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Showing posts with label SiobhanVivian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SiobhanVivian. Show all posts

Monday, 3 January 2011

Top 10 Picture Books 2010

2010 was my beat year for reading productivity, not counting books read to my children, some again and again I read over 300 books this year. As such it was really hard to pick the Top 10 Picture Books for the year but here goes.

1. Grandma's Gloves - Cecil Castellucci & Julia Denos
2. Peg and the Yeti - Kenneth Oppel and Barbara Reid
3. In The Time Of Noah - N.D. Wilson
4. The Snow Day - Komako Sakai
5. The Littlest Christmas Star - Brandi Dougherty and Sanja Rescek
6. Jingle Dancer - Cynthia Leitich Smith, Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu
7. Fancy Nancy: Tea Parties - Jane O'Connor and Robin Priess Glasser
8. Daddy Sneaks - Sharlene Weingart
9. Ivy Loves To Give - Freya Blackwood
10. Vunce Upon A Time - Siobhan Vivian & J. Otto Seibold
 

Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010

2010 was my beat year for reading productivity, not counting books read to my children, some again and again I read over 300 books this year. As such it was really hard to pick the Top 10 Fiction Books for the year but here goes.

1. Geektastic - Holly Black & Cecil Castellucci
2. LA Trilogy - Cecil Castellucci
Boy Proof - Queen of Cool - Beige
3. Gothic Trilogy - Cynthia Leitich Smith
Tantalize, Eternal and Blessed
4. Mortal Instruments - Casandra Clare
City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass
5. Thirteen Days to Midnight - Patrick Carman
6. Northern Fright Trilogy - Arthur Slade
Dragur, The Haunting of Drang Island and The Loki Wolf
7. Not That Kind Of Girl - Siobhan Vivian
8. Plain Kate - Erin Bow
9. White Cat - The Curse Workers Book 1 - Holly Black
10. The Knife Of Never Letting Go - Chaos Walking #1 - Patrick Ness
11. The Live-Forever Machine - Kenneth Oppel
12. Clockwork Angel - Infernal Devices Book 1 - Cassandra Clare

As a side note, the reason Geektastic made #1 first it was a great anthology. Second it introduced me to 4 authors who I have read their complete works since discovering them in Geektastic. And third I have plans to read books by almost every other contributor in the book.


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Vunce Upon A Time - Siobhan Vivian and J. Otti Seibold

Vunce Upon A Time
Siobhan Vivian (Author)
J. Otti Seibold (Illustrator)
Chronicle Books
ISBN 9780811862714

This is a wonderfully quirky and unique book for children. It is a vampire tale like no other. Dagmar is bit off for vampires; first he is only a child vampire, second he is a vegetarian and third he is addicted to Candy. Dagmar has problems growing vegetables by moonlight and tending his garden at night, but he supplements his diet with candy - in fact he is something of a candyholic. But his candy supply has run out. But then a skeleton informs him that tomorrow is Hallowe'en and humans give out Candy. Dagmar wants to go trick or treating but he must find a costume, convince his parents and overcome his fear of humans. It is a wonderful story with amazing illustrations.

Book by Siobhan Vivian:
A Little Friendly Advice
Same Difference
Not That King of Girl

For Children:
Vunce Upon A Time

Author Profile interview with Siobhvan Vivian.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Siobhan Vivian - Author Profile

Siobhan Vivian, born in New York City but raised in Rutherford, NJ. She attended the University of the Arts and graduated with a degree in film writing. She has an MFA in Creative writing Children's Literature from The New School University. Besides writing amazing novels she also teaches Writing Youth Literature at the University of Pittsburg.

1. Your first university degree was in writing, as was your second and now you teach writing, when did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I always knew I wanted to be an entertainer of some sort. I was definitely the loud girl, the one who was constantly talking out of turn, gossiping and making jokes. But it didn't strike me until my senior year of high school, when I enrolled in a creative writing elective, that writing was something you could study in college. That's when it all came together for me.

2. Siobhan is a Irish form of Joan, your female characters seem to be variations on Joan of Arc, or at least to the extent that you write strong convincing female leads who all seem to go through a personal challenge, is that intentional?

