#IMWAYR April 9, 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.

It was one of those weeks where a heck of a lot happened.

I have been inspired by Linda Bai to join the Poem A Day Challenge, so I have been writing on a regular basis. It's even more challenging than I anticipated. Even though I've posted a poem a day, I'm still thinking of them as drafts. It doesn't help to work a few days of the week, and look after my grandchildren for a bit of the time as well. I can' t begin to imagine how people with small children ever find time to write anything.

Then my laptop died. I had hoped that my computer person could perform miracles, but I am going to have to replace it.

Then it was time for the Must Read in 2018 Update.

The most exciting thing that happened this week was that my brother in law received a lung transplant late Friday night. He was flown into town, but my sister and her daughter drove from Vancouver Island. He will be in the hospital for about three weeks and then they have to stay around for the next three to four months. We managed to find a place for them to stay that was within their budget. Visiting him was like witnessing a miracle. Last time I saw him he was grey and weak. On Sunday he was rosy cheeked and waiting for the physiotherapist to come and take him for a walk.


Must Read in 2018 Spring Update

Poem A Day Challenge 2018

1. Easter Sunday Rumination on Eggs
2. Tulips
3. Untitled
4. Waiting
5. Truce
6. Thaumaturgy
7. Untitled dodoitsu
8. To Do List

Book Reviews

4 stars

Nothing Happens in This Book by Judy Ann Sadler & Vigg (Illustrator)

Nothing much happens in this book until it does. I enjoyed the developing anticipation and suspense as clues pile up and the reader is left guessing what it all means. 

4 stars

Where's My Cow? by Terry Pratchett & Melvyn Grant (Illustrator)

This wasn’t what I had expected. I read about this picture book in Terry Pratchett’s book Thud. In it, Sam Vimes of the City Watch must be home at 6:00 PM at the latest in order to read the book, Where’s My Cow, to his year old son, Young Sam. I thought this would be that book, but is both is and isn’t. It’s a book about the elder Sam reading it to the younger one. As he reads it, the picture book fills the background and shows the father and son in the foreground. These foreground images are the best part of the book as they highlight the special connection between these two. Melvin Grant’s art work is what makes the book work.

5 stars

Cleo by Sassafras De Bruyn

Much thanks to Myra @ gathering books for turning me on to this book. It is a visually stunning testimony to the power of imagination and friendship.

3.5 stars

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day by Beatrice Alemagna

The artwork in this book is gorgeous. I even enjoyed the text. The problem is that it is poorly designed so that these words are very hard to see against the illustrations, and so it makes it frustrating to read.


4 stars

Honey Bees (Explore My World) by Jill Esbaum

There is a lot of good information in this beginning information book. I love the use of photographs to show details mentioned in the text. I appreciate the section that talks about the different jobs worker bees engage in across their lives. I also like that it talks about the importance of bees for pollination and how we need them for many things. It also mentions how we can help them.
What is missing is that honey bees are in a lot of trouble for all kinds of reasons. It's for this reason I'm only giving this 4 stars instead of 5.

5 stars

Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz & A.G. Ford (Illustrator)

This book shares the story of Malcolm X when he was a child. His parents were supporters of Marcus Garvey and equality for all. There is a section where Malcolm's mother, while working in the garden with them, "taught her children to love every living creature equally - large or small, pretty or ugly, fast or slow, insect or plant. The garden was a testament to true and unconditional brotherhood from the earth on up to the sky, a daily lesson in acceptance and equality."
The illustrations in this book are just stunning. The amount of text on the page makes this a picture book to share with older readers.

5 stars

Mountain Chef: How One Man Lost His Groceries, Changed His Plans, and Helped Cook Up the National Park Service by Annette Bay Pimentel & Rich Lo (Illustrator)

What a fascinating story about a man who overcame prejudice and ended up as cook on a journey that helped initiate the National Parks Service. As someone who enjoys camping in parks and wilderness areas here in Canada, I am very impressed that Tie Sing was able to conjure up such elaborate feasts under those conditions. I wonder whatever happened to that missing mule? I appreciate the endnotes and photographs at the end of the book.


