BBAW: My Own, Personal Shortlist

Celebrate Books I am in awe of this thing that Amy put together, this Book Blogger Appreciation Week.  Particularly amazing is how it has evolved over the last year.  I think the judging process is much inproved.  I love the fact that we added the judging panels, so that ALL nominated blogs had a chance to be judged on their merit, instead of the five most-nominated blogs being up for voting.  I think that was much more fair (this from someone who was shortlisted last year, and not this year).

Since it was the first year that BBAW used this process, there were of course some flaws, though.  One of them, in my opinion, stemmed from the process of each nominee sending in 5 posts that exemplified each category they were nominated in for judging.  Don’t get me wrong, I think that was a great idea for judges and nominees alike, but I also think it led to some misleading results in some of the genre categories.

One example was the best history/historical fiction blog.  I only know of two of the five shortlisted blogs, but I don’t consider either of them as history/historical fiction blogs.  Let me just say that BOTH of them are in my ‘favorites’ folder on my Google Reader, so I’m definitely not putting either of them down.  And yes, both of them do occasionally review history and historical fiction.  About as much as I do, actually, and I certainly wouldn’t consider myself a history/historical fiction blog.  Of course, I’m sure they sent in 5 fantastic history/historical fiction posts, and all the panelists could do was judge those.  I don’t think they should have been nominated for this category in the first place, although I’d love to see both of them win BBAW awards.

It is entirely possible that the other 3 blogs are big into history/historical fiction, certainly one has “historical fiction” in the title and another one seems to focus on the Civil War.  I’ll have to check these 3 out, and maybe I’ll have new historical fiction blogs to read every day.

Now that I’ve shot my mouth off about some blogs I didn’t think should be included, I should tell you who I would have liked to have seen in this category:

bbaw08_historical Medieval Bookworm
You’d think that someone getting their masters in history and writing a disseration would want a break from history, but Meghan reads and reviews a ton of history and historical fiction, in addition to romance and other books.  She even won best history/historical fiction blog during BBAW last year.

Passages to the Past
You have no clue how many wishlist ideas I get from Passages to the Past.  Amy likes to spotlight upcoming historical fiction releases and gets me drooling over books months and months before I can even get them.

Tanzanite’s Shelf and Stuff
Daphne also adds to my wishlis frequently with her Weekly Wishlist posts.  She also tends to read a lot of older historical fiction, giving me lots of ideas for older authors to check out.

15 comments to BBAW: My Own, Personal Shortlist

  • Thank you Jen! It’s funny, now that my MA is basically over, I’m drooling over history even more. Now that the pressure’s off, I just want to learn everything! It’s very strange.

    I totally agree with you about the historical fiction shortlist. None of my favorite historical fiction blogs were on there. I do love and subscribe to four of them (including the two I think you mention here, who I agree I never really thought of as hist fic!) and I added the fifth, but my own shortlist would have been much different. I was really surprised by it. Not that I’m necessarily a historical fiction blog either – it’s about 50% historical stuff and 50% other stuff.

    I too liked the impartial judging system better! It is a better method of choosing shortlists (even though apparently the popular vote is better for me personally, LOL).

    Anyway, sorry for such a long comment. Thank you for including me!
    .-= Meghan´s last blog ..BBAW: Recognizing Blogs I Love =-.

  • I think Amy is responsible for about 60% of my wish list!

  • I’m not familiar with the last two blogs you featured (although it’s a great excuse to check out some new blogs) nut I will say that I greatly enjoy Medieval Bookkworm’s blog and I am surprised she didn’t make the shortlist.

    I am also shocked you didn’t make the shortlist either, but I did feature you in my blog this morning because your blog has been one that I stumbled across when I first discovered the book blogging world (along with The Literate Housewife) and your log has been inspirational and instrumental in me creating my own blog.

  • As one of the shortlisted blogs for this category (and I think, one of the two you’re talking about), I can completely agree with you. Although I was THRILLED to be nominated, I don’t consider myself an historical fiction/history blogger (the category includes both of those genres). I do love the genres and I do review quite a few books that fit that description but I wouldn’t say that’s all I do. In fact, I counted up my reviews that could be considered for this category and found that they make up 24% of all my book reviews.

    In defense of the whole process though, I don’t think it was clear to nominators if they were supposed to only nominate blog whose sole focus was historical fiction/history or those blogs who wrote the best reviews in those genres. If the latter was true, then I’d like to think I do fit into this category – or at least, that my readers and the judges think so. :) If the former is true, then I definitely don’t fit – and that’s ok with me.

    You’re right that the awards process is better this year than last year and you are also right that there are still things that need improvement. I’m glad to have been shortlisted but I will completely understand if I don’t win – and I’ll happily celebrate with whoever does. AND I’ll also continue to help out with BBAW next year as I did this year* to ensure that things only get better from here on out. :)

    *full disclosure: I helped to get author guest posts this year and set the daily blogging themes (so no one thinks I had anything to do with the awards process) .
    .-= Heather J.´s last blog ..BBAW: Welcome! ***sticky post *** =-.

    • Yes, you were one of the two I was talking about and I agree 100% with what you’ve said. You’re right that you write fantastic reviews, about historical fiction as well as everything else and if it was seen as ‘who writes some good reviews of historical fiction’ then you definitely deserve to be nominated. I definitely think you should be shortlisted, even if I’m not sure this is where you should be.

  • You are getting some serious love out there Jen! You are on everyone’s short list! You would get my vote on many counts as well! Thanks for the recommendations…I’m off to check them out. My reader is smoking!

  • I do think the shortlisting process needs to be tweaked some, but it is definitely an improvement over last year. Your shortlist is great!

  • Yes, yes, and yes! You and I are thinking along the same lines. I highlighted Meghan and Amy today as well, but I love Tanzanite’s blog. The feature that I love the most is when she takes a historical portrait and mashes it up. The technical term for that completely escapes my mind, but I love it.

    I will never, ever forget the post you wrote about my blog last year. It continues to mean the world to me. You are one of the greatest and I hope that someday I’ll get myself to Chicago so I can finally meet you in person. I also would love to give Daniel a hug. He’s the cutest little thing!

  • Aw, thank you so much! I agree with you about the short list for historical fiction/history. Hopefully the process can be tweeked a little next year to give some guidance or criteria as to nominations, especially in the genre categories.

    And the term that Housewife is referring to is “mosaic”. I use the covers of the books I own to make a mosaic of historical figures.

  • I felt bad that Passages to the past didn’t make it! I love her blog!!!!!

    I did an interview with Daphne for BBAW! I found her blog like yesterday and I am glad I did :)

  • You’ve really made my day Jen, thank you! I have to admit being a little bummed about not making the shortlist, but honestly it doesn’t matter now. I’ve been getting so much love from my fellow bloggers and to me there is nothing better. Medieval Bookworm and Tanzanite’s blogs were the first blogs I followed and they inspired me greatly and still do!

    Thanks again Jen!

  • Hopefully our new plans for next year of self-registration will enable each blogger to feel they have a chance to be nominated in the right genre! :)

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