#IMWAYR August 10, 2015


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

Because our summer continues to be hectic, (wedding stuff and unexpectedly moving after 31 years in the same place) and I am working to maintain a modicum of sanity in the middle of it, I have decided to give myself a treat and participate in #IMWAYR this week. If the gods are on my side, I may even manage to post every two weeks or so!
For at least half of this summer, my partner and I have been where we don't have immediate access to internet. For a week, we were high country camping. Being 'far from the madding crowd', is always good, but this year, I especially enjoyed not getting sucked into my digital toys, and the feeling that I should be doing some work. I managed to have a joyful time with friends and family, and finished up reading some fabulous books.

I wish I could say that I've gotten lots of reading done in the past while, but honestly, if it were not for my camping time and audiobooks, my life would be bereft of stories. However, in spite of the craziness, or maybe in an effort to try and contain it, I did actually manage to get some reading in in the last couple of weeks, and even got a few blog posts in.

Print Books:




5 stars
Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley

Holy smokes! That was some read. It has everything a book should have: compelling characters, an intriguing plot, and fabulous setting. After I finished it, I gave it to a friend we were camping with. It was delightful to have a conversation about it while the book was fresh in my mind .
I'm desperately hoping for a sequel.

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

4 stars
I pretty much devoured this book while we were up camping. It took me three days to finish all 600 pages of it. I stayed up late at night with a flashlight to finish 'just one more chapter.' I read while hanging out with friends. I read while fishing. Even while hiking, I couldn't get the story out of my head. It felt like the land we were in could so easily have been one of the places Seraphina visited in her search for the other half dragons. 


The Aurora County All-Stars by Deborah Wiles
5 stars
Here is the truth. Each time I finish a book by Deborah Wiles, it is my favourite book of all time. It was the same with this one, only maybe this time, I really mean it. My younger self is half in love with House Jackson. I must track down some Walt Whitman to read. If you like books that integrate baseball, modern history, and philosophy, then this is a book for you! 

I am especially honored that Deborah Wiles took time to comment on this post!

5 stars
Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

Coming up with words to describe this book is nigh onto impossible. It's always better than anything I can come up with. The buzz around this book is so well founded. I love Gabi's voice, her honesty, her poetry, and mostly, the way she unpacks her world around her.

Audiobooks:
Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger (Finishing School #2)


4 stars
I finished listening to this while we travelled the 60 kilometers of dirt road down from camp. I just love love love this series. It is so much fun - like candy for my reading life. Sophronia has finally mastered the art of the curtsy and continues on at finishing school. Something sinister is afoot and unknown unsavory characters kidnap her best friend and brother. It's up to Sophronia to put her training to good use and save them all.


Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Garcia Williams (Gaither Sisters #3)

4 stars
I became infatuated with the three Gaither sisters upon reading One Crazy Summer. I was delighted to spend time with them and their wonderful wacky family again. I loved the old women in this tale. They are humorous and sad all at the same time. I love that I get to know characters from previous books better. If I am forced to choose which sister I like best, I'd have to pick Delphine, but that might be because I too am an oldest child and can connect so much with the onerous responsibility it entails. I do admire Vonetta's pluck, and Fern's stubborn sweetness. I love how Delphine grows and matures as she watches the antics of the older generation of sisters. What I love most about these books is that you don't need to have read the previous books to understand what is going on, although, it helps to have read One Crazy Summer to put the black panther and black power comments into context. 
Sisi A Johnson's narration is just perfect for this book. I can't decide if I want to read or listen to P.S. Be Eleven.

Currently: 
I'm listening to Sabriel by Garth Nix. I have enjoyed everything of his, but have a difficult time getting readers turned on to his work. I'm hoping that if I read more, I'll be able to convince them to pick them up.

I'm still reading, with my eyes, More Happy Than Not, by Adam Silvera. It's taken me a while because I keep having books from the library that I have to finish first!

Next, I'm back to tackling my must read in 2015 list. I think I'm falling farther and farther behind. Well, I'll get to them just as soon as I finish Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, a book that has to go back to the library soon. 

