1. The Nerds Heart YA Tournament: 20 bloggers are charged with picking one of 16 books from 2008 as the underdog title of the year. These are less well-known books that the panel feels deserve more attention. I am co-judging in the first round with Ali from Worducopia and we are reading ALIVE AND WELL IN PRAGUE, NEW YORK by Daphne Grab and STOP ME IF YOU THINK YOU'VE HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE by David Yoo (ummm..yeah...we got two of the longest titles). Look for reviews and our decision on Sunday. For more info including links to all the panelists' blogs and a judging bracket with all 16 titles, see Becky's fab post.
2. ChickLitTeens let me know that Shannon Greenland is offering up the 5th book in her SPECIALISTS series FIGHT TO THE FINISH for free on her website. Every Monday, she'll post a new chapter (so far, the prologue and first two chapters are up). I really enjoyed the first four books which I read last summer, and I think I can manage reading a chapter a week online.
3. Natasha of Maw Books Blog is hosting the Bloggiesta this weekend, a challenge to bloggers to catch up on their blogs. I can't participate because I am woefully behind on my "required" reading, but I've done some of the mini-challenges and plan to do some more.
4. I got a big box of books from Penguin this week to weigh down my sagging bookshelves even more. This gives me an extra push to get started on my First Chapter Challenge - so be on the lookout for that soon.
5. Ok, now the new kitty's name choices have been narrowed down to Sawyer or Finn. Finn is way ahead in the Facebook voting, but considering how his favorite new activity is chewing on all my books, I'd say either literary name is appropriate. Vote for your choice in the comments!
6. The Depeche Mode and All American Rejects concerts were both tons of fun. Depeche Mode played the Commerzbank Arena to a sold out crowd and my friend Tracy were on the 50 yard line so to speak. So we what we saw looked liked ants dancing, but energy was high.
All American Rejects played The Batschkapp, an intimate venue with a capacity of 700. Lead singer Tyson Ritter said it had been a long time since they had been so close to their fans (I was in the 3rd row - very, very close). As you can see from this picture, Tyson is hot, sweaty, and sweet (letting his fangirls hold his hand!). They didn't play a long set, but were very talkative and playful. Tyson even crowdsurfed.
Your turn! What are you excited about this week?