Friday, September 3, 2010

Week 4: My Favorite Book

I am a prolific reader and always have been. My tastes tend to run to historical fiction, top sellers, and whatever I happen to cross in the library or bookstore. Below are a few of my favorites based on the following criteria: number of times I've read the book, how often I think about the book years later, and recommendability of the book.

1) Pretense, Lori Wick. I have read this book no less than five times and every time I do I pick up some new gem in it. As I type this I'm thinking, "Hey, I haven't read this book since I married. Wonder what new insights I'll find now."

The Amazon editorial review wrote the following:

Marrell, a happily married army wife, adores her family, but throughout her life she’s felt something missing. When she discovers that the void is spiritual, she is afraid to tell her husband. Will he understand that he cannot meet all of her needs, and that she cannot meet all of his? Covering the lives of Marrell and her two daughters, Mackenzie and Delancey, from the 1970s to the 1990s, Pretense is a character–rich novel written from Lori’s heart that shows the patient love of God and the promise of His forgiveness for all who seek Him.

 2) Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver. I have read this book twice and think of it often. The story is so... haunting, for lack of a better description. When I read it I had several missionary friends and wondered about their experiences in Papau New Guinea; Johannesburg, Africa; etc. In many ways, this book was my first introduction to exploring different cultures and cultural tolerance. Even with my limited knowledge of cultural acceptance, fanatical Nathan's approach to converting the natives was so awful it has stuck with me and has helped monitor my own interactions in regards to faith and God. 

From Amazon: The year is 1959 and the place is the Belgian Congo. Nathan, a Baptist preacher, has come to spread the Word in a remote village reachable only by airplane. To say that he and his family are woefully unprepared would be an understatement: "We came from Bethlehem, Georgia, bearing Betty Crocker cake mixes into the jungle," says Leah, one of Nathan's daughters. But of course it isn't long before they discover that the tremendous humidity has rendered the mixes unusable, their clothes are unsuitable, and they've arrived in the middle of political upheaval as the Congolese seek to wrest independence from Belgium. In addition to poisonous snakes, dangerous animals, and the hostility of the villagers to Nathan's fiery take-no-prisoners brand of Christianity, there are also rebels in the jungle and the threat of war in the air. Could things get any worse? In fact they can and they do.

 3) The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd. If you haven't read this book, please stop reading this and take yourself to your local library. Run, don't walk. How have you not read this?

I don't know what it is about this book that captures me so much. Maybe it's my obsession with the South. Maybe my fascination with bees. Maybe I identify with Lily on some level - constantly trying to make up for a shattered childhood. Whatever the reason, this book is sure to be a classic.

(As a side note, do not read Sue Monk Kidd's The Mermaid Chair. It was awful.)

There you have it. In short, the three books I'd take to a deserted island if I could only have three. If I could take more I would take Harry Potter 1-7, Twilight and Breaking Dawn, and a few of Philippa Gregory's books.

Happy reading!


Aki Mori said...

It's so interesting how women love fiction! That's not to say that men don't read fiction, but I can't remember a single time when a woman told me they fell in love with a non-fiction book.

I think the only piece of fiction I've read in the past ten years was the Da Vinci Code, and even that book appealed more to the non-fiction lover in me with its focus on Christian history.

george rede said...

I'm always interested in what other people read. (Seriously, Aki? One book of fiction book in the last decade?)

Nike, I share your love of "The Poisonwood Bible." I'm not familiar with Sue Wick but I'll add her to my ever-growing reading list. My wife loved "The Secret Life of Bees." If I hadn't already seen the movie, I'd be more inclined to dive into the book.

Laura Reese said...

I forgot to tell you that I picked up the Secret Life of Bees at Powell's and read it this weekend. Thanks for the tip!