Saturday, November 22, 2008

Advance Planning

I didn’t really do any challenges in 2008. I didn’t know that much about them, and I've always pretty much hated anything that smacked of “required reading." But one thing I’ve really liked about keeping this blog and becoming involved with other book bloggers is the way I hear about great books. So this year I’m going to commit to a couple of challenges that are near and dear to my heart. It’s kind of a funny process for choosing what challenges to join – I don’t want to join too many, because I already have a job, and it doesn’t make sense to me to join challenges about books I would probably read anyway—for example, Naida is hosting a challenge to read 5 romance books in 2009. Um. I will most likely hit that mark within two weeks. Maybe less, given that there’s a holiday in there, so I’m not signing up for that one—not much point for me (though, since Alpha Heroes is totally about romance novels, I'd like to think I could serve as a resource for that particular challenge).

As a fast reader, I’m all about quantity; I go through lots and lots of books, and while I’m loyal to authors I like, it takes a LOT of them to keep up with me, and then sometimes I just want something new. Like grocery shopping when I’m hungry, being in a bookstore all unprepared when this feeling hits me can be a very dangerous thing. I think it will be a great exercise in discipline and planning to try to stay ahead of that cycle with a list I can keep in my back pocket. (Or sidebar. Whatever.)

So the 50 New Authors Challenge, hosted by Jackie over at Literary Escapism, really appeals to me. I touched on it a little bit this year (before I changed the blog format) by just keeping a list of new authors I wanted to try. My personal rule for this challenge is going to be that if I’ve read a short story or novella by the author, it still counts as a new-to-me author. Just because; I’m being arbitrary about it and last I heard, there are no Book Challenge Police.

Mechanics: I’m going to keep a sidebar item through 2009 with links to the challenge updates. I’ll to try to post monthly on how each of my challenges is going.

To start off, here is an incomplete list of authors I want to sample in 2009. I’ll give an update near the end of January of 2009 on how it’s going. Here’s my list so far, in no particular order—recommendations welcome! Actively solicited, even; that’s mostly how I got this list:

1 Ilona Andrews
2 Linnea Sinclair
3 JL Langley
4 Samantha Kane
5 Kelley Armstrong
6 Josh Lanyon
7 Rachel Vincent
8 Karen Chance
9 Justin Gustainis
10 Jeri Smith-Ready
11 Shannon McKenna
12 Katie MacAlister
13 Alexis Morgan
14 Anya Bast


Anonymous said...

Ilona Andrews? Kelley Armstrong? Rachel Vincent? Karen Chance? Katie MacAlister? Anya Bast? You haven't tried any of these authors yet?! I'm shocked. And here I thought we had a lot of the same reading choices. :)

Have you read Gerry Bartlett? I'm currently reading her and she's fun. If you like MJD's Queen Betsy series, then you'll probably like this too.

If you'll looking for more suggestions, check out the authors I did this year.

OH and authors in anthologies so totally count. You're reading something from them, right?

I also recommend Jeaniene Frost if you haven't read her yet.

Nicola O. said...

I had Frost on my list before but her stuff just isn't grabbing me.

I've read a lot of your suggestions! I just haven't gotten to ALL of them yet.

I'm not a huge fan of the "kooky" spoofy ones, so Katie MacA has been getting sort of a hairy eyeball from me. But I have one in the pile NOW so she's goin' on the list. Same with MJD, still thinking on her stuff.

Nicola O. said...

PLUS, I was BUSY!! I read a lot of new authors in 2008 -- I lost my list of what I'd read when I re-did the template, but here's a non-exhaustive rundown of new-to-me authors in 2008:

1 Adrian, lara
2 Aguirre, Ann
3 Andersen, Jessica
4 Bishop, Anne
5 Black, Jenna
6 Bourne, Joanna
7 Briggs, Patricia
8 Brockmann, Suzanne
9 Brook, Meljean
10 Campbell, Anna
11 Castle, Kendra Leigh
12 Chase, Loretta
13 Cole, Kresley
14 Dane, Lauren
15 Davis, Jo
16 Day, Alyssa
17 Frank, Jacquelyn
18 Gracie, Ann
19 Harrison, Kim
20 Henry, Mark
21 Holly, Emma
22 Howard, Linda
23 Hoyt, Elizabeth
24 Ione, Larissa
25 Kaye, Robin
26 Marvelle, Delilah
27 McGary, Loucinda
28 Quinn, Julia
29 Richardson, Kat
30 Singh, Nalini
31 Sizemore, Susan
32 Viehl, Lynn
33 Warren, Tracy Anne

Not bad, considering I wasn't actually trying for any particular number!

Marg said...

I did do Naida's romance challenge this year, but I made it harder for myself by saying that I needed to read 5 books that I already owned, and then named specific books. Because I mainly read books from the library, it is quite difficult me to read the books that I buy - but I keep on buying them.

I have just checked my stats and I have read 79 new to me authors - quite a few of these were in normal sized books, but others were from short story and novella anthologies.

Carolyn Crane said...

Wow, great challenge. That looks like a pretty interesting list! You are lucky you read so fast - it takes me forever to read a book. But I suppose I save money that way.

Nicola O. said...

Marg, it's funny how we have to tailor the challenges for ourselves, isn't it? I buy WAY too many books -- I do actually read them, but still. The only time something languishes on my shelf unread is if I buy it because I think I "should."

Like, I've had Pride and Prejudice on my shelf for years if not decades.

Maybe my adaptation for Naida's challenge would be they have to be romances written in the 19th century. Hmmmm.

CJ, it is a blessing and a curse, LOL. I also sometimes have trouble remembering anything about what I read, through no fault of the author.

Betsy O'Donovan said...

Oh, I'm glad you're reading Kelley Armstrong! Start with "Bitten," please -- it starts the world building for the entire series.

I've been on a re-reading binge (Judith McNaught, Anne Gracie, Jenny Crusie, etc., etc.), but I also picked up a couple of new urban fantasy titles.

Karen Chance ("Touch the Dark" is the first, I think) is a fun read with some fairly hot scenes in the first two books.

Vicki Petterson is less romance and more badass girl heroine, but it's a fantastic story (and my attention was caught because Diana Gabaldon, who NEVER does cover blurbs, gave her huge praise on the cover, as did Kim Harrison).

Anonymous said...

This is a challenge I am joining in as well. It sound be a breeze! :)

Anonymous said...

i love your blog, i have been coming here since you told me about it on the BDB board.
Your review of books is usually right on, IMO and your insights on books is interesting, usually when i read a book, i read it for entertainment purposes, but your insight brings a whole new meaning to the book.
I can't say that i read new authors this year, because i am new to the paranormal romance universe.
I recently read Deborah Cooke-series is about dragons and it is not set in regency/medivel period. i thought they were good, little slow on the build up, but overall good, lots of pOV which is interesting, so far there a 2 books, 3rd comes out in March.
Have you read Alexandra ivy- thought the story was good, but hated the clothing worn by some of the vamps, velvet pants??? really....


Nicola O. said...

Shalagh, thank you for the lovely compliment! I read for entertainment too, but I also like to blather about it and the more I blog the more I find myself actually *thinking* about what I read.

Alexandra Ivy is one I've been meaning to try out -- I'll add to the list, in spite of the velvet pants, LOL.


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