Monthly Archives: October 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books to Read For Halloween 10/29/13

toptentuesday

Demons, ghosts, and monsters, oh my! It’s time for all things spooky, creepy, and down-right terrifying. I am big baby when it comes to scary things and I refuse to watch horror movies (or even commercials for horror movies), but I still like a good fright in the form of a book. That I read during the day. In public. And the book can’t even come home with me. Those are the rules. Here are my picks for Halloween Reads. Oh, and stop by The Broke and the Bookish for more terrifying lists.

1. The Diviners by Libba Bray. I think this book is so scary. Seriously. I have read it once and I know I want to read it again. I want to listen to the audio but the thought of actually hearing the Naughty John song freaks me out. I will never be able to unhear it.

diviners

2. In the Shadow of the Blackbirds by Cat Winters. I just recently read this one. It is delightfully creepy!

shadow of the blackbirds

3. Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender. This is a great series. Just creepy enough to make me nervous, but not terrifying. *ahem, Diviners*

bad bad to cursed dead as it gets

4. Ten by Gretchen McNeil. This is a creepy mystery/thriller. It reads like a teen slasher movie!

ten

5. The Stone Child by Dan Poblocki. The monsters from books come to life in this unique horror story.

stone child

6. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. Serial Killer. That is all. Game is even scarier.

i hunt killers game

7. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. Speaking of serial killers, this one stars the ghost of Jack the Ripper. Spooky!

name of the star

8. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. This is my favorite zombie series ever.

forest of hands and teeth original

9. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride. Delightfully dark and droll.

hold me closer 2 necromancing

10. Locke & Key by Joe Hill. This graphic novel series is so awesome. It’s very creepy.

locke 1

Honorable Mentions:

walking dead 17 bzrk texas gothic blood oath this is not a tesst

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

 

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Mondays with Megan-What Are You Reading? 10/28/13

Hello Monday! I had a busy and productive weekend and caught up on some sleep so I am uncharacteristically cheerful and excited about the week. I have a couple of fun stuff happening this week at the library. Today I am hosting a Day of the Dead program. We’ll be learning about and decorating traditional Mexican Sugar Skulls. Tomorrow is a meeting of my new D&D group. They are planning on coming in costume! I can’t wait to see them all. I am also excited to show off some of my newly acquired DM skills!

For my reading week I am looking forward to diving into Allegiant, by Veronica Roth. I couldn’t get to it last week because I was still working on House of Hades by Rick Riordan. I am still mulling that one over in my brain…

My reading pace has slowed down a bit, but I am still working my way through a giant list of books.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

mondayreading new monday

Be sure to visit Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts to see what others are reading.

Finished:

sweet tooth life love elephants house of hades

I finished the second volume in the Sweet Tooth series by Jeff Lemire. The first volume was not bad and I did not have high expectations for the second. I am glad I decided to continue the series! There is so much more background information in the second volume. The series is set in a post-apocalyptic world destroyed by a plague. All of the children born after the plague are strange human-animal hybrids and no one seems to know why. It’s the kind of weird that’s right up my alley. The dogs and I walked our way through Love, Life, and Elephants by Daphne Sheldrick. I really enjoyed this memoir of a life lived with wild animals in Kenya. Finally, I finished House of Hades by Rick Riordan. I loved spending time with my favorite demi-gods and can’t wait for the final chapter of their story.

Current Audio:

ptolemy's gate eighty dollar

I am still working on Ptolemy’s Gate by Jonathon Stroud. I was a little iffy on it last week, but the story has picked up and regained my interest. I also started The Eighty-Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts, continuing my nonfiction audio streak. I guess I am into true animals stories these days. Who knew?

Currently Reading:

sisters born of illusion iron traitor

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick de Witt is my Westerns selection for my work genre discussion group. I am also making slow progress in Born of Illusion and Iron Traitor.

Up Next:

allegiant

I need to read this before I accidentally read spoilers!

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Top Ten Tuesday-Most Unique/Favorite Character Names 10/22/13

toptentuesday

A recent TTT list was all about bookish pet peeve. I did not get a list together for that one, but if I had, weird character names would have been at the top. I think that names like Ever, Belly, Patch, Peeta and Cricket (for a boy) are pretty ridiculous and all total turn offs. However, there are some unique character names that are just perfect. Cool names is the name of the game this week right here and over at The Broke and The Bookish.

