Monthly Archives: October 2011

Mondays with Megan Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! It’s really hard to concentrate on work when you ARE the Great Pumpkin. If you are lucky I *may* share pictures tomorrow. In the meantime, just use your imaginations. I am dressed like a giant pumpkin, complete with a pumpkin hat. It’s ridiculous and fun.

Let me do a quick recap of last week’s week-long read-a-thon sponsored by On a Book Bender, and then you all can get on with your Halloween fun.

In a nutshell, I strayed from TBR list, I finished both audiobooks I was listening to and started new ones, I read 2 graphic novels, a bit of nonfiction, and devoted an entire morning to my beloved Ranger’s Apprentice. I read a grand total of 1014 pages and listened to 9 hours and 20 minutes of audio (that’s a lot of dog walking and driving). My favorites of the week were Goliath by Scott Westerfeld and Erak’s Ransom by John Flanagan. I will have reviews of both soon, I hope. I think I did good work this week and the neurotic part of me totally enjoyed keeping track of pages read and time spent listening. I may have to continue…

That’s all for today. Everyone have a spooky, safe Halloween!

˜Megan

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The Brotherband Chronicles by John Flanagan

Hey Ranger’s Apprentice fans, get ready for a new series from John Flanagan!

The first book in the Brotherband Chronicles, The Outcasts, is due out November 1, 2011. Here is a little synopsis from Barnes & Noble:

They are outcasts. Hal, Stig, and the others – they are the boys the others want no part of. Skandians, as any reader of Ranger’s Apprentice could tell you, are known for their size and strength. Not these boys. Yet that doesn’t mean they don’t have skills. And courage – which they will need every ounce of to do battle at sea against the other bands, the Wolves and the Sharks, in the ultimate race. The icy waters make for a treacherous playing field . . . especially when not everyone thinks of it as playing.

This is great news! I will confess that I have been dragging my feet with The Ranger’s Apprentice series because I love it so much I don’t want it to end. Now I have new hope and something to look forward to. I still have to finish books 7-10, but I might step up the pace a bit. Are you ready for more great news? In know, how could this get any better? It does. It looks like the second book in the series is scheduled to be released in April, 2012! That is just five short months between the first and second. *Sigh* I love this kind of news.

If you haven’t read The Ranger’s Apprentice, I recommend you get busy.

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Drawing My Own Conclusions-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The beloved heroes in a half-shell from the 1980s are back! Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael are back to fighting the evil Shredder alongside their sensei and adoptive father, Splinter. The story of their origin has been reconceived. This new breed of ninja turtles are not the result of toxic ooze exposure. Instead, they are the product of genetic engineering at the hands of the mad scientist, Dr. Stockman. April O’Neill is still an unsuspecting lab assistant, but in the updated version of the story she is the one who bestows the Renaissance-inspired monikers upon the cute little lab turtles.

The newly drawn ninja turtles have a fiercer look to them and the series opens with a dark alley battle between Shredder and his gang and three of the four turtles and Splinter. It is in the opening frames that I spotted the biggest difference between the new turtles and the turtles I grew up with: they all had red masks! Each turtle still had their trademark weapon, which is how I figured Raphael was the missing brother. I kind of miss their different colored masks, but as long as they keep their trademark weapon and personalities I’ll be ok. I did appreciate that pizza and the phrase “cowabunga” still remain important aspects of the ninja turtle way of life, kudos to the writers for subtlety slipping those in!  All of the key players in the turtle world have been introduced or mentioned in the first volume so I am looking forward to the story really taking off in volume 2.

If you were a fan of the original turtles, you will not be disappointed. If you are too young to remember the old ones, welcome to the wonderful world of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I for one, am happy they are back. Time to go grab volume 2!

Cowabunga Dudes!

˜Megan

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Read for Halloween

It’s time for a spooky Top Ten Tuesday. This fun meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. These week’s list is all about creepy, spooky, scary stories that are must-reads during the Halloween season.

1. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake was so creepy that I only read it during the day.

Cas is a ghost hunter determined to avenge his father’s murder. Each mission puts him one step closer to the demon that he seeks. Life is business as usual until he encounters Anna, a murderous ghost haunting a small town is Canada.

