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Tag Archives: Marissa Meyer

Only like 5 months late this time.  Improvement!  In an effort to put something out sooner, I’m posting this now, and I’ll post the adult books later.  It seems I finished off a few great series this year, so I’ve mentioned the first book in each series in the description.

Children’s Books

25745002Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

Bruce the bear accidentally becomes a mother. Very silly. Very cute. Good for storytime, with fun jokes for kids and parents.

 

 

 

23281865I’m Trying to Love Spiders By Bethany Barton

Great storytime book with lots of humor and actual information about spiders. Try to learn about spiders instead of squish them! Though I’m a little sad about all the spider squishing(because I DO actually love spiders), I’m just twisted enough to laugh.  It has lots of good opportunities for audience involvement too.

 

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Nuts in Space by Elys Dolan

Captain Moose and his crew have obtained the Lost Nuts of Legend, and now all they have to do is get home. But they’re lost, and they’re very hungry! A silly combination picture book and graphic novel with jokes for kids and adults. Fans of Star Wars or Star Trek will especially enjoy.

 

 

I really want to eat a child by Sylviane Donnio, illustrated by Dorothee de Monfreid
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A baby crocodile wants to eat a child. Funny and cute, and just a little twisted.  Good for storytime if the kids(and their parents) aren’t
too sensitive.

 

 

 

Teen Books

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Winter by Marissa Meyer

A good ending to a great series. Can’t wait for the next book 🙂  Book one of the Lunar Chronicles is Cinder, a science fiction retelling of Cinderella where Cinderella is a Cyborg.  And just to up the ante, there’s also a deadly plague killing tons of people and an evil sorcereress queen.  Each successive book builds on the story by adding another fairy tale retelling.  Book two is Red Riding Hood, book three is Rapunzel, and this last book is Snow White.  Seeing how all the characters from all the books come together through fate and friendship, each one using their own unique skills to build a formidable team, is heartwarming.  I especially liked that Winter’s skill was her overwhelming kindness and empathy, and that she was stunningly beautiful even with her facial scars.  Kindness, empathy, and friendship are not often considered skills outside of children’s books, and I like that this series values them.

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Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

If you like the Lunar Chronicles, this is a must read, if only for the short epilogue story at the end. A lot of the stories are back stories for the characters, but there are two new stories, and they’re both worth reading.

 

 

 

 

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Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

You know all those kids who stumble through doorways to other worlds like Oz and Wonderland? Ever wondered what happens when they come back to our world? Nancy’s family doesn’t understand and they think she’s crazy, so they send her to a special school. It turns out everyone else there has been to another world too. Nancy thinks she may have found a refuge, but then someone gets murdered…

This was a great little story, and it’s nominated for a Hugo.

 

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Manners and Mutiny by Gail Carriger

A satisfying ending to a very fun series.  The first book is Etiquette and Espionage, and it’s a comedic, steampunk adventure about a girl’s finishing school that doubles as a spy school.  Highly recommended.  The audiobooks are especially good, partly because you don’t have to figure out how to pronounce some of the ridiculous names.

 

 

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Dream Thieves, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

The first book in this series is The Raven Boys.  I loved that first book, but didn’t get around to the second book, The Dream Thieves, for a couple years.  And then I just couldn’t stop.

The main characters are Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah.  Blue is a girl raised in a house of women psychics, but who’s only psychic ability is to magnify the abilities of others.  Gansey is a rich prep school boy with a fascination for history, and an obsession with a legendary Welsh king.  Ronan is foul mouthed, perpetually angry, but fiercely loyal and truthful to a fault, and he has very unusual dreams.  Adam grew up in a trailer park with his abusive father and he works hard to be allowed to stay at the prep school with Gansey and Ronan, hoping to someday leave his small town life behind.  Noah is quiet and gentle, but has a very dark secret.

Living with psychics, Blue has always known that she will kill her true love with a kiss. When she sees Gansey’s future in a graveyard, she knows he will be dead within a year, and most likely he is the true love she’s destined to kill.  Completely unaware how little time he has, Gansey pursues the grave of the Welsh king Glendower, and the legend that whoever finds and wakes the king is granted a wish.  Ronan, Adam, Noah, and Blue are caught up in Gansey’s obsession, and consequently they’re pulled into the magic surrounding the search and the ruthless people who will do anything to control the magic themselves.

I love Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style, and I love how complex the characters are.  I truly care about what happens to them all.  I also like that the magic is dark and alien, and each book had at least one moment so creepy that I literally got goosebumps.  Some mysteries are solved, but many things remain strange and unknowable.  I was left with many questions at the end of The Raven King, but apparently Maggie Stiefvater will be writing a couple more books about these characters, so maybe I will get my answers eventually.  If not, I’m finding Maggie and asking her!

 

It’s a new year, and I never agree with the “Best of” book lists. So here’s a list of my favorite reads from 2013.  Not all of them were published in 2013, so sue me.  Also, there’s a recipe at the bottom.  ^_^

Favorite non-fiction for Adults

Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses by Bess Lovejoy

Did you know that someone tried to steal and ransom Abe Lincoln’s corpse? Three times? How about that Vladimir Lenin was embalmed for the ages and is even today available for viewing in Moscow?
What strange circumstances surrounded the death and burial of Edgar Allen Poe?
This book is just page after page of interesting facts about famous dead people. It alternates between being fascinating, horrifying, and hilarious, and is a great read for anyone with an interest in the morbid.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

This book was ridiculous and horrible and sad and hilarious and weird as shit.  And I loved it.
It’s the “mostly true” story of of how Jenny Lawson grew up in a tiny town in Texas with a crazy taxidermist father.  The phrase “you’re going to get blood on you” came up A LOT.  The story then moves on to her adult life, her struggles with marriage and motherhood, her work in human resources, her health problems, and eventually her blog and her obsession with unusual taxidermy.  I listened to the audiobook, which is read by the author and read wonderfully.  This story is not for the faint of heart, or those who are easily offended, as it’s full of bizarre, inappropriate humor, curse words, and descriptions of things that normal people just don’t describe.  It’s so weird…and I like that.

