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Christy Catherine Marshall

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December 31, 2005

If you’re a blogger or a blog reader, chances are you’re also zealous about reading books — am I right?

Me too. The main reason I started my blog was to give me an outlet for telling people about great books I read. I’ve always been passionate about reading — but early this year it dawned on me that authors really appreciate it when you write reviews of their books.

I mean, think about it. If you read a book and tell a few people you LOVE it, then put it back on your bookshelf (or return it to the library), does that help the author? A little. But if you read a book and review it online at a site like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or CBD, then you’re telling thousands of potential readers as well as the author how much you love the book!

I’ve reviewed dozens of books on Amazon — it’s so easy, and you can “self-publish” immediately. After I wrote about 20 reviews, I decided it might be high time for me to actually LEARN how to be a reviewer and see if there were any publications that might pay for reviews. That’s when I discovered The National Book Critics Circle.

I applied to become a member by sending them a resume and some clips of my reviews. Somehow, they accepted my application — and sent me a really thick packet containing the names of editors and publications that accept and even pay book reviewers. As a member, I also receive a nice newsletter, and I dream of someday attending one of their meetings in New York City. (It’s fun to think about!)

Yesterday was the deadline for all NBCC members to send in our nominations for the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award — recognizing a person or organization for long-standing achievement in the world of books. Ooh…I nominated the perfect person for that. I hope she wins. (I plan to blog about her organization one of these days. She’s passionate about promoting wholesome children’s books!)

But now I need your help. Members can nominate up to five books for the prestigious NBCC Book Awards. Finalists will be chosen by the board of directors in these categories: fiction, nonfiction, biography, autobiography/memoir, criticism and poetry. Last year, Gilead by Marilynne Robinson won in the fiction category (and it also won the Pulitzer Prize.)

Do you have any favorite books you’d like to see win an award? Tell me why you liked that book — I want to know! You can send me a private email — but I’d love it even more if you wrote to me in my comments so other readers could learn about some great books. (Don’t be bashful — if you’re an author, tell us why you’re passionate about your book!)

My nominations have to be sent in by January 6, 2006. So you’ve got nearly a week to let me know. I already have a few ideas — it will be hard to limit to only 5! But since I mostly read nonfiction, I definitely need your input for the other categories. (Any book published this calendar year is eligible.)

Here’s a chance to let your voice be heard!

Speaking of favorite books, my post about the Top 25 Books You’d Take to a Deserted Island still ranks as one of my most read. And here’s a list of a homeschooling dad’s Top 100-something books. Do you get the Kidsread newsletter? I skim it every month to see what’s out there. Here’s their list of the Best Books for 2005. I think they should have added Jonathan Rogers’ Wilderking trilogy (Book 2 came out this year, The Secret of the Swamp King.) And Book 1 of R.K. Mortenson’s Landon Snow trilogy — Landon Snow and the Auctor’s Riddle.

Now it’s your turn…

By: Heather Ivester in: Books | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

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