Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What are you reading, Jenny Lee?

I recently finished Miso for Life: A Melting Pot of Thoughts. I chose to read this book because my daughter is a contributing writer in the book, along with 60 others. She shares a story about one of her early experiences with art and how it shaped her to the individual she is today. Mai Bui, the editor of the series, is a former colleague of mine at HIU. He also shares a personal story within the anthology.

This anthology  is enjoyable because it is filled with heartfelt accounts from a myriad of life journeys. I found that there is humor, pathos, and wisdom within its pages, with each sharing a flash of insight into their worlds. The title of the book alludes to Asian and other cultures but beyond that, this book is a reflection of perspectives from sixty different voices, each with unique experiences and insights to share. Each have walked their own unique roads, carved their own paths, and reflected upon their experiences, and in these pages, I had a privileged glimpse into their lives.

I really like how each story is different. They touch on various parts of the human experience, from the perspective of a parent, a child, an artist, an academic, or a friend. For me, the book serves as a reminder that although we may each have a different set of circumstances and be of different backgrounds, ages, and cultures, we all share a common yearning to fulfill our dreams, find hope, and to love and be loved in return.

I would most certainly recommend Miso for Life. I think it is fit for all audiences. Each writer in the book imparts a unique set of experiences that are insightful, compelling, and most of all, inspiring.

I am fortunate enough to be in a book club with some wonderful friends of mine, and have been diving into a range of different books. What's next on our reading agenda for our next book club meeting is Telling the Bees, by Peggy Hesketh, a dear friend of a book club member. It is an exciting book, a novel about lies of omission and commission; and about the power of truth to both maim and heal. At the heart of the story lies murder; but the heart of the mystery is not so much who did it, as why. Find out more about this book at

I like to read whenever I have the chance. There is a sizable stack of books on my nightstand that I've devoured and some I have yet to read. Sometimes I find myself reading before bed, but I usually have a book nearby that I am in the middle of, whether it is in the car or around the house.

I like to read all kinds of stories, whether it is immersed in reality or imagination. I find that intelligent writers can weave words that turn sometimes the most mundane experiences into literary art, elevating the ordinary to extraordinary. I am drawn to non-fiction because I believe anyone's life circumstances is a compelling story, but at the same time, I deeply appreciate fictional work because I also like to step into the worlds of the mind's creation.

Jenny Lee has been working at Hope for 15 years as an accountant.

Miso for Life: A Melting Pot of Thoughts by Mai Xuan Bui, Thirteen Minutes Books, 2012.

This book can be purchased from Amazon.

You may also find this book at your local library by searching

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