Friday, December 30, 2011

Book Blogger Holiday Swap Update

Hope everyone had a good Holidays. I went to Vegas, which was so much fun, and why you haven't heard from me for a week. Now that I'm back, I want to tell you all about the fabulous gifts I received from the Book Blogger Holiday Swap. So fabulous that it caused a happy dance, or two.

I got The Night Circus (which I read almost immediately and simply adored - what a debut) and The Iron King by Julie Kagawa that I have been meaning to read for such a long time (and will read just as soon as I finish The Fault In Our Stars by John Green - yes, I have a manuscript but I did have to sign a non disclosure form to get it...). And a cool book mark. And some chocolate. Perfect gift. Can't say nice enough things about it. Thank you so much Joli.

On top of all that wonderfulness, I got introduced to two new bloggers and their blogs - Joli of Actin' Up with Books (who sent me all the wonderfulness above) and Julie of My Book Retreat to whom I sent a gift. This was such a lovely idea. So glad I participated.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Best of 2011 - Megan's List

Megan writes Kepler's other blog, The Book Flap, runs our YA book group, dances, and always picks incredible books. I always love her suggestions. So here's her best of list of 2011.

Older Readers
The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman by Meg Wolitzer
Powerless by Matthew Cody
Wildwood by Colin Meloy

High School
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Red Glove by Holly Black
Pink by Lili Wilkinson
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

The Radleys by Matt Haig
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Best of 2011 - Marilyn's Picks

Continuing with our best of lists - here's Marilyn's. And she always chooses such wonderful titles.

Picture books
Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
Grandpa Green by Lane Smith
Stars by Mary Lin Ray
Press Here by Herve Tullet
The Conductor by Laetitia Devernay
The Umbrella by Ingrid Schubert
11 Experiments that Failed by Jenny Offill

Older Fiction
The Orphan of Awkward Falls by Keith Graves
The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh
The Inquisitors Apprentice by Chris Moriarty
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
Wonder Struck by Brian Selznick

Middle School
Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2) by Ally Carter

High School
Ashes by Ilsa Bick
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Power of Six by Pitticus Lore
Au Revoir Crazy European Chick by Joel Schrieber
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Monday, December 19, 2011

Best of 2011 - Amanda's list

Still posting our best of 2011 lits. Now it's Amanda's turn and she always picks such wonderful books.

Amanda's Picks

Picture books even adults will enjoy:
Will You be My Friend by Peter Brown
Have You Seen My Hat by J. Klassen
13 Words by Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) and Maira Kalman

Fun Graphic Novels:
Bad Island by Doug Tennapel
Bake Sale by Sara Varon

Must-Read Award Winners:
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

If You Ever Wanted to Live in Narnia. . .
Wildwood -by Colin Meloy
The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
Darwin Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact by AJ Hartley

For Animal Lovers;
Unlikely Friendships by Jennifer Holland
Friends: True Stories of Animal Friendships by Catherine Thimmesh

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Best of 2011 - Antonia's List

I did say that I would post all our lists, not just mine! Here is Antonia's - Kepler's children's and YA book buyer. Her lists are always awesome.

Picture Books
Wiener Wolf by Jeff Crosby
If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff
Should I Share My Ice-Cream by Mo Willems
Huck Runs Amuck by Sean Taylor
Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet by Kelly DiPucchio
Skippyjon Jones Class Action by Judy Schachner
Man in the Moon by William Joyce
Bippolo Seed by Dr Seuss
Clink by Kelly DiPucchio
Press Here by Herve Tullet
Everything on It by Shel Silverstein
Zombie in Love by Kelly DiPucchio

Younger and Older Readers
Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin
Apothecary by Maile Meloy
Wildwood by Colin Meloy
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
Unwanteds by Lisa McMann
Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan
Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Middle School
The Dead (The Enemy #2) by Charlie Higson
Scorpia Rising by Anthony Horowitz
Death Cure by James Dashner
Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch
The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making by Catherynne Valente
Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
Uncommon Criminals (heist society #2) by Ally Carter
Subject 7 by James A Moore

High school
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Shatter Me by Tahareh Mafi
Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Legend by Marie Lu
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Department 19 by Will Hill
Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Across the Universe (now in paperback) by Beth Revis
Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Best of 2011 - Angela's List

December - and time to make our best of lists for the year. I'm going to post everyone in the department's lists and today I'll start with mine. I loved them all. And I've included all ages from picture books to crossover titles.

Picture Books
Stars by Mary Lin Ray
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Press Here by Herve Tullet
Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell
11 Experiments that Failed by Jenny Offill
Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
Wiener Wolf by Jeff Crosby
Skippyjon Jones: Class Action by Judy Schachner

Older Readers
The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Middle School
The Warlock by Michael Scott
Scorpia Rising by Anthony Horowitz
Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins
The Death Cure by James dashner

High School
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Wither by Lauren deStafano
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Scorpia Races by Maggie Steifvater
Legend by Marie Lu


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
The Magician King by Lev Grossman
Graveminder by Melissa Marr
House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
Room by Emma Donoghue (now in pb)
Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie (now in pb)

Given this list, let me know what you think I should read next!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver - Review

Here's Antonia review of Liesl and Po. I thought Before I Fall was so very good, and Amanda loved Delirium. Another to add to my brimming TBR pile!

Locked in the attic by her wicked stepmother, Liesl is desperate to escape, to run away to the last place she was happy when her parents were still alive. She is helped in this endeavor by Po, a boy (maybe, it's hard to tell and these things don't really matter) from The Other Side.

Apprenticed to an evil alchemist, Will is forced to escape after a delivery mix-up. Hunted by the alchemist and the lady premiere and a man with a hat (really) Will meets up with Liesl and the two of them (along with Po) set off to return color to the world.

Beautifully written, this is part Cinderella, part Hansel & Gretel, and storytelling at it's best. A fantastic and fantastical adventure.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Reasons to Be Happy - Upcoming Events!

Just wanted to give you a heads up about the events I've just booked and to share our enthusiasm.

First, on January 27th, at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City, JOHN GREEN with his brother, Hank will be talking about THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. There will be music and entertainment and JOHN GREEN. Can you tell how excited I am about this? We are all such huge fans. Tickets are already on sale.

On February 2nd, at the Menlo Park Council Chambers, DANIEL HANDLER (AKA LEMONY SNICKET) with MAIRA KALMAN, will be talking about WHY WE BROKE UP. Another very exciting event, another fabulous book. And if you haven't already seen it, you should go and see their web page, the Why We Broke Up project.
I guarantee you'll spend endless time there.

On February 9th, at the store, we are launching LOVE MAIA'S book, DJ RISING.

