Our featured Reviewer for June 2006 was Bob B., a long-time staff member in the Reference Department at the downtown library. Bob's particular area of responsibility at the library is coordination of the Periodicals collections. But his reading interests are much more than just magazines. Bob's reviews have run the gamut from recent bestsellers and mysteries to older and lesser-known classic works. Here's what he had to say about his background in reading, and in sharing his reviews:
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.?
"My mother's reading to me as a child gave me a warm and wonderful introduction to the enchantments of books and reading. In my grade school, each room had a bookcase of books--no library. When I had read all the interesting books in my eighth grade room's bookcase, I was given the special privilege of reading books from the other eighth grade room!
How important are books and reading to you, currently?
Vitally important! Books and reading have enriched my life and made innumerable things possible or easier.
When I was a freshman in high school, my wise English teacher, Mrs. Stith, took me one day to the principal to discuss my future. He made me promise to "read widely." I have kept that promise.
How do you select what books to read next?
From comments and recommendations from other reviewers, from friends, from authors' suggestions, and by chance.
What do you enjoy about writing book recommendations?
As a reviewer, I enjoy sharing the discoveries of the books I've enjoyed with others. Recommendations and reviews are one way to do that.
What do I enjoy reading? Romances, history, religion, mysteries, biographies, thrillers, nature. Some books I've recently enjoyed: Sugar Creek: Life on the Illinois Prairie, by John Faragher (such research!); The Marriage Test, by Betina Krahn (a funny book!); and Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver (humans and nature coming together).
If there was only one author you could convince people to read, that author would be:
Wendell Berry! Berry is a very wise man, closely connected with the natural world, with a keen understanding and sympathy for human nature. Important concepts for Berry are harmony, culture, sustainability, and nature."
Posted to the BookGuide site in June 2006 | Bob B retired from the Lincoln City Libraries in 2010