Around the Year in 52 Books discussion

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Archives > [2019] The Wild Discussion

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message 1: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3821 comments Mod
For those familiar with the process, our planning for the 2019 list won't begin until about June 2018.

But... that doesn't mean that members don't have valuable suggestions and discussion throughout the year as it pertains to group features. So this is the place to share any thoughts or suggestions for the group (book of the month, progress posts, read-a-thons, etc.)

If you think of a totally new activity or project, please share!


message 2: by Ann (new)

Ann | 579 comments So many people said they did not want to pick up a book when the last read-a-thon was over, they were burned out, and were behind on their ATY list. Can we do a read-a-thon that is easier? Easier as in not having to read whole books, many which were not on the ATY list. Something where you can gain points by doing something with the books you are already reading for the ATY, or even books you have finished. More discussion or thought and not as much large reading. Need suggestions? I can give you a few ideas,and there are probably more teachers out there that can come up with some too.


message 3: by Bryony, Circumnavigation Mod (new)

Bryony (bryony46) | 1058 comments Mod
Thanks for the feedback Ann, I remember a lot of us having a reading slump afterward. We have had some tasks that weren’t just about reading whole books before (eg read a short story, read a poem, recommend a book to your team etc) in previous readathons. I’m sure we can look at including more of those next time.

If you have any ideas please do suggest them, it’s always good to have new ideas.


message 4: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7205 comments Mod
For the Reader's Choice, I think y'all should throw a nonfiction category in there! I know nonfiction could apply to most of the prompts, but I'd be interested in seeing what people's best nonfiction read was. Just a thought!


message 5: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (last edited May 26, 2018 06:19AM) (new)

Laura | 3821 comments Mod
We're only a week away from June! Can you believe you it?! But you know what that means, the kick-off for creation of the 2019 list is coming. That means we need to get some of the discussion going.

What do we want the process to look like? Do we want to make changes or go with the same system we did last year?

For those new to the group, each year's list is created through (around) 13 mini-polls. Each week, members are given the opportunity make suggestions and each suggestion is entered into the poll once it is "seconded" by another member.

There are a few details that are particularly open for discussion:

- Do we want a pre-poll?
A pre-poll is a poll devoted to the automatic inclusion of a few prompts that tend to be popular. This allows them to be separated from other prompts, when they could overshadow some great ones.

- Do we want to continue a "multiple-week prompt"?
This year, this was the four weeks devoted to the four elements. But could be any linked prompts.

- Do we want to have "new suggestion" only polls?
This means suggestions could not come from the 2015 PopSugar or 2016, 2017, or 2018 ATY challenges.

Let's hear everyone's thoughts!!


message 6: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7205 comments Mod
I say yes to the mini-polls and the multi-week prompts! We had some great suggestions last year for the multi-week prompts last year so I’d like to see that again.

I’m not opposed to the “new suggestions” thread, but it does make it difficult for newbies to contribute. I know last year, I didn’t add prompts on those weeks because the one time I did, I got blasted in the comments. My suggestion is to link the unavailable prompts and make them easily accessible for those newbies.

I am so excited for this!


message 7: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments Yay! Very excited for the new list to start growing!

Pre-poll - Yes! It's good to keep old favorites without letting them interfere with new prompts.

Multi-week prompt - I vote no, but it's not a big deal to me. It mostly depends on what the 4-week topic is.

New suggestions only - No. As long as we have a pre-poll to add some favorites to the list, I don't think new suggestions only is necessary.


message 8: by Charity (new)

Charity (faeryrebel78) | 552 comments Yes on the pre poll. Those topics always end up being suggested anyway and it will allow other topics a chance.

I vote no on the multi week prompt. We did it this year and it was fun but I don’t think we should do it every year.

New topic polls I vote yes. It makes people be more creative in their suggestions.


message 9: by Jillian (new)

Jillian | 1668 comments I think keeping the pre-polls is a good idea.

I like the multi week prompts but would be okay we choose not to have them.

