Me? Versatile?

Versatile Blogger Award

Nathalia over at An Outsider Review nominated me for this award. It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen this award but thanks so much for thinking of me! I suppose I am versatile but many days I feel as if I just shoot from the hip and hope something sticks.

Here are the rules:

1. Show the award on your blog.
2. Thank the person that has nominated you.
3. Share 7 different facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 blogs of your choice
5. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.

Here are my 7 facts:

1. I check my alarm clock no less than 5 times before settling down for sleep each night.

2. I am rather chatty but I prefer not to talk at all.

3. I have a horrible reaction when I walk into a Walmart. Any Walmart. I cannot stand the place. I break out in a sweat and feel faint.

4. I am obsessed with the sent of Gain detergent.

5. Sweet or Salty. Definitely salty. And I am talking about my snack preferences here, not my personality!

6. I wish I could sing. When I sing, my dog thinks I am sick and rushes over to check my temp by laying her head against mine.

7. I have voices for my dog that I use when I converse with her. So yes, that means that I basically talk to myself.

Last, but not least, my nominees:

I am not good at nominating because I follow way too many blogs and don’t want to leave anyone out. Sounds like a cop out but I always feel bad about not being able to list everyone. You are all stars to me.

The 2011 Indie Lit Award Winners

2011 Indie Lit Awards

The 2011 Indie Lit Award winners have been announced!

2011 Indie Lit Award Winners


Winner: Little Princes by Conor Grennan
Runner-Up: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua


Winner: Nina Here Nor There: My Journey Beyond Gender by Nick Krieger
Runner-Up: Huntress by Malinda Lo


Winner: Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
Runner-Up: Dance Lessons by Aine Greaney


Winner: A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny
Runner-Up: Fun and Games by Duane Swierczynski


Winner:  Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckhoff
Runner-Up: Berlin 1961 by Frederick Kempe


Winner: Catalina by Laurie Soriano
Runner-Up: What Looks Like an Elephant by Edward Nudelman

Speculative Fiction

Winner: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Runner-Up: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Thanks to the Directors and panel members for all of their hard work!

If you love lists like I do…

2011 Indie Lit Awards

…then you won’t mind another! The short list for the 2011 Indie Lit Awards is up! I am very excited about it and can’t wait to see which ones will come out on top. Our panel members have quite the challenge ahead of them but as much work as it is, I quite enjoyed myself last year.

2011 Indie Lit Awards (Short List)

Biography/ Memoir

  • Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua (Penguin)
  • Bossypants by Tina Fey (Reagan Arthur Books)
  • I Pray Hardest When Being Shot At by Kyle Garret (Hellgate Press)
  • Little Princes by Conor Grennan (William Morrow)
  • Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch (Harper)


  • Well With My Soul by Gregory Allen (ASD Publishing)
  • Swimming to Chicago by David Matthew Barnes (Bold Strokes Books)
  • Songs of the New Depression by Kergan Edwards-Stout (Circumspect Press)
  • Nina Here Nor There: My Journey Beyond Gender by Nick Krieger (Beacon Press)
  • Huntress by Melinda Lo (little brown books for young readers)


  • Dance Lessons by Aine Greaney (Syracuse University Press)
  • Cross Currents by John Shors (Penguin Group: NAL Trade)
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Knopf/Doubleday Publishing Group)
  • Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)
  • The Last Time I Saw Paris by Lynn Sheene (Penguin Group)


  • Missing Daughter, Shattered Family by Liz Strange (MLR Press)
  • The Cut by George Pelecanos (Reagan Arthur/LIttle, Brown)
  • A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny (St. Martin’s Press)
  • The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes by Marcus Sakey (Dutton)
  • Fun & Games by Duane Swierczynski (Mulholland Books/Little, Brown)


  • Berlin 1961 by Frederick Kempe (Putnam Adult)
  • In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson (Crown)
  • Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff (Harper)
  • Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku (Doubleday)
  • The Social Animal by David Brooks (Random House)


  • Beyond Scent of Sorrow by Sweta Vikram (Modern History Press)
  • Catalina by Laurie Soriano  (Lummox Press)
  • What Looks Like an Elephant by Edward Nudelman  (Lummox Press)
  • Three Women: A Poetic Triptych and Selected Poems by Ramos, Emma Eden  (Heavy Hands Ink)
  • Sonics in Warholia by Megan Volpert (Sibling Rivalry Press)

Speculative Fiction

  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (Candlewick)
  • The Magician King by Lev Grossman (Viking)
  • 11/22/1963 by Stephen King (Scribner)
  • Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor Books)
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Crown)

We expect to announce the winners in mid-March. If you’d like more info on the awards, check out the web page.

