May 102012

With the craziness of getting ready for LDStorymakers Conference, going to the conference, and unpacking and recovering from the conference I haven’t drawn the name of the winner of the “Read ’em All” Challenge yet.

SO here goes….


By the way, if you’re wondering who won the 2011 Whitney Awards you can find the winners list at


Okay, the winner of the “Read ’em All” 2011 Finalists Challenge is….


John Ferguson!!



Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s challenge. Reading all the Whitney finalists is not an easy task to accomplish. Hopefully you all were able to find some great new favorites to add to your bookshelf. I certainly did.

So, now that the Whitney Awards are over, it’s time to get a head start on next year’s reading. If you aren’t sure where to find a list of current fiction by LDS authors, check out

Until next year’s “Read ’em All” Challenge…

Happy reading!

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Apr 162012

Well done to everyone who completed the “Read ’em All” Mini-Challenge #2!

If you were like me and didn’t quite make it, that’s okay. We still have seven days left before voting closes so KEEP READING!

And now, the winner of the $25 Amazon gift card is….

Karlene B.



Don’t forget that the $50 Amazon gift card Grand Prize is still up for grabs so get those Whitney finalists read, go vote for Best Novel of the Year, then submit your “Read ’em All” 2011 Finalists Challenge completion form.

Happy reading!


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Mar 142012

Thank you to everyone who participated in the “Read ’em All” Mini-Challenge #1. We had a great turnout and made significant progress in our Whitney reading. I am seriously impressed with all of you. Well done!

Now, all that is left is to announce the winner of the $10 Amazon gift card. :)

And the winner is…..

Annette Lyon!

Congratulations, Annette!

I will be emailing the details for the “Read ’em All” Challenge #2 soon, so keep reading!





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Mar 062012

It’s time for our first “Read ’em All” mini-challenge!

Hopefully you have read 14 books by now (or close to it). If you haven’t quite read 14 yet (like me) this mini-challenge should help provide motivation to get some reading done.

Ready for details?

We are challenging you to complete the reading in three categories by 12:00 Midnight, Monday, March 12, 2012. UPDATE: If you have completed the reading in TWO categories plus an additional five books in any of the other categories, you can enter this challenge.

Counting today that is seven days to complete the mini-challenge. You can do it! I can do it! Not that I’m eligible to enter the contest, but I can’t have all of you showing me up, now, can I? :)

If you’ve already finished reading three categories, that’s wonderful! All you need to do is click HERE and fill out the Mini-Challenge #1 completion form to be entered in the drawing for the $10 Amazon gift card.

Another reason to complete this challenge: “Read ’em All” Mini-Challenge #2.

We are giving you a heads up on the next challenge because those of you who complete this mini-challenge AND the “Read ’em All” Mini-Challenge #2 will have your Mini-Challenge #1 entries added into the drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card. Automatic extra entries? Awesome!




What three categories are you going to finish reading first?



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Feb 132012


Finalists for the 2011 Whitney Awards were announced on Friday, February 3, 2012. This means it’s time for us to announce the 2nd annual “Read ’em All” Challenge!

Our goal in issuing the “Read ’em All” 2011 Finalist Challenge is to encourage as many Whitney Academy members as possible to read all 35 Whitney Award Finalists and vote for Best Novel of the Year.

For this year’s “Read ’em All” Challenge we are offering a $50 Amazon gift card as a prize. In addition, we will hold mini challenges and weekend reading blitzes with a variety of prizes for those who take part.

What do you need to do to get in on all this prize-filled goodness?

First, you need to be a member of the Whitney Academy. Not a member? Click HERE to find out how to join.

Second, go HERE to register as a participant in the “Read ’em All” 2011 Finalists Challenge.

How to Read 35 Books in 81 Days

From February 3, 2012 to April 23, 2012, I counted 81 days. That gives us 11 weeks to read 35 books. That averages out to just over 2 days a book. If you’ve already read several of the finalists, then you have even longer to read each of the remaining finalists.

For example, I had read 10 of the finalists as of February 3 when the finalists were announced, so I have just over 3 days to read each of the remaining 25 books. Here are the positives:

  • No 1,000 page books to try to finish before the voting deadline
  • Most of the Youth Fiction category books are shorter and will be very quick to finish. May be possible to knock out three or four over a weekend.
  • Almost all of the remaining finalists are high up on my to-read list, meaning that since I am looking forward to them I should hopefully be able to get them read quickly.

Whitney Reading Tips

After five years of Whitney reading, LDSWBR has learned a few tricks to help us finish as many books in as many categories as possible and we want to share them with you.

  • Make a reading plan and set reading goals NOW. Time goes by fast, and it’s much more enjoyable to read without the pressure of a voting deadline that’s quickly approaching.
  • If you work during the week, or are busy with home and family on weekdays, try to read one book during the week and two more on the weekend. Every minute of reading counts, so take that book with you everywhere!
  • Start with the category(ies) you enjoy the most. You are more likely to finish those books quickly and put yourself ahead of schedule. If you don’t end up being able to finish all 35 finalists, at least you’ll be able to vote in the categories that mean the most to you.
  • Look at every book in each category on Goodreads or the library website to see if it is part of a series. You may want to read (or at least skim) the previous book(s) first, if you can. If not, at least you’ll know it’s part of a series and won’t be surprised that there is missing information when you read it later.
  • NO TV! Okay, maybe “Castle.” He is an author, so that’s almost like reading, right?
  • Reading during spare moments here and there helps, but be sure to schedule large chunks of reading time as often as you can. You can get through a book faster if you can get in the “groove” and stay in it.
  • Some people swear by audiobooks, and if you spend most of your time moving from task to task with no time to sit, or have a long commute, audiobooks may be the way to go. However, most people can read a book in less time than it takes to listen to it, so take that into consideration as well.
Do you have any reading tips to share? What helps you get through a towering to-read pile? How do you handle reading with a deadline? Comment below and tell us how you survive Whitney Reading season. :)


 ***Don’t forget to go register for the “Read ’em All” Challenge!***

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