I have mixed feelings on the new polls. It is good to have new ideas but especially later on it seemed like it took forever to get enough tasks to even vote on. I also stopped making suggestions for those polls since I found it to confusing to keep track what tasks were already on previous years lists.


message 10: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 1346 comments pre-poll - yes!

multi-week prompts - I like these but don't feel really strongly either way about it.

new suggestions only - no, because it's too hard for the more casual members (like me) to remember what's been done before. But again, I don't feel really strongly about this.


message 11: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia (anastasiaharris) | 1331 comments The pre poll is a good idea. I would like those prompts limited though.
The multi week prompt is fun. It made me think more deeply about what I was reading.
Limiting some polls to only new prompts is not really that important. Most of the people participating have some really interesting suggestions. The over done prompts will probably not even get suggested.


message 12: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 928 comments Can't believe it is that time of year already.

Pre polls sounds good and I like a multi week prompt.

It might be worth doing at least one only new suggestions poll. But I think the process allows for new prompts so if they are good for the group then they will rise to the top. Perhaps we could make a note next to new suggestion in every poll letting people know that it is unique so they get more attention.


message 13: by Angie (new)

Angie | 807 comments Pre-poll - I say yes for the reasons you listed

Multi-week prompt - I think it's a fun idea, and we had some great suggestions last year. I vote yes.

New-only - I vote no, BUT having a new-only poll for just one week would be okay. But every other week like we did (if I remember correctly) last year can be confusing--especially if we're trying to keep track of Pop Sugar and the like, as well.


message 14: by Veronica (new)

Veronica | 797 comments I vote yes on the pre-poll and multi- week prompt. I think if we one poll with all new suggestions that works be fine, as (if i remember correctly) it became difficult to come up with new suggestions later in the process.


message 15: by Jill (new)

Jill (dogbotsmum) | 921 comments Pre-poll - I say yes as they are always included anyway.

Multi-week prompt - I think it depends on what suggestions are chosen, but it doesn't bother me.

New-only - I think yes for one week only, as it gets way too difficult to come up with new ideas, and they are usually just old prompts reworded.


message 16: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 2216 comments Pre-poll - yes
Multi-week prompt - Yes. I really liked the 4 elements prompts this year.
New-only - Like others said, I think the best prompts will get voted on so I don't see a need for new-only.


message 17: by °~Amy~° (new)

°~Amy~° (amybooksit) | 2926 comments Pre poll - yes

Multi week - sure, that is something unique to our challenge that I haven't seen other places

New only - I think simply limiting suggestions to three polls is enough. If it hasn't been chosen in three polls then people aren't interested so open up those spots to other suggestions that people might like better. It's nearly impossible to find new topics anyway given how many years this challenge has been going on. As someone else said, the new suggestions are simply reworded old suggestions.


message 18: by Ira (new)

Ira | 284 comments I vote yes for the pre poll and the multi week poll. I agree with the people saying that one all new suggestions poll would be ok, but it becomes difficult to find original suggestions for more polls.


message 19: by Jill (new)

Jill | 572 comments I agree we should do the pre-poll.
I also really enjoy the multi week prompts.
I also ageee that we should only do one new suggestions only poll. I think that those of us contributing suggestions get the hint if one of our suggestions doesn’t make it after a couple submissions.


message 20: by Peter (last edited May 26, 2018 06:12PM) (new)

Peter | 0 comments I'm ok with a pre-poll, but how do we determine what a popular topic is. Do we just stick with the ones we added this year? (ie a book published in 2018, goodreads awards... I can't remember if there were others). Or will it be expanded?

Either way, if there is one, I think it should be limited to no more than 4 topics automatically included. I would suggest that the other topics deemed popular that don't get added by the pre-poll should be excluded from future polls if people are worried they will knock out other good ideas.

So, long story short, once we determine what the common topics are, I think only a few should be auto-included and the rest should be discarded for the purposes of the rest of our list.

