Suddenly, it was bedtime. So, I am pre-dating this post (is that like the antithesis of post-dating a check?). This is what I intended it post yesterday.
LISTS. I LOVE LISTS. My life demands, to a certain extent, that I keep lists. I use the REMINDERS function on my iPhone. I have an APP for grocery shopping. I have scraps of paper in my purse from notes I scrawl at red lights on the way to work or home. I need something for those ideas that come to me in the shower, some way I can write a note and not have it washed away in the shampoo.
And, of course, there are the other lists: the book lists. I keep a running list of all the books I read month by month. I keep a list in Titlewave of books for various PD presentations. I refer to all of the award lists often. This past week has seen two lists from YALSA that need to be on your radar: the Morris and Nonfiction shortlists were announced. Here is the link to the Morris shortlist: http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2014/12/2015-morris-finalists-announced which includes Len Vlahos' THE SCAR BOYS among other debut titles. Here is the list to the Nonfiction shortlist: http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2014/12/2015-nonfiction-finalists-announced which includes LAUGHING AT MY OWN NIGHTMARE, a memoir that held me captive this spring. I posted these links out to Facebook and Twitter because I know that these lists are still not on everyone's radar. And they should be!
Several members of my PLNs have been talking about lists. This is the month for lists--those best book lists from Kirkus, Horn Book (Fanfare), SLJ, Booklist, Time, and so many others. And the lists that will come to us in February from ALA are also wildly anticipated. I wonder how many folks outside of those of us for whom books are lifeblood know about ORBIS PICTUS, SIBERT, KING, BELPRE, STONEWALL, WALDEN, and all of the various lists out there. Looking to diversify your collection? Consult King, Belpre, Stonewall for a start. Want debut books? Morris. Looking to develop the nonfiction part of your library? Orbit Pictus and Sibert, and YALSA NF award. Reluctant readers? Quick Picks. College bound? Books for the College Bound. There are lists upon lists out there. Have you seen the bestselling booklists? What about the lists of good books in paperback? They are out there.
A final note about lists. Are there good books that do not make it to a list? Yep, plenty. If 6000 books are published each year, there are many that will escape the attention of list makers. Some deserve to be "unlisted." I have, over the last couple of weeks, read quite a few self published and publish on demand books that do not need to make it to ANY list other than a "save your money and do not buy these books." You will not see these books reviewed or even mentioned on my blog. They do not even get to my lists. Some books deserve to escape our attention. However, take a look at those lists. Look especially for the overlaps: books that are on Quick Picks and Best Fiction for Young Adults; books that are on multiple best lists. perhaps here is the place to start with your reading if you are looking to add titles to your collections.
One final plea: if the only award lists you know are Newbery and Caldecott, take some time to learn more. Visit the YALSA site for awards: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/bookawards/booklists/members. Check out the lists available at ALSC, too: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia. And then branch out to NCTE, IRA, and other professional organizations to see even more lists.