"A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking." Jerry Seinfeld


YA-D2: The YA Dystopian Reading Challenge

Every year, I tackle a genre I normally don't read. This year, I attemped business books and failed miserably. After reading only three books that all contradicted each other, I gave up on the challenge & instead focused on just reading what appealed to me. I discovered a lot of new authors & also a few new genres, one of which will be my genre of choice for the rest of the year.

I read Hunger Games early in the year, liking it enough to also pick up Catching Fire although I have not read it yet. The buzz surrounding Mockingjay (and my secret love for the title) made me do a little investigating into dystopian literature. I stumbled across Bart's Bookshelf and his YA-D2 challenge made total sense to me. I've always loved YA lit but this year's readings have kept me in the adult fiction section of my bookstore. Being able to dive back into the genre and explore a new side of it works out perfectly.

I'm taking on Level Three of the challenge -- 5 or more YA dystopian titles between October 1 and December 19. I have a personal yearly goal of reading at least one novel a week so this challenge shouldn't be a problem. I also used Bart's list of 50 Fantastic YA Dystopian Titles and discovered a pretty good amount on my living room bookshelf. Who knew I have always been intrigued by the genre but only read one title from it?!

My YA-D2 List
1. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (not going to officially count this one since it's a re-read)
2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
4. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
5. For The Win by Cory Doctorow (I'm reading this as a free e-book on my phone!)
6. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
7. Gone by Michael Grant
8. Hunger by Michael Grant
9. Incarceron by Fisher
10. something by Scott Westerfield I haven't read yet (need to check bibliography)
11. Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
12. The Ask & The Answer by Patrick Ness
13. Genesis by Bernard Beckett
14. The Sky Inside by Clare B. Dunkle


Goodness gracious, great blogs afire!

It's been exactly six months since I last updated my book blog. I started writing with great intentions and aspirations. And then the Barnes & Noble up the street from my indie bookstore closed & our sales took off. It's been six months of heaven - we're smashing year-over-year sales, and exceeding this year's goals. We've made dozens of new community connections, opened a textbook store, and have landed big name author events. Unfortunately, it means I'm working way more often than I thought I would, reading more than I have in years, and taking work home every night. But when I look at our nightly sales, it makes it worth it knowing we'll keep our doors open for another day.

When Book Blogger Appreciation Week rolled around, I knew I had to get back on the wagon. I've missed writing about books & reading the other blogs around the web that blow mine out of the water. Day One of BBAW asked us to write about a great new blog we've discovered in the last year. Day Two (today) asks us to interview a fellow blogger. I didn't sign up for Day Two but I've been reading a few of the interviews & my Google Reader is slowly expanding. I decided to combine both days & show my appreciation for the bloggers who keep my nightstand full of books & my bookseller brain turned on at my store. I'm hoping this week expands our network & helps rejuvenate those of us who need a reminder of why we started reading & blogging in the first place.

The Book Buff - Book Reviews for Regular People
Honest reviews written for everyone. Easy to search by genre, keyword, and rating (my favorite part is how the reviews are rated by whether or not to buy, borrow, or ignore). The "you might also like" section is great for readers who are looking for a new title in their preferred genre. Writing is conversational, making it light, engaging reading.

Lenore is one of my favorite bloggers & not only because she also posts adorable kitteh pictures alongside her reviews. Well-written, thorough and honest reviews with excellent resources for book bloggers in the sidebar. I also follow Lenore on Twitter - be sure to check this one out.

Brews & Books - Read Great Books, Drink Great Beer
Josh Christie combines books & brews in a humorous way. The Bookrageous podcast, his Twitter presence, and great taste in beer & literature make him one of the freshest voices in the blogging world. Josh also archives his posts according to subject so Josh has something to offer even the soberest of readers. He's also a fellow bookseller :)

The master of professional book reviews. I can't count the number of times a customer comes to me saying, "I read a review in the New York Times about this book" or how many times I surf the site trying to find a specific title. While the writers lean towards the contemporary, literary works, they are a great resource for booksellers who want to make sure they have the titles getting the most attention during a given week. This site helps us keep our front tables fresh.