Monthly Archives: August 2013

Top Ten Tuesday-Super Sidekicks 8/27/13

toptentuesday

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday, brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish is all about memorable secondary characters. You know, those best friends, beloved pets, and sidekicks who often steal the show (and our hearts).

1. Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston from What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton. There is definitely more than meets the eye with this A/V kid. I loved Corey and I promise you will too. He’s one of the good guys.

what happens next

2. Bex, Liz, and Macey from The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter. These ladies are everything a teenaged spy needs in a best friend/roommate/co-operative.

i'd tell you i love

3. Magnus Bane (and Henry) from The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. Obviously Magnus, because he is fabulous, but also sweet, sweet Henry. The only time I have ever put down a book in rage was while reading Clockwork Princess. If you have read it you probably know exactly the moment I am talking about.

clockwork princess

4. Halt (and Tug) from The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan. I love Halt and his gruff, dry wit. Of course, it is often Tug, the clever little horse, who steals the show. I have to confess that I have cried over that little horse.

ranger

5. Zuzana from The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Liani Taylor. She is one tiny firecracker and she always has Karou’s back. I love her no-nonsense attitude.

daughter of smoke

6. Wilf from the Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness. Wilf is a tiny ray of goodness in a series full of ugliness.

knife

7. Lucy from The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey. This is still my favorite vampire series and Lucy is still my favorite human companion. She sassy, snarky, and holds the spotlight in a room full of hot vampire brothers.

hearts

8. Xemerius, the gargoyle demon from the Ruby Red trilogy by Kerstin Gier. He is a cranky little invisible dude. And he is hilarious.

ruby red

9. Balder, the garden gnome from Going Bovine by Libba Bray. Balder totally steals the show. Best road trip partner ever.

going bovine

10. Finally, my all-time favorite non-human sidekick will always be Bovril, the perspicacious loris from the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld. He is a cheeky little fellow.

bovrilHappy Reading!

˜Megan

Mondays With Megan Read-a-Thons Galore 8/26/13

Is it really Monday already? Here in Rocky River it’s the last Monday before school starts. Ready or not, here they come! I spent the last week of summer participating in a couple of read-a-thons, so let’s just skip to the wrap-ups.

gallagher girls readathon

First up, The Gallagher Girls Read-a-thon, hosted by Books As You Know It. Last week we read book 3 in the series, Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover.

don't judge

While the books themselves are all sorts of fun and games, the reality is that the life of a spy is dangerous and that lesson really hits home in this third book. Everyone is on high alert after one a kidnapping attempt and Cammie and her friends are having a hard time coping. They are learning that appearances can be deceiving and trusting the wrong person can be deadly. There are lots of questions and the few answers that the young spies get point to an even darker secret than anyone could have imagined. The tension is building and I am can’t wait to dig into Only the Good Spy Young!

Last week was also Bout of Books 8.0. I really started off strong, but things kind of fizzled out at the end when my weekend became unexpectedly busy! I did not make my goal of getting back on pace with my Goodreads goal (so, so close though. I am now only 1 book off pace.) and I didn’t read either of my graphic novels. They just did not appeal to me at all. I also didn’t visit a single other blog. So lame. Good things there is always another opportunity to do better!

On the bright side, my It’s Monday! What Are You Reading list is huge.

mondayreading IMWAYR

Thanks to Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for hosting!

Finished:

 don't judge  infinityglassthis song will save your lifelemoncello explosive eighteen prisoner of heaven

I am on a roll wrapping up series this year. I breezed through Infinityglass, the final book in the Hourglass series by Myra McEntire. All sorts of questions were answered in this satisfying ending, but it was not my favorite of the three. Still, a solid conclusion. I also finished an advanced copy of This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. This newest offering is a little darker and heavier than her previous books, but it is just as awesome. Loved this one. Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein is a middle grade book that is being compared to Willy Wonka. If Willy Wonka had a library this would be it! Loved this charming library-themed mystery. I now have one more Stephanie Plum book to read before I am all caught up. Do I detect a hint of personal growth? Finally? Please? And finally, I finished listening to The Prisoner of Heaven, a companion book to The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

Current Audio:

wedding night 6=5th

I just started The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. I am interested to see if it lives up to the hype.

Currently Reading:

coldest shadows charmed

I think I have a nice balance of truly horrifying (Shadows) and light and fun.

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Top Ten Tueday-Things that Make Blogging Easier

toptentuesdayThis week the Broke and the Bookish have asked about the things that make our blogging lives easier. I am not sure I can come up with ten things. Let’s give it a whirl! I have a feeling the lists today are going to be very similar.

1. Goodreads.com. My virtual bookshelf and task master. I am not very tech savvy, so I was super excited to learn how to link my reading shelf to the blog.

2. NetGalley.com. I am always to excited when I am approved for a digital galley! I have been slacking this summer, but normally reading these ARCs motivates me to blog reviews.

