Monday, January 9, 2012

Resolutions and other stuff

Holy cow! How did a week of this year go by already? It's been a whirlwind, and I'm wondering if that's going to be an oddity or a sign of what's to come.

Anyway, I wanted to mention my reading and blogging resolutions for this year.

Last year I mentioned the second annual theme week. That happened. Very excited about the success of Moonlighting for Murder. The third annual theme week is in the planning stages. Look for more information coming soon on "Heroes and Villains."

The first Criminal Plots reading challenge took place last year. And we're going for year #2. I'd like to increase the number of participants and my big goal with the Criminal Plots II challenge is to encourage some readers who wouldn't have otherwise picked up crime fiction to take a look. I hope you'll help me coax some of those folks into participating. I'm ready to help with any recommendations anyone might need. Younger readers are welcome, too. There's lots of fun mystery content out there for Middle Grades and YA.

And that brings me to a new resolution...I'm going to try to cover at least a smattering of Middle Grades and YA books this year, to share all ranges of the genre. We'll see how that one goes.

Last year I wanted to read at least 40 books from new-to-me authors. I ended the year with 51, so I did very well in that category. I'd like to have at least 50 again this year. But this is actually getting harder. There are so many now that I need to make sure I read whenever a new one comes out. Adding 50 new authors. We'll see how that goes.

I set a goal to average at least 1 author event a month. I definitely made that mark. The big events included: Love is Murder in Chicago, Printers Row in Chicago, BEA/Book Bloggers Conference in New York, Bouchercon in St. Louis and Muskego in Milwaukee. Good lord, no wonder I'm still tired! I also was able to see Robert Crais, my first event at Mystery One in Milwaukee. Yay! I finally got to meet the wonderful Linda Fairstein in person! Just love her. Craig Johnson came to CAMEX and he accompanied me on my first trip to Houston's Murder by the Book! Brian Freeman came to Cleveland in May and Chris Grabenstein came for the Young Authors event at Lorain County Community College. The snow and ice finally let up and Michael Koryta made it back to Cleveland. Karin Slaughter visited our wonderful library system, as did Louise Penny and Craig McDonald. At BEA I finally got to meet Brad Meltzer who is just spectacular! In July I went to the Chicago Comic Con to see Gregg Hurwitz, who also happened to be the Sexiest Male Author this year, have I mentioned that? ;-) I'm thrilled that I was finally able to meet Bill Cameron and Will Lavender in person and that I was fortunate to see many of my other friends in this community as well. It's definitely a gift! I probably won't make as many big events this year, but I do hope to again average at least one author event of some kind each month.

I always aim for a total of 100 books read. I fell a couple books short in 2011, but I'll aim for 100 again in 2012. I wish it could be 1000. There are so many great books out there.

And above all, I want to continue to find new and creative ways to share my love of reading and crime fiction with you all.

2011 brought a lot of unseen changes, including reviewing for Shelf Awareness and joining the team. I presented at the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association Trade Show and interviewed Val McDermid at Bouchercon. So I'm looking forward to more unforeseen and wonderful events in 2012.

Bouchercon will be hosted in Cleveland. I'm excited about that. I hope a lot of you will attend and that I have the chance to meet many more friends in real life.

Oh and I almost forgot Thursday marks four years of blogging for me! I'm pretty excited about that accomplishment. 

So tell me...what are YOUR reading goals for this year?


bermudaonion January 9, 2012 at 6:42 AM  

I gave up setting goals years ago when I realized I never meet them. Good luck with yours!

Larry Janicsek January 9, 2012 at 10:40 AM  

Jen, No goals--at my age I no longer buy green Bananas (hoping to be around when they're ripe) LOL. Thanks for your hard work with your interesting and informative Web site. Please keep up your great work in 2012. Larry Janicsek--hope you again attend Murder & Mayhem in Muskego.

Jen January 10, 2012 at 8:02 AM  

Larry, you're cracking me up! And making my day, too! God willing I will most definitely make Murder & Mayhem again. See you then if not before!

Eileen K. January 11, 2012 at 11:58 PM  

Just catching up on blogs, so I'm late to the party. I'm planning to keep track of everything I read this year--print, electronic, and audio. I've never done that before. I was reading some of the Year in Reading posts in The Millions and I realized I couldn't remember what I had read beyond a few weeks ago. So I'm using a small notebook (Field Notes--my favorites) to keep track.

Sabrina E. Ogden January 12, 2012 at 2:47 PM  

4 years, Jen! Wonderful. It was so nice to meet you "in passing" at Bouchercon, and I look forward to seeing you again in Cleveland!

Wishing you many, many more years of excellent book blogging!

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