#IMWAYR June 1, 2020

Hello out there. It's #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.

These days I'm thinking about all my teaching family and friends who return to their classrooms June 1st. On the one hand I understand why our public health leader, Dr Bonnie Henry, has determined that the risk of a covid 19 out break is almost nil. On the other, I understand why teachers are anxious and worried. Many schools did not have adequate cleanliness regimes or facilities for hand washing before the outbreak. I wish all of my friends and colleagues courage and good luck for the next days. I have faith they will ensure a safe environment for themselves and their students. 

Meanwhile, around here, renovations proceed more slowly than anticipated. Mudding and sanding is a slog. Thank goodness for audiobooks to take me into a different world while I am working. Sunday we went off to purchase a fancy spray paint system. Today, Monday, my partner is learning how to use it. My job is to move stuff from the next room and start ripping off trim and wall panel in preparation for more mudding and sanding.

I finally gave up on my old ipad air and purchased a new one. It should arrive sometime in the next week or so. I am excited, but waiting is hard. My old one had only 16 GB and was always out of memory. These days I am having to read ebooks and it's a nightmare to load them. This is especially true for Netgalley titles.

On a positive note, my local library is opening up for pick up. I have put a few books on reserve. Soon I will get to hold real library books in my hands again! Ho

Titles with a 🍁 indicate this is a Canadian Author and or Illustrator.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Goodreads page of the book.


The Eagle Mother by Hetxw'ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson), Natasha Donovan (Illustrations)


5 stars
Banished by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch 🍁

Seriously, is this not one of the most beautiful book covers you have ever seen?
Marsha Skrypuch is one of my favourite historical fiction authors. I especially appreciate that her novels often connect to Canada in some way. Her work opens my eyes to world events that I am unaware of. In this case it is the Armenian genocide from the time of the first world war. Her characters, Ali and Zeynep, won my heart. This is a reread for me for a book club I am in. You can read my full review of their remarkable story here.

5 stars
The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo & Emily Woo Zeller (Narrator)

When Clara Shin and her 'enemy,' Rose, end up in a ruckus at school, their punishment is to work together over the summer in Clara's father's food truck.

While the story of enemies becoming friends and coming into who you really are might be common, Maurene Goo turns it into something fresh and unique. I became attached to these characters. I cared about them, their lives, their families, and their food truck. So will you.

Listening to this book made me happy. It accompanied me while I worked in my garden, applied mud to drywall, and knitted on a baby sweater. I am looking forward to whatever Maurene Goo comes up with next.

5 stars
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

This is a profound book.

Jam is a black, transgendered, selectively mute, teen girl who lives in a utopian world without monsters. Then she accidentally brings Pet, a clawed, horned creature, into existence. Pet tells her it has come to hunt a monster who is connected to Jam's best friend, Redemption.

Together the three of them set out to find the monster and deal with it.

What happens after the victim and monster are identified is terrifying, primarily because all too often this is the reality for abused children. Adults regularly refuse to acknowledge that the monster exits. Thankfully, these kids have Pet on their side.


5 stars
The Eagle Mother by Hetxw'ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson), Natasha Donovan (Illustrations) 🍁

The Eagle Mother is a book loaded with information about the eagle life cycle. What makes it unique is how it puts this information into a context of indigenous ways of knowing. You can read my full review and see samples of the gorgeous illustrations here.

5 stars
March: Books One, Two and Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, & Nate Powell (Illustrator)

This was a reread for me for a book club that meets this coming week.
Prior to reading this series, I knew next to nothing about John Lewis except that he is a politician who enjoyed Preaching to the Chickens as a boy. Learning more about the events of the Civil Rights Movement was fascinating the first time round. It was a more profound experience now.
March One deals with the events of Brown vs. The Board of Education, the murder of Emmet Till, Rosa Parks and the bus strike, the inception of the SNCC, and the Lunch Counter Sit Ins. March Two brings the reader into an intimate awareness of what it meant to be a Freedom Rider. The violence is terrifying, but not as horrific as realizing that we haven't really come very far at all. This book culminates in the March on Washington. March Three begins with the bombing of black churches in Birmingham and takes us into the struggle for voting rights and the Selma March.
These days the news is full of George Floyd, Christian Cooper, Breonna Taylor, and Regis Korchinsky. Reading the series puts this news into perspective and reminds us that that we still have a long march ahead of us to bring real change to our respective countries. I've also come to realize that America's existing president isn't an anomaly at all. He's everything that many white supremacists see as normal.


I'm listening to Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo. I'm reading A Short History of Indians In Canada: Stories by Thomas King and The Case of the Missing Auntie by Michael Hutchinson. I'm also in the middle of A Portrait in Poems: The Storied Life of Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas by Evie Robillard.


I'm hoping to finish up and review a couple of Netgalley titles. I managed to find my copy of Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle S. Prendergast and hope to get started on it.


Big Books Summer 2020 1/10

#MustReadIn2020: 10/25

#MustReadNFIn2020: 5/12

25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors: 10/25

100 books by Canadian Authors: 94/100

Goodreads Reading Challenge: 178/333


  1. I know about Pet, but still need to read it and the others you've shared are new to me, Cheriee & sound great. Thank you! I think I need to stop sleeping so I can just read! It sounds like your new home is going to have a big makeover! Hope the spraying helps it go faster! I just checked my library site again & now they've extended books due until June 30, so guess there's no hope for re-opening yet. It is a loss for so many. Enjoy your week!

    1. My Vancouver library extended my books to September 1, so I guess they will be closed for the whole summer. I suspect it's easier for smaller communities to deal with demand and safety.

  2. These books sound great! The Way You Make Me Feel sounds like a nice read, and the March series sounds quite important. Pet also sounds great, especially considering how many people have enjoyed it recently. Good luck with renovations, and congrats on your new iPad—I got one with 32 GB a few years ago, and it is so much better than one with just 16 GB. Thanks for the great post!

    1. You are welcome. Sometimes you need a book like The Way You Make Me Feel, just to feel happy with the world.

  3. All these books sound interesting!

  4. All the books look great. I have read The Eagle Mother and also loved it. I have Banished in my classroom but I haven't read it. Maybe this summer. There are so many to get to here (and in general).

    1. There sure are so many books to read! I hope you find time to read Banished. It is riviting.

  5. Pet blew me away. The very first part of the book I really didn't know what was going to happen. But the way it was worded, interpreted, and constructed was brilliant!

  6. I'm sorry to hear about your old iPad, but how exciting to be getting a new one!! For Mother's Day, my husband and daughter bought me an older iPad (2nd gen) because it was affordable for now, and I really LOVE how big it is compared to my old iPad mini. It's 64GB which is much better than my older 16GB device. I used to struggle with Netgalley titles, but lately they seem to be working better for me. Do you use Bluefire Reader or Digital Editions or something else when downloading the PDFs? I'm still learning on that front... Oooof on pet. That was a gut punch. So well written and painful and deep. And now I must go look up the March series because I've missed it. Hope I can find something local. Thanks for the shares, Cheriee!

    1. I use either blue fire reader or kindle when I download titles. I had a mini for school use when I was still teaching, but much preferred my own ipad. I too love the larger size.

  7. Pet is one I still think about months after reading.