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Your 2011 To Read List

As everyone contemplates the end of 2010 and the beginning of a brand new year in 2011, some strange force in the universe compels people to make list after list of the best books of the past year.  Now, I fully appreciate the time and effort that goes into a Top Ten or Top Twenty list, but honestly, reading through them usually leaves me feeling like either I am the best person in the world because I have read all of the books on this particular list, or the worst person in the world, because I will never have the time to read any of the books on this particular list.  So instead of focusing on the year that was, and all the great literature that I totally missed out on, I will be focusing on all of the awesome books coming out in 2011.  How can you find out about the books that will rock your future world?  My suggestions:
1) Ok, I am a librarian, so #1 has to be talk to your favorite librarian or the bookseller at your local bookstore.  If they are anywhere near as compulsive as I am, they will have a list, whether it’s paper or mental, of books to look forward to in the coming year and I bet that they will be more than happy to share some of their excitement.
2) I also like to check what other people have added to their lists on Amazon.  If you search Listmania for something like “teen books 2011” or “ya books 2011” you can get some pretty extensive lists of books.  I’ve found out about some interesting series this way, and although you probably will not always agree with the listmaker’s taste, you might suprise yourself by stumbling across a hidden treasure.
Goodreads also has a Listopia feature, and again, if you search under “teen 2011” or “ya 2011” you will see, in the words of one listmaker, the books “I’m LIVING to read.”  Bonus–you can see other reader’s comments and even read reviews from people lucky enough to get their paws on an advanced copy.
3) Sometimes, it can be fun to poke around online and see what you find.  Other times, it’s nice to have a one-click solution.  When I am feeling lazy, I visit blogs that will do all of the leg work for me, and bask in their suggestions.  I have a particular soft spot for the year’s Debs page, a collective of first-time authors who all have books coming out that year.  Visit the Elevensies (following on the heels of the Tenners and the Debs) at their homepage to find out more and get in on the publication date squee-ing.

An even more bare bones solution is the YA Lit blog.  Sign up for the feed, and get pratically daily updates as more books and release dates are added.  You can view a list that includes title, author, publisher, and release date, but you do have to visit Amazon or another site to get a cover image and summary.  I haven’t yet found anything rival YA Lit for the sheer number of titles and pub dates.
If you’re hoping for more in depth information or reviews, make sure that you point your browser towards The Hub and check out the books and authors that are making us think.  Who knows….that fantasy adventure sitting at the top of my to-read pile might just be the book you’ll be passing around to anyone and everyone you know in 2011!

–Katie Burke

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One Comment

  1. Katie,

    Just wanted to add The Class of 2K11 to your “online go to” suggestions. You can find us here:

    http://www.classof2k11.com/

    We’re 19 debut MG and YA authors following in the “Class of” footsteps of Jay Asher, Rebecca Stead, Sarah Prineas and many more. Most of us 2k11’ers are also Elevensies, but a few of use aren’t.

    Thanks for spreading the word about debut ya fiction.

    -gae

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