Contest! KAPOW! Name this book review series, ninja minions!


So it’s been a big week here at the little bloggy wog – the godlike and powerful Elizabeth Bird gave me and my bud Tara Lazar a shoutout in the January 13 edition of Fusenews for our joint book review of When You Reach Me! Exciting stuff. So of course the aftermath of that has kept us busy. Tara’s been interviewing candidates to be her new cabana boy, and I’ve been pricing a lot of bling and designing a nice, big plaque celebrating our awesomeness. It’s gonna have a lovely neon-purple powder-coating – nothing but the best, little ones. High-class all the way.

But on to the meat of this blog posting! Now that Tara and I have finally achieved the vast, puffy, irritating, overblown level of self-importance and pomposity that we deserve – we are sooo pompous – we need a NAME for our blog-jumping book review series. Up until now we’ve stuck with a few vague references to Ebert & Roeper, but over time I thought we should really make at least a token effort to come up with something more original. Then I had an even better idea! We should try to convince other people to do it for us! Seriously! Tara has lots of friends, I have an imaginary Twitter empire with a bunch of semi-engaged minions, certainly we can bamboozle–err, I mean request help with this monumentally important task, right? RIGHT?

*crickets chirping*

Okay, FINE. Ignore me if you like, WE DON’T NEED YOU! And when I say “we don’t need you,” what I really mean is, “we desperately need you,” so come on now, help us out. This, my friends, is the latest contest on the ole bloggy wog.


  1. Make it reasonably short. We burn up a lot of precious and irreplaceable time nattering away on Twitter, so it should be tweetable, with enough leftover characters for a link and some amount of explanation. Say, 90 characters or less.
  2. The contest will run until MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2010.
  3. Leave us some way to get in touch with you, will ya? Email address, Twitter handle, blog ID, something like that.
  4. Send me fifty dollars in cash. I know, I know – that’s an insultingly low amount, I’m worth more. Don’t worry your little heads about it, it’s okay.
  5. That fifty dollar rule is more of a suggestion than a hard-and-fast rule, but you should feel free to act as if it’s a hard-and-fast rule.

All clear? It gets even more fun and exciting from here! First, the winning selection will live in fame and glory ever after as the title of our fabled, award-winning, euphoria-inducing book review series, hailed by several anonymous Internet commenters as “kinda funny” and “not too annoying, I guess.”

Second, I, Mike Jung, Chief Bloggy Wogger, Founder and Despotic Leader of Mike’s Empire (the Premier Twitter-Based Imaginary Empire in the Known Universe), Destroyer of Worlds and All-Around Sensitive Guy, will BUY YOU SOMETHING. Probably a book. Okay, definitely a book. Maybe even – ooh – more than one book. But not definitely more than one. Definitely one book, maybe more than one book. Curb your greed, you jackals. We’ll announce a more…defined prize, as soon as I feel like it.

AND NOW I FEEL LIKE IT! Okay disco minions. First: I’ll buy you the YA, MG or picture book of your choice, from the indie store of your choice, on Second: I will personally write a lovely (if misshapen and terrifying) poem about you! For a sample of my poetry work (the only sample, truth be told) check out my honorable mention in the Angry Robot poetry contest. Third: I will design, print and send you (via Zazzle) a one-of-a-kind, first-time-ever #mikesempire t-shirt! With some kind of demented slogan on it! How, oh how can you resist?

Invent a title for the Tara and Mike Traveling Roadshow and Middle-Grade Novel Review Tour and put it in a comment right here. We will pick the one we like best! What’s that you say? It’s not an objective contest? That’s not fair? Well, people of the teeming online multiverse, I must reiterate one of the bedrock maxims of this blog, which is to say, LIFE IS NOT FAIR, please accept the grossly unfair nature of this thing we call life, that is all.


59 thoughts on “Contest! KAPOW! Name this book review series, ninja minions!

    1. Very good Shannon, but this leaves us with a dilemma: is “On Middle Grade” your entry, or Vivian’s entry? Hmmm. A little bribery might help solve this, you know.

      1. You’re giving away so many AWESOME prizes, I’m sure Vivian + I could share. Besides, I’d BUY the t-shirt, if you offered a non-one-of-a-kind version.

  1. I have no ounce of creativity left after working on my manuscript so I’m not entering the contest, but what’s wrong with “The Tara and Mike Traveling Roadshow and Middle-Grade Novel Review Tour” as you said above? Too long? I like the roadshow element. I’d totally go see your roadshow, Mike.

    1. I appreciate the kind words, Nova, but geez, wouldn’t it be bad form to enter and subsequently win my own contest? Because I’d totally win… And thanks!

  2. I was thinking about something that plays on our last names. I can’t tell you how many times people have called me Mrs. Laser instead of Mrs. Lazar (rhymes with bizarre, how appropriate). So what about “Young Lasers” book reviews? It sounds intergalatic, no?

    1. Tara, Tara, Tara…WE CAN’T ENTER OUR OWN CONTEST. See my note to Nova above. For crying out loud, woman, the whole point is to convince other people to do all the work for us! Come on!

  3. I do like OnMiddleGrade, that’s pretty great. Young Lasers cracks me up.

    You could always go with JungLazars or LazarJung!

