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 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!
Ok, that’s enough for today!
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.
Currently Obsessed With:
Posted in Book Lists, Book Reviews, It's Monday! What are you Reading?, Mondays with Megan, Uncategorized
Tagged ARC, audiobooks, David Sedaris, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Marissa Meyer, nonfiction, Pittacus Lore, science fiction, short stories, Star Wars
Happy Monday! I had a weekend full of films and fun. On Saturday my brother and nephew came over and we watched Star Wars Episode 1: Phantom Menace. We are working our way through the series to prepare for the new release in December. Despite having seen Episodes 4-6 many times, I have never seen 1-3. Yesterday I saw Mockingjay Part 2 with my sister and her boyfriend’s thirteen-year-old daughter. I really love Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and very much enjoyed the final movie. The thirteen-year-old also liked it, but could not get over the fact that a stranger would give their baby to Katniss. So of course I had to do some research! The babies at the end of the movie are Jennifer Lawrence’s nephews. Seeing the film series end kind of made me want to reread the books. We’ll see!
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is brought to you by Teach Mentor Texts.
Finished: In the two weeks since I last wrote a Monday post I have accomplished so little that I can actually easily include all of my finished books here.
- Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King-♥♥♥♥. This collection of short stories features both brand new and previously published works. As with most collections of stories some shine and some are merely fine. The real treat here is that the author introduces each story and explains how or why he came to write it.
- Wytches by Scott Snyder-♥♥♥♥. You thought you knew everything about witches? Forget what Disney has to say, these crones are terrifying! The evil lurks just under the surface and watches through the trees. This was a fantastic opening volume and the art work is simply stunning. Over and over I marveled at how intriguing and gorgeous the hideous images were.
- The Straw King (Dorothy Must Die #0.5) by Danielle Page-♥♥♥♥. In this fifth prequel novella readers learn more about the Scarecrow. All he ever wanted was a brain, but he soon discovers that knowledge may not be enough to protect his throne from an invading army. Another fun addition to the Dorothy Must Die family.
- Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith-♥♥♥♥♥. The third book in the Cormoran Strike series is now my favorite. Someone from Cormoran’s past is targeting Robin and the agency, driving away business and putting both PIs in danger. Can Cormoran figure out who it is before it’s too late?
- The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling-♥♥♥♥♥. Still a favorite, 5-star read. I am loving rereading these books while my nephews discover them for the first time. On to Goblet of Fire!
- The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones-♥♥♥♥♥. Hannah and her family are on the run from a centuries old monster; a Hungarian shapeshifter bent on revenge. Told from three points of view, the story unravels at a break-neck pace, sucking readers in and constantly confusing them with the monster’s identity. This is the first book in ages that has kept me up long past bedtime! Absolutely loved it!
- The Fate of Ten by Pittacus Lore. Admittedly this is not the best series ever written, but I kind of need to know how things end. Also, they are just kind of fun!
- 14 by Peter Clines. I am still not sure why I requested this one from another library, but so far, I am glad I did. It’s like The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (minus angry spirits) meets Lost and then gets turned into an episode of Scooby Doo. Again, quite fun.
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).
This 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!
- 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!
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 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…
Currently Reading: (I am doing a terrible job of reading right now!)
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….
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts.
- 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.
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)
And I still haven’t started Magnus Chase! What?!?
Happy Monday! I spent all of last week in lovely Cincinnati, Ohio attending the Ohio Library Council Conference and Expo. I am still trying to digest all the great information I picked up…and catch up on all the normal stuff I missed here at the library, so this check in will be short and sweet. I read some books. I listened to some books. I binged all of The Mindy Project. I am excited Supernatural season 10 dropped on Netflix. My friend got to meet Rainbow Rowell and she got me a signed copy of Carry On! That’s a pretty good week, if you ask me!
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts.
- Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen-♥♥♥♥. This is a reimagining of the Peter Pan story, told from Hook’s point of view. Forget everything you thought knew about Neverland and Peter’s band of Lost Boys! This is a magical and fantastical adventure!
- Stand Off by Andrew Smith-♥♥♥♥. This sequel to Winger starts with a new school year, Ryan Dean West’s senior year. In addition to having a claustrophobic 12-year old as a roommate, Ryan Dean struggles with the emotional aftermath of losing his best friend. This book did not engage me in the way Winger did, but I am not the target audience. Ryan Dean has an amazing teen voice and coping with anxiety is an important topic. A welcomed sequel.
- Alex + Ada, vol. 3 by Sarah Vaughn-♥♥♥♥. The story arc that began with volumes 1 and 2 comes to a surprising conclusion. Fear and hatred of sentient robots is rising and Alex and Ada are in increasing danger. The events in this volume took me by surprise and I am intrigued to see where the story goes.
- Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys-♥♥♥♥♥. As WWII draws to an end thousands of refugees look to escape East Prussia. The luxury ship Wilhelm Gustloff offers the promise of freedom. Among the refugees are Florian, Emilia, and Joana are among the crowd. They are all strangers and they all have secrets, but working together they may survive. This book is due out in February and you will want to grab it up the second you see it. Ruta Septys delivers another devastating work of historical fiction. Powerful and heartbreaking, she once again brings light to lesser known atrocities of WWII.
I am almost finished with The Martian and I am currently between audiobooks on my phone. I can’t decide what I am in mood for right now.
This rarely happens, but today I get to pick all new books to read! I need to pick a print book and an e-book. I have so many choices my head is spinning! I think I am going to start with these:
Posted in Book Lists, Book Reviews, It's Monday! What are you Reading?, Mondays with Megan
Tagged Andrew Smith, ARC, audiobooks, graphic novels, historical fiction, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, rick riordan, Ruta Sepetys