#IMWAYR time again, when readers share what they have been reading and find out what others have been up to in the past week. The adult version of this meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. The kidlit rendition is hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers. Whatever you are looking forward to in your next great read, these are fabulous places to start your search.
If you read my post last week, you might remember that I had concerns about a book, Heart of a Champion, a novel about the Asahi baseball team and Japanese Canadian internment during the war, written by Ellen Schwartz, a white woman. My Japanese Canadian friend got back to me with detailed feedback that proved my concerns about the author's portrayal of Japanese culture were sadly justified.
We are nearing the end of electioneering. Final voting day is Tuesday. I've been working almost every day to get the candidate in the swing riding near me elected. Sometimes it is exhausting, but it's mostly fun meeting and working with a diverse group of volunteers. I might not find time to read and respond to everyone's posts until Wednesday, but I will try. I'm not even sure about then since I hope to be slightly hungover from celebrating.
My sewing machine is ready to be picked up. Soon I will be sewing again!
BLOG POSTS FROM LAST WEEK
I appreciated Luke developing self confidence upon visiting an art gallery and discovering different art styles. I didn't like the portrayal of the teacher at all. Are there really still teachers like this? Matt Ottley's line drawing illustrations reveal the emotional trauma this rigid teacher's comments have on Luke. They also show us the joy Luke experiences upon learning that others with unique perspectives are celebrated.
I am stunned. This book is brilliantly written and spectacularly illustrated.
It isn't a book for very young children.
This is an allegory of colonization. If you know this history, you will know, within the first few pages, that things are not going to end well for the creatures in this land when the rabbits arrive.
It might be set in Australia, but it is equally applicable here in Canada.
I can not remember getting such a physical response to a picture book. My stomach hurt. I wanted to cry.
If I wasn't already a fan of Duncan Tonatiuh, this would send me there. I read this tale of how two Mexican volcanoes were created without paying much attention to the images. Then I went back and spent at least 30 minutes pouring over the beautiful art work. Just Wow!
All school libraries should purchase at least a few copies.
This graphic novel with brilliant artwork by LeYuen Pham, captures the social dynamics of girl friendship and bullying in elementary school. Hale's story of wanting to be part of the 'in crowd' and what hell that involved, is autobiographical. The photographs of her at various ages in the back matter add authenticity to the story.
I suspect that most young girls will be able to connect to the younger Shannon. So will a lot of adults.
What I liked most about this book is that it provides a model for how to extract yourself from these kinds of situations, and highlights the kinds of behaviours that are truly admirable.
Fans of Raina Telgemeier are gonna love it. I sure did.
This is the book I misplaced ages ago. I borrowed a copy from school then took it to bed with me, thinking I would read it, but fell asleep before I opened it. The next day I went looking for it. I searched all around my nightstand. I searched under my bed. I stripped the covers thinking it might have gotten mixed up in the bedding. I read something else. Then I went and cleaned up the bedroom. I discovered it sitting on top of the nightstand on my partner's side of the bed.
I started it all over again. When I finished it, I went and read chapters over again.
I adored this book. I loved the characters, the plot, and the details of place that Prendergast includes. I love how she shows us the humanity in an area of my town that too many people have abandoned. Go read my full review. I'll wait.
Will Poppy and his mother, inspired by their muses, spend time together writing. When she dies after finishing a best selling book, even though both of their muses continue to stalk him, he stops writing. Then his greedy aunt takes them to live in Sparrowhawk Hall, a haunted castle in the English countryside where the caretakers are even nastier than her.
Soon Will discovers that the villagers take magic for granted. Some even have metaphysical talents. His friend Thom, who is learning to cook from a Julia Child cookbook, is an animal empath. His other friend, Emma, wants to join the circus. Fabian, the owner of the bookstore is unperturbed when creatures from fantasy fiction make their appearance among the shelves.
Will and his new friends end up having to figure out how a young girl died 40 years ago and what it has to do with a scrap of an ancient magical tapestry.
I like a lot about this book, especially the connection of writing to magic. It's got humour, suspense, and action. My only complaint is that the beginning is awfully bleak.
When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin
I had a hard time with this book. I really really hated all the death. In the end, the story kind of worked for me because I liked the characters, but honestly I was just so ticked off by all the dying that I couldn't get emotionally involved enough to shed one tear.
This is part of the seven prequel series. In this short, action packed novel, Steve and his grandfather go on a road trip together to Canoe lake in Algonquin Park. When Steve's grandfather challenges him to find Tom Thompson's skull, the story delves into the mysterious death of the famous Canadian painter. The story is bigger on plot than on characters, but should prove to keep young readers who like adventure entertained.
This is a reread for me. It's the second in an alternative history series that posits a young Ada Lovelace and a young Mary Shelley as friends who set up their own detective agency. I wasn't impressed at first by Ada and Mary's sisters showing up and wanting to join the agency, but they did eventually show that they had their own unique talents to contribute. This novel has the girls trying to figure out what is amiss with a young woman's fiancé and how it might connect with another young woman who has fled from an insane asylum. What makes these books work for me is that they highlight history from a feminine perspective and at the same time, are loaded with suspense and adventure. However, while I enjoy this series, I suspect that readers with less background knowledge might not get as much out of them.
ADULT & YA NOVELS
This is a book filled with death and dying. I adore it.
Saenz shows us that we all die, but before then, we are made for love.
I read all 445 pages in one day. If you like deeply philosophical, character driven novels, that are not plot driven, you will love it. It's about a young boy and his relationships with the people in his life. They include his friends, his extended family, his gay father and his dying grandmother. It also includes his relationship with his dead mother and his missing biological father. The writing is sublime. I was forced to stop reading and write down quote after quote.
Here are a few:
"My dad called that sort of behavior whistling in the dark. Well, I guess that when you found yourself in the dark, you might as well whistle. It wasn't always going to be morning, and darkness would come around again. The sun would rise, and then the sun would set. And there you were in the darkness again. If you didn't whistle, the quiet and the dark would swallow you up.
The thing is, I didn't know how to whistle. I guessed I was going to have to learn."
"Her mother had left a note on the bathroom mirror, written in lipstick: just because my love isn't perfect doesn't mean I don't love you."
"Fito, who always lived in hope when life offered him no hope. Certitude was a luxury he had never been able to afford. All he ever had was a heart incapable of despair."
I've been listening to Rising Strong by Brené Brown off and on. Sometimes it works for me, and then it doesn't. I've started listening to The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas with Bahni Turpin as narrator! Seeking Refuge, by Irene N. Watts and Kathryn E. Shoemaker is the only print title I have on the go right now.
Going Places by Ellen Potter is queued up to be my next audiobook. I'm looking forward to hearing it since I've read all the previous books with my eyes. I have only three more books to read for Chocolate Lily! Hurrah. Unfortunately, I've managed to misplace another of them. I suspect it is at my house in Oliver. I will finish the ones I have this week and see if I can find a copy of the missing one to read from somewhere. I've also got a box of books from the library to get to.
PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS
#MUSTREADIN2017 9/36 1 in progress
50 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 11/50
Chocolate Lily (CL) 48/52 1 in progress
Goodreads Reading Challenge 155/333