Monthly Archives: November 2013

Mondays With Megan 11/25/13

Happy Monday! My got myself out of my rut and I have my reading mojo back, just in time for a week-long staycation. I have to thank the bitter cold weather this weekend for driving me onto the couch and under the blankets. Really the only thing motivating me to brave the elements with the dogs was my fantastic new Playaway. I am already in vacation mode, so I am just going to get on with my list.

mondayreading new monday

Be sure check out Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for more great reading suggestions.


power of habit royal ranger animal armies naturals

See? Awesome week for me! If you haven’t read The Power of Habit yet, do it. Seriously awesome nonfiction. The Ranger’s Apprentice series finally (and sadly) comes to an end with The Royal Ranger. This book so nicely wraps things up. I loved it. Jeff Lemire’s Sweet Tooth series is really picking up. The third volume, Animal Armies, offers a few explanations and plenty of action. Finally, I read The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I devoured this FBI mystery/thriller in one sitting yesterday. This was the perfect easy read to really get me out of my reading slump.

Current Audio:

fangirl husbandssecret

I have one disc left in Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I don’t want it to end. I also started The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. This is the engrossing audiobook that has gotten me out in the cold. The secret has been revealed and I am bracing myself for the fallout!

Currently Reading:


Another Stephanie Plum. She is always good for a quick and entertaining read.

Still Reading:

iron traitor born of illusion

Seriously. This has become a problem. Time to wrap these up!

Staycation Reads: So many choices!

screaming map of time marie

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud is my next book on cd. I think I am finally going to get around to starting The Map of Time by Félix Palma. I have been eying this one for almost two years! I suspect that Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender is going to be a quick, fun read. Of course, I could decide to scrap this plan and read something else off giant pile of books.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Would Recommend to Adults Wanting to Read YA


This week The Broke and the Bookish asked us to make personalized lists for a particular type of reader (Reader X). Well, given that I am the Teen Librarian who also tries to sneak my books into the hands of adult readers, when I solved for X I realized X=Adult who want to read/read more YA, but don’t know where to start. And that is how a librarian does math 😉

1. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. Adult readers may already be familiar with Donnelly’s Rose series or A Northern Light, so this shouldn’t be a difficult sell. It’s historical fiction…with a fun little twist. This is the book that made me realize that I do in fact like historical fiction. I also realized that I knew nothing about the French Revolution.


2. The Cardturner by Louis Sachar. I used this book for a intergenerational book discussion. It’s a book about bridge. Seriously. Sort of. It’s a touching story about teenaged boy and his elderly uncle. I have given this to a few adult readers with great success.


3. The Diviners by Libba Bray. This book is for the reader who likes a touch of supernatural horror in their historical fiction! I have made all of my friends read it (my friends are all adults) and everyone seems to like it, though some were not as terrified as I was. Proving once again, that I am a giant baby.


4. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Hmm. There seems to be a historical fiction theme here. Maybe I am on to something…anyway. I gave this to an adult patron. He loved it so much that he told his adult son and his golf buddy. He finished the series and listened to the audiobooks. He’s a regular here and sometimes if he can’t find something new that strikes his fancy, he grabs one of these books. I also gave this book to my uncle, a high school history teacher, and my cousin. This is a sure bet. I promise.


5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I am not even finished with this and I know I will be recommend it left and right! Give this to the “new adult” or the parent of a teen heading off to college. I would also give it to an adult who is feeling nostalgic about Harry Potter.


6. I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. The Book Thief is a popular book among readers young and young at heart and it’s fame has only increased with the recent film release. Take advantage of the name recognition and put I am the Messenger in the hands of your adult readers! Zusak wrote New Adult before it was even a thing! Ed Kennedy is an unforgettable character.


7. The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness. This science fiction series is dark and disturbing and Ness doesn’t take any easy ways out. It’s not pretty, but it is riveting!

knife of neve

8. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. No zombie lover should miss this series! Give this to your Walking Dead fans looking for more zombie action. I guarantee they will be surprised by what they discover between the pages.

forest of hands and teeth original

9. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride. Give this to fans of Sookie Stackhouse. Lots of bizarre paranormal action and wickedly dark humor.

hold me closer 2

10. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Give this to adults skeptical of teen paranormal romance. Definitive proof that it’s not all swoony vampires and werewolves. Chimera anyone?

daughter of smokeHappy Reading!