Favorite non-fiction for kids

Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature’s Undead by Rebecca L. Johnson

All about real parasites, diseases, and molds that alter their hosts behaviors and sometimes even their brains!  Perfect for that kid who likes bugs, zombies, or just anything gross.

Favorite Adult Novel

Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith(AKA J.K. Rowling)

The story starts out with a bang: a famous supermodel falls to her death, and the sordid details of her life and death are scrutinized from every angle by the media. The police rule it as a suicide, and the media circus moves on. But the supermodel’s brother isn’t convinced it was a suicide, and he hires a private eye, Cormoran Strike. Strike’s life is crumbling aruond him, and though he believes the model’s death to be a suicide, he needs the money badly. He can’t even afford to pay his temporary secretary, Robin, who is thrilled to be working with a private detective even if he is broke and broken. The story of the model’s death is interwoven with the stories of Strike and Robin, and beneath it all is the theme of how fame and money effect people. And who would know more about that than J.K. Rowling?

Rachel Rising: The Shadow of Death(graphic novel)  by Terry Moore

This is the horror story of Rachel, who awakens and drags herself out of a shallow grave in the woods outside of her small town. She returns home with plans to resume her life as if nothing unusual happened, only to realize she’s lost 3 days, and that’s not all. I can’t possibly say more without giving away surprises, but I’m completely hooked. If you like horror or the macabre even just a little bit, read this!  Beautiful artwork that could tell a story even without words, but with the words, I absolutely couldn’t put it down and was furious when I turned the last page without the next issue on hand.

Deadpool: Space Oddity(graphic novel) by Daniel Way

Full of all the wise cracks, violence, weirdness and mayhem you hope for with Deadpool… in space!

Favorite Teen Novels

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

A disturbing murder mystery told from the point of view of a notorious serial killer’s son: Jasper Dent.  Includes all the grisly details. Not for the faint of heart.  Seriously, I had nightmares.  Jasper’s father has been teaching his son how to be the perfect serial killer since he was a little boy, but four years ago, Jasper’s father was arrested, and Jasper was liberated. He hopes to live the life of a normal teenager now. But Jasper will never be free of the lessons his father taught him, and he lives in fear that he will grow up to be exactly what his father trained him to be: the greatest serial killer that ever lived.

And then a fresh murder victim shows up in Jasper’s small town, and Jazz needs to help solve the crime.  He wants to stop the killer, and prove to everyone, especially himself, that he is not his father.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Despite the fact that humans and dragons have lived in peace for 40 years, it’s a restless sort of peace, and Seraphina has a secret to keep: she’s half human and half dragon. Caught between both worlds as she learns how precarious the peace is, Seraphina fears that she may be the only one who can keep the peace, but at what cost?

Divergent by Veronica Roth

A dystopia about making choices, and living with the consequences. Beatrice must choose which faction she will swear loyalty to: Amity, Candor, Dauntless, Erudite, or Abnegation. She was raised in abnegation, which values selflessness above all other things, but knows she cannot stay.  So she abandons her family to join Dauntless, the faction that values bravery, and conquering fear above all else.  But Beatrice asks more questions about this system than other Dauntless recruits, and begins to wonder if there’s more going on than meets the eye.  Even as she begins to fall for one of her instructors, she realizes just how dangerous it is to be a member of Dauntless.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cyborg Cinderella! Cinder the mechanic is considered a second class citizen in the Eastern Commonwealth because she is a cyborg. So she is at the mercy of the law and her stepmother, who hates her. A gritty cyberpunk “fairytale” amped up with the addition of a deadly plague, and war hanging over the characters’ heads.

Favorite Children’s Books

Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner

Hands down my favorite picture book of the year, and perfect for storytime, this book has almost no actual words in it.  The story is told entirely in David Wiesner’s wonderful art, and what a story.  A spaceship full of tiny aliens is attacked by a house cat and forced to befriend Earthling insects.  It has all my favorite things smashed together in a glorious story of overcoming differences, friendship, and triumph over a great obstacle.

Nightsong by Ari Berk

A little bat is scared of the dark. His mother tells him that if he sings to the dark, the dark will sing back, and help him to see. Beautiful illustrations, and I love the concept of sonar location as singing. Very cute, probably good for kids who are scared of the dark, but a little too wordy for most storytimes.

Cauliflower Gratin
It’s based on a recipe I got from some grocery store flyer, but I can’t remember which one. You will need:
1 cauliflower
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesanThanksgiving2013 045
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup almond milk(or other milk, I don’t care)
fresh rosemary, chopped(I don’t know how much I used; 1 TBSP?)
fresh sage, chopped( don’t know here either; try like 5 leaves)
salt and pepper to taste(this means I add salt and more salt)

Preheat oven to 375F.
Rinse and chop cauliflower into florets. Whisk the milk and nutritional yeast together, then toss with the cauliflower florets. Put in a roasting pan and roast covered for about 30 minutes. Then mix the bread crumbs, parmesan, and chopped herbs. Scatter over the roasted cauliflower and bake uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until slightly browned. Smells amazing! NOM!