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
Uptown Girl by Billy Joel. No idea why. ;) 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 have community that unites mainly around my faith and also around our separate families with ... 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
My like would be like a Children's book! 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
Anything my grandmother made when I was young. There was fudge, omelets, steaks, mashed potatoes ... 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 left, but it's still fun to revisit with old friends. 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
I wanted to have it all in high school and look the part. Now it's much more importanrt to me to ... 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
That really doesn't appeal to me at all! There is a tragedy of course I would like to stop if I ... 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
Boys II Men! more

What I've Learned (So Far) From My Willpower Challenge

I was scared when I announced my willpower challenge last week. While I totally understood why Kelly McGonigal suggests that you do one while reading her book, The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It, I was wary. I was concerned not only about what I might learn about myself -- what if none of the strategies worked?...more
I'm learning to keep my long term goals in the forefront of my mind (weight loss and health). ... more

Change Your Definition of Willpower!

Willpower is a weighty word. If we had more, if we could simply exercise it a bit better, our lives would be different. The lack of it is a character flaw. Or so we've been told to be believe. What if willpower wasn't exactly what we thought it was? What if willpower was so much more than just saying yes or no? That's what Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D reveals in her new book, The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It. ...more
Loving the breakdown of how will power works in the brain. Becoming aware of why i say no or yes ... more