23 comments:

  1. I hear you on making time for everything! I love Deborah Wiles and will definitely check out The Aurora County All Stars. Also, I have a number of former students (who always come back looking for books!) who loved One Crazy Summer and will definitely be happy to read Gone Crazy in Alabama, so I need to get a copy. Thanks for posting!
    Maureen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gone Crazy is actually the third in the series. PS Be Eleven is the second. We have a lit circle set of One Crazy Summer, and after they read it, students always want more.

      Delete
  2. I really need to read those Seraphina books, I've seen them everywhere lately! I loved the Eragon series about dragons too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carrie, I could only get through the first in the Eragon series. In my opinion, Rachel Hartman's writing is far superior.

      Delete
  3. Nice assortment of books. I have had a more sedentary summer but hiking sounds like fun. Come see my reading week here if you get a chance. Happy reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kathy, hiking was hard work, and fun!

      Delete
  4. You've got 3 trilogy books that I really want to get to - Deborah Wiles series and Rita Garcia Williams'.
    So glad to hear you enjoyed Circus Mirandus. Loved loved loved that book. I really want to reread this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh MIchele, I just pray there will be a sequel to Circus Mirandus. While it was an immensely satisfying read, I feel like there is so much more waiting to happen. Wiles, The Aurora County All-Stars, is profoundly sweet and powerful at the same time.

      Delete
  5. I can't wait to read this Deborah Wiles title! As you know, I am also a SUPER fan! So I am so excited that you are going to lend me your copy. I had Circus Mirandus and couldn't get into it. I just picked it up at the library yesterday and am going to try again. The slow start just didn't work for me and I am hoping I will be in the right mood this time. I can't believe you are moving with everything else going on! My oh my! P.S. So glad you loved Gabi!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm taking tomorrow off from packing to do some running around. I'll drop the book off tomorrow. I hope you are home. I can't wait to see you all!

      Delete
  6. I have heard such great things about Gabi, a Girl in Pieces. I definitely need to get to that one soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gabi is a character you will fall in love with!

      Delete
  7. I am planning to reread Seraphina on audio this fall and then read Book 2. I just don't remember the first book well enough--except that I adored it! Gabi is wonderful, isn't she? Definitely one of my new YA faves. You know, I don't know if I've read any Deborah Wiles.... that's scandalous, isn't it? Aurora County All-Stars seems like a good place to start. I'm in the middle of Circus and liking it quite well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are characters from the other books in this one, but honestly Elizabeth, if haven't read any Deborah Wiles, you are living an impoverished reading life!

      Delete
  8. I am so glad you loved Gabi and Circus Mirandus. They are both such special (and different) books! Gabi is a Walden Award finalist this year, and I am so happy that she is on the list.
    I need to read Seraphina. It was recommended to me when it came out, but I missed it.

    Happy reading this week! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. P.S. So glad you could join us this week! :)

      Delete
    2. Thanks Kellee! I'm so happy to be back in the loop!

      Delete
    3. Gabi! What a refreshing honest voice. I hope she continues to win awards!

      Delete
  9. Yay for more Circus Mirandus love! A reader was just raving about Gabi and I kept confusing it with Fat Angie so we were definitely talking about different books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just hope and pray there is a sequel to Circus!, Earl, Gabi is a much needed voice in the world of YA lit.

      Delete
  10. Love the cover of Shadow Scale! Reminds me of Neil Gaiman's Unnatural Creatures. Deborah Wiles had my heart after reading Each Little Bird That Sings. I have a copy of Love, Ruby Lavender but I haven't read it yet. I already know that I'm gonna love it, the same way that I know that I would definitely enjoy reading The Aurora County All-Stars. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Neil Gaiman, but haven't read Unnatural Creatures. Shadow Scale is different from Seraphina, but still a great, if long, read!

      Delete
  11. I had the same reaction to Gabi. Often times the best books just can't be explained. Your review must be the tenth I've read that praises Circus. Definitely on my tbr list!

    ReplyDelete