#IMWAYR May 16, 2022

Welcome readers! It's #IMWAYR time again, when bloggers share what they have been reading and find out what others have been up to. 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. These are fabulous places to start your search for what to read next. 

It's been three weeks since my last update. In the middle of that time I ended up getting my heart fixed. I had paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (electrical issues). I went into the hospital at 11 am for a heart ablation and my husband picked me up at 6 pm to take me home. Isn't modern medicine amazing! 

Has it been as cold a spring where you are as it is here? Temperatures are below average and the forecast is for more of this. In spite of the chill we are thankful for the rain. I did get some tomatoes in the ground and hope to get the rest of the garden planted this week no matter what!

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

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


5 stars

I Am You: A Book about Ubuntu
by Refiloe Moahloli & Zinelda McDonald (Illustrator) February 1, 2022

This book makes me happy. I would purchase at least 2 copies if I was still working in the library. This unifying idea is one whose time has come! Thanks to Myra at Gathering Books for introducing it to us. 
"Ubuntu means "I am, because you are". In fact, the word ubuntu is just part of the Zulu phrase "Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu", which literally means that a person is a person through other people. Ubuntu has its roots in humanist African philosophy, where the idea of community is one of the building blocks of society. Ubuntu is that nebulous concept of common humanity, oneness: humanity, you and me both."

5 stars

Little Witch Hazel: A Year in the Forest
by Phoebe Wahl September 21, 2021

I loved this book so much I read it twice. Little Witch Hazel is a witch in manner of Terry Pratchett's witches. She is a kind of community health nurse who looks after the inhabitants of the forest where she lives. This collection of four stories to match the seasons are full of humour, delight, wonder and courage.

4 stars

Out of a Jar
by Deborah Marcero February 8, 2022

In an effort to avoid conflict and trouble, Llewellyn puts all their emotions into jars. When excitement and joy end up in jars, Llewellyn has to find a way to deal with all their emotions in healthy ways.

4 stars

Daddy Speaks Love
by Leah Henderson & E.B. Lewis (Illustrations) January 4, 2022

This book shows diverse groups of fathers showing love to their children in many different ways. What they all have in common is their support for love, for diversity, and their kids.

Unfortunately this book was not translated into English.
My granddaughter and I still enjoyed looking at the images and trying to figure out what the story might be all about.
I had fun reading this book with my two year old granddaughter. After admiring the endpapers full of mother and baby animals, she looked at the pages just long enough to see what the action was and proceeded to show me how she could do it.
Each two page spread shows an infant animal doing something beside a human child doing the same action. Each spread has two words like, Calves swim, Porcupines nibble.
We both enjoyed this book a lot, but I would suggest you don't try reading it just before bed.


This is an introduction to the life of Mary Anning, the Mother of Palaeontology. Maris Wicks artwork is just perfect. My almost 5 year old granddaughter was fascinated by the end papers. The ones in the front of the book are skeletons while the ones at the back are the artists rendition of what they might have looked like in life.
I thought the main part of the book was a bit short on details. Still, the back matter contains extra information about her and the different animals she found.


"Grass is a powerful antiwar graphic novel, telling the life story of a Korean girl named Okseon Lee who was forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War."
A number of years ago my Korean daughter in law and I went to a documentary on the Comfort Women. Her grandmother had told her about them. In the documentary, some were Korean, but others were from China. Wherever the Japanese invaded, young girls were kidnapped and turned into sex slaves. They are still waiting for an apology from the Japanese government. 
As Suk Gendry-Kim gives voice to one woman's experience, she validates the reality of the other women who experienced those horrors.  
While this is an adult book, I would purchase it for my high school library. 

This is the perfect example of how the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts. It's poetry, painting, and collage integrated in a way that becomes a new hybrid of artistic expression. On the surface it's the story of a black family living through the Covid pandemic. It goes much deeper than this.
I tried it as an audiobook ages ago, but abandoned it because, even without having seen the book, the words alone were not enough. Without the synthesis of the words and visual art, it just doesn't work. While there really are not that many words, it still took me a couple of days of picking the book up, reading some, letting it percolate, then reading a bit more and letting it percolate, before finally finishing it.
I would like to have a digital version where the text is read by the authors as you turn the pages.


4 stars

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie
by Erin Soderberg Downing & Lu Banks (Narrator) April 6, 2021

The Peach family have been struggling since the death of their mother and wife. Lucy has taken on most of the responsibility for her younger siblings while her father has abandoned his children and sunk himself into his work. When he is forced to take a sabbatical, he purchases a food truck and decides that they will fulfill one of their mother's dreams by travelling around the country in a food truck.
They all have a lot of learning to do to make the trip a success and win the big prize of $10,000 at the food truck fair in Delaware, Ohio. The best prize of all is, after a lot of challenges, learning how to be a family again.
I really liked this family. Ok, so a lot of the time I wanted to smack the father over the head, but he turns out to be ok at the end. Lucy, Freddy, and Herb are realistic characters. I especially connected to Lucy. As the oldest child in a large family, when disaster struck, I learned what it's like to parent my siblings (and my parents).

4 stars

The Graveyard Riddle
(Goldfish Boy #2) by Lisa Thompson & Rosie Jones (Narrator) January 7, 2021

There is A LOT going on in this book!
Melody, Matthew and Jake are three friends. They go through the usual friend issues, but have bigger problems to deal with.
Melody's mother has put their house up for sale and refuses to consider talking to the father about financial support.
Jake is being bullied by one of the teachers at school. It isn't until the teacher ignores Jake's allergic reaction and ensuing anaphylactic shock, that his behaviour is dealt with.
Melody befriends Hal, a boy hiding out in the Graveyard. He tells her he is a spy for MI8 and weaves such a compelling story that she believes him. He even manages to persuade Matthew and Jake of his story. When the children finally deduce what is going on with Hal, it's a heart wrenching tale.

