Monthly Archives: June 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books of 2013…So Far. 6/25/13


This Top Ten Tuesday list, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish is a Best Of list. This is both a genius idea and a nearly impossible task all in one. My end of year lists are going to be insane. As of today I have read 92 books and I gave 5 stars to 26 of them! What to do, what to do?

So far this year has delivered some AWESOME sequels:

1. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. This sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone is dark, brutal, and devastating. Holy wow!

days of blood

2. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. Another brilliant sequel. Even better than Cinder? I think so! I can’t wait to get two more points of view layered on and see it is all going to come together.


3. Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-More. Not familiar with the Goodnight family? You’re going to want to fix that! Witches, ghosts, sassy girls and swoonie guys. Everybody wins! The first in the series is Texas Gothic, but they do a great job of standing alone as well. This book could be the love child of Shades of London series by Maureen Johnson and The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan

spirit and dust

4. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. Epic. Clever and satisfying resolution to some of my biggest concerns.

clockwork princess

5. Game by Barry Lyga. Jasper Dent is the new Dexter! I really enjoyed I Hunt Killers, but Game creeped the hell out of me.


6.The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy. My new favorite middle grade series.

hero's guide

I have also read some phenomenal standalones and debuts!

7. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I had a ridiculously good time with this one. Wil Wheaton narrating the audio is bonus genius.


8. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley. How about this for variety? Nonfiction, graphic novel. So lovely. You will want it for yourself and to give it as a gift to all your foodie friends.


9. What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton. I was totally impressed by this debut novel. I can’t wait to have the author speak at my library in September!

what happens next
10. In Darkness by Nick Lane. I totally get why it won the Prinz. I am also surprised by how much I loved this one. I still rattles around in my brain more than a month later.

in darkness

11. Winger by Andrew Smith. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and devastatingly heart-breaking all wrapped up in one. I just finished this last week and knew it had to be on this list.


Eleven is a reasonable place to stop the list, but I just have to say that I also loved Light by Michael Grant, Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter, Prodigy by Marie Lu, Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley and Doll Bones by Holly Black. Now I am kind of dreading trying to make an end of the year Top Ten list.

Happy Reading!



Mondays With Megan: Countdown to Vacation!

Five more days until I am on vacation for three weeks! I have a ton to do to get ready, but I am mostly concerned about which books I am going to take and in which format. But that is a list for another day. Today is Monday and that means I get to make a What Are You Reading? list. Be sure to check out more lists at Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for more great reading suggestions.

I didn’t get too much reading in over the weekend. I was quite busy hanging out with my 91-year-old grandma and finishing my stone wall project in my backyard. Slowly but surely, it’s coming along. Next step: dirt and plant!

  yard 1

yard 2

But enough of that. You’ve come for the books!

mondayreading Mon Reading Button PB to YA


winger dorothy and the wizard in oz art forger sixteen

Winger by Andrew Smith is a must-read. Seriously. It is both laugh-out-loud hilarious and heartbreaking. It is the story of Ryan Dean West, a 14-year-old junior at a private boarding school. He plays rugby, falls in love, gets his ass kicked, and makes some pretty stupid mistakes. This glimpse into the mind of a teenaged boy is fascinating! I also made progress in The Marvel Oz series by Eric Shanower. This fourth installment, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz did not have my favorite storyline, but the illustrations are really my favorite part anyway! I finished listening to The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro and promptly passed it on to my aunt. It was so compelling that I was often disappointed when I got to my destination and had to stop listening. Finally, I zipped through another Stephanie Plum novel. At this rate I should be all caught up when book 20 (!) comes out in the fall.

Current Audio:

aristotle and dante secrets to the grave

I have finally gotten around to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, the multi-award winning novel by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. I am not very far into it, but so far I like the characters and narrator. On Playaway I have Secrets to the Grave by Tami Hoag. I have never read anything by this author and this is actually the second book in a series, but it doesn’t seem to matter that I missed the first one. I am enjoying this thriller set in the 1980’s.

Currently Reading:

end games proxy ashenwinter second helpings

I just started T. Michael Martin’s debut, The End Games. There is something weird going on here and I think I need to know what it is. Is this really a game? I am still working on my e-galley of Proxy by Alex London (it’s out now!) and I couldn’t resist Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin any longer. I also started Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty.

What are you reading?

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday: My Summer Reading List 6/18/13


It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday, brought to you by The Broke and The Bookish. This week we are looking at summer reading lists. Sure most adults don’t get to have summer off, but we also don’t have assigned reading. Woot! The perks of being a grown-up. *Sigh* Anyway, I have a very ambitious reading list.

1. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. This one has been recommended quite a few people. Time to see what the buzz is all about.


2. The Fifth Wave Rick Yancey. Talk about buzz! It seems like everyone wants this new alien book. One ticket for the bandwagon, please.

5th wave

3. Shadows by Ilsa Bick. Could this be my summer of sequels? Ashes left off in crazytown, it’s time to find out what happens next!


4. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. It might be time to start a new series! I hear great things and am sure I will love it.

grave mercy

5. Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. What happened to the summer of sequels? This is starting to turn into the summer of new series!

immortal rules

6. Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin. Oh, look, back on track with sequels. I am looking forward to finding out how people adjust to live after the super volcano erupts. I will not be reading this when I am in Montana. Too close for comfort. Those volcanoes are right there!


7. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness. I really want to know how it ends, but I am a little scared. It’s going to be so awful, I can feel it.

monsters of men

8. Infinityglass by Myra McEntire. This is going to be an awesome start to August! I am very excited about book 3 in the Hourglass series.


9. TimeRiders by Alex Scarrow. Time travel, much? And another new to me series…


10. Finally, I will also be working on my abundance of ARCs!

since you asked rose under fire this song will save your life

In my queue I currently have Since You Asked by Maurene Goo, Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein, and This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales!

What’s on you summer reading list?

Happy Reading!


Mondays With Megan-It’s Monday Already? 6/17/13

My coffee cup is empty and that is a problem. I’ll get a refill soon, but in the meantime I will attempt to form coherent thoughts and sentences. What an exhausting and fun weekend! I hope you had a good one too. Friday night I sat on my porch and read. Saturday was haircut, Firefly, and pizza day. Sunday was yard work day. I have to admit, I love working in my yard. Especially when my project involves removing grass. I really don’t like cutting grass.

yard 1 yard 2yard 3

With a lot of help from my sister, nephews, and brother, I moved a literal ton of rock, dug up grass, and laid the first level of stones for my new shade bed. I am clearly a giant nerd.

I am also totally excited about summer reading. We have completed our first week and sign ups and participation have been phenomenal! So far 72 teens have signed up. This may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it’s huge. Last year at the end of 9 weeks we had 106 teens sign up. See? Big deal.

Moving on to the books….Check in with Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for more great book lists!

mondayreading monday2


in darkness far far away as dead as it gets nothing can possibly go wrong

I love when a book sticks with me long after I have finished. In Darkness by Nick Lake and Far Far Away by Tom McNeal are two such books. As Dead as it Gets by Katie Alender was the final and creepiest book in the Bad Girls Don’t Die series. Finally, I read Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen. This was a really fun graphic novel! It’s cheerleaders vs. nerd in the battle for school funding. Bonus points for a robot rumble! I definitely recommend all of these titles.

Current Audio:

art forger

The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. It’s so good! I had to return Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker before I could finish it so I am currently without a Playaway. I should pick something today.

Currently Reading:

winger sixteen proxy

I am in love with Winger by Andrew Smith. I couldn’t resist another Stephanie Plum. Proxy by Alex London is my current e-galley. I am having a hard time getting into it, but to be fair, I really haven’t had much time to devote to it.

On Deck:

I have no idea. Here are a few titles that I have at home. Feel free to tell me what I should read next!

earl program end games originals

Or maybe something totally different? Who knows!

Happy Reading!


Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

far far away

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal
Random House Children’s Books
June 18, 2013
384 pgs

Jeremy Johnson Johnson lives with his father in the back of the family bookstore in the sleepy little town of Never Better, USA. After Jeremy’s mother ran off, his father became a recluse, often refusing to leave even leave his bed. It’s not as if the bookstore needs his help. The only book on the shelves is Jeremy’s grandfather’s two-volume autobiography. All this is strange enough, but the real reason the towns people shun Jeremy is because he once admitted to hearing voices. Actually, just one voice. Jeremy’s best friend is the ghost of Jacob Grimm. As in one half of the fairy tale-telling Brothers Grimm. Jacob is trapped between worlds and while he tries to figure out how to move on, he has declared himself Jeremy’s protector. When Jeremy catches the attention of the vivacious and charismatic Ginger, a shocking series of events is set in to motion and Jacob may be helpless to save his friend.

From start to finish, Far Far Away is a modern fairy tale in true Grimm fashion. It is magical and horrifying and is guaranteed to enchant the patient reader. There is something for everyone in this book-quirky characters, suspense, mystery, charming romance, and a pinch of totally creepy. The stories within the story are just an extra bonus. It may take some work selling this to teens, but I think it is totally worth the effort.

Readalikes: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab, The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon,  and Doll Bones by Holly Black

An e-galley of this book was provided by the publisher and for review.

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads 2013


It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Beach Reads. It will come as no surprise to regular readers that I intent to cheat a little on this one. Have you recovered from your shock? Ok, then, let’s move on. You see, next week’s list is going to be my Summer TBR list and there are way more than ten books on that list. So, rather than recommending books that I think you take to the beach (because I have read them and loved them), I am going to list the ten books that I would take to the beach if I had to go to the beach. Which I don’t. Thank god. Sand is evil. This list should be called Top Ten Farm Reads, because that’s where I will be vacationing. Chickens, horses, and mountains. No sand.

