Tag Archives: nonfiction

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-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.

mondays

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

Finished: 

  • 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:

jessica

Happy Reading!

~Megan

 

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.

mondays

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

Finished:

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!

~Megan

Top Ten Tuesday-Top Ten Adult Books With Teen Appeal-9/15/15

toptentuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is a Freebie topic. Blogger’s choice. This year I made a conscious decision to read more of the American Library Association’s Alex Award winners for 2015. The Alex Award is given to adult books with strong teen appeal. I haven’t read the entire list yet and probably won’t. Some of them really do not appeal to me. But I digress.

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. I have finished the first two books of this series and think it is the perfect series for readers not quite ready for Game of Thrones. It’s like a PG rated GoT, in fact. Magic, political intrigue, betrayals, murder…all the good stuff without all the sexy sex and brutality.

mistborn

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz. Ok, admittedly private investigator Isabel Spellman is a TERRIBLE role model, but she comes to realize this because of her teenaged sister. For the teen looking for something funny and a little bit dysfunctional.

spellmansnew

Lock In by John Scalzi. This is on the Alex list for 2015 and one of my favorites this year. Science fiction, murder mystery, robots. It’s awesome.

lock in

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence. This is a past Alex winner. It’s a comical and heartbreaking coming of age story. I can’t really do it justice. Just read it. Be prepared to laugh and cry and love it.

universe versesReady Player One and Armada by Ernest Cline. These two books are perfect for your science fiction fans. One is all about virtual reality and 80’s video games (Ready Player One) and the other is about a gamers chosen to save the world because of their video game skill. Tons of fun!

ready armada

Uprooted by Naomi Novik. This is epic fantasy. A powerful sorcerer known as the Dragon protects a village from the dark magic of the woods. In return the village sacrifices a young woman to him every ten years. These women never return home. That is, until The Dragon takes Agnieszka. A little romance, a lot of creepy evil forest and plenty of sass and magic.

uprooted

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson. This nonfiction book about the phenomenon of public shaming in the age of social media should be required reading for high school students! A chilling look at how social media has the potential to run people.

publically shamed

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston. This is another nonfiction title and it reads like fiction. It is a terrify look at the origin of the Ebola virus. Super scary and a bit timely.

hot zone

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. In this graphic novel blogger Allie Brosh lets readers into her life. She chronicles her struggles with depression as well as her hilarious struggles with a really stupid dog.

hyperbole

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 Reading Week 2! 6/22/15

Happy Monday! Summer reading is in full swing and it’s so exciting. So far 146 teens have signed up (thank you, Chipotle!) and have read over 100 books. I have brought up another basket this morning and it’s a fun one. The credit for this one goes to one of my book club student. It’s a breakfast basket! If this one looks good to you all you have to do is read for a chance to win! Enter your books/magazines/graphic novels, etc. in the box at the AV Desk *or* online.

Basket #3

  • Books!
    • The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork
    • Sure Sign of Crazy by Karen Harrington
  • Candy!
    • Haribo Sour S’ghetti
    • Spree
    • Reese’s Pieces
    • Blow Pops
    • Jolly Ranchers
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off DVD
  • Pop Tarts
  • Lucky Charms & Froot Loops
  • Nesquick
  • Mini football
  • 1 Cleveland Gladiators Ticket
  • Burt’s Bees lip balms
  • $10 Starbucks gift card

My own summer reading is also in full swing. I have finally gotten my mojo back! I am still getting tons of listening done (my dog and I have been enjoying spending hours at the beach) but I have also devoured a couple of print books this week too.

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Finished:

pirate hunters last stand my sunshine away devil you know very good lives

  • Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson-♥♥♥♥♥. From the author of Shadow Divers comes another deep-sea diving adventure. Two divers risk it all to find The Golden Fleece, the ship of the infamous pirate John Bannister. Another compelling read!
  • The Last Stand of Dead Men by Derek Landy-♥♥♥♥♥. The penultimate book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series. Devastating betrayals, bloody battles, and quirky humor. Tension has built to a breaking point. I need the last book!
  • My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh-♥♥♥. An unnamed narrator tells the story of his childhood in Baton Rouge, focusing on the summer the that object of his affection, Lindy Simpson, was raped. Beautifully written coming of age.
  • The Devil You Know by Trish Doller-♥♥♥♥. Eighteen-year-old Arcadia is desperate for adventure and a spontaneous road trip with two gorgeous strangers seems like a good idea. When the trip takes a dangerous turn Cadie learns that one of the guys is not who he claims to be. Thrilling, sexy, and suspenseful. I read this in one sitting!
  • Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling-♥♥♥♥♥. In 2008 J.K. Rowling gave the commencement speech at Harvard. This is that speech. According to Rowling, you don’t need magic to change the world. You only need imagination. Truly lovely and inspiring.

Current Audio:

vacationers finding audrey

Currently Reading:

fixer shutter circus mirandus

This week’s Netflix binge:

orange

This week’s podcasts:

undisclosed mystery show all the books mortified

Happy Summer Reading!

~Megan