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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
I love the Beatles on a bad day. Abbey Road or Rubber Soul more

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 don't have a lot of community right now. I guess we are sort of in transition and only have ... more

Finding Beauty in a Harsh Existence

I spent a lot of time while reading Lisa Gardner's newest book, Touch and Go, trying to figure out Libby. She was broken but she also showed a resilience and strength that surprised me, as I believe it did her kidnappers. I appreciated the glimpses of her past that we received, particularly the one below:...more
I try to find beauty in the everyday and the overlooked and always in my son. Even when he is ... 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
I feel like maybe my life isn't grand enough to be an opera. I think mine is much likely to be ... more

Would You Maim a Buddy?

Now, hold on. I don't mean that the way it sounds, I promise! I like to read the author's notes and acknowledgements in books and Lisa Gardner's notes for Touch and Go were fascinating. I loved finding out how many characters in the book were named after real people....more
I think I would nominate a friend if the friend liked the author doing the contest. I would be ... 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
I think mine would definitely include chocolate cake and carbonara. Those are two of the things ... 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 I personally have left high school, but sometimes get dragged back in. I had pretty ... more

Knowing Isn't Always Enough

In Lisa Gardner's new thriller, Touch and Go, the characters really knew better than to do many of things they did. The kidnappers knew that kidnapping a whole family was wrong. Libby knew taking drugs to numb the pain wasn't a good thing. Knowing something is right isn't always enough....more
I think we all do things at some point that we know are wrong or a bad idea. I try to avoid ... 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 imagined myself growing up to be a journalist or working for a ... more