AND…here is the next installment of our popular Interview Series. Stephanie is a busy woman with job and family among her responsibilities. She is also a reader and she reads many books in a year and likes to talk about them. Let’s share in her knowledge and wisdom. She gives us some ideas of books we may want to add to our reading lists for next year. This interview was conducted right before the Christmas holiday.
Tell us about what you are reading?
I just finished reading my 20th book for 2015, which isn’t so many for some readers but I feel it is a good accomplishment for me. My favorite two books I read this year were Circling the Sun by Paula McLain and All the Light We Can Not See by Anthony Doerr. Circling the Sun is based on the true-life story of Beryl Markham. She was a remarkable woman, born in England but raised in Kenya by her Father and the local tribe after being abandoned by her Mother. Due to this upbringing she chose a very unconventional lifestyle and broke gender boundaries for the times. All the Light We Can Not See is set in WWII France and Germany. It intertwines stories of two families on either side of the war and how they eventually connect.
Do you have a favorite author?
What books are in your waiting-to-read stack?
I have several books waiting to be read:
Riding the Bus with My Sister by Rachel Simon (for my book club)
The Turner House by Angela Flournoy
The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
Paradise City by Elizabeth Day
How did you become a reader?
When I was probably in late Elementary School I became ‘horse crazy’. I wanted to own a horse, I took riding lessons, rode as much as I could, and began reading as much as I could about horses, both fiction, non-fiction and other informational books. Then my Middle School English Teacher and librarian turned me on to some of the classics and I’ve been an avid reader ever since.
How do you decide what to read?
I pick books to read in various ways:
My daughter is a big reader and we exchange recommendations all the time,
Other Friends recommendations
My book group – I have read many books that I really enjoyed that I would never have read if not for the book group choices
Book Reviews in magazines and other print media
Why is reading important to you?
Reading takes you away from it all and opens doors to places and things that are different from your everyday life. It expands your knowledge and understanding of others and yourself.
Are there books you truly treasure? Tell us about them and why they are important to you?
A hardbound copy of Gone With the Wind that my Grandfather gave me and wrote an inscription. It was the first “adult” book I owned and it is extra special because it came from my Grandpa that I was very close to.
Do you have genres you especially enjoy, or some you avoid?
I enjoy a variety of genres and try not to read the same type of book in a row. In my 20’s I read all of the Stephen King books that he wrote but when they started keeping me up at night and gave me bad dreams, I stopped reading them and those types of books.
Is there a special place you most like to read?
My favorite place to read is in my Lazy Boy Chair in my family room. AND, weather permitting, I love to read on my backyard deck, listening to the birds sing and looking out at my flower garden.
Stephanie’s List of Books for 2015
1. Winter Street – Elin Hilderbrand
2. The Boston Girl – Anita Diamant
3. Ordinary Grace – William Kent Krueger
4. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Koots
5. Girl on a Train – Paula Hawkins
6. The Language of Flowers – Vanessa Diffenbaugh
7. All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
8. Funny Girl – Nick Hornsby
9. Gray Mountain – John Grisham
10. Before I Go to Sleep – S.J. Watson
11. Ship of Brides – JoJo Moyes
12. My Life from Scratch, a Memoir of Food, Family and Forgiveness – Sasha Martin
13. Laura LaMont’s Life in Pictures – Emma Straub
14. Go Tell a Watchman – Harper Lee
15. Circling the Sun – Paula McLain
16. The Rumor – Elin Hilderbrand
17. Station Eleven – Emily St. John
18. Who Do You Love – Jennifer Weiner
19. We Never Asked for Wings – Vanessa Diffenbaugh
20. 800 Grapes – Laura Dave
Thank you Stephanie for sharing your love of reading and the books you read last year. We cheer you on as you sit in your comfy chair with a book!! And aren’t you a lucky woman to have a flower garden even for part of the year?