1. The Last Word by Lisa Lutz. The final *sob* Spellman’s book! Actually, I would definitely recommend the Spellman Files as awesome beach read.

last word

2. Sizzlin’ Sixteen or Smokin’ Seventeen by Janet Evanovich. Oh, look, here I go again recommending a beach read…I have Sixteen at home now and may get to it before I head to the farm and couldn’t wait for vacation. Stephanie, Ranger, and Morelli are the perfect vacation companions. Start with One for the Money.

sixteen smokin seventeen

3. Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty. I think it is time to revisit Jessica Darling! It helps that I own this series and paperbacks travel nicely. I suppose if you enjoy reading about snarky heroines and swoony boys while you at the beach then you might enjoy this series. Start with Sloppy Firsts.

second helpings

4. The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepard. This was a Nook deal of the day a while back. Have Nook. Will Travel. Also, did you know that bizarre, disturbing and creepy books make awesome beach reads? Seriously. The calming lapping of waves cancels out the nightmare-inducing horror. Try it, it works!

madman's daughter

5. How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski. Every summer vacation needs a road trip book!

summer up in flames

6. BZRK Reloaded by Michael Grant. I am so fortunate to have friends in high places! I am so excited that I don’t have to wait until October to read it and I love the new covers. Also, see above, re: creepy books and beaches. Finally someone gave some awesome cover love to one of Michael Grant’s books. ’bout time.

bzrk reloaded

7.  Harry Potter and…by J.K. Rowling. Beach time is the perfect time for rereading. You know, just in case you find yourself napping or if you accidentally enjoy a few too many fruity beverages, you won’t miss anything awesome in your book because you have already read it! I am ready to get back into the world of Hogwarts. I am not sure if I will start at the beginning or jump into The Chamber of Secrets. Decisions, decisions.

harry box

8. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. This is another one that I own on my Nook. I have been meaning to read if for ages. I have been trying not to start a bunch of new series, but I think my summer vacation will require a new fantasy read. Bonus points for being written by a local author.

girl of fire

9. Jessica Rules the Darkside by Beth Fantaskey. I just realized that I haven’t read a vampire book in a while and I am on a mission to finish series! Win-win.

jessica rules the dark side

10. The Outcasts by John Flanagan. I thought I could wait a little longer to start this new series, but who am I kidding? I miss my Rangers so much and I think the only way to make it better is to become friends with some Skandians. Makes sense, right?


This is just the tip of the TBR iceberg! I can’t wait for my vacation to start!

Happy Reading!


Mondays With Megan: My Week of Ghost Stories

Happy Monday! It’s an exciting day here at the library. It’s Summer Reading Time. Summer reading combines all of my favorite things: lists (come in and add your name to the sign up list), books (fill out a slip for each book you read. Each slip is a chance to win an awesome prize), and prizes (you get a gift for signing up and each week I will randomly draw a winner for a fabulous basket full of goodies!). I also get to spend the next 8 weeks obsessing over numbers and stats. I don’t like to do much math, but I do love some stats. Here are the numbers I will obsess over this summer: 106 and 540. Last year 106 teens read 540 books. Can the teens beat that? I think so!

As I was compiling my list of books read last week I noticed an unintended pattern. I read a lot of books about ghosts! Be sure to visit Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for more It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

mondayreading monday2


doll bones spirit and dust

I LOVED both of these books. Doll Bones by Holly Black is the story Zach, Poppy, and Alice, three 12-year-olds who are best friends. They have spent years playing a complex imaginary game, but things change when Zach suddenly quits, claiming they are too old to play make-believe. One night the girls come to Zach with the story of a haunted doll, an unsolved murder, and a ghost that needs being put to rest. It doesn’t take much to convince Zach to join their quest. For me, this book was more about growing up than about ghosts and I truly loved it.  Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore, is the second book in the Goodnight Family series (The first is Texas Gothic). I could not put this one down! The start of the book is Daisy Goodnight. In addition to be brilliant, she can also communicate with ghosts. While freelancing on a case for the FBI Daisy is kidnapped by the mob and drawn into a ghostly world of mobsters, magic, and secret societies. I liked this one even better than the first! It’s as if Maureen Johnson’s Shades of London series had a baby with Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles.

Currently Reading:

far far away as dead as it gets sixteen

More ghosts! Far Far Away by Tom McNeal features the ghost of Jacob Grimm. He is much nicer than the vengeful ghost in As Dead As It Gets by Katie Alender. Two different ghosts, two awesome books. And I couldn’t resist another Stephanie Plum. So far no ghosts in this one.

Current Audio:

in darkness mrs lincoln

I am still working on In Darkness by Nick Lake and Mrs.Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini. I am almost finished with In Darkness. You know, I almost quit on this one. The violence is so horrifically graphic, but I fast forwarded through the gruesome bits and discovered that the story is absolutely riveting. At the half-way point in Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, things have started to pick up. Still not a favorite, but I am interested.

On Deck:

how zoe nothing proxy art forger

I think a sweet summer romance and a fun graphic novel will be just what I need after all my ghost stories!

Happy Reading!