Tag Archives: zombies

Top Ten Tuesday: Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Want a Book


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish is all about insta-want (not to be confused with the dreaded and annoying insta-love trope). I am talking about those themes/descriptors/genres that pique your interest the moment you hear them. I have been known to have a Pavlovian response to the following:

1. Time Travel. This is a relatively new obsession and I must admit I am not indulging it nearly enough.

hourglass ruby red 112263

2. Road Trip. I have always wanted to be the kind of person who takes road trips. I love the romantic book versions of road trips. In reality, gas station bathrooms are disgusting, you can only eat so many Combos, and cars are pretty uncomfortable. But the road trip novel? Heaven!

amy and roger abundance of katherines going bovine

3. Serial Killers. Nothing like a serial killer to get the heart pumping!

i hunt killers christopher killer name of the star

4. Secret Societies. Who doesn’t want to be a part of a secret society? There is so much variety here-spies, magicians, nano-technology, paranormal agencies, secret demon hunters and more! LOVE this theme.

i'd tell you white-cat bzrk rook stork city of bones blood oath

5. Dark Humor. I love books that have a wicked sense of humor. I also enjoy a serious book with unexpected bits of much-needed comic relief.

hold me closer  dirty job sapphire blue golem

6. Sassy/Snarky/Plucky Heroine. It’s true! I love a mouthy gal! Frankie, Lucy, Sophie, Evie, Elvie, Amy, Jackie, and Ruby, I am looking at you!

frankie hearts hex hall paranormalcy mothership texas gothic bloody jack boyfriend

7. Retellings/Mythology. Fractured fairy tales and modern mythology seem to be all rage and I like it. I need to read more!

cinder fables strands of bronze and gold percy my ex from hellsisters red frost beastly

8. Zombies and Vampires. For me this one is cyclical. I burn out on one and move to the other. I think I am heading back into a vampires kind of mood. I want to read Immortal Rules soon.

forest of hands and teeth original hearts this is not a tesst immortal rules

9. Paranormal that is NOT zombies or vampires. You know, ghosts, chimera, demons, and other such mystical creatures. I never did get into mermaids though.

diviners daughter of smoke raven boys clockwork

10. Romance. I have been fighting this one. I was never a romance reader growing up, but I just have to come to terms with the fact that I enjoy a nice teen romance. I do!

my life just one day pushing the limits nantucket blue

Bonus: Words/Topics that make me run away

1. Cancer. Nope. Can’t do it. No thanks. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Too much real life experience with the old C-word to last many life times. No need to read about it. I am also not a huge fan of suicide and eating disorder books.

2. Holocaust. I try. I really do. I acknowledge that there is a ton of really amazing literature out there, and I have appreciated the works that I have read, but oh man, it is so horrifying and disturbing. I can’t handle it. I just can’t.

3. Fairies. So far there has been one exception: Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series.

Happy Reading!



Mondays With Megan-Fighting the February Funk With Books!

Hey everyone! Are you having a long weekend? I’m at work, but still managed a long weekend by taking Friday off. I was supposed to road trip to Michigan to see Ally Carter, but honestly, the February Funk crept in and told my brain that nearly 8 hours in the car was a bad idea. Instead, I parked it at the coffee shop and had a relaxing day off. In fact, I pretty much indulged my Funk all weekend and spent lots of time lounging, moping, and reading. I am still off pace (thank you very much, Kevin the High Maintenance Dog), but I did pretty good this week.

mondayreading Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Thank you Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for hosting my favorite Monday meme:

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


twelve and she was warm bodies fairest

I am enjoying my Stephanie Plum kick and will probably move on to Lean Mean Thirteen soon. I picked up the Alison Gaylin book for our genre discussion meeting. This month we are talking thriller/suspense. And She Was was not an edge-of-your-seat suspense, but it was an interesting and entertaining read. I read Warm Bodies in one sitting and now I am ready to see the movie. Wide Awake is the first volume of a new Fables spin-off series called Fairest and it stars the leading ladies of fairy tales. The main story featured Briar Rose, but for me, the real treat was the short at the end about Beauty. Things are definitely about to get interesting…

Still Working On:

ready going vintage lost stories

Oh, the love. I don’t want Ready Player One to end. I set Going Vintage aside temporarily in favor of another e-galley (see currently reading). I’ll get back to it this week.

Currently Reading:

also known as

I am totally loving Also Known As by Robin Benway! It’s the perfect fix while I impatiently wait for Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter. It’s so much fun that it’s the only book I am reading right now!

