Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week I get to choose the top ten books I wouldn't mind Santa bringing me :)

This week was both fun ~and~ hard!  Fun...because who doesn't like making a wish list :)  And Hard...because I'm a bit selective about what books I grant space to in my home :) you go!

I adore boxed sets, as I imagine them being passed down through the generations following me :)

  • John Green Limited Edition Boxed Set (autographed) includes: Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars
  • Hunger Games trilogy
I see John Green as a standout author and believe he will become a classic...known to the masses.  And Hunger Games trilogy will be something my children will read very soon :)

That is seven so far...

My two favorite books of 2012 (both of which I purchased on Kindle)...would LOVE to have them in hardcopy.

  • Sanctum: Guards of the Shadowlands by Sarah Fine
  • Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill

And then the following...because I bought one for everyone I know (last year), but don't have my own copy.  And...I think it's HILARIOUS :)
  • Awkward Family Photos
So...what are YOU wishing for?!?!?
Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I'm spending the next few weeks with my family...and I look forward to blogging for you again in 2013!

Merry Christmas!
~Mrs. Beamer

Goodreads 2012 Challenge - COMPLETED!

Whew!  I did it!!  I completed my Goodreads 2012 challenge to read 120 books in 2012.  SO excited :)

Waiting on Wednesday: The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It’s designed for bloggers to spotlight the upcoming releases that they simply can’t wait to read.
My pick this week..."The Rules for Disappearing" by Ashley Elston
Expected Release Date: May 14, 2013

From Goodreads:
She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.

Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.

But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.

My Thoughts:
FUN!!  I have long been fascinated by Witness Protection (In Plain Sight...great TV show!)  Add teen characters to that and I'm hooked!  Very excited for this book to cross my hands!!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week I get to choose my top ten favorite new-to-me authors in 2012!  Considering this is the first year I really committed myself to reading more YA...this list will include mostly "well-knows" :)  Happy Reading!
  1. Sarah Fine - as I'm sure you ALL know by now...her debut novel, Sanctum: Guards of the Shadowlands, blew me away.  It's my favorite 2012 book...and she's my favorite new author :)
  2. John Green - I can't believe I've only been reading his books for less than a year.  They are such classics in my mind, it seems like I've been reading him forever!
  3. Veronica Roth - yep...I'm a fan...
  4. Juli Alexander - I loved Stirring Up Trouble and can't wait to see what comes next from this author!
  5. Kieran Scott - her He's So/She's So trilogy is fantastic...write, please :)
  6. Miranda Kenneally - SO her...
  7. Sarah Dessen - I had to look at Goodreads to confirm I never read her books prior to 2012.  I'm so lame!
  8. Jay Asher - I really liked Thirteen Reasons Why...need to read more from this author
  9. & 10.  Kristin Hannah & Emily Giffin - enjoyed discovering their work, and look forward to reading more once I'm caught up (yeah...I know I'm dreaming!) on my TBR YA list :)
Who are YOU happy to know?!  Honestly, I can't imagine my life without these 10 fantastically talented authors in it :)  THANK YOU for your writing :):):)

DONATION: Thanks Mrs. McElrath!

I am THRILLED to announce that my favorite book of 2012, Sanctum: Guards of the Shadowlands by Sarah Fine, is now a part of the MHS library collection!  MAJOR THANKS to teacher and friend Mrs. McElrath for her generous donation.  I am confident our students will love this incredible book as much as I do :):):)

BOOK REVIEW: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Catching Jordan
Series: Hundred Oaks #1
Author: Kenneally, Miranda
Published: December 1st, 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire
Edition Language: English
Source: purchased e-book

From Goodreads:
What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?

