Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ten Best Bookish Events of the Year

It's the end of the year and time for reflection on the past year. You know how the news people think back on the top ten stories of the year in news? And the entertainment people think back on the top ten stories in the celebrity world? Well, here's my version of that... the top ten stories in my bookish life this past year. (I know some of them have been mentioned in yesterday's post, so hopefully a little repetition won't bother you too much!)

1. Markus Zusak Comes to the Library! We heard this news at the end of the year 2010 and couldn't believe it was even true! But come he did! We went early and stood in line to get tickets, then went early and stood in line to get in, then stood in line to get the book signed, then waited afterward for friends to get books signed. I have no idea how many hours we devoted to this event, but every one of them was worth it. This author was AMAZING to listen to, so very humble and sweet and funny and cute. He signed for SEVEN hours after his presentation, giving every fan individual attention, writing personal messages and drawing in every book. It was an author signing unlike any other, and definitely a fanatic fan's dream come true. There's talk he may come again, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed we get to have this experience a second time.

2. The Way of Kings Read along: I discovered the fun of buddy reads, or read alongs, last year, so this year it was fun to continue that. One of my favorites was reading The Way of Kings with several different wonderful, very organized, very intelligent bloggers. The questions were fun, the discussion was detailed and vigorous and I loved reading this awesome huge fat epic book together and finding that everyone loved it just as much as I did.

3. Jenny Starts Blogging! I also mentioned this in yesterday's post, but I think some of you know what I mean when I say how fun it is to see someone you've been bookish friends with for years (Jenny grew up down the street from me, then has been coming to book club for years, then started writing very fun reviews on Goodreads) finally start their own blog and join this online bookish party! I knew her particular style would take well to blogging, and I was right. She now has her own following and I've loved seeing it all happen.

4. Working at an Author Event: Finally, just a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to work behind the table sitting by the authors, at an author event at the library where I work. This is actually another thing that I would have never predicted would happen for me. I would have never believed you had you told me this was going to happen, even just a year ago. Now, I'm hoping it will just be the first of many opportunities. And here's hoping I find my grove at being on the other side of the table.

5. Beyonders launch party: I went to handful of launch parties this year, but the one in March by Brandon Mull for his new Beyonders series beat all! This is a rockin' launch party for sure! Very oriented to the kids, with a comedy troupe, support by many other local authors, slide shows, music and all sorts of craziness! It was fun to be there.

6. Christopher Paolini Experience: This was another wild and crazy event held at the library this year. It was fun to get riled up about the signing rules that came with this particular author, and then manage to get around those rules by getting our books signed at a different location! It was sort of the opposite experience as Markus Zusak, with this author who was a bit of a "rock star" complete with body guard and all, yet at the same time it was fun to be part of the hoopla and excitement.

7. Blogger party in March: 2011 was the third year we had Utah blogger get-togethers. In March of this past year, we had a gathering at the Golden Corral where we burst the seams of the private room! It was insane how many bloggers and authors showed up! It was really fun and hopefully we'll be able to keep these events going, even if the amount of bloggers continues to overwhelm.

8. Being nominated for a BBAW award: I've participated in the the Blogger Appreciation Week since the beginning. The awards part of this event is always a fun thing, but can also make one think one will never be "good enough." Well, this year I felt loved because I was nominated for best eclectic blog. Nothing much came of it, but the stroke to the blog ego was good enough for me and a highlight of the bookish year.

9. Markus Zusak tweets: Speaking of Markus Zusak... in previous years when I've wanted to learn about him, I felt very stalker-ish (what else is new, right?) trying to find his internet presence. It was sad because there really was nothing out there. No website, no Facebook, no blog, no Twitter. Well, this year, that all changed, and he started a Facebook, AND a Twitter. And just as he proved at his signing, he is also proving with his new found connection on the internet.... that he truly seems to love his fans and feels very appreciative of all the praise coming his way. If you tweet him and say something lovely about his books... he will tweet back, as I found when I tried this. In fact, he's responded to me three times. I know this seems like a small thing, but seriously, when you consider that at the beginning of the year he was really no where out there, and now he TALKS back? It's just beyond cool.

10. Becoming IRL friends with so many Utah bloggers: I've become friends slowly but surely with several Utah bloggers after meeting them at our parties, but this year, that seems to be happening even faster. I love it. I love going to the bookish events, the launch parties, the signings, and seeing all sorts of people that have become true, real, face to face friends. It doesn't get better than that. This is what this bookish blogging hobby is really all about, don't you think?

Wow, has it been a crazy fun year or what? I can't even imagine what this next year might bring! Here's hoping it's even a little bit as fun as this last year has been! I live for this stuff. Keep it coming! :)

I'd love to know what your top ten bookish events have been this year. Let me know if you post a list!


  1. Can you believe I haven't read The Book Thief yet?? I'm reading it this semester with my students :) Can't wait!! Hope I don't become Zuzak's newest stalker ;)

  2. I completely agree with you on all Markus Zusak fronts. Haha. And that is fantastic that you were nominated for a BBAW -- I didn't follow those too well this year but that is really exciting. Hooray for a great year. :)

  3. Peppermint: YAY for Book Thief! I just got your card the other day (THANKS!) where you mentioned using it for your students. I would love to hear how that goes for sure. And I predict you WILL be his newest stalker.

    LL: Yes, hooray! It's been fun!

  4. Congrats on BBAW! And thank you for putting together so many fun activities for UT bloggers. It's been really fun to meet so many nice bookish people this year. :)

  5. Wow, I've never been an "event" before. ;) I think the Markus Zusak signing takes the cake for sure. I hope he comes back! I could never get enough of him.

    I'm happy I got to experience a lot of these events with you. ;)

  6. LinWash: LOVE! :)

    Kathy: It's been fun to meet you too!

    Jenny: You are an event! Yes! Keeping fingers crossed for more MZ. Maybe he'll come every year! :)

  7. Markus Zusak coming was my literary highlight of the year too!! Thank you for telling me about it. Also, you are a book-event going lady. I love it.



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