1/2 Birthday Bash: Janie’s Best

Happy Half-Birthday, guys!  Redeemed Reader has been online for roughly six months this week.  It seems ages ago since that cold, February morning when Janie and I opened up the door, inviting all from the highways and hedges to come in. 

So much has happened since that time.  And I hope tomorrow to look at some of the small impact our partnership with you, the reader, is having in the real world of books and kids.  But for today, Janie has been kind enough to pen a reflection about how we got started.  A short behind the scenes piece, and since it says such nice things about me, I thought we could lead off the week with it.  (ha)  At the bottom, you’ll find a link to Janie’s ten most popular posts since we began, according to Sir Google Analytics.  Enjoy!

To my best recollection, this is how we started.  In the spring of 2010, I received an email from one Emily Whitten about her new blog, Behind the Bookcase.  I liked her approach: to select one classic novel per month and record how it challenged her way of thinking and nudged her toward a better understanding of herself and the world.  I’m a big believer in the power of books to challenge and nudge, so I encouraged the idea and posted a comment on her blog now and then.  Though not as often as I intended to.  I had a blog of my own, but was never sure what to use it for: advice for writers?  Book reviews? Random thoughts?  Regarding the first two, there were plenty of those already, and regarding the third–who cares?  Still, it seemed like there was something interesting and unique that might be done with a blog.  And everybody said I ought to have one.

Around this time, Emily told me that she’d decided to close down Behind the Bookcase because it hadn’t received the response she had hoped.  But she was certain there was some way to use her gifts and perspectives online, and was praying for an answer.  I wrote back that maybe we could do something together . . . sometime.  The idea was probably in the back of my mind for a while–I haven’t saved those emails so it’s hard to detect what exactly I was thinking.  But it seemed to leap from hers full-formed, like Athena from the brow of Zeus.  YES! she replied.

Emily did all the heavy-lifting at first: setting up the site, coming up with a name, choosing the format, writing fulsome emails brimming with of great ideas.  Meanwhile, I wondered if this was going to take up too much of my time.  Well, it has taken up a lot of time, but too much?  Nah.  It’s been more fun than I expected, and we’ve found that two can definitely blog more effectively than one.  “For if one falls, the other will lift him up” (Eccl. 910).  As iron sharpens iron, we spark good ideas off each other.  But the real blessing is making friends online and connecting with other thoughtful “redeemed readers.”  May all our tribes increase.

Janie’s Top Ten

  1. Among the Pagans: Bartimaeus
  2. Stalking the Elusive Boy Reader
  3. Among the Pagans: Percy Jackson and the Olympians
  4. The Graduate
  5. Boy in the Swamp
  6. Looking for Love: The Paranormal Teen Romance
  7. Interview with Dr. Gene Edward Veith
  8. Sex, Cats, and Stereotypes
  9. Turn on the Light
  10. Young Adult or Adult Youngs

There you have it folks!  Those are Janie’s posts you found most interesting, helpful, provoking or worthwhile.  The ones you shared most with your friends or came back to read more than just one time.  So, thank you for reading…and we hope maybe you’ll find a few gems here you haven’t seen yet!

Emily’s top ten to come tomorrow, so check back soon!  And if you have any ideas for what you’d like to see Janie write about, maybe a book or two that you’ve wondered/worried about on your child’s school reading list, now is the time to let us know!

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emily

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6 Comments

  1. Sunny on July 11, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Happy Half-Birthday! Looking forward to celebrating a full birthday with you!!!

  2. Sunny on July 11, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Happy Half-Birthday! Looking forward to celebrating a full birthday with you!!!

  3. emily on July 11, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks, Sunny! Very sweet of you to say so. And we’ll definitely have to have some cake in February! Mmmm. Cake.

  4. emily on July 11, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks, Sunny! Very sweet of you to say so. And we’ll definitely have to have some cake in February! Mmmm. Cake.

  5. Sunny on July 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Mmmmmm, cake! 😀

  6. Sunny on July 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Mmmmmm, cake! 😀

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