The Virtues of Oxygen by Susan Schoenberger

  Although The Virtues of Oxygen is fiction, it is an accurate and respectful look at Americans who live just above the poverty line, struggling to make it paycheck to paycheck. Readers get a sense of the enormous emotional toll this takes on people, the embarrassment that comes along with attempts to live normally while not having enough money between paychecks, and the stress of not knowing if your job is secure or not. It was such a breath of fresh air to see Holly's situation presented as is, without the author sneaking in any political jabs or commentary of her own. The reader is trusted and given the space to connect directly with the characters. I like that Vivian isn't overly optimistic…

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Sunday Salon: Creepy Covers & Tiny Houses

Points of InterestWhy do so many book bloggers (myself included) have a "no self-published books" clause in their review policies? Shannon at River City Reading explains her own reasons, with fantastic discussion going on in the comments.Penguin's new cover for Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has created huge buzz. After reading a ton of comments around the book blogosphere and the internet, I'm thinking my opinion is in the minority...Though it's provocative and creepy, in a way I also find it kind of brilliant. As a child, this was a fun story; to be honest, I think I remembered the movie version more than the novel itself. But as an adult, I find it to be an especially confronting…

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Sunday Salon

Time & Place:Almost midnight. I just got home about an hour ago. Tonight was the 6th performance of The Sound of Music. Seven more to go, then it'll be on to Annie Get Your Gun.Listening:Franz Liszt's Le mal du pays, performed by Lazar Berman, which has major ties to...Recently Finished:...Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki MurakamiThis has been described as Murakami's return to the subject matter and tone of Norwegian Wood. I loved it. (You're shocked, I know.)Currently Reading:Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good by Kathleen Flinn What I'm Reading Next:The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar

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July 2014 Reading Wrap Up

July was a pretty great month. We officially started C's kindergarten year (we homeschool year-round), I started playing in the pit orchestra for The Sound of Music (which continues through much of August), and I read seven books. You can read my review for each of the books above by clicking its cover, with the exception of The Virtues of Oxygen (review coming soon).My favorite July read? Definitely Violins of Hope, by leaps and bounds. And that's saying a lot, because most of my July reads were absolutely fantastic.I'm currently reading Haruki Murakami's new novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. Last night I had a revelation about its title, and got all goosebumpy. Have I ever mentioned how…

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