My KMom loaned out a few of her books on Mother’s day, a little impromptu summer reading book club. Last night, I finished reading The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver. Holy wow! I think this book should be on every writer’s “to read” pile. There are books that are written purely for entertainment, and there are books that make you think, but in my opinion, there are VERY few books written that do both. Barbara Kingsolver is one of those rare writers that consistently creates books that are difficult to put down, while at the same time, she paints stories that make you look at the world with fresh eyes. Amazing!
The Lacuna is a fictional story, but there are characters in it that were based on actual people. For example, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. As I was reading, I KNEW those names were familiar, but I couldn’t place where I knew them from. It nagged at me while I was reading. A quick search on the computer this morning, and it all made sense. Diego Rivera has a HUGE fresco at The Detroit Institute of Arts called Detroit Industry. Breathtaking! The Rivera Court is one of my favorite areas of The DIA. Rivera and Kahlo spent close to a year in Detroit and Dearborn, Michigan while he was working on this project. That’s why their names were so familiar! Both artists had an impact on our local history.
While I loved The Lacuna, my FAVORITE book by Barbara Kingsolver is STILL The Poisonwood Bible. I have to confess that every time I see The Poisonwood Bible at a rummage sale, or garage sale, I HAVE to buy it, then give it away to a friend. I’m like the Johnny Appleseed of Kingsolver, but I can’t help myself. I think I empathize with her character, Adah, more than I should. 😉 I’ve lost track of how many copies of Poisonwood I’ve given away. If you want to read a book that will make you THINK, this is the one. It sneaks up on you and subtly changes you, perhaps forever.
As a writer, I’m CONSTANTLY looking for new reading material. I think that’s pretty common. The more I practice at my own writing, the more I appreciate the writing of others. Words, in the right hands, are an art form. They can have such an impact. When my life starts to feel hectic, and a little out of control, I bury myself in the world of books and literature. I can take a fifteen minute break and instantly, I’m transported inside another universe created out of imagination. Amazing!
Have a great day!