#IMWAYR time again, when readers share what they have been reading and find out what others have been up to in the past week. 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.
That was a very busy week!
We celebrated my daughter in law's birthday on Saturday with an open house and supper. We decided to prepare Korean food since that is where she is from. Planning the menu involved a lot of reading and watching videos of how things are prepared. My daughter in law and I both liked Cooking Korean Food with Maangchi, although we also used ideas from other places. By Thursday we had a plan. On Friday we went shopping at a Korean market to make sure we had the correct ingredients. Friday evening we prepped until after 9:30 PM. We were up early Saturday cooking up a storm and completed what we had started the day before. We had Korean sushi, octopus, and chicken wings during the day. Supper was Korean barbecue with all kinds of side dishes including eggplant salad, radish salad, a potato dish, tuna cakes, and fried tofu. We had two kinds of cake! Everything was delicious. I loved the gotgamssam, treats made of walnuts wrapped in dried persimmons. I didn't take a picture of mine, but you can see Maangchi's here.
In spite of all that cooking business, I managed to get in a bit of reading and writing.
BLOG POSTS THIS WEEK
The Artist and Me by Shane Peacock & Sophie Casson (Illustrations)
This book is dark and at the same time illuminating. It tells us a bit about the life of Vincent Van Gogh and how he was bullied by children and adults. What is unique here is that it is told from the point of view of a bully. This bully is a young child growing up in a community where this kind of behaviour is normal.
There is a lot this book has to teach us about being human and why we and the people around us might do ugly things.
Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood & Sally Wern Comport (Illustrator)
It isn't enough to just read this book about people changing their lives through music. The instruments these children use are made from recycled material that is as foraged from the garbage dump where members of the community work. This alone makes it a powerful and inspiring story, but then I went to their website and listened to the music. I was completely blown away. You need to listen to fully comprehend what a stunning feat this is. After listening I came back to the book to learn from the end notes that these musicians have raised enough money to purchase land and provide housing for their community. They have made a difference for all the people in their community in many ways.
Dragon Was Terrible by Kelly DiPucchio & Greg Pizzoli (Illustrator)
I now see why this book is getting so much buzz.
Dragon is such a nasty creature that the king offers a reward for whoever tames it.
First, the knights attempt to tame Dragon. It doesn't work out.
Next the villagers take it upon themselves to tame Dragon. Not only is it an embarrassing failure, Dragon becomes even nastier!
However, someone comes up with a stealthy plan.
I was completely surprised and satisfied by this ending.
The Thing Lou Couldn't Do by Ashley Spires (Netgalley)
Ashley Spires is back with another brilliant picture book sure to inspire and motivate all of us to try and overcome our fears. When Lou's friends take to a tree to play pirate, Lou is trapped on the ground because she doesn't know how to climb a tree, and is really afraid to try. Eventually though, she finds the courage and confidence to have a go at that tree.
Maybe I won't ever really become friends with spiders, but I will try to not panic when I find them in my bedroom.
lf anyone can help me find courage to do this, it will be Lou.
Unfortunately this won't be available until May.
Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke
Sigh. It's Ben Hatke. If you know anything about picture books and graphic novel artists you will recognize his name and know that this book is one that you need for your collection without opening the first page. How I wish my boys were still young so I could read it to them. It will be years before my grandchildren will be able to appreciate this, but I'm still going to buy a copy for them so it will be here when they are ready.
Smiley's People by John le Carré
My partner and I listened to this podcast while travelling back to Vancouver from our home in Oliver. It is a BBC radio dramatization of the book. George Smiley, a british spy, is brought out of retirement to figure out what happened to one of his former agents. I read all of this series when I was in my 20's, (a long time ago) and it took a while before I remembered where the story was going. I purchased le Carré's biography for my partner as a Christmas gift and have to wait for him to finish it. This production reminded me why.
The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan
This is a netgalley title that I wanted to read ages ago. Unfortunately, it expired from my device and I had to get it from our local library to read. It tells the story of three enslaved children who work on a cocoa plantation and how they eventually escape.
There were parts that I had to read really fast because of the brutality. Still, I consider it a #mustpurchase for any school library that has students in grade 6 on up.
Now I have to find a copy of Golden Boy to read.
The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox & Fiona Hardingham (Narrator)
This was scary, but not so scary I had to stop listening. A group of children are sent away from London during WW 2, to get away from the blitz. They end up in Scotland in a castle that has been turned into a boarding school. They soon learn that it may have been safer had they stayed in London. Between German spies, dark magic and missing children, readers will be biting their fingernails before it is all concluded. I appreciated that while the children were ultimately responsible for defeating the evil magic, they were also surrounded by adults who mostly did their best to help them.
I'm reading The Break by Katherena Vermette. I'm still listening to Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa. My audiobook expired, but no one else wanted it, so I was able to check out again. That probably tells you what you need to know about this book, but I will at least finish it. I'm still working on Spin: How Politics has the Power to Turn Marketing on its Head by Clive Veroni.
I'm going to listen to Goblins Vs Dwarves by Philip Reeves just for a break in reality. I plan to start Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien. I've also got a new pile of picture books to get to.
PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS
#MUSTREADNFIN2017 1 in progress
50 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 1/50 1 in progress
Goodreads Reading Challenge 13/333