A book l received at Christmas called The Secret History of Wonder
Woman by Jill Lepore. This book gives the historical background about
how and why the comic was developed. It is interesting to read the
context of superheroes at this particular time in history as Wonder
Woman was a character that was developed in the early 1940’s, shortly
after the publication of Superman and Batman. I’m fascinated with
Wonder Woman as a dynamic female super hero especially as she
reflects the growing importance of women in this particular time period.
And, well, I just love to read non-fiction so this is a great book for me!
What are your earliest memories of a book/reading?
I remember reading Dr. Seuss books with my grandparents when l was
really little. Oh and I had a Sesame Street book about Grover, The
Monster at the End of this Book. (Laughs!) I remember the cover being
squishy, wrinkly and soft because I had read it so many times that the
cover was nearly destroyed. As little as three, maybe, I remember my
parents reading to me a lot. I also remember checking out books that
were vinyl records from the library then playing them on my record
player at home—I really loved to listen to stories that way.
What is the funniest book you have ever read?
This is a tough question because l really don’t tend to read books that
are funny. If l had to choose one it would be Me Talk Pretty One Day by
David Sedaris. His humour just really makes me laugh out loud, such a
treat when I am reading as I typically read such serious or depressing
As a kid l enjoyed books such as the Pippi Longstocking and Amelia
Bedelia series as the characters were mischievous and humorous. They
might not have made me laugh out loud in the same way, but I did find
them funny and always wished I could get into the same hijinks as they
did, without getting in trouble, of course!
What is the saddest book you have ever read?
The saddest book I’ve ever read? Probably We Wish to Inform You That
Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families by Philip Gourevitch. It is
about the Rwandan genocide, and it was a book that made me cry from
the first to the last page. I found Gourevitch’s approach to speaking to
the survivors of the genocide and the way he focussed on their
experiences at an emotional level absolutely soul destroying. I hope I’ve
become a better person since reading that book, because it certainly
gave me insight into human nature and the consequences of how we
treat one another.
What book had the biggest impact on your life so far?
Hmmm…that’s a really interesting question! Well, l think that in some
ways, probably considering what l’ve done with my life and where l’ve
ended up, I would have to say that the book that had the biggest impact
on my life would be the Cambridge Latin textbooks that l read in high
school. My first year of high school, I decided to take Latin because it
was the language course that fit best in my timetable. These Latin
textbooks were transformational for me because l suddenly had access
to a totally different culture and to a world that l never to expect to have
access to. Once again they were non-fiction, so I really liked reading
about the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and its aftermath as I learned
Latin along the way. This selection of courses and my love for the
language had a knock on effect, because I decided to major in Latin at
university and then to study abroad in Rome for a year. For a girl from
Missouri who had never had a passport before then, it was a completely
life-changing decision. That experience set me on the path to living
overseas, and now even I own a house in Italy and love spending time
embracing the Italian culture.
If you could be a character in a book for a day, who would it be?
Oh my gosh!! Jack in Love that Dog by Sharon Creech. He narrates the
story and is just so cute, witty and ever so earnest as a book character.
His journey of realising his inner poet and embracing the words of
authors he loves inspires me both as a teacher and a person. I love the
innocence and zest for learning that he displays—I would love be as
brave as a writer as he is.
When and where do you enjoy reading the most?
I most enjoy reading at the beach. l will read anywhere I get the chance,
but there is just something about reading where it is warm and sunny
and I am able to think about nothing other than the book that makes me
really happy. My favourite beach to read at is probably at the beach in
Italy near my house, because it is quiet and relaxing. I can sit there and
read all day—of course I take a few swim breaks here and there, but I’m
always excited to get back to the place that my book has taken me.
Thank you for your time.