Mondays With Megan: The Funk, 11/18/13

I think this may be the saddest Monday check in ever. I don’t feel like I am in a reading funk, but the evidence indicates otherwise. I can’t even think of anything clever to say about this, so I am just going to get on with things. If you check out Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts I am sure you will find bigger lists!

mondayreading new monday

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


no more

That’s all, folks. I managed to reread No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman, a 200 page book for my middle school book club. It’s a quick, fun read and I enjoyed it more the second time around.

Current Audio:

fangirl power of habit

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is like a cozy blanket. I just want to wrap myself up in this story and forget about everything else that is going on around me. I am going to be sad when this is over. I am also nearing the end of The Power of Habit by Charles Dehigg. This book is awesome! You should read it.

Currently Reading:

royal ranger

Yup. One book. That is it. I am currently reading The Royal Ranger by John Flanagan. I LOVE this series and this final installment is quickly becoming a favorite.

Books I Should Be Reading But Haven’t Looked at All Week:

born of illusion iron traitor santa

No, I have not finished Born of Illusion or Iron Traitor, and it is starting to stress me out! I should also be working on my Christmas book. I do not really like Christmas books, so this is a challenge. I need to finish The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum by Thursday!

I have no idea what I will read next! I think I should just worry about finishing the books that I have.

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday-Covers I Want to Redesign 11/12/13

toptentuesdayThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is all about unappealing covers. Many of you have heard my rants about Michael Grant’s Gone series covers (if not, let me catch you up: I hate them) and how much I also hate the redesigned covers of The Curse Workers series by Holly Black. This is old news. I had to dig deep to find some new bad covers. I found this to be surprisingly difficult. I went through my Goodreads list of books read this year and found that there were just a handful of duds.

1. Ashfall and Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin. The first image is the original cover. It’s not great. Sadly, I don’t really care for the redesign either. The heads are weird and I really don’t like the red on Ashen Winter. It looks like a giant muscle.

ashfall ashfall2 ashenwinter

2.Texas Gothic and Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore. These covers just scream FUN, don’t they? Not. Sure, there are ghosts and they are a little spooky, but in a Scooby-Doo kind of way. And what is up with the giant eyeball? Dislike.

texas spirit and dust

3. The Rules by Stacey Kade. I added this one because I don’t like the girl on the cover. But I just now noticed for the first time the guy leaning in for a kiss. How did I read this book and not notice that?!?


4. What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton. I loved this book and I had the privilege of working with the author on a program. My book club is currently reading this book and I can’t wait to discuss it. I am just not a fan of the cover.

what happens next

5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Ok, so this one is not all that bad. I like the font type and the bold colors, but I can’t help but wonder if it could have been cooler. The book is so cool.


6. Stranger Still by Martin Leicht. I haven’t even had a chance to read this yet, but I am already annoyed by the cover. What was wrong with the cute/funky cover of Mothership? Nothing, I tell you, nothing at all. I hate when they mess with a good thing. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

mothership stranger thing

7. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray. Speaking of messing with a good thing…who in their right mind thought that this was a good idea? The cover of The Diviners is so cool. I love it and I am going to be super peeved when my hardcovers do not match! Hate it.

diviners lair of dreams

8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. It’s not the worst ever, but it’s not my favorite. I love the font type and I think the second and third covers are better, but I am just now a fan of that blue feathered mask.

daughter of smoke days of blood dreams of gods and monsters

9. Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales. Again, it’s not horrible, but I would like to call a do-over!

mostly good girls

10. Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles. Oh, man, are these cheesy. There are definitely steamy scenes in the books, but they don’t translate well to models on covers.

perfect chemistry rules of attraction chain reaction

It is so sad when bad covers happen to great books.

Happy Reading!




Mondays With Megan-Veterans Day Reads and What Are You Reading? 11/11/13

On November 11, 1918 a temporary armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect, marking the unofficial end of “the war to end all wars.”  The following year this event was commemorated on the first Armistice Day. This holiday was celebrated until 1954 when Congress changed the day to Veterans Day in order to honor WWII and Korean War veterans. Since that time military conflicts in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq have brought the total of American Military Veterans to a staggering 21.2 million in 2012. I found that number here. Here are just a few of the countless books dealing with the veterans of war.

