Hurrah! #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.
Aside from reading obsessively about the American election, I managed to get in a bit of reading with my eyes. I've also been listening to audiobooks and working on That Quilt. I've finished the A arcs and am working on the B side. I've got another 144 more to go before I move onto the next phase. Here's a picture of what I've completed so far.
At the library last week, while dropping off some unread books, I wandered over to the picture book area to see what was new. Here is what I found.
Some Birds by Matt Spink
This simple, patterned rhyming book has gorgeous zentangle illustrations. The text will be easy for new readers to memorize and the illustrations will keep them engaged. I can imagine art projects for readers of all ages spinning off from this book. If I were still working I would hand this off to Blake and David, some teachers who teach their students to zentangle.
Aberdeen by Stacey Previn
This is a sweetly illustrated story about a mouse who gets distracted by a floating balloon. As he chases after it, his tail gets tangled up in the string and takes him on an adventure. He ends up getting very lost.
Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm
Sometimes, all you need is a really good middle grade novel. If it teaches you something and makes you laugh at the same time, it's just divine. This is one of those. It's also the perfect antidote for too much politics.
Full of Beans is a prequel to Turtle in Paradise, a book I adored. The story is set in Key West during the depression. We learn a lot about Roosevelt's new deal and what a change it made in people's lives.
There are many quotes to share. Here is one of my favourites:
"Nana Philly was notorious. She made grown man cry. She chased three pastors out of town. Folks whispered that she was so mean, she must be related to the devil himself. Black cats cross the road just to get away from her."
It also doesn't hurt that Holmes gives us a link to a recipe for chocolate divinity fudge in the end notes. By the time you finish reading, you're going to want some.
Summerlost by Ally Condie
This is a sweet story of friendship, family, and loss. These characters are ones I wish I could have known when I was younger. Cedar and her family are recovering from the loss of a father and brother in a fatal car crash. While on summer holidays she ends up working at a Shakespeare festival.
These last lines are going to resonate for a while.
"I have been in the presence of a lot of greatness. And people I love who loved me back. It might be the same thing."
When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin, narrated by Kim Mai Guest
I am infatuated by this collection of companion novels. Through them I get to visit a world and reality I've never entered before. This is a story that shows us that story tellers, just by telling stories, can have powerful influence over their worlds. Grace Lin masterfully weaves all the threads of the different stories into a satisfying conclusion. If you haven't read any of these books, you need to remedy this.
This week while I am working on That Quilt, I'm going to be listening to Starry River of the Sky.
Prudence by Gail Carriger, narrated by Moira Quirk
I actually finished this a couple of weeks ago, but forgot to mention it. I am a fan of Carriger's world building and sense of humor. If you haven't read any of her work, here is a quote from Goodreads describing her work:
"Gail Carriger writes steampunk comedies of manners mixed with paranormal romance. Her books include the Parasol Protectorate, Custard Protocol, Supernatural Society, and Delightfully Deadly series for adults, and the Finishing School series for young adults."
While I finished up her Finishing School series, I have only read Soulless, the first in the Parasol Protectorate collection. I was looking forward to Prudence, because she is the daughter of the two main characters in that one. I was not disappointed.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, narrated by Jon Lindstrom
I really don't know where to begin with this roller coaster of a read. It is the story of a physics teacher who leaves his home one evening and wakes up in a dangerously different world. When he finally figures out what is going on, he has to figure out how to get home to his real wife and son. This science fiction title will have you thinking about the choices you've taken and what might have been.
I know some people will complain about the science in this book, but I don't have the capacity to respond to that. What I can confirm is that this is a gripping read filled with sympathetic characters and a wickedly twisting plot. I did not anticipate where this book was going at all for a while. It kept me on the edge of my seat until the end.
I'm contemplating getting this for my partner for Christmas.
I abandoned March of the Suffragettes last week. I wanted to love it because the topic fascinates me, but it was dry and not engaging. I just didn't feel as connected to these important characters as I should have. I agree with Karen Yinling "this was not formatted in a way that will be appealing to my students. It was very wordy, had few pictures, and had some odd turns of phrase."
I'm into Imprudence, the next of the Custard Protocol series. I've started Waylon! One Awesome Thing by Sara Pennypacker.
Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin and The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. I just realized that I'm supposed to have Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach finished by Tuesday for book club. I haven't started it yet.