Random Poll #8: When Should Miss Print Give Things Away?

So . . . Miss Print (the blog, not me the actual Miss Print) will be turning five on August 12. I have a hugely massive, epic, amazing giveaway planned to celebrate. I have been preparing for this giveaway since last year. Literally. This is a really big exciting deal for me.

I know I want the giveaway to run until the end of August. But I’m conflicted about when it should start. Since you, dear readers, are key to the process, I am putting the question to you. Should the giveaway start August 1st or should I post on the blog’s actual birthday August 12th?

What are your all time favorite books?

NPR announced this week the finalists for their best ever YA fiction poll. Everyone has ten votes. (The full printable list of finalists is also available.) I’ve submitted my votes but as I narrowed it to ten, it got me thinking about my all-time favorites.

I have a revolving list of my top-five books. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta, A Little Wanting Song and/or Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley, A Room With a View by E. M. Forster, Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli and Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones are all common members of that list. Carolyn McCullough, Justina Chen, Scott Westerfeld and Sarah Beth Durst are also regular occupants.

For the poll in question my votes went to:

  1. Abhorsen Trilogy / Old Kingdom Trilogy (series), by Garth Nix (literally nothing to fault in this series)
  2. Fire and Hemlock, by Diana Wynne Jones (total no brainer–maybe my favorite book of all time)
  3. Graffiti Moon, by Cath Crowley (my favorite read of 2012 so far)
  4. Grave Mercy, by Robin LaFevers (not for everyone but the more I think about this one the more I like it)
  5. Leviathan (series), by Scott Westerfeld (my favorite new series)
  6. Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins (my second favorite 2012 read)
  7. Saving Francesca, by Melina Marchetta (no brainer–if I could have, I would have voted for all of her other books on the poll too)
  8. The Queen’s Thief (series), by Megan Whalen Turner (I, like many of my friends, am obsessed with this series. It is everything you could ever want in a series. Ever.)
  9. Revolution, by Jennifer Donnelly (also not for everyone but gosh it’s brilliant)
  10. The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater (no brainer–my favorite read from last year)

If I had more slots my votes also would have included:

  • Anne of Green Gables (series), by Lucy Maud Montgomery (I loved this series but it doesn’t need my love–we all know it’s good)
  • Earthsea (series), by Ursula K. Le Guin (I have problems with the later books but A Wizard of Earthsea was like my Harry Potter. It’s why I write. It’s why I love fantasy. It also is already really popular all on its own.)
  • The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (series), by Patricia C. Wrede (Don’t even talk to me about the last book.)
  • Harper Hall Trilogy (series), by Anne McCaffrey (Again, a classic that will get lots of play with or without a win)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones (Can’t have an author appear twice with only ten slots)
  • If I Stay, by Gayle Forman (I actually should have voted for Where She Went but I ran out of slots.)
  • Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta (My list can’t be all Melina Marchetta and Diana Wynne Jones.)
  • Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli (I don’t consider this one YA but I do love it. Since it’s already canon anyway, I think it will be fine. If Love, Stargirl had been in the poll my decision would have been harder.)

But that’s just me. What about you?

Do you have a perpetual top five favorite books or authors? What books would you pick from the NPR poll?

Miss Print Book Club Poll: January 2012

It’s that time again, help pick what my online book club will read for January and February.

More information about the book club can be found on its wiki: http://missprint.wikispaces.com/

Right now you have to be a wikispaces member (and confirm your email/real person-ness with me) to join in on the discussion. The club is currently on a two month schedule.

In November and December we are reading All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin.

Vote in the poll below for what you want to read in November and December (and if you aren’t yet a member please consider joining–it’s fun!):

Odds, Ends, and Random Poll #7

I have exciting NEWS to share with you, dear readers. But I can’t share it yet because I’m waiting for the official announcement. BUT it’s really awesome, so watch for it.

In other matters, I’ve been tweaking the site a bit and I also joined Amazon’s Associates program. The program is basically a referral and means that if you click a product link through my site I get a small percentage back from Amazon. I don’t know if it’s going to work with Miss Print in the long term and I haven’t even added any links yet (they will be clearly indicated in each post) but I’ve been looking into “next” steps for the blog and I think this might be one. That said this will in no way change anything about how I run the blog or how I write up reviews except that I will include extra links to books at the bottom of reiew posts.

In terms of tweaking I’ve also been wondering how you, my readers, are feeling about the widgets I have. Do you like them all? Do you use them all? Why not tell me in this Random Poll?

Any other thoughts about the sidebar and what’s useful? Tell me in the comments.

Random Poll #6: Miss Print’s Post Synopses (or lack thereof)

I recently started displaying excerpts of posts in RSS feed format. Partly this was an experiment to get a better sense of how my lovely readers get to the blog and partly I am aware that although I try to stick to 500 words my posts are generally on the longer side of what is expected or “typical” for a blog. But I’m not sure how I feel about them.

So I’m asking you: Should I leave the RSS feed posts as excerpts? Vote in the poll below. (Bonus Question: Should I excerpt the posts on my actual blog or do you like reading them all from the home page? Tell me in the comments, but please say yes because I don’t want to change any old posts . . . kidding, mostly!)

Random Poll #5: How long is too long?

I hate reading on the computer. Hate it. Which, I will grant, is a bit ironic for a blogger. But I find I can’t concentrate on posts that go very long and I worry a lot about eye strain. I try to keep all of my reviews on here at more or less 500 words. For anecdotal posts I sometimes go longer. When I was on a different (now deleted) platform I used to write much longer posts but it was harder for me to write and organize them.

I have just started experimenting with Bloglines and following a bunch of new blogs but find I am already cutting back because some of the posts are just too long for me to deal with. And that has made me curious as to what my reading public thinks on the matter. Thus the new poll.

Random Poll #3: Miss Print’s Read Alikes

I’m considering adding, possibly even retroactively, possible pairings to the end of my book reviews. These are commonly known as read alikes but might also include similar movies, music, etc. in addition to similar books. But first I need to know if readers would enjoy such a feature, so I have created a poll for your voting pleasure:

Random Poll #2: Miss Print’s “Secret” Identity

New “meta” poll. I’m aware that a lot of regular readers know who I am when I’m not being Miss Print. Those readers are also likely aware that I struggle with anonymity on this blog. Lately, I’ve been wondering if perhaps I should own my words slightly more here. Nothing drastic, just perhaps mentioning my name on the about page. But I’m conflicted. So I decided to ask you, the readers, with a new poll (though more verbal input would also be cool):

Random Poll #1: Miss Print’s Blog

I’m moderately excited about WordPress’ new poll feature and wanted to give it a go with a meta-poll about the blog (thus being called a “meta” poll). So, here we go . . .