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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What's On Your Nightstand?  

What's On Your Nightstand
I am using this post to spread the news about "What's On Your Nightstand"--a virtual book club. On its website (click button to link there), it says:

If you're here, it means that you like books. You may read at the expense of housework and childcare (guilty!), you might not read as much as you want to, or you might have found that perfect balance between real life and the escape between the pages.

On my nightstand sits a whole library of Barbara Kingsolver's book. I just finished reading one of her pieces of fictional literature, The Poisonwood Bible. I feel like a late bloomer. So many people have recommended it to me over the years, but for whatever reason I just now got around to reading it. Apart from the fact that Kingsolver is simply an amazing author, this book is dynamite for too many reasons to count.

On a basic level, I love how she organized the book in chapters named after each child or parent. Her ability to switch tones and personalities within and between chapters is astounding. The use of multiple narrators provides a depth of perspective that, as it were, puts you right in the middle of an American's life in the Congo. And on that note, the thing I liked the most was the subject matter. I have lived in third-world countries and have experienced--either in thought, through action, or through observation--some of what she voices and describes.

Most poignant to me was reading this while on vacation in D.C. The stark contrast between the freedom we enjoy in the US and our over abundance with the Congo's political upheaval and scarce resources shows that there is beauty in all walks of life and you really do have to stand in someone's shoes to understand their perspective.

So now, the question is: What is on my nightstand? All the rest of Kingsolver's books. The day after putting down this one, I ran over to B&N and purchased her entire library and am now starting into The Bean Trees. I am sooooo excited.

What next?

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14 bits of juicy gossip: to “ What's On Your Nightstand?

  • Elizabeth
    August 26, 2008 at 4:41 PM  

    Great info about "what's on your night stand." I'm reading "Nineteen Minutes" right now. Thanks for your compliment on the "divine" fruit salad. Honestly, there's no big, awesome secret :-) But, I will say that the "jagged edge" decorating knife I used to carve around the edge of the watermelon was purchased at Pampered Chef. It was one of those things I thought I'd never use - but, I did! Don't you love "In her shoes" blog? Rachel is a great writer!

  • Laurel C.
    August 26, 2008 at 5:13 PM  

    Oh, The Bean Trees. I LOVE that book! Drop whatever housework you are doing right now and read that book. My favorite. Of course, it must be followed up with Pigs in Heaven, its sequel.

    Let me know how you like them!

  • Rachel
    August 26, 2008 at 5:22 PM  

    I used Simply Fabulous Designs (http://lenatoewsdesigns.blogspot.com/). Her designs are completely free. They're a little difficult to set up b/c right now they are only compatible with Firefox, but I was able to view the code and extract the html codes for the backgrounds and header, which enabled me to add them to my own background.

  • Lindsay
    August 26, 2008 at 5:31 PM  

    I havent read The Poisonwood Bible yet. I keep hearing how good it is. I will have to pick up a copy to read soon :-)

  • Lori
    August 26, 2008 at 6:50 PM  

    Hi there!

    Thanks for your comment!

    I read The Poisonwood Bible years ago and don't remember much except that I enjoyed it. Probably worth another read!

    -Lori
    www.barefootinhigheels.wordpress.com

  • JenniBeanV
    August 26, 2008 at 8:46 PM  

    I read Poisonwood Bible a few years ago. Was it an Oprah book, maybe? Anyway...it was a good one!

  • Marketing Mama
    August 26, 2008 at 9:16 PM  

    Poisonwood Bible is one of my all-time favorite books. LOVE IT!

    I also love how the author writes from the different perspectives of the family members. Did you notice that she never wrote from the Father's point of view?

    I havent' heard of the bean trees before, thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to check it out.

    Next on my list is The Last Lecture.

  • Buzzings of a Queen Bee!
    August 27, 2008 at 8:48 AM  

    I am so guilty of reading to the detriment of other things in my life...cleaning, cooking, playing with my daughter (that one makes me feel really bad!). I loved the Poisonwood Bible and just heard of another one by Kingsolver that I want to try. Thanks for the inspiration! Thanks for visiting my blog today, too!
    -Carrie

  • Jennifer @ Quiverfull Family
    August 28, 2008 at 11:03 AM  

    I've only read Kingsolvers Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - not any of her fiction, so don't be feeling bad for your inexperience ;).

  • Jennifer, Snapshot
    August 29, 2008 at 5:03 AM  

    I just read almost this exact same post on the carnival. Someone else read Poisonwood then bought the others. Funny! A kindred spirit.

    Thanks for joining in.

  • Katherine
    August 31, 2008 at 12:30 AM  

    I loved this book so much I wanted to name my daughter Ruth May, but my husband refused even before I told him about the snake.

  • Rhonda
    September 2, 2008 at 5:57 PM  

    I have tried to read this one a few times, but just can't get into it. I think I'll have to pick it up again when my pile is gone. (Oh my, but that sounded personal, didn't it??? lol) My BOOK PILE, people, BOOK PILE!

    lol

  • Your Pal Pinki
    September 4, 2008 at 8:48 PM  

    You've got to include Animal, Vegetable, Mineral. Barbara's whole family participates in the writing and it covers a year of their lives. Recipes are included! : )

  • Natalie Jane
    September 10, 2008 at 2:41 PM  

    I never did read this, but maybe now I will. Lovely review.