Mrs. Beamer's Review:
A...MAZ...ING.  This is one of those "I couldn't put it down" books...seriously...I read it straight through.  I love Jordan.  I love Sam.  I love JJ.  I love Carter.  I love Carrie and Marie.  I love all of them!!  This book has me aching to relive those "carefree days of youth".  Kenneally writes witty dialect that makes me laugh.  This book is fun ~and~ heartbreaking.  I laughed.  I cried.  There is nothing in the book that requires me to think too deeply, it isn't that type of book.  It is just GOOD.  So, while I can't say (exactly) what kept me turning those pages, I can venture a guess it has something to do with the author and her writing :)  

And the football!  SO FUN!!  Being a football fan is NOT a prerequisite to reading this novel.  Please don't let the fact that this involves sports turn you away (if you are not a sports fan).  It's the characters that drive this story.  Their stories that will captivate you.  Kenneally perfectly captures the angst of everyday *normal* high school life.  Those looking for a fresh approach to realistic fiction will eat this book up!  Can't wait to start Stealing Parker :)

My Favorite Quote (from this book):  "I feel like I could simultaneously fly and barf."

Mrs. Beamer’s Wrap-Up Rating: 0-5 (0=none, 5=lots) click here for more info
Language: 3
Violence: 0
Sexual Content: 3
Drugs/Alcohol: 1
Recommend for High School Libraries: YES
Comfortable With My Child Reading: high school
Potential Controversial Topics: none

BOOK REVIEW: Trouble's Brewing by Juli Alexander

Title: Trouble's Brewing (sequel to Stirring Up Trouble)
Author: Alexander, Juli
Published: November 24th, 2012 by Kindle Direct Publishing
Edition Language: English
Source: complimentary e-book from author

From Goodreads:
Fifteen-year-old Zoe has managed to turn her crush into a boyfriend without using any magic at all. But can it really work with Jake when Zoe’s father is dating Jake’s mother? Talk about a dysfunctional family.  After the Frog Fiasco, the Council is watching Zoe’s every move but studying under renowned Potions Master, Martin Finnegan, fulfills a lifelong dream of Zoe’s, even if the ninety-five-year-old man looks like a teenager. Zoe can’t juggle friends, school, potions, and dating without letting something slide, and Trouble’s Brewing as her tutor is forced to reveal deeply hidden truths about her experiments and those of her ancestors.

Mrs. Beamer's Review:
I really wanted to like this book...I really, really did.  It's the first book I received as a result of my blogging, and I was flattered and excited beyond words.  BUT...I just couldn't get into it.  At first, I thought my struggle to get through the book was related to pre-Christmas "crazies".  Silly me.  We all know nothing...nothing...keeps us away from a book we are dying to read :)  While I'm not saying teens won't enjoy this book...I am saying that I, as an adult, found it lacking in many areas.

What I liked about this book:
The author continues with some of the witty dialect I fell in love with in Stirring Up Trouble.  However, there was less in this book...which is a shame because she has a talent for making me laugh.  Also, I enjoyed Finn.  I thought his mannerisms matched perfectly with his character.  

What I didn't like about this book:
Pretty much everything else :(  I really hate saying that.  I'm hoping there is a book #3...that would change my opinion (slightly).  As no story lines came to a close, I'm keeping my fingers crossed :)  My major disappointment with this book is the lack of excitement in the story of Zoe/Finn/Jake/Milo.  I see SO much potential there!!  Also, the supporting characters (so vividly captured in Stirring Up Trouble) played very little part in Trouble's Brewing.  Tell me more Ms. Alexander!  

While I was disappointed in this book, I feel my teen students will like it for what it is...a fun story.  I look forward to having both books in the library collection, and trust they will circulate well.  

My Favorite Quote (from this book):  "I could identify with the love-sick dogs who'd jumped on Mom because I was ready to lick his cheek and drool all over him."

