Our featured reviewer for October/November 2009 is Rianne S. Rianne has worked for the Lincoln City Libraries system for many years, mainly as a cataloger at the Bennett Martin Public Library downtown, helping to add new titles to the libraries’ collection. Her reviews show up fairly regularly on our Staff Recommendations displays and on the BookGuide web site, focusing on an eclectic variety of fiction and non-fiction titles. Reading has long been an important part of Rianne’s life, as she indicates in her answers to our questions about books and reading:
Would you care to share any personal info with our readers — such as where you grew up, what you read as a child, etc.?
I have lived in Lincoln all my life, except for one year spent in Bloomington, Indiana where I attended library school. I remember sitting in my pint-sized rocking chair reading little golden books when I was four or five. I enjoyed fairy tales and The Little Engine That Could. When I was older, Caps for Sale was a favorite. Then came Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew.
How long have you been an active reader, and were there any particular books or authors or other people that “made you a reader”? Has there been any book or author that “changed your life” or strongly influenced you?
I really can’t remember NOT being a reader. I discovered Tolkien in college. There is so much depth to his work. I try to read The Hobbit and the trilogy annually — and I always find something new. Another favorite is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
How important are books and reading to you?
I almost go into withdrawal if I don’t have something to read.
How do you select what books to read next?
For non-fiction I rely on the bibligraphies at the end of books. I am a cataloger here at BMPL, so I see many new titles as they come through and I jot down lots of titles. I glance at book reviews in the newspaper and I also get ideas from Book TV. I use subject headings from the catalog. I find titles when I’m googling for something; quite often a hit is a book. Since I am a voracious reader I really have to rely on just about every source that I can. I firmly believe in not finishing a book if it doesn’t lure me in after so many pages. (I give the book 10% of the total.) So, I go through just bunches of titles.
What do you enjoy about writing book recommendations?
I like sharing with others. I especially get a kick out of sharing older titles. Reviewing is also a disciplined art: entice the reader without being too wordy. I enjoy that challenge.
Are there any interesting book- or reading-related stories or bits of trivia in your past that you’d like to share with our readers?
I re-read my favorites occaisonally — it’s like visiting an old friend and most of the time I’m not disappointed.
If there was only one author you could convince people to read, that author would be:
Art Buchwald. He was a political humorist, who wrote short columns for his newspaper. His heyday was the 60s and 70s and many of his columns still have relevance today. The articles are both short and funny: a great combination.
Booklists from Book Talks presented by Rianne:
Books With a Twist (July 2006)
Tempting, Tantalizing, Enticing Tales (May 2009)
Podcasts that Rianne participated in:
Bethany Books Talk: Tempting, Tantalizing, Enticing Tales (May 2009)
‘Casting About, Program 42 (June 2009)