Tag Archives: fantasy

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.

tournament

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!

walls

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.

unbecoming

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.
smarter

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!

aurora

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!

~Megan

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Mondays with Megan-Teen Think Tank #2 9/20/15

Last week I had the great privilege of attending my second Teen Think Tank conference. This is an amazing group of Ohio Teen Librarians who get together twice a year to talk about teen services. It’s a day of learning, connecting, sharing, and crafting and it is such a valuable resource. I am really excited to try some of the Gross Games I learned about with my teens. I was inspired to add some technology activities to my after school repertoire and I picked up a couple of great craft ideas. One of the most informative presentations was about serving LGBTQ+ teens. I think I have a pretty solid collection of materials but I learned of a few more that I need to add. I myself presented a segment on feed teens on a budget. Basically a griddle and instant pancake mix will turn you into a hero among the teens. I add mini chocolate chips, eliminating the need for syrup and silverware! I have also made cheese quesadillas and grilled cheese sandwiches on my griddle, all at a fraction of the cost of bags of chips and bottles of pop. In fact, I have completely eliminated sugary beverages from all my programs. It’s all water, all the time and NO ONE has complained! Try it; it can’t hurt!

IMWAYR 2015

 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Teach Mentor Texts. Be sure to stop over for more great reading suggestions!

Finished:

wrath 0061779784.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_ felicia day

  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh-♥♥♥♥♥. The land of Khorasan is ruled by a monster. The young king takes a new bride each night and each morning a silk rope is wrapped around her neck. Sharhzad, who lost her best friend to this man, is out for revenge. She volunteers to be his next wife with the intention of killing him herself. In order to exact her revenge she needs to survive past dawn, so she begins to tell him a story, always leaving the next part for another night. I loved this one! Lovely storytelling, a gorgeous setting, and diverse characters. I am looking forward to listening to the second book.
  • Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore-♥♥♥♥♥. In this sequel to A Dirty Job, Moore picks up where he left off. The souls of San Fransisco are not being collected. The old crew is back in action with the help of a Golden Gate Bridge painter, who may be the key to figuring out who is stealing souls. Lewd, crude, and ridiculously funny. Not for the young reader, but I did just recommend the duology to one of my high school readers.
  • You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day-♥♥♥♥♥. Felicia Day is known in many circles at the Queen of the Nerds. In her memoir she talks at length about her love of gaming, her internet show The Guild, and her health issues. She reads the audiobook and it is truly delightful. This is a must read for fan, but people not familiar with her work can still appreciate her insight.

Current Audio:

player of games hollow boy

  • Player of Games by Iain M. Banks. Occasionally I like to get recommendations from my teen readers. I have my book club kids write down two titles they think I should read and then I randomly select 1-2. This was my most recent pick. It’s super weird and the person who recommended it hasn’t read it himself. He just thought it would be something I like. At first I was teeny bit miffed (I thought you wanted me to read it so we could talk about it!) but then I realize I do that to them ALL THE TIME. Turnabout is fair play.
  • Lockwood & Co. 3: The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud. This series is great on audio and it is almost the perfect time of year for them! Teenage ghost hunters!

Currently Reading: I have been in a MAJOR reading slump.

madness so discreet tonight

  • A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis. I have been reading this one forever. It’s really good and I am enjoying it, I just have no time for digital ARCs right now. I should stop requesting them for a while!
  • Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales. I love this author, so I hope this book with help me with my reading mojo!

On Deck:

wonderful deathWhat an awesome way to start a Monday! This lovely book arrived in the mail for me! The cover blurb is by Mike Mullin, author of the Ashfall Trilogy (LOVED that series!) and he says it is “A snarky joyride of a book with a deep moral core; long after you’ve finished laughing you’ll still be thinking about RJ’s journey and perhaps asking yourself: what defines a life well lived?”

Um, yes, please!

Happy Reading!

~Megan

 

 

 

Mondays with Megan-The End of Summer Reading-8/3/15

Hi All! Today was the drawing for the last summer reading basket. I can’t believe how fast that went! I had a record number of participants-207 teens. They read a combined 399 books and magazines. Now the back-to-school countdown begins. I am actually pretty excited about all the things I have planned for fall. You can find out all the plans at the library’s Back to School Breakfast Bar. We’ll have pancakes and waffles and all sorts of toppings. We’ll play games and talk about all the fun upcoming library programs.

