#IMWAYR January 8, 2018

#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.

I haven't been blogging for over a month due to illness. I've hardly been reading because I just couldn't focus. The 'plague' grabbed me by the throat and held me down for at least two weeks. I thought I was finally recovering and then it got worse. Three days before Christmas I dragged myself to my doctor. I had developed a secondary bacterial infection all over my head and left with a prescription for antibiotics. Within 24 hours I was starting to feel almost human. I really only got my reading mojo back about a week ago, so while many of these are recent reads and others are books from December.

I'm hoping you all had fabulous winter breaks. What I really wanted for Christmas was family portraits and my partner managed to organize us all and made it happen. Here are the two of us with our gorgeous grand babies.


The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC's (the Hard Way) by Patrick McDonnell

This is the best alphabet book I have read in ages, maybe even forever. A cat runs away from home and ends up having madcap adventures. It’s wordless with nothing but the letters and brilliant illustrations to help readers figure the story out. I’m definitely getting a copy of this to add to my collection.

Life Without Nico by Andrea Maturana & Francisco Javier Olea (Illustrations)

This picture book deals realistically with the loneliness of separation and loss. When Maia’s best friend, Nico, has to move away, she is overwhelmed with a feeling of emptiness. Over time this dark and empty hole is filled with a new kitten, new friends and new experiences. When Nico does eventually return, she experiences new kinds of worry.
This is a beautiful book to use when children are dealing with grief and loss whether it’s temporary or permanent.


Miguel's Brave Knight: Young Cervantes and His Dream of Don Quixote by Margarita Engle & Raúl Colón (Illustrations)

I read this book because I want to read everything Margarita Engle writes. Raúl Colón’s illustrations bring her poems to life in this biography. I am now fascinated by Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote. I now also want to read the famous novel. Thanks the the author’s note in the back matter, I’ve put a specific translation on hold at my library.

Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive! by Ammi-Joan Paquette & Laurie Ann Thompson

If you want to be raising your children to be critical thinkers, every house and classroom from grade two up should own a copy of this book. It will probably help the adults in your house and your community to learn to identify hoaxes more easily too. I admit that I had to work hard in some of these sections to figure out what stories were false.


The Best Man by Richard Peck & Michael Crouch (Narrator)

This was the sweetest coming of age novel I've read in ages and just might be my favorite Richard Peck novel. This family is right up there with the Penderwicks and the Fletchers.

Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley 

This is a book about love, friendship and secrets. The Montgomery clan is gathering at the original home for the death of the matriarch and waiting to see who will be picked to head off, when the red moon rises, into the Okefenokee swamp in search of a magical alligator named Munch. Blue Montgomery has been abandoned by his father in the middle of this. He ends up overcoming his anger, bonding with his cousins and befriending a member of their arch enemies’ clan, Tumble Wilson. Changing their families destinies is going to be up to them. 


#Notyourprincess: Voices of Native American Women by Lisa Charleyboy & Mary Beth Leatherdale (Editors)

If you haven’t read this and it isn't on your to read list, it should be. This collection of voices from modern Indigenous women across North America is inspiring and enlightening. Here are a few snippets:

Because history moves like a fever and heat down through the arteries of generations
Because PTSD to the family tree is like an ax
Because colonization is the ghosts of buffaloes with broken backs
Because today only burning flags could be found at the ghost dance of my people
from Stereotype This by Melanie Fey

You are allowed to cry
You are allowed to scream
But you are not allowed to give up.
If you ever need a hero
Become one.
from Dear Past Self by Isabella Fillspipe

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home (Mennonite #1) by Rhoda Janzen & Hillary Huber (Narrator)

Sue Jackson wrote good things about this book and I have a friend who was raised Mennonite so when I saw it was available as an audiobook, I downloaded it. It was a delightful listen full of love and self deprecation. I laughed out loud throughout and learned a fair chunk about what growing up in this faith is about. I'm looking forward to hearing what my friend thinks of it.

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese & Tom Stechschulte (Narrator)

I will read anything by Richard Wagamese because as uncomfortable as I might get in the middle of his work, I am always completely satisfied by the end. In this novel he takes us into the world of Franklin Starlight, a young man who was abandoned by his father after his mother died in childbirth. He was raised by a good man who kept their secrets. In this narrative Franklin takes his father, Eldon, into the mountains, so he may be buried in the traditional Ojibway manner. On their journey those secrets are revealed.

