Considering What Unites Us

While I read Alex George's A Good American I thought a lot about what it means to belong -- to a church, a town, a country, a family. Frederick didn't belong to Jette's social strata, so they had to leave their homeland in order to be together. When they reach America, they do not end up in the town they intended to settle in, but they put down roots there....more
I live in a very big city, and I love the diversity I get to see everyday.  People from ... more

The Redemptive Power of Song

We've discussed how music plays a big role in Alex George's A Good American when we talked about how he described Jette's life as an opera. It's more than that the family just liked music, it was woven into the fabric of their lives. It was what they used to learn about themselves and about life. ...more
Hmm, I don't think I have a particular song, but there is something so freeing about driving ... more

Is Your Life an Opera?

In Alex George's A Good American music is important to the lives of the characters and is integral to the plot. Jette and Frederick meet when he serenades her in a park. They find help in New Orleans from someone that Frederick met through music. This same man will come back into their lives and greatly impact their future. Frederick and Jette's sons and grandsons are all singers....more
Hmmm...this is a hard question.  Maybe a long walk?  With a lot to see and talk about?  ... more

Do We Ever Really Leave High School?

Lissy Ryder, the main character in Jen Lancaster's new novel, Here I Go Again, never really left high school. She hit her peak during those four years and stopped growing and reaching. When she discovered there is life after high school it was a complete and total shock. While we may not all be like Lissy, I still see references every week online to things being just like high school....more
I feel like a different person than I was in high school.  I went very far away for college, ... more

Gastronomic Mosaics & Culinary Road Maps

Food quickly becomes important to the story in Alex George's A Good American. Before the Meisenheimers ever open the restaurant, Jette finds herself homesick. She turns to the meals she ate in her homeland for comfort. She didn't have recipes passed down from her mother or even a cookbook to turn to. Through a process of trial and error, she made her way through the food in memories until they existed on her table. ...more
Pasta!  Pasta of any kind, any variety, any sauce!  We joke that we could eat pasta every night ... more

Who Do You Want To Be?

When we first met Lissy Ryder in Jen Lancaster's novel Here I Go Again, she didn't know who she wanted to be. She was still focused on who she had been. Her high school days has been her glory days, so why should she want to be any different than she was in her teens? During the course of the novel she learns that if you stay who you were, you'll never become who you are supposed to be....more
When I was in high school, I really wanted to work in television.  I went to college and ended ... more

Would You Like To Go Back In Time?

In Jen Lancaster's new novel, Here I Go Again, Lissy Ryder is given a potion that can help her right all her wrongs. Being the person she is, Lissy doesn't approach it cautiously. No, she throws it back like it's an espresso shot. When she wakes up and realizes she's back in the past -- back in high school -- she's elated. That would not be my reaction. ...more
Hmmm...I don't think time travel is for me!  Although there are some things I would like to ... more

Music Tells Your Story

One of the things I probably identified the most with in Jen Lancaster's Here I Go Again were the discussions between Lissy and Brian about music. When you are teenager, few things feel bigger than the music you listen to in high school. It becomes the soundtrack for that part of your life, and you carry it with you going forward....more
Yikes, reading these comments are really bringing me back! Ace of Base was definitely my first ... more

The Magical Post-Breakup Makeover

After a breakup, particularly one you did not initiate, your self confidence can take a bit of a beating. During this time my friends and I frequently turned to the magical healing powers of a post-breakup makeover. We would change our hair or buy a new outfit and they became our new armour against the hurt....more
It seems small, but when I'm feeling down or having a bad week, I binge on expensive nail ... more

How Soon Is Too Soon For Couples Therapy?

Since I had not read Bared to You, the first book in Sylvia Day's Crossfire series, I was surprised to find that Eva and Gideon were in couple's counseling. Based on what I had read to that point in Reflected in You, their relationship still seemed young and new. By Eva's own admission, they hadn't been together that long:...more
I was very surprised when I read they were in couples counseling so early on.  At that point, is ... more