#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.
We are all breathing easier here in Vancouver, BC. Rain has come and cleaned out our air. It won't last because wildfires are still raging across the province, but right now just about everywhere is getting a bit of respite or at least an easing, from the smoke. Apparently the smoke has made it all the way across the country and is now affecting air quality in Nova Scotia!
I've managed to get some reading in this week, but honestly, I have been indulging in a guilty pleasure. I have discovered The Crown on Netflix and confess, there has been some binge watching. While I am watching I am also knitting, so something productive is accomplished!
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller & Jen Hill (Illustrations)
I suspect people wonder why I, a relatively full-fledged adult, still read picture books. I used to say I did it because I was a teacher librarian in an elementary school and had to know what was good. But here's the thing, aside from the art, which is often spectacular, a picture book takes one idea, that in the grown-up world can seem overwhelmingly complex, and makes it simple. This book exemplifies this.
The protagonist is a young girl who witnesses an event that leads to a peer being laughed at. The rest of the book has her asking what it means to be kind. In thirty two pages, the essence of what it means to be kind is revealed. While unpacking it, Pat Zietlow Miller doesn't make light of the challenges or possible missteps. At the same time, she highlights all the positive outcomes. Jen Hill's illustrations show us a multicultural world living in harmony. If only we can be kind.
If you are an adult, purchase this book for the younger ones in your life. Before you give it to them, read it a few times, just for yourself.
The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds
What a gorgeous homage to the glorious power of words!
There's a Pest in the Garden! (The Giggle Gang #2) by Jan Thomas
I am now officially caught up on the Giggle Gang series. This book is ok, but it's not as good as the others. While it's funny, it lacks that spark of laugh out loud humour. It still has the repetitive language and set up that will have young readers anticipating what will come next. As they pore over it again and again, they will happily become more competent readers.
Night Out by Daniel Miyares
Miyares' illustrations are gorgeous in this nearly wordless picture book. A lonely young boy gets an invitation in the middle of the night. He accepts and ends up at an animal tea party.
The next day he has a story to share and friends to make.
It's all glorious, but it's this ending that wows me - this idea that our loneliness is diminished when we can tell our own stories and be heard.
Rock 'n' Roll Soul by Susan Verde & Matthew Cordell (Illustrations)
I like the idea of this more than the reality. I tried reading the text silently, but it didn't work. I tried reading it out loud, but kept fumbling with finding a rhythm.
It's supposed to be on the wild side, and Matthew Cordell's illustrations really capture this.
NON FICTION PICTURE BOOKS
All That Trash: The Story of the 1987 Garbage Barge and Our Problem with Stuff by Meghan Mccarthy
What a fabulous nonfiction story. Not only does it tell us about a specific challenge of dealing with the garbage we create, the back matter is full of additional information about how much garbage we create today, and what happens to it. An interesting item from the main part of book acknowledges that Lowell Harrelson was ahead of his time.
Did you know that food in a landfill can become mummified?
A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #2) by Louise Penny & Ralph Cosham (Narrator)
I'm late to realize how wonderful this series is, but now that I have discovered it, I'm planning on making up for lost time. I'm infatuated with the characters and the village of Three Pines. As I listened to the descriptions of winter, I found myself bundling into a warm quilt. I love how just when I think I've figured out who the murderer is, I discover I have it all wrong!
ADULT NON FICTION
Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (and Yours) by Harold Johnson
Johnson, an indigenous lawyer and judge, claims that alcohol is destroying Indigenous people. He asks indigenous a non-indigenous readers to look closely at what stories they have around their use of alcohol. He focusses on the historical stories connecting indigenous people to alcohol abuse and calls for these stories to be changed. He acknowledges that it isn’t going to be easy, and that it will require substantial changes to economic reality to be successful. He asserts that leaders in the community must maintain sobriety to enable them to model different stories for youth to emulate.
This quote has stuck with me.
"The economy is a powerful story. We give human sacrifice to it. There are people in poor countries who must starve to death because the economy story says that even though we have too much food in this part of the world, if we gave any to them, we would destroy the economy. We used to believe in dragons and unicorns. Now we believe in market forces. The economy doesn't exist. It's something we made up, and we give it power."
Gee's Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt by Paul Arnett, William Arnett, Bernard Herman, Maggi McCormick Gordon, Diane Mott, Dilys Blum, Lauren Whitley, Amei Wallach , Joanne Cubbs
I did not read all the words, but I savoured all the images. The history and community behind these quilts reminded me of the ones my Grandmother pieced out of found fabric and then tied together. I wonder if this is where the roots of today's modern quilts come from?
I misplaced my library copy of One Native Life by Richard Wagamese last week. I searched high and low for it since I had to have it finished for my book club get together Monday. Today I went to see if I could possible have left it in the car. It wasn't there, but then I remembered sitting outside reading while Ada played in her little playground. I had left it there. Of course after weeks and weeks of drought, the rain had finally come and destroyed the book. I thought I would just purchase a new book for the library, but the hardcover is out of print. I sure wish I hadn't given my copy away to someone.
Other than that, I'm listening to The Perfect Score by Rob Buyea. I'll be focusing on finishing up Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth this week. It's one of my big books and I'm going to have to commit myself to have it completed by Labour Day!
I've managed to find an audiobook of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman so I plan on that as my next literary listening experience. I hope to get to She Loves You Yeah, Yeah, Yeah by Ann Hood, and All Summer Long by Hope Larson. I'll also dig into my pile of picture books.
PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS
#MustReadIn2018 19/25 1 in progress
#BigBookSummer 4/4 1 in progress
25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 15/25 1 in progress
Goodreads Reading Challenge 291/333