Born to Learn by Kytka Hilmar-Jezek

Since we are probably going to be an eclectic homeschooling family, I love reading about unschooling and thinking about how I can incorporate as much of it as possible. I have thoroughly enjoyed titles such as Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto, The Unschooling Handbook by Mary Griffith, and Free Range Learning by Laura Grace Weldon. So, when I received an email to let me know the Kindle edition of Born To Learn: Unschooling in the New Paradigm by Kytka Hilmar-Jezek was available free for one day only, I was excited and replied enthusiastically. I immediately downloaded it and read the entire book the same day (it's very short). I was disappointed. The book is not a galley proof; it was published about 7 months ago. Yet…

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The Simple Flute by Michel Debost

Title: The Simple FluteAuthor: Michel DebostPublisher: Oxford University PressReleased: February 2010Source: my personal libraryAmazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodreadsSynopsis:Drawing from his highly praised French work, Une simple flûte, distinguished flutist and teacher Michel Debost has compiled a useful and imaginative introduction to playing the flute. This compendium of advice and insight covers essential topics such as breathing, articulation, and tone, but also explores "jawboning," "finger phrasing," "the little devils," and other quirky and vexing aspects of flute playing. Full of practical advice on technique and axioms that lend moral support during tough practice sessions, The Simple Flute will be a welcome addition to any serious or novice flutist's library. Offering concise, common-sense solutions for flutists of all levels, this book…

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Lost in the Woods by Sams & Stoick

Title: Lost in the WoodsAuthor: Carl R. Sams II & Jean StoickPublisher: Carl R. Sams II PhotographyReleased: June 2004Source: my personal libraryAmazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodreadsSynopsis:A beautiful springtime fantasy from the creators of the best-selling Stranger in the Woods. This New York Times bestseller is a quiet story about trust and patience. Nature lovers of all ages will appreciate the amazing photography and gentle words which weave a tale about a young fawn waiting for her mother's return. From a red-winged blackbird to a hissing goose,woodland creatures keep watch over a young fawn they believe is lost in the woods. But the book also delivers a message: most fawns found alone in the woods are not lost or abandoned.…

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Norwegian Wood

One quiet, rainy weekend afternoon alone in my college dorm room, I was flipping through a literature textbook. "TV People" by Haruki Murakami was the very last story in the book. I read the first few lines and was immediately drawn in. I read the entire strange story, captivated.I had never heard of Murakami. My roommate returned and, since she was an international student from Hiroshima, I asked her if she knew who he was. "Oh, yes, he's very popular in Japan!" she exclaimed. "One of our bestselling authors!" She told me he has a very unique and beautiful way of writing, something about his choice of kanji. I wished I could read Japanese. She mentioned her favorite Murakami novel…

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Achebe’s Death Reminded Me

Friday morning I learned Chinua Achebe had died.photo by Stuart C. Shapiro, used under GNUFDLUpon hearing this news, I was instantly taken back to a Postcolonial Literature course I took as an undergraduate. That was such an amazing class. Looking back, there were two college courses that had a profound impact on me, classes which (with professors who) really stretched and challenged my mind: 20th Century Harmony, and Postcolonial Literature.As it is in many Postcolonial Lit classes around the country, Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart was required reading. I loved it, how the sentences were simply stated yet expressed so much. I'm pretty sure I read the entire book in one sitting. When the semester was over, I didn't sell it back to the…

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Eléctrico W by Hervé Le Tellier

  Hervé Le Tellier's Eléctrico W is a simple, quiet kind of novel. It has a minimalist plot, keeping the main focus on its characters and their stories - the stories that make them who they are. We experience these nine days through Vincent's narrative. Vincent seems to be working through a lot of confusion regarding his affair with Irene. He manipulates those around him, even those he has yet to meet, in order to reconcile and work through his conflicted feelings. He also doesn't seem to have considered the natural consequences of his interference. Vincent is definitely confused, still trying to figure out what he wants and how he feels. The novel seems to just drift along... slowly, not a lot of…

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A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

Title: A Tale for the Time BeingAuthor: Ruth OzekiPublisher: Viking AdultExpected Release: March 12, 2013Source: publisher (NetGalley)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodreadsSynopsis:"A  time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be." In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace—and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote…

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Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola

Title: Patrick: Patron Saint of IrelandAuthor: Tomie dePaolaPublisher: Open Road Integrated MediaReleased: March 5, 2013Source: publisher (NetGalley)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads(links refer to paperback version) Synopsis:The story of Patrick's life, from his noble birth in Britain, to his being captured and taken to Ireland by a group of bandits, to the "dreams" that led him to convert the Irish people to the Christian faith. DePaola also retells several well-known legends, including the story of how Patrick got rid of all the snakes in Ireland. Full color. Ages 5 and up.Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola has been in publication for years, but last week Open Road Integrated Media released an ebook edition in full color. You can…

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Travels With George by Olga Vannucci

Title: Travels With GeorgeAuthor: Olga VannucciPublisher: Ligurian Sea Press (self-published)Released: April 2012Source: authorAmazon | GoodreadsSynopsis:In her travels with her young son, George, Olga Vannucci strolls and hikes through the landscapes of her Italian childhood, in five separate trips, visiting cherished people and places and describing them with joy and amusement. The writing is warm and refreshing, and the experiences vivid and touching -- you will want to come along. The author, born in Italy and living in New Jersey, looks at Italy as both a local native and an awed visitor.Travels With George: A Memoir Through the Italy of My Childhood by Olga Vannucci is broken up into five sections, one for each of her trips to Italy. Each section is…

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Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Title: Life After LifeAuthor: Kate AtkinsonPublisher: Reagan Arthur BooksExpected Release: April 2, 2013Source: publisher (NetGalley)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodreadsSynopsis:What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war. Does Ursula's apparently infinite number of…

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