Iraq and Afghanistan:

personal effects something like normal somebody please tell me who i am purple heart

Personal Effects by E.M. Kokie, Something Like Normal by Trish Doller, Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick and Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am by Harry Mazer.


falling objects okay for now everybody sees the ants

In the Path of Falling Objects by Andrew Smith, Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt, and Everybody Sees Ants by A.S. King.


rose under fire flygirl war torn sky

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein, Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith, and Under a War-Torn Sky by Laura Elliot


crossing stones shadow of the blackbirds moon over manifest

Crossing Stones by Helen Frost, In the Shadow of the Blackbirds by Cat Winters, and Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool.

And now for a totally different kind of list!

mondayreading new monday

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts. Be sure to stop by and see what everyone else is up to this week.


allegiant reality boy grayson ptolemy's gate

I finished reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth. The more I think about it and talk about it, the more I dislike it. So disappointed. Thankfully I had Reality Boy by A.S. King to jump right into. It was brilliant. I loved every minute of it. I also finished both of my audiobooks. Grayson by Lynne Cox continues my nonfiction audio trend. It was a short, satisfying account of swimming with a lost gray whale. I also finally finished Ptolemy’s Gate by Jonathan Stroud. I did not love this series. I thought the ending was pretty awesome, but it took to long to get the thrilling and surprising end. I am not sure if I will pick up the prequel, The Ring of Solomon, but I will definitely be listening to The Screaming Staircase! The final score: 1 dud, 1 awesome, and 2 just fines.

Current Audio:

fangirl power of habit

I just started Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and I am loving it! I also started The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, which is also really interesting. I think I can safely say that I like to listen to nonfiction. Reading nonfiction is an entirely different thing, but listening is perfect for me.

Currently Reading:

no more royal ranger born of illusion iron traitor

No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman is a quick reread for book club. I am going to start The Royal Ranger by John Flanagan tonight. I am very excited! I am still plugging away at (and enjoying) Born of Illusion by Teri Brown and Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa.

Up Next?

bzrk reloaded champion stranger thing

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday-Sequels I Can’t Wait to Get My Hands On 11/5/13


This week The Broke and the Bookish want to know which sequels are on the top of our “Must Have Now” list. You have one of those lists, right? It was a challenge to keep this one to ten(ish), but luckily I saw that a December list is going to be books of 2014, so I will save some for that list. First a little cheating. There are two books out today that I should have in my hands before I leave (when I get to read them is another story).

Out today:

Champion by Marie Lu. I can’t wait to see how she wraps this one up after all the craziness of Prodigy!


The Royal Ranger by John Flanagan. The twelfth and final book in The Ranger’s Apprentice series. I was satisfied when I thought that The Emperor of Nihon-Ja was the last full length novel, but I am thrilled to have one more adventure with these beloved characters.

royal ranger

Coming Soon: (aka, The Official TTT List)

1. A Stranger Thing by Martin Leicht Nov. 12. I have a teen reader who beat me to the top of the holds list for the sequel to Mothership! Good for her! This book is bound to be a blast. Not a fan of the goofy cover, but I promise you are in for a treat if you haven’t started this series yet.

stranger thing

2. Cress by Marissa Meyer February 4, 2014. Is it February yet?


3. Locke & Key vol. 6 Omega & Alpha by Joe Hill February 4, 2014. I love this creepy graphic novel series and am anxious for the final installment.


4. Perfect Lies by Kiersten White February 18, 2014. I might need a little refresher before I get the sequel to Mind Games.

perfect lies

5. Raging Star by Moira Young April 15, 2014. Rebel Heart brought readers a totally different Saba and I am anxious to see if the fiery girl from Blood Red Road will return.

raging star

6. Sunrise by Mike Mullin April 15, 2014. I was surprised by how much I have been enjoying the Ashfall series. I am eager to see how things wrap up. I have high hopes for a happy ending!


7.  Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor April 17, 2014. Oh, how Days of Blood and Starlight broke my heart. This one had better put it back together again.

dreams of gods and monsters

8. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray April 22, 2014. I have six months to reread The Diviners. I think I am almost as excited by that idea as I am by the thought of a new book! I am not sure if this is a final cover. I kind of hope not.

lair of dreams

9. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare May, 2014. She won me back. I have to see things through to the end now. Is this the last book? I hope so. I am kind of over really long series. Or am I just over Cassie Clare? Not sure.

city of heavenly fire1

10. The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley January 14, 2014. I did not realize that Alan Bradley had just a cruel cliffhanger in him. Oh, my do I need this next Flavia de Luce book now!

the dead in their vaulted arches

And of course…

The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin…expected publication 2015?!? He’s writing this, right? I will be a book, right? *SIGH*

Happy Reading!