I got a lot of reading/listening in last week, which is good because this week I am busy with G.I.S.H.W.E.S and next week I am on vacation! Check out what I’ve read:

new monday

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

Finished:

man called ove darkest part of the forest fables happily ever after these shallow graves lumberjanes

  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman-♥♥♥♥♥. Ove (pronounces Oova) is a gruff and grouchy man, but behind his curmudgeonly exterior is a sweet and sad story. His story slowly unfolds when new neighbors move in next door and disrupt is strict and orderly routine. I loved this book so, so, much. It’s sweet and quirky and sad. I laughed, I cried, and then started recommending it to anyone who would listen.
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black-♥♥♥♥. In the town of Fairfold humans and fairies coexist, making the town a tourist stop. The main attraction is the horned boy locked in endless sleep in a glass coffin. Hazel and her brother Ben have always loved the boy. When he disappears, a strange and deadly chain of events is set into motion. I am not usually a fan of fae stories, but Holly Black is a master.
  • Fables vol. 21, Happily Ever After by Bill Willingham-♥♥♥♥. This is the penultimate volume of the series and story lines are getting wrapped up. Don’t worry, things aren’t wrapping up in a nice tidy manner! Things are pretty brutal and grim and the stage is set for one last epic battle.
  • These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly-♥♥♥♥. It’s the Gilded Age in New York City and Josephine Montford is a young aristocrat destined to make a good match for marriage, when her father dies from an accidental gunshot. With his death, Jo’s world begins to crumble. With the help of a dashing reporter and a medical student who works at the morgue, Jo sets out on a dangerous path to discover the truth behind her father’s death. I was fortunate to receive an ARC of this book, which is due out in October. I really enjoyed the ending, but my one complaint is that fact that this book is really long. Unnecessarily long. It kind of dragged in the middle.
  • Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson-♥♥♥♥. Another totally weird graphic novel! Five best friends at camp keep stumbling upon strange things in the woods-strange three-eyed foxes, yetis guarding a tower, and a weird neighboring boys camp. Will the Lumberjane scouts figure out what in the world is going on? You won’t find out in this first volume, but you’ll want to know!

Current Audio:

unhinged

Currently Reading:

six of crows rest of us just live here heart of tin

Happy Reading!

~Megan

Mondays with Megan-Summer Reading Week 7!-7/20/15

Happy Monday! We still have a couple more weeks of Summer Reading, so be sure to register and start reading. Don’t forget, you can register and submit entries online.

What’s in Basket # 7?

  • Books!
    • Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
    • Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender
  • Candy!
    • Skittles
    • Swedish Fish
    • Jolly Ranchers
    • Blow Pop/Tootsie Pop
    • GIANT TUBE OF NERDS!
  • Mini Oreos
  • Hair chalk
  • Selfie lens
  • X-Men DVD
  • Silly String
  • Goofy pen
  • 1 Cleveland Gladiators ticket
  • $10 Dollar Tree Gift Card

I bought myself a hammock this weekend! I can’t wait to finish my grueling yard projects so that I can finally chill in the hammock with a stack of books! In the meantime, I am still doing a bunch of listening while I garden.

new monday

Be sure to check out more It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? lists at Teach Mentor Texts!

Finished:

watchman isabel curse of the spellmans library

  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee-♥♥♥♥. Jean Louise Finch is a twenty-six year-old woman when she returns to her childhood home of Macomb, Alabama to visit her aging father, Atticus. It’s the 1950’s and civil rights issues are creating political and racial tensions throughout the South. It is during this trip that Jean Louise learns of the disturbing truth about her family. This book was never intended to be a To Kill a Mockingbird sequel, and thus, should not be read as one. I enjoyed Jean Louise’s memories of her childhood. I loved her uncle and I admired the grown Scout as she tried to come to terms with how reality did not match up with her memory.
  • Isabel Spellman’s Guide to Etiquette by Lisa Lutz-♥♥♥. Quirky Isabel Spellman offers her opinion on Etiquette. This was a cute e-book.
  • Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz-♥♥♥♥. This is the second book in the Spellman Files series. All the Spellmans are in crisis and keeping secrets and Isabel can’t seem to stop getting arrested. This was a reread for me and I enjoyed it as much as I did when I read it for the first time in 2008 (!).
  • The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins-♥♥♥♥♥. Carolyn was a normal American girl until she and eleven other children were adopted by a man simply called Father, “adopted” them. The children were each assigned an area of study. Carolyn studies languages. All of the languages. Another studied war, another learned healing. None of the librarians, as they were called, were permitted to study any other collections. Much time has passed since they began their studies and Father is missing. Carolyn has the status of God in her sites and she has the tools to win. This book was nothing like what I was expecting and one it was certainly one of the weirdest things I have read! This contemporary fantasy may not be for everyone, but I loved this bizarre book!