And on March 21st,at the store, ALLY CARTER will be talking about her latest Gallagher Girl novel, OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF TIME. We love Ally, and all her books, and simply can't wait.

Write them on your calendar. Buy a John Green ticket for a friend for the holidays or add said ticket to your own holiday wish list. And join us in our excitement and at the events.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz - Review

A mystery too disturbing to tell preys on Watson's mind and once again he sets pencil to paper to describe one last portrait of Sherlock Holmes at work, and then seals it up for a hundred years.

A man appears at 221B Baker Street, en route to the opera, and asks for help. It appears that he is being followed by stranger wearing a flat cap, who may have followed him from America. And the game is again afoot. There is a robbery and a murder but all is not as it seems. One case leads to another, a circuitous route into the underworld of opium dens, dastardly deeds, and a creepy conspiracy. There are chases and prison escapes, robberies, conundrums, and the House of Silk itself.

Horowitz has written a perfect Holmsian adventure. He hits all the right notes - foggy London streets, Hansom cabs, dodgy criminals, corrupt officials, brilliant deductions, Lestrade, Moriarty, and the Baker Street Irregulars. The adventur's a little more modern, a little darker, with a little more social commentary as befits an older Watson writing from a retirement home. The voice seems authentically Watson's, with maybe a hint of pathos, and the mystery superb. This is another success for the multi-talented Mr Horowitz. May it be the first of many.

Monday, December 5, 2011

John Green!

Yes! John Green is coming to the Bay Area and will be at the Fox Theatre on January 27th to celebrate his new book, The Fault in Our Stars, with his brother, Hank. Be prepared for a night of music, readings, comedy, free posters, fancy programs, and vlogbrother mayhem! This will be unlike any other reading or booksigning. Come and be entertained.

This is a ticketed event and you can pre-order today! It will make a great gift. Just click here. Every person attending must have a ticket. Please note that a preordered book from another retailer does not count toward your ticket price.

To whet your appetite, you can take a peek at the first two chapters. Just click here. We are SO excited!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Prized by Caragh O'Brien - Review

Birth Marked was one of my favorite reads of last year. The harsh environment of the Enclave stayed with me for a long time as did Gaia, the girl who stood against the authorities. Well, In Prized, she flees into the wasteland with her baby sister but without Leon, looking for the village rumor said her grandmother found. But she runs out of supplies and her sister is near death when she is captured and taken to Sylum, a community run by women with a very strict set of rules. Men, who outnumber the women, have little rights. And here fewer and fewer girls are being born here and no one knows why or what to do about it. They take her sister away and force her to submit if she wants to see her again. Yet whereas she was overlooked in the Enclave because of her scar here she is valued, vied for.

Gaia is such a wonderful heroine, strong, stubborn, with a profound sense of justice. You know she will do the right thing, whatever the consequences. This new society is so different and yet so perplexing to her: How can it be a crime for someone to kiss her if she agreed to it? How can it be OK for only some to have the vote? How can a woman be won as a prize? And, more importantly, if the rules are unfair, why is no one trying to change them?

I liked Prized just as much as Birth Marked, maybe even more. The world building is just as complex, and the storyline just as intense. And O'Brien, like Gaia, never takes the easy path. If this is the year of dystopian novels, this one stands out for me. Try it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Video of our Launch of Operation Marriage

Cynthia Chin-Lee wrote the book. Operation Marriage, after hearing how children at her church convinced their two mothers to marry, which was briefly supported in California. The video includes the illustrator and some of the models she used for the book. It was a great event of an important book.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Shades of Gray wins Best Novel for Young People in French literary magazine, Lire

Did you read Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys? It's on my top 10 of this year (published later this week)and tells the story of Stalin's deportation of Lithuanians to Siberia. Just read in Publishers Weekly that the French literary magazine LIRE has selected it as "Ce qu'ils n'ont pas pu nous prendre"— Best Novel for Young People 2011. It is the first time the prestigious French prize has been awarded to an American in the children's category. Well deserved too.

Anthony Horowitz

We had the great pleasure of hosting Anthony Horowitz last week for The House of Silk. Yes, he was chosen by the Conan Doyle Estate to write this new Sherlock Holmes novel and it is fabulous.

A little background: Anthony Horowitz's life might have been copied from the pages of the Brothers Grimm. Anthony’s father was "a fixer for the British prime minister, Harold Wilson" and a very secretive man. When threatened with bankruptcy, he withdrew all his money and deposited it in under a false name. When he died, he had told no one so the money was never found. That shaped Anthony's view of things. At boarding school he told stories of revenge to entertain his peers and found solace in the escapism of the James Bond films. And for his 13th birthday his mother gave him a human skull.

Explains a lot, doesn’t it. Anthony has been writing professionally since the age of 20. In addition to the Alex Rider books, the Power of 5 series, The Diamond Brothers series, and the Horowitz horror books, he also writes for TV (Foyle’s War anyone?)
So what did he tell us? That he set himself some rules while writing a Holmes mystery. No lovers, no famous walk-ons (like Jack the Ripper, or Freud, or Queen Victoria), and it was to be narrated by Watson in the same kind goodhearted, admiring tone of the originals. He himself was never going to be seen in a deerstalker hat and pipe. He wanted to write something a little more shocking and dark, a little more modern, with a little tristesse that befits Watson writing from a retirement home. He wanted it to be a little more analytical as befits the times – so there is a discussion of child poverty for example.

The multi-talented Anthony Horowitz seems to excel at everything he touches. He is one of the most charming authors I’ve ever met and it is always a pleasure to hear him discuss his projects. He says he would like to do more Foyle’s War episodes but not in peace time, so maybe a prequel. And he’s unlikely to write more Sherlock Holmes mysteries sadly. Says maybe he’ll turn to another 19th century thriller next but wouldn’t give us a clue. As you can see, I’m such a fan girl!

Finally, here's video of Anthony talking about The House of Silk.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Future of Us Book Trailer

I really enjoyed this book - what a great concept. So I thought I'd post the book trailer to whet your appetites:

Have any of you read it yet?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - Review

Meet Kali, a regular 16 year old …every other day. But Kali lives in a world where preternatural creatures roam. And every second day, she hunts and kills demons and other supernatural creatures. Every second day she is not human, and very hard to kill.

Trouble starts when she notices a tattoo on one of the cheerleaders. Kali knows this means the cheerleader was bitten by a chupacabra, and she’ll be dead in 24 hours. She wants to help, and lures the chupacabra into herself assuming she will easily get rid of it once she is no longer human. But she assumed the chupacabra will work on her like any other human, which it doesn’t. And to make it worse, the chupacabra starts to talk to her. Even has a name…

Reminiscent of Buffy, this is an all-action adventure that I could no put down. The interactions between the characters are as funny, the twists interesting, and the ending unpredictable. Loved it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ransom Riggs

I know, I've talked his book a lot recently. It is certainly one of my favorite reads of the year. But the event was fabulous, Ransom was so very interesting, and if you get a chance to listen to him, GO.

