Posts Tagged 'Books'

Top Ten Tuesday – More Books Please!

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.  A lot of blogs I follow also play along, so I’ve decided to join.  Hopefully it’ll be a fun easy way to start blogging again.

This week is Top Ten Authors I Wish Would Write Another Book.

1.  J.K. Rowling – I’m pretty sure she’s on everyone’s list, and honestly I don’t know if anything else she would write would live up to HP7, but I’m willing to take that risk.

2.  Meg Cabot – Ok, Meg Cabot’s pretty busy still writing books, but honestly I’d love more Allie Finkle.  I think she’s done with #6 and that makes me sad.

3.  Michelle Cooper – Have you all read A Brief History of Montmaray and The FitzOsbornes in Exile yet?  Do it!

4. (Avert your eyes Jen!!!)  Stephanie Perkins – Isla and the Happily Ever After has been pushed back to 2013 to make a better novel, which I respect, but I sure wish it were easier to pop out more books.

5.  Jon Scieszka & Lane SmithThe Stinky Cheese Man, Math Curse, Squids Will Be Squids, etc.  Together is where they belong.  Collaborate more often!

6.  Rick Riordan – He’s practically as prolific as Patterson (when you remove the co-writers), and we’ve established his books are candy.  I wouldn’t mind getting cavities for more Percy Jackson.

7.  Ally Carter – I am officially declaring Ally Carter the female Rick Riordan.  In that her books are also like candy.  More Gallagher Girls and Heist Society please!

8.  Melanie Watt – I’m pretty sure if there were 100 books about Scaredy Squirrel, I would read them ALL.

Hmm, well that’s only 8, but since it’s my first Top Ten, I deem that ok.

What would you put on your list?

– Jill

New YA Books

Since I’m the librarian who orders YA books at my library, I get to hear about great new books coming out.  I’ve been to a few workshops lately and read a ton of journals.  Some of the books I order are ones I have to because they’re popular author or celebrities and teens will read them (Tyra Banks, Hilary Duff, Twilight graphic novel).  But most times the books I order look awesome.  Here are some good ones that recently came out, from oldest to newest.

The Poisoned House by Michael Ford

Life can be cruel for a servant girl in 1850s London. Fifteen-year-old Abi is a scullery maid in Greave Hall, an elegant but troubled household. The widowed master of the house is slowly slipping into madness, and the tyrannical housekeeper, Mrs.Cotton, punishes Abi without mercy. But there’s something else going on in Greave Hall, too. An otherworldly presence is making itself known, and a deadly secret will reveal itself—a secret that will shatter everything Abi knows.

Just in time for Halloween, who doesn’t love a good ghost story.


The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

Twenty years after the start of the war that caused the Collapse, fifteen-year-old Stephen, his father, and grandfather travel post-Collapse America scavenging, but when his grandfather dies and his father decides to risk everything to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen’s life is turned upside down.

I heard the author speak at Anderson’s Bookshop’s YA Literature Conference last weekend and ended up buying a copy of the book.  I’m a fan of dystopian books, and this one sounds really good.  Plus, Suzanne Collins liked it!


Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

As monsters walk the streets of San Francisco, unseen by humans, three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned in Greek mythology, must reunite and embrace their fates.

As soon as I heard that this is essentially Percy Jackson with a female twist, I wanted to read it.  Thanks to Rick Riordan, I am interested in Greek mythology, so I am on board with another book about it.  And it is supposed to be good, not just a Percy Jackson knockoff.


Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Willa is lucky: She has a loving blended family that gets along. But when a bloody crime takes place hundreds of miles away, it has an explosive effect on Willa’s peaceful life. The estranged father she hardly remembers has murdered his new wife and children and is headed east toward Willa and her mother. Under police protection, Willa discovers that her mother has harbored secrets that are threatening to boil over. Has everything Willa believed about herself been a lie? But as Willa sets out to untangle the mysteries of her past, she also keeps her own secret—one that has the potential to tear apart all she holds dear.

I wasn’t super-excited about this book at first; I think because I didn’t really know the plot, but I heard it booktalked and it sounds really suspenseful.  And we all know how Susan Beth Pfeffer can keep us hooked!  (Have you read Life As We Knew It???)

