Tag Archives: historical fiction

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.

mondays

Finished:

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!

~Megan

 

Mondays with Megan-It’s Monday! What Are You

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!

mondays

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

Finished:

1250042151.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_ stand off alex0399160302.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_

  • 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.

Current Audio:

martian

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.

Currently Reading:

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:

sword of summer revenge

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 6! 7/13/15

Hello dear readers! I am little late with my Monday post, but better late than never, I suppose! We have 3 more fantastic gift baskets to give away to summer reading participants. Be sure to sign up and get reading!

What’s in Basket # 6?

  • Books!
    • Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch (signed!)
    • I Know What You Did Last Summer/Killing Mr. Griffin/Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan
  • Candy!
    • Haribo Gummy Bears
    • Swedish Fish
    • Sour Patch Kids
    • Tootsie Pops
    • Jolly Ranchers
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Mini Oreos
  • Goofy Pen
  • Salt Water Spider Kit
  • 1 Cleveland Gladiators ticket
  • $10 Mitchell’s gift card

 

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts. Be sure to stop over there for more!

Finished: I had a fantastic reading week!

uprooted publically shamed everything everything hand drawn jokes saint mazie where they found her splintered

  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik-♥♥♥♥♥. Agnieszka loves the little valley she calls home, despite the constant threat from the Woods. The valley is protected by a wizard, commonly known as the dragon. His price for this protection is a young maiden to serve him for ten years. Agnieszka fears her best friend will be taken. It turns out that is the last thing she should be worried about. I loved this gorgeous fantasy! Magic, folk-lore, a dragon’s tower, and a deadly forest come to life.
  • So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson-♥♥♥♥♥. The author of The Psychopath Test spent three years researching high-profile public shaming victims. This is a fascinating and disturbing look at how people treat each other in this age of social media.
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon-♥♥♥♥♥. Madeleine has spent her life inside because she is literally allergic to the outdoors. Her mother and nurse have made her life as full as possible and she is content. Until Olly moves in next door. Soon she finds herself longing for a life she cannot have. Told in short chapters with illustrations, diary entries and illustrations, this debut novel is full of heart.
  • Hand Drawn Jokes for Smart Attractive People by Matthew Diffee-♥♥♥. A collection of old and new comics and illustrated one-liners from New Yorker cartoonists. With chapters dedicated to smart attractive people in a variety of professions, there is a little something for everyone!
  • Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg-♥♥♥♥. Mazie Philips is the kindhearted ticket seller of at Venice theater located in the heart of the Bowery. When the stock market crashes and plunges the nation into the Depression, Mazie takes it upon herself to help the homeless men of the neighborhood. Mazie’s life unfolds through diary entries and interviews. Inspired by as real-life New Yorker, Saint Mazie is is a story full of heart and heartbreak, hope and history.
  • Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight-♥♥♥. When the body of an infant is discovered in the quiet town of Ridgedale, New Jersey, long-buried secrets come to the surface. This is suspenseful mystery with a pretty shocking twist!
  • Splintered by A.G. Howard-♥♥♥♥. Alyssa is a direct descendant Alice Liddell, the inspiration for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alice Liddell is also the source of a family curse that plunges the women in her family into madness. When Alyssa starts exhibiting symptoms of madness and her mother’s condition worsens, she decides to search for a way to end the curse. Her search leads her straight to Wonderland. I am so glad I finally picked this one up! It’s a fun retelling, full of familiar characters playing new roles. I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series.

Current Audio:

cartel

Currently Reading:

isabel curse of the spellmans shallow

Watching:

4400

Happy 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-Summer is almost here, but fall is on my mind! 5/18/15

Happy Monday! For those of you counting, there are only 13 school days left before summer vacation! I am almost finished assembling this year’s summer reading prize baskets and I must say, they are pretty interesting this year. I am quite pleased with my breakfast themed basket (thanks to a book club student for the suggestion). I will have all the details for each basket available soon, but for now I can tell you that each one has a $10 gift card of some kind, candy, and books. Some have movies, a couple have t-shirts, one has s’mores fixings, and another has foam ninja swords. So, yes, summer is on my mind too *but* I am already planning fall programs! The calendar is filling up fast and I am really excited about what we will be offering in September. Stay tuned!

new monday

Moving on to this week’s books. I am officially back in a reading slump! I am once again struggling with the printed word, but I doing a ton of listening.

Finished:

simon cure for dreaming displacement ask the dark alex

  • Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli-♥♥♥♥. Simon Spier is a not-out gay teenager. He has been exchanging emails with another student anonymously. When a fellow actor in the school musical discovers Simon’s secret he begins blackmailing him. Simon scrambles to protect the privacy of his new crush, “Blue” but can he do that without creating more drama and compromising himself? This book is fantastic! It’s a sweet and saucy romance with plenty of flirting and swearing.
  • The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters-♥♥♥♥-Olivia Mead is an independent and headstrong teen, and much to her father’s chagrin, she is becoming a suffragist. It is 1900 in Oregon and Olivia’s father hires a performing hypnotist to attempt to cure her of her rebellious nature by manipulating her mind. Instead, Henri makes her able to see the world as it really is. A chilling blend of history and the supernatural.
  • Displacement: a Travelogue by Lucy Knisley-♥♥♥♥♥-Bestselling cartoonist Knisley volunteers to accompany her grandparents on a cruise. Their failing physical and mental health challenges Knisley’s patience. The resulting document of their trip is equal parts travelogue and family history. Compassionate, touching, and a bit sad, this is a wonderful addition to the author’s graphic memoirs.
  • Ask the Dark by Henry Turner-♥♥♥-Billy Zeets has a reputation for being a bad kid. After his mother died he found himself in all sorts of trouble, but that was in the past. He has changed his ways and works hard to do the right thing and help his father. When Billy discovers evidence that may solve some recent kidnappings he is hesitant to speak of for fear he won’t be believed. This was not my favorite book of the week, but is was captivating and solid mystery.
  • Alex + Ada, vol. 1 by Sarah Vaughn-♥♥♥♥♥-When newly single Alex receives an android companion as a gift, his first instinct is to return it. However, he quickly learns that there is more to his new robot than meets the eye. This is a promising start to a new science fiction graphic novel series. I loved it and snatched up volume 2 in a hurry!

Currently Reading:

dead girls of hysteria hall what did you eat chamber

I am still reading an e-galley of The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender. It really is great, I just don’t have a lot of time right now. I am also working through What Did You Eat Yesterday by Fumi Yoshinaga. It is a really interesting adult manga series. I am rereading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with my nephews. Other than that, I haven’t found a new book to hold my interest.

Current Audio:

missoula one kick

I am going to need something light and uplifting after both of these! They are both really good, but heavy material.

Currently Watching:

it crowd supernatural

I finished the first season of The IT Crowd and started season 9 of Supernatural! I want to binge this one, but I am rationing the episodes so the wait for season 10 on Netflix isn’t so long.

Happy 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