Review: The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan

Title: The PanopticonAuthor: Jenni FaganPublisher: HogarthReleased: July 23, 2013Source: publisher (giveaway)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodreadsSynopsis (from publisher):Anais Hendricks, fifteen, is in the back of a police car. She is headed for the Panopticon, a home for chronic young offenders. She can't remember what’s happened, but across town a policewoman lies in a coma and Anais’s school uniform is covered in blood. Raised in foster care from birth and moved through twenty-three placements before she even turned seven, Anais has been let down by just about every adult she has ever met. Now a counter-culture outlaw, she knows that she can only rely on herself. And yet despite the parade of horrors visited upon her early life, she greets…


Non-Fiction November Week 2: Be the Expert

This week's topic for Non-Fiction November is "Be the Expert." I'm a musician, so I guess you could say I'm an expert in classical music, although calling myself that makes me cringe a little... let's just say I'm constantly and continually working toward becoming an expert, because a person is never done learning their craft, right? :)So here are some of my favorite books about classical music (the overall genre, not the time period) for fellow professionals, amateurs, or the layperson. Really, for anyone who enjoys playing, listening and learning more about the genre at any level. next list is for fellow music teachers. I used to be a part of a piano teachers reading group. It was wonderful! Many of…


Review: Adé: A Love Story by Rebecca Walker

Rebecca Walker's Adé: A Love Story was amazing. I read this novella two months ago, and wanted to kick myself for reading it too early, knowing I had to wait so long before reviewing it. I kid you not, my heart skips a beat whenever I think about this book. It was that good. I was surprised by two things. First, Rebecca Walker's writing is very descriptive in a wordy kind of way, something I normally do not enjoy at all. But the style here was simply magnificent. I soaked in every word. Second, it's a love story. This is something I normally avoid. But Farida and Adé's story was stunning. Sensitive, superb, and perfectly timed. Adé makes me want to…


Literary Giveaway Blog Hop: Adé by Rebecca Walker

Its subtitle may be A Love Story but, rest assured, Adé is not a romance book. Walker's lush way with words is simply magnificent. Within its 128 pages, she has created a culturally interesting setting, and fully fleshed out characters readers will connect with. I read this novella two months ago, and haven't stopped thinking about it since.My blog is a stop on this book's tour with TLC Book Tours, so my full review will post on Monday, when I'll gush about this one some more! ;)As part of the blog tour, Little A/New Harvest has offered a copy of Adé to one lucky reader. I was excited to learn that the dates for The Literary Blog Hop coincided with my previously…


Review: A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert

Title: A Wilder RoseAuthor: Susan Wittig AlbertPublisher: Persevero PressReleased: October 1, 2013Source: publisher (NetGalley)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodreadsSynopsis (from Barnes & Noble):In 1928, Rose Wilder Lane-world traveler, journalist, highly-paid magazine writer-returned from an Albanian sojourn to her parents' Ozark farm. Almanzo Wilder was 71 and Laura 61, and Rose felt obligated to stay and help. Then came the Crash. Rose's investments vanished and the magazine market dried up. That's when Laura wrote "Pioneer Girl," her story of growing up in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, on the Kansas prairie, and by the shores of Silver Lake.The rest is literary history. But it isn't the history we thought we knew. Based on the unpublished diaries of Rose Wilder Lane…


Review: The Pure Gold Baby by Margaret Drabble

Title: The Pure Gold BabyAuthor: Margaret DrabblePublisher: Houghton Mifflin HarcourtReleased: October 1, 2013Source: publisher (NetGalley)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodreadsSynopsis (from Goodreads):Jessica Speight, a young anthropology student in 1960s London, is at the beginning of a promising academic career when an affair with her married professor turns her into a single mother. Anna is a pure gold baby with a delightful sunny nature. But as it becomes clear that Anna will not be a normal child, the book circles questions of responsibility, potential, even age, with Margaret Drabble’s characteristic intelligence, sympathy, and wit.The Pure Gold Baby tells the story of Jessica, a single mother of a special needs child, Anna. The book thoughtfully examines friendship, love, motherhood, and aging.…


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