On Deck:

speaking from among the bones  enders game cadet

It is almost my turn with the new Flavia de Luce book! While I wait for the audio I am going to start Ender’s Game. I am also going to get started on The Cadet of Tildor. I’ve heard great things, so I am excited to read this debut fantasy. Of course, this can all change. You never know what book is going to change all my plans! What are you reading this week?

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday: Books and Authors I am Thankful For

This week The Broke and the Bookish is giving thanks and so am I. I am so thankful to be going on vacation. I am also thankful that I have a Nook loaded with books. And of course, there a so many authors and books that I am thankful for that a Top Ten list is nearly impossible! But, I’ll give it my best shot.

1. J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter. I will always be thankful for these books. For many years they were the only thing I had in common with my youngest brother. A thirteen year age gap is pretty big when you are 10 and 23! We read all the books together and saw all the movies. I will even admit to crying in the parking lot after seeing the last movie-not because of the film, but because it was the last one and end to a favorite tradition.

That’s my one heart-warming book related story. Everything is else is based on pure awesomeness.

2. Scott Westerfeld. Uglies was the first YA book that I read as an adult in library school. What an awesome way to get started in the wonderful world of YA! The only drawback is that often find myself thinking/saying things like “kids today have it so good, they don’t even know…” I mean, it’s true, but when did I become that old lady?

3. Carrie Ryan. I may never have discovered that I love zombies had it not been for The Forest of Hands and Teeth!

4. John Flanagan and The Ranger’s Apprentice. This series is so awesome and I am personally thankful for Halt and Tug. I love those guys! Even better? Last week my road-trip loving library pals and I took a little trip to Columbus to see him. And my collection of signed books grows…YAY.

5. Kiersten White. I loved Paranormalcy and can’t wait to read more from her. Also, her blog is lots of fun.

6. Libba Bray. I am so thankful for the awesome variety of books she writes. Gemma Doyle? Awesome. Going Bovine? Weird and awesome. Beauty Queens? Hilarious and awesome. The Diviners? My most favoritest of all! Creepy and awesome. And of course, she is a hilarious delight in person.

7. L.A. Meyer. A TTT list would not be complete without a shout out to my favorite sea-faring orpah, Jacky Faber!

How about some non-YA thanks?

8. Sarah Addison Allen. I am so thankful for her lovely, magical books.

9. Lisa Lutz. How much do I love the Spellmans? So. Freaking. Much. More, please!

10. Bill Willingham. I am thankful to my co-worker for recommending Fables as my introduction to the wonderful world of graphic novels!

So I kept it to ten, but I just realized it’s been a while since I gushed about Michael Grant, Ally Carter, Rick Riordan, or Antony John in a Top Ten Tuesday! Weird. Still totally thankful for these guys.

Happy Reading!


Mondays With Megan-I Read Banned Books and I Like it.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Banned Book Week or, as this awesome American Library Associate badge says:


According to the ALA, most book challenges are initiated by parents who have the desire to protect children from what they deem to be inappropriate material. The most common reasons that books are challenged are because they are “sexually explicit”, they contain “offensive language”, or they are “unsuited to age group.” It’s perfectly reasonable for a parent to deny their own child access to materials they deem inappropriate, but it is not reasonable for a parent to decide what is inappropriate for other children. I think the Banned Book Week slogan from 2010 says it perfectly: “Think for your self and let others do the same.”

So, what books are causing a ruckus? Be sure to visit the ALA website for a complete list of challenged and banned books. Here are some highlights to pique your curiosity.

In 2011 there were 326 book challenges reported. Of those, the most frequently challenged books were the IM Girls series (ttyl, ttfn, l8r, g8r) by Lauren Myracle.

Holding down the number 3 spot on the 2011 Top Ten Most Challenged Books list is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This series has moved up from the five spot in 2010.

In 2009 To Kill a Mockingbird was the fourth most challenged book. It fell out of the Top Ten in 2010, but managed to claim the number 10 spot in 2011!

Another frequently challenged classic on the 2011 list is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

 Do you have a favorite banned or challenged book? Here are a few of mine:

Now, I wish that I could say that in honor of Banned Book Week I am reading a banned book, but sadly that is not the case. I am elbow deep in way too many books as it is!


Thank you Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for hosting It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


iZombie: Dead to the World by Chris Roberson is the first volume in a relatively new series starring a young female zombie named Gwen and her friends Ellie, a ghost, and Scott, a were-terrier. I did not love this one, but the premise is interesting so I will continue on with the series.

