#IMWAYR time again, when readers share what they have been reading and find out what others have been up to in the past week. Kathryn hosts the adult version of this meme at Book Date. Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers host the kidlit rendition. Whatever you are looking forward to in your next great read, these are fabulous places to start your search.
Aside from reading and baby minding, I've been working in the garden a fair amount. I started quilting a baby quilt, and while I'm not particularly happy with how this is turning out, I'll live with it since it is the first time I've tried this on my machine. I'm also trying to get my house cleaned and under control. (As if that will ever happen!)
BLOG POSTS LAST WEEK
This beautiful book, with simple black and white illustrations, deals with the cycle of life. It is an important and necessary addition to library collections about grief and death. An older cat shows a young cat around the house and the two of them bond. I especially appreciate the page that shows the whole family having a hard time when the older cat goes away and doesn't come back. That's just how it is.
I picked up and read this book because Duncan Tonatiuh is the illustrator. Then I became fascinated by the subject matter, Juan Garcia Esquivel, a brilliant, self taught, pianist, and orchestra leader. When I first started reading I was reminded of the work by Celso Machado, a local jazz musician, who creates music from whatever is at hand. I appreciated the notes from the author and illustrator at the end. After finishing the book I went to Spotify and started listening to the music. Just WOW!
Williams-Garcia creates characters that it is impossible not to fall head over heels in love with. While I really, really miss the Gaither Sisters, Clayton Byrd is a pretty good substitute. When his grandfather, the blues guitarist, Cool Papa Byrd, dies, Clayton grieves deeply. His mother's complicated feelings about her father make this time even harder for him. After an argument between them she takes away his blues harp. In response, Clayton runs away.
This story tracks four indigenous teens after they leave their reserves to live in cities away from home. This brilliant lead, "They told her that she was no one's baby which would have made her sad except that they had told her that a few times and tears don't come after a while," introduces us to Julie. Her friend Nellie works hard at school and ends up going to university and becoming a lawyer. Another friend from their reserve, Everett, grew up with his uncle's family. Taz, from a northern reserve is passionate about Indigenous politics.
A dark sadness pervades the narrative. It doesn't have the humour of Dumont's Nobody Cries at Bingo, but it does have the all encompassing love. It took me a bit to get into it, just because I had expected something more like her first book, but once I spent time with these complex characters, I was compelled to continue and find out what was going to happen to them as they come to grips with their past, deal with the racism of their present, and carve a future for themselves.
This story of friendship wasn't the easiest book to read. Set in India, it's the story of two woman. Tara, who returns from America to search for her friend, Mukta, who was kidnapped from their home in Mumbai eleven years before. The story alternates between the two women's voices. Mukta ended up in a brothel, and many of those scenes were heartbreaking to read. I felt like I was bearing witness.
Mukta's story is based on a young girl whose mother worked for her family and was married off at 13. You can read more about this book here.
I'm still working on Bill Bryson's At Home: A Short History of Private Life. At 497 pages, it will be a while. When I'm working I've been listening to it, and when I'm not, I'm reading it with my eyes. I've got too many books on the go! I have two netgalley titles, Zinnia and the Bees by by Danielle Davis and Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds that I'm part way through. I keep forgetting about them. I've also started This Would Make a Good Story Someday by by Dana Alison Levy.
I've picked up Posted by John David Anderson, and Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi from the library, so I'm planning on getting to those. I also have three audiobooks checked out. My next adult read will be The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch. I paused almost all of my library holds so I can try and get on top of all the books I already have checked out and have at home.
PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS
#MUSTREADIN2017 13/36 - 1 in progress
#MUSTREADNFIN2017 5/12 - 1 in progress
50 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 14/50
Chocolate Lily (CL) 51/51
Goodreads Reading Challenge 209/333