1. Karou (and Akiva) from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I will admit that it took some time for the names (and the story) to grow on me. I love the audio version and the names sound so lovely coming from the reader.

daughter of smoke

2. Flavia de Luce (and her bicycle Gladys!) from the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. I really love all things Flavia and again, the reader for the audio is phenomenal.

sweetness

3. Halt from The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan. This simple, no-nonsense name is perfect for the gruff old ranger.

ranger

4. Hermione Granger…actually all the HP characters have great names!

harry

5. Gansey and Ronan (but not Blue. I find that annoying) from The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.

raven boys

6. Khaleesi Daenerys Targaryen from A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. What a bad*** name for a bad*** character. Old George has a bunch of great names, but Dany Stormborn might just be my favorite.

game

7. Jasper Dent from I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. I just think this is a cool name. I love the books too.

i hunt killers

8. Seraphina from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. I don’t know many dragons, but I assume this is a good name. I wonder if she could hang with Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion?

seraphina

9. Bartimaeus from the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathon Stroud. It just kind of rolls of the tongue. I like it.

bartimaeus

10. Emerson Cole from Hourglass by Myra McEntire. It is a little unusual, but not totally weird. I think it’s kind of pretty. I dig it.

hourglass

I am also a fan of Calpurnia Tate (The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate), Jonah Griggs (Jellicoe Road), Bovril (Leviathan), and Arthur Penhaligon (Keys to the Kingdom).

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Mondays With Megan-Dungeons & Dragons and What Are You Reading 10/21/13

It’s Monday! The weather is brisk (LOVE), my freezer is stocked with homemade soups, and I am feeling motivated! For the past couple of months I have been working on a new project here at work and I am finally feeling confident and excited enough to brag a little. With the help of one very eager and knowledgeable student, I now have a Dungeons & Dragons® club at the library. We have had a few meetings now and all of my new regulars have created their characters, which, by the way, takes forever. Meanwhile, I have been frantically trying to prepare my self to run a game, or Dungeon Master. Did you know that there is a Dungeon Master for Dummies? There is. I have read it. A documentary? It’s called Dungeon Masters. Seen it! I have watched countless YouTube videos, scoured the internet for blogs and articles, and consulted with a couple of friends for advice. I bought my own set of manuals and have added a set of dice to my list of things to buy. I am all in! While D&D and I are about the same age, this epic role-playing game wasn’t even on my radar until a few years ago when I read Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern. In the book the main character is looking for a new group of friends and she finds acceptance with a group of gamers. After reading it was inspired to gather a couple of friends and see what the fuss was all about. I made a character, had a few adventures, and that was the end of it..until now. Last Friday I was finally called up to lead a campaign. I was not ready. I made some mistakes. The kids had an AWESOME time. I learned that the rules are important, but not everything and the players are very forgiving. I will eventually get the hang of things. I am even confident that I will eventually be a really good DM. In the meantime, I am just going to relax, have fun, and let the roll of the dice guide me. That’s the good news. The not so good news is that my obsession with D&D seems to have cut into my reading time…

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

mondayreading new monday

 hosted by Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts

Finished:

mrs lincoln dream thieves

Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini was a book club choice. I thought it was interesting glimpse into the lives of both Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckler. It was not a page-turner, but I enjoyed it and we had quite the lively discussion. I also finished listening to The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefater, the second book in the Raven Boys Cycle. I loved it! While Gansey still holds the group together, Ronan, and a new character called the Gray Man steal the show in this book. And now the long wait for book 3 begins…

Current Audio:

life love elephants ptolemy's gate

I am almost finished with Life, Love and Elephants by Daphne Sheldrick. I also started Ptolemy’s Gate by Jonathan Stroud. This has not been my favorite series, but I do enjoy the reader of the audio. I am also on a mission to wrap up series.

Currently Reading:

house of hades  iron traitor born of illusion

Can you believe that I haven’t finished House of Hades yet? I am a bit surprised myself. It’s so good and I am savoring it in small bits. I also started The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa and Born of Illusion by Teri Brown.

