The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

Being a typical middle class Midwestern girl, “living in a white bread world”, I don’t often get to experience other cultures. Sure I’ve had some exposure to Mexican and Italian  cuisine (think Taco Bell and Olive Garden)…… oh for crying out loud.  Just writing this makes me pathetically aware of how sheltered and limited my cultural connections are. Well, that is why I read books. And why I love a book that really opens my eyes to this great big world we live in, and the colorful cultures that populate it. Continue reading

Three for Thursday (and then some): Jodi Picoult

Who doesn’t love a good Jodi Picoult book?  I do….except when I don’t love them.  There are several of her books that I have started and had to just put down, either because of “too much information” (I really don’t feel the need to read the details about people’s   sex lives, thankyouverymuch.) language, or just plain bad behavior.  Sigh – some characters are just like that.  And it’s freeing to remember I don’t have to love every book I pick up, even though sometimes it makes me sad.  I admit, sometimes I will flip past the parts I don’t like or that offend the moral confines of my brain to see how it all wraps up – and if there is any redeeming value or lesson learned.   I can relate to making mistakes -or even bad choices – and learning from them.   But if I feel that unnecessary junk has been added just to titillate the reader, then it’s not worthy of my time.  Salt may add flavor and make your dinner delicious, but too much salt can hurt you.  That being said, today I’m sharing with you three books that I really did enjoy by Ms. Picoult – plus a bonus book!  Continue reading

Hope is Essential

There are pros and cons to reading realistic fictional Young Adult novels. One major Con for me is reliving all that teenage angst! A major Pro : I am no longer a teenager.  Whew! There’s a certain enjoyment in reading a YA novel when you are an older adult….call it perspective, call it maturity, call it whatever.  But I do believe we are never too old to share in the ups and downs of life together, and maybe even learn something new from one another! YA novels allow us to peek into the lives of the young around us and see the world through their eyes.

This book, Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti, deals with the serious and sometimes controversial issues of depression and suicide.  Sadly,  I have read several stories that address and acknowledge similar serious issues that a teen is dealing with, yet by the end of the book there is still no hope. Continue reading