including Bolt Bus which drops off and picks up a block from Javits. We had a winner! The easy drop off before 2:00p.m. on Wednesday got me registered at BEA with my suitcase checked and still in time to make one of my priority author signing sessions, Tim Federle at 2:30p.m. I love his books, his Twitter feed, and - from the one time I chatted with him in Alexandria - him, so I was excited to get his new picture book, Tommy Can't Stop. Though I thought I would miss it, I had enough time to get Space Taxi: Archie Takes Flight signed by Wendy Mass and Michael Brawer. I also hopped in line to pick up Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet, by Nick Bruel - who signs with a little kitty drawing. I had added a book selection for my singer teen, VIP: I'm With the Band, by Jen Calonita.

With four great author signings done so quickly, I couldn't believe my luck when a book that I had seen online and hoped to purchase happened to be available at the next table. That was pretty cool. So I brought home a little bit of self-help in Healthy Brain, Happy Life by Wendy Suzuki. I also picked up an abandoned copy of The Song Machine, just because I could.

I had allotted myself time to wait in line for Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi, and wait I did. But it wasn't as bad as I expected - especially given that I ran into blogger and online buddy Emily Mitchell. We chatted a bit, the line moved quickly, and I got my book, poster and photo opportunity. The Story of Diva and Flea takes place in Paris, and the poster has that French feeling to it. Mo looked good from his year on sabbatical, which I believe I told him. Afterwards I got to talk more with Emily and her co-workers, and even got another brief chat with Mo about our kids. Almost like a normal person would do.
I'm sure I picked up a few more books along the way, but I was trying to stick to the signings where I wouldn't talk as much and save my strained vocal cords. My evening was a low-key visit with my rookie Liz Burns and our friend Jackie Parker-Robinson and her husband, Kyle. Then an early bedtime for two big days coming...

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