Thursday, September 22, 2011

Goodbye, Fellow Bookworms

As much as I love this blog, I’m putting SLB to bed. I always saw this space as a diversion from real life, a way for me to indulge in a particular passion of mine. Now my passion is my real life. Exactly nine months after I began, and 99 posts later, I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing.  (Yes, I planned the nine-month anniversary, but the nice number of 99 posts was a pleasant surprise.)

It’s a little bittersweet shutting down SLB, as we’ve had a great run together. So many memories! It all started over Thai food. During my first “business lunch,” my inbound-marketing officemates asked me where I was planning to go in my life. I, still slightly demoralized from my summer-long job hunt, truly wasn’t hoping for much. I didn’t have plans beyond staying in Boston with my friends (thank goodness for these lovely people!) and continuing to receive a paycheck. I mean, publishing sounded great, but I wasn’t qualified. I hadn’t read enough books. I didn’t know anyone in the industry. Sure, I may have been a little sad, but wasn’t that what being an adult was about?

Thank you, thank you, Sam and Justin, for suggesting I write a blog. When I said I didn’t have anything to write about, they asked me what I loved. I said I love to read, and I love stories about and for young people. I thought other people gave these books, near and dear to my heart, short shrift because they weren’t “literature.” Eventually, I decided to apply my mind to these books, to consider them seriously. The rest is history.

I fell into the online YA/children’s lit community, and I learned so, so much. I tweeted with some authors who I crazy-admire, and some of them thanked me for my reviews. I reviewed one book that I adored and used a modified version of it as my entrance essay to the Columbia Publishing Course. (I have since met this author in a bar, blushing as he introduced me to people as the girl who wrote that great review.) I blogged the Course from June to August and maybe even blogged my way into a job. (My editor said she checked out SLB before hiring me!) I moved from Boston to New York, and though I miss my Boston friends, I’m constantly surprised at how much I LOVE my job. (Being an adult does not mean being unhappy.)

I’ll always be grateful for this space. My sixteen-year-old self had no idea I’d be here someday, with a blog that’s the highest search ranking on Google for “Simple Little Bookworm.” (It’s higher than results showing the song I named it for!) I've hosted two different giveaways, listened to music, posted a guest-blog, celebrated a birthday, uncovered some concept art, read a ton of excellent poetry, showed off my bedroom, received a blogger award, colored a princess picture, and won a Twitter contest. I've had an opportunity to be serious, to be sweet, and to be silly. Mostly though, SLB got me to realize what I should be doing with my life.

Thank you to any readers I’ve had, and thank you especially to the blog friends who made recommendations and made posting my thoughts a two-way conversation. Hopefully, I’ll be able give back by supplying other book bloggers with great titles to review. (Check out my Twitter @simplebookworm for real-time recs. Keep up the conversation! I'd love to hear from you.)

I’ve read a lot of good books, and I’m going to keep on reading. As I sign off, I hope to remain, now and forever, a

Simple Little Bookworm <3

Goodnight, blog.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Reading Roundup!

You might have noticed that SLB simply ain’t what it used to be. With all that’s going on in my life, blogging has fallen by the wayside. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still reading up a storm! If I may make a few recommendations:

---UNWIND by Neal Shusterman (A concept that blew my mind and twists that made me actually yell “NO WAY!” to my empty apartment. Intelligent and eerie dystopia at its best.)

---BEHEMOTH by Scott Westerfeld (The second in a trilogy, this alternate history of World War I is chock full of steampunk goodness. His imagination is a thing of beauty. I also can’t say enough about Keith Thompson’s illustrations.)

---The SONG OF THE LIONESS quartet by Tamora Pierce (A fiercely stubborn female protagonist, a lot of swordfighting, some magic, believable romance, a dash of political intrigue…Ingredients for an epic tale well told.)

---SAY HELLO TO ZORRO! by Carter Goodrich (Can you say cutest picture book ever? My heart melted in a puddle over Mr. Bud and Zorro. I gave a copy to my best friend, my little sister.)
How adorable are these two? (Click to see it bigger.)
I’ve also finished some incredible stuff from the authors on my editor’s list. You have no idea the awesome that’s coming your way…Emotion, suspense, humor, and, of course, kissing! You’ll definitely be hearing more about these books on Twitter as their release dates come closer. (I’m @simplebookworm, remember?)

In non-S&S news, I devoured FOREVER and THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic) and I’m starting in on DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth (HarperCollins) next.

I’m busy and happy. What more could I ask for?