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Sounds like Kingsolver and her school librarian both deserve a round of applause. Thanks for sharing about what sounds like a very excellent essay!


You've done it again: caused me to add yet another book to my List. (Which is so long I feel it deserves to be capitalized.)

Thanks for the great recommendation!


Oh this sounds fantastic. I love essays about reading! I'm yet to read Barbara Kingsolver but I WILL, this year sometime. The Poisonwood Bible is a book I must get around to.


What a marvellous essay this sounds! I've heard good things about Kingsolver and her writing on books and this sounds just the sort of thing I'd love to read. I will look out for it.


I think I need to add this to my wishlist! It sounds really interesting. I want to read a novel by Kingsolver first though.


My favourite place in school was also the library which seemed to always hum with potential stories. I've just started reading The Poisonwood Bible and have fallen in love with Kingsolver's language. I think I will definitely need to read this collection too.


I'll have to find this essay and read it. I miss helping patrons find things to read like I did the first few years I worked in a library. Now it seems we spend our days checking out DVDs and wishing we could take the public computers out and shoot them!


What a beautiful, inspiring post. Thanks for sharing these thoughts from a marvelous author. I've read a couple of Ms. Kingsolver's books, and plan to read more. I'm a retired HS librarian, and have a son and daughter-in-law with library degrees. I plan to send them a link to your wonderful post. Thanks.


What a marevelous essay! Are you going to read all of them in High Tide? I've heard it is a really good book but haven't managed to get to it yet. Story of my life.


Of course the quotes of Barbara Kingsolver are good, yet what really touched me in this post is the way you weaved in and voiced your thoughts. Beautiful.


That was wonderful!


What a lovely essay! Yours as well as Kingsolver's. It is fascinating, the effect of librarians on readers' lives.

You're right about librarians--especially in this time of budget cuts. But some very lively librarians have been influential in my life. One told me all about the Trollope Masterpiece Theater series when I ordered a Trollope book by interlibrary loan. I've never seen her again, alas! Maybe she was on the reference desk for only one day and is now back to...whatever she does!

And I loved the Martha Quest books! I looked at one the other day and felt it belonged to an earlier time (for me), but it's thrilling that lots of readers will discover it because of Kingsolver, who is such a good writer~


Megan--I think school librarians are taken for granted, so this essay was really lovely to read.
Karen--I think my list needs to be in capitals and bolded! :) I've enjoyed the essays I've read so far by her and plan to read more.
Rachel--I've only read a few books by her, but Poisonwood Bible is my favorite and I really like her essays, too! I love reading about reading as well.
Litlove--I've enjoyed the books I've read by her and have her new one all ready to go. I think I might have to read more out of this book first, though.
Iris--I think my first Kingsolver novel I read was The Bean Trees. It would be a good place to start with her work, though I'm also enjoying her essays.
Sakura--I read The Poisonwood Bible for a book club and really enjoyed it. I hope to read her newest this year sometime as well. Strangely I didn't spend much time in my high school library--it was a small place and I only went there for research--I've made up for things since, as I work in a library now.
Sam--That does seem to be the way libraries are going these days (sadly). As I work in an academic library there is not much helping patrons with books to read for pleasure, but I got in lots of that when I worked in a bookstore!
Lindy--This essay must really resonate with you then! :) Kingsolver is always a thoughtful writer who goes for depth more than entertainment and she got to the heart of the matter in her essay. If you can get your hands on the book (or could easily read it while sitting in a bookstore cafe), I hope you'll read it.
Stefanie--I can relate to that, too--so many books I want to read and as many as I have started at the moment, there are still always so many more! I think I will read more from this collection. I love nature writing I've discovered--particularly with essays, so I am hoping there will be some in this collection.
Catharina--Thank you. I hope I didn't give too much away, but it's a short essay and I wanted to share quotes! I love what she had to say and how she told her story.
Jeane--This was a really enjoyable essay--I like her writing so will read more.
Fribee--I would love to work with patrons in a situation like that--trying to match books with reader--unfortunately in an academic library things are a little different since it is almost always research oriented. But a good school librarian can really inspire a reader and turn them on to good books. I must admit that when I read what she had to say about Martha Quest I thought instantly I need to go dig out my copy--I have a few books by Lessing but have not yet read them! Kingsolver really is a good writer!

Liz F

What a lovely post Danielle. I do like Barbara Kingsolver's work and I must see if that book of essays is available on this side of the pond too as I would love to read it.
Currently reading a book of essays by Eudora Welty that the library dredged up from county stores and I am really enjoying it: I am continually surprised at the wide range of books that are in the library store in North Yorkshire, and even in these days of cut backs the choice of books is still very good.
I was lucky that my senior school librarian (from age 11 to 16) was very good at her job and took me under her wing, pointing me at books I might not otherwise have found, including Doris Lessing. I read Martha Quest and the follow up book years ago and found them on a shelf the other day when I was looking for something else, so that is another couple on my re-read pile - now all I need is the time!


Liz--I think this is several years old, so hopefully there will be copies around at your library. I think I will keep reading from this one--I knew I wanted to at least read that one essay. I really want to read more Eudora Welty now. I think I only have one of her novels and a collection of stories by her. And how cool that your school librarian helped guide you in your reading. I think if I had had better guidance in my reading I wouldn't feel like I needed to catch up now. Still I probably appreciate a lot of the classics I read now than I would have when I was younger. I must read Martha Quest at some point--I've never read Doris Lessing, and Martha Quest is one of her novels that has appealed to me most. Ah yes, more reading time. I need it, too.

Buried In Print

I think you might have been following up on my recommendation of this essay, which is one of my all-time-favourites for sure; I was commenting on your post here, about Welty's "Sweet Devouring", which is, in turn, the reason that I have a copy of that collection of essays here at home with me now, ready to dive into the essay you recommended: how funny!


Buried in Print--I need to take better notes! I don't always write things down, but I'll remember a title or author (and then promptly forget where I heard it), and then I can never go back and find the original suggestion! It is funny that we are each reading the other's suggestion--and I enjoy Barbara Kingsolver's essays very much. Eudora Welty is great, too--I hope you enjoy that essay...and she is another writer whose work I need to read more of!

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