Mondays With Megan-Fall Fun and a Little Reading

Happy first post-daylight saving time Monday! While I do not generally enjoy the weird changing of the clocks, it is kind of nice to go to work in the daylight. I spent a lot of time this week enjoying fall activities. Last Monday was my sugar skulls program. It was so much fun and I can’t wait to do it again next year. Here are a few photos…at weird angles. I can’t seem to flip them around. My apologizes for any neck strain.

We started with a plain white skull and a few colors of royal icing. A special thanks to my sister-in-law, Amanda Plavan, for making all the skulls! Please visit her blog for pictures of her amazing sugar skulls.

skull plain sugar skull paint

The tools of the trade: sugar and icing

skull mine

This one is mine!

skull2  skulls3 skulls4

skulls5 skulls6


The results were impressive!

The rest of my fall fun was jammed into the weekend. Rainy day reading, crock pot chili, and finally, a beautiful Sunday spent out side trailing deer and throwing acorns at trees in the Metroparks with my nephews. Despite the Saturday rainy day reading session, I have little to report this week. Does any one else notice that adult books take longer to read than YA? Is it just me? Never the less, it is time for another It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Check out Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for more great lists.

mondayreading new monday


sisters hony

That’s all. It looks kind of sad, but both books were fabulous! The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt is the story of two hired guns in the Old West. I read a western! And really liked it! Humans of New York is a collection of photographs taken by Brandon Stanton. What started as an attempt to take a photographic census of New York, quickly became a hit blog and now a beautiful book. I love finding a new Hony photo in my Facebook feed. Check out Humans of New York, it’s truly inspiring. Even though I only have two finishes to report, I made tons of progress on my ongoing books.

Currently Audio:

ptolemy's gate eighty dollar

Ptolemy’s Gate by Jonathan Stroud is…long. It has definitely gotten more interesting (only three discs left), but it still has not won a spot on my favorites shelf. The Eighty-Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts, on the other hand, has been a fun listen. I should finish today and I will be sad to say goodbye to Snowman and Harry.

Currently Reading:

allegiant iron traitor born of illusion

I am racing against spoilers with Allegiant by Veronica Roth! So far I have been lucky, but I do know that there has been a lot of grumbling about the end. I have also seen complaints about the dual POVs. I get that. It was tricky keeping track of the POV, until about the halfway point. For me, it’s not perfect, but I am willing to suspend disbelief and just go along for the ride. I may even finish tonight. I am still working on my e-books, Iron Traitor and Born of Illusion. It’s slow going because they always take a second seat to a paper books!

On Deck:

I am so excited about what I have waiting.

fangirl reality boy

My next audiobook for the car is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and as soon as I am finished with Allegiant I am diving in to Reality Boy by A.S. King. I still have to find a new Playaway for my dog walks…decisions, decisions.

Happy Reading!


November is NaNoWriMo Month 11/1/13

Have you come out of your post-Halloween sugar stupor? Well then, it’s time to get serious. Are you the creative type who thrives on lack of sleep, deadlines, and caffeine? If so, you might be a writer! Need more convincing? Check out this article in the Huffington Post, aptly titled You Are a Writer If…Did you take the test? Have you confirmed that you are indeed a writer? Great. The next step it to write. You know you want to! And there is no better time than November (aka NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month) to get started.

You’ve taken the all-important first step-admitting that you are a writer who needs to write a novel. The next step is easy! Join the masses of aspiring novelists and sign up at and find all the support and resources you need to start your novel. They even have an entire page for young writers, full of tips, resources, words of encouragement from famous authors, and even a bunch of fun writing prompts.

nanowrimo nanowrimo2

Still not convinced? You may not realize that your favorite book was written during NaNoWriMo! Here are few to inspire you:

cinder night circus forest of hands and teeth original pretty girlfangirl anna and the french kiss water born of illusion crewel

Could your novel be next on this list? You won’t know unless you try!

Happy Writing!