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit – more sparkly, more fun, more wild – the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.  When Cricket – a gifted inventor – steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.
Ok, you guys know how much we loved Anna and the French Kiss?  I loved Lola just as much, if not more(?).  Seriously, I’m not sure why I haven’t bought this book yet.
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper in the autumn of 1888.  Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police now believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was with her at the time, didn’t notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? 
I got an ARC of this at ALA, but I didn’t have time to read more than the prologue.  From that though, I could tell that this is not MJ’s typical book.  Still I’m excited to read it as soon as I get the chance.
Crossed by Ally Condie
In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky – taken by the Society to his certain death – only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.  Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander – who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart – change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.
Woohoo, the sequel to Matched will finally be out on November 1!
Are you looking forward to any of these or others?
– Jill

Recap: HP & the Prisoner of Azkaban

Ahh, Prisoner of Azkaban. I love this book because we get background on Lily & James. Voldemort doesn’t appear in any form, which is also a nice break & help prevent the series from seeming too formulaic.

I remember when I read this for the first time. I was babysitting my cousins, one who is also a big fan. I told her how I loved Sirius Black & accidentally ruined the surprise at the end since she hadn’t read it yet. Oops. Sorry, Katie!

There seems to be at least one thing I’ve forgotten about in each book. This time it’s Cho Chang.

One of my favorite things about this book is the introduction of the dementors.  The idea of the dementors is perfect.  I love when J.K. comes up with ideas for why things happen in the Muggle world.  I read that she came up with the idea after she was clinically depressed.  The concept of the dementors who suck the happiness and positive emotions out of you is fascinating…terrifying…and fascinating.

I just whipped through the last few chapters. There’s so much info you want to know, it’s hard to stop. The scene in the Shrieking Shack is so vivid. I’m not a giant fan of the repeated stuff after they go back in time, but I deal with it. All in all, a great book!


A lot of things are different in this movie, since it’s a new director.  I like the darker tone Alfonso Cuarón took with it.  There are a few things I dislike about it though.  For one, the shrunken heads on the Knight Bus.  I HATE them!

I do like a lot of things about this film though:  David Thewlis as Lupin is great, and I think casting Emma Thompson as Trelawney and Gary Oldman as Sirius was *perfect*.  Michael Gambon as the new Dumbledore is good too, but still doesn’t quite match the Dumbledore I have built in my head.  He’s closer than Richard Harris for me, but still isn’t as playful as Dumbledore seems to be in the books.

The dementors are fine with me in this movie, but I know they change as different directors come in, so I’ll have to remember to compare them with other versions.

Ooh, there are several things different from the book!  Maybe I didn’t read the book before anytime I watched the movie?  I really dislike how in the movie Harry’s most powerful happy moment when he’s learning how to conjure a patronus is his parents talking to him.  Um, no.  Harry’s most powerful happy moment is supposed to be when he found out he’s a wizard and is leaving the Dursleys.  Usually if there’s a change from the book, it’s to cut out a secondary plotline or to speed things along – like how Harry sees Peter Pettigrew on the Marauders’ Map and goes looking, which is how Snape gives it to Lupin instead of getting caught in Hogsmeade.  But the change with Harry’s most powerful memory is just really that important, is it?  So why couldn’t it be the same as the book?  It’s really surprising to me since Steve Kloves adapted the book to movie for the first two movies as well, which were very similar.

– Jill

It All Ends Thursday.

I have spent the last ten days re-reading the Harry Potter books for what is probably the 12th time (at least for the first four books).  I went through a period of many years when I read them at least twice a year, but I haven’t read them in at least two years.  It was wonderful to jump back into one of my favorite worlds and meet up with my favorite characters again.  I enjoyed reading each and every book, but in different ways than I had in the past, which was interesting.

I first read the books back in November of 2001.  That was almost ten years ago!!!  Back then I was an immature little college sophomore frolicking around London and having the time of my life.  But as soon as I picked up that first book, I completely gave up sightseeing and going to the pub to sit and read in my little room.  I remember being on the tube on my way to the theater or a museum and seeing at least half a dozen people reading Harry Potter.  It was funny to see the ones who tried to hide it by buying the “adult” covers and then the ones who blazenly didn’t care and were reading the kids version.

Ah, memories.  I can remember what I was doing when I read each of the books for the very first time.  I can also remember my first experience seeing each of the movies.  Even when the books ended, we still had three more movies to look forward to, so it was not as sad as it could have been.  Now it is really all going to be over and there is nothing left to look forward to.  (Don’t come back and say anything about Pottermore.  Don’t even get me started on that…..that just seems like a bunch of rubbish to me.  She should have spent her time working on the Encyclopedia, not a stupid website.  J.K. Rowling’s on my list now.)

Anyway, I am really excited to see the movie on Thursday at midnight.  I am lucky enough to be going with a huge group of people, and I will be the first person to get there to hold our spot in line.  I am going to pack my bag pretty soon so I will have everything I need.  Pillows, blankets, laptop with movies, books, headphones, cards, and lots of food are all necessary to survive the wait in line.

