#IMWAYR September 19, 2016

My weeks are punctuated by Mondays. Perhaps they always have been, but now, Mondays are significant because of #IMWAYR, and not because the weekend is over and I have to go back to work. I can't begin to tell you how much I look forward to and enjoy reading all your posts about the books you have been reading. 


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. 

Last week, while I read them, I didn't have time to respond to everyone's posts. I have been so busy, I don't know what I did with myself before I retired. In the past week or so I have canned 24 pints of salsa, 26 quarts of tomato juice, 16 pint jars of tomato sauce, and 14 quart jars of tomatoes. I've also made another batch of peach salsa and frozen another 10 pounds of peaches. There have been walks with friends, work on the house, and on Saturday we went off to the Rock Creek Fall Fair. I had another few pounds of peaches sitting there ripening that I turned into daiquiris Sunday afternoon. Of course we invited the neighbours over to help drink them.    

We are still here in our Okanagan home. Our plans to head back to Vancouver on Sunday, have been sidetracked. The autumn sun is shining and the vista outside every window here is so glorious, we can't bear the thought of returning to the city. Oh ya, and my partner headed off with a friend to go bear hunting. (Thankfully they didn't get a bear and the bears didn't get them)

BLOG POSTS THIS WEEK

PICTURE BOOKS

Lily and the Crow by Gabrielle Grimard (from Netgalley)

5 stars
Gabrielle Grimard is the illustrator of When I Was Eight and Not My Girl by Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, two picture books about a young girl's experiences of residential school. Like these titles, Lily and the Crow is exquisitely illustrated.  It is story of Lila, a young girl who has had to move to a new city. She is looking forward to making new friends but ends up being bullied because of her looks. I would consider it a must purchase for your indigenous collection. 

NOVELS

5 stars
One Native Life by Richard Wagamese

I have savoured this book bit by bit. Richard Wagamese is an indigenous author who was removed from his abusive home by child protection services, placed into white foster homes and eventually adopted into a white home. He writes with fondness of one of those foster homes, but in the main, his early experiences were brutal. Told in vignettes this book is his biography.  It isn't a traditional biography, since we learn about different aspects of his life as it is triggered by his present day experiences. It is beautifully written with powerful messages about love, forgiveness, acceptance and mostly, just being human. 
Anyone who works with indigenous students must read this book.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
4 stars

I am not a particular fan of fantasy, but titles like this YA title could change that. It's slow to start as Schwab takes time to build this world and develop her characters. It's all so fascinating you don't care that nothing plot wise is going on. Then when the action begins, it's riveting. This is the first in a series. I can't wait to read the rest! Rumours abound that it is being made into a TV miniseries, but as all readers know, it is always better to read the book.


The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd

5 stars
Holy Carumba! Believe it or not, this is even better than A Snicker of Magic, and that is saying a lot. Of course I am particularly fond of magical realism, so that probably helps, but even if you are not, this is just a magnificent middle grade novel. Emma is from a long line of extraordinary women. Each of them has had a dream that tells them what great thing they will accomplish in their lifetime. When it looks like Emma and her family will lose their home due to financial difficulty, Emma has her destiny dream and sets off to save them all. On the way there are many surprises for her and for us readers as we all find that "Fear is just a flashlight that helps you find your courage."

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

5 stars
If you have never read any YA fiction, you are missing out on the best stuff being published out there today. If you are wondering where to start, I highly recommend John Corey Whaley. I've been gobsmacked by everything he has written. This book surpasses his previous work. It's the story of an agoraphobic teenager who hasn't left his house in two years, and two teens who befriend him. One of them thinks she can fix him.

These characters are stunning. I adore all of them and not just the teens. The adults mostly act like adults and do the best they can to be good parents. By the time the last page is turned, They all learn a lot more about friendship and being human than they can imagine.

CURRENTLY

The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blakemore is the book I am reading with my eyes. I seem to have misplaced Dead Boy by Laurel Gale, but I am sure it will show up somewhere soon. It better, since I have to return it to the library eventually. I'm listening to The Unmapped Sea (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #5) by Maryrose Wood narrated by Katherine Kellgren. I'll listen to anything Kellgren narrates. This series is like brain candy in that it is nothing but pure pleasure to listen to. 

