T is for Tan Giveaway: The Joy Luck Club

Shortly after graduating high school, I read Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club. I loved it so much, I immediately went out and bought her other novels (only two more at the time: The Kitchen God's Wife and The Hundred Secret Senses) and devoured those as well.This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Joy Luck Club. To celebrate, Penguin Classics—together with Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley and Jessica Hische—has created a stunning new Drop Cap with the letter T, dedicated to the talented Amy Tan. Check out the other beautiful Drop Caps that have been released so far.Penguin has generously provided copies of both the Classic Edition and the new Drop Cap for a giveaway! The first winner chosen by Rafflecopter (the winner listed…

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Spotlight & Giveaway: Night In Shanghai by Nicole Mones

Avid historical fiction lovers, you're in for a treat! Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours has offered a copy of Night in Shanghai by Nicole Mones to one of my lucky readers (US only). Visit the complete tour schedule to check out reviews by other bloggers.In 1936, classical pianist Thomas Greene is recruited to Shanghai to lead a jazz orchestra of fellow African-American expats. From being flat broke in segregated Baltimore to living in a mansion with servants of his own, he becomes the toast of a city obsessed with music, money, pleasure and power, even as it ignores the rising winds of war. Song Yuhua is refined, educated, and bonded since age eighteen to Shanghai’s most powerful crime boss in payment for her…

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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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Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Preemie Parents

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, who kindly gave me permission to recolor the image above in honor of Prematurity Awareness Month. Thanks!   Top Ten Books I'd Recommend To Preemie Parents Although this post is intended for a narrow readership, it is one close to my heart. C was born 7 weeks early due to preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction, weighing just over 3 lbs. November is Prematurity Awareness Month, and this past Sunday was World Prematurity Day, so it feels appropriate to make today's post about books preemie parents may find helpful. If you have a friend or family member whose baby is currently in the NICU and aren't sure what book would…

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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…

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Dr. Seuss and the Art of Musicality

My local music teachers association had its first meeting of the year last Saturday. Our guest speaker was violist Hillary Herndon (pictured right) from the University of Tennessee School of Music. She presented a fascinating and interactive program titled Dr. Seuss and the Art of Musicality. This program was outstanding! My mind has been whirling all week with further thoughts and ideas. There are so many applications and considerations from a variety of perspectives: that of a musician and a music teacher, but also a reader and a listener. Herndon often asks her students to find excerpts from literature to bring back and read aloud in front of the class. They are told to present their readings in character. She found…

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Book Trailer Tuesday: Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber

I won't be reviewing Pastrix until closer to its release date (September 10, 2013), but I wanted to share this video Jericho Books posted on YouTube. It's not exactly a book trailer in the traditional sense, but let's be honest, nothing about Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber screams traditional. :) Here she explains the intended audience of her new memoir.There is a bit of language in the video; just a heads up if you're at work, around your kids, etc. If you're intrigued and don't want to wait until September to experience the wonderfully sarcastic humor which delivers Bolz-Weber's theological insights, I highly recommend her previous book, Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television (Seabury Books, 2008).

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Book Trailer Tuesday: The Returned by Jason Mott

Today I thought I'd feature The Returned by Jason Mott for Book Trailer Tuesday (hosted by Mary at BookHounds). I'll be reading it soon, and I have to say, the premise behind this debut novel has me completely intrigued.Elderly couple Harold and Lucille Hargrave tragically lost their only son when he was just eight years old. Decades later, he appears on their doorstep, still eight years old. But it's not just their son who is back from the dead: "All over the world people's loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it's a miracle or a sign of the end."If you have a bit of extra time, you can also watch this interview and audience Q&A with Jason…

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Reading Challenges Update

A quick update on current challenges:I'm aiming for a Gold Star (30+ books). So far this year I've read 18 titles from NetGalley. This should be no problem!When I joined this challenge, I thought I'd reread a bunch of Murakami challenge. Sadly, I haven't done any of that yet. Other books have taken up my time and I just haven't been in the mood to reread like I thought I would. However, I did read the chunkster 1Q84 which is basically three books in one! ;)  So I feel okay about that. And there are still 7 more months left in the year...I have a couple of books ready to read but I never really set a definite goal for…

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Three New Books on My Nook

One of my graduating flute students and her mom stopped by today and spoiled me with a Barnes & Noble gift card! I bought three titles I've been wanting to read for a while. Also gives me a chance to test out posting from the Blogger app on my new phone. (fingers crossed!)

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