Saturday, June 14, 2008

Back and books

What a nightmare. Yesterday and this morning were air travel HELL. Got to Philly too late to catch the flight to Providence, so I spent the night in the airport, which is a weird experience, got on a plane to Boston at 6 am, and got there with no luggage, which just got to Worcester an hour ago. LAME. And then there was work on the T, so my T ride to Porter was 30 minutes longer than it should have been. Oh well. The saving graces were at the Philly airport. One store was open where I could buy contact solution so I could take them out and try to sleep. I didn't have my glasses with me (they were in the checked bag) but at least I could give my eyes a rest. And the Au Bon Pain was open. I got to the airport at midnight and was starving. Thank God for ABP.

Anywho...this summer I've decided to add a feature to my blog. It's going to be called "Hilary's Rad Reading Roundup." Not really. But I've decided to start writing reviews of the books I'm reading for pleasure. This won't be the NY Times book review by any means, but it will let all of you loyal readers know what I'm reading and catch up on some cool books, if you want. During the school year I'll just write about books I read for pleasure, as there are too many I read for school (which doesn't say the school books can't be pleasurable to read, it's just a different type of reading process).

So...for the first review I'm writing about The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I've been wanting to read this book for years, and it's been on my shelf at home for a similar amount of time. The only problem is that I'd never gotten up the initiative to read it. So this trip home, I started to read one book (which I will write about when I finish it), but it's a nice hardback so I needed a paperback for the pool. This book was kind of beat up and a paper back, so the Kingsolver it was. I realize I'm years behind everyone else in reading this, but too bad.

On the whole, I thought it was a wonderful book. It really brought me to think about the function of missionaries, especially in the 50s and 60s, when Jim Crow still reigned supreme in the South, and these missionaries had to bring their experiences in this climate to the middle of Africa. The book was thought provoking and heart-rending. I loved it. I especially appreciated the different writing styles for each particular character, minus the Father. Not only did this provide different accounts of the spirituality of the book (I do believe it is deeply spiritual), but it also allowed me to revel in the liberation that happened for these women.

Downside of the book: I felt like after the family fell apart, the book kind of fell apart. We just started getting these small vendettas of what was going on in each particular woman's life. Much of the spirituality of the earlier portions of the book had suddenly gone missing. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but I thought it made the end portion of the book feel somewhat...empty. I still finished it, as I wanted to know what happened to each character, but in an effort to follow the rebuilding, so to speak, of a family there was a loss of something deeper that had been in the book.

Overall grade: B+.

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