Last year, I waited to do the Book Club in Review post until APRIL, of all times! Craziness! This year, I’m little more on the ball, but then again, I wasn’t tallying points up last year, so that really helps. But as with every year, I like reflecting back on the book club from the previous year to see just how successful it was. I do this by looking at how many people voted in polls, how many people said they read the book, and how many people commented. I also want to open another giveaway, so keep your eyes peeled!
Most Readers: Not surprisingly, that honor went to Jo Walton’s Among Others in July. I won’t sit here and claim all 23 readers read it FOR the book club, because it was a noteworthy book, even before its Nebula and Hugo nominations. That we read it right before Hugo votes were due also helped, I think. In second place with 21 readers was Alison Goodman’s Eon in September, and Catherynne M. Valente’s Deathless came in third place in December with 20 readers.
Fewest Readers: I have to admit, this was the first year that participation was pretty consistent. So the lowest participation month (and not surprising, because this pick was outside most of our wheelhouses) was Sarah Langan’s Audrey’s Door with only 10 readers (compare that to the stats above and you see what I mean about consistency) in October. In second place, Rick Yancey’s The Monstrumologist, which surprised me, but hey, it was a little outside of the norm (then again, the two lowest rated books were both horror… hmmm….). Third placed tied with 14 readers: Kameron Hurley’s God’s War in June and Diana Rowland’s My Life As a White Trash Zombie in August. June makes sense because it was another difficult read, but it was also a unique book, so that’s sad. Rowland surprised me because I assumed I had a lot of UF readers on my blog, and this book, despite the super-girlish cover and strange premise, was a real delight to read, so I’m sorry not more people jumped on board.
Most Comments: Again, it should come as no surprise that Jo Walton’s Among Others had the most comments with 57 comments. Hey, we were debating the interpretation, so that’s not surprising. In second place was 51 comments in May for C.J. Cherryh’s Downbelow Station, and third place was Rick Yancey’s The Monstrumologist.
Overall Points and What I Learned: It’s weird. Last year was pretty consistent: voting was spread of 22-36 votes; participation a spread of 11-23 readers, and comments were a spread of 25-57. Like I mentioned earlier, the Theme Park book club was REALLY consistent. We didn’t have any SUPER highs like in years past, but on the flip side, we didn’t have any huge lows either. All in all, that’s interesting. But we did see a dip in 2012 from 2011. Granted, in 2011, I was tracking MORE things: whether or not someone had read the book in question for the challenge or if they’d read it prior to. Whether or not someone had signed up for the challenge. Whether or not someone participated in Calico’s Dares that year. That sort of thing. But yet I’m reviewing my 2011 Alphabet Soup post and comparing the overall numbers to the spreadsheet I keep, and I have no idea what kind of crack I was smoking, math-wise. At any rate, 2011 was hugely successful. 2012 was down considerably by almost half, even if you compare apples to apples and only tally up the number of votes, overall participants, and comments.
Of course, that’s what happens when you don’t promise that the people with the most points will win prizes. You all were HIGHLY motivated in 2011, but last year it was left to those who just wanted to participate, you know? So maybe there’s something to that, I don’t know.
At any rate, considering overall points for 2012, Jo Walton’s Among Others in July was the most popular selection with 112 points. Second most popular, despite the low number of actual participants, was Rick Yancy’s The Monstrumologist in March with 95 points. In third was C.J. Cherryh’s Downbelow Station with 91 points in May, with Catherynne M. Valente’s Deathless sneaking in right behind with 90 points in December. The books with the fewest points were Sarah Langan’s Audrey’s Door in October with 53 points, then Kameron Hurley’s Gods’ War in June with 64 points, and lastly, Diana Rowland’s My Life as a White Trash Zombie in August with 70 points.
So it was an interesting, consistent but weird year for the book club. Some great selections, I think, and the themes forced us to diversify a bit, which was awesome since the lack of diversity was a pitfall in 2011, so I’m glad at least something improved in 2012!
Theme Park Winners & Giveaway: I know, I know. I didn’t track participation last year, so there were no points to tally up, no quantitative way to figure out who’d win a prize for participation. This year, I decided to reward my “sponsors,” those readers who created a theme for me last year so that I wouldn’t have to. So if you’re one of the following readers, please email me at calico . reaction @ gmail . com (you know how to make that addy work, right?) and claim your prize!
Thanks to ALL of you who made running my Theme Park book club a little bit smoother last year! I couldn’t have done it without you! Okay, maybe I could’ve, but not without much gnashing of the teeth and brains splattered all over the wall.
Now, what if you DIDN’T get to sponsor a theme last year? Are you feeling a little left out? Disappointed that your theme wasn’t chosen, or disappointed that you didn’t (or couldn’t) nominate a theme to begin with? NEVER FEAR!!! I won’t forget you! I’m offering a giveaway to win one of the Theme Park selections from last year! That way, if you missed out on a title and really want to read it, you’ve got your chance!
But wait: what if you read ALL of the Theme Park selections last year? When you enter, instead of giving me a book club title, just let me know. I have some options in mind, and if you do win, we’ll discuss said options.
To note: no purchase necessary, void where prohibited, and all that jazz. Here are the rest of the rules:
As always, the giveaway is open to everywhere the Book Depository ships to. To see if you’re eligible, please click here.
Once you know Book Depository will ship your prize to you, it’s time to select your potential prize. A couple of things you should know:
1) I will ship the cheapest version of the book available. So if it’s a choice between hardcover and paperback, you’re gonna get the paperback. If you’d prefer an e-copy, we’ll email each other and work it out (e-copies can be tricky, but we’ll figure it out!).
2) Make sure you look up your selected title on Book Depository and make SURE it’s available. It’s it’s not available, pick something else that is (unless you want an e-copy from elsewhere, and in that case, we’ll work it out).
To enter, click the link below and fill out all sections of the form. If you don’t live in the US, please make sure your address is formatted properly, because I’d hate for you to not win your prize because I put a region in as a city or whatever, you know?
Deadline: you have until Monday, March 4th to enter. Winner(s) *** will be announced on Tuesday, March 5th.
Remember, one entry per person. If you’re not sure if your entry came through or not, just comment here and ask so I can check.
Thanks to all who participated in the 2012 Theme Park Book Club, and I hope that you’re enjoying your 2013 Dares!
*** = Number of winners is dependent on 1) number of entries and 2) my wallet. There will be at least one.