For Book Clubs

Colburn will be happy to talk to book clubs anywhere in Nebraska, anytime–with the possible exception of days when the weather prohibits travel. If you would like to have the author participate in a club meeting either in person or by phone link or Skype, you can contact Ms. Colburn by telephone (308) 530-9059 or by email

Released August 23, 2017, The Reluctant Canary Sings represents a sort of hybrid genre. My mother did not like to talk about her past. Whenever I asked her about things I thought I remembered, she would say, “Some things are best forgotten.” Hence, I only know about five facts about my mother’s career singing with big band orchestras. I took those five facts, did a lot of research, and then made up a story. Here’s the short version of what it’s about:  What do you do when the bottom falls out of your life, you can’t find love or security anywhere, and all your friends want you to sing? For more about Canary, go to My Publications page.

Suggest Questions about The Reluctant Canary Sings

  1. What do you think motivated the author to write this strange book? What are the central themes of this novel? What issues or ideas does it explore? Do Bobbi’s struggles have any relevance in today’s world?
  2. Does the author succeed in revealing something about the swing era and a young woman forced by circumstance to support her family? Though minor, Bobbi’s stardom allows her to make a better-than-average living for her family. Why doesn’t she seem to thrive?
  3. Aside from a broken economy, what struggles do Bobbi’s parents face? What do you think about Jack—hero or villain, or just a guy trying to get along? How about Tony? What is his role in this novel?
  4. What do you find most surprising, intriguing, or difficult to understand? Why? What specific scenes or passages captured your attention? Were they interesting, profound, amusing, disturbing, sad? What made them memorable? What did they reveal about the characters?
  5. What have you learned from reading this book? Did you gain any new perspectives?

Photo of family clustered around camper.
Grandma’s much-needed vacation.

Fifth-generation Nebraskan, Faith A. Colburn’s memoir about her own family, spans eight generations of a family like a prairie—a family nourished by the prairie grasses, acres of grass joined at the roots. It begins in 1751 with a many-greats-uncle kidnapped by the Shawnee and adopted into the tribe, through settlement in a new territory, the Great Depression, and two World Wars, and ends with her sister’s and her nephew’s accidents.

For more click here.

Suggested Questions About Threshold: A Memoir

1. Do you see particular themes or issues that appear repeatedly in this book.
2. How does the plains environment factor into the stories?
3. In times of more primitive health care, do you think this family had better options?
4. Can you see images in this story that support the themes you noticed?
5. What do you think about the listing of Dramatis Personae in the beginning of the book? Was it helpful or just confusing?
6. Did the author’s appearance in this book disrupt the flow of the text or did it seem appropriate?
7. Did the people seem real? Would you like to meet any of them? Which ones?
8. Were you satisfied that the author did sufficient research to tell this story accurately?

Book cover designed as a newspaper front page.
The cover articles appear inside.

Colburn’s Seacrest family memoir chronicles 100 years of family ownership of The Lincoln Journal. It demonstrates the myriad ways the family supported their newspapers’ communities—including a Pulitzer Prize and much litigation in support of First Amendments rights.  It describes how the family used its smaller, out-state newspapers as labs for new technologies they would later adopt in the flagship paper. and the way they used the newspaper to support the entire state of Nebraska.

Suggested Questions About From Picas to Bytes

1. What did you think this book was about?
2. Did it live up to your expectations?
3. What are some of the themes of this book?
4. Did you learn something about newspapers and history from this book? What did you find that was new to you?
5. Did you enjoy the book? What did you like bout it?
6. How important do you think technology was to the Seacrest family’s ability to maintain ownership in The Lincoln Journal when mid-sized daily newspapers were closing their doors all over the country?
7. Did the characters of the various Seacrest family members come through in the narrative?

What do YOU think.