Wow! I never noticed that before. But I am attracted to stories about girls growing and challenging themselves…now it all makes sense!

3. What were some of your favorite authors in your teen years who helped shape you?

To be honest, I didn't read much in high school beyond what was assigned for class. But I did enroll in a Great Books class, and loved everything that was put in front of me. But it wasn't until college when reading became something I liked to do for pleasure. I had to read Rabbit, Run by John Updike for a class, and promptly became obsessed with that character. I would often blow off studying or writing so I could read my way through the Rabbit novels.

4. What were your favorite books as a teen?

In my early teens, I read a lot of 80's romance / horror books. The ones with the illustrated covers, where a girl goes to prom and her boyfriend dies and she needs to figure out who killed him. That sort of thing.

5. What are your favorite authors now?

I am a devotee of Melissa Bank.

6. What does your writing process look like? Takes us through the steps from idea to publishing?

I've been lucky enough to have a multi-book contract with Scholastic, as well as an editor who trusts me. So I will come up with an idea, pitch him a bit of a synopsis over lunch or something, and then get the official Thumbs Up to start the book.

7. How many drafts or major revisions are part of your writing process, and what is your goal or timeline for each?

It really depends on the book, but I typically take about 15 to 16 months to complete one novel. I might do two draft or ten drafts within that time frame.

8. You now teach writing, what was it like making the transition from student of the craft to teacher?

It wasn't too hard. I absolutely LOVE the work-shopping process, and I also have worked as an editor, so it was a pretty natural fit to step into that role.

9. What is the most important lesson you try to impart to your students?

To not get bogged down in the idea of "perfection" during a first draft. You can easily waste a good six months rewriting a first chapter that will probably get cut out completely once you actually write the book from start to finish and figure out the trajectory.

10. I once heard Madeleine L'Engle state that her characters were real to her and almost an extended part of her family, she said once that at the dinner table she sat up and stated "Meg just finished her PhD." Are your characters real to you, do you ever get glimpses of what they are up to now, or once you finish a book is that it?

For me, it's rare if an old character pops into my head. I tend to give everything I have during the writing time, and then let them go off into the sunset once I hit The End.

11. Your books are written and published for teenagers, yet I discovered them from an adult reviewer and know many adults that love them, your books seem to really transcend that category, were they written to achieve that or was it just fortuitous to work out that way?

That is such a nice compliment. I think it boils down to this-a good story is a good story. I can remember being read to by my mom, and how we were both completely entranced by A Wrinkle In Time or Trumpeter of the Swan. I think a good story has the power to transcend its intended audience.

12. Your books are also marketed mainly to girls and women and yet I have read them and recommended them too many friends of the male gender who loved them. Do you see yourself writing a book aimed at a male audience? Much like Laurie Halse Anderson's Twisted?

That's excellent. I'd love to attempt something like that in the future.

13. When you wrote Not That Kind of Girl, what came first the title or the story line?

The story line. Actually, the idea came almost fully formed to me after I had the chance to sit down and speak with a girl during a high school visit I did in New Jersey.

14. Natalie Sterling in Not That Kind of Girl, wants to be in control and have everything perfect and under her expectations. Is that a reflection are part of your personality or just the character you created?

That is definitely all Natalie and no Siobhan. I'm too scatterbrained and disorganized to exert any control over my life. But I will say that I think Natalie's drive to succeed feels like a part of me.

15. One of the greatest strengths in your books are the characters, they are so solid and believable. The characters you create, are they reflections of people you know, composites of different people you know or entirely your creations?

This is such a nice compliment, because I feel like character is always the weakest link in my writing. But I personally tend to try and avoid the "Real People" trapping, because those characters always seem the least real in my stories. Weird, right?

16. You have a professed love of music, many authors today blog or publish a playlist either as recommended listening for a novel or music that was used while writing or editing. Do you find you end up with soundtracks while writing specific books? Have you considered sharing them?

I did have a sound track for Same Difference, which I published on my old site. But lately, I have trouble listening to music and writing. I get too distracted. I've been listening to Thunder and Rain lately. It's hilarious. It will be completely sunny and bright outside my office window, but the rain is pouring down on my desk.