What can I tell you about him? He grew up writing stories and making videos in his backyard with friends. He attended the University of Virginia’s Young Writer’s Workshop, went to Kenyon College to study English, then to film school at the University of Southern California. He makes movies, writes screenplays, blogs for, and of course writes books. What else? He says that Tim Burton is interested in making a movie of the book (what a perfect choice), that he collected the photos first, that there will be a sequel (yay!), and that Ransom Riggs is his real name, not the pseudonym I thought it to be. And that the grandfather’s character was based very loosely on his wife’s grandfather .

You can see video of Ransom reading here:

And again, you can read my review here

Really unusual, really good, haunting, creepy, and rather poignant. Can't wait for the sequel.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dark Eden by Patrick Carman - Review

Here's Julie's review of Dark Eden. Looks great.Have just finished House of Silk (fabulous- didn't see the twist coming) and am now mid way through both Prized by Caragh O'Brien (LOVED Birthmarked and this, so far, is better) and Discovery of Witches, I think Dark Eden will be next!

Seven teens are sent to a remote "camp," an institution equipped to cure them of their profound fears. Fort Eden, however, is no summer camp. It is an isolated bunker, run by a prickly caretaker and the elusive program leader, Rainsford. One teen, Will Besting, knows there is more going on here than traditional treatment. Will must face his own demons and survive if he is to help the others. But can any of them truly overcome their fears?

Dark Eden, as the title implies, is a dark, disturbing book. The reader, along with Will, acquires snippets of information about what is really going on. The story is richly woven and hauntingly intriguing. You will want to know what is going on in that basement, even as you realize that knowing comes at a great cost. As with many horror movies, you will want to yell at Will and tell him, "Don't open that door!" But, of course, he does. And therein lies the thrill. Dark Eden is a must read title for fans of the psychological thriller.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - Review

Instead of lullabies, Jacob grew up with his grandfather’s stories of monsters and an orphanage on an island off the Welsh coast that saved him. As he a child, he believed it all. Later he saw it as a way for his grandfather to keep him entertained. But when his grandfather dies Jacob thinks he sees a monster in the woods. His father explains that his grandfather was a Jew in Poland under Nazi rule so the monsters were simply metaphors. But his grandfather’s dying words were to find the bird, in the loop, get to the island, tell them what happened, and there he would be safe. And the psychiatrist his parents insist he sees thinks it would be good for Jacob to go and find the orphanage and put it all to rest. But it turns out a bomb hit the orphanage in 1940 and all that remains is a shell, decaying and scary. So how did his grandfather have a letter from them sent 15 years ago? Is it possible that they survived? Jacob, of course, has to know and thus his path of self-discovery and adventure begins.

I can’t tell you much more without giving too much away. I loved this book – it kept me up having to know what would happen. It’s a haunting, creepy, thoroughly disturbing read that is also poignant and achingly beautiful. It reminded me, in some ways, of the movie Big Fish. And the unforgettable vintage photos work with the text, making this book stand out in a sea of look-alikes. This is one of the best I’ve read this year.

AND (drum roll please)
Ransom Riggs will be at Kepler's TONIGHT at 7.00
Don't miss this opportunity to meet him
I have so many questions...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hunger Games Trailer

I have no words. WOW.

100 Most Popular YA Books

I saw this on Debbie's World of Books. She saw it at The Cozy Reader. I really have no idea who compiled this list, but it's an interesting list, this is the time for lists, and I always think it's fun to see how many I've read from a list.

Tell me what you've read. What I should read that I haven't. What you think shouldn't be there. What is missing. That sort of thing.

Books in BOLD I’ve read. Books I own but haven’t read are in itals.

Alex Finn – Beastly
Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
Ally Carter – Gallagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
Ally Condie – Matched
Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)
Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2, 3)
Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1,
2, 3, 4)
Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3, 4)
Christopher Paolini – Inheritance (1, 2, 3, 4)
Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2, 3)
James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2,
3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4)
Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
John Green – Looking for Alaska
John Green – Paper Towns
Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1,
2, 3, 4)
Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (1, 2)
Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3)
Lemony Snicket – Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
M.T. Anderson – Feed
Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1,
2, 3)
Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
Markus Zusak – The Book Thief
Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Mary Ting – Crossroads
Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Meg Rosoff – How I live now
Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Michael Grant – Gone (1, 2, 3, 4)
Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
Neal Shusterman – Unwind
Neil Gaiman – Coraline
Neil Gaiman – Stardust
Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book

P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 )
Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
Sabrina Bryan and Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Scott Westerfeld – Leviathan (1, 2, 3)
Scott Westerfeld – Uglies (1, 2, 3, 4)
Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
Sherman Alexie – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
Stephanie Meyer – The Host
Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1,
2, 3, 4, 5)
Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

As you can see, I often start but don't finish series.

My favorites from this list? The Book Thief, Looking for Alaska, The Hunger games trilogy, the last Survivors trilogy. Harry Potter 3 and Alex Rider for younger readers, How I Live Now, Stardust. Yes, I loved many of them.

But where is Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly or Dust of 100 Dogs by AS King or Divergent or Wither or Eyes Like Stars or Ash or Birthmarked or Miss peregrine's House for Peculiar Children? Or Beauty Queens? Or Knife of Never Letting Go.

Thst said, which of the books I haven't read on this list do you think I should drop everything and read NOW?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The House of Silk

I'll admit it - I am such a fan of Anthony Horowitz's work - from the Alex Rider series to Foyle's War. So it is with great delight that I picked up The House of Silk, his new Sherlock Holmes mystery. And he'll be at Kepler's on Friday November 18th at 7.00. Don't miss this opportunity to come and hear all about this new glimpse into Sherlock Holmes' world.

Want to know more about it? Here's Anthony reading from the preface:


It is November 1890 and London is gripped by a merciless winter. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are enjoying tea by the fire when an agitated gentleman arrives unannounced at 221b Baker Street. He begs Holmes for help, telling the unnerving story of a scar-faced man with piercing eyes who has stalked him in recent weeks.

Intrigued by the man's tale, Holmes and Watson find themselves swiftly drawn into a series of puzzling and sinister events, stretching from the gas-lit streets of London to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston. As the pair delve deeper into the case, they stumble across a whispered phrase 'the House of Silk': a mysterious entity and foe more deadly than any Holmes has encountered, and a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society itself...