I liked the linked topics as well and I'm fine with having another linked idea next year, but I think one concept with 4 links was a good limit.

I'm ok with a new suggestion only, but I've been in this group for 4 years now.... It's becoming increasingly difficult to come up with new prompts without making them extremely specific or overly complicated. I'd like a new ideas only poll, but perhaps only one. Emily mentioned above that new members may not be aware of past topics and that it seemed that people called her out for suggesting one that wasn't deemed new. Maybe we can do the new topics only as the first poll and then any new members that may suggest something that doesn't count can just have their suggestion moved to the second poll? That might help alleviate some of the new members confusion and be a little more welcoming to them rather than some of us old timers telling them their idea doesn't work?

Just my thoughts on things so far. I'm really looking forward to the polls though and I'm already working on coming up with some neat ideas!


message 21: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2672 comments I vote yes to a pre-poll, but I agree with Peter that we should put a limit on how many topics get automatically included. I think last year we had 4 or 5 options that we voted on, and in the end only 2 were chosen to add.

I'm tentatively okay with the multi-prompt. I'm not opposed to the idea in general, but I know last year my interest in it was entirely based on the specific suggestions, and not that fact that they were multi-week, if that makes sense. I think we should put a cap on how many many weeks a multi-prompt can cover. I mean, in theory we could have suggestions covering any number of weeks (ie. alphabet-based covering 26 weeks), and I would be worried about feeling "stuck" for several weeks with prompts I don't like if I'm not a fan of any of the options. I would also suggest that multi-week prompts should have one (or more) poll of their own.

I'm fine either way about new suggestions only polls. It would be nice to have more new suggestions and not feel like we're seeing the same ideas over and over, but I know from last year that it was practically impossible to come up with any new ideas myself. I think if we make the previous year's lists accessible, it shouldn't be too hard for newer members (or anyone really, since it's hard to remember everything) to double-check before posting a suggestion. I don't know about people using the app, but on a computer you can just do a quick search for the keywords in your prompt and see if they show up on previous lists.

I would also like to suggest that before voting starts, maybe the mods can clarify the process and especially what happens in case of ties or other unusual numbers. Last year, there seemed to be a lot of confusion about the process especially when it came to getting less than 4 prompts added with each poll. I definitely wouldn't mind a refresher upfront about how the votes are counted.


message 22: by Sophie (last edited May 27, 2018 12:57AM) (new)

Sophie (sawphie) | 2920 comments I vote yes on the pre-poll, yes for the multi-prompt (although I think we should limit it to 4 or 5 weeks).

Samantha wrote: "Perhaps we could make a note next to new suggestion in every poll letting people know that it is unique so they get more attention. "

That's a great idea! It would be too much work for Laura to check every single prompt on each poll for uniqueness, but if you know for sure that your idea is brand new, just say it and maybe we could mention it at the end of the prompt name in the poll, like *new* or something. This would maybe bring those new prompts more attention when we're hesitating between several.

If we did that, maybe we wouldn't need a new-only poll.

°~Amy~° wrote: "I think simply limiting suggestions to three polls is enough. If it hasn't been chosen in three polls then people aren't interested so open up those spots to other suggestions that people might like better. "

I agree with that too! I might be wrong, but I feel that last year some prompts were submitted 4 or 5 times, a cap at 3 would leave more room for other ideas.

I'm so excited for this process and I'll try to check in more often on GR now to follow it, although cell phone coverage in Australia is not great haha (sorry Aussie friends 😉).


message 23: by Jody (new)

Jody (jodybell) | 3489 comments I’m in the minority here, but I’d personally like to scrap those prompts that have been in the challenge every single year so far. I’m sick of them.

I think a new suggestions only poll is a good idea, but as this will be our fifth year, maybe we could just exclude prompts from the last two years, rather than all four previous challenges. I’m not sure too many people would be too concerned about repeating a prompt from 2015 or 2016 (especially considering so many vote to include the same ones every year - GR Choice/Published this year). Like Peter (?) said, it becomes way too difficult to think of good prompts when you have to exclude so many.

