Find it at your library!

I read this book on my birthday, and it was the best gift I could have gotten. Other than a foot rub, which I also got. From my husband. While I was reading.

So yeah, I hit the marriage jackpot, thanks for asking!

This book though. Oh my gosh. This is why literary fiction will always be my bread and butter. I love my genre fiction, my thrillers and epic fantasy and romance and the occasional memoir, and this year I've surprised myself with how much I've enjoyed straight-up non-fiction, but there is just nothing like a beautifully written work of literary art, in which the substance and style merge together to form a gorgeous, melty conglomeration of goodness like a delicious plate of word-nachos.

No, I haven't seriously considered a career as a novelist, why do you ask?

David and Ada, the eccentric and brilliant father-daughter duo at the heart of Moore's novel, made my heart swell. David is a computer scientist and runs a lab at an elite university. Instead of sending Ada to school, he brings her to work with him, where she learns alongside the grad students, and David teaches her other subjects in their spare time. Her world is a wonderland of knowledge. Only fleetingly does she wonder what it would be like to have friends her own age, to have a more typical childhood.

But when David isn't able to care for her anymore and Ada is forced out of her comfortable existence, she realizes that the world outside the lab isn't as welcoming as she hoped. Matters are further complicated when she learns David had a past full of secrets, none of which he ever shared with her.

I related to Ada in a way that I haven't related to a character in a really, really long time. Her innocence, her cluelessness with boys, her lack of fashion sense, her passionate interest in the world around her, her painful realization that her intelligence prevents her from fitting in with her peers. And then her halting journey to discovering who her father really was—it's heartbreaking and beautiful and real, all in one. It's everything I want in my literary fiction.

Other than a foot rub, of course, but I was lucky enough to get that, too.

With regards to W.W. Norton and NetGalley for the advance copy. On sale today, July 26!

Find it at your library!

You should totally read this book by Misty Copeland, a barrier-shattering African American classical ballerina, but even more than that, you should type her name into YouTube and see for yourself what she can do. Because she is ridiculously, insanely talented, and there's no way to fully comprehend the magnitude of it unless you see it with your own eyes.

And OH MY GOSH it has not been an easy climb to the top. Breaking into the lily-white world of professional ballet has been a struggle since Copeland first donned a pair of pointe shoes at the Boys and Girls Club when she was 13. She's been asked all the insensitive questions you can imagine. She's been passed up for roles. She's been told to lose weight, to powder her face so she appears lighter-complected onstage. She's been encouraged to pursue modern dance because she doesn't fit the mold for classical ballet.

And she's now a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, one of the most prestigious dance companies in the world. You can see why the slogan for her Under Armour ad campaign is “I will what I want,” no?

Also, if you're interested: there's a great documentary about Copeland (A Ballerina's Tale, available on Netflix) that overlaps somewhat with the book but also covers a lot that the book doesn't. Plus, of course, it includes plenty of footage of her dancing.