(1) So B. It by Sarah Weeks -- I am a steward of a Little Free Library. Someone left a note in our LFL, asking for a copy of So B. It, which I had never heard of. I bought a copy and decided to read it before putting it in the LFL. I am very glad I did! This is a kid's book, good for about a middle school age reader. It is excellent! A girl has a mother who is mentally disabled, and a friendly neighbor helps take care of both of them. As the girl grows, she wants to know more about her own past and takes on a search for herself. Fabulous story, easy to read, hard to put down. It's a book full of love.
(2) Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver -- I love this book! A family goes to the Congo in Africa in 1960. Father is a missionary, his wife and four daughters accompany him. They arrive just in time for some monumental historical events to occur (Congo declaring its independence from Belgium), which results in upheaval and violence. The family's life is difficult in many ways. The story, told by the mother and four daughters, follows the family's attempts to live in the Congo, a place they find hard to comprehend and also the family's evolution through the turmoil in the country and turmoil within. It's profoundly deep and touching; Kingsolver has an incredible skill of delving into human spirit and to portray a variety of personalities in such real ways. The results of poorly-planned political moves are profound on those who live with the aftermath. Historical facts were extensively researched. This was a second read for me. I knew, after reading the book the first time several years ago, that I would want to read it again. It is that deep a book, that one reading is not enough to capture it all. It's one of my all-time favorite books.