Week of August 20- Book Week Part 1


Hello, my name is Jill and I am a book addict. If I pick up a book I can’t seem to put it down. Good, bad, or ugly I just love to read. Over the past few years I’ve been sorely neglecting my literary quota, partially because audio books are expensive and trying to juggle a paperback and a steering wheel is probably more dangerous that texting while driving.

In Texas I always get a lot of reading done. Paris is a slow town with a comfy couch and a large library that my grandmother expands regularly through her Daedalus Books catalog. I spent many long hours curled up with a cat and a good novel. When I came back home I quickly discovered the magic of Librivox.org, a non-profit group of volunteers that record anything and everything in the public domain into audio format. Needless to say I’ve been in a wonderland of wonderful words for the past few weeks and I’d like to share some of my favorite finds with you:

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

This book was recommended to me by my bestie Sara and on the plane ride to Texas it did not let me down. This book is destined to be a classic. The story is engaging and the writing is very descriptive, insightful, and thought provoking. Following the story of a Baptist missionary family in the Congo in the 1950s, the book takes an intimate look as the culture of the Congo as well as the diverse faces and purposes of missionaries, aid workers, and political figures of that time. Although loosely wrapped in the political controversies that were taking place, the book focuses instead on the very intimate life of the family’s four daughters. I loved the story but have to admit I got a little tired of the African suppression rant at the end. I feel these points were clearly made throughout the book and did not have to be reinforced again and again almost out of context at the end. I highly recommend this book, however, for everyone.

 

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

A contemporary of Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins writes very much in the same descriptive style with a greater flare for character. The Moonstone has been called the father of the detective story and I believe it rightly deserves a name as one of the founders of that wonderful genre. Unlike Dickens, Collins follows a cast of upper class characters and their servants giving the novel a Downton Abbey meets Sherlock Holmes feeling. All the characters have lovable eccentricities that make the reader smile. A butler with a biblical devotion to Robinson Crusoe, a detective with a passion for rose gardening, and a poor relative who delights in matching religious tracts to offender make up a wonderful cast of characters that make a potentially dry social drama into a rousing good story.

 

Macbeth audio edition performed by Alan Cumming

My friend Mel sent this to me as a housewarming present and this CD set has become my go-to car companion. I’ve always loved Macbeth, probably my favorite Shakespeare tragedy, and Alan Cumming does a great job performing all parts at once. He creates a Macbeth who is not weak but a man torn between ambition and morality, a lady Macbeth who is both manly and seductive, and witches who are more immortal than hag. A very fun journey for a long car ride. My only quibble is that, although he takes breaks between scenes, there are no pauses in-line where it is clear an entrance or exit occurs.

 

Until next time!

 

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