With devilish plotting and excellent characterisation, this is a first-rate Sherlock Holmes mystery for a modern readership, remaining utterly true to the spirit of the original Conan Doyle books. Sherlock Holmes is back with all the nuance, pace and powers of deduction that make him the world's greatest and most celebrated detective.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Breadcrumbs by Anna Ursu - Review

PW included it as one of the best of the year (and we agree!) so here's Marilyn's review

Maybe the changes began with a perfect snowfall of brilliant snowflakes. Or perhaps when a magic mirror breaks, hurling shards to earth changing those it touches. Hazel knows her best friend Jack changed suddenly and has followed the white witch into the woods on her wintery sleigh. Hazel must find him and follows him into the woods.

Enchanted tendrils of fairytales subtly wrap around Hazel offering her magical secrets and riches that are hard to resist but Hazel's quest is to find and steal back Jack from the white witch. Enjoy this perfect book of enchantment, adventure, and friendship.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

PWs list of best children's books for 2011

PW announced its list of best children's books for 2011. I've listed only the fiction titles here. I'm in the process of making mine. How many have you read? What did they leave off that you loved? I have read - and loved - Variant, Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland, Breadcrumbs, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Scorio Races, Between Shades of Grey, Wonderstruck, Divergent, Legend, Beauty Queens, and The Future of Us. And of course I would have added Anna Dressed in Blood. And The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. And Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, which I am currently reading adn really enjoying.

The Future of Us
Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler (Razorbill)

These collaborators use a surprising and inventive premise—teens in 1996 gaining access to their future Facebook pages by way of an AOL disk—to explore the connections between the present and the future, and the consequences of our actions. Underneath the fantastical conceit and the fun is an authentic story that asks important questions.

Franny Billingsley (Dial)

Billingsley’s sharp-tongued, self-hating Briony is easily one of the year’s most memorable narrators, as she struggles to come to terms with guilt over family tragedies, while living in a town in which new 20th-century technologies threaten supernatural beings of old. It’s a rich and layered fantasy that grabs readers tight—not unlike the bogs of Briony’s Swampsea.

Small Persons with Wings
Ellen Booraem (Dial)

Call them Parvi Pennati, call them Small Persons with Wings, just don’t call them fairies. Booraem’s middle-grade novel, in which an outcast girl comes into her own, is frequently sad, but those moments are perfectly balanced with humor and hope. The result is a deeply believable and human story—one that also has room for vainglorious fairies, talking mannequins, and other wonders.

Beauty Queens
Libba Bray (Scholastic Press)

Few books are as unabashedly outrageous and fun as Bray’s story of a plane full of teenage beauty queen contestants that crashes on a deserted island. But the riotous “Survivor meets Miss America” premise is a vehicle for some sharp observations about our image-obsessed, media-driven culture. Somebody get this book a tiara!

Missing on Superstition Mountain
Elise Broach, illus. by Antonio Javier Caparo (Holt/Ottaviano)

Bursting with action and (real-life) mystery, Broach’s middle-grade novel updates classic adventure novel and thriller tropes to launch a series with broad appeal. As three brothers investigate mysterious deaths and disappearances in an Arizona mountain range, Broach’s tight storytelling and chilling details will keep readers riveted.

Where She Went
Gayle Forman (Dutton)

Forman pushes beyond the tragic events of her 2010 novel If I Stay to uncover their broader consequences in this knockout of a sequel, told from the perspective of Adam, the former boyfriend of the first book’s protagonist, Mia. Love, heartache, abandonment, and music intertwine as Adam and Mia try to find their way back to each other, three years after their relationship was ripped apart.

Dead End in Norvelt
Jack Gantos (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Set in 1962 in Norvelt, Pa., Gantos’s freewheeling, semi-but-thankfully-not-entirely-autobiographical novel is the story of a summer almost beyond belief, filled with geyserlike nosebleeds, the demise of one elderly resident after another, the arrival of the Hells Angels, and a real estate scheme that threatens the town’s existence. Suffice it to say, it’s a roller-coaster ride from start to finish.

Inside Out and Back Again
Thanhha Lai (Harper)

Lai’s debut middle-grade novel, written in free-verse poems, draws from her own memories of moving to the U.S. from Vietnam as a child and offers a poignant account of an immigrant’s experience. Ten-year-old Hà’s journey is confidence-shaking and full of hard decisions, yet her strong voice and resilient nature are testament to the human ability to conquer obstacles.

Marie Lu (Putnam)

Set in a grim, futuristic Los Angeles, Lu’s debut novel sets up an exciting dichotomy between her protagonists, Day and June, who are both brilliant and capable, but on opposite sides of the law. A gritty and thrilling dystopian novel, with expertly handled character development and world-building.

The Apothecary
Maile Meloy, illus. by Ian Schoenherr (Putnam)

Meloy’s first book for young readers is a wonderfully imagined alternate history, set as cold war tensions between the U.S. and Russia are reaching critical mass, and a secretive group of apothecaries conspires to protect the planet from all-out destruction. With magic, history, adventure, romance, and smart writing, it’s truly a story with something for everyone.

A Monster Calls
Patrick Ness, illus. by Jim Kay (Candlewick)

Building on a foundation laid by the late Siobhan Dowd, Ness delivers a singular story that looks death squarely in the eye, unblinking, as Conor, a boy with an ailing mother, is visited nightly by a primeval monster, which tries to prepare him for the road ahead. Blurring fantasy and reality, Kay’s haunting illustrations fade in and out, guiding readers—and Conor—toward the book’s final, inevitable truth.

The Flint Heart
Katherine Paterson and John Paterson, illus. by John Rocco (Candlewick)

The Patersons’ loving adaptation of Eden Philpott’s 1910 novel of the same name is as deliciously whimsical, funny, and, well, original as the original, while streamlining and freshening it for a 21st-century audience. It’s a story of nonstop novelty, with cavemen, a talking water bottle, and imps and fairies aplenty, told in an effervescent narrative voice ideal for fireside family reading.

Veronica Roth (HarperCollins/Tegen)

Roth’s first novel lands near the front of the current crop of dark, action-laden dystopian novels. With a volatile futuristic setting, tight storytelling, heart-stopping action, and tentative romance, it’s a thrill-ride that speaks to teenagers’ desire to determine the course of their own lives.

Brian Selznick (Scholastic Press)

In a story that’s both cinematic and personal, Selznick builds and improves upon the graphic/prose hybrid narrative style he first used in The Invention of Hugo Cabret with a story about human connections that span miles and decades. The book shines a spotlight on Deaf culture, the theme of silence a brilliant fit with the illustrated sections of the narrative.

