My spring break officially begins at 3:45 p.m. today. I’m not going out of town, but I’m looking forward to having no schedule and being at home and sleeping late. And reading. I’m planning to lie around on my screened porch and read. A lot. It should come as no surprise that I have a huge pile of books at the ready, which makes me wonder what you’re reading. What’s on your beside table? What can’t you put down? What do you think everyone else on the planet (or at least on your bloglist) should read? Leave me a comment and recommend a book; tell me why I should read it; include the Dewey number and an annotated bibliography. Kidding. Ha. Ha ha.
I’ll start. I think you all should read The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver.
I have read The Bean Trees six times, the first as a junior in college, and I could easily pick it up right now and start reading it again. It is heartbreaking, haunting, uplifting, inspiring. It makes me want to write, and it makes me want to love. Every time I read it I see new angles and turns of phrase. Most recently I read it as someone who hopes to be a parent soon, and the mother-child images and themes made me weep. The Bean Trees is Kingsolver’s first novel, and one of her best. It is certainly one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever read.