Betsy is a life-time voracious reader who also hopes to continue to build her writing portfolio and actually publish a novel of her own someday. We are lucky indeed to nab her as an interview subject. Thanks Betsy!
Tell us about what you are reading.
I generally have several books going simultaneously. I just finished “After This,” by Claire Bidwell Smith, which was fascinating on many levels. I currently am reading “H is for Hawk” by Helen Macdonald, “The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend” by Katarina Bivald and “Hollow City, the second novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs. I am about to start “Invisible Acts of Power” by Caroline Myss. I have a couple of others cued up in a second stack as well.
Do you have a favorite author or genre?
I actually don’t. I have always been intrigued by a wide variety of authors and genres and I’m susceptible to going off on a reading tangent on a fairly regular basis. I’ve gotten sucked in to a variety of book series thanks to my daughters; I enjoy recommendations from others and I find lots of options on Amazon and BookBub. I’ve read mystery, romance, science fiction, self-help books, classics – I love the variety. I can stick with one genre for a while, then come back to Mother Earth and move on. For instance, last winter I got on a kick of strong Italian women (Adriana Trigiani) – I even ordered an Italian cookbook and started making Italian dishes. Deborah Harkness was another binge.
Is there a recent book you’ve been urging others to read? What and why?
As a leadership coach, I always have a few “must-reads” to share with my clients. One is “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer and another is “A New Earth,” by Eckhert Tolle. I like these books because both are about learning how to stop the unproductive and negative chatter in her heads and living life to its fullest.
When and where do you find time to read?
My favorite time to read is while cooking in the kitchen. In the spirit of disclosure, I enjoy simultaneously reading and playing Words with Friends, while tending to the evening’s dinner. Yes, I know we are not supposed to multi-task but I do like the blend of all three activities!
Disappointing or just plain not good? What’s the last book you remember putting down without finishing?
One still bothers me. I was thrilled and fascinated with “S” by J.J. Abrams. It is a book within a book, and it’s filled with little notes, post cards and pictures associated with the content. It is fun just to look through it; it is so creatively produced. The dilemma is around how to read it – whether you read both books simultaneously or read each book separately. I tried to do it simultaneously and couldn’t get through it. I will probably try again.
Are there books you truly treasure? Tell us about them. Why are they important to you?
I treasure so many books. Early ones include the Little House series, Trixie Belden and “The Sneetches” by Dr. Seuss. I just gave the latter to my nephew and his wife, who are having their first baby. An all-time treasure is “The Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann. Other favorites include Peter Mayle, P.G. Wodehouse, a poetry book called “The Voice that is Great Within Us.” I have collections of books on creativity, personality and what it is that you want to do when you grow up – I use them all regularly. They are all important for such very different reasons.
What moves you most in a work of literature, fiction or non-fiction?
Good writing, strong characters, a well-developed plot, hopefully with unexpected twists and turns. In the case of non-fiction, practical counsel and tools that I can use.
What have you not read that you would like to read?
I have stacks and stacks of books cued up to read. Some include “A Beautiful Mind,” Joseph Campbell’s “The Power of Myth,” Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” the latest Martha Beck books (I am a couple behind), a large number of books on equine coaching, a new area of focus for me both personally and from a career standpoint, and every year, without fail, the latest Nora Roberts suspense novel. I can’t help myself.
Paper or electronic, or doesn’t it matter to you?
I use both. Generally, I prefer print, particularly if it’s an important book. But if I find something interesting on Amazon or BookBub, I’ll download and read it on my Ipad.
What else can you tell us about what reading means to you?
Reading is a priority, a past-time, a doorway to writing, a work tool, a decadent dessert, an obsession, a stress-reducer, an energy-builder, an amusement and a way to stir my heart. Need I say more?
Note from Paulette: Read carefully and you will notice what might be termed a guilty pleasure. (We all have them.) We thank her for introducing us to BookBub, a website that offers deep discounts on e-books. Bookbub.com
I thank her for her wonderful writing; no editing required. Her summary about reading as a priority is more than memorable! Betsy, we readers are in your debt.