The Expats by Chris Pavone is a spy versus spy thriller that kept me guessing all the way to the end. This wasn’t your typical fast-paced, action-packed spy novel. Instead, the narrator Kate took her time telling her story, offering small glimpses into her past and present as she herself pieces together the puzzle that is the new American couple that has piques Kate’s suspicions. I had fun with this one.

Hot Six by Janet Evanovich is another fun Stephanie Plum novel. I always enjoy Stpehanie’s well-intended antics and the supporting cast is always full of colorful characters.


To be completely honest, I am probably going to return Casual Vacancy and let someone else have a turn first.

Still Working On:

This is too many! I am overwhelmed by my books and really need to finish something. Anything. Sigh. And of course, everything will be dropped like a hot potato the second I get my hands on The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan!

What are you reading?


My Horde of Teenaged Zombies Wants to Eat Your Brains

That’s right. I organized a horde of teenaged zombies and it was AWESOME. This was my first time organizing an event like this so I wanted to share what worked and what I would do differently. I highly recommend trying this program with your teens. They will love it, you will love it, and your budget will love it too-it is very inexpensive to organize.

The grocery store and the dollar store are your friends. With the exception of some green Halloween makeup that I bought on sale after Halloween last year, everything else was homemade or bought at the dollar store. I started with recipes that I found online, but ended up tweaking them. I am pleased with the results.

White base: Dollar Store cold cream and tapioca flour. I used the tapioca flour because I had bought some for a fake skin recipe that didn’t work out so well. Cornstarch works just fine (I tried it) and I imagine regular flour would too. I think I ended up with approximately a 2:1 ratio, flour to cold cream. 1 jar was enough for all 12 of my zombies, with cold cream to spare for makeup removal at the end. Most of my kids opted for green, so I didn’t use as much white as I thought. I liked how it looked when I blended the two together. The white base made a great paste to “glue” fake wounds to arms. It didn’t stick so well on faces; I will have to work on a solution for that.


Fake wounds: Knox gelatin, red food coloring, cocoa powder. I mixed 1 packet of gelatin with 2 TBS of boiling water, stirred until it dissolved, added a few drops of color, then immediately spooned it onto waxed paper. These were bright red, fresh wounds. I repeated the process and added a pinch of cocoa powder to the second batch and got a disgusting color that resembled old, drying blood. So awesome. I also tried mixing coffee grounds into the plain gelatin for a dirt-speckled flesh effect.


Fake Blood: Light corn syrup, cocoa powder, and red food coloring. I mixed 1 cup of corn syrup with 4 drops of food coloring and about TSP of cocoa powder. You can always add more cocoa powder to make it darker. We used this to paint blood onto old shirts. When I do this program in the future I will either find a non-sticky recipe or paint the blood on the shirts myself ahead of time so that it is thoroughly dry before the teens wear them. Another solution is to suggest that they either wear old clothes underneath or just change into their bloody shirt. They shirts looked great, but we did have some issues with the syrup stick to the clothes.


What else do  you need?
paper plates (each student got their own palate of face paints)
Q-Tips (for applying lipstick and makeup)
make up sponges
small mirrors (I had 8 for them to share, bought at dollar store)
black eyeshadow
red lipstick (I cut small slices off the tube and put them on plates-NO sharing lip stuff!)
black and red lip liner or eye liner pencils
make up removal wipes
cold cream
plastic head bands
old clothes
scissors (for shredding clothes)
paint brushes (for painting blood onto clothes)

I spent about $20 on the entire program and have supplies left over to do it again.

Be sure to let me know if you have a successful Zombie Walk and share any tips or ideas you have!


Zombie Reading List:

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
Rot & Ruin by Jonathon Maberry
Z by Michael Thomas Ford
Zombigami: Paper Folding for the Living Dead by Duy Nguyen
Ashes by Ilsa Bick
How to Be a Zombie: The Official Guide for Anyone Who Craves Brains by Serena Valentino
I Kissed a Zombie, and I Liked It by Adam Selzer
The Enemy by Charles Higson
You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay
Never Slow Dance With a Zombie by Ehrich Van Lowe
Generation Dead by Dan Waters

Happy Reading!


