#IMWAYR May 29, 2017


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


PICTURE BOOKS
  
5 stars
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.

4 stars
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.

4 stars
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.

CHAPTER BOOKS

4 stars
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.



NOVELS

3 stars
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. 

4 stars
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.

5 stars
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!


NONFICTION

3 stars
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.

4 stars
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. 

CURRENTLY

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.

UP NEXT

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

#MUSTREADIN2017 13/36

#MUSTREADNFIN2017 4/12

50 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 13/50

Chocolate Lily (CL) 51/51 

Goodreads Reading Challenge 174/333


18 comments:

  1. The quilts came out beautiful! Congratulations. All of the titles you've mentioned this week are new to me. Thank you for sharing them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your quilts are gorgeous, Cheriee, and the time with your friends sounds lovely, too. I'll look for Stolen Words, and you've shared so many good ones today. There are several books about ponds lately, and A Different Pond sounds good, too. I loved The Journey also, simply a beautiful story to read and to see. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Journey is so beautiful. It's one of those books people of all ages should read.

      Delete
  3. Gorgeous quilts! Thank you for sharing those photos. I loved The Journey and really want to get my own copy so that I can use it regularly with my students. Waiting for Sophie sounds like a great beginning chapter book. I love the look of both the other picture books as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The illustrations in The Journey are stunning. I can see how important a book it is when looking at immigration and refugees. I had a lot of laughs reading Waiting For Sophie!

      Delete
  4. I was on a book jury once, and it was so hard! I loved so many of the books, and having to rank them just wasn't my favourite thing - I wanted so many of them to win!

    A Different Pond is new to me, and it looks stunning, I can't wait to read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is indeed hard work. I am glad that we chose the best of the lot as a group since we all noticed things we might otherwise miss. I did enjoy reading so many of the books that reflected where we live.

      Delete
  5. I love when you post your quilt pictures! And I'm so glad you got away, I haven't done that with friends in awhile.
    Lots of new books (to me) here. I did read the new Lauren Wolk, and no, not as dark. Still has drama though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoy them! This group of women I was with has been getting together for over 30 years!

      Delete
  6. I love the way you called it serendipitous reading. Your quilts are gorgeous! Stolen Words and A Different Pond are books I am eager to read now. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words. Both of these picture books are brilliant.

      Delete
  7. House of Purple Cedar was one of my very favorite books that I read last year. I am so glad you loved it, too! A Different Pond is going to the top of my list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it just amazing writing! It took Tingle fifteen years to write. It was so worth it.

      Delete
  8. Those quilts are amazing. I love the wedding one!

    The Heather Wells books are fun, and Meg Cabot is one of my favorites for escapist reading. I still haven't finished The Gifts of Imperfection so your post is a reminder for me to do so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I might need to read that one!

      Delete
  9. The quilts look beautiful. What a fun time it sounds like you had. But of course just being with friends even when doing nothing is fun for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is it exactly! Any time with friends is a good time.

      Delete