3. Librarything.com. I use this site for all of my cover images. They seem to be the perfect size to insert into a post.

4. Weekly memes. Right now I am guaranteed to get two posts a week in because I participate in two memes. Sometimes that is all I have time for. On Mondays I participate in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts. And of course Tuesdays is all about the Top Ten lists!

5. Read-a-thons. I am so thankful for other book bloggers for hosting awesome read-a-thons. Currently my favorites are Bout of Books and Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon. Read-a-thons are a great way to get to know other bloggers and make a dent in that giant TBR list.

6. My job. I love being a Teen Librarian. I get to do a lot of fun things with my teen patrons and this blog is the perfect format for showing off all that fun.

7. The Reading Room. Ok, so this is a shameless plug, but I really do love The Reading Room and I am proud of all the hard work my colleagues and I put into maintaining this database. I always check here when I am writing reviews and want to add a list of Readalikes.

I think that’s it. I am off to check out what others are using. I am sure I’ll find some great new tips.

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Mondays With Megan-Beaches, Spies, and Bout of Books 8.0

I am ending the summer on a high note. I finally made it out to my aunt’s house for a beach day. She has lived in a little cottage on the shores of Lake Erie for my entire life. Her backyard is a small patch of pebbly beach and it’s a little piece of heaven. It’s just not summer without a day of swimming and hunting for sea glass. Somethings you just don’t outgrow.

sea glass

Ok. On to Monday business. I am participating in two read-a-thons this week!

gallagher girls readathon

We are entering week three of the Gallagher Girls read-a-thon, hosted by Books As You Know It. This week we are reading Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter.

don't judge

Today is also the beginning of Bout of Books 8.0, hosted by Bout of Books.

BoB8.0-200x200In case you are interested, you can see my goals for the week here.

Finally, it’s time to check in with Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for another It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? list.

mondayreading IMWAYR

Finished:

drama cross my heart joyland secret keeper infinityglass

My favorites from this bunch are Joyland by Stephen King and The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. Talk about fantastic storytelling! Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter was reread for me. It was fun to go back to the beginning and relive the introduction of Zack. Things are really going to take off now! Drama by Raini Telgemeier was kind of a letdown after Smile. The artwork wonderful, but I found the story to be lacking. I found the characters to be clichéd and stereotypical. Finally, I tore through Infinityglass, the final book in the Hourglass trilogy by Myra McEntire. It was a nice, solid ending, but I think the first book is still my favorite.

Current Audio:

prisoner of heaven wedding night

Currently Reading:

this song will save your life shadows explosive eighteen don't judge coldest

Yeah, I’m busy!

On Deck:

lemoncello rose under fire

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein are definitely on the top of my TBR list.

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Getting Ready For Bout of Books 8.0

BoB8.0-200x200

YAY Read-a-thons! I have signed up for another round of Bout of Books. The week-long event starts on Monday (8/19) and it’s time to start setting some goals. If you aren’t signed up yet, I suggest you get busy. Then, grab this handy template and start planning your week.

Time Devoted to Reading

This one is easy. I read and listen everyday! I know that I will not be able to finish my audio books, but I am going to try complete the four books and two graphic novels listed.

My Goals

  • My primary goal for this week is to get caught up on my Goodreads reading goal. I am still a couple of books behind. Turns out that this was my #1 goal during BoB 7.0.
  • Visit and comment on some new-to-me blogs

Books to Read

Books:

  • Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
  • The Coldest Girl in Cold Town by Holly Black
  • Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
  • Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich (started)

Graphic Novels:

  • War Brothers by Sharon E. McKay
  • Kill Shakespeare, vol. 1 by Conor McCreery

e-books:

  • This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales (started)
  • Shadows by Ilsa Bick (started)

Audiobooks:

  • Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
  • The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (started)

Updates

Monday
Number of pages I’ve read today: 210
Number of minutes I’ve listened today: 60
Total number of books I’ve finished: 0
Books:

  • Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
  • The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
  • Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
  • Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

Tuesday
Number of pages I’ve read today: 182
Number of minutes I’ve listened today: 80
Total number of books I’ve finished: 1
Books:

  • Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
  • The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
  • Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
  • Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

Wednesday
Number of pages I’ve read today: 259
Number of minutes I’ve listened today: 41
Total number of books I’ve finished: 2
Books:

  • The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
  • Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
  • Shadows by Ilsa Bick
  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
  • Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

Thursday
Number of pages I’ve read today: 110
Number of minutes I’ve listened today: 75
Total number of books I’ve finished: 2
Books:

  • The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Shadows by Ilsa Bick
  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
  • Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

Friday
Number of pages I’ve read today: 227
Number of minutes I’ve listened today: 70
Total number of books I’ve finished: 3
Books:

  • The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Shadows by Ilsa Bick
  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
  • Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

Saturday
Number of pages I’ve read today: 104
Number of minutes I’ve listened today: 90
Total number of books I’ve finished: 3
Books:

  • The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich

Sunday
Number of pages I’ve read today: 136
Number of minutes I’ve listened today: 20
Total number of books I’ve finished: 4
Books:

  • The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
  • The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

Number of pages read: 1,228
Number of minutes listened: 436 (or 7.25 hours!)
Number of books finished: 4

Not bad!

