Two days ago, I finished reading Louise Erdrich's novel The Master Butchers Singing Club. Yes, this book is a terrific read. This is exactly the kind of book I would choose to use in a literature class. It is packed with wonderful characters, a sense of history, an episodic but compelling plot, and a wonderful narrative voice. If you want a bit more of a description of the novel, here's a handy reading guide site.
I had not previously read a Louise Erdrich novel. I knew her work as a poet, and when I saw novel titles of books she had written, I thought I'd give one of her works a try. She is known as a writer in the Native American Renaissance school, although I wouldn't want to limit her work to that view alone. Her biography is summarized here.
Among the many things about Louise Erdrich's life that endears her to me is the fact that she owns a bookstore in Minneapolis--bookstores are great places to spend the hours.
So, if you haven't read The Master Butchers Singing Club, and if you want a terrific read for now (or for the summer), I heartily recommend this novel. I enjoyed this book so much I am ordering her newest The Painted Drum. Maybe a future blog will deal with it.