#IMWAYR July 6, 2015


Here we are, it's Monday again, my favourite day of the week. Time to check in with hosts Jen From Mentor Texts and Kellee andRickie from Unleashing Readers, to find out what bloggers around the world are reading this week.

In spite of having to go in and do some clean up in the library, I've managed to get in a lot of glorious reading this week. I even managed to get my #MustReadin2105 update post up!

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger (audiobook)

4 stars
I'm just loving this series. I'm not sure what genre you would fit this into. It's paranormal, steampunk, and mystery, with a satisfying dash of humour. Carriger's world is filled with werewolves and vampires mingling together with regular humans. And there are robotics. Sophronia, our heroine, is a rambunctious girl who's been sent off to finishing school. Only it isn't the sort of finishing school she is anticipating. Learning how to behave in polite society is only part of the curriculum. Learning how to kill using different methods is another. Having read some of Carriger's adult novels set in the same world, it was easy for me to transition into this setting. I'm not sure if it will be as easy for new inductees. However, I am most definitely getting this series for our library. I can think of a whole mess of readers who will enjoy this as much as I do. 

4 stars
Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King

I liked this book a lot, but not as much as Ask The Passengers.  While in general it worked for me, I just couldn't suspend belief and accept that women could actually be outlawed from working in the United States. I know that the struggle for equality for all people is never ending, but doesn't the constitution protect all citizens from this kind of segregation? Anyway, other than that, I did enjoy the book. I connected to the characters and ached for all of them.

4 stars
Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon by Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen (illustrator) (netgalley)

I am charmed by everything Kate DiCamillo writes. Her partnership with Chris Van Dusen in their collection of companion books about Deckawoo Drive, are no exception. You can read more of my thoughts on this book by clicking on the title link above.


3 stars
The Living by Matt de la Pena

I got this as a free download from audiosync. It isn't the kind of story I expected to like as much as I did. But I did. I came to care about Shy and his friends. If the next book in the series was available as an audiobook from our local library, I might have gone on to it. As it is, I had to put it on hold. This dystopian novel is one I'll get for our library. 

Secrets of Selkie Bay by Shelley Moore Thomas (netgalley) 

4 stars
This is the story of three young Irish girls who are forced to deal with the loss of their mother, who has disappeared. Rumours abound that their mother is a selkie who has returned to the sea. While their father sinks into a depression, Cordie, the eldest, does her best to hold the family together. In the process, she gets tangled up in the stories she tells to her younger sister about a kingdom of selkies living on a hidden island just off the coast. I'm a fan of magical realism anyway, but I enjoyed this middle grade novel more than I expected. I had a hard time dealing with the actual solution that emerges about why their mother disappeared, but the read is still worth it. 

Channing O'Banning and the Turquoise Trail by Angela Spady (netgalley)


3 stars
I like much of this chapter book.  I found Channing herself to be a delightful character. She is a budding artist who keeps a drawing pencil in her hair and her sketchbook at the ready. The squabbling between her and her older sister feels authentic. 
In this book in the series, Channing and her family head off to Arizona for a wedding. While they are there, they learn about the Native Americans who live/d there. 
Unfortunately, I have a couple of issues with this story. 
First, Channing ends up helping Lusita, a Zuni artist, create a wedding pot. it seems that as soon as they finish it, they put it into the kiln. Unless clay has changed a lot since my day, you don't put green (wet clay) into the kiln unless you want a disaster on your hands. So the notion that they could have this ready within a day or two to give away as a wedding gift is impossible. 
Second, on page 80, while the family are readying to explore a mine for turquoise, they watch a video called, The History of Turquoise. It shows "pictures of fancy turquoise jewelry worn by Zuni and Hopi princesses." While I am no expert on Native American culture, I think that this kind of social attribution is a European construct that has nothing to do with authentic Zuni social structure. It shouldn't be there in a book that ostensibly introduces young readers to different places and peoples.  

4 stars
Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

I was worried at first by the nasty bullying that went on in this book. (I am also dismayed that teachers could be so darn oblivious to it all) Eventually I was won over by Apple and her determination to become a musician. I just love Evan, the new boy from California. I think there are more Evan's in the world than this book would have us believe, but maybe we just don't get to know them. 




4 stars
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

I went into this book blind so to speak, with no knowledge of who Amanda Palmer is. I'm sure glad I read it and discovered her. I love her honesty and her ability to put herself out there.  I've always believed that if rules assert that you shouldn't talk about something, then you should absolutely talk about it. Amanda, for the most part, is this kind of person also. I'm thankful that reading this book got me examining my own reticence to ask for what I need in some situations. In addition, Palmer's journey into the world of social media and crowd funding was enlightening. I'm in awe of her ability to navigate it. I certainly don't have the energy or inclination for it. 