Shanghai Girls (Shanghai Girls #1) by Lisa See & Janet Song (Narrator)

This is my first Lisa See book. It won't be my last. The reason I read historical fiction is to understand the past and other people's experiences of historic events. This novel spans considerable geography and time. Because of the action of their gambling father, two sisters are forced to marry two Chinese Americans and left to flee Shanghai and the invading Japanese army on their own. When they make it to America they are interned for a number of months. Eventually they are united with their American family and build a home there. Although this book does not have a 'happy ending' the writing is just gorgeous.


I'm listening to Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown, and am reading with my eyes, Maximum Canada: Why 35 Million Canadians Are Not Enough by Doug Saunders for book club, and have just started Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate.


I hope to finish Cast No Shadow by Nick Tapalansky and Anissa Espinosa, Dragonfly Song by Wendy Orr, and Dear Martin by Nic Stone while we are spending a winter week or so at our home in Oliver, BC. My next audiobook will be The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. When I arrive back in Vancouver I will be focusing on reading a pile of graphic novels for the Cybil awards.


#MUSTREADIN2018 1 in progress

#MUSTREADNFIN2018 2 in progress

25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 1/25

Goodreads Reading Challenge 5/333


  1. Fun to see a Lisa See novel in your reads. I have enjoyed her books. I also love Margarita Engle, and this poetic story of Cervantes is terrific, as is The Best Man. What a sweet story it is! I'm glad to hear that you're better, Cheriee. Sorry to hear of your illness!

    1. I will definitely read more of Lisa See's work. It was riveting to experience the world and history through her character's lens.

  2. I'm sorry that you've been sick and so hope that you're feeling better. You've got a good list of books for me to add to my To Read list. Have a good week!

    1. Isn't that just how it goes. I don't believe my want to read list will ever get any shorter no matter how much I read.

  3. Glad you're feeling better and at least able to read a lot. Happy ( and healthy!) 2018!

    1. Yes indeed! Here's to a fabulous new reading year!

  4. Gorgeous family picture! I can't believe those two are growing up so fast!
    I still need to read The War I Finally Won! I didn't put it on my #mustread list because I figured I would get to it without it being on there.

    1. I know I will read it too, but more than a few of the books on my must read list are both reminders to get to them and books I will be elated to read and easy to cross of the list when I am feeling overwhelmed by my lack of progress.

  5. I loved Tumble and Blue, especially Tumble! It is a great story about family, friendship, and faith. You post is making me finally purchase Two Truths and a Lie; it's been in my cart but I haven't taken the plunge. Have a great week!

    1. The material at the end that gives advice for how to look at sources and evaluate information is the icing on the cake!

  6. That is a gorgeous photo of you and your grandkids - sorry to hear that you were sick. I was down with cough and colds too right after Christmas and before New Year (so was my daughter) - there seems to be a flu bug going around. I also can't wait to read Miguel's Brave Knight, as I too, am a huge fan of Margarita Engle. Don Quixote was one of my absolute favourites when I was a college undergraduate, and I've had the privilege of visiting Cervantes' home in Madrid last year - that was priceless - shared that here: https://gatheringbooks.org/2016/08/23/photo-journal-7/

    1. Thanks so much for the link. I enjoyed both the photographs and the quotes. I really must read this book!

  7. So sorry to hear you've been so sick. Glad you're feeling better though. I was sick over the New Year and it didn't make me too fond of 2018 that's for sure.

    1. Hope you are better now Beth. It really sucks the joy out of life to be sick.

  8. All these titles are new to me. Thank you for sharing. I'm so glad you seem to be healing. The portrait is lovely. Here's to staying healthy and more reading!

    1. Aren’t these babies gorgeous? Yes indeed, here’s to staying healthy and more reading!

  9. I still haven't read the Cervantes nfpb. I think it's time I suggest a purchase.

  10. Oh that photo! LOVE. So sorry you were ill. We still need to get you to come visit in my classroom. Maybe during Mock Caldecott if you have time . . . ?