Win a Copy of Master Of Wednesday Night by FJ Rocca!

MasterofWedNightAuthor and contributor, FJ Rocca, has been nice enough to give me some promotional copies of his book, Master of Wednesday Night. Comment below with what you think is the best fictional book that you have read that demonstrates conservative/libertarian principles. Make sure that you include in your comment your reasoning why. I will pick one person to receive a free copy of his new book from Wiseblood Books. I will close comments for this giveaway on Monday, October 3, 2014.

Two conductors vie for mastery over the symphony orchestra in a small American city.

In the tradition of Henry James, Master of Wednesday Night is the story of Eduard Vitolt-Bartholdy, an intransigent old-school European musician, devoted to his art, and Jeffreys Barthel, a brash, young, American pragmatist with a talent for self-promotion. Will youth triumph over wisdom, profession over art, money over music, so-called realpolitik over authentic genius? In probing this question, Master of Wednesday Night moves from the immediate conflict between innocence and experience back through the tragic history of Europe during the first half of the 20th Century. The young Barthel is forced to interrogate his own “success” in light of this moving meditation on the Maestro’s long life, narrated by Viktor Kaminsky, the valet who has known it all.

495 Pages

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Book Review: A LONG WALK TO WATER by Linda Sue Park

ALWTWRating: 5/5 Stars

Suggested audience: Middle school and above, some advanced upper elementary readers may be able to enjoy this title

A Long Walk to Water  has been on the New York Times Middle Grade Best-Sellers List for a total of 32 weeks since its original publication. At the end of last school year, my content team and I embarked on a cross-curricular unit that used this short narrative non-fiction novel.

I realize that there is tons of need inside of our own borders, but I believe that there is nothing wrong with learning about problems from around the world. For many of our children, they are clueless just how bad things can be in other nations. It is that lack of comparative perspective that has gotten our culture to the place we are at. So many of our teenagers ignorantly believe that their lives are really challenging. And many of them are entitled enough to believe that they shouldn’t have to work hard. Many of us, especially on the left, complain about the dumbest political issues. After reading a story like this, the individuals who were up in arms about the Hobby Lobby decision become a comedic caricature of American arrogance and wealth.

Poor baby…You can’t force your employer to fund your birth control that your employer disagrees with. It’s a crime against humanity! Stay out of my uterus! Or…something…

Meanwhile…on a continent thousands of miles away, people like Salva Dut, the young man that is featured in this story, go without clean water or face violent situations that Americans could not imagine. The women of their culture literally walk for miles everyday to bring back dirty, sometimes diseased water. The last thing on their mind is birth control provided as a contingency of employment.

A Long Walk to Water is a powerful, quick read. It is only 128 pages in length and is best classified as narrative non-fiction. The story has two narratives and is set in the Sudan. One of the narratives is that of a young girl, Nya, set near the present who has to walk for hours to bring water back to her family. The other is set in the recent past and is that of a young Salva Dut who fleas his village due to the raging civil war (caused by radical Islamists coincidentally). Salva ends up walking across much of the African continent in search of his family and safety. Later, he is brought to America as part of a program to help many of Sudan’s “Lost Boys.” Salva would go on to create the charity Water for South Sudan which brings him back to Sudan. The narratives collide in the end of the book. I’m not going to spoil the ending, but it’s a great story of forgiveness and helping fellow man.


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Another Excerpt from Master of Wednesday Night

MasterofWedNightHere is a another short excerpt from Conservative Teachers of America contributor FJ Rocca‘s upcoming novel, Master of Wednesday Night. His book debuts tomorrow, August 14. Enjoy!

“The world is opening up,” Beryl told the Dean. “It’s as though Vitolt’s last heart attack gave the whole thing life! And can you guess what started the ball rolling? It was that fool Jeffreys Barthel and his incompetence as a musician that drove Vitolt to his illness and opened up this huge vacuum.” He gestured with both hands, scribing a gigantic circle from top to bottom.

“Nature abhors a vacuum,” said the Dean. “You can fill it, if anybody can!”

“Yes, I can,” said Dortmund. “And I think I will fill it with someone other than Jeffreys Barthel. Not now, but eventually.”

“But he’s successful,” says the Dean.

“Yes, he’s good for the money but certainly not for the music. Can you imagine him teaching Master’s students with real musical training to gyrate on the podium or snap their forelocks just so?” He did a near-perfect imitation of Jeff, throwing his head back and forth. “He has been useful for putting the orchestra on a secure footing, but it’s almost time to get serious again and Jeffreys Barthel is not serious. He won’t be able to do it, no matter what his ego may promise him in front of a mirror. Oh, he’ll be useful for a few more years, but eventually we will need someone with real credentials, a real musician, somebody who can actually conduct. I give him about three years.”

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