Our featured Reviewer for August 2006 is Patty L., who works at the Bess Dodson Walt Branch Library. Patrons of the downtown Bennett Martin Public Library may also remember her for the years spent working at the Checkout desk there. Patty has been a regular contributor to the Staff Recommendations displays in the library. Reading is an important part of her life, as you can tell from her responses to our profile questions below:
Would you care to share any personal info with our readers — such as where you grew up, what you read as a child, how long you’ve been with the libraries, etc.?
As a child, I enjoyed spending most of my time outside, climbing trees in the vacant lot just down the street, playing kick the can or building a snow fort after a snowfall. In between my outdoor adventures I would read. My favorite picture book was The Color Kittens. As a parent I’ve read it to my own children. I loved Highlights magazine and read every issue cover to cover. My favorite chapter books were The Box Car Children and Charlotte’s Web.
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 have been an active reader since college. It was in college that I developed a love for children’s picture books, and enjoyed reading adult fiction (realism and existentialism) and non-fiction books on a daily basis. As I grew older, it was the author Beryl Markham and her autobiography West with the Night that inspired me to read books that focus on the beauty and passion found in life. While attending college I enjoyed reading the short stories “Bartleby the Scrivener,” “Metamorphosis,” and “The Myth of Sisyphus.” I also enjoyed the authors Hamlin Garland and Jean Paul Sartre.
How important are books and reading to you?
Books and reading help fuel my creative and spiritual world.
How do you select what books to read next?
I select books in many different ways. Often times, a book jumps off of the shelf at me. There are other instances when an author I am reading refers to other authors and so I will browse those suggestions and possibly read one of those books. Conversations with people in coffee houses might lead me to read a certain author or subject.
I read mainly non-fiction, so it’s pretty easy to walk to a certain subject area and find books that I like and hopefully will inspire me. For fiction it is much more difficult. People may recommend an author, or I may read a review in a magazine. Often times it’s the title that catches my eye. When I saw the title, The Alchemist, I was immediately intrigued. The Alchemist turned out to be one of my favorite fiction books.
When choosing a new book to read, I typically read one paragraph, maybe two, and decide if it’s something I want to spend my time on. At one point in my life I felt compelled to finish any book I started, but not any more. If I’m half way through a book and get bored, I stop reading it and turn my attention to something that I find more interesting.
What do you enjoy about writing book recommendations?
I write reviews to share with others. I like to draw attention to books and media that convey a sense of beauty, passion, and spiritual awareness. I also like to showcase books that provide practical information, such as cooking and gardening, presented in a useful and attractive format.
If there was only one author you could convince people to read, that author would be:
Choosing a book to read is such a personal decision that I don’t think it is possible to recommend an author that everyone should read. However, I do highly recommend the author Will Johnson and his book, The Sailfish and the Sacred Mountain. It resonated with me on many different levels and perhaps will resonate with other readers as well.
Posted to the BookGuide site in August 2006 | Last updated in June 2016 | Patty L. left the Lincoln City Libraries in 2010