#IMWAYR October 31, 2016

I'm writing this on Sunday, October 30. Here in Vancouver BC the sun is shining! Many of you won't get how remarkable that is, but here on the wet west coast, it's seriously cause for celebration!
Celebration time is also here because tomorrow/today it's time for #IMWAYR. It's when readers share what they have been delving into over the past week and find out what other readers have been up to. The adult version of this meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. The kidlit rendition is hosted by Jen at TeachMentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders. Whatever you are looking forward to in your next great read, these are fabulous places to start your search. While I didn't blog last week, I did read and enjoy many of your posts. 
In the last couple of weeks I have not read much. I've got some kind of back and neck issues that make knitting, reading with my eyes, and writing a challenge. I am so thankful for audiobooks that I can listen to while lying flat on my back on the floor. Thankfully, what I have managed to read with my eyes has been worth the discomfort! 

NOVELS
5 stars


A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

This was a book club title I barely finished in time for my book club meeting. It is a powerful read that is open to many interpretations. It is narrated from two perspectives; Ruth, a middle aged writer, who finds a journal and package of letters in the ocean near her place; and the author of that journal, Tokyo, a sixteen year old Japanese girl. Many people in our book club talked about the zen aspects of the novel. I see those, but for me, this book resonated with the intimate relationship between the writer and her characters.



4 stars
Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith  

I am just so infatuated by this series. So far everyone who I have referred these to has enjoyed them as much as I do. They are adult oriented, but would make fabulous YA reading. If you are looking for fun light entertaining reading, that incorporates magic, murder and the mythological creatures, this is it. I think fans of Terry Pratchett will fall right into these. Sir Terry is one of my literary heros and I sure have. 

3 stars

In some Other World, Maybe
by Shari Goldhagen. 


This follows three characters who all attend a theater showing a movie version of the famous Eons & Empires comic. Their lives converge and separate over time, but eventually it all sort of comes together at the end. The book was ok although there were times when I wanted to smack those characters and tell them to smarten up and get over themselves. 

Boy Born Dead: A Story of Friendship, Courage, and Triumph by David Ring (Preface), John Driver, & David Wideman narrated by Paul Michael (from Audiosync)
3 stars
This is a fictionalized account of the life of David Ring who as the title states, was born dead. He survived but was left with cerebral palsy. Fortunately there was nothing wrong with his intellect. I have no idea how much of this is actually true, but in spite of this, it was still an interesting story to listen to. David Ring and I are the same age. Having grown up in historically similar social environments with a paraplegic father, I am very aware of how difficult it must have been growing up in his body. I am not at all religious, but that didn't take away from the inspirational aspects of this tale. 


The Creeping Shadow (Lockwood & Co. #4) by Jonathan Stroud
5 stars

This will make a great Halloween read! I love love love this series and this one might be the best of the lot. Lucy has managed to survive just fine on her own until Lockwood comes asking her to work together with the team on one special project that requires her listening Talent. It all works out swimmingly and then the Lucy's talking skull is stolen. Trying to rescue it gets her in a bit of a hot water so she inds up back with Lockwood & Co. Subsequently the crew ends up leaving town for a small hamlet that is particularly overrun with ghosts, especially a particularly dastardly creeping shadow. I am going to fess up to admit that this one is scary enough that I occasionally took a break from it. (As in slapped the pages shut and did some deep breathing and poured a glass of wine before continuing) The plot is chock full of action. Add characters you can't help but care about and it's a recipe for addiction. I think I loved this one even more than the last. 

PICTURE BOOKS

Lucy by Randy Cecil
5 stars
I read this book a couple of times. The first time I focused on the text with some appreciation of the images. The second time round I focused on the illustrations. I'm pretty sure if I go through it again, I'm going to need more stars to give it. It's the kind of picture book that works on many levels. The first time I wondered if younger children would appreciate it. I'm still not sure if really young kids will, but I can see where older ones will want to know more about what happens to Lucy. Even older readers will appreciate the patterning in the book, the learning that eventually occurs, and of course, how Lucy finally finds a place to call home again.
5 stars

A Family Is a Family Is a Family
by Sara O'Leary & Qin Leng (Illustrations) 


 Just Wow! This charming book introduces readers to all kinds of different families. Students are telling their classmates what it is that makes their families special. One wonders what to say. It isn't till the end that that one story is revealed. Qin Leng's illustrations are fabulous as usual. This is a must purchase for all school libraries!


GRAPHIC 

4 stars
Bera the One-Headed Troll
by Eric Orchard 


 I love this adventure story of a gentle hearted troll who heads off into the wild to save a human baby from falling into the hands of Cloote, the former evil head witch of the troll king. There is a darkness to some of the images, but ultimately it is a story of hope. It just makes me even happier about this book to find out that Eric Orchard is Canadian! I sure hope he has more adventures of Bera on the way. 


