A glance over my Cannonball Read list reveals five Kingsolver books and one on the way.  I may not finish my goal of 52 books by November 1st , but I’m happy to have found a new author to follow.  I love that I always learn something new through her writing.  I’m amazed at the way she can take a seemingly ordinary moment and describe it so beautifully and in a way that makes you appreciate the moments you are currently living.

This book is a collection of essays, some old (and reworked) and others written specifically for this publication.  One of my favorite essays is “High Tide In Tucson.”

“Want is a thing that unfurls unbidden like fungus, opening large upon itself, stopless, filling the sky.  But needs, from one day to the next, are few enough to fit in a bucket, with room enough left to rattle like brittlebush in a dry wind.”

While discussing what it means to be human, Kingsolver touches on the “clutter of human paraphernalia and counterfeit necessities.”  She questions what this has to do with living.  I was reminded of a conversation I had with my father when I in Florida.  Before hanging up the phone, my father says, “Remember that all you need is a clean shirt and pair of jeans.”

It was an offhand remark that had nothing to do with our topic of conversation, and yet it was completely relevant to my current life.  I was surrounded by chic, well-dressed girls, and I was anything but.  I tried not to care since I could not afford to care, but it was hard to ignore the fact that so many people around me  judged my person by what was on my body. It’s a liberating process to fully distinguish your needs from your wants.  You’ll find yourself  off that endless race to “have it all” through material possessions that ultimately bring you no lasting satisfaction.

Kingsolver explores her experiences as a writer, mother and a human being .   She pulls back at the layers that make up relationships between people and the relationships we have with nature.