I didn’t mind the linked weeks this year, but I’m not sure I’d want to do it again, although I don’t know what the other suggestions were.


message 24: by Anna (new)

Anna | 977 comments I'm OK with the pre-poll.
I liked the linked prompts, but would limit it to 3-4 linked prompts in the year.
New suggestions only poll? It would be hard to check all years of AtY and related challenges, except if they were compiled into one document. And does one save a unique suggestion for that poll, not "wasting" it on other polls?


message 25: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3821 comments Mod
Last year the pre-poll included these prompts:

* A previous suggestion that didn't make the list
* Reader's Choice
* A category from another challenge
* A Book from the GR Choice Awards
* A book you meant to read in 2017
* A book published in 2018

I personally like the linked prompts since they're something fun and different. But I think it's a good idea to only have one set of 3-4.

We could always just do new suggestions in one poll only and then allow resubmits one time before they're excluded.

As far as determining the results, I'll admit the process isn't overly scientific. Usually there's a clear handful at the time and then a gap before the middle prompts. I just pull out those at the top. Sometimes that's less than 4 prompts and I feel better having a smaller results list than including a 4th pick that has a lot less votes than the other winners.


message 26: by Jillian (new)

Jillian | 1668 comments I’m not sure if it would be to complicated or not but if I’m remembering correctly I usually had one prompt sometimes two that I really wanted to make it. Then there were about 6 prompts that I thought were good that I had to narrow down for the last spots to vote for.

Maybe in voting there could be a two polls one for your top pick and then one for the next three you like. I am not sure if this would help with close calls or if it would just make it more complex.


message 27: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2672 comments Just to clarify -- when we are talking about new suggestions, do we mean prompts that have never been suggested before at all, or prompts that have never made the final cut? I don't think it's necessarily too difficult to double-check before posting whether your prompt has been on a challenge list before, but it would definitely be overwhelming to check all the lists of rejected prompts as well.

In response to Laura -- I think some of the confusion last year was because in the past, we'd always seemed to have a clear top 4, and then last year we often didn't. It gave the impression that the process might have changed. I agree that it makes the most sense for those prompts that were very clearly on top to make the list.

I'd actually be fine with scrapping most of the popular topics (as well as "book to movie" or "book in translation" prompts, since those have been very over-done as well), but I also see why most of the ones listed above are voted in year after year.


message 28: by Anna (new)

Anna | 977 comments If I remember well, you were supposed to vote for your 4 top, and 4 bottom prompts. May I suggest that if you don't have 4 clear "bottom" prompts, you wouldn't have to vote against four, just ones that you would really hate seeing in the challenge.


message 29: by Jackie, Solstitial Mod (new)

Jackie | 1303 comments Mod
Yay! I love the polling process!

prepoll: Absolutely. It just gets them out of the way. Instead of framing it as a prepoll to determine some prompts to get 'automatically' included, maybe just call it Poll 1, in which the mods have selected 5 of the most commonly suggested prompts. We vote, and the top 2-3 make the list, and then the mods decide if the others go in rejects or if they can be suggested again.

multi-prompt: I liked this years, and I feel like it added a fun component to the challenge. I would suggest that it be a poll unto itself as it was last year, but that this year there is a clearly stated number of weeks so that all the suggestions have the same number. Most people last year stayed within the 3-5 range, but I think it would be helpful if they were all, say 4 books (or whatever), so that we're voting on which suggestion we like, not how long a multi-prompt we want. A mini-poll could easily decide what number people want.

New suggestions only: I don't feel like dedicated new suggestion only polls are required. Speaking for myself, I know when I've done a prompt multiple times and am tired of it, and then I just vote for something else. Starring the never-yet-made-the-list suggestions would be nice, but if it's more work for the mods, then it's not something I need.

