Category Archives: It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

What I’m Reading Now: American Street by Ibi Zoboi


Fabiola Toussant and her mother leave Haiti to start a new life in Detroit with her aunt and cousins. When her mother is detained by U.S. Immigration Fabiola must rely on her loud American cousins to help her navigate this new world.

Fabiola and her mother had dreamed of finding une belle vie, a good life, and the corner of American and Joy Streets on Detroit’s West side. In many ways Detroit is nothing like Haiti. The weather, food, the customs are all different. However, the dangerous, gritty side of life in Detroit is similar to that of Port-au-Prince and Fabiola’s cousins are caught up in it. When an opportunity to help her mother is presented to her, Fabiola must make a tough decision. Is she willing to pay the high cost of the American Dream?

I am about half way through the audio version of this book and I am hooked. I love the juxtaposition of traditional Haitian Vodou beliefs and rituals with a contemporary American setting. This story is very much character driven and the characters are fantastic!

You might also like Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older and In Darkness by Nick Lake.

Happy Reading!




Top Ten Tuesday-My Lastest 5 Star Reads-3/29/16

toptentuesdayOh, how I have missed making Top Ten Tuesday lists! I have been so busy with programming that I have not really had the time or energy to write, but the teens are on spring break this week and I find myself with some “free” time! And this week’s topic is so easy; it’s the perfect topic to jump back into (of course my horrible reading slump may make it hard to come up with ten title). Thank you The Broke and The Bookish for making it so easy for me to rejoin you all.

5 Star reads of 2016:

1. The Tournament at Gorlan (The Ranger’s Apprentice: the Early Years #1) by John Flanagan. I am a die-hard Ranger’s Apprentice fan, so this was an obvious win for me.


2. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma. I read this one for the Cybils Awards committee I was on this year. It was so weird and surreal; I couldn’t help but love it. This book also made me realize that I have yet to read a book about ballet or ballerinas that I didn’t like. I love how books have the power to captivate me in ways that real life doesn’t. If you asked me, I would say I had no interest in ballet. But apparently I want to read all the books!


3. Lady Killer by Joelle Jones. This new graphic novel is right up my alley. Josie Schuller is the model wife and mother. Her family is the picture of 1960’s domestic bliss. Except Josie has a secret. She is a cold-hearted killer for hire. This first volume is wickedly delightful! Bloody and hilarious. I am desperate for more.

lady killers

4. Becoming Unbecoming by Una. This graphic novel memoir tells the author’s personal story of sexual violence set against the real-life manhunt for the 1970 Yorkshire Ripper. Readers are forced to confront disturbing cultural norms as the author explores what it is to grow up in a society where male violence is expected and often unpunished. A chilling story that sadly remain timely.


5. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray. Book 2 of the Diviners series picks up shortly after the events of book one. Evie O’Neill is the new It Girl, but she isn’t the only Diviner in town. Ling Chan, like Henry, is a dream walker. When New Yorkers start falling victim to “the sleeping sickness” it becomes evident to the Diviners that something evil is infecting people’s dreams.

lair of dreams

6. A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. Kell is a Traveler, a rare magician who has the ability to travel through the parallel worlds of London. Oh, the world building! The first book sets the stage for the spectacular magic action of book two. I devoured these nearly back-to-back and now I have to wait forever for more!

A Darker Shade final for Irene A Gathering of Shadows Final

7. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. I had the privilege of hearing Roxane Gay speak at a conference. She is amazing. Her collection of essays about feminism are awesome. I want to hand this book to every teen girl I know. I listened to this one, but I will definitely be revisiting my signed copy in the future.

bad feminist

8. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds. This story of police brutality and race is a disturbing reflection of current events.

all american

9. Smarter Faster Better: The Secret of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. From the author of The Power of Habit comes a book that explores the science of productivity. I LOVE these kinds of self-help books and the places they take me. This one lead me to read my first Oliver Sacks book.

10. Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson. Humans have finally made it outside of our solar system and are about to establish a new colony on a new planet. It has taken over 170 years of travel, but they have finally reached Aurora. Things do not go according to plan…This was some awesome science fiction!


How lucky was that? I have exactly ten 5 star books for the year. Lots of 4 stars, but I guess I am being stingy with stars.

Happy Reading!


