Hello Everyone! It's been a couple of weeks since I was here. I missed you.
#IMWAYR time again, when readers share what they have been reading and find out what others have been up to in the past week. Kathryn hosts the adult version of this meme at Book Date. Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers host the kidlit rendition. Whatever you are looking forward to in your next great read, these are fabulous places to start your search.
My Chocolate Lily jurying is finished at last. We had a lovely meeting where we decided on the books students will read. I'm still trying to decide if I want to do it again next year. It got in the way of my more serendipitous reading, and now I've got to focus on my other reading goals.
I spent six glorious days at a three bedroom cabin on the beach with a group of dear women friends. I didn't finish a book the entire time, although I made progress with one.
While there I completed hand sewing the binding for two baby quilts. When I returned home I settled into finishing the top of the very late wedding quilt. I'll be taking it in to be quilted later on this week. I should have resewn some of the insides of the arcs, but the ones I did tackle didn't seem to come out significantly better, and besides, I'm trying to learn that perfection is the enemy of the good!
|Baby Quilt Fronts|
|Baby Quilt Backs|
|Wedding Quilt Top|
A Different Pond by Bao Phi & Thi Bui (Illustrations) (Netgalley)
This story of a Vietnamese refugee family adjusting to their new life in America in the 1970's is a must read.
It is beautiful on multiple levels.
Thi Bui's illustrations are flat out gorgeous. Together he and Bao Phi convoke a fragment of time that highlights a relationship between a young boy and his father that is so loving, it made my heart swell and my eyes water.
Bao's father wakes him up early one morning, before the sun is up, to go fishing. Each moment of this experience is captured in exquisite beauty: the waking up, the travelling along the dark and quiet streets, stopping in at the bait shop, hiking to the fishing spot, catching the fish and building a small fire before their return home in the dawn light. At the same time, this experience is shadowed by memories of the father's other fishing trips with his lost brother.
The notes in the back matter tell us more about Bao and his father, and show a photograph of them together.
Stolen Words by Melanie Florence & Gabrielle Grimard (Illustrations) (Netgalley)
This is a poignant story that speaks to a relationship between a young indigenous girl and her grandfather. When she asks how to say Grandfather in Cree, she is introduced to how he lost his language during his time in residential school.
I appreciate that the time at residential school is dealt with in a way that is both gentle and profound. I admire how this story shows hope for the future through the strength and optimism of the child and her ability to heal her Grandfather.
Grimard's illustrations are stunning as usual, but I'm not so happy with the formatting of the text.
The Journey by Francesca Sanna
I think it was Myra at Gathering Books who introduced me to this book on her blog. I'm so very glad she did. It's a powerful story that highlights the experience of fleeing from war and tragedy. The mother's strength is profound. There is one brilliant illustration that shows her weeping once the children are sleeping in her arms.
I am so enthralled by Francesca Sanna's illustrations that I want to translate the images into some kind of fabric art.
Waiting for Sophie by Sarah Ellis & Carmen Mok (Illustrations)(Netgalley)
Humour and sweetness infuse this beginning chapter book.It begins with Liam and his 'Nana Downstairs' waiting for Sophie, the new baby, to be born. Their plan to be bad to make the day go by faster is just delightful. When Sophie finally comes home, Liam has a hard time waiting for Sophie to grow up enough to play with.
Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot & Sandy Rustin (Narrator)
I really enjoyed the beginning of this book. Heather Wells is a former teen pop singer whose life fell apart when she lost her recording contract, caught her boyfriend cheating on her, and gained a few pounds. At this time she is working as an assistant dorm director at a local college. When young women start dying, Heather is certain that something sinister is going on. I loved the humour and mystery, but got tired of the drama and emotional angst by the end.
White Jade Tiger by Julie Lawson CL
This is a reissue of a book first published in 1992. I liked it as much now as the other times I've read it since it was first published. (I used it in literature circles) Jasmine, a young Canadian girl ends up going back in time to the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. She befriends a young Chinese boy, Keung, who has come to Canada looking for his missing father and a white jade tiger amulet. I can't respond to the authenticity of the Chinese cultural aspects but the book is still a good read with a surprising ending.
House of Purple Cedar by Tim Tingle
If you are planning on reading this title, prepare to hand yourself over into the words of a maestro storyteller.
If you were not planning on reading this, you should.
Tim Tingle's ensemble of characters are situated in the town of Skullyville, Oklahoma, in the year beginning in 1896. Rose, the narrator, relates the events of a time that was filled with evil and racism for the Choctaw people.
Each chapter is a different movement in a symphonic chronicle that rises and falls in circular crescendos of love and violence, sweetness and suspense.
Narrative strands ebb, flow, are seemingly abandoned, then return adding counterpoint and confluence to the tale, only to be dropped and woven time and again into the mythical rhythm of the story.
I really really, enjoyed this book!
Testimony: A Memoir by Robbie Robertson & MacLeod Andrews (Narrator)
I am conflicted about this one. I enjoyed reading the historical aspects and the behind the scenes perspectives with The Band. I loved reading about a certain song, and then going to spotify to listen to it.
But Robbie Robertson irritated me. The misogyny was expected, (after all, his is a life of sex, drugs and rock and roll,) but I was still taken aback by his shallow reference to women with regards to their looks rather than their talent or personality. But then, he also regularly talks about men in the same terms. I concede that he is a gifted song writer and guitarist. He just came across to me as egocentric and self aggrandizing. This is a book where I really wanted to find out the perspectives of the other band members and related rock icons.
Rising Strong by Brené Brown
I was up and down with this book. I really enjoyed it at first. So much so, that I ended up trying to write out a long quote while I was out on a walk. Then I became disenchanted with the middle. Happily, by the time I was finished, I was inspired again. Brown's work motivates me to be more thoughtful and less reactive in my own life. I suspect I might have appreciated this more in a print format, and will look for a copy for myself that I can read and/or loan out.
I'm listening to The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes. I've got nothing in print on the go at this time, but there is a pile of library books to get to.
I don't understand why so many library books become available all at once! I will most likely get to Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk since that audiobook has become available, and I'm ready for some fiction to listen to. I am hoping it is less dark than Wolf Hollow. With my eyes, I will be reading Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly, and The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak.
PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS
50 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 13/50
Chocolate Lily (CL) 51/51
Goodreads Reading Challenge 174/333