17. Many people have commented on how each of your books would make great films. Have any of them been optioned or has any interest in actually developing them begun?

Alas, I have had zero film / television interest. I think the problem lies in that my books are not at all High Concept. They are just real girls in real situations, and I think that's a hard sell for Hollywood these days.

18. You just recently finished a manuscript can you give us a few hints about this new story?

Ah! I am SO NOT FINISHED! Actually, I just got my revision letter back and I've got an insane amount of work to do! But the book is about a list of the prettiest and the ugliest girl in each grade of a high school, and the story follows those eight girls for one week in their lives.

19. If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have 10 books to read again and again, what books would you want with you?

Hmm. Both of Melissa Bank's novels (2), John Updike's Rabbit novels (4, and I'll pass on the short story where Rabbit dies), Blankets, The Portable Dorothy Parker, The Chocolate War, The Great Gatsby.

20. What advice would you give to young aspiring authors and artists?

You can make a living doing what you love. I swear. Just be ready to embrace the hustle.

Siobhan Vivian, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for us, and thank you for the awesome books.

Book by Siobhan Vivian:

A Little Friendly Advice
Same Difference
Not That King of Girl

For Children:
Vunce Upon A Time

Author Profile interview with Siobhvan Vivian.













Friday, 1 October 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books of the 3rd Quarter 2010

1. Draugr - Northern Fights #1 - Arthur Slade
2. Not That Kind Of Girl - Siobhan Vivian
3. Eternal - Cynthia Leitich Smith
4. Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare
5. The Haunting of Drang Island - Northern Frights #2 - Arthur Slade
6. The Live-Forever Machine - Kenneth Oppel
7. Alex O'Donnell and the 40 Cyber Thieves - Regina Doman
8. The CrossBones - Skeleton Creek #3 - Patrick Carman
9. Tantalize - Cynthia Leitich Smith
10. Half Brother - Kenneth Oppel


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:
238 January-October 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Not That Kind Of Girl - Siobhan Vivan

Not That Kind Of Girl
Siobhan Vivian

PUSH an imprint of
Scholastic

ISBN 9780545169158


Some books when you read them have such an astounding impact upon the reader that you cannot stop thinking about them or talking about them. This book is one such book. I realized some things while reading this book - the curriculum I read in high school was dominated by male authors, even those I read as my picks were all male authors. I was about 25 before I read any female authors for leisure. At the time, my girlfriend and I each picked 5 books the other had to read. Since then, I have discovered a plethora of female authors that I appreciate and admire. Yet even at that, it was not until reading this book that I realized that I was learning a woman's perspective, and the impact of actions that, at the time, may seem inconsequential. This book will reveal to male readers the impact their actions can have, and for women it will show them some people they can relate to, and maybe help them understand themselves better.

The story takes place at Ross Academy, a private school. Natalie Sterling is a senior and prides herself on always making the right choices. She knows that bad choices can haunt you for years. Her best friend is an example of that. But Natalie has it all planned out - win the student Council election, be class president, write the SATs and go to a college far away. But somewhere along the way her plans start to go sideways, as with Spencer Biddle, a freshman Natalie tries to help. Natalie wants Spencer to start making better decisions, and mapping out her life. But Spencer's life is almost ruined when nude pictures of her circulate around the school.

The story follows the students at the Ross Academy through the first term of the school year. It is incredibly well-written. It will transport the reader to high school. You will encounter people like those you know or knew in school. The groups, clicks, pranks and jokes will all seem so familiar it is stunning. The characters are real and well portrayed. The impact of even the smallest actions or words can have long-lasting effects and like a rock once thrown in the pond cannot ever be taken back.

What I learned most from this book, was that if I had read books like this when I was younger, I would have had a greater sense of the impact of my actions. Therefore I would have hurt a lot fewer people in my life, especially the women I interacted with. In the book, Natalie Sterling learns to really understand who she is; she learns to be good at being. And in following her through her journey, we can learn to be better at those things also. It is a great novel and I highly recommend it.

(First published in Imprint 2010-07-16.)













Book by Siobhan Vivian:
A Little Friendly Advice
Same Difference
Not That King of Girl

For Children:
Vunce Upon A Time

Author Profile interview with Siobhvan Vivian.