The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I have avoided this book now for 10 years. My high school English teacher promoted it many times, and though I trusted her taste in literature completely, I skirted the novel. Many friends and university colleagues recommended it throughout my four years as a student when I was looking for a new book. I put it off. Why? It a little logo on the front cover that makes me shrink back whenever I get close, as though I've seen a spider or squashed bug. The logo is in the shape of a "O" and has the following words inside: Oprah's Book Club. I can't lie: I don't trust her. More to the point, however: I will not be one of Oprah's sheep. I have a strong enough aversion to anything stamped with Oprah's seal of approval that I have avoided a book recommended by countless reliable literary sources. For 10 years.
Last week I gave my coworker Linda the last book that I finished reading (My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult - which deserves a post of its own) and she asked what I was going to read next. I hadn't decided. So she brought me the above title. I protested, loud enough for Amy (next office over) to hear. She joined the conversation and also encouraged me to look past the cover and give the story a chance.
Last Friday, I cracked the book open and read the first chapter. I wasn't too impressed. I don't know if it was the lack of exciting introduction, or if it was the style of writing, or …. ? Anyhow, I've been picking it up every day at lunch, determined to give it a chance. I'm slowly getting into it, and I hope that it starts getting better soon.
As an aside, for those of you who have not yet read My Sister's Keeper but plan on seeing the movie next month when it comes out, here's a tip: READ THE BOOK! It is worth your time. There is a very unnecessary subplot that takes up entirely too much ink in the book, but other than that it is a good read and produces some serious questions. It's a great book if you're looking for something for a book club.