UP NEXT

With a mess of books due back at the library on the 22nd and 24th, I've got to finish up Ms Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson, Stars So Sweet by Tara Dairman, and Drowning is Inevitable by Stanley Shalanda soon. It would have been much worse if I hadn't been able to renew a few of them.  


22 comments:

  1. Lila and the Crow sounds like an important book. I'll have to read that one. I read the Firefly Code last week. I found it very interesting - I was intrigued by the idea of the utopia. I haven't read either of Natalie Lloyd's books that you mentioned. They should probably be on my list, too!

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    1. Oh yes Linda especially if you enjoy reading magical realism, Natalie Lloyd is fabulous!

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  2. I always look forward to your posts every week! I've been struggling to find time to comment, so I'm prioritizing that this morning! I really loved Schwab's book, though I've got to say that Book 2 has been a slow starter for me, and I've picked up a few different things and been reading those instead. I do love her writing though. thank you for sharing One Native Life. Not a title I've seen, but one that sounds like a must-read for me. So glad you're enjoying retirement! I had to smile as I read about how busy you are! I always think of retirement as equalling lots of leisurely relaxation, but clearly not!

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    1. I hope it all eases off now that the main bout of preserving is done, but there are still lots of tomatoes here in our Vancouver garden... I'm kind of hyper anyway, so finding stuff to take on is kind of inevitable foe me. The only time I really relax is when I am reading, sewing or knitting.

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  3. Oh retirement sounds absolutely lovely! I really enjoyed A Darker Shade of Magic, but I've always been a fan of fantasy - nothing like an escape from the everyday! :)

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    1. Such brilliant characters in that book! Retirement is indeed lovely!

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  4. Lila and the Cow does sound like an important book. And, your retirement does sound perfect: busy and fulfilling.

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    1. I think it is important whatever your background!

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  5. So retirement hasn't slowed you down? Loved Key to Extraordinary, but I love Natalie's writing.
    I read the first page or so of Highly Illogical Behavior and was intrigued. I own it, just need to get to it!

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    1. It isn't easy getting to all those books. Thought it would be easy to find more time to read, but so far, not as much as I expected!

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  6. I am amazed at all that you did last week, Cheriee. You will reap those yummy rewards for a long time! And I'm glad your partner is back from the bear hunt unscathed too! Love all your books shared, and they are on my long, long list! I will definitely look for Lila and The Crow! Thank you!

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    1. You were right Linda that retirement is glorious! I just hope all this canning lasts a year!

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  7. I have One Native Life on my #MustReadin2016 list, but the library doesn't have a copy so I hadn't read it yet. I will seek an ILL or buy it though because it sounds like one I really need to read. Lila and the Crow is another I'll want for sure.

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    1. I think I am going to purchase a copy of One Native Life because I loved the writing and the messages. I might buy a copy for my previous school.

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  8. You have been busy! I feel like I haven't come up for air. Busy, busy, busy is September. Lila and the Crow went to the top of my purchase list. Thanks for recommending Cheriee!

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    1. I plan to find time to visit you ne t week Carrie if that works for you.

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  9. If retirement means I get to read this many great books in a week, I think I'm taking the plunge at the end of this school year. Thanks for sharing these.

    Here's my take on this week's Top Ten: It's Me Again, Hank the Cowdog!

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    1. It is glorious Deb. I don't think you will regret it. I'm constantly amazed by how much you all accomplish while working!

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  10. I just nabbed Highly Illogical Behavior on audio this week, and I am so excited to get started. Thanks for the great review!

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    1. Listening and reading are two separate experiences. I'm looking forward to reading what you think of it.

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  11. How happy that you've been busy busy busy - that's always great. I've been reading a lot of great things about A Darker Shade of Magic - so looking forward to finding it and reading it soonest.

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    1. I'm looking forward to seeing how these characters develop in the sequel.

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