Monday Funday – February 5, 2018


Happy Monday, friends! It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. These weekly roundups are a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share some of the titles you’ve been enjoying, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.

I’ve shared a number of great books in the past few weeks, so do be sure to check out those posts if you missed them! William’s Winter Nap is a beautiful rhyming bedtime book, Molly & Mae is a charming celebration of friendship, Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas is a deliciously diverse holiday picture book, The Field is perfect for for soccer fans everywhere, Now I Know my Avocados is an alphabet book with a twist, and Now You See Them, Now You Don’t blends beautiful illustrations, fascinating facts and lyrical poetry into a winning package.

This week in adult reads, I’ve been diving deep into the beautiful writing of Canadian fantasy master, Guy Gavriel Kay. I came by my love of fantasy honestly – my mum is a long-time fantasy reader (as is the Raincity Software Engineer), and Guy Gavriel Kay is an author that all three of us love. One of my favourites of his is The Last Light of the Sun, an absolutely breathtaking novel inspired by European history. I like to think of Kay’s work as taking place in a sort of alternate history, one that’s based clearly in history, but which elements of magic or fantasy.

I’m currently reading one of Kay’s most famous and best loved works, Tigana. 


Tigana is the magical story of a beleaguered country struggling to be free. It is the tale of a people so cursed by the dark sorceries of the tyrant king Brandin that even the very name of their once beautiful home cannot be spoken or remembered. But years after their homeland’s devastation, a handful of men and women set in motion a dangerous crusade—to overthrow their conquerors and bring back to the world the lost brightness of an obliterated name: Tigana.

Against the magnificently realized background of a world both sensuous and brutal, this masterful epic of a passionate people pursuing their dream is breathtaking in its vision. A spellbinding novel in which myth comes alive and magic reaches out to touch you.

This truly is a magical book. Kay’s characters are brilliantly realized, and his worlds are breathtakingly complex. The writing is lyrical and spellbinding. I’m about half way through, and already I cannot recommend this book enough, especially if you’re a fan of epic fantasy that’s grounded in history, as well as magic.


In the world of kidlit, I’ve recently discovered and fallen in love with the spunky, delightful imaginative Japanese-American heroine Jasmine Toguchi.  Jasmine is a sweet, intelligent, enthusiastic girl whose big ideas sometimes get her into trouble, but she always manages to find a way to making things right. Jasmine has a big heart and a wonderfully loving, supportive family, and I really enjoyed the series’ many references to Jasmine’s Japanese heritage. Elizabet Vukovic’s illustrations are utterly charming, and I’m sure this is series is going to become a modern classic.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week, and be sure to check back in during the week for more great book reviews!

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  • Reply Greg Hill

    I’ve never read Guy Gavriel kay but I admit I’m curious.

    February 5, 2018 at 6:30 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      He’s really worth checking out, especially if you like fantasy AND historical fiction, because he blends them both together in a particularly effective way.

      February 18, 2018 at 1:00 am
  • Reply Myra GB

    I didn’t know about these titles! Thank you for sharing them, will definitely try to find em. 🙂

    February 5, 2018 at 7:02 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Hurray! I love being able to share new books!

      February 18, 2018 at 1:00 am
  • Reply Lisa Maucione (@DrLMaucione)

    I love Jasmine Toguchi, too! Love the characters and each book in the series is an interesting story.

    February 5, 2018 at 12:03 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Isn’t she just so much fun? 🙂

      February 18, 2018 at 1:00 am
  • Reply lauramossa

    Jasmine Toguchi is a favorite at my school. I recently had a literacy lunch bunch with second grade students. After reading Mochi Queen, the girls wanted to try mochi and luckily, I found it at Wegmann’s.
    Can’t wait to continue reading more books in the series!

    February 5, 2018 at 2:23 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Oh, how fun! I’ve had mochi in Japan, and it’s so yummy. 🙂

      February 18, 2018 at 1:01 am
  • Reply books4learning

    Never heard of Drummer Girl, but it looks fun. I added it to my list. Thanks.

    February 5, 2018 at 6:45 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Hurray! 🙂

      February 18, 2018 at 1:01 am
  • Reply Tammy and Clare

    We really want to read the Jasmine Toguchi series. Thank you for reminding us about it. Jasmine sounds like a character kids will have fun getting to know.

    February 5, 2018 at 10:56 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      She’s super cute, and I love the aspects of Japanese culture woven throughout.

      February 18, 2018 at 1:01 am
  • Reply Jana Eschner

    Both of these books are ones I haven’t read, so I’m looking forward to checking them out. Have a wonderful week.

    February 6, 2018 at 2:03 am
  • Reply Earl @ The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer

    I can’t wait to read more Jasmine Toguchi!

    February 6, 2018 at 2:51 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Me too!!

      February 18, 2018 at 1:01 am
  • Reply cweichel

    My partner is a huge fan of Guy Gavriel Kay, and when I asked what he would suggest, he not only recommended this title, he dug it out of the book shelf for me!
    I’m now excited about this Jasmine Toguchi series.

    February 6, 2018 at 3:10 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      It really is one of his best works, a stunning work of historical fiction and fantasy woven together with a deft hand. AND he’s Canadian! ;-D

      February 18, 2018 at 1:02 am
  • Reply Ricki Ginsberg

    I am happy to hear Drummer Girl is a delightful story! I will add it to my TBR list!

    February 6, 2018 at 3:33 am
  • Reply 2shaye

    Wow, these both look good! I just checked our local libraries and realize we don’t have any of the Jasmine Toguchi in our area. WHAT?! I guess I’ll have to do some ILLing. Thanks for sharing!

    February 6, 2018 at 4:01 pm
  • Reply lindabaie

    Will especially look for Drummer Girl & her others, Jane. FYI-this time, it looks like I’m logged in. Strange. . .

    February 7, 2018 at 10:13 pm
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