Abandoned for Now:

monsters

Monsters by Ilsa Bick is just not working for me right now. I will try again later.

Up Next:

allegiant sisters

I am not sure what I am going to do when I get home from work tomorrow and tear open my copy of Allegiant. Will I set Percy and gang aside? Will I try to juggle both? Also, I really need to get cracking on my book club book. We are reading Westerns and I picked The Sisters Brothers by Patrick de Witt. So many books…so little time (and too many awesome tv shows).

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday-Books I Made Myself and Others Read 10/15/13

toptentuesday

I decided to tweak this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic. The Broke and the Bookish asked about books we were forced to read. I haven’t been forced to read anything since I was in school (and for the most part I  enjoyed what I  read). I have been told by friends and coworkers that I really needed to read certain books, and for the most part I have obliged, but I never feel obligated to finish a book that is not for me. So, I decided to make a list of the books that I forced myself to read because I felt that I should. I will also throw in some books that I have pressured others to try to a few that I was encouraged to read by others.

Most recently I was totally peer pressured into this:

game

Everyone at work was reading it. All the cool kids were doing it. This was the best peer pressure ever!

Books I Forced Myself to Read

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

book thief

Everyone was raving about this one, so I of course had to see what all the fuss was about. I tried to read it. I really did. I could not get into it so I gave up. Then I felt guilty so I really did force myself to try again. The second time I took the audiobook home and that made all the difference in the world! I am so glad I made myself try again.

2. The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan

ruinsA couple of years ago I realized that I only had a few go-to “boy” books to recommend to my teen readers. I needed to remedy that and branch out in terms of my reading. So I wandered around in my collection and randomly picked up the first book in the series. The cover screamed BOY and I was skeptical. Little did I know what I was getting myself into! I have so much love for this series.

3. Blood Red Road by Moira Young

blood red road

Out of the blue I received an ARC of this book. I read the back and scoffed. I skimmed the first few pages and was immediately put off by the dialect. Fast forward a few weeks…I guiltily dusted it off and tried again. After about 20 pages I was used to the dialect and knew I had discovered a new favorite.

4. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

enders gameIt’s the Holy Grail of Sci-Fi! It’s going to be a movie! It’s a must-read for everyone! Nope. Not. At. All. I tried and quit and I am a-ok with that. No looking back. That is not the book for me.

5. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

jellicoe road

*See The Book Thief above.

6. Germinal by Émile Zola

germinal

I am so proud of myself for finishing this! Talk about a challenge.

7. The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R Tolkien

tolkien

This is another series that I found incredibly challenging, but I stuck with it and really enjoyed the story.

Books I Strongly Encourage Others to Read:

8. The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

rook

This one requires a little force. It’s so weird, but I loved it!

9. Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

fiveflavorsof-dumb

Yeah, I have forced many people to read this favorite of mine. Go do it!

10. Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer

bloody jack

I like to push the audio version of this series. Not familiar with Jacky Faber? You should be! Hands down my favorite audio series ever. No pressure.

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

 

 

 

Mondays With Megan-Fall 2013 Dewey Wrap-Up and What Are You Reading?

Wow! What a busy weekend!

dewey1-300x300

As you may already know, Saturday was the Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon. This was my fifth time participating and as usual, it was loads of fun. I read 6 books and participated in 5 mini-challenges. I made it to Hour 18. I could have pushed on, but I knew I had a crazy week ahead of me and decided that sleep was more important. Ready for my giant Monday reading list? Good!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

mondayreading IMWAYR

Be sure to visit Book Journey, Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for more list!

Finished:

rose under fire united we spy chi 10 hypnotists wars sweet tooth wild cards

I realized that I missed last week, but I decided to just skip those books….I *finally* finished Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein! It was a difficult read for a couple of reasons. First, I thought it had a slow start. Second, the subject matter is so difficult for me handle in large doses. Nevertheless, I am glad I read it. I also finally tucked in to the final Gallagher Girls, United We Spy, by Ally Carter! I loved it. A perfect ending. The tenth volume of Chi’s Sweet Home by Konami Kanata was particularly adorable and entertaining and even had a bit of a cliffhanger! Gordon Korman has a new series out called The Hypnotists. It was a quick and exciting read and I will definitely follow the series. My other two books were graphic novels. Wars in Toyland  by Joe Harris and Sweet Tooth vol.1 by Jeff Lemire were both unusual and I very much enjoyed them. Oops! I forgot Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles! Another sexy addition to the Elkeles shelf.

