1 Year Blogoversary and New Year – New Books Blog Hop Giveaway!

Ashley at Closed the Cover is hosting the New Year - New Books Blog Hop, which also happens to coincide with my 1 year blogoversary! I'm excited to be giving away a $20.00 giftcard to Amazon OR Barnes & Noble (see below, runs through 1/2/14).My bookish (and book-bloggy) New Year's Resolutions:Reading goal - 100 booksItalian reading goal - 3 booksChildren's literature reading goal - read aloud 6 books (that is, novels; not picture books). We took forever to read The Trumpet of the Swan, but C really enjoyed it. She asked to start reading another book almost immediately. Definitely want to keep that enthusiasm up!I'd like to read more backlist titles this year... I don't want to let upcoming releases keep…

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My Favorite Reads in 2013

It is so difficult to look through the list of books I read this past year and narrow it down into a list of favorites! There were so many great reads this year. I've narrowed my favorites down to 5 non-fiction titles and 6 fiction titles (three are novellas and one is a major chunkster, so I felt okay with the weird number here). Click a cover to read my review of that title.Are you better able than me to narrow down your favorite reads in 2013? Would you be able to choose ONE favorite?

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Update (FAIL) on the Little Women Read Along

Soooo... I made it halfway through Little Women. And then I found myself skimming. Or falling asleep. I just couldn't push ahead, and I started to dread opening the book at all.I think the overly sweet (and somewhat preachy) tone got to me. Not that I had a problem with (most of) the sentiments, but after pages and pages of it, I felt bored.Something I couldn't get past - and some of you have already heard me say this - was how the Marches constantly talked about how poor they were. Yet, they had a servant. Food. A nice home. Extras. Even after seeing the neighbor family starving and freezing to death, even after the death of that family's baby,…

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Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.Some of these are books I've been wanting to read for my own enjoyment and/or education; others are titles I'd like to have on my shelf for future reference while teaching (music or while homeschooling). What books would you like Santa to bring you? ;)

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The Lost Art of Feeding Kids by Jeannie Marshall

Title: The Lost Art of Feeding Kids: What Italy Taught Me About Why Children Need Real FoodAuthor: Jeannie MarshallPublisher: Beacon PressExpected Release: January 14, 2014Source: publisher via EdelweissAmazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodreadsSynopsis (from Goodreads):A lively story of raising a child to enjoy real food in a processed world, and the importance of maintaining healthy food cultures. In Italy, children traditionally sat at the table with the adults eating everything from anchovies to artichokes. Their appreciation of seasonal, regional foods influenced their food choices and this passing down of traditions turned Italy into a world culinary capital. But now, parents worldwide are facing the same problems as American families with the aggressive marketing of processed foods and the prevalence…

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Audiobook Review: How Music Works by David Byrne

Title: How Music WorksAuthor: David ByrneNarrator: Andrew GarmanPublisher: Recorded Books, LLCReleased: September 1, 2013Source: borrowed from local libraryAmazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodreadsSynopsis (from Recorded Books):Best known as a founding member and principal songwriter of the iconic band Talking Heads, David Byrne has received Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the insightful How Music Works, Byrne offers his unique perspective on music - including how music is shaped by time, how recording technologies transform the listening experience, the evolution of the industry, and much more.How Music Works is a non-fiction loving, eclectic reader's dream. It covers history, culture, science, psychology, technology, politics, business, entertainment, and so…

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Perfect by Rachel Joyce

Rachel Joyce is a new-to-me author, but one I've been wanting to read for a while. So I was excited to receive the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour for her upcoming release, Perfect. Thanks to TLC Book Tours for supplying me with a review copy. This tour began December 16 and finishes up January 28; be sure to check out the complete tour schedule and read the reviews posted on other stops for more perspectives!Scroll to the bottom of this post for a chance to win a copy of Perfect!(US residents only)Title: PerfectAuthor: Rachel JoycePublisher: Random HouseExpected Release: January 14, 2014Source: publisher (TLC Book Tours)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodreadsSynopsis (from Goodreads):On a foggy spring morning in 1972, twelve-year-old Byron Hemming…

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Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2013I enjoyed so many "new" authors this year! Many of them debuted this year and were new to most of us, others have been around a while but ones I hadn't yet encountered. Here are my ten favorite new-to-me authors I read this year. Hover over an author's name to find out which book I discovered, and click to open my review (the Rachel Joyce link will go live tomorrow):How about you? Which authors were new to you this year?

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For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu

  Kim Fu handles the transgender perspective in For Today I Am a Boy with the utmost care. This is not a radical, explosive book meant to shock its audience. Instead, it centers on Peter's thoughts, feelings, and experiences as he tells us about his childhood, his loved ones, and his coming of age, in his own voice. There are a number of subtle but powerful moments that made me forget this is a work of fiction; much of the time it reads like a memoir. Fu attains the perfect balance between creating interesting, complex characters without turning them into clichés. Especially when it comes to Peter, this maintains the story's reliability. Who were these kids? What right had they to be…

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Review: xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths edited by Kate Bernheimer

Title: xo Orpheus: Fifty New MythsEditor: Kate BernheimerPublisher: Penguin BooksReleased: September 24, 2013Source: publisher (NetGalley)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodreadsSynopsis (from Goodreads):Fifty leading writers retell myths from around the world in this dazzling follow-up to the bestselling My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me.Icarus flies once more. Aztec jaguar gods again stalk the earth. An American soldier designs a new kind of Trojan horse—his cremains in a bullet. Here, in beguiling guise, are your favorite mythological figures alongside characters from Indian, Punjabi, Inuit, and other traditions. If “xo” signals a goodbye, then xo Orpheus is a goodbye to an old way of mythmaking. Featuring talkative goats, a cat lady, a bird woman, a beer-drinking ogre, a…

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