Mrs. Beamer’s Wrap-Up Rating: 0-5 (0=none, 5=lots) click here for more info
Language: 0
Violence: 0
Sexual Content: 0
Drugs/Alcohol: 0
Recommend for High School Libraries: YES
Comfortable With My Child Reading: middle school
Potential Controversial Topics: none

John Green: Time Magazine, Oprah, Goodreads

All Hail author John Green!  
The Fault in Our Stars has been recognized by Time Magazine, Oprah and Goodreads as a 2012 stand-out novel!  And...since (follow me here) my best friends' brother is friends with John Green...he's practically family (one can dream) :)

Holdings @ MHS Library by John Green:


On Order @ MHS Library by John Green:

Secret thing that makes me (happy) cry

Let me start by saying I rarely cry over kind, selfless gestures.  Probably because they just don't happen to there is very little (if any) opportunity to shed tears.  For whatever reason, I'm not the type of person people do nice things for. this I realize it sounds pathetic.  But, honestly, it's not meant that's just what it is.  I'm a middle-aged married mother - it's my life :) daughter does selfless things for me...but she's nine.  I'd like to think she doesn't understand self-serving motives quite yet.  Hence, she's not able to decide to do something selfless...she just does it.

Well...a colleague of mine (and remember, I'm just 3 months into my new job) just got my tear ducts working.  After reading my post from yesterday on the  books I want Santa to bring me, she got me one.  WHO DOES THAT?!  Way to restore my faith in my fellow mankind.  Wow.  Knocked my socks off.  I love you, my new friend!  A heart-felt THANK YOU to you :)

So...Santa...the list is now down to NINE books :):):):)  You can cross Sanctum: The Guards of the Shadowlands by Sarah Fine off my list!!!  YAA HOO!!!

Waiting on Wednesday: The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.  It’s designed for bloggers to spotlight the upcoming releases that they simply can’t wait to read.

My pick this week..."The S-Word" by Chelsea Pitcher
Expected Release Date: May 7, 2013

From Goodreads:
First it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker.  But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie's looping scrawl.

Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she's caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie's own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.

Debut author Chelsea Pitcher daringly depicts the harsh reality of modern high schools, where one bad decision can ruin a reputation, and one cruel word can ruin a life. Angie’s quest for the truth behind Lizzie’s suicide is addictive and thrilling, and her razor-sharp wit and fierce sleuthing skills makes her impossible not to root for—even when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible.(less)

My Thoughts:
This one immediately caught my attention.  I am surrounded by high schoolers kids all day...and I'm curious to see how they are portrayed here.  It reminds me a bit about "Thirteen Reasons Why"...which my students LOVE.  I'm hoping this one strikes a similar hunger in them.  Dark?  Perhaps.  But definitely on the top of my TBR list :)

Monday @ MHS Library...

This weekly feature is host to ALL the latest and greatest at your MHS Library!

NEW Magazines:
MAD Magazine Now in color and celebrating its 50th idiotic year, MAD is America's foremost magazine of biting social parody, political humor and world class stupidity. Only in MAD will you find outrageous movie and TV spoofs, the fiendishly absurd adventures of Spy vs. Spy and Al Jaffee's legendary Fold-In!  (description from

In These Times  Provides readers with investigative reporting, provocative essays, debates about our political future and news straight from the frontlines. In These Times reports on the upcoming legislative battles, current progressive political strategies and international news you need to know. This monthly news magazine is an indispensable alternative to the mainstream media for readers seeking an independent analysis of contemporary events and an in-depth look at issues that others ignore. (description from

Lucky  Your ultimate shopping guide...spotlighting thousands of incredible finds in fashion, beauty, home and more. Each month, the Lucky editors hit the streets to find the best new looks AND the best deal...PLUS incredible Lucky Breaks on the hottest items! If you love to shop, you'll adore Lucky! (description from

NEW Book Display:  
First in a Series... showcases BOOK #1 in our most popular series!  Some examples...

  • She's So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott
  • Marked (House of Night) by P.C. Cast
  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  • Stork by Wendy Delsol
  • Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith
  • Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  • Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
  • Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
  • Lord Loss by Darren Shaw
  • I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare