#IMWAYR August 12, 2019

#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've been off camping and gadding about for the last couple of weeks. Reading time was limited and internet access was not guaranteed, so I took a break from blogging. I did manage to get some writing accomplished, but I'm not ready to share it.

We are back in our Oliver home, unfettered by grandchildren and other distractions, so I plan to get caught up writing some overdue NetGalley reviews this week!


5 stars
Otto and Pio by Marianne Dubuc

I love the whimsical quirkiness of Marianne Dubuc's work and this one especially. Otto the squirrel discovers that doing a good deed and looking after a lost creature, Pio, has all kinds of ramifications. Mostly they are good.
Marianne Dubuc is Canadian.🍁

3 stars
Bus! Stop! by James Yang

James Yang's art is quirky and captivating. Our protagonist missed his bus, but neither the travellers nor the next buses that come along look like his bus. He waits and waits and waits. I'm going to test this one out on the grandkids before saying I'm done with it, but so far I like it. I think there will be lots of fun deciding with kids whether or not he should take the bus or not!


4 stars
Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong by Lesa Cline-Ransome & James E. Ransome (Illustrator)

James Ransome's art steals the show in this book. It isn't that the text isn't important, but rather his images are so vibrant and action filled, you almost forget to read them.

4 stars
The Trouble With Women by Jacky Fleming

This book had me nearly 'hysterical' with laughter, rage and tears. Give a copy to the feminists in your life. Many thanks to Myra Garces-Bacsal @ Gathering Books for the heads up about this one.

5 stars
Zita the Spacegirl Series by Ben Hatke

This series is so popular in school libraries, I never felt the need to read it so I could encourage readers to check it out. I'm not sure I would have ever gotten to it if it were not for the fact that I am waiting for Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl (Mighty Jack, #3; Zita the Spacegirl, #4) I figured I better get to know Zita before then. (Besides, spending time inside Ben Hatke's world is always rewarding) I'm sure glad I did. Now I am nearly desperate to find out what is going to happen when these two meet!

4 stars
Tiger vs. Nightmare by Emily Tetri

This charming graphic novel for younger readers tells the story of two friends, Tiger and Monster. Usually Monster frightens away Tiger's nightmares, but when a nightmare arrives that is too big for Monster to deal with, the two of them have to work together to defeat it.
I brought this camping with me to get feedback from my great niece and nephew. I gave it to them and they read it, but didn't get around to asking them what they thought


4 stars
Sweeping Up the Heart by Kevin Henkes & Lisa Flanagan (Narrator)

I enjoyed this charming book that deals with a lot of issues. Amelia Albright doesn't realize how lucky she is. Sure she doesn't have a mother, but she does have Mrs. O’Brien, who is there first thing in the morning before Amelia wakes up, and is there until her father comes home. She is her mother in everything but name. Her father might not be demonstrative, but that doesn't mean he doesn't care for her deeply. 
It's when she meets a boy at her art studio that she begins to see the world differently. The two of them end up engaging in some serious magical thinking with Casey trying to figure out a way to keep his parents from getting divorced and Amelia wondering if a woman she is seeing around could possibly be her dead mother. 

4 stars
Girl of the Southern Sea by Michelle Kadarusman (Netgalley)

Nia is a compelling character from the Jakarta slums. Her story provides a window for better off readers helping them understand what it means to live in abject poverty. All Nia really wants to do is go back to school, but students in Jakarta have to pay to go to high school. Unfortunately, her irresponsible father drinks their money away, often even the rent funds. Nia has to work in the family's fried banana stand to support her younger brother. She never stops writing and telling stories of the Javanese mythical princess, Dewi Kadita.
Michelle Kadarusman is Canadian.🍁

4 stars
A World Below by Wesley King

A class of gifted students are on a field trip into Carlsbad Caverns when there is an Earthquake. They end up in an underground world full of warring communities, monster fish, and killer spiders.
I'm one of those people who is happy just to have great characters in a book, and Wesley King pulls this off brilliantly. It isn't just the two main characters, Silvia and Eric who have depth. I appreciated that the 'jocks' are also multidimensional. King provides ample action and adventure in this fantasy survival tale that is sure to satisfy readers who want an exciting plot.
Wesley King is Canadian.🍁

5 stars
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles & Nicholas Guy Smith (Narrator)

I adored these characters.

I loved that history is experienced through the limited lens of life at the hotel.
The audiobook was over 14 hours long. It’s so brilliantly written and narrated I didn’t want it to end. Much thanks to Elisabeth Ellington @  the dirigible plum, who first recommended this book to me.

5 stars
The Red Power Murders by Thomas King

Thomas King, writing under any name, is brilliant. I love the depth of his characters, the wry humour, and the convoluted plot in this mystery. I appreciate his use personification in so many ways, but especially with regards to Thumps DreadfulWater's Volvo. King's depiction of winter made me long to put on a winter coat.
The integration of history is an important part of this book, even if the names have been changed. I couldn't help but make the connection to Anna Mae Aquash. I don't think we will ever know exactly what happened there, but this story is as plausible as any.
Thomas King is Canadian.🍁


5+ stars
Haunted Hills and Hanging Valleys: Selected Poems 1969-2004 by Peter Trower & Don Makay (Foreword)

I've been browsing through collections of Peter Trower's poetry and decided finally, to just dig in and finish one of them start to finish.
It took me a month because these poems demand to be savoured. Don't read them on a crowded bus. People will look at you funny. His words insist on being read aloud. Lines and whole poems beg to be repeated over and over and even copied.
This is glorious mentor text: both inspirational and intimidating. His work feels like a cross between Robert Service and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. My brother (who I just had to share some of these with) claims Deepcity Blues is like poetry from a Sam Spade novel. A Testament of Hills reveals what it means to be a west coast logger.
Peter Trower was a Vancouver poet who's fame is mostly restricted to the west coast. He deserves to be read more widely!
Peter Trower was Canadian.🍁


I'm almost done Wool by Hugh Howey, another of my summer big book challenges. I'm presently listening to How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny. I'm reading Finding Baba Yaga by Jane Yolen. On my device I'm rereading Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga. These last two are mentor text for me. I've just started Now You're Logging! by Bus Griffiths, a graphic novel first published in 1978. It's research for the memoir I'm working on.


I am hoping to get to Carnival Catastrophe by Natalie Lloyd, The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James by Ashley Herring Blake, Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay, and A Place to Belong by Kadohata, Cynthia. I need to read and review Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell, a Netgalley title, We shall see how much I accomplish.


#MustReadIn2018 16/25

#MustReadNFIn2018 10/12

25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 18/25

25 books by Canadian Authors 40/25

Big Book Reading Challenge 5/4 1 in progress

Goodreads Reading Challenge 256/333


  1. I've read the Mighty Jack books, but have not read any of the Zita the Spacegirl books. Kids love both series and we are eagerly awaiting Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl.

    1. I think you will appreciate the upcoming book even more if you read the Zita the Spacegirl books first.

  2. Sounds like time off well needed and deserved. I'm glad you found time to write!

    1. It wasn't dedicated time, but I got some good starts in.

  3. You've pushed me over -- I'm adding book #1 of Zita the Spacegirl to my list. Looking forward to meeting these characters! And I was almost sure I read Tiger vs. Nightmare, but I can't find my review so I'm checking it out again. Also, I can't wait to hear your thoughts on The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James. I enjoyed Ivy Aberdeen, but Blake's Sunny St. James really lured me in and gave me all the feels. I hope you enjoy it, Cheriee!

    1. I read the Zita out of order, but it didn't matter. I loved every one of them. I'll make sure to get to The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James this week!

  4. Hope you had a fun time camping! I love summertime outdoor activities and hope to live it up before winter returns. Otto and Pio is such a sweet book with an awesome message about helping our neighbors. I enjoyed Stop! Bot! last week, so I should check out Bus! Stop! sometime soon. Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

    1. I am the camping fan in our house. I drag my husband along and he ends up having a good time in spite of himself. I agree completely with you about the message of Otto and Pio.

  5. I hadn't heard of A Gentleman in Moscow until I literally had 10 people in one desk shift coming in looking for it! I still haven't read it yet, but I might see if there's an audiobook version I could check out.

  6. Glad you got out camping, and hopefully the smoke from that fire does not head your way. I really enjoyed all of the Zita books as well as Girl of the Southern Sea and A World Below. I really should go back to reading Thomas King's books. For a while, I read everything I could get but it has been several years now. You have shared a very interesting looking title there as well as Otto and Pio.

    1. Here in our Oliver home a fire is raging on the mountain across the valley from us. Luckily, the wind has been blowing the smoke away from us.

  7. I am definitely going to look for The Trouble with Women. It sounds intriguing. The Trower poetry also looks like something I would enjoy. Thanks!

  8. Two weeks off and camping sound wonderful! Glad you enjoyed some downtime.

    I haven't read the Zita series yet, but I always enjoy Ben Hatke's graphic novels.

    And I have really wanted to read A Gentleman in Moscow - have heard such good things abut it! Congrats on finishing a Big Book for the challenge!

    I can't wait to hear what you think of Wool - it is one of my favorite books. Really blew me away when I first read it, and books 2 & 3 in the trilogy are just as good (I read them all for various Bug Book Summer Challenges!).

    Welcome home! Hope you enjoy your books this week -


    2019 Big Book Summer Challenge

  9. I only have the first book in the Zita series so definitely need to add more to my classroom library. I only recently realized Zita and Mighty Jack were written by the same author!