Can't wait to see all the cool things people come up with!


message 30: by Katie (new)

Katie | 2369 comments Laura takes into account the top votes and the bottom votes when determining the winners in each poll. Do people like getting to vote for the bottom four or would you rather just the four topics with the most votes win no matter what?

Also I thought the seconding process worked well that we implemented last year. What do you guys think?


message 31: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3821 comments Mod
Anna, I believe the questions have always been worded for people to vote for "up to 4" suggestions. But I can make that more explicit if people have always felt they had to vote for 4.


message 32: by Peter (new)

Peter | 0 comments I really liked the seconding process - I think it really helped slow things down so everyone gets a chance to submit or second something. I also think it really helped cut down on confusing/difficult/vague/awkwardly worded topics because they require someone to second them and aren't automatically added to the poll. It helps make sure the polls aren't bogged down with repeats or options that no one else wants in there.


message 33: by Jillian (new)

Jillian | 1668 comments I’d be okay with dropping the bottom votes. I know with this year prompts, some of the prompts I did not care for during the voting (had in my bottom) and won turned out to be really great reads.

I think the seconding worked out good last year.


message 34: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments The seconding policy works really well, I like it.


message 35: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2672 comments I also like the seconding process for the same reasons Peter mentioned above. It really helped to cut down on prompts that didn't make much sense, or at least gave a chance to clarify what they meant before adding them to the list.

I always thought of the voting process as a kind of +/- system, where each suggestion gets a + for any Top 4 vote, and a - for any Bottom 4 vote, giving it a total number of overall votes. I'm not 100% sure if that's really how it works, but I personally found the Bottom votes helpful for knowing which suggestions the group in general were not really into, and that could influence what is suggested later on if people think they are unlikely to make the list.

I agree with Jillian that some of my least favourite prompts sometimes ended up being my favourite books, but there were also several prompts that I down-voted because I really dreaded them, and I was so glad they didn't make the list.


message 36: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3821 comments Mod
Yes, Rachel, that's how it works. The top - bottom = total :)


message 37: by Marie (new)

Marie | 706 comments Yay, it's my favourite time of the year! I think I enjoy making the list as much as I do reading the books.

The pre-poll for the popular topics, I don't mind one way or the other. They tend not to be my favourites, as they're quite easy to fill, so I'm torn - it will guarantee that some of them make it to the list, but at least it might just be a couple of them.

I'm a fan of the multi-week prompt - it added an extra level of "puzzle solving" to making my list, which I enjoyed. I think we had quite a few good suggestions for it last time, so it's worth doing again.

I don't mind a bit of repetition from previous years, so I'd say no to new suggestions only polls, unless later in the process it becomes clear that we're getting a lot of prompts that have been used before. I didn't take part the first year, so those are all new to me, and some of the less straightforward prompts would be interesting to try and fill more than once.

I definitely think the seconding is worth keeping, Peter sums up the reasons why really well.

I like to be able to vote for my bottom 4 as much as my top 4 - maybe that says something bad about me! I think seeing what's unpopular helps in coming up with suggestions that work, as well as giving me an outlet for my negative feelings about the occasional suggestion that I really don't like.


message 38: by Manda (new)

Manda (bookwenchmanda) | 1094 comments I say yes to all of them, but I’m flexible. If we scrap something of go in a completely different direction, I won’t be bummed.


message 39: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7205 comments Mod
I liked voting for top and bottom, but I’ll admit that I didn’t realize we could vote for less than 4.

I thought seeing the topics that were polarizing was interesting and definitely helped us decide if we wanted to bring that topic back around for another vote, plus it helped us weed out the ones that were definitely in the bottom.