Between Shades of Gray
Ruta Sepetys (Philomel)

Sometimes, sadly, reality proves far more devastating than the latest dystopian premise of the moment. That’s certainly the case with Sepetys’s brutal account of Lithuanians deported to Siberian work camps during WWII. Every step of 15-year-old Lina’s journey is brought vividly to life, with no detail spared or punch pulled. The novel stands as a reminder of humanity’s capacity for cruelty, but also resiliency.

The Scorpio Races
Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic Press)

Stiefvater creates a startlingly original mythology in this captivating novel set on an island that has an uneasy relationship with the vicious horses that rule its beaches and waters. Just as these fairy creatures are no ordinary horses, neither is this an ordinary horse novel; rather, it’s an atmospheric fantasy about a girl working to control not just her mount but her family and her life’s direction.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Laini Taylor (Little, Brown)

Taylor has a gift for creating spellbinding fantasies that feel wholly novel and utterly real. This one is the story of Karou, a 17-year-old art student in Prague, raised by demons and caught in an escalating war with angels. Taylor takes star-crossed romance, wonderfully complex characters, and a fascinating mythology and spins a magical, heartbreaking story.

Anne Ursu, illus. by Erin McGuire (HarperCollins/Walden Pond)

Fairy tales are an evergreen source of inspiration for authors, and Ursu works some serious magic with “The Snow Queen” in this frequently somber but entirely beautiful story of an adopted fifth-grader from India pursuing her lost friend into a mysterious Minnesota forest. Sly references to other fairy tales and classics of children’s literature only sweeten the deal.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
Catherynne M. Valente, illus. by Ana Juan (Feiwel and Friends)

Valente’s glittering fantasy playground began as an offhand mention in one of her other novels, turned into a crowd-funded e-book, and finally became a print book with artwork that matches the wonderfully surreal story of a girl’s journey from Omaha into Fairyland. With literary allusions scattered throughout, the book holds delights for readers of any age.

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales
Chris Van Allsburg et al. (Houghton Mifflin)

Some might dismiss the idea of creating stories for the enigmatic illustrations in Van Allsburg’s The Mysteries of Harris Burdick as literary heresy. But really, that sort of imaginative extrapolation is the whole point of the earlier book, an exercise formalized in this volume with creepy, funny, and provocative entries from the likes of Sherman Alexie, Kate DiCamillo, Gregory Maguire, and Van Allsburg himself.

Robison Wells (HarperTeen)

Wells’s first novel is a blisteringly fast-paced thriller, set at a boarding school where students are trapped, divided into factions, and unable to escape. Wells keeps readers—not to mention his characters—on their toes, engineering twist after twist in a story that brings elements of boarding school and survivalist novels into grim, futuristic territory.

Where Things Come Back
John Corey Whaley (S&S/Atheneum)

This smart, darkly funny, and multilayered debut novel juxtaposes the disappearance of a 15-year-old boy with the possible reappearance of a woodpecker thought to be extinct. Whaley weaves numerous story lines and themes together with the confidence of a seasoned writer, resulting in a thought-provoking story about media, faith, and family.

Blink & Caution
Tim Wynne-Jones (Candlewick)

An unlikely premise—two homeless teens stumble into a faked kidnapping with major implications—forms the basis for a thrilling yet compassionate story that skillfully explores themes of social, environmental, and racial justice. Blink and Caution are unforgettable characters, working just as hard to find themselves as they do to unravel the ever-widening mystery.

How to Save a Life
Sara Zarr (Little, Brown)

Life and death, grief and joy are closely linked in this story of a family in flux. Deftly handling such emotionally turbulent subjects as the death of a parent, teen pregnancy, abusive relationships, and adoption, Zarr delivers a moving, funny, and emotionally honest story about three women whose understanding of family, and of themselves, shifts in profound ways.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday - Review

Here's Julie's review of a book that I've been meaning to read for a while. Always like when there are local references.

High school student, Hartley Featherstone, is having a rotten day. Not only does she discover that her super-cute boyfriend is cheating on her, but everyone in the whole school knows the details except her. When her weasel of a boyfriend doesn't answer her texts, she storms his house. He's not home, but Hartley makes a grim discovery. The uber-popular, Color Guard Girl that Josh has been cheating with just fell out of said boyfriend's closet and she's dead; strangled with her iPod ear buds.

Josh convinces Hartley that while he did cheat on her, he's innocent of murder and elicits Hartley's help in finding the real culprit. She teams up with her best friend, Sam, and Mr. Tall-dark-and-handsome, Chase Erikson, to find out who really killed the queen of the Chastity Club and the illustrious leader of the Color Guard Girls.

Deadly Cool is set in the Silicon Valley, making it a particularly fun read for Northern California teens. This is a smart, hip, tightly woven mystery. The author's dry wit and snappy dialogue will grab you immediately; you'll enjoy the ride with Hartley and her friends as they solve their classmate's murder.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Book Blooger Holiday Swap

The holidays are coming and there's nothing that I love more than giving books as gifts! Which is one of the reasons I've decided to participate in the Book Blogger Holiday Swap this year. Because I really love to share my love of books with people who also love them. And I've always enjoyed secret santas. I look forward to being introduced to new books and new blogs. If you want to take part click here and hurry -sign ups for the swap close on Friday, November 11!

Tamora Pierce

I have long been a fan of Tamora Pierce's work. All those strong kick-ass heroines. Lots of action. Beautifully written. And so was absolutely delighted to host her at Kepler's for her newest book Mastiff (and have an excuse to turn back to reread the series). And she really is an amazing speaker, as you'd expect. Full os news and enthusiasm. 175 packed the store - they drove from far and wide - some arrived as early as 4 o'clock for a 7 o'clock event!

We had asked a bunch of local students to form an honor guard, to come and meet with Tammy early, ask a few questions, get their books signed, and escort her in. See photo. Very impressive as they walked in. And such fun.

She has an interesting way to start out (I won't give it away but it is, shall we say, unusual)...there were so many questions, we did have to cut them off to make sure everyone could get their books signed. People brought piles of books. All wanted photos. And Tammy had a kind word and time for everyone. Review of Mastiff soon - promise.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Future of Us By Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler - Review

It’s 1996, a time when very few people had access to the internet. When AOL were sending out free CD-ROMs so people could try out what it was like to surf the internet. Emma has just got a computer. Josh lives next door and has a disk. They decide to try it out, log in, register, and are asked to log in again. And when they do, they find themselves logged into something called facebook, fifteen years in the future.