Mondays with Megan-What Are You Reading? 1/18/16

It’s a quiet, snowy Monday morning here at the library, so I thought I would take a few minutes to actually write a new blog post. Admittedly, this poor spot has been neglected for a couple of months. I have been busy doing after school programs every day, managing a new collection (adult science fiction and fantasy, I am so excited!), creating readers advisory pamphlets for the teen collection, and revamping my summer reading plans (yes, summer reading!). I still have plenty to say about books, but not a lot of time to say it in a blog. I have been talking books with my Wednesday night colleagues over on the library’s Facebook page. If you are interested in a live chat, be sure to visit us Wednesdays 7:30-8:30, pm.

So far this year my reading has been driven by the Cybils Awards. I am a Round 2 judge for the Young Adult Speculative Fiction category. I have seven books to read, review, and discuss with my fellow judges before we announce the winner in February. I am not permitted to review any of the books here yet, but check out the link above if you curious about what I have been reading.

With the new year also comes a new set of reading goals. I use Goodreads to keep track of my reading and have challenged myself to read or listen to 250 books this year. That’s crazy, I know, but I am going to try. Graphic novels totally count towards that goal. I might have to create my own mini-readathons throughout the year. In addition to the number of books I want to read, I have some goals for the types of books as well. I need to become more familiar with adult science fiction and fantasy, so I will be reading more in that area. I also feel like it is time to read more of the popular authors who always have enormous holds lists (I’m looking at you Grisham and Patterson). I know they are already popular and don’t need me to talk them up, but if I have a better sense of why they are so popular I can better recommend other titles that readers might not necessarily seek out. So, I suppose my true reading goal this year is to widen my reader’s advisory expertise!

I warned you I still have a lot to say 😉 Moving along.



a is for alibi after you northern light innocent tournament

  • A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton-3/5. Originally published in 1982, this book introduces PI Kinsey Milhone. I will pick up more of this series.
  • After You by Jojo Moyes-4/5. The follow-up to Me Before You. Sweet, sad, and hopeful. Lovely.
  • A Northern Light by Jennifer Connelly-4/5. Historical fiction based on the real life murder of Grace Brown in 1906. I don’t know why it took me so long to read this one!
  • The Innocent by David Baldacci-3/5. The first of the Will Robie series. Will is paid assassin for the U.S. government. Plenty of action!
  • The Tournament at Gorlan by John Flanagan-5/5. The first book in The Early Years series, features a young Halt! I love everything about the Rangers and am so excited for a new series!

Currently Reading:

goblet  squirrel girl see how they run walls wind

Current Audio:

golden those girls

On Deck:

inheritance six why not

Ok, that’s enough for today!

Happy Reading!



Mondays with Megan-The Force Awakens Soon!

Is everyone refreshed after a long weekend? I worked Friday and Sunday, but I still had a fantastic weekend. Thanksgiving was spent in Columbus with a small gathering of family. We listened to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on the drive there and back. We also took a little field trip to The Gates of Hell. It super creepy! The pic on the right is me, my nephew and my cousin. That is pretty much as far as we got into the dark, echoing tunnel.

Saturday was spent lounging around reading and continuing my Star Wars marathon.

This was my first time seeing Episodes II and III and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I like them. My 10 year old nephew LOVED them! Hopefully we will squeeze Episodes IV-VI before the new movie comes out.


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts.


  • The Fate of Ten by Pittacus Lore-♥♥♥♥♥. The epic alien invasion begins…and ends on a giant cliffhanger, as usual.
  • This is Your Life, Harriet Chance by Jonathan Evison-♥♥♥♥
  • Dr. Mütter’s Marvels by Cristin O’Keefe Apotwicz-♥♥♥♥. I seem to gravitate towards strange or gruesome nonfiction and this one certainly fits the bill. Dr. Mütter was a pioneering American surgeon who revolutionized the science of surgery. Fans of the show The Knick will want to check this one out! Also, I now have to add The Mütter Museum in Philadelphia to my list of weird places to visit!
  • Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris-♥♥♥♥. I first read this collection of stories years ago, so I was delighted to discover the edition I selected to listen to had six new stories! Santaland Diaries is just as funny as I remember and I have found a new favorite in 6 to 8 Black Men, a story about Christmas traditions in Holland. For the reader who dislikes the schmaltzy Christmas stories. These are sardonic and hilarious.
  • Winter by Marissa Meyer-♥♥♥♥♥. The Lunar Chronicles has come to an end. WHY?!? After 800+ pages, I am still not ready for it to be over. A perfect ending to a favorite series.