The Faceless Ones (Skulduggery Pleasant # 3) by Derek Landy

4 stars
While we've been away working on our house in Oliver, a small town I grew up in, I've started in on a Skulduggery Pleasant listening binge.  In this one in the series, Valkyrie, Skulduggery and Tanith have to deal with someone killing off transporters. Eventually they find out that whoever is behind it wants to open a portal to let The Faceless Ones through into our world. It's up to Valkyrie, Skulduggery, Tanith, and a young transporter named Fletcher, to stop them and save earth as we know it. 

Currently I'm listening to Dark Days (Skulduggery Pleasant # 4.) I started reading The Red Bicycle by Jude Isabella, but company arrived. Up next I've got two library books, The Letter Q edited by Sarah Moon, and The World on a Plate, by Mina Holland due back to the library July 8th, so I'll be focusing on them. 
Happy reading to everyone this coming week. 

22 comments:

  1. What a nice assortment of books. I enjoyed Blackbird Fly and downloaded The Living but haven't had a chance to listen to it yet. I also bought a copy of The World on a Plate but haven't begun it yet. Here is my week. Happy reading!

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    1. It is a nice assortment - a little bit of everything. It will be interesting to read your comments on The World on a Plate. Happy reading back at ya.

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  2. I read The Letter Q a long while ago & enjoyed it very much. I wish more would read it to discover the feelings that people have keeping secrets and then when revealing, the hurt involved. I've seen others talk about Blackbird Fly, interesting read. Lots here to keep me going, Cheriee. Thanks for sharing so many!

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    1. I'm reading it to see if it might work in my elementary school library. I agree that I wish more people read the kinds of books that will help them build empathy. I guess that's one of the reasons we do what we do!

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  3. I haven't read any of Gail Carriger's adult books but I liked the Finishing School ones so much I should try them.

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    1. Her adult books are fun, but quite racy!

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  4. Sounds like we had similar reactions to Blackbird Fly - I was cringing at the beginning with all of the cruelty but I too loved Evan and Apple. We have a signed copy of The Living from Matt - Dustin and I heard him speak at the literacy conference in Bellingham. He is fantastic! We Were Here is my favourite of his.

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    1. Just added We Were Here to my to library holds. What's one more book right? I'm planning on Getting Blackbird Fly for our library. Partly because it is a great book, and partly because there is a dearth of Filipino characters in our literature.

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  5. Wow! What a lot of good books! I really like the look of the Ettiquette and Espionage. It reminds me a little of Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls, but with the paranormal/steampunk setting. I downloaded de la Pena's book, but haven't listened to it yet. Maybe I'll start it once I finish Rose Under Fire.

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    1. Ok, Kay, that is the most motivating thing anyone could say to get me to read Gallagher Girls. I enjoyed Rose Under Fire when I listened to it a few years ago so I didn't download that one.

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  6. Hi Cherlee,

    We didn't know Kate DiCamillo had a new book out. Thank you for telling us about Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon. We can't wait to read it. We love everything Kate DiCamillo writes too :)

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    1. I think once you read a Kate DiCamillo book, you are hooked for life!

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  7. I love anything by Kate DiCamillo. Have to read Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon.

    Lisa
    LisaTeachR'sClassroom

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    1. If you enjoy the Deckawoo Drive series, you will enjoy this one. Like all of DiCamillo's books, there is so much more going on below the surface.

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  8. Great List! Lots here for me to explore. Thanks - so much reading!

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    1. Thanks for visiting Joanne. Happy reading this week.

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  9. I love reading about Skulduggery Pleasant whenever I visit your blog - I have around eight of these titles lying unread in my shelves - I hope I would be able to understand them even though I won't read them in order. I feel that my soul is aching for a bit of fantasy right at the moment.

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    1. I think you need to start with the first one Myra. Then you have enough background to read the rest of them. I missed the second in the series because I couldn't get it as an audiobook. It helps to read the third and the fourth in order, but I think you could read them on their own. Skulduggery is fantasy, but it is also a really good mystery with a large dollop of humour.

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  10. Wow! Great list!!
    I found The Living to be such a roller coaster ride and couldn't put it down.
    I can understand your hesitation with Glory though I thought the book really packed a punch and made you truly sit and think.
    I cannot wait to read Francine--I have it waiting for me.
    And you have intrigued me with your comment about Espionage and Hilary Westfield. I put it on my TBR.
    I didn't know any of the other books, so thank you to introducing them to me :)

    Happy reading this week!

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    1. I agree with you about The Living. It was a fabulous read, intense and gruesome, but less violent than I anticipated. I can see the appeal and power in Glory, but once I lose belief, it's hard to get it back.
      Enjoy Francine and Sophronia!
      Happy reading to you also.

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  11. Blackbird Fly was recommended to me. I should check it out. I think it has a Filipino character which I'm always in the look out for.

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    1. You are right Earl. Apple is Filipino. I'm getting it also because I don't think we have any literature with Filipino characters. That and it's a great read.

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