Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I finally did it. Left a message at the library that I would like to help work on the committees for the new library! I am so proud of myself! I don't know anyone in town, other than our chiropractor and grocery store/pharmacy people, so not only might I meet some others, but surely, they must be interested in books if they are working on the new library! I don't frequent this town's library too much because it is so small and although I am not a small person by any means, I am not unusually large, and I can barely get through the aisles in the present library...and forget trying to bend over to look at something on the lower shelves! I usually drive an extra 10 miles to go to another library (that I love). So you can imagine my excitement when I read a month or so ago that there are plans to build a new library in our small town! Land has already been purchased and plans have been drawn up!

This afternoon the librarian called me and is putting me in touch with one of the committees (fundraising). I am excited!

On another note, while waiting for new tires to be installed today I walked over to the Salvation Army store and found 2 books for $1.00 total. Got a copy of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time, and got She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb. Have never read either, so again, I am catching up with the rest of the world!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Poisonwood Bible

I am pretty hesitant to write anything about The Poisonwood Bible, since I am so embarrassed that it took me this long to read it! I have had no interest in reading it since it came out in 1998 (11 years ago!) and it was about Africa and I just wasn't interested...When I was in Grand Junction last month, my friend Lynn and I were at Borders and saw it and she asked if I had read it. I trust her recommendations completely and so when she thought I would like it, I bought it. I feel like I am probably the last of anyone who reads on a regular basis to have read this book. And, as I said, I am embarrassed. Because, oh my God, what a great book! I can't believe that I took so long to try it!

For anyone out there who is even more in a cave than me about this book, it is by Barbara Kingsolver. It is the story of a family whose father is a preacher and he takes his wife and four daughters to Africa for a year on a missionary trip. However, at the end of the year there, he refuses to leave, so the family stays there, not happily. The story is told in chapters by the wife, Orleanna, and each of the four daughters, Rachel, Leah, Adah and Ruth May. The chapters were each short, which made the book very easy to read. It was a fascinating story that extended from about 1960 to 1986. The father had remained in Africa, but the others had left him and made their own ways shortly after he had refused to leave.

The authors characterization of each of the females was outstanding. I really felt as if I knew them individually. It occurred to me after I completed it last night, that it would make a really interesting book if Ms. Kingsolver wrote a book telling the father's version of the time in Africa. It would have totally taken away the power of The Poisonwood Bible to have given him a voice in it, but I think that his story would also make for a fascinating read.

This is a great book and for anyone who might not have read it, put it on your list! It is a book that I will go back and read again at some point. I am sure that I will get more out of it a second time!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Run and a play

Run by Ann Patchett was the last book that I have read. It was good. Not great, but good. It would probably be a good book club book, as there are a lot of different things actually going on in the book, such as issues with race, mothers, fathers, siblings, loss, grief, etc.

The book tells the story of a New England family whose mother died years before. Bernard Doyle and his wife had one son and then adopted 2 younger boys who were brothers and were black. Bernard was a former mayor of Boston, and the boys were raised in politics and wealth. As an example of the family, one of the boys was named "Teddy" after Ted Kennedy, and the other was called "Tip". Make you think of New England wealth? The father's greatest hope is that one of his boys will be President of the United States.

One snowy, cold evening, Bernard insists that Tip and Teddy meet him on campus for a political lecture. After the program Tip is almost hit by a car, but is saved by a black woman who was also at the lecture with her 11 year old daughter. The woman is badly hurt, and Tip ends up on crutches with an injured ankle. The woman is taken away to the hospital and the daughter has no one to call or go home to, so she goes home with the Doyle family for the night.

As usual, I don't want to go any further into the story so as not to ruin it for any readers. It is a good book and, actually, I have spent some time thinking about it since I finished it, which, as you know, I consider evidence of a good book!

As said, there are a lot of themes going on in this book, which has provoked many thoughts since completing it. There are many definitions of love and family in this book.

On another note, the book read for my book group this month was a play! I had never read a play before, so I found it quite interesting. It was a very good story also! The book is August: Osage County by Tracy Letts. It is a story of a quite damaged family dealing with the death of the father. The family gathers when the father goes missing. The family consists of Violet, the mother, and her 3 daughters, their significant others, a 14 year old granddaughter, and Violet's sister and her family. There is also Johnna, the 26 year old housekeeper that the father had hired shortly before he went missing.

I did enjoy the experience of reading a play, but I sure missed the narrative and development of time, place and characters that you find in a novel! The group had a great discussion about the book and it was quite interesting hearing and sharing the various insights! Would I recommend someone to read it? Yes, I would!