Current Audio:

dream thieves life love elephants

I am really enjoying The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. My only complaint is that I can’t stand the voice the reader uses for Kavinsky. Otherwise, the story is moving along nicely with lots of twisty turns and a new and mysterious character. I am also continuing my nonfiction audio streak with Love, Life, and Elephants by Daphne Sheldrick.

Currently Reading:

house of hades monsters ashton place

House of Hades!!!! I am surprised to find myself lingering and savoring this one rather than greedily devouring it! I am still working on Monsters by Ilsa Bick in small, manageable doses. So horrific! I am also slowly picking at The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood.

On Deck:

sisters all our prep school

This month my department is reading Westerns, so I need to get started on The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt. I am also hoping to get to All Our Yesterday by Cristin Terrill and Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor.

What are you reading?

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Dewey Mini-Challenges 10/12/13

One of the things that makes the Dewey read-a-thon so much fun is all of the mini-challenges. The hosts have found 24 bloggers willing to provide readers with a little break and a chance to win prizes. Participating in all of them would take forever, but I usually pick a few throughout the day.

Hour 3 Mini-challenge:  A Puzzling Challenge hosted by Just One More Thing

This cover puzzle challenge was fun. I got all but one! If you know what the book in the bottom row the with boy and the suitcase is, please let me know. It’s driving me crazy!

Back to the books for now!
Hour 7 Mini-Challenge: Book Mad Libs hosted by Nisa Be Praised

United We Spy page 109, paragraph 7

Before:

There was a small, basic lock on my door. It seemed out of place in that high-security fortress; but I turned it anyway and backed away slowly, hoping that whoever has shot the ambassador wouldn’t care about me. I was a visitor-a kid. There was nothing trapped inside of me that anybody wanted anymore. I was nothing, I told myself.

After:

There was a happy, annoyed lock on my ball. It seemed out of place in that high-security couch; but I turned it anyway and danced away swimmingly, hoping that whoever has coughed the dentist wouldn’t care about me. I was a dog-a kid. There was nothing slumbering inside of me that anybody wanted anymore. I was nothing, I told myself.

Hour 10: Book Trailers hosted by Jehara

I want the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld to be a movie SO. BAD. In the meantime, there are some really spectacular book trailers out there. Here is one:

Holy cow, it’s already Hour 12! This mini-challenge is a survey.

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?

I am rocking this read-a-thon! I am well (but not overly) caffeinated. I am a little stiff and ready to move to a new location. My eyes are fine, but I am planning to switch to glasses when I get home.
2) What have you finished reading?

United We Spy by Ally Carter
The Hypnotist by Gordon Korman
Chi’s Sweet Home vol. 10 by Konami Katana
Wars in Toyland by Joe Harris

3) What is your favorite read so far?

United We Spy! A great end to a favorite series!

4) What about your favorite snacks?

I haven’t done any snacking, but my lunch was delicious and I am ready for some Chinese food for dinner!
5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!

I haven’t visited any new blogs. Maybe later when I can’t concentrate on reading as well

 

Hour 13: The Year’s Best hosted by Lisa’s World of Books

I like this mini-challenge!

Best Romance Book of Your Reading Year: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Best YA Book of Your Reading Year:

Best New Adult Book of Your Reading Year: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Best Mystery Book of Your Reading Year: Joyland by Stephen King

Best Non-Fiction Book of Your Reading Year: At Home by Bill Bryson

Best Sci-Fi Book of Your Reading Year: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Best Fantasy Book of Your Reading Year: The Emperor of Nihon-Ja by John Flanagan

Best Children’s Book of Your Reading Year: The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Best Fiction Book of Your Reading Year: Winger by Andrew Smith

Best Main Character of Your Reading Year: Cammie Morgan, Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter

Best Author of Your Reading Year: A.S. King

Best Supporting Character of Your Reading Year: Wolf, Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Best Cover of Your Reading Year: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Best Story Line of Your Reading Year: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

What are some of your favorites?

Happy Reading!

˜Megan