    This could be a tough one.. I’ll have to think. I’ve had my eye on a “vaguely described prize possibly a book or something” for quite a while….

  4. Plus One.

    It means two. It implies party, and fun, and adddddded surprise value. It smacks of something you’ll talk about tomorrow, remember next week. Not only is it 8 tiny characters, it’s got a built-in abbreviation. +1 — more than you asked for.


    1. HMMMM. I am intrigued by your entry, diminutive haircovered feline. Will take it under advisement with my partner in crime…

    1. Don’t think too long. I’M WARNING YOU–ahh, who am I kidding, take all the time you want, this’ll probably drag on into 2012. Off to check out your blog now…

    1. Your entries have been duly noted, Delilah, and in return for your participation you will be protected when the mothership lands and my people swarm across the earth, subjugating its peoples and eating its vast supplies of pastry.

  5. Maybe Cooking Up Some Middle Grade? Since you said you fileted, grilled, and devoured WHEN YOU REACH ME, you could stick with the cooking metaphor and even come up with a fun rating system like: Delicious, Yummy, Edible, Only if we’re starving, Poisonous (LOL).

    1. Well done, o faithful minion! Your entry has been duly noted. And as soon as you send me the prize from your blog conte–uh, what was I saying?

    1. Excellent work, brand new minion of Mike’s Empire. When the fires of destruction rain down on the globe, our legions of interdimensional warrior-poets will guard your hut with extra zeal.

  6. Well, if you’re only reviewing MG, how about a play on words:

    Tara and Mike: Two New Berries


    The Travelling New Berries

    Of course, then you need a great illustrator to create your berry heads for your logo. 🙂

    1. Duly noted, o brand new minion of Mike’s Empire. When the zombie apocalypse arrives I’ll have an extra box of doughnuts brought to your sector of the gated compound.

  7. Oh, I’m glad I read the other comments first. I was going for punny nicknames for the two of you, not the blog. But I never got past “Lazarsky and Hutch.”

    I like OMG. Also, I like the idea of using the food thing. Is “Cooking the Books” taken?

    1. LAZARSKY AND HUTCH! We may just have a leader in the clubhouse…well done minion! In short order you will be awarded your fourth Mike’s Empire title – or is it fifth? Eighth? Twenty-second?

  8. If you’re going with a cooking theme, how about:

    REHASH (as in Tara & Mike Rehash the books)




    MT HEADS — Get it? Your initials=empty? (oh, I guess you wouldn’t want THAT! sorry. My bad.)

    TWO HEADS (as in “two heads are better than one”)

    or just:


    1. JUNGALYZERS has an appealing low-down rough-trade wrong-side-of-the-tracks feel to it, but the alcoholic implications may be too much for our audience of MG aficionados. Nevertheless, WELL DONE O NEW MINION OF MIKE’S EMPIRE.

    1. Thanks for both your entries, Beth. When the alien spores are infesting the brains of unsuspecting Earthlings across the globe, I’ll make sure you have a tinfoil helmet at your disposal. WELL DONE NEW MINION

  9. warning: these ideas are boring. But, in case you decide to go simple, here’s a few to pick from:
    Down the Road
    Halfway There
    Meeting of the Middles
    Are We There Yet?
    Two For One (2.4.1) Reviews
    Middle Spot Reviews
    ok, I give up

    1. Pshaw, all entries are worthy, although your despair and ennui DO fit the general #mikesempire philosophy. WELL DONE, NEW MINION

  10. Perhaps a bit of a stretch, but my entry is Wormwood.

    Tara & Jung reminded me of Tarragon (Dragon’s Wort) which is an herb related to Wormwood.

    I can just imagine a little bookworm devouring MG novels leaving little scraps of wood->paper->your reviews, in their wake.

  11. Ooh, I love a naming challenge…

    “Mara” (which might be your Hollywood couple name in tabloids)

    “Ninja Review”

    “Cover 2 Cover” (or C2C — very techno)

    “Mike and Tara’s Monster Book Slam”

    “Mike and Tara’s Mighty Book Patrol”

    “Mike and Tara’s Book Jam”

    “Book Ends Review”

    “Literacats” (just kidding)

  12. Hmmm…HMMM…some interesting possibilities there, new minion. Veeeeeeddy interesting, although I agree that approximating Jennifer Laughran’s internet handle is maybe not the way to go. 🙂 WELL DONE

    1. Ah, “Literaticat” — of course. I was thinking of “Aristocats”. Sorry. How embarrassing. I’ve been watching far too much Disney with the kids.

    1. I REFUSE TO TIP THE WAITRESSES AT MY OWN CONTEST. Your entry has been duly noted, once and future minion, well done!

  13. How about M T Next Book Syndrome ha ha – play on empty nest syndrome. ok so its bad

    Mike and Tara’s Excellent Book Adventures

    Jung and Lazar: Book Sleuthing

    Book Minions

    The World According to Mike and Tara

    Books R Us

    Read or Die

    Pulpy Fiction

    Once upon a time in Mike’s Empire

    Mike Cassidy and the Sunshine Lazar

    Planet of the Books

    The NEverending Book Reviews

    Eternal Sunshine of the Book Reviewer’s Mind

    Ok i’m done.

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