Mondays With Megan-Pre-Zombie Walk Jitters and What are You Reading

Happy Monday everyone. Confession time: I am trying a new program with my teens and I am a little nervous about it. Tomorrow afternoon I am having my first ever Zombie Walk, complete with homemade zombie makeup. I now it’s going to be fine, but I am sure there will be kinks. Since I have never done this before I have no idea what to expect. I have ten teens signed up, which I initially found disappointing. Upon further thought I changed my mind-this is a great number! I need to take baby shuffles and lurches, figure out what works, and what needs improving before I release a teenaged zombie horde on the unsuspecting neighborhood of Rocky River, Ohio. So, wish me luck tonight as I concoct fake skin, blood, and open wounds out of the items found in my kitchen-tapioca flour, corn starch, corn syrup, lotion, food coloring, oatmeal, coffee grounds, gelatin, and more. I’ll take pictures and post recipe links tomorrow!

On to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? This weekly meme is hosted by Book Journey and a Children’s/YA version is found at Teach Mentor Texts.

What I finished: The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore, and Thou Shalt Not Road Trip by Antony John. All very different, all very enjoyable.

In my car: I was without audio all weekend (I grabbed the wrong BOCD on Friday and didn’t get back to work until today) and I was a bit twitchy because of it. Radio is really terrible! Today I will start Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick. This is the third book in her Hush, Hush series. I really need to start catching up on some series. I have way to many started and it’s starting to stress me out.

My paper book: The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan. The third and final installment of the Kane Chronicles! I am excited to read this one!

My e-books: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa. This is the third book in the Iron Fey series. I will probably move straight on to The Iron Knight when I am finished, which will get me caught up. I am still working on Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson. I should finish this week and then I will start Dead Time by Anne Cassidy.

What I hope to get this week, even if I don’t have time to read them: Insurgent by Veronica Roth and City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. How have I not read these yet? Sigh. So busy, so many books.

When am I going to do all this reading!?! What are you reading this week?

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want to See on the Big Screen

It’s Top Ten Tuesday! This week The Broke and the Bookish want to know which books we think would make awesome movies (true to my cheater self I also added some that I think would make awesome tv shows). I will only do this list on one condition: Hollywood has to promise not to screw any of these up! Seriously, don’t Percy Jackson any of these or else I’ll, I’ll… Oh hell, let’s face it, I can’t do a darn thing about it. But really, don’t mess them up. You are welcome for the suggestions. They rock. So, Lights! Camera! Action!

1. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. At first I thought, hmm, Uglies, because hooverboards, right? But actually, I think the Leviathan series would be a more breathtakingly amazing film. Can you imagine it? Also, Mr. Westerfeld was kind enough to include blueprints. You’re welcome set and props crew. I’m not saying no to Uglies, either. Unless they plan to screw it up. In that case, leave my favorite series alone please.

2. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi. The part where they realize that there are buildings under them? I sort of had a Star Wars moment in my head then. Also, I would like to see what they do with Tool.

3. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. How could you not want to see this as a movie? I mean, the script practically writes itself! I am sure there is some leftover Lost stuff that they could reuse. I think this may be my best suggestion of the day. Please do it.

4.  Hourglass by Myra McEntire. I think the world is ready for another “I see dead people” movie, don’t you? Also, there is the whole redacted  thing. And Michael? Mmmmm.

5. I am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak. I don’t know, I just really like Ed Kennedy and ever since I listened to if I can’t stop associating Jesse Spencer with Ed. No, he did not narrate, and it’s probably really stupid American of me, but Ed is Australian, Jesse is Australian, and the guy who narrated is Australian…see where I am going with this. I am not proud of it, but it’s the shameful truth-they all sound the same to me apparently!

6. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. This would make one hell of a zombie movie. Someone should get on that. I am sure there are plenty of disappointed Walking Dead extras who have been killed off already and need to put their amazing zombie skills to use.

7. Heist Society by Ally Carter. Maybe it’s time for a tough, female lead who doesn’t have to be in a kill or be killed situation all the time? I mean, there is danger, and all, but there is also much more humor and kissing as well. I think it’s a smashing idea.

8. The Knife if Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. I would like to see someone try to make the whole Noise thing work without driving the audience crazy, because if they can do that, this would make an awesome and suspenseful movie!


9. Blood Red Road by Moira Young. One of my favorite underappreciated books. This film would be awesome-a quest, cage fighting, battles, a hilarious and handsome guy…what more do you want?

10. Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers. The Ultimate Mean Girls. The danger here is that it has the potential to turn into an After School Special.

Ok, time for the bonus round-book series that would make awesome tv shows.

1. The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz. A family of dysfunctional private investigators. Yes.

2. The Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan. House is wrapping up, maybe Hugh Laurie would like to play Halt?

3. Gone by Michael Grant. Oh, what a creeptastic show this would make.

4. White Cat by Holly Black. I really need more of the Curse Workers.

What do you think?

Happy Reading!