 

2. Stone Child by Dan Poblocki is a suspenseful mystery that is perfect for younger teens.

Strange things are happening in the small town of Gateswood, home to the famous auther Nathaniel Olmstead. Moving here is a dream come true for Eddie, until he realizes that the monsters from Olmstead’s books are coming to life and terrorizing the town.

 

3. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff is a unique journey into the mysterious world of changelings.

Sixteen-year old Mackie Doyle is a replacement. The real Malcolm Doyle was stolen as an infant and taken underground. For years the town of Tate has looked the other way, ignoring what lives just under the surface. When another baby goes missing Mackie takes action and confronts the sinister monsters that have been playing with human lives for ages.

4. Gone by Michael Grant is so creepy it doesn’t need ghosts!

One day everyone over the age of 14 disappears from the seaside town of Perdido Beach. The kids who remain are trapped by an invisible barrier. Inside battles are drawn: townies vs Coates kids, normal vs kids with new supernatural powers. All the while, the Darkness is awakening.

 

5. The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a chilling story about the price people are will to pay to have their dreams come true.

Max and his family move out of their war-torn city to the safety of the seaside. Their safety is short-lived when strange things begin to happen in their new house, leading them to believe it is haunted. They soon learn that more is at play then ghosts. The Prince of Mist, the great dealmaker, has returned to collect an old debt and no one is safe until he gets what he wants.

Super creepy not your thing? Still looking to get into the Halloween spirit without having to sleep with the lights on for a week? Try one of these:

6. Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore is ghost story with a touch of humor and romance to lighten the mood.

Amy Goodnight comes from a long line of witches, a fact that she would love to ignore. There is no denying her family history when she gets drawn into some total ghost weirdness while goat-sitting on her aunt’s farm. Spooky ghosts, uncooperative goats, and a hottie cowboy neighbor = a good time!

7. Dead is the New Black by Marlene Perez is full of quirky characters, spooky paranormal happenings, and a hint of romance.

Daisy Giordano is the only normal member of her paranormally gifted family. Her lack of psychic powers does not stop her from trying to figure out who or what is preying on the girls of Nightshade, California. Her family suspects a vampire, and it is up to the Giordano sisters to solve the case before any more cheerleaders are hurt.

8. Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey is an eerie historical fiction with a ghostly twist.

Sixteen-year-old Violet Willoughby has been a part of her mother’s Spiritualism scam for most of her life and knows without a doubt that ghosts are not real. Her skepticism is shattered when a ghost begins appearing to her during an elaborate ruse staged at the country estate of a wealthy Spiritualist. The only way to end the haunting is to solve the mystery of the ghost’s death.

9. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting is the perfect blend of mystery, suspense, and paranormal activity.

Violet Ambrose, a high school junior, has the ability to sense when someone or something has been killed. The dead leave behind an echo, and the killer carries an imprint of the dead. This ability usually just leads Violet to dead animals, but now a serial killer is terrorizing her small Washington town, and the police have turned to Violet for help.

10.  I could not decide between a bunch of spooky favorites!

                                                       

 Oh boy! The layout of these pictures is horrifying! That’s it, I give up! Look at the pretty covers, disregard the wacky layout

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Mondays With Megan-The One Where I Join Another Readathon!

That’s right, folks! I have found another read-a-thon! This week-long event is hosted by On a Book Bender and features mini-challenges and prizes. Here is the format they use for keeping track of things (I tweaked it to count pages read and audio minutes listened to as well):

10/24
Number of pages I’ve read today: 100
Minutes of audio listened to today: 1hr 15min
Total number of pages I’ve read: 100
Total minutes of audio I’ve listened to: 1hr 15min
Today #insixwords: Too tired to finish cute book!
Books: Past Perfect by Leslie Sales, Goliath by Scott Westerfeld, The Killing Floor by Lee Child

10/25
Number of pages I’ve read today: 270
Minutes of audio listened to today: 1hr 18min
Total number of pages I’ve read: 370
Total minutes of audio I’ve listened to: 2hr 33min
Today #insixwords: finished three, started a bunch more!
Books: The Killing Floor, Past Perfect, Goliath, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, The Alchemyst, Erak’s Ransom, Chi’s Sweet Home 7