Top Ten Tuesday-Favorite Settings 8/13/13

toptentuesdayThis week The Broke and The Bookish asked us to pick a setting and list our favorite books with that setting. I am tweaking this one a little. I selected a few of my favorite types of settings and listed a few books in those categories.

FOREIGN LANDS. I don’t have a lot of world travel experience, but I can always count on a book to take me away!

1. Ireland

faithful

I love Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series. Each book in the series is a riveting psychological thriller, but my favorite thing about the series is the setting. I have never been to Ireland, but French describes Dublin in such vivid detail that the city comes alive. It’s as if Dublin itself is a character in the story.

2. Czech Republic

daughter

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is the only book I have ever read that is set in Prague. The unique setting makes this one stand out in a crowd.

3. Australia

jellicoe road i am the messenger

It’s a toss-up between Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta and I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. I must admit that one Ed Kennedy plays a big role in latter being on the list.

SPECIAL SCHOOLS. Thank you J.K. Rowling for introducing me to the joys of Hogwarts! I now have a special fondness for boarding school settings. Here are a few of my favorites:

4. The Arkwell Academy is home to a variety of magickind, including Dusty Everhart, the only Nightmare at the school. This was a fun debut by a local (Ohio) author!

nightmare affair

5. Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers is a spaceship! Seriously. I LOVED this book and can’t wait for more!

mothership

6. Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a top-secret spy school for awesome girls.

i'd tell you i love

ON THE ROAD. I LOVE road trip books so much. These two are truly gems:

7. Going Bovine by Libba Bray is so delightfully bizarre.

going bovine

8. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson is the opposite. Nothing weird here, just a lot of sweet fun.

amy and roger

DISTURBING SETTINGS. I just invented this category so that I could include some of my favorite disturbing books. It feels weird saying that.

9. The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith. Marbury is a horrifying place, and yet I could not put this book down. Of course, I am still too scared to read the sequel, Passenger, but I will some day.

marbury lens

10. Gone by Michael Grant. Perdido Beach is a hot mess and even though the series is finished, I am still freaked out about all the sh*t that when down under that barrier.

gone

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Mondays With Megan-Spy School Week 2 8/12/13

gallagher girls readathon

It’s week 2 of The Gallagher Girls Read-a-thon, hosted by Books As You Know It.

i'd tell you i love

Last week I revisited I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You. This is where the magic beginnings! In retrospect I realize that this is not the best book in the series. It’s a quick, fun beginning, but it is so different from the books that follow. My favorite things about this one are getting to know the school itself and meeting the characters. The Gallagher Academy is full of surprises and the secrets we learn in book one are just the tip of the iceberg. I love the quirky professors, the fine dining in the cafeteria, and the long list of useful items allegedly invented by some clever spy girls. I also realized that despite not being a fan of Josh, he is a very important tool and his role was necessary to move Cammie and the series forward. If you haven’t started the Gallagher Girls series, I suggest you get busy. If you read the first book and never continued, I assure you that each book is better than the last! I am looking forward to digging into Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy this week.

Moving on to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Thanks to Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for hosting!

mondayreading IMWAYR

Finished:

i'd tell you i love everybody sees the ants crayons monsters of men emerald green bayou 1 bayou 2

Man, I killed it last week! If I keep this up I may get back on track with my reading goal! I have yet to be disappointed by A.S. King. In Everybody Sees the Ants she tackles bullying. I love how she weaves magical realism into her stories. I also love how she writes adults-just like real life. None are perfect. Some totally suck, others try their best. I can’t wait for Reality Boy! After seeing The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt on a bunch of blogs I just had to see for myself what the fuss was all about. Oh boy, was this an adorable and hilarious little picture book. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up (even if you don’t have a young one to share it with!). I finally finished Monsters of Men, the final book in the Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness. This stuff is brilliant! It was powerful and disturbing and left me with a lot to think about. Finally, I zipped through an ARC of Emerald Green, the final book in that adorable Ruby Red Trilogy by Kerstin Gier. There were plenty of surprises and clever twists, but I wish it wasn’t over! Finally, I read Bayou vol 1 & 2 by Jeremy Love. The artwork is gorgeous and the story is a dark and bizarre blend of Southern folklore, and African-American history and folklore. I didn’t know what to expect, but I thought is was pretty cool. I wish volume 3 was published.

Current Audio:

secret keeper joyland

Oh, The Secret Keeper…I am loving this one. The suspense is killing me! I also started Joyland by Stephen King. A creepy carnival seems to be an appropriate end-of-summer book.

Currently Reading:

cross my heart explosive eighteen shadows

I had my fill of dark and disturbing for a while. I all about light and fun this week so I will be continuing with the Gallagher Girls read-a-thon. Stephanie Plum is also a nice, predictable comic relief. I am finally going to start Shadows, the second book in the Ashes trilogy. Monsters comes out in September and I want to be ready!

Happy Reading!

˜Megan