I just finished re-reading The Poisonwood Bible and I loved it even more this time around! It is a wonderful story about the family of a Baptist preacher in the 60's who move to the Congo to save the souls of the people there. Kingsolver is a wonderful writer and I love that the book is told from so many perspectives, each chapter being told by one of the 4 daughters or mother. It gives you a glimpse into the political struggles of this still unstable country and shows how the decisions and unwanted influence of "developed" countries can often lead to only more problems for the innocent people who are just trying to survive there. It is fascinating to see how the relationships evolve not only within the family but also within this new society they were thrown into. You see how they are each shaped by their experiences in such a way that Africa will always be a part of who they are. I highly, highly recommend this book! Next on my list is to read Kingsolver's The Bean Trees, which I've heard is also a really good one.
My book club selection for this month was Emergence: Labeled Autistic, by Temple Grandin. I found the book quite interesting and it was a rather quick read. It is written, with help, by an autistic woman who has been able to, in a sense, overcome her disability to make some wonderful discoveries and developments in livestock equipment. While I enjoyed reading the book, what I really found fascinating was our book club discussion on it. Two of the women in our group have autistic children and I felt like I learned so much from them. I think you get a better idea of what someone with autism is experiencing as you read the book. One thing that Temple talks a lot about is how she craved physical touch and contact so much, but at the same time could not handle it when her mother would hug her because she felt out of control. It is inspiring to know that by being allowed to follow her fixation on this cattle holding device she was not only able to help herself, but in turn help many others through her designs.