Our featured Reviewer for April 2008 was Jodene G. Jodene has worked for Lincoln City Libraries for several years now and her reviews show up with some regularity on our Staff Recommendations displays and on the BookGuide web site. Reading, reviewing and working in a library are a good fit for her, as she indicates in her responses to our profile questions:
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 was born in Kansas City, but prior to living in Lincoln, I lived until I was five in Bob Dylan's hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota. When we get a lot of snow here I always remember those days when the snow drifted up over the roof of our house and am grateful I no longer live there!
Prior to working in libraries I worked for various non-profits and state agencies. When I landed a job at the Nebraska Library Commission I knew I had found my profession. I enrolled in graduate school and did the clichéd nights and weekends of school to obtain my Masters degree in Library Science. I now work as the branch supervisor at Walt Branch in Southwest Lincoln.
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?
The earliest book I remember reading was Dr. Seuss' And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street. I loved this book so much as a child I would dream the illustrations and asked for my own copy as an older teen.
How important are books and reading to you?
Reading is very important to me. I love a good story, whether it be in a book or movie. A good story has the ability to entertain, move you, or change the way you think. I am always amazed at the abilities some have to put words together and make literary art. I am thankful for all the new authors who continue creating stories for me to read.
How do you select what books to read next?
I love it when I can find a good series! Fortunately, there are many I read so that I don't spend much time waiting for a favorite author to publish a new title. Something I've just started doing is reading anthologies containing works by authors I like in order to find other, new, authors I can begin reading. Over the past year or two I've begun reading Charlaine Harris. I found an anthology in the LCL collection, Many Bloody Returns, which contains stories by Harris and other authors. Doing this, I have already found some new authors to try.
What do you enjoy about writing book recommendations?
It helps me put down in words what I liked about a book. It also makes me think more about what I read -- it makes me an active participant in the process rather than just a passive reader.
If there was only one author you could convince people to read, that author would be:</p>
Laurie R. King. She is a smart author. Her books are well researched, well-written, and interesting. She is one of few authors whose books create a viseral reaction when I'm reading them. In her book, Folly, she describes in detail how a character living alone on an island builds a house by hand. The description is surprisingly interesting! Her books include the series about sleuth Mary Russell who partners with Sherlock Holmes, as well as the Kate Martinelli series about a San Francisco cop. She also has some riveting stand-alones to her name.
Posted to the BookGuide site in April 2008