The Red Bicycle by Jude Isabella

  The Red Bicycle follows the true story of one donated, recycled, and re-purposed bicycle, Big Red, as it travels from a small town in the United States to rural Burkina Faso in West Africa. Depending on where they live, each owner has a different use (or need) for the bicycle. In a sweet, child-friendly way, The Red Bicycle shows children how an item they use for fun can be essential — sometimes even life-saving — to people in other parts of the world. C recently heard about bicycle ambulances for the first time, so she was excited to read more about that here. I appreciate so much that the story did not come full circle at the end. That is, the boy who…

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Girl Runner by Carrie Snyder

  104-year-old Aganetha Smart is a former (and fictional) Olympic athlete now alone and forgotten by history. When two young strangers appear and take Aganetha on a spree away from the nursing home, memories of her long life come flooding back. Girl Runner is part coming of age story, part historical fiction. Much of it takes place in the 1920s and 1930s, centering around the first time female athletes were allowed to run the 800 meters in the Olympics. This coincides with Aganetha's decision to leave her family home in the country to train and find independence in the city. The novel hops around in time, with episodes of Aganetha's past alternating with the present as we grow closer and…

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Book Community Happiness

After the book blogger shout-outs yesterday, I was on a roll. There's so much I love about book blogging (which is why I do it!). Once I set aside distractions and started thinking about that, the reasons why kept coming.We understand each other.from agirlandhershows, Tumblr1. You think nobody else can possibly love your favorite author as much as you do...and then you make a bookish friend who names her kitten after him! [via Leah]2. Dogs aren't much different than children when you're trying to read. [via Shannon]3. Fellow non-fiction enthusiasts unite! [via Katie W.]We spread bookish joy.from bumblebookbees, Tumblr4. Because of someone's post, you start reading material you'd have never given a second glance to otherwise. And you're sold. [Andi does this to me a lot.]5. You can…

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7 Book Bloggers Who Make Me HAPPY!

Veteran or newbie, who cares? There are plenty of book bloggers who never fail to bring a smile to my face, whether it's through their social media presence, their insightful reviews, or usually, both. To be honest, I think book blogging as a whole is a positive, inspiring, amazing community. Here are seven favorites I offer as proof! In no particular order:1. Karen at One More Page...Twitter: KarenmfaI'm not even sure how to sum this gal up. Go look at any of her tweets or posts. Karen is a sweetheart, and super intelligent!2. A.M. Blair at The Misfortune Of KnowingTwitter: KoivioletA. M. offers so much insight. Her reviews tend to have an interesting spin and a personal perspective. She pours heart…

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This House Is Not For Sale by E.C. Osondu

  This little novel (only 192 pages) reads like a connected set of vignettes, each chapter its own parable. At first I was swept away by the characters and Osondu's lovely writing, but after a few chapters I started to feel disinterested. Worse, that feeling persisted through to the end of the novel. All the elements that make me want to read more, that propel the novel forward in some way, seemed to be missing here. Or maybe not so much missing as scattered? Yes, this is a character-driven novel, but even those have something about them that keeps you turning the pages. Maybe it was a combination of things for me: I didn't feel centered, the story didn't feel cohesive,…

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Alex + Ada (Issues #1-12)

  Alex + Ada is a sci-fi drama set in the near future. The last thing in the world Alex wanted was an X5, the latest in realistic androids. But when Ada is dropped into his life, will Alex keep her? (Image Comics) When I first heard about Alex + Ada (thanks to Andi at Estella's Revenge) I was intrigued. I watch a lot of sci-fi, but I've been wanting to read more of it. The setting appealed to me: a tech-savvy future complete with robots and artificial intelligence, but fairly early on, when society is figuring out how to deal with all the changes this new technology brings. Also, I've been wanting to read more in the graphic novel/comics medium. So this…

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Sunday Salon: A Comics Week

Setting // Saturday night, 11:30 p.m. It's currently 53 degrees in my part of Florida. I know, that was unnecessary, wasn't it? We have a teensy tiny chance of snow Tuesday night.Cookies // Girl Scout cookies arrived this weekend! C and her new troop (which is so wonderful) has a cookie booth later today. I'll try to post the cuteness on Instagram.Reading // I finished up Hyperbole and a Half in Italian and Free to Learn by Peter Gray. I'm about to start This House Is Not For Sale by E.C. Osondu.The bulk of my reading this week turned out to be a graphic novel/comics binge. A little bird told me about Comixology. I read An Age of License by Lucy Knisley and felt…

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Of Things Gone Astray by Janina Matthewson

  I love an offbeat read full of magical realism, and Of Things Gone Astray is exactly that. It reads along at a fast clip, with the focus alternating among its characters. For a good portion of the book I found myself wishing each character's story was placed together, more like interconnected short stories — only because each one was so compelling I didn't want to change course, even momentarily. But by the end, I could clearly see how Matthewson gently wove them together. The way she crafted this novel was absolutely perfect. Many of the characters' losses (and the aftermath of those losses) are spectacularly bizarre. Others are surprisingly realistic, with fantastical double meanings lying beneath the surface. I enjoyed…

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Top Ten Graphic Novels I Want To Read

A year and a half ago, I posted about being a graphic novel newbie. Since then, I've read a few of the titles I listed in that post and am far more open to this genre than I was before, but I'd still like to include more graphic novels in my reading. Thanks to bloggers like Andi at Estella's Revenge and websites such as Panels, I have a pretty great list of more possibilities. Here's my Top Ten Tuesday list of Graphic Novels I Want To Read (click on a cover to read more about it on Goodreads):About half of these are available at my local library, and most of the others are available through interlibrary loan. I also have…

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Sunday Salon & January Wrap Up

Time & Place // Noon, at home. We slept in today...Eating & Drinking // A bagel and coffee with Abuelita creamer.Listening // Back in September, I Instagrammed a clip of myself practicing the alto flute solo for Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe. I finally got around to requesting the (live!) recording of our October symphony concert, so if you'd like to hear how it went, here ya go: Not Watching // The Superbowl. I didn't realize it was this weekend until my mom mentioned it to me last night. We need a Superbowl mini-readathon...Happenings // Yesterday I took C to a Girl Scout "Girls in Sports Day" at the university. She was the youngest girl in her group, but the older girls were really sweet…

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