Monthly Archives: November 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: My Winter Escape Plan

My poor little blog has been so neglected lately. Thank goodness for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Regardless of how busy I get I. Must. Make. Lists. Any kind of list will do, but a To Do list is particularly satisfying. This week’s TTT is the best of all worlds-a To Do Book List! I keep hearing foreboding weather forecasts for this winter and it sounds like I will be spending lots of time hunkered down under a blanket reading (and/or shoveling a TON of snow). Here are some of my winter reading plans:

1. A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin. Look at me already cheating! I am totally counting this as one. Anyway, I just finished A Game of Thrones and I am ready to plow through the rest of this series. Winter is coming!










2.  I am going to continue my cheating ways…I plan to finish the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. I just have The Iron Queen and The Iron Knight left to go.





3.  Oh, what the heck, I am on a cheating roll now. I have been meaning to read the Bad Girls Don’t books by Katie Alender. So far there are two books, but a third is on its way.





4. Ok, time to play fair. How about some single titles now? Maybe some 2012 debuts? The cover alone to this one makes me want it, the witches between the covers will be a major bonus. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood is definitely on my TBR pile for February.





5. Here is another one that is getting TONS of buzz-Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.





6. Uh oh, I thought of another series. Back to my cheating ways…I am really close to finishing The Kings of Clonmel, book 8 in The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan and I plan to wrap up the series this winter AND start his new series, The Brotherband Chronicles!





7.  I am super excited to get my hands on Bleeding Hearts, book 4 in The Drake Chronicles series by Alyxandra Harvey.  It’s one of my favorite vampire series. Love. She also has a fairy book, Stolen Away, coming out. I am not crazy about the cover, but Ms. Harvey has yet to disappoint so it’s on the list!





8. I am anxiously awaiting my turn with the newest Bloody Jack book on audio. It will be due back right around Christmas. What a lovely gift The Mark of the Golden Dragon by L.A. Meyer will be for me!





9.  Here is another YA book that is due out next month that is getting lot’s of hype-Everneath by Brodi Ashton. Something about the title rubs me the wrong way, but it’s Persephone and Hades retold and I do like a good myth retelling.





10. Last, but not least, and certainly not for real last, is the first book in Michael Grant’s new series, BZRK. Come on February 28th!







So there you have it, just a tiny fraction of my winter reading list. I apologize for all the cheating, but honestly, it’s going to happen again. We all know that. What are you reading this winter? BTW, it appears that my punishment for being greedy with my list is horrible formatting. I am sorry. I have tried to fix it.

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Want at My Turkey Dinner

I am thankful for many things this year, but two days before Thanksgiving I am thankful for my large family and my tiny house and my bread assignment for the feast. That’s it. Show up. Bring bread. Life is good. I will take a little break from thinking about bread to whip up a Top Ten Tuesday list. The folks over at The Broke and the Bookish want to know which authors I would invite to share Thanksgiving dinner me (and my family?).

1. Michael Grant. I may be a teeny tiny bit obsessed with Mr. Grant. I have mentioned before that I find him to be a bit of a genius. He is also charming and funny and he would probably bring a quality adult beverage to the feast. Maybe he’ll give some hints about how on Earth he is ever going to wrap up the Gone series? No wait, I don’t want to know. But I do. *sigh* This meal hasn’t even started and I already look crazy.

2. Kiersten White. She has taken a blogging hiatus and I miss her special brand of funny. She should come to my feast and make us all laugh. Of course, I may ask her to leave her pink Tasey in the car…

3. Scott Westerfeld. Now that the Leviathan series is done I want to know what his next big project will be. At the signing that I went to with him he told fascinating stories. I would like more.  

4. Leila Sales. Sure her books Mostly Good Girls and Past Perfect are cute and funny and pretty awesome, but have you seen her blog? It’s hilarious. Please check out The Leila Texts for a full explaination of this blog. Basically she reposts and comments on texts that are sent to her by mistake. Good stuff folks. Hilarious.

5. L.A. Meyer. The man is a mystery to me. It appears that he lives a pretty quiet life in Maine, where he operates an art gallery, paints, and writes the amazing Bloody Jack series. I’ll bet he has some great stories to tell.

6. Carrie Ryan. It’s always a good idea to have a zombie apocalypse expert on hand, don’t you think?

7. Bill Willingham. I have recently become addicted to his Fables series. I’m thinking it’s time we hang out.

8. Ally Carter. Combine her seemingly endless spy-girl knowledge and Carrie’s zombie expertise, my guests will no doubt all be safe should a zombie apocalyse occur. Not sure why this is on my mind, but it’s best to be prepared, right? Also, I feel like I have gone TOO LONG without an Ally Carter book.

