"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, December 9, 2017

My last year for two reading challenges

It breaks my heart to say it, but I will not be participating in two reading challenges next year which were a big deal for me in the past:

  • Printz Project: To read all the Printz Award and Honor books. When I became a high school librarian in 2005 I discovered the wonderful oeuvre of YA literature with the Printz winners leading the way. I decided to read all the yearly winners and attempt to read all the books I had missed from previous years. I became rather obsessed with the Printz Award even starting a Mock Printz Project at my school and in my district. I did a good, but not great, job of fulfilling this challenge. Of the 85 Printz Award and Honor books since the year 2000, I read 68 of the titles (80%). Now that I am retired I am ready to focus my reading on more adult titles and don't want to feel the pressure to read YA titles that don't interest me as much any more. Interestingly, I got started on this challenge by joining the Printz Project at WordPress. I haven't visited their website for a while. It appears that it is no longer functioning, as the last book highlighted is from the Printz winner from 2016 (a year ago.) I guess it is a sign for me to end the challenge now, as well.

  • Read all the ALA YA Youth Media Award books challenge. I was the host of this award and obviously loved it. Every year the American Library Association and YALSA announces a slew of book awards at the end of their mid-winter conference. Many of the awards go to books targeted at teens, and those were the books I highlighted for this challenge. Every year the actual number of books varied depending on if the award was given to a YA or a MG book. Possible awards included:
  1. Printz Award (Best YA title of the year)
  2. Morris Award (Best YA Debut author)
  3. Schneider Family Book Award (Teen living with a disability)
  4. Alex Award (Adult books which have crossover appeal for teens, 10 are selected each year)
  5. Stonewall Book Award (LGBT-themed)
  6. Margaret A. Edwards Author Award (Contributions made to YA or Children's literature)
  7. YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
  8. Coretta Scott King Author Award (African American Author writing for teens or  children)
  9. *Coretta Scott King Steptoe Award (Debut African American author)
  10. *Sibert Informational Book Award (Children or teen books, nonfiction)
  11. *Laura Ingalls Wilder (Author Award)
  12. Odyssey Award (Best audiobook for children or teens)
  13. *Batchelder Award (Best children's/teen title translated into English)
  14. Pura Belpre Award (Latino author)
  15. *Newbery Medal (Best in children's literature)
  16. *Caldecott Medal (Best Illustrated Children's Picture book)
* titles not usually included in this challenge because the books are usually geared toward children not teens.

I will always keep my eyes on the YMA Awards, but no longer want to feel pressure to read 10-16 titles now that I am no longer in a position to make reading recommendations. Sigh. It makes me sad to say goodbye.

Reading challenges which I will continue:
  • Classics Club...reading off a list of classics titles which I created.
  • Pulitzer Challenge...reading the current Pulitzer Prize winner in fiction each year and attempting to read a few titles from previous years. This award goes all the way back to the early 1900s so I will not attempt to read all previous winners. On my list are 15 titles which I still want to read.
  • Other challenges which interest me hosted by others throughout the year like Austen in August, Big Book Summer Challenge, etc.


  1. It is good to move forward into other challenges and ones that fit your current life. It's difficult to give up what we've done before, but healthy to face the changes of retirement.

  2. It must feel strange to bow out of those two challenges since they were a big part of your reading over the past ten years or so. I will definitely read the ALA winners, but I don't feel the pressure if they don't sound interesting.

    1. I had to really do a pep talk with myself that it was OK to leave these behind because there are so many books out there that I can now read which I didn't have time to read before. Keep me posted when you find a really good YA title. I won't abandon the category completely.

  3. Funny, I don't feel pressured to read YA but I do for adult titles. I get requests all the time to review more adult titles. I have a harder time picking up adult titles-the pacing and plot are my two big hurdles.

  4. It must be a bittersweet decision but will leave you room for more and different books - hooray! I'm glad you're continuing with some of them. I'm only doing my own Iris Murdoch challenge next year (and the year after!) plus I do usually do 20 Books of Summer because I really like the community of it. I'm also planning to read a massive book, Alan Moore's "Jerusalem" alongside my husband, but that's more a private challenge. Have a good reading year!

    1. When I first started blogging I joined every challenge that came along and just about killed myself with the stress of trying to fulfill the challenges' requirement. Since that time I have scaled back to read just a few limited time challenges. And I, like you, make myself little personal challenges along the way. this year I want to read at least 12 books from my TBR list on Goodreads. Sounds easy, huh, but you'r be surprised how hard it actually is to make any headway on that list.


I look forward to your comments and interactions! Join in the conversation.