As gorgeous as the cover of this book is, the story inside is even more stunning.
Bitter grew up in foster care. Life was hard until she was chosen to attend Eucalyptus, a special school for artistic teens. Eucalyptus is situated in the town of Lucille, a community ruled by a corrupt billionaire, city leaders and police. Protests are ongoing and the only thing that seems to arise from them is more injury and death of the protestors. The Asata are a significant group that leads these protestors. When a close friend loses an eye after one of the altercations, Bitter uses her blood magic to bring forth Vengeance, an angel of death, who she hopes will stop the corrupt leadership and bring peace to Lucille. Soon an army of 'angels' joins with some of the protestors to hunt and kill Lucille's leadership.
Bitter and other protestors are opposed to this plan for murder and have to figure out how to stop them before it's too late.
While I was reading this I couldn't help but make a connection between The Black Power Movement of 1960's and 70's and The Asata. Both groups supported their community in many different ways.
In the end this book is a profound look into the difference between good and evil.

This was a reread for my book club. It was as profound, if not more so, the second time round.
If you want to understand what went on in the residential ‘school’ system and the ramifications for survivors, this is your book. Even though I was aware of the horror of these places, Michelle Good's story of five survivors brought my understanding of this violence against culture, families and children into a deeper understanding.

5 stars

The Man Who Died Twice
(Thursday Murder Club, #2) by Richard Osman &  Lesley Manville (Narrator) September 16th 2021

I enjoyed this book even more than the first in the series, and I loved the first!
Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron are back. This time the octogenarians have to find 20 million dollars in stolen diamonds and figure out who murdered two MI5 agents. 
As we get to know about the backgrounds of these characters, I adore them even more. It's a reminder to me of how many stories my elderly neighbours have inside them.

I listened to this book, but should probably have read it with my eyes. It's full of fascinating information about the multiple biomes that exist inside and around all things on the planet. I left this book aware of the immense complexity of the microscopic organisms that rule our world. If you are a fan of science nonfiction, read this. It will change the way you think about the world.

5 stars

The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity
by David Graeber, David Wengrow & Mark Williams (Narrator) October 19, 2021

This is a brilliant book that shakes up what we have been taught about the history of humanity. Highly recommend!


Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Didion, Joan
Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune


Cold by Mariko Tamaki
Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Tale in Four Lives by Matt Richtel


#MustReadFiction 11/24 

#MustReadNonFiction 6/18 

Canadian Authors 28/100

Canada Reads shortlist 5/5 

Indigenous Authors 11/25

Goodreads Reading Challenge: 113/250


  1. Wonderful assortment and variety of books. Five Little Indians sounds timely. I've been seeing a lot about the topic lately. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  2. I will look for a copy of Dragon Bones for my first grader, who is interested in becoming a paleontologist when she grows up. Grass sounds like a hard, but important read. So many good books, thanks for the recommendations! I'm at http://wendimlee.blogspot.com/ if you want to check out my week in books.

  3. Thanks for checking in on my last week's post, Cheriee. I had guests these past days so just decided to wait a while. As you probably know, it takes a lot of time to read then share. I may take it a bit easier & post less. But, thanks for all these special books. You always make my TBR list longer! I especially marked Grass, Bitter, The Graveyard Riddle, well more! I know about that "peach" book, will get to it someday! I enjoyed the first one! Thanks! So sorry about the heart problems yet you make it sound like everything is good so I'm very happy to read that, too! Best wishes for full recovery!

  4. Wow, Cheriee - I didn't realize you had heart surgery! So glad it was able to be done out-patient and went well. Hope you are recovering well.

    Grass sounds very powerful - I'd never heard of this aspect of history before - wow.

    I also enjoyed The Graveyard Riddle - I listened on audio. And I so want to read the Thursday Murder Club books - they sound like a lot of fun! Enjoy Under the Whispering Door - it was excellent on audio.

    Oh, and guess what? Big Book Summer starts next week! It was a shock to me, too - ha ha - it;s been a cool spring here also. So, start looking through your shelves!

    Book By Book

  5. I Am You looks wonderful. I have a friend who teaches in an ubuntu school so I definitely need to bring this to her attention.

  6. Cheriee, I am so glad you are OK after your procedure—I went back through your posts, and between this and the sinus infection, you've kind of been through the wringer! I hope you're feeling all right now. All of these books look delightful—I made note of Little Witch Hazel because I remember reading Wahl's The Blue House and enjoying it! I also made note of Grass, which sounds like a haunting but powerful story. I really need to get around to reading Ain't Burned All the Bright, and I just bought a copy of Bitter two days ago—our family is going to read it aloud like we did with Pet, and I can't wait! And my father is actually reading (or has read, I'm not sure) The Dawn of Everything. Also, I saw your reply to my earlier comment where you mentioned The Nib—I have not heard of it until now, but it looks really cool, so I will definitely take a further look! Thanks so much for the wonderful post, as always!

  7. Hi Cheriee, What a list! I too, found Five Little Indians profoundly moving for all the reasons you describe. I had the same reaction to Katherena Vermette's The Break. Bitter sounds magnificent, as does The Graveyard Riddle and the Peach family saga. I know what you mean about wanting to slap neglectful or clueless book parents over the head. I sometimes find myself yelling at them (as though yelling at a book - or people - ever solves anything). I'm glad you came through your procedure. Yes, modern medicine is amazing.