Current Audio:

life armada

Currently Reading:

these shallow graves lists vengeance road

On Deck:

finders keepers six of crows

I am still working on the show The 4400 and enjoying a number of podcasts, including Mortified, Undisclosed, Strangers, Criminal, and All the Books!.

Happy Summer Reading!

~Megan

Mondays with Megan-Summer Reading Week 5-7/5/15

Happy Monday! I gave away summer reading prize basket this morning. If you want a chance to win the week 5 basket be sure to register online or in person and them get reading! What’s in Basket 5?

  • Books!
    • Peak by Roland Smith
    • My Life in Pink and Green by Lisa Greenwald
  • Candy!
    • Sour Skittles
    • Buncha Crunch
    • Sour Punch straws
    • Blow Pop/Tootsie Pop
    • Jolly Ranchers
  • Mini Oreos
  • Silly string
  • The Princess Bride DVD
  • Rechargeable power bank
  • Colored pencils
  • Sharpies
  • 1 Cleveland Gladiators ticket
  • $10 Target gift card

new monday

Finished:

none of the above nimona

  • None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio-♥♥♥♥. Kristen Lattimer, is the homecoming queen and track star. She has a great boyfriend and two best friends. Kristen knows something is wrong after she and her boyfriend attempt to have a more physical relationship, but she is not prepared for what she learns from the doctor. Kristen is intersex, which means she is outwardly female, but she also has a male chromosome and some male part. Dealing with this new reality is challenging enough, but when news of her diagnosis spreads through school things get even worse. This is a fascinating and fantastic story!
  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson-♥♥♥♥♥. Based on a popular webcomic, Nimona has something for everyone-knights, villains, dragons, and a nefarious “institute.” Ballister Blackheart his the villain of the story and Nimona is a young girl who shows up to be is evil sidekick. Nimona is relentless in her enthusiasm and reveals a very useful skill. My description doesn’t do this book true justice. There is fantastic back story about the hero and the villain. Nimona’s true identity is revealed in bits and pieces and her friendship with Blackheart is so sweet. The art is gorgeous. There are dragons and all the feelings! I loved this one and want more.

Current Audio:

saint mazie uprooted

Currently Reading:

publically shamed everything everythinghand drawn jokes

Other media adventures:

mortified strangers ted

sense8 orange

Happy Summer Reading!

~Megan

Mondays with Megan-May the Fourth Be With You and Adventures in Farming 5/4/15

 First of all, Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth Be With You all, dear readers! Be sure to check out the library’s latest Star Wars themed additions, the charming graphic novels by Jeffery Brown. We have or have ordered these titles:

vader1vader3vader2vader4

I missed last Monday because 1. I was in Montana visiting my sister and new nephew and 2. I forgot to schedule a post. Oops. I was way too busy doing farm chores and cuddling a baby to do much reading. This city slicker is an excellent egg gatherer and since the horses are basically giant puppies I can also get them to come into the barnyard for the night. I get to do the fun jobs, like grooming, as well!

casey chickens snow horses

I did finish my friend’s manuscript while I was on all the planes. It was so wonderful. I hope I get a chance to share it with you! In the meantime, I will invite you to check out her serial story. Start with The Star Map and get to know the lovely but tragic Iris.

I have yet to fully resume my post-vacation routine and I find myself in a written word slump. Thank goodness for audio!

new monday

Finished:

lost city of z zodiac

  • The Lost City of Z by David Grann ♥♥♥-David Grann, a writer for The New Yorker, sets out the solve the mysterious disappearance of the explorer Percy Fawcett. He attempts to retrace the explorer’s steps in his quest for the mysterious city of Z, which Fawcett and others believed to be hidden deep in the Amazon. This was an interesting and engaging nonfiction!
  • Zodiac: Convergence by Stan Lee ♥♥-When a villain attempts to taps into the powers of the Chinese Zodiac he unwittingly unleashes these powers into the world. Soon, teens around the globe find themselves possessing superpowers. It’s a race against the clock as the good guys try to rescue these teens before the bad guys can get to them. I wanted to love this one, but alas, I found it to be all action and not enough plot and character development. Listening to it also meant I missed the awesome illustrations. Reluctant readers will love the fast-paced story, but I am not sure I will continue the series.

