May I introduce a dedicated reader who is willing to share her thoughts on books and reading. Thank you, Minerva, for participating in the readeatlive/blog Reader Interview Series.
Tell us about what you are reading.
I’ve been reading books for possible selection for a book club. The Nightingale, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, A Spool of Blue Thread, A Man Called Ove, Me Before You. In between I’ve read David Baldacci’s latest book, and also Erik Larson’s book Dead Wake.
Do you have a favorite book of the last year or two? What did you like about it?
I read the book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand several years ago and I think of the situations faced by this young soldier during WWII, his struggles during the war and then returning to civilian life. He found strength in later years to forgive his captors for their brutal treatment during his captivity.
Another book that stays with me is Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I first read it as a young mother, returning to school, caring for three children and family. I found a contentment in her words, I’ve read it since in my later years and still find an appreciation in solitude and thoughts to consider.
Do you have a favorite author or two?
An author I’ve just become acquainted with is Daniel Silva. He has written a whole series based on an Israeli spy and art restorer, Gabriel Allon. The books all revolve around espionage, lots of twists and turns and international intrigue.
Do you have a favorite genre?
I enjoy historical fiction. There is usually something to question, something I wasn’t aware of that I can research and learn more about the characters in the story as well as the time the story takes place. It’s interesting to look into character’s lives and realize often people do the best they can do under their circumstances.
What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?
Not literature, but I still have my old set of World Book Encyclopedia 1976. With all the availability of information on the internet, I have no reason to keep this big set. They just have a spot on my book shelves and they still fit!
What book was a disappointment and why?
I can’t really think of a disappointing book. If a book doesn’t hold my interest, I feel there are so many books I’d rather read, and I just let it go.
Do you have a place you most often read, your best reading spot?
I enjoy sitting in my recliner, a cup of coffee or glass of wine depending on the time of day. I can “rest my eyes” by watching the birds at the bird feeder or taking a dip in the bird bath.
How do you decide what to read?
The title and subject are usually the first step, the author may weigh into the decision. I read the introduction, skim several pages. If I have a strong doubt, I usually return the book to the shelf. If I have a question, I may give the book a chance. If I read in earnest and it isn’t what I enjoy, I’m done with it.
What books are in your waiting-to-be-read stack?
I’m waiting on Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee and We Never Asked For Wings. I’ve read some disappointing reviews on the Harper Lee book. I loved To Kill a Mockingbird and have trouble thinking of Atticus with a racist mind set.
If you were planning a book luncheon, what authors might you invite or why?
There would be a smorgasbord! John Grisham, David Baldacci, Erik Larson, Sue Monk Kidd, Harper Lee, Daniel Silva, Jeannette Wall, Leon Uris. I would love to hear the why, the how, etc, they have developed with their stories. The research they’ve had to do, their characters real or imagined. I heard a lecture given by Jeannette Wall, author of The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses. She told her life story behind her books. I was amazed she was so normal! She shared how her father, while they were all living out of their car, told her to pick out a star in the sky, that was hers, how no one else would own that star, how that impacted her far from normal life. How much he gave to her imagination when he could barely provide food and a place to live.
There is just so much to read, so little time! A day of bliss is spending it with a good book!
Note from the blogger: When I read through someone’s interview, I glean reading tips. Minerva reminds me I need a better place to read in my house, a place with a comfortable chair where I can put my feet up and enjoy good lighting. I plan to work on that. Minerva, I envy you your recliner.
And, I resolve to find more days of bliss. No doubt many of us agree on that one.