Once they realize what they are looking at (and it takes some time to work this out), the question is: do they peek into their future? After all, they can see which colleges they go to, where they choose to live, what jobs they get, whether they get married. And then can they resist checking on their friends futures? But what happens if you didn’t like your future? Would you try to change it? And by changing it, would you change the future for others too? We know that of course the things we do now will change the future but yet we act so casually. And we all know people who reveal far too much on facebook. Full of references, both from the 90s and current, this is a hard book to resist.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Oh, I've just seen this video book trailer and it is amazing...I've just started this book because Ransom Riggs will be at Kepler's on 15th of November at 7.00. So excited!

Hunger Games Poster

Did you see this?
Just. Can't Wait.

Ashes by Ilsa Bick - Review

Both Marilyn and Antonia both loved this book and it will most certainly be my next read. Here's Marilyn's review

Ellie has a monster in her head, a growing tumor that is stealing her life. It's hiding but Ellie knows it will be back and she needs to make this trip for her parents before she no longer can. She sets off alone, heading north into Michigan wilderness with food, supplies, and her parents ashes to scatter while she still can move and walk and function.

Her solitude is startled when an elderly grandfather and granddaughter stumble into her campsite and take a break to share coffee with Ellie. Their quiet morning is smashed by shattering jolts of energy throwing them to the ground in explosive pain. Terrified animals stampede past, escaping something unseen and deadly. Ella and the little girl are stunned, bruised and bleeding but the old man doesn't move at all, he's dead.

Ella's one thought is to move fast, to get away from whatever force or thing has struck them. She needs to survive and get north. Ella and her companions move through the new landscape, never sure they can trust any survivors they meet but with winter approaching and food dwindles, she'll have to trust her instinct and skills to survive. Ashes is a high-octane fueled book, perfect for action fans with plenty of plot twists and wicked surprises.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Anna Dressed in Blood - Review

Cassio Lowood walks where most people fear to tread. He hunts and kills the dead, as his father did before him, using his father's magical athame. He moves from town to town, following the dead, trying to stop them from killing again. He stays for such a short time he makes no friends and puts down no roots. His mother (a witch) and his ghost-sniffing cat are his only points of contact.

Anna should have been no different, but she's more powerful than any ghost he's come across. In fact she's terrifying. She wears the pretty little dress she was killed in, dripping with blood, and has viciously killed anyone who has tried to step inside her house - except Cas. She is a puzzle, takes on two very different personalities; both victim and murderer and Cas doesn't know what to do. Where does she get her power? Why did she spare him? Will he be able to kill her? Does he want to?

I loved this book. I could not put it down. At times downright scary, this is a tale full of haunting images tinged with sadness. Beautifully written, full of witches and curses, and voodoo (oh my!), this is a story to savor - but with the lights on!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson - Review

Here's Antonia's review of The Name of the Star. Heard her book talk this yesterday and decided to push it to the top of my TBR pile and start it as soon as I finish There is No Dog (which is, so far, brilliant)

When Rory Devereaux' parents are relocated from Louisiana to England she is thrilled to attend boarding school in White Chapel, despite the uniform! What she doesn't expect, when she moves to the hunting grounds of Jack the Ripper is that mysterious murders will occur while she is there. Very mysterious murders: caught on CCTV with the victims in plain sight being butchered, but no perpetrator.

Settling into a new school in the midst of the most terrifying murder spree London has seen since Victorian times is not what she anticipated, but when she talks to a strange man, a man only she can see, and then hooks up with the Ghost Police, things get a whole lot weirder. And a whole lot more dangerous.

Creepy, suspenseful, and at times, downright terrifying, this book is a fabulous read for teen and adult ripperologists and mystery lovers.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Au Revoir Crazy European Chick - Review

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick
By Joe Schrieber

If you are looking for different, look no further than Au Revoir Crazy European Chick. It is a book like no other. Think La Femme Nikita meets Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist.

Start with a boy, Perry, who is working on his college applications, and is also in a band. His mom wants him to take Gobi, the geeky foreign exchange student living in his house, to the prom on the same night as his band has their first real paid gig. He thinks his life can't get any worse than this. Cue the maniacal background laughter.

Oh, the evening gets so much worse. It turns out Gobi is really an assassin, and she strong-arms Perry to be her chauffeur and aide - in his father's jaguar, in their prom clothes. Yes, this is a night in Manhattan Perry will remember for a long, long time - if he survives the night that is.

This book was so much fun. It's brimming with action sequences, mobsters, car chases, bear fights, blood, family drama, and a standoff with an overpowering parent. And the chapter openers - college application questions - are a stroke of genius.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Breaking Dawn - a video

"I heard that you settled down. That you found a vampire… and you're married now."

It's 35 days apparently until Breaking Dawn comes to the cinema. And I watched this video, laughed so hard I fell off my seat, and of course had to repost.

What do you think?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

James Dashner and The Death Cure Trailer

James Dashner, one of my favorite authors, will be at kepler's this Friday October 14th at 7.00 to talk about The Death Cure, the book that finalizes the Maze Runner story. And it is SO good (yes, I've read it, yes, it's good, and yes, review coming soon). You shouldn't miss it. Nor him.

And to whet your appetite, here's the fabulous book trailer

Good that.

See you Friday.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Becca Fitzpatrick and Michelle Hodkin Oct 9th at 3.00

So excited. I LOVE these authors. Loved the Hush Hush series. Can't wait to read Silence and see how it all ends. And I LOVED Mara Dyer.
So remember -
October 9th, Sunday (TOMORROW!)3.00 pm
Becca Fitzpatrick, Silence
and Michelle Hodkin, the Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Becca Fitzpatrick is returning to Kepler's with Silence, the final installment of the Hush, Hush trilogy. She is joined by Michelle Hodkin with her debut novel, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.

Silence: The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty, and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for — and their love — forever.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer: Mara Dyer doesn't believe life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


From Publishers Weekly:

The cover to Kristin Cashore’s eagerly awaited third novel is royal blue – fitting since the title character has blue in her name and is the king’s daughter. But, oooh. What’s with those keys: one gold, one silver, one bronze?

“I was thrilled when I saw the keys and that they look a little like weapons,” Cashore told PW in a phone interview. “It’s absolutely the best icon for this book, although I better not say more about that. I love all the covers but this one is my favorite.”

Bitterblue, a companion to Graceling and Fire will be published on May 1, 2012. Can't wait!