Current Audio:

cure for dreaming everything

Currently Reading:
(still. sigh)

dead girls of hysteria hall  spellmans mortal heart happy stories odd thomas

Currently Watching:

extras1

Extras Seasons 1 & 2, starring Ricky Gervais. It’s pretty hilarious. Irreverent and awkward, but hilarious.

Current Listening Adventures:

Oh, the podcasts! So many choices!

undisclosed criminal strangers welcome to night vale

I am particularly loving Strangers. I haven’t gotten to far into Welcome to Night Vale. It’s very weird and I am not sure I am going to keep going. We’ll see.

Happy Reading!

~Megan

Mondays With Megan-Groundhog Day, Youth Media Awards Day, Snow Day! 2/2/15

Hi Everyone! Happy snowy Monday. My 2015 got off to a very rocky start and I hardly blogged at all. Well, it’s a new month and a new opportunity to get back into the routine. And what a day to start! There is so much happening today! Here in Northeast Ohio most schools are closed today-lucky ducks, enjoy your snow day! I am here at the library and it is eerily quiet. It’s going to be a long day! As for the rodents’ predictions for spring…our local groundhog, Buckeye Chuck is calling for an early spring! His pal, Punxsutawney Phil, disagrees. Though I hear Staten Island Chuck is also predicting an early spring, so, *fingers crossed*

Most importantly, the American Library Association announced this year’s Youth Media Awards.

I am so excited that I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson won this year’s Prinz Award! This was one of my absolute favorites from last year. The Prinz Honor Award went to the strange and delightful Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith. (I am congratulating myself for having read both of these in 2014).

i'll give you the sun grasshopper jungle

“The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association.”

The Morris Award went to Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero. I read this one too, but I still can’t talk about my thoughts until after the Cybils have been awarded…stay tuned. The Morris Honor Award went to The Story of Owen by E.K. Johnston. *runs to shelf, snatches up copy*

gabi story of owen

“The William C. Morris YA Debut Award, first awarded in 2009, honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.”

And once again, I have read NONE of the Alex Award Winner…sigh.

Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences:

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

Bellweather Rhapsody, by Kate Racculia

Bingo’s Run, by James A. Levine

Confessions, by Kanae Minato, translated by Stephen Snyder

Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng

Lock In, by John Scalzi

The Martian, by Andy Weir

The Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice, by Zak Ebrahim with Jeff Giles

Those Who Wish Me Dead, by Michael Koryta

Wolf in White Van, by John Darnielle

I have my work cut out for me! Good thing I am on a roll with my reading (canceling cable has helped!)

mondayreading new monday

Finished: (I took 4 days off last week and spent most of my time reading!)

funny girl fairest battling boy ghosted av 5 av 6 half a king all the rage

  • Funny Girl by Nick Hornby-♥♥♥1/2. It’s been a while since I have read a Nick Hornby novel. Clever and witty.
  • Fairest by Marissa Meyer-♥♥♥♥♥. Give me Winter!!
  • Battling Boy by Paul Pope-♥♥♥♥. YA graphic novel full of gods and monsters.
  • Ghosted, vol. 1 by Joshua Williamson-♥♥♥♥. A graphic novel for the Supernatural fans. A motley crew of characters set out to steal a ghost.
  • American Vampire, vol. 5 by Scott Snyder-♥♥♥♥. Volume 5 moves the story forward, while looking back on Pearl’s past.
  • American Vampire, vol. 6 by Scott Snyder-♥♥♥♥. A collection of “lost stories”.
  • Half a King by Joe Abercrombie-♥♥♥. My first high fantasy since A Dance with Dragons.
  • All the Rage by Courtney Summers-♥♥♥♥♥♥. AMAZING. Grab it up when it comes out!

Current Audio:

one plus one

Currently Reading:

mortal coil black dove

What are you reading?

Happy Reading!

~Megan