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High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never (1995)

by Barbara Kingsolver

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2,247337,045 (4.03)96
Barbara Kingsolver has entertained and touched the lives of legions of readers with her critically acclaimed and bestselling novels The Bean Trees, Animal Dreams, and Pigs in Heaven. In these twenty-five newly conceived essays, she returns once again to her favored literary terrain to explore the themes of family, community, and the natural world. With the eyes of a scientist and the vision of a poet, Barbara Kingsolver writes about notions as diverse as modern motherhood, the history of private property, and the suspended citizenship of humans in the animal kingdom. Kingsolver's canny pursuit of meaning from an inscrutable world compels us to find instructions for life in surprising places: a museum of atomic bomb relics, a West African voodoo love charm, an iconographic family of paper dolls, the ethics of a wild pig who persistently invades a garden, a battle of wills with a two-year-old, or a troop of oysters who observe high tide in the middle of Illinois.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
I don't normally like collections of short stories or essays, but I loved these. I have read most of Kingsolver's books and have yet to meet one I don't like. The essays are diverse in subject matter, ranging from observations of nature to sociology and family life. Very relatable and told with humor, outrage, and compassion in turn, and hard to put down. ( )
  AlexJanusch | Sep 1, 2023 |
These essays blend family/sociology stuff with bits about nature, many seen through the lens of her personal experiences. The one titled "Stone Soup" especially got into my head, and I think anyone working with kids or families - hell, anyone IN a family - will recognize the truth she speaks.

Unforeseen side effect of this book: burning desire to travel to Kentucky and Arizona. ( )
  blueskygreentrees | Jul 30, 2023 |
Published in 1995, this book is a compilation of Barbara Kingsolver’s previously published essays, along with new material. The essays focus on family life, travels, nature, and environmentalism. It is named for a hermit crab that inadvertently ended up at her home in Tucson, Arizona.

I enjoyed the structure of this book. It is easy to read one essay at each sitting. Each essay addresses an entirely different topic. I found the essays well-written, analytical, diverse, and educational. She eloquently expresses her opinions.

I have selected Kingsolver for my annual goal to read “an author’s body of work” and will be reading at least five of her books. Based on the quality in this one, I am pleased with my choice. I can also recommend [b:The Poisonwood Bible|7244|The Poisonwood Bible|Barbara Kingsolver|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1412242487l/7244._SY75_.jpg|810663] and [b:The Bean Trees|30868|The Bean Trees (Greer Family, #1)|Barbara Kingsolver|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1443483961l/30868._SY75_.jpg|1095121].
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
Subtitle: Essays From Now Or Never

Kingsolver was already a successful novelist when this collection of essays was published. She relates her thoughts on family, home, politics, nature, social issues and personal responsibility with humor, compassion, wit and integrity. Her training as a scientist is evident, as is her talent as a poet.

As she ponders what is meaningful in life and what one person’s impact may be, she takes the reader to a number of surprisingly diverse locations and situations: from a small village in West Africa (where she obtained a voodoo love charm), to her backyard (where she battled the wild pigs intent on digging up her lovingly tended plants), to a museum of atomic bomb relics (which she found both fascinating and horrifying), to a bird-watching hike in the Virginia mountains. She examines the impact of too much television, or the use of pesticides, against the natural wonder of nature and biodiversity.

As I did with Small Wonder, I read this through as I would a novel. But this collection is probably best enjoyed by reading a chapter/essay now and again. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jul 31, 2022 |
I grabbed this book off of a free bookshelf at my old job because I really enjoyed The Poisonwood Bible. This is a book of essays from Now or Never. In these essays she talks about her life in so many areas. She mentions her childhood, her being a mother, and struggles of both. She discusses spirituality, love of nature, different cultures and appreciating our world. I especially liked the essay on novels and the importance of them. I learned things about Africa. She made me think about parenting. It was interesting reading about her tour of a Titan Missile silo near Arizona where my father once worked. I am so glad I picked this book up and do plan on reading more of her work. ( )
  KyleneJones | Apr 25, 2022 |
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for Steven, and for every singing miracle
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When I told my mother I was making a book of my essays, many of which had been published previously in magazines, she responded with pure maternal advocacy: "Oh, good! I think there are some out there that I've missed." (Preface)
A hermit crab lives in my house. (High Tide in Tucson)
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We can still do everything we could do when we were twenty...except now it hurts
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Barbara Kingsolver has entertained and touched the lives of legions of readers with her critically acclaimed and bestselling novels The Bean Trees, Animal Dreams, and Pigs in Heaven. In these twenty-five newly conceived essays, she returns once again to her favored literary terrain to explore the themes of family, community, and the natural world. With the eyes of a scientist and the vision of a poet, Barbara Kingsolver writes about notions as diverse as modern motherhood, the history of private property, and the suspended citizenship of humans in the animal kingdom. Kingsolver's canny pursuit of meaning from an inscrutable world compels us to find instructions for life in surprising places: a museum of atomic bomb relics, a West African voodoo love charm, an iconographic family of paper dolls, the ethics of a wild pig who persistently invades a garden, a battle of wills with a two-year-old, or a troop of oysters who observe high tide in the middle of Illinois.

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