For more, click here for the full article

Fox To Adap The Magicians

Yes, I'm a bit obsessed with these books at the moment (they really are good)so wanted to share this article that I just read in

Just announced: Fox has preemptively bought The Magicians, a drama series adaptation of Lev Grossman’s popular fantasy novel, with a script commitment plus penalty. It will be written by X-Men: First Class and Thor co-writers Ashley Miller & Zack Stentz and produced by Michael London (Milk), Shawn Levy and Michael Adelstein. Based on Grossman’s book, which is described as Harry Potter for grown-ups, the one-hour drama follows a group of 20-somethings in New York who study magic and have access to a magical world. London had optioned the novel, which was published in 2009, while 21 Laps/Adelstein had a deal with Miller and Stentz, who have extensive TV background having worked on such series as Fringe and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Will be interesting to see what they do with this. It's a very visual book. But Fox?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Heather Brewer, in the store, tomorrow, Oct 5th

Calling all of Heather's minions!

Tomorrow, Oct 5, 7.00 Heather Brewer will be at Kepler's to talk about the new book in her new series The Slayer Chronicles: First Kill

Here's video to whet your appetite

If you are in the Bay Area, don't miss this!

Chaos Walking at Lionsgate

Just heard that Lionsgate has obtained worldwide rights to develop, produce, and distribute films based on the "Chaos Walking" trilogy by Patrick Ness. Yay.

"Although these stories are set in a critical time in the future, they speak volumes about what is happening all over the world today, and about the power of young people to challenge the status quo and change the course of our future," said Alli Shearmur, Lionsgate's President of Motion Picture Production and Development, who will be overseeing the production for the studio. "We feel privileged to be bringing these powerful and exquisite books to cinematic life."

Critics have hailed the trilogy as "one of the outstanding literary achievements of the present century," (The Irish Times). It's VERY good. And The Wall Street Journal says "With its dark tone, violence, and readerly fanaticism, the book belongs firmly beside Suzanne Collins's work." And yes, Lionsgate is the studio behind THE HUNGER GAMES movie. Joe Drake, Lionsgate's COO and Motion Picture Group President Joe Drake said, "These are books, much like 'The Hunger Games,' that we feel truly beg to be brought to life on screen."

Can't wait!

Monday, October 3, 2011

This week at Kepler's

We have an amazing group of authors coming to Kepler's this week:

Tuesday - Wendy Mass. With her new book 13 Gifts. (And yes, there will be cake!)

Wednesday - Heather Brewer - for The Slayer Chronicles: First Kill

Thursday : Doreen Cronin - for MOM (Mom Operating Manual)

Friday - Neal Stephenson - for Readme

Join us if you are in the Bay Area.

The Scorpia races by maggie Stiefvater - review

The Scorpio races bring crowds of people to Thisby every year to see if the riders can stay on their water horses and finish the race. It is a dangerous and wild race and some don't survive. Sean Kendrick has won the race for the last four years and plans to win again - especially as this year there is much more at stake. Puck Connelly hasn't raced before but decides to enter as a last ditch effort to keep her older brother on the island. But will the other riders let a girl ride in this traditionally all male race? Will she ride a water horse or her own horse Dove? She has no idea if it's worth the risk but she knows what she can lose.

This is a very different book for Maggie Stiefvater. Told in alternating voices, she builds quite a full mythology for these water horses, to the point where you almost believe - OK, want to believe - they are real. The island, the cliffs, the horses, the call of the ocean, seep into your pores as you read, and left me all nerves as they race for their futures. It is bloody and dramatic, yet achingly beautiful. Another winner for the wonderful Maggie Stiefvater.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Darth paper, Origami Yoda, and Tom Angelberger Tonight at 7.00

For those of you who are or know anyone who is a Star Wars fan, an origami fan, or a Wimpy Kid reader, come and meet Tom Angleberger tonight at 7.00. He will be talking about his new book, Darth paper Strikes Back, which is hilarious.

In this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class and of the greatness that sometimes comes in unlikely packages, Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that werent strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwights classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, he assembles the case file that forms this novel.

Here's video of how to make the origami puppets:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Magicians by Lev Grossman - review

Here's Megan's review of The Magicians. I'll post my review of The Magician King very soon. But it was this review that made read Lev Grossman in the first place.

A young man walking with his friends performs a coin trick inside his pocket where nobody can see it. And there it is: a brilliant, perfect introduction to Quentin Coldwater, who is a genius, unhappy, and about to discover that magic is absolutely real, just hidden where most people can’t see it.

The bones of the story might be familiar: a boy discovers that he has a talent for magic and goes off to boarding school to learn it. He makes friends and discovers a magical world straight from his beloved books. The details though (and the book is crammed with details, strange and extravagant, disturbing and scary ones) make this book fresh and thoroughly grown up. As this intelligent story races past enchanted buttons and evil beasts, alcohol drenched parties and caustic affairs, it ends up describing how difficult it is to grow up, and how it’s sometimes wonderful and sometimes painful to long for the extraordinary to appear.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lev Grossman

Lev Grossman, author of the wonderful books, The Magicians and The Magician King came to Kepler's in August and can be seen here reading from The Magician King. Oh, I so enjoyed this book. Review soon.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

TONIGHT! Cinda Williams Chima

Just wanted to remind you that Cinda Williams Chima will be at the Menlo Park Library tonight at 7.00 to talk about her newest book in the seven realms series, The Grey Wolf Throne.

Background: Cinda grew up with talking animals and kick-butt Barbies. She began writing poetry and stories in third grade, and novels in junior high school.
Chima’s books have received starred reviews in Kirkus and VOYA, among others. They have been named Booksense and Indie Next picks, an International Reading Association Young Adult Choice, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, to the Kirkus Best YA list, and the VOYA Editors’ Choice, Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and Perfect Tens lists. Her books also appear on numerous state awards lists. Both series are New York Times bestsellers.
Chima was a recipient of the 2008 Lit Award for Fiction from the Cleveland Lit and was named a Cleveland Magazine Interesting Person 2009.

And the books are very very good. Join me!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hunger Games Movie Is Finished Filming!'s a wrap! The Hunger Games has officially finished filming.

There are 189 days until it hits theaters, but who's counting?

Can't wait.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

100 Books List

So I've been seeing this list of 100 YA books in various places. First at YA Bibliophile and then on Bookalicious and of course I felt the need to do this too.

Bold I read it, Italics I own it but haven’t read it.

