Traverse City Record-Eagle

April 23, 2013

'A Good American' this year’s Traverse City Reads book

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — “A Good American,” a best-selling novel about the American immigration experience of a German family in the Midwest, is this year’s Traverse City Reads book.

The selection was announced today by Ruth Bay, president of Friends of the Traverse Area District Library, which sponsors the community reading program now in its 12th year.

Designated reading months are May through October and will culminate with author Alex George’s Oct. 15 visit to Traverse City to speak at TC READS final 2013 event at The City Opera House.

“Please join with TC Reads as we celebrate the joy of reading and appreciate the common threads that unite us as a community by encouraging your friends to read and discuss this book, an uplifting novel about the families we create and the unique place that we call home,” Bay said in a press release this morning.

Written by English-born Alex George and published last year, the book was named “Top Summer Read” by National Public Radio, “Best Book of the Month” by Amazon, and “Best Book of the Year” by the Library Journal.

TC READs is part of the American Library Association’s national literacy “One Book, One Community” initiative.

“A Good American” unfolds the story of an unorthodox couple, Frederick and Jette Meisenheimer, who leave Germany in 1904 to begin a new life somewhere in America.

Aiming for New York, a series of events finds them creating a home in the small village of Beatrice, Mo. There, the Meisenheimers open a diner and begin to ingratiate themselves with the local cast of colorful characters, each of whom resonates with the spirit of the Meisenheimer’s adopted country.

Narrated by Frederick and Jette’s grandson, James, the book spans three generations.

It is George’s fifth novel and his American book debut. An Englishman by birth, he studied law at Oxford University and now practices law in Columbia, Mo., where he moved in 2003.

TC READS ( is sponsored by Friends of the Traverse Area District Library and other local groups. For details on how to become involved with TC READS, please contact Ruth Bay at or call at 231-947-1619.