Saturday, August 31, 2013

"Flight Behavior" by Barbara Kingsolver


Most readers will agree that Barbara Kingsolver is a wonderful writer.  Our book club just finished Flight Behavior.  Some thought it was a little too long but overall we highly recommend it.  

Her sentences are so beautifully written that you want to share and remember them.  Then you realize you'd be copying down the entire book. As Time Magazine says "Kingsolver is a gifted magician of words".  

She is also funny and spot-on in her observations.  Here are samplings from Flight Behavior:

"Honk of you love Jesus, text while driving if you want to meet up."

"Will you explain to me why people encourage delusional behavior in children and medicate it in adults."

"I never learn anything from listening to myself."

In Flight Behavior we get to know Dellarobia Turnbow from Appalachia who is running from her stifling life when she happens onto a shocking "valley of fire" filled with millions of monarch butterflies.  The butterflies draw scientists, the media and local townspeople with everyone weighing in on explanations as to why the butterflies are where they aren't supposed to be.  

Kingsolver's books are known for pushing her personal convictions and in this novel it is climate change. Amazon says "she never reduces her characters to mouthpieces" which we all agreed was true.  

She is the author of several highly acclaimed novels including The Poisonwood Bible which follows a missionary family in the Congo. It is interesting to note that when Kingsolver was seven years old her physician father took the family to the former Republic of Congo for his work in a health care capacity.  She also wrote about her family's attempts to eat locally in the non-fiction Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
She has received numerous awards and prizes and has been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award and The Pulizer Prize.  

Flight Behavior and any other of her works are great book club selections as they bring up interesting and possibly controversial topics leading to living discussions. Check one out today.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Once In A Lifetime Opportunity at Trine University

Here is an amazing opportunity for those of us that live/work close to Trine University in Angola, Indiana.  More than 40 books and manuscripts are on loan to Trine from The Remnant Trust, a public foundation that shares its collection of works, some dating to 3000 BC.  There will be texts and documents from the classics in history, philosophy  literature, politics and the sciences.

The book 1,000 Years, 1,000 People:  Ranking the Men and Women Who Shaped the Millennium named the 1,000 most influential people of the past 1,000 years.  Johannes Gutenberg was No. 1.  His printing press was credited with lowering the cost of books, making accessible to almost everyone the wisdom and knowledge of the greatest minds of the ages.  The first book Gutenberg printed was of course the Bible.  At Trine University you will be able see some amazing items including a leaf of one of the first printed pages by Gutenberg (1455), a first edition of the King James Bible (1611), a 16th century text of the Torah, an early copy of the Emancipation Proclamation and books by Copernicus, Galileo and Darwin.

You can view the collection in Taylor Hall's Wells Gallery through May, 2014.   The gallery will be open for viewing at the following times in September:

Sunday, September 8, 2013 - grand opening 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Saturday, September 14, 2013 - from 1 - 3 p.m.
Sunday, September 15,2013 - from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Saturday, September 21, 2013 - from 1 - 3 p.m.
Sunday, September 22, 2013 - from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Visitors are encouraged to participate in 30 minute talks followed by discussion on topics generated by the texts.  For a list of topics and dates e-mail Sarah Young at

Additional viewing hours will be announced later.  Visit for details.  

To arrange a tour for your organization contact Dareen McClelland in the Office of the President at (260) 665-4102.