1. Alex Finn – Beastly

2. Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
3. Ally Carter – Callagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
4. Ally Condie – Matched

5. Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
6. Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
7. Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
8. Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)
9. Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
10. Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
11. Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
12. Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2)
13. Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
14. Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
15. Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1, 2,
3, 4)
16. Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
17. Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3)
18. Christopher Paolini - Inheritance (1,
2, 3, 4)
19. Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
20. Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
21. Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
22. Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
23. Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
24. Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
25. Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
26. Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
27. Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
28. Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)

29. J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
30. James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2)
31. James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1,
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
32. Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
33. Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4)
34. Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
35. John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
36. John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
37. John Green – Looking for Alaska
38. John Green – Paper Towns
39. Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1,
2, 3, 4)
40. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2)
41. Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
42. Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (1, 2)
43. Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3)
44. Lemony Snicket - Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
45. Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
46. Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
47. Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
48. M.T. Anderson – Feed
49. Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1, 2,
50. Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
51. Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
52. Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
53. Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
54. Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
55. Mary Ting – Crossroads
56. Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
57. Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
58. Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
59. Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
60. Meg Rosoff – How I live now
61. Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
62. Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
63. Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
64. Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
65. Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
66. Michael Grant – Gone (1, 2, 3, 4)

67. Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
68. Neal Shusterman – Unwind
69. Neil Gaiman – Coraline

70. Neil Gaiman – Stardust
71. Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
72. P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1,
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 )
73. Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
74. Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
75. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
76. Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
77. Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
78. Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
79. S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
80. Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
81. Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
82. Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
83. Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
84. Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
85. Scott Westerfeld - Leviathan (1, 2)
86. Scott Westerfeld - Uglies (1, 2, 3)
87. Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
88. Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
89. Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
90. Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
91. Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
92. Stephanie Meyer – The Host
93. Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
94. Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
95. Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
96. Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
97. Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1,
2, 3, 4, 5)
98. Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
99. Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
100. Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

Makes me realize how many series I haven't yet finished!
Did you make your own list?
Which one should I read next?

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore - Review

Here's Marilyn's great review of The Power of Six. I read it straight after reading this. In a day. Of course I did.

Once Marina's name was simply, Seven.

For 11 years, Marina's lived a school girl's life in a remote Spanish convent; the perfect hiding place. Seeing breaking news about American John Smith; fugitive and possible terrorist, is exciting and terrifying for Marina for she knows he's number four and Mogadorians are closing in on the remaining Garde. Marina's growing alarm is brushed off by her Cepan who seems perfectly settled into devout convent life.

Now nighttime brings vivid, dreadful, death-dreams, urging her to flee. Marina feels utterly alone, though she has a caring, earnest friend named Ella who wants nothing more than to help her. Marina and Ella make a desperate escape, barely evading deadly Mogadorians as they destroy the convent into rubble and death.

Meanwhile John, Sam and Six are now official fugitives trying to stay alive. Their only hope is to get into the Mogadorian mountain stronghold. As the remaining Garde locate each other and strengthen their legacies so do the numbers and strength of Mogadorians. Both sides are playing to the death, building to a terrifying battle that threatens the world. The Power of Six, is even more action packed and exciting than I Am Number Four – you must read it!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Tolstoy said that all happy families are alike, but Jack, Willa's stepdad, disagrees. He thinks all happy families come in their own shapes and varieties, the same as unhappy ones. Willa lives with her mom, stepdad, and two stepsisters. Her mom is back in school, one sister is a tennis player, the other plays lacrosse and competes in equestrian competitions, and Willa sings in the school choir. They are busy. But everything changes when they learn that her biological dad, who she hasn't seen in years, murdered his new wife and children and is on his way to her and her mother.

This book is about what happens after such a tragedy. How people react around Willa, what she does, and what she finds out. She journeys back to her childhood, and finds out so much about herself, her mother, and what family really means. This is a leap from Life As We Knew It, certainly, but it is vivid, expertly written, and emotionally intense. I read this in one sitting, wanting to know how it would resolve. You will too.

Available Sept 13

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Young Adult Gets A Teaser One-Sheet!

Did you see this?

The Jason Reitman directed, Charlize Theron starring, dramedy called Young Adult has just dropped its first official one-sheet. (For more information, click here)

Here's the synopsis: Theron plays an alcoholic writer of young-adult novels who decides to return to the small town that she left behind years ago to aggressively pursue her ex-boyfriend from high school (Patrick Wilson) — only, now he is happily married and the father of a young child, which certainly complicates matters, and leads her to another high school classmate (Patton Oswalt), and no shortage of trouble.

What do you think?

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson - Review

Here's Hilary's review of The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Looks so good. Think this will be my weekend read

Sixteen years old and destined to be married for the sake of the kingdom. Elisa, devout and a princess (but not the pretty one), is however, the bearer of the Godstone. Thus begins the epic journey of a young girl into womanhood and the fulfillment of her destiny. But what must she do to get there? As she gradually learns about the powers bestowed upon her by being the "chosen one," Elisa doubts she will know what to do to prove her worth. Many others have tried and failed. However, through many twists of fate and love, she discovers her power and the meaning of the Godstone. Her journey takes her into the heart of a revolution-one that she must lead to victory or to her death.

At times nail-biting and heart-wrenching, this book barrels towards an ending which presumes another beginning. I can not wait to read the second book in this new trilogy. The real journey has just begun.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Little Women as you've never seen it before!

Here's Meg Cabot's version of Little Women - hilarious!

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin - review

It starts with a birthday, an Ouija board, and a risky night spent in an abandoned asylum. Then Mara wakes up from a coma, her friends are dead, and she has no memory of anything that happened that night. She has flashbacks, hallucinations, nightmares and ultimately her family moves to Miami, Florida to help her move on. But she’s falling apart.

The question is: how do you move on when you see your dead best friend when you look in the mirror? Or relive parts of that night every night? What is wrong with Mara? Is she going mad? She has no explanation, no one to turn to, and disaster seems to follow her. On top of everything, her father is defending a man accused of murdering a young girl.

This is a thrilling, keep you on the edge of your seat kind of book, more horror story than anything else. It twists and it turns and although you can guess at much of it, it still takes you by surprise The heroine is troubled, yes, but feisty and capable. This is by turns edgy, scary, and curl your toes romantic. There is a secret, well many secrets. And there is Noah Shaw, a wonderful counterpoint to Mara. And oh, the ending. I can’t tell you more but you need to read this.

Best of all, she's coming to Kepler's on sunday October 9th (with the ever-wonderful Becca Fitzpatrick) so all readers in the Bay Area can come and meet her.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Legend by Marie Lu - Review

If he hadn’t tried to break into a hospital, and hadn’t shot a young soldier in the shoulder, Day would never have met June. But when the young soldier is found dead his sister, June, is determined to track down his killer. June is from an elite family, scored perfectly in her trial, and now is a star in the military academy. All evidence seems to lead to Day, a notorious criminal who failed his trial, ran away, and has disrupted the Republic whenever possible. But when the plague reaches Day’s family he risks everything to help.

Told alternately by Day and June, this new series is full of political intrigue and unnecessary cruelty, intense chases, daring escapes, and even a little romance. It seems to have everything from street fighting, mysterious illnesses, repressive government action, heartbreak, and of course – a secret. But who will believe the word of the Republic’s most notorious criminal? This is for adrenaline junkies everywhere. Loved it!