The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole by Michelle Cuevas & Laura Ortiz (Narrator)

A young girl with an interest in science deals with the death of her father. There are some beautifully written passages and some sections are deeply philosophical. I wish I had enjoyed this book more than I did. Laura Ortiz' narration was lovely to listen to.


3.5 stars

Precious Cargo: My Year Driving the Kids on School Bus 3077 by Craig Davidson

There are moments when this book is laugh out loud hilarious. There are thoughtful and tender passages. It is a memoir of a time the author spent driving a group of special needs kids back and forth to school.
On the way they told each other stories.
At one point he quotes Joan Didion, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” And then asks, “do we not also tell stories to live vicariously in ways we cannot?”
He goes on to say, “They had already discovered something it takes some storytellers half a lifetime to figure out: tell the stories that lie nearest your heart. That way, they're not really fabrications at all. They're hopeful truths.”
Those of us who work with children with special needs already know about their humanity. This book is about Craig Davidson discovering the humanity in his charges, and as importantly, in himself.

4 stars

On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks & Dan Woren (Narrator)

Oliver Sacks was an amazing man and an even more intrepid story teller. He and my mother were the same age. What was most fascinating was comparing their lives as I was reading this.


I'm reading What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein, one of my MustReadIn2018 titles. I'm still reading Thousand Star Hotel by Bao Phi about a poem or two a day.


I'll listen to whatever comes available next. Otherwise I plan to read, with my eyes, All That Was by Karen Rivers and maybe get to Sythe by Neal Shusterman.


#MustReadIn2018 10/25 1 in progress

#MustReadNFIn2018 3/12 1 in progress

25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 7/25

Goodreads Reading Challenge 126/333


  1. Love hearing about each one, Cheriee, and that Oliver Sachs sounds intriguing. I'm happy about your brother-in-law-really special news for him and your family!

    1. I first read Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife's Face for a Hat, and have been almost compelled to read more of his work ever since.

  2. I hope your brother-in-law is doing well and that recovery goes very well. A lung transplant sounds complicated! Nothing Happens in this Book sounds very cute! I bet my kiddos will love that one. I really want to jump into Scythe ASAP. Maybe by mid-May I'll make it through my current pile of TBR. But that series looks so very interesting! Have a great week, Cheriee!

    1. I tried listening to Scythe ages ago and it didn't work for me, so I'm hoping it will in print format.

  3. I'm glad that miracles exist in this world!

    I still have to do my Must Read Update post.

  4. I didn't realize you were writing a poem a day! So am I! (Which means I also just discovered that I'm not following your blog, even though I thought I was. SIGH. Remedying that right now.) I am finding it very challenging to make time for the writing AND the reading. I am hoping to find a little more balance this week. I am very impressed that you managed to read so much and do the writing and have such a busy week!

    1. We are even since I didn't know you were writing a poem a day either. I admit that I end up staying up much later working on a poem to share the next day....

  5. Mountain Chef is an awesome picture book biography. I loved the gorgeous watercolor illustrations and the mouthwatering descriptions of the food!

    1. It really is. I agree, those descriptions of food are tantalizing.

  6. Thanks for sharing your list. The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole is new to me. Looks interesting. It is on my library list for this week. I enjoyed On a Magical Do-Nothing Day too!

    1. I just wish the text in On a Magical Do-Nothing Day had been clearer.

  7. Great news about your brother-in-law. Miracles do happen everyday. So happy that you enjoyed Cleo, and you are right about some of the text in On A Magical Do-Nothing Day, but I absolutely loved the existential part in the end. :) I have to read Joan Didion soon. :)

    1. Ceo was just gorgeous. I recommend reading Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking. It's about the year after her husband died. It combines the personal with all kinds of research about death. I wish that I had read it when my father died. I think I could have been much more supportive of my mother.