9. Rick Riordan. Ok, this whole new quest thing has me really nervous for Percy and I need some reassurance that things are going to be fine. They are going to be fine, right? Please come to dinner and be funny and also reassuring, ok? Thanks.

10. Myra McEntire. I fell in love with Hourglass, now I think I need to get to know the genius behind it a little better.

The theme of my feast appears to be humor (and zombie safety). I’m quite pleased with my list and I am sure my sister won’t mind if I bring along ten extra guest!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.


The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa Review

November is half over and I have only read one novel. This has been the month of graphic novels and A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I swear that ginormous book just moves in and takes over your life. I am not starting another novel until I finish. I promise to finish this week. I did however sneak The Iron Daughter in earlier in the month. So, here’s a review for you:

The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey #2) by Julie Kagawa 2010

Meghan Chase, the half-human, half-faery daughter of Oberon, is a prisoner of the Winter Queen. She is there to uphold her end of the bargain she made with Ash, who has been cold and cruel since their arrival. Alone and powerless, things can’t get much worse…until they do. The Scepter of the Seasons is stolen and The Summer Fey are blamed. A war between the courts is imminent unless Meghan can convince everyone that the Iron Fey are responsible for the crime. She finds help from some unexpected allies, but without her own magic, will it be enough?

Meghan’s flip-flopping between heartbroken depression and angsty hard-heartedness is a bit melodramatic and annoyingly Bella-like, but it doesn’t last forever. Push through it, the old tough girls reappears. In the meantime the fast-paced action and amazing supporting characters make up for this minor annoyance. Iron Horse? Love him! Grimalkin? Tricky, gruff and still a bit of a softie. The Iron Fey world is further explored and explained and it continues to be a unique and intriguing spin on traditional faery lore. This is a solid sequel that left me wanting more. Lucky for me, it’s not over yet! And I thought I didn’t like faeries…

For more tales of the fey try Holly Black, Aprilynne Pike, Frewin Jones and Melissa Marr.

For more plucky female heroines with a paranormal twist try Kiersten White, Rachel Hawkins, Stacey Jay, Rosemary Clement-Moore, and Alyxandra Harvey.

Happy Reading!


Drawing My Own Conclusions-TMNT #2

Here is the scoop on issue 2 of the new TMNT

This issue has three distinct storylines. The first story involves Raphael and his new friend, Casey Jones. I won’t spoil how they meet, but through their meeting we learn that Raphael is homeless and has lost his memory. The last page of this issue shows the new friends about to head out to get something to eat. Based on what Casey returns wearing, I think Raphael and Casey may have different ideas for the night.

The second storyline is a flashback to how the turtles came to be. April is working late at the lab when Splinter the rat brings her a top-secret disc containing the info about the terrapin/human ex0-armor. There are ninjas, a get-away gone wrong, a tragic spill and voilà, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a giant talking rat sensei. We also learn how Raphael came to be separated from his brothers. Very clever.

Finally, we get a little present day action with the other turtles. While they are frustrated with their fruitless search for their brother, Splinter remains hopeful about a reunion. He also foretells a grave future with many enemies. Hmm…

More TMNT awesomeness. I am a big fan of the rebooted storyline. I like getting little glimpses of the past mashed up with the present. It’s like a little secret begin revealed one bit at a time. I can’t wait to find out about Raphael and Casey’s big night out and I am so curious to find out what April did after the break-in. And of course, Splinter’s grave prediction is bound to come true sooner or later, so there are awesome street battles to look forward to. I am sticking with the heroes in a half-shell. Next on my list: Superman Action Comics #2 and Wonder Woman #1.

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Have Been On My TBR Pile Forever

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday list! This week the folks over at The Broke and the Bookish have asked us to take a long, hard look at our bookshelves and ‘fess up to what has been languishing, untouched and unread for the longest time. Since I am not at home to look at my personal bookshelves, I am heading over to Goodreads to checkout my TBR list. I really should stop kidding myself; the chances of me getting to all 145 books on that virtual shelf are pretty slim, especially since I keep adding books. But I digress. Here are ten books that I really, truly, honestly intend to read someday but until then, they are stuck on the TBR bookshelf.


Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. It’s been on the list since January 2008. Maybe I will pick this for my 7th and 8th grade book club.