NONFICTION

3 stars
Brilliant!: Shining a Light on Sustainable Energy by Michelle Mulder

This is an introduction to renewable energy for younger readers. It is well laid out with plenty of illustrations and interesting facts. It provides an historical perspective of alternative energy. I picked up this title from the Orca Footprint series because what with the kerosene spill off the coast near Bella Bella here in BC, and the Standing Rock Conflict in North Dakota, I've been reading a lot about alternative energy. While this book is a good start, given that it was published in 2013, and there have been considerable advances in this area since then, it probably needs to be updated and republished. 

ABANDONED 


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

This is the second time I tried to get into this book. I wanted to love it. It's been on my must read list two years in a row. I appreciate so much the way Hodkin writes about PTSD. I was fascinated trying to figure out what was paranormal and what was from her illness. It's just that the guy thing bothered me, and I wanted the murder mystery aspect to kick in. When I got halfway, and it didn't seem to be going anywhere, I just gave up. 

Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis

This is another book I really wanted to love. It won the Giller prize and Alexis is Canadian for heaven's sake. What happens is that a couple of gods make a wager about what will happen if dogs are given human intelligence. It seems that the dogs, once transformed, sank into brutality to show off the worst of humankind very quickly. It felt like  getting knocked over the head with this message of how inevitably terrible and unhappy the dogs would become. I just couldn't go on. I'm going to try something else of his instead. 

CURRENTLY

I'm reading Into the Woods by Tana French, the first in the Dublin Murder Squad series. I can only do 100 pages a day maximum because of my back issues. I'm also in the middle of Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbit and March of the Suffragettes: Rosalie Gardiner Jones and the March for Voting Rights by Zachary Michael Jack from NetGalley. I'm listening to Prudence (The Custard Protocol #1) by Gail Carriger 

UP NEXT
I have no idea. I just hope that all the yoga I am doing means that reading with my eyes and knitting become doable again soon. 
How have you been doing?

16 comments:

  1. In spite of your trouble, you really read a lot, Cheriee. I loved Lucy, and hope you enjoy Cloud and Wallfish. I don't know if I'll ever get to Into The Woods, but it is intriguing. Boy Born Dead sounds interesting, but I wonder why they fictionalized it? And thanks for that creepy book, will note it for next year! Happy Halloween, glad you have some sun!

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    1. Thank goodness for audiobooks Linda! I have been enjoying Cloud and Wallfish so far. I wonder why they fictionalized Boy Born Dead too. I had never even heard of him before the book, but he seems like a pretty amazing person without all the elaboration.

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  2. I purchased the Families book last month but haven't gotten around to it yet. I found it yesterday and realized I need to get to it soon! I love the illustrator too - her illustrations in the Piper Green series are some of my favorites!
    I've seen people mention Lockwood and Co but I'm such a scaredy cat, not sure if I'll get to it or not!

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    1. Michelle, I am one of the worst scaredy cats! There is so much more than just the scary bits that make it all worthwhile. I agree with you about Leng's illustrations in Piper Green.

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  3. And just like that, we're back to the rain. Sigh....

    I picked up Fifteen Dogs and read the back cover - it sounds like a really original concept, but I just didn't think it would work for me.

    Sara O'Leary is just fantastic, isn't she.

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    1. She sure is. Even as I read through alll the other special families I kept waiting and wondering. She didn't let me down!

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  4. I really enjoyed Lucy when I read it. You've got several interesting titles to check out! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You are welcome Jana. Happy reading this week!

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  5. I really hope that reading again becomes possible for you in a sit down and relax mode! But you sure do get through a lot of books! I can't wait to find A Family Is a Family Is a Family - both author and illustrator are wonderful.

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    1. They are indeed Carrie and it is indeed a jewel of a book!

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  6. Next to Bera, which was a sweet yet odd graphic novel, I have not read any of these and hadn't heard of many of them! Thank you for introducing them to me :)

    Happy reading this week!

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    1. I'm glad to be of help! Learning about new books is what #IMWAYR is all about.

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  7. Thanks for the recommendation of A Family is a Family is a Family. I will be sure and get it. Several of your books have been on my radar lately. I just bought Bera, but haven't read it yet. I also have Lucy. I have to get to both. I hope yoga helps!

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    1. A Family is a Family is a Family is a very important book. Bera and Lucy are charming. Yoga and massage (and no knitting for a while) have turned out to be a godsend. I hope that quilting won't exacerbate it.

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  8. Hi there Cheriee! So much book love here! I am sooo soo excited to read The Creeping Shadow - I am just finishing up Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, then will dive right into this. I love Jonathan Stroud and the Lockwood Company.

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    1. Creeping Shadow might just be the best of them yet. Our library has a very long list for Crooked Kingdom. I'm going to hold off reading it for a bit in hopes that they get the audiobook soon.

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