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 have an auto racing community, a running community, and I have a community that started on a ... 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
This is such a cliche, but "Walking on Sunshine".  I can't help but smile. 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
More like a soap opera.  :-) 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
This is such a cool idea.  I didn't read the acknowledgements, thanks for pointing it out!  I'd ... 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
Constantly!  Sometimes it works out for me, sometimes I suffer for it, but I typically don't ... 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 find a lot of beauty in "empty" spaces and things that seem impossibly vast - oceans, ... 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 definitely did, but I had a lot of strong friendships outside of high school before ... 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
Definitely not.  I'd have good intentions but I would definitely make things way worse for myself. more

Pain Has a Flavor

"Here is something I learned when I was eleven years old: Pain has a flavor. The question is, what does it taste like to you?" ...more
Ham on a bun with butter.  My grandfather always referred to those little sandwiches at funerals ... 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
I *just* had a conversation with a friend yesterday about how No Doubt's "Don't Speak" still has ... more