Last year, I had the immense pleasure to travel to Fort Wayne, Indiana (about a 4 hour trek from my home in Southern Indiana) to attend the Allen County Public Library's Mock Newbery discussion. I had been one time before and it's always been a really great program. It's such a fun experience to get together with like-minded book lovers and talk in depth about some of the best books of the year.
This year, due to COVID, the discussion is taking place virtually, mirroring the work the actual committees are doing right this very moment. I'm very excited that I get to take part in the discussion once again and I'm really excited to see how the discussion will work virtually.
These are the titles that we'll be discussion on Saturday afternoon this year with links to any that I've blogged about. I have some personal favorites that I'll be discussing a bit on Wednesday, and I'd love to know your top contenders for the Youth Media Awards!
When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller
Happy 2021! It's definitely a year like no other. Maybe you feel like this is a year to give yourself some grace and take it easy. Maybe you feel optimistic about changes you want to make. Are you planning on making some reading resolutions this year?
As you can see, I'm already late to the game, but part of my plan for the year is to practice grace for myself. If 2020 taught me anything it's that being uber-focused on productivity and optimization is not the best. Sometimes you need some space to take a breath, to rest, to refocus, or just to get through your day.
That said, I do have some reading goals for myself this year, and I'm curious what yours are (if you have any - it's totally fine if you do not!).
But first... deep breath and let's look back at last year's reading resolutions...
40% of the books I read will be own-voices by diverse authors.
Okay, as far as I tracked, I read 122 books by diverse authors, which is only about 23%. Part of this resolution was to be more intentional about tracking and I absolutely did not do that. If I had tracked and checked on myself each month like I had intended, I bet I would have done better with this.
500 books read and tracked on GoodReads this year.
Yes! I did this! I started tracking picture books to help with my NoveList work and even though I got super way behind in the spring, I caught back up by the end of the year and finished with 529 books tracked in GoodReads.
Continue my romance project for another year.
Okay, I did read nine romance books in 2020, most of them romcoms. I did not do anything to track them or log them or really review them (outside GoodReads), but I read a bunch of books I really enjoyed. I'm calling that success. And I may revisit the romance project in 2021.
Read at least two pre-pub titles each month.
Hahahaha, no way. I've been really bad at this. I absolutely did not make this goal. I miiiight have read 24 pre-pub titles over the course of the year, but honestly probably not.
My biggest thing this year is giving myself grace. I realized what it's like to live through trauma this year (very privileged trauma, yes). And although I love reading, it's not important enough to be something to stress out about. I'm going to set some goals for myself because I like to have projects to work on, but I also have some non-reading projects going on this year and we're striving for balance and reasonable expectations. I have already hit library book bankruptcy where I just return ALL my checked out books and start over with a clean slate once this year.
Read more teen books.
Now that I have turned over adult collection responsibilities to my new collection development librarian, I can let myself more fully concentrate on youth materials. And one area that I know I need to step it up is teen literature. According to GoodReads, I read 28 teen books in 2020 and I'd like to do better this year. Let's try to read at least 36 teen books in 2021.
Try the Read Native Challenge from the American Indian Library Association.
It's been a minute since I attempted a reading challenge that gives specific categories for titles, but when I saw this one pop up, I wanted to give it a try. It dovetails with my always-goal to read diversely and I've been trying to add more Native writers into my reading life over the past few years. I'm not sure if I'll be able to complete the adult challenge with adult titles, so I may shoot for some kind of hybrid or use the adult challenge prompts but with teen and children's titles. I'm sure I won't be eligible for any prizes, but that's okay since I have intrinsic motivation for wanting to do this challenge.
Read and track at least 500 books in GoodReads again.
I did find tracking picture books and logging everything in GoodReads to be helpful. It was surprisingly helpful when I went to compose my 12 Days of Giving book lists this year. So I think that's a good goal and my hope is that I will easily be able to hit 500 books logged (including lots of picture books!). Of course, that's counting on no trauma-inducing shut-down work-from-home months to put me behind again. WE'LL SEE.
And other areas that I may not make "official" goals, but you may see some blog posts about this year... I have enjoyed reading romance and I'm going to embrace that and encourage it. You may see some romance project updates from me this year since I think that would be fun. And one of my non-reading goals is to cook 50 new recipes this year, so of course I started out the year by checking out a ton of cookbooks. It might be fun to blog about some of the cookbooks I'm discovering and trying out. No promises, but maybe!
And that's it for 2021 Reading Resolutions. How about you? Are you setting any reading resolutions? Or even just casual goals for yourself (if resolutions maybe feel like a bit much coming off of 2020)?