I generally think the whole process works really smoothly! I like that the suggestions only stay open until we get a certain amount to vote on (as opposed to a time limit), and I like the 1-second rule (as opposed to no seconds or everyone seconding everything they are interested in, which I’ve seen in other groups and it gets chaotic).


message 40: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2672 comments Laura wrote: "Yes, Rachel, that's how it works. The top - bottom = total :)"

In that case, I think it's helpful to be able to vote for our Bottom 4 (or fewer) choices. I don't really see any disadvantage to doing so.


message 41: by Jillian (new)

Jillian | 1668 comments I maybe wrong but I got really confused with the voting last year on what got picked. It seems liked voting for a choose that I just kinda liked for the top could hurt my top pick from actually making it.

If I liked my top picks: 1 the best, 2 second best, 3 the third best, and 4 the forth best. In the event, 1 and 4 were tied (for the 4th spot to be added to the list) then neither of them made it and they both went on the close call. So, I may be completely wrong but this part really confused me from one of the discussions.

I was called out negatively for voting for two similiar topics to be in the top which I liked both and voted for both in the topic hoping at least one of them made it. This has left me unsure about even participating in the voting process this year and just joining in once the list is complete.


message 42: by Jill (new)

Jill (dogbotsmum) | 921 comments I was under the impression that it was required for us to pick a top 4 and a bottom 4. Obviously that is not so. I do think it would be interesting if we could see all the numbers of the votes, as then we would have a good idea of just what people in the group really like or hate.


message 43: by Kathy Jo (new)

Kathy Jo (kjsotr) | 262 comments I like the pre-poll idea and could go either way on the new only suggestions.


I like the multi-week prompts. Maybe do it first? Because we ended up with water as an element and "takes place on/in/under water" and they felt really similar. We could also know up front how many weeks the multi week would account for.


message 44: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7205 comments Mod
I agree with Kathy. Maybe pre-poll, first week would be new suggestions only, then the multi-week one? (If we go with the idea to have only one poll dedicated to new suggestions only)


message 45: by Jackie, Solstitial Mod (new)

Jackie | 1303 comments Mod
I like having the bottom votes. As people have said, it's nice to see which prompts just aren't what the group is wanting. I also personally like that it at least gives me the feeling that I have done something to avoid a prompt I hate. It doesn't always work, but at least I can tell myself that I tried and that other people must really want that prompt.

Based on the comments/questions so far, it might be a good idea to just have a "Here's How the Voting Works" post that goes over everything and spells out how the winners are chosen, etc, so that newbies and veterans are all on the same page.


message 46: by Jillian (new)

Jillian | 1668 comments I just read the new announcement thread and I’m not sure why it says you cannot follow notifications through the app. I generally turn on notifications through the app.


message 47: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (last edited May 29, 2018 04:24AM) (new)

Laura | 3821 comments Mod
I honestly copied and pasted the announcement thread from last year so it may have changed in an update of the app.

Jillian, just because two suggestions are a tie doesn't necessarily mean they will be judged as close calls. For example, if two suggestions had 45 votes and that was the top spot, they would both be included. On the other hand, if 2 suggestions got 45 votes and 2 got 25 then I would be more likely judge them as close calls, since there's a large gap between them and the top two spots. Close calls don't really have anything to do with them being a tie.

I would also be wary of taking things personal during the discussion process. Just because people had the opinion that two suggestions were too similar and you happened to vote for them, that doesn't mean they were calling you out. Opinions are just that. Opinions. People are allowed to vote for whatever they want and I genuinely think we strive for that atmosphere here.


message 48: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (last edited May 29, 2018 04:31AM) (new)

Laura | 3821 comments Mod
I would suggest we do the multi-week round after the pre-poll. If the goal is to know the multi-week entries before others then we would want to have it even before the new suggestions.

We may also want to hold off on new suggestions until later in the process, once we know if they're even needed.

I am willing to post a "This is How it Works" post along with the first round. I'm sure I've commented all the details at some point or another but I can condense it into a clear post.


message 49: by °~Amy~° (new)

°~Amy~° (amybooksit) | 2926 comments I agree with week one pre-poll, week two multi-week and with holding off on the new suggestions poll for all the reasons already stated.


message 50: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments Sounds good! I love the process of choosing the next year's books!


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