Blue is For Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz. I have been meaning to give this series a try. I enjoy her Touch series, but after reading mixed reviews of this one it has been shoved on down the list.





The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. It’s been a while since I read Just Listen, the only Sarah Dessen book I’ve read.





Death Cloud by Andrew Lane.  I keep checking this one out from the library, but have yet to read it. In fact, I have it at home right now…again.




Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. I have heard lots of good things about the Jessica Darling series and I just found four of the five at a used book store over the weekend and just had to snatch them up. I swear I will read them.




Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. It’s historical fiction. I struggle with historical fiction.





Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney is another book that I like to bring home from the library and return unread. I am stuck in a vicious cycle with this one. Someday it will be read.




Merchant of Death by D.J. MacHale. The Pendragon series has been on my list for a while. In fact, I bought the entire series on audio because I thought I would have an easier time listening. The audio shelf now taunts me every time I walk by.



The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. I am not entirely sure that I have not already read this. Maybe I read it when I was in school? I keep meaning to check it out.




The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot is another series I would like to read. I think. But I won’t know until I get the first one, right?




Sigh. I usually love Top Ten Tuesday. This list kind of made me sad. So many books, so little time. Ok, wallowing over, it’s time to get reading! I should probably take a day off and finish Game of Thrones so that I can get back to tackling my TBR pile.

Happy Reading!


Mondays With Megan, In Which I Watch The Hunger Games Trailer Over and Over

Last month we got to see The Hunger Games character posters, today we got the first full movie trailer!


Wow. Amazing.

I have quietly followed the progress of the movie, but have not really weighed in on any it until now (btw, I have no problems with any of the cast and I love the posters). This trailer makes me very happy and super excited to see the movie. That’s all I’ve got today. I am going to watch the trailer a few more times.

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Read That Were Outside My Comfort Zone

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are talking about reading outside our comfort zones.  For the longest time my comfort zone was fiction. I stopped reading mysteries once I was finished with Nancy Drew, I read a few Stephen King novels for a bit of horror, and I felt that I had read enough classics in high school to get by. My go-to books were by John Irving, Barbara Kingsolver, and Nick Hornby. Science Fiction? I read A Wrinkle in Time…as a kid. Fantasy? No thank you. Except Harry Potter, of course. I willy-nilly read my way through stacks of books I found at my mom’s house as well as random selections from my library until I decided to become a librarian. While I still think it’s just fine to maintain a comfort zone, I also feel obligated to step out of it more often. The more I branch out, the better customer service I can provide to my patrons.

As a Teen Librarian, I absolutely have to be on top of what is going on in the world of YA literature. I love YA literature! On the other hand, I also need to be able to provide reader’s advisory to adult, so I can’t neglect all those fabulous “grown up” books either. This list is a perfect opportunity to celebrate all the wonderful books I read every time I stepped out of my comfort zone.

Nonfiction is the absolute last place I turn for a good book, and yet, the few times a year I pick up nonfiction I really enjoy it. Some of my favorite nonfiction finds:


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot




The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson





Bossypants by Tina Fey



Fantasy is also outside my normal comfort zone, but I have found some titles that I really love.

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

 The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan. The only reason I picked this book up was because I was running out of books that I had read that I could recommend to the guys. It turns out that I adore this series!


Blood Red Road by Moira Young




 It also took me a while to warm up to historical fiction. Thank goodness I did or I may have missed these gems:


The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly



The Bloody Jack series by L.A.Meyer. Jacky Faber is my hero.





Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill




Finally, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered that I LOVE graphic novels! I am currently working my way through this series:

Fables by Bill Willingham





Oh, wait. One more. I thought that I did not like fairies until I read this:

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. I just finally finished The Iron Daughter and I am ready to move on to The Iron Queen.

I hope this encourages you to step out of your comfort zone more often!

Happy Reading!


Mondays With Megan-A Last Minute Review of My 2011 Reading Goals

With about eight weeks left in 2011 I thought I should do a quick check on my reading goals progress. So far I am on track to read 200 books in 2011. Keep in mind I count audiobooks and graphic novels towards this goal.

2011 Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge

Meganhasread 170 books toward her goal of 200 books.


Other goals for the year”

200 hours of audio
I have listened to 325 hours so far! That’s 35 audiobooks.
27 Debut Authors
I am not doing so well on this one. I have only read 14 so far. 
10+ graphic novels
I own this one! I have read 48 graphic novels so far!
12 Historical Fiction
Goal accomplished. I have read 12.
Read Nonfiction
So far I have read/listened to 6 nonfiction books. That is the same amount from last year. I still have time to improve on this.