Current Audio:

Currently Reading:

Currently Obsessed With:


Happy Reading!



Mondays With Megan-New Games For After School Programs! 11/9/15

Hello Friends! Happy Monday. It was really hard to drag myself in to work today, but after a lot of coffee and morning shopping trip I can’t wait show the teens all the things I bought them. First I bought myself a little organizing tool (I totally splurged for the neon markers).

calendarThis week there is at least on teen program every single day. Some days there are two!

Today in the Teen Room you can play Exploding Kittens! I love The Oatmeal web comics and this card game does not disappoint. Also, it’s really fun to say that we will have exploding kittens in the teen room. I also grabbed Bananagrams and Yahtzee! I am ready for cold weather afternoons.


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Teach Mentor Text, be sure to stop by and see what others are reading!


babayaga myster of hollow places crayons eye of zoltar borden

  • Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola-♥♥♥♥. The famously fearsome witch, Baba Yaga is looking for an assistant in this fantastic debut graphic novel. Masha learned all about magic from her beloved grandmother. When her grandmother dies and her father brings home a girlfriend, Masha feels lost in the world. Seeking a place to fit in, she enters the woods in search of Baba Yaga. Is she clever enough match wits with the old witch and her magic house?
  • The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos-♥♥♥. Imogene and her father have been a team since her mother left them when she was a baby. When Imogene is seventeen her father, once a forensic pathologist and now a well-known writer of medical mysteries, disappears, she decides to apply everything she has learned from his books and track him down. Her search leads her to answers to questions she has asked her whole life. This debut is a quiet but engaging story. The mystery is more of a puzzle and it is the vehicle for a great deal of personal reflection and discussion of mental illness.
  • The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt-♥♥♥♥♥. I’m not sure I really need to say anything about this one. It’s adorable.
  • The Eye of Zoltar by Jasper Fforde-♥♥♥♥♥. This third installment of The Chronicles of Kazam is my favorite. Jennifer Strange has new task: find the legendary magical item known as The Eye of Zoltar and babysit the spoiled princess of the Kingdom of Snodd. The quest is dangerous with a fatality rating of 50%, but lives depend on her success. This under appreciated series has it all-magic, adventure, humor, and dragons. I can’t recommend this series enough.
  • The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trail of the Century by Sarah Miller-♥♥♥♥♥. I devoured my advance reader copy of this book over the weekend. I love nonfiction that reads like a suspense novel, and this book certainly delivers. Miller offers a well-researched narrative of the investigation of the murders of Lizzie Borden’s parents. I realized that I actually knew very little about what was known as the trail of the century. Grisly and compelling. I can’t wait to add this to my collection and recommend it to my teens!

Current Audio:

me before you bazaar

Currently Reading:

wytches azkaban shallow

Happy Reading!


Mondays with Megan-November News 11/2/15

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween. I am going to keep this post short. First, the news. I will be increasing after school activities for teens to 5 days a week. Some of these activities will be held in the teen room, others will be in one of the lower level meeting rooms. Be sure to stop in and see what we have going on!

November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), so all you writers out there should check out their website and get involved. The library will be hosting a NaNoWriMo discussion panel and writing event this Saturday, November, 7 10am-4pm. Come “write” in, all are welcome!

Next week is a busy week for teens at the library! There is still time to join our Skype interview with Shelley Pearsall which will take place Tuesday, November 10 at 7:15pm. For older teens preparing to take the SAT, the Princeton Review will be here Wednesday, November 11 at 7:00 pm to talk about test taking strategies and tips. Please call the library or register online for this class. If you want to skip the class and just take the test, there is still room in the SAT practice test session on Saturday, November 14. The test starts at 9:30! Be sure to register. Not interested in these events? How about a SmashBros Smashfest? Celebrate National Gaming Day on Saturday, November 21 10 am-5 pm. Sign up now so I can have brackets ready to go!


