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Welcome to the very late  March edition of the Novel Book Club. I must admit that writing about this selection, The Dinner, by Herman Koch has been a bit difficult. Mainly, this is because my feelings about it are mixed. After some consideration, though, I realize that this is part of the goal of the novel. Most good novels make you think, cause you to relate to the subject matter in a personal way. The Dinner is perplexing though. And I think it's because when you read it, when you relate to it, you don't want to...
If I were married to Gillian Flynn, I might be concerned. Scratch that, I would absolutely be concerned. Well...let me just say that I might be very careful Gone Girl is not only a fantastic mystery that I was barely able to put down, it is also a portrait of a marriage. A very twisted, very troubled, and in many ways, a very normal marriage.

Welcome to the first virtual meeting of the Novel Book Club on Book Bound Saratoga. If you've read our first selection, A Novel Bookstore, fantastic! If not, no worries--read the review and discussion questions and maybe it will be your next read. For those of you who are true bibliophiles, I hope that A Novel Bookstore managed to feed your love of books and inspire you to read even more.


When Nancy met Eli, they were both looking for something. Though unable to express it in words, Eli was in need of a home, of a friend and partner, of a person who could care for him and grow with him. Nancy had felt something missing for some time when she met Eli. Having had to give up on the dream of having a child, there was a definite void in her life. It was the void of not having someone to care for, to nurture, and to raise. And then came Eli. A six-year-old former racehorse with the tendency to spook at the simplest things--think birds, shrubs, for example--Eli needed nurturing. His life had changed from the steady routine on the racetrack he was used to. He needed a constant in his life, and that would be Nancy.

Parts coming-of-age story, love story, family drama, and mystery, The Drowning People has been one of my favorite books for over a decade now. It will pique your curiosity from it's first page and give you food for thought to last long after its final one.


It must be wonderful to know what you want to do with your life at a young age--at least I've always thought so. Certainly the kind of self-assurance which inspires an early career choice must be lasting. Well, not necessarily. Sometimes seeing your whole life laid out before you can be as frightening as not knowing what you want to do at all. Just ask Alex in Natalie Keller Reinert's The Head and Not the Heart . . . 

Have you noticed the absence of posts at Book Bound? Well they're back, and on a schedule . . . 

When she accepted the teaching position a the Arcadia School in Arcadia Falls, New York, Meg Rosenthal just wanted to make a fresh start for herself and her daughter after the sudden death of her husband. In the process she learned more about the past and her own choices than she could ever have expected. 
 There are few people who haven't experienced the feeling of everything around them falling apart. As far as I can tell, there are three basic ways to deal with this situation. 

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Melaina Phipps

After university and a lifetime love of reading and creative writing, it dawned on me that what I really wanted to "do" (in the way of responding to all those adults who ask you what you want to pursue after graduation) was read and talk about it. This prompted several more years of education pursuing an MA (University of Virginia) and then a PhD (University of Toronto) in Italian Literature. And while I soured on the concept of pursuing academic tenure, I was led in the right direction nonetheless as I discovered my interest in publishing.

Now more than ten years later, I've worked as a book editor both in-house and freelance on almost every genre of book you can think of, both fiction and nonfiction, trade and academic. The creative writing of my youth, the academic writing of my university years, and the professional writing of my adult life have developed into writing that tells a story and tells the truth. Now solidly ensconced in the freelance world I write and edit while enjoying the things I love: horses, dogs, horse racing , polo, food, fashion, and of course, words, words, words.