1. What propelled your love affair with books — any particular title or a moment?
Learning to read in first grade (kindergarten was not required then). I don’t remember if my mom read to me or if I had books before that – probably she did and I did. But learning to read opened up a whole new world to me and I have loved it ever since.
2. Which fictional character would you like to be friends with and why?
Elinor Dashwood of Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. I think we’re similar personalities, though she is more patient than I am.
3. Do you write your name on your books or use bookplates?
Neither unless I am loaning them and want them back. Then I often just right my name on the front flyleaf, but sometimes I put an address label there.
4. What was your favorite book read this year?
Probably Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God. A Broken Mother’s Search for Hope by Christopher and Angela Yuan, a prodigal son and mother. The mom had as much to learn as the son. Wonderful to see God work in lives that we might consider the hardest cases. Nothing is impossible with Him!
5. If you could read in another language, which language would you choose?
Agree with Sherry here: Hebrew or Greek, to read the Bible in the original languages.
6. Name a book that made you both laugh and cry.
Oh my – there have been many, but I will go with the most recent one: Little Dorrit by Dickens.
7. Share with us your favorite poem?
That would be hard to narrow down. I love Robert Frosts’s meditativeness (is that a word?) in “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening ” and “The Road Not Taken,” Richard Armour‘s lighthearted verse, Robert Burn’s thoughtfulness in “To a Mouse” and other poems, Poe’s capabilities in rhythm and setting a scene in “Annabelle Lee” and “The Raven,” “October’s Party” by George Cooper, “The Blue Robe” by Wendell Berry, “To A Waterfowl” by William Cullen Bryant, much of Elizabeth Barret Browning and Christina Rossetti’s work. But I think I’ll mention here Anne Bradstreet‘s “By Night While Others Soundly Slept”:
By night when others soundly slept
And hath at once both ease and Rest,
My waking eyes were open kept
And so to lie I found it best.
I sought him whom my Soul did Love,
With tears I sought him earnestly.
He bow’d his ear down from Above.
In vain I did not seek or cry.
My hungry Soul he fill’d with Good;
He in his Bottle put my tears,
My smarting wounds washt in his blood,
And banisht thence my Doubts and fears.
What to my Saviour shall I give
Who freely hath done this for me?
I’ll serve him here whilst I shall live
And Loue him to Eternity.
I’d love to hear your answers to any of these questions!