Overall, I am pleased with my progress. How about you?

Happy Reading!


Erak’s Ransom, The Ranger’s Apprentice #7 Review

Erak’s Ransom by John Flanagan 2007

Erak’s Ransom is the seventh book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan. Despite being the seventh book published, the story itself fits chronologically after the fourth book, The Battle for Skandia.

Erak, the new Skandian Oberjarl and ally of Araluen, is taken hostage during a failed raid in the desert land of Arrida. His second-in-command, Svengal, arrives at Castle Redmont on the night of Halt’s wedding seeking the ransom fund for their mutual friend. A plan is quickly devised and a small party consisting of Halt, Gilan, Will, Horace, Svengal, and Princess Cassandra sets sail. Their plan is smoothly executed, but a violent sandstorm wreaks havoc on the band of travellers, as does the discovery of a common enemy. When they encounter the barbaric Talagahi tribe, the group must work together to survive. Their situation grows increasingly dire and Will may be their only hope of escaping the desert alive.

Ideally this would have been book five in the series, which would have made the storyline with Will and Tug much more suspenseful and Will’s apprehension over ending his apprenticeship more meaningful. For whatever reason, they are out of order and some people may be turned off by that fact. I found it to be mildly annoying, but quickly got over it. I really enjoyed meeting Halt and Gilan again and the new desert setting was an interesting break from the haunted forests of the previous two books. Throughout this book Will becomes increasingly nervous about his upcoming exams. As he observes Halt’s calm demeanor and ability to think quickly under pressure, Will begins to doubt his own ability to assume the role of full-fledged Ranger.  As usual, when his friends are in danger, the young apprentice finds it within himself to bravely rise to the occasion.  His deep affection for his little horse is heartwarming and his loyalty to his friends is nothing short of heroic. This book is an enjoyable flashback and offers readers everything they have come to expect from a Ranger’s Apprentice book-action, adventure and humor. Seven books in and the author continues to produce exciting new stories. I have book eight, The Kings of Clonmel, ready and waiting at home.

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Caused Strong Emotions

This week the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish have asked us to talk about feelings. More specifically, books that have caused us to feel some strong emotion, good or bad. I had to dig deep in the vault for some of these!


Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White is the first book that I remember that made me cry. Many years later I read it to a class of first graders and gosh darn it, didn’t I choke up again?




Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson also brought on the waterworks.





I read A Prayer for Owen Meany in high school. I can no longer remember what this book is about, but the image of me reading it is forever seared into my brain. I stayed up all night, huddled on the blue couch in our red tv room. I remember laughing through parts, but what I really remember is finishing, with tears streaming down my face, just as the sun was coming up. Pretty melodramatic and cheesy, huh? But I swear that’s what happened. I should read this again some day.


I was waaaaay too young when I read Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews. I was equal parts horrified and fascinated. I think in the end horrified won out because I never read another V.C. Andrews book. To this day I don’t know what happened to the Dollanganger kids.



I read The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingslover for a class in college and that was the beginning of my love of all things Barbara Kingsolver. In fact, Animal Dreams was on the top of my favorites list for a very long time.



Well that stroll down memory lane was fun. Let’s fast forward to the present to finish off this list.


The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is one of my all-time favorites. It’s mysterious, suspenseful, magical, and it’s about books! I think it may be time to reread this one. Just writing about it makes me want to have it in my hands.



Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christs Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I am talking tears of laughter. Again, thinking about it makes me want to reread it.



Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater caused rage. I strongly disliked this book. I have been told I am the only one to feel this way, but I stand by my assessment. Horrible.




I really struggled with The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, but once I listened to the audiobook I was hooked. I laughed, I cried, I sat in my driveway long after arriving home just to get more of the story. Powerful stuff. I am glad I didn’t give up on it.




Where She Went by Gayle Forman made it onto the Books That Left My Mouth Hanging Open List too. It is THAT good. I wanted to immediately reread it just to feel everything all over again.




Had I used only recently read books on this list I would have also included Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John because it was such a feel-good book and The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson because it was sad and hopeful all at once and it made me cry. The Spellmans series by Lisa Lutz, Going Bovine and Beauty Queen by Libba Bray are laugh-out-loud funny and Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake creeped the bejesus out of me.There I go again, sneaking extra books on to my top ten list. Tsk, tsk.

Happy Reading!