It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts. This is two weeks worth of reading and I am keeping it even shorter than usual!


fables furiously zeroes mirror world crap poorly drawn fates and furies worrier's guide

  • Fables vol. 22: Farewell by Bill Willingham-♥♥♥♥♥. I thought this was a great wrap-up to an amazing series. Can’t wait to reread from the beginning.
  • Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson-♥♥♥♥♥. A delightful and often painfully honest look at mental illness.
  • Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld-♥♥♥. I was kind of meh about this one. Interesting premise and I will pick up the next volume before writing the series off.
  • The Mirror World of Melody Black by Gavin Extence-♥♥♥♥. I LOVED The Universe Versus Alex Wood, so I was thrilled to have a new novel by the author.  This was another book about mental illness, and while not as amazing as his first book, it was a welcome addition. He continues to be an author to watch for me.
  • Crap Taxidermy by Kat Su-♥♥♥♥. So wickedly creepy. I am fascinated by taxidermy.
  • Poorly Drawn Lines by Reza Farazmand-♥♥♥♥. Weird and fun.
  • Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff-♥♥♥♥♥. The second half of this novel saved it from being a 4-star rating. This is the book everyone is talking about. It was shocking and wonderful.
  • The Worrier’s Guide to Life by Gemma Correll-♥♥♥♥. I can sadly relate to most of these cartoons…

Current Audio:

eye of zoltar queen of the tearling

Currently Reading: (I am doing a terrible job of reading right now!)

azkaban myster of hollow places

Happy Reading!



Mondays with Megan-Confessions of a Readathon Drop Out-10/19/15

Confession time. I dropped out of the Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon on Saturday. After missing the Spring readathon because I was meeting my newest nephew in Montana, I was really looking forward to the Fall readathon. In the past I have taken my pile of books and my laptop to my favorite coffee shop in the morning and settled until I needed to return home to take of the dog. This year I knew my morning routine was going to be different. My young nephews started playing football this year and they both had games that I wanted to see. I figured I could get some listening in while I drove, but the real reading wasn’t going to happen until after 5. In between the games we went to a local apple orchard for our annual apple fritter pilgrimage. I hardly thought about missing the readathon at all. I was having a great day! Finally the fall festivities wound down and I headed home to warm up and read. I decided to ease into the readathon and started with a graphic novel. I had just completed my first official hour of participation when my 10-year-old nephew called. He wanted to hang out with me while his mom and brother went to a haunted house. I jumped at that chance to introduce him to the show Supernatural. We skipped the scary first season and watched a few of the funnier episodes. By the time he left at 11 I tried to get back into reading, but my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. I even tried taking a nap, but that just made matters worse. So, I went to bed and got a good night’s sleep. I will try again in April. Moving on….

mondaysIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts.


martian drive lumberjanes 0545448689.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_

  • The Martian by Andy Weir-♥♥♥♥. I am pretty sure everyone knows by now that this book is about an astronaut who gets stuck on Mars. I avoided it for a long time, but I am glad I finally gave in and listened to it. I zoned out during some of the more sciencey bits, but overall it was a lot fun.
  • Drive by Daniel H. Pink-♥♥♥♥. This book focuses on the surprising things that motivate people to do their best work. I am on a bit of a self-improvement/leadership reading kick these days and I really enjoyed this one.
  • Lumberjanes, vol. 2 by Noelle Stevenson-♥♥♥♥. Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types is a unique summer camp. It’s not everyday campers have to battle gods and monsters, but it’s all in a day’s work for the Lumberjanes! This series is shaping up to be totally weird and extremely fun!
  • The Marvels by Brian Selznick-♥♥♥♥♥. In the illustrated story readers meet Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a 1766 shipwreck. Billy becomes the father of the Marvel line which was world-renowned for generations of actors. The print story begins in 1990 with Joseph, a runaway from his boarding school. Joseph finds his way to London in search of an uncle he has never met. Upon his arrival he discovers clues that lead him to believe he is connected to the Marvel family. This is another beautiful and surprising offering from Selznick. Don’t be turned off by the size of the book, I read it in one sitting.

Current Audio:

zeroes furiously

I am behind on my Scott Westerfeld reading. My very own copy of Afterworlds sits untouched and gives me dirty looks all the time. I can’t have two books giving me the stink-eye, so I started Zeroes this weekend. I am furiously happy about Jenny Lawson’s new book, Furiously Happy and wish that I was in my car listening to it right now.

Currently Reading: I am all over the place and not fully committed to anything (except Fables)

fables all american mirror world 76562dce2467fab5977787852674141414d6741 revenge

And I still haven’t started Magnus Chase! What?!?

Happy Reading!