#IMWAYR July 3, 2017


#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.

My family came over for my birthday celebration last week. It was the best party ever!




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


PICTURE BOOKS

5 stars
Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper

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.

NONFICTION

4 stars
Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist by Susan Wood & Duncan Tonatiuh (Illustrations)

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!

NOVELS

4 stars
Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia

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.

ADULT NOVELS

4 stars
Glass Beads by Dawn Dumont

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.

3.5 stars
The Color of Our Sky by Amita Trasi

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

CURRENTLY

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.

UP NEXT

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

31 comments:

  1. Clayton Byrd was a good read. I loved the relationship that Clayton had with his grandfather. The Color of Our Sky looks like an interesting story. I'll have to look more into that one. Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also loved Clayton's relationship with his grandfather. That's the kind of grandparent I want to be!

      Delete
  2. I've read the picture books and loved them both. The two adult novels sound both good and heart-breaking. What we do to our children is heart-breaking. I like Bill Bryson's writing, but may never get to that one. I imagine it's good, though. Enjoy those babies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My son gave me this book for Christmas, or I probably wouldn't have gotten to this Bryson book either.
      I am enjoying these babies to the best of my ability!

      Delete
  3. Lots of good sounding books here. I loved Big Cat, Little Cat and can't wait to read Clayton Byrd Goes Underground. Have a great reading week and a Happy 4th of July.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alex. We celebrated Canada here on July 1st! Hope your July 4th is a wonderful day.

      Delete
  4. Happy Canada Day! We joined in on your celebration while visiting Victoria on Saturday. I have not heard of Clayton Byrd and love Rita Williams-Garcia. I will have to check that out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lucky you! You get to celebrate twice. Clayton Bird is as wonderful as all of Williams-Garcias other characters are.

      Delete
  5. I just requested that my library purchase the two Dawn Dumont books and Clayton Byrd. Big Cat Little Cat was a favorite picture book from this year. So lovely and heartfelt. I am also reading WAY too many books right now and consequently finishing nothing AND I started something new just last night. Good grief!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dumont has another book that was published between these two books. I'm planning to read it next, when I get through all the rest of the books I already have!

      Delete
  6. Now that is the best way to spend a birthday, with two little sweethearts in your arms! I am excited to meet Clayton Byrd - like you I loved the Gaither sisters, so I'm looking forward to this one!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clayton is almost as loveable as my two grand babies!

      Delete
  7. I absolutely adored ESQUIVEL! And yes, as soon as I finished reading the book I immediately went to search out his music.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you check out the music of Celso Machado too!

      Delete
  8. I love that picture of you with the babies! Thank you so much for sharing it! I definitely need to get to Clayton Bird soon! Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are they not just so precious? I'm showing it off to everyone I know!

      Delete
  9. I can see how The Color of Our Sky would be an incredibly difficult read. Wow. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really hard, but also really important.

      Delete
  10. I am in love with that baby photo! Enjoy, enjoy! You sure planned retirement perfectly. I want to read Posted. I have a big stack of titles I am motoring through during a week away on Pender.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Dustin Keller is really me - Carrie - using his computer!

      Delete
    2. I agree re retirement planning. A year off from children, and now two babies! Enjoy your time at Pender, and greetings to Dustin and your children!

      Delete
  11. I love the photo - what beautiful babies!! Are they your grandchildren?

    Glass Beads sounds wonderful - I've been reading a lot about Native Americans lately. Persepolis 2 was excellent - hope you enjoy it.

    And your Bryson book counts as a Big Book! I hope you'll join My Big Book Summer Challenge! You've already got a good start on it, in the midst of a 400+ page book.

    Enjoy your books this week -

    Sue

    2017 Big Book Summer Challenge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are indeed my grandchildren Sue. They are oodles of fun and they hardly do anything!
      I've got so many challenges I'm already behind in. I'll check out the big book one though.

      Delete
  12. I think I hit send before I was done typing....just to say Clayton Bird is in my to read pile. Happy reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get to it! It is a short read so I wasn't prepared for how much she packed into it.

      Delete
  13. Yay babies!!! :)
    I also really want to read Clayton Bird. I talked to Rita about it at NCTE; however, I just haven't read it yet--I need to fix that!

    Happy reading this week :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay babies exactly!
      You talked to Rita?!! Lucky lucky you!

      Delete
  14. Love that picture of you and the grand babies! Such joy in your face!
    Yes, I need to read Clayton Byrd too! It's in my pile, so hopefully this summer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My life is filled with joy these days.

      Delete
  15. That is just the loveliest photo with the beautiful babies. Belated happy birthday! I've been meaning to find Esquivel for the longest time - Duncan Tonatiuh is a favourite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the mean time, it's a good idea to listen to some of Juan Garcia Esquivel's music.
      Thanks for your kind comments about the babies and my birthday!

      Delete