The Sunday Salon: Rainy and Gloomy but Hey, I’m not Working

Sunday Salon Button

I am still a bit distracted and all over the place with my thoughts so to keep this brief, I will provide a list of what’s going on:

  1. Jill and I loved The Devil’s Star by Nesbo so now we are reading his next, US release (The Snowman). However, we realized yesterday that there is a book in between that has yet to be released here in the US. This gave us pause but you know what? We don’t care.
  2. I announced this past week that the Indie Lit Awards are back for another year of great reading. Check out the post because we’ll need your nominations come September and if you are in a position to promote the awards, please do so. We’d really appreciate it.
  3. It’s raining heavily right now in Southern California. So  much so, that I have water pouring into one of my dining room windows. Get out the buckets!
  4. I am about to drop The Girl off at her friend’s house for a play date, but the mom was like… “maybe come at noon” then she was like, “maybe come later” and then she was like, “maybe she can come for a little bit.” I honestly don’t know if I am supposed to drop her off or not. I’ve called and left messages but no one ever picks up. I guess I’ll find out when I drop her off. I have to remind myself that everyone is not like me. I’m a planner and not everyone is.
  5. I went to the mall yesterday for a girl fix and bought all sorts of girlie lotions and then when I got home I realized that I don’t like any of them, so I am going back to the mall to return them all. I’m sticking with my Philosophy stuff.
  6. Tonight I am making pork chops (wait for it) and apple sauce.

Hope you all have a nice Sunday! As rainy as our weather is, I’d take it over a work day. No doubt about that.

We’re Baaaaack: The 2011 Indie Lit Awards

2011 Indie Lit Awards Rectangular Button

As you may recall, I had the privilege of being a Lit Fiction judge for last year’s Indie Lit Awards. It was a great experience. I met some great bloggers, befriended an author or two on Facebook (all of them rock stars!) and we read lots of great books. Honestly, I was just pleased to be a part of it.

This year, I am a Vice-Chair (fancy, eh?) to Wallace, who is the founder of the awards and once again I am honored to be a part of it. Wallace’s enthusiasm is contagious and rubs off on me in lots of good ways. It’s good for this forty-something (ahem) blogger to rub elbows with young, enterprising individuals. Keeps the juices flowing, you know?

Anyway, we have lots of great stuff planned and nominations open in September but what we need from you now is quite simple. We need you to read lots and lots of great books so that you can nominate them come September. Can you do that for us? All we ask is this:

  • You must be a literary blogger; and a link to your blog must be provided so we can verify this. (You may not be the author, publisher, or publicist of the book you are nominating).
  • Books nominated must have a 2011 release date.
  • You may nominate a book that has already been listed (the books with the most nominations will be what we add to the Long List).
  • You may nominate books in more than one genre, but only one per genre.
  • Nominations are open midnight PST September 1, 2011 – 11:59 PST December 31, 2011.

Why am I telling you about this so early? Well, it’s already March and the year seems to be flying by, but don’t worry, I will be talking about the awards off and on throughout the year so I won’t let you forget about them. If you want to stay up to date, follow us on Twitter @indielitawards.

Until then.. READ and if you really want to help us spread the word, grab a button and share it on your blog.

Lots of great bloggers are involved, check out the bio page to see if you know any of them, and if not… why not check ‘em out?

The 2010 Indie Lit Awards (Results)

Indie Lit Awards

As one of the literary fiction judges for the 2010 Indie Lit Awards, I can honestly say that reading the shortlist was a pleasure. We had such a great list, as picked by book bloggers which makes it even more special.

In addition to the reads, working with the rest of the panel members proved to be quite rewarding. I picked up some new blogs to add to my reader and hopefully, made some lifelong bloggy buds in the process.

Enough of me…here are the results:

2010 Indie Lit Award Winners


Winner: Annabel by Kathleen Winter
Runner Up: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green, David Levithan

Literary Fiction

Winner: Safe From the Sea by Peter Geye
Runner Up: Great House by Nicole Krauss


Winner: The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
Runner Up: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Speculative Fiction

Winner: Kraken by China Miéville
Runner Up: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

Congrats to all of the winners! A big “thank you” to Wallace for creating these awards. It’s been a pleasure. Oh, and a huge shout-out to Peter Geye!! We loved your book. You are a rock star in my eyes!

If you’d like to see how it all came to be, check out the award site.

Indie Lit Awards – The Short Lists!

The Indie Lit Awards

The short lists have been determined for The Independent Literary Awards. As you may recall, I am a judge for the Lit Fiction panel. It took three tie-breakers to come up with our short list but I am loving the Lit Fiction list that you all came up with. Thank you for taking the time to nominate a book. Now, on to the important stuff… the lists!

2010 Shortlist for GLBTQ

  • Annabel by Kathleen Winter
  • Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Krakow Melt by Daniel Allen Cox
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green
  • Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

2010 Short List for Literary Fiction (isn’t this a great list?)

  • C by Tom McCarthy
  • Great House by Nicole Krauss
  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
  • Room by Emma Donoghue
  • Safe from the Sea by Peter Geye

The 2010 Short List for Non-Fiction

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Let’s Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell
  • Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff
  • At Home by Bill Bryson
2010 Shortlist for Speculative Fiction
  • Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
  • Kraken by China Mieville
  • Dante’s Journey by JC Marino
  • How to Live Safely in a SF Universe by Yu
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin

I downloaded all of the lit fiction books to my Kindle and will be reading them through the end of January. This is in addition to the reading list that I already had in place, so I must get cracking. We’re hoping to have a winner by February 1, 2011.

So, if you’re looking for something to read, why not pick up one of these titles?


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