10/26

Number of pages I’ve read today: 73
Minutes of audio listened to today: 61min
Total number of pages I’ve read: 443
Total minutes of audio I’ve listened to: 3hrs 34min
Today #insixwords: new series started, old series continued
Books: The Alchemyst, Erak’s Ransom

10/27
Number of pages I’ve read today: 56
Minutes of audio listened to today: 58
Total number of pages I’ve read: 499
Total minutes of audio I’ve listened to: 4hrs 43min
Today #insixwords: Lots of listening, very little reading
Books: The Alchemyst, Erak’s Ransom, The Misfits by James Howe

10/28
Number of pages I’ve read today: 109
Minutes of audio listened to today: 1hr
Total number of pages I’ve read: 608
Total minutes of audio I’ve listened to: 5hrs 43min
Today #insixwords:
Books: The Alchemyst, The Misfits, Erak’s Ransom, The Ridge by Michael Koryta

10/29
Number of pages I’ve read today: 301
Minutes of audio listened to today: 2hrs
Total number of pages I’ve read: 911
Total minutes of audio I’ve listened to: 7hr 46min
Today #insixwords:  Saturday spent with coffee and books
Books: Erak’s Ransom, The Alchemyst, The Ridge, Fables: Wolves, The Paris Wife by Paula McClain

10/30
Number of pages I’ve read today: 103
Minutes of audio listened to today:60min
Total number of pages I’ve read: 1014
Total minutes of audio I’ve listened to: 9hrs 20min
Today #insixwords: Scattered reading, totally off TRB list
Books: The Ridge, The Alchemyst, The Paris Wife, Fed Up With Lunch by Sarah Wu

Books on my TBR pile:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott (audio)
The Ridge by Michael Koryta (audio)

Books to Finish/Books Finished:

Past Perfect by Leila Sales
Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
The Killing Floor by Lee Child
Chi’s Sweet Home, vol. 7 by Konami Kanata
Erak’s Ransom by John Flanagan
Fables: Wolves by Bill Willingham

Wish me luck!

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

I Survived the Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon!

I am pleased to report that Stacey and I participated in all 24 hours of the readathon! I even took a quick nap and made it to work on time. Now that I have had some time to reflect, let me complete the end of event survey.

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Hours 21-24 (4-7 a.m.) were brutal!
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Michael Grant’s Gone series in un-put-downable! For people looking for quirky, fun adult reads I would recommend Lisa Lutz’s Spellmans series.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Fewer music related mini-challenges and working links!
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
  5. How many books did you read? I completed 2 novels, 1.5 graphic novels, and 2hrs 40min of audiobooks
  6. What were the names of the books you read? I finished Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier, Fables: Homelands by Bill Willingham. I read half of Fables: Arabian Nights (and Days) by Bill Willingham and listened to parts of Goliath by Scott Westerfeld and The Killing Floor by Lee Child
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? Ruby Red was my favorite
  8. Which did you enjoy least? I did not have a least favorite, I enjoyed all of my picks
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I will definitely participate again. I would like to host a mini-challenge next time.

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

 

 

Survey Says! Dewey’s Readathon Mid-Event Survey

I can’t believe the read-a-thon is half over!  Here’s a recap of my day so far:

    and  

I wish this represented the number of books I have read! The coffee is an accurate representation of my caffeine consumption thus far. There will be more to come. Here is a quick survey from our host:

1. What are you reading right now? Ruby Red by Kerstin Geir
2. How many books have you read so far? 2
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Ruby Red
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? I was fortunate to have the day off!
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? My only interruptions have been created by me and I have enjoyed them all. I especially enjoyed my 5 hour trip to a coffee shop with a fellow reader.
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How slow I read!
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nothing comes to mind.
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Next time I will pick shorter books!
9. Are you getting tired yet? Not yet. *fingers crossed*
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? The change of venue was a huge help, as was enlisting a friend.

There you have it, a mid-event report. I am off to walk the dog and *hopefully* finish The Killing Floor.

Happy Reading!

˜Megan