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 hope not. Operas all seem like melodramatic love stories filled with miscommunication, cloaked ... 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
My community is varied but heavy on nonprofit business, reading, writing, volunteering, and ... more

Little Earthquakes: A Good American

If you are like me, when you turn the last page in Alex George's novel, A Good American, all you'll be able to think is "Wow!" You'll find yourself in a bit of a fog as you stop and think back on the journey that you just finished. Of course, I mean all this in the best possible way. ...more
This book was lovely and reminded me of a similar book, The Moonflower Vine, both are set in ... 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
The harshest reality I've had lately is all the snow that's been dumped on our town. I'm ... 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
My parents would love that, and so would my brother, but they would want to have input on the ... 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
Of course. Who doesn't do things that they know aren't in their best interests? Probably every ... 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
Eating tomato soup always makes me think of the day my parents told us they were getting divorced. 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
My mom and grandmother weren't the best cooks, but I'll always love their macaroni and cheese, ... more

NaBloPoMo Soup: Add Your February Posts

You have posts and we want to read them. This is a way for people to post a link to their daily February NaBloPoMo posts that they publish on their personal blogs. Please use the linky feature below daily to add your post, and peruse the ones already entered in order to find great things to read as well as support your fellow NaBloPoMo'ers. Bookmark this post so you can use it all month. ...more
I'm liking the themes so far. Oh, yeah, it's only Day 1! Can you wear out the words "I love ... more

The 10 Year Plan

Before I read Kate and David Marshall's My Life Map: A Journal to Help Shape Your Future I would have told you that 10 year plans give me hives. One of the most dreaded questions in a job interview for me was always one about where I saw myself in five years. I still may not be exactly eager to plan out my life in 10 year chunks, but at least I know how that it's possible to do it in a way that doesn't cause me panic....more
I think this has been a great opportunity to reevaluate the plans I had in my head. Some have ... more