That is going to be a great day for me because it is the last day of summer reading programming.  I am going to clean up from my afternoon program as quick as a bunny (Oh man, why did I have to do a glitter project on the last day!!!) and skip out of the library waving my hands in the air and singing the Hallelujah Chorus.  I have already warned people that I will be doing this, so it probably won’t be seen as too odd.  After that, I won’t have to go back to work till the next Wednesday, so I am going to be the happiest girl in the world when those first few credits start to roll.

I will be very happy, but I’m pretty sure I am going to cry through the whole thing, so I should probably add a box or two of Kleenexes to my bag.

Here is a little video to catch everyone up on all the movies, and to show just how much those crazy kids have grown 🙂

Anyway, I hope that all my nerdgirls have similar plans to see the movie and get to see it with good friends.  I wish I could see it with you, but I haven’t learned to apparate yet.


Good Luck to the 48 Hour Book Challenge Participants!

Sorry folks, but for the first time in 3 years, I won’t be doing the 48 Hour Book Challenge.  It is a really busy weekend for me and thinking about squeezing the challenge into my schedule makes me feel stressed rather than happy.

This weekend is the annual city wide garage sales for our town and I have already been shopping it up over here.  I plan to go out way early tomorrow and hit the good sales.  One of the sales at the library has GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!!!  The last two years I have rushed through the sales like a crazy person to get back and read, but tomorrow I am going to take my time and browse to my heart’s content.  Then I have a teen program at night and a meeting on Sunday (ugh).  So I am not going to have a lot of time to read.

Not only will I be pressed for time, but I am also well on my way to my summer zombie-fied state.  I read like a freakin’ maniac during the rest of the year, but in the summer I literally stop functioning outside of work.  Last night was our summer reading kick off and there were like 400 people there.  After something like that I just want to sit on my couch and stare at the wall for days, because my brain literally can’t handle a book.  I will try to keep up my reading this summer, but my amount of books read is going to decrease dramatically from now until August.

So, I have rambled on for way to long, just to say that I’m not doing the challenge this year.  So good luck to everyone who is already reading away (go Abby!) and I hope you all reach your reading goals!



So many books

Hooray, I made it through BEDA again this year. Thanks for hanging in there with us everybody!

So now that BEDA is over, maybe I can get back into reading. Here’s what’s currently in a pile by my bed:

– Amelia Lost by Candice Fleming
– Emily the Strange: The Lost Days by Rob Reger
– Abandon by Meg Cabot
– Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway
– Delirium by Lauren Oliver

I’m also already working on these:
– Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
– Chasing Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson
– Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin
– Bumped by Megan McCafferty


– Jill

Linda Urban is My Hero

Today I got to spend the day at the Kids First Conference in Des Moines.  Yea!  It is so rare that I get to escape the library for something like this because with only two people working full time, it is hard for either of us to get away.  I was super excited to go today because the author of one of my very favorite books was doing the speech over lunch.

Linda Urban is the author of A Crooked Kind of Perfect, which I discovered way back when I was working in Illinois.  I have read it several times since then, and it gets better every time.  The book is so amazing that I have talked about it before and will probably never stop raving about it.   A Crooked Kind of Perfect is the rare kind of book that makes me do “the happy cry” as I like to call it.  Now, I do the happy cry all the time during movies.  Any Disney animated film, Jane Austen adaptation, Ramona and Beezus, The Holiday, Enchanted, are just some that come to mind.  But there are very few books that make me so joyful that I burst into tears (I do cry at sad parts of books all the time, but that is different).  There are only a few that can do that including Keeper, Greetings From Nowhere, and A Crooked Kind of Perfect.

I told Linda while she was signing my book that I loved her book and she said, “And I love YOU!”  It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  I also told her about the happy cry thing and she seemed really pleased.

Her speech was really really good.  I have heard quite a few authors speak, and I would have to say she is one of my favorites.  She talked about her background and how she became a writer.  She said that A Crooked Kind of Perfect started out as a picture book, which is kind of hard to believe after reading it.  I am SOOOOOOO glad that she ended up writing the novel and didn’t give up when she got her rejection letter saying “This Is Not A Picture Book!”

She was very funny and down-to-earth and talked about how she still isn’t satisfied with the final version of her book and that when she reads it out loud to people she changes some of the words 🙂

So in conclusion:  Linda Urban = pure awesomeness.  I was sitting at a table of people who hadn’t read her book and every single one of them left the room dying to pick it up.  That is the sign of a great speaker.  We also found out that her next book Hound Dog True comes out in the fall and already has a starred review in Kirkus (she didn’t mention this herself, someone else brought it up).  Can’t wait!  Can’t wait!!!!


P.S.  I am so mad that I left my camera in the car today.  I totally wanted a picture of me with my new BFF!