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My Most Favorite Reads of 2016

I know, I know, 2016 is not exactly over just yet but I feel pretty confident that the short story collection I'm reading right now will hold me until the 1st. 2016 was a terrible year in many respects, but it was pretty great for reading.

In 2016 I discovered the Awkward Yeti, Sarah Anderson, and Bitch Planet. I also found a ton of Booktubers I just love to follow. My TBR list has grown to astronomical levels. I also read 101 books. I made it about 80% on the PopSugar Challenge and about 90% on the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. I will try harder next year on those.

I am also going to read a lot more nonfiction....more on this later on my planning for 2017 post.

If you would like to see what I read this year, follow me on Goodreads! Or check this out.
When choosing my top 10, I hold them up to a harsh criteria. I had to rate them really high right after reading them, they had to make the world disappear while I was reading them, and I still have to remember them months later. It's tough! It's possible for me to love something when I'm reading it and then not remember a damn thing about it a couple of weeks later. It happens.

My Favorite Reads of 2016!

Honorable Mention:
Labyrinth Lost

I don't know why more people aren't talking about this book. It thought it was kickass, and I can't wait to see where the series goes. It reminded me of The Wizard of Oz.This book needs more readers.

10. The Revenant

This was the first book I read in 2016 and one of the best. I think I fell in love with Hugh Glass, and let's face it....who could possibly compare? Months later I saw the movie and wanted to throw up. Good God, if ever there was a case for a book being better than the movie....

9. The Fifth Season

I remember counting the minutes to lunch break just so I could get back to reading this story. It's not a story, it's a whole world. I was completely taken in and lived this for a week. Why is it not in first place? Keep reading!
8. The Fireman
I loved this story and I found myself defending this book to everyone I read. Screw that! I don't judge Hill on anything but his own skills and I think he's amazing and writes excellent female characters. I love almost everything he writes. The Fireman is an awesome, thrilling read. I could not put it down. 

7. Spontaneous
Here is another one people are not talking about enough. I devoured this on the train ride home from BEA and I waited and waited for people to throw flowers at Starmer's feet as a true hero in YA fiction, but no. I will throw flowers at you, Mr. Starmer. You rock. You are right up there with AS King and Laura Ruby in my book-writers who are actually writing excellent mind-blowing YA in a world were it seems like YA fiction is just one copycat of the last one. This book was amazing. 

6. Hex
This book managed to do something no book has done to me in years: it scared the shit out of me. Hex is freaking scary. It has a slow build, but it gets there. In my review, I compared Heuvelt to John Saul, and I stand by that. 

5. The Long Way to Small Angry Planet
I loved this book so much I am terrified to read the second one. What if I don't like it?  This book holds such a special place in my heart, I truly loved reading it. I loved the way the book made me feel when I read it and I love that it opened my eyes up to all kinds of new experiences without making me feel like I was being lectured. Part of me would rather just reread this on a continual loop than dip my foot into the second one....but it's top of the 2017 books to read list. I will be brave. 

4. Three Dark Crowns
Just when I thought it was over for me and YA-it's possible, I finished very little YA this year. It's all starting to sound the SAME, when BAM! 3 Dark Crowns landed in my hands like the piece of genius it is. This must be what the first wave of readers to read A Game of Thrones must have felt like. This series has the potential to be EPIC. The first book was off the charts amazing. I'm talking, race home from work and don't eat because you can't wait to get back to the story amazing. Oh, Universe, please let the rest of the series be as awesome. I wish now I had waited until they were all published. The wait sucks. 

3. Obelisk Gate
Ah, do you see now why The Fifth Season placed 9th? Because book 2 was even better. I thought we might be in for it after the big reveal of The Fifth Season, but The Obelisk Gate ups the awesome ante to new levels. The 3rd one is on it's way and I cannot freaking wait. This is a series I would reread just to see what I missed the first time. So wonderful. 

2. A Head Full of Ghosts
Once upon a time, last February, I laid down on my bed to start this book. Hours later, I finished it and returned to the real world a changed person. My boss also read this and it lead to hours of conversations about this book. I also took to reading other people's reviews and ideas about this book. A Head Full of Ghosts surprised me in a way I did not know I could be surprised. It was with such excitement that I waited for Tremblay's 2016 book to be released- and it didn't live up to Ghosts at all. I still can't shake images from this book from my head. 

1. Under the Skin
This was not a 2016 release, in fact Goodreads has it as having been published in the US in the year 2000 and I am not sure how it escaped my attention so very long. I heard about it on a list of horror books and it's not horror. Not really. It is impossible to put down and there are deaths, and the main character is someone who has has horrible things done to her. I can't say more. Just read it. It's short, powerful, and will stick with you for all time. I have, btw, seen some of the film. Right away it was different than the book and ....I just didn't care about someone else's version of the story. I wanted to keep my version of the story that I will carry with me. Forever. 


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How to Make a Sharknado for Your Shark Craft

I have had an insane amount of fun this summer, but I always try to do something for Shark Week. This year I called it Shark Lab and we are making three crafts I have never done with the kids before.

But for ME, I wanted a Sharknado.
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Teddy Bear Storytime

Tonight's storytime followed the same format I use for all of my day storytimes as I have temporarily suspended my idea of doing storytime in reverse in order to get the kids sleepy. They only seem to run out into the library to pick out movies and books and the effect is lost. So here is what we did tonight.

Our theme was teddy bears, but our night storytime is always wear jammies, bring a lovey, and low action.

My opening song is Hello Bubbles which I learned from Read Sing Play here. BTW this woman is a storytime goddess and I have picked up many great ideas on her blog.

Story the 1st: The Red Hat by Lita Judge

 Why? Because I want to get across to my kids that books do not always have to have words in order for us to "read" them, and I want to give pre-readers a chance to feel proud they finished a book on their own. I plan to try to read or highlight at least one wordless read for the next couple of storytimes.

Flannel Board: Ten in the Bed
I used a modified versi…