Late Sunday afternoon I received an intriguing email from Samanda Brace of CBC Radio Regina. They were interviewing Saskatchewan authors about their summer reading picks for The Morning Edition. Would I be interested in talking to her? On the very next day, it turned out….
Everything quickly fell into place – with my fervent thanks to the staff at Regina’s Bothwell Library who promptly agreed that it would be fine for the interview to take place there …. even though I made plans with CBC without consulting them first. They even kindly opened up the children’s program room so that we could talk undisturbed.
What did I talk about?
Always one of those readers who’s in the midst of several books at once, I carried in an armload to talk about (so I wouldn’t end up fumbling, on air, for titles, authors, plots and the like). The books I intend to read (or keep reading) this summer include:
- Joseph Boyden’s Through Black Spruce, an intriguing and powerful dual narrative novel set in Northern Ontario amidst the aboriginal population there. An uncle, in hospital and in a coma throughout, narrates his story to his two nieces, one of whom is sitting by his bedside – telling her story to him.
- Alice Hoffman’s The Dovekeepers, which I picked up because my daughter-in-law had left it here. I’ve only dipped into that one just a little, but it’s exquisitely lyrical writing, a tale of four strong women who were among 900 Jewish people who tried to escape from the Romans in the desert, some 2000 years ago
- Norvene Vest’s No Moment Too Small – Rhythms of Silence, Prayer & Holy Reading. I always like having some spiritual reading on the go, and this one I purchased at St. Peter’s Abbey, a Benedictine establishment where my writing group the Children’s Writers’ Round Robin held a retreat last April. The gentle focus here is to slow down, to listen in a prayerful manner, so that we can feel the Divine in the moments of our daily, ordinary lives. For a sampling: “In letting this happen, we are seeking to become more sensitive to the way things really are, and to become more responsive to the gentle and persistent action of divine grace upon our livers.”
- My own Leaving Mr. Humphries. Since we were invited to plug our own books, how could I resist talking about this one, which is a quintessential summer experience for family reading? This cross-generational story is set in the Dorset, Ontario cottage where my dad spent all of his boyhood summers, a place that both my illustrator cousin Gretchen Ehrsam, and myself, have visited and loved. We are really pleased that Robinson’s General Store, in Dorset, is now selling our book!
- Anne McCaffrey’s The Dolphins of Pern. I always loved McCaffrey’s Dragonsinger books, and am intrigued at the way she presented non-human species, and their interactions with the human characters. I picked this one up, used, at SK Books & Collectibles.
- Gary Graffman’s I Really Should Be Practicing – Reflections on the Pleasures and Perils of Playing the Piano in Public. This was a gift from my special friend Cameron, who is a professional musician.
- Fran Sorin’s Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots through Gardening. Another gift from Cameron, this one talks about one of my own summer pleasures …. gardening. Nothing fancy, but there is such satisfaction from planting and watching things group – not to mention how much better home-grown food tastes!
What are some of your summer reading favourites?
This particular Morning Edition program runs this Friday, July 17 – between 6-8:30 a.m.
Check out CBC Radio-Regina’s The Morning Edition at 102.5FM; or 540 AM across Saskatchewan. It will also be accessible by web.