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"The School of Essential Ingredients" is the book that I am reading and enjoying right now. It follows the lives of eight students who gather in Lillian's Restaurant every Monday night for cooking class. It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. Through themes associated with a particular food or meal, each chapter explores one class and the life of one of the students. The author has a gift for writing about food and connecting the dish's flavors to her characters' histories. I am so enjoying the rich descriptions of food and find myself writing down many different passages in my journal.

I tend to use a journal in this way - writing down things I want to remember for perhaps a news article, a title for an art work, an idea for a piece of art, or "just because". When I am traveling I find my journal indispensable for writing down thoughts and ideas.

Another new book at the library is "Not My Daughter" by Barbara Delinsky. In this compelling novel three high school seniors make a pregnancy pact. Heightening the stakes, these aren't just any seniors, these are three popular, college-bound girls from good families. Set in an insular, tightly knit community in Maine, "Not My Daughter" explores the consequences of pact behavior on a small town, as well as the strain placed on mothers and daughters who find themselves in unfamiliar terrain. One of the pregnant teens is the daughter of the high school principal, a former teen mother herself, and the local school board is quick to assign blame. When the national media gets wind of the story, the principal's job is put in jeopardy, as is her standing in the community. "Not My Daughter" is a timely exploration of teen motherhood and hard choices.

See ya at the Library!