What do you look for in a good book?
The most important things I look for in a good book are good character development and descriptive writing. For me, if I can’t envision the character and the world they live in, I really struggle with connecting to their story. When done well, finishing a book can be a bittersweet experience and I often find myself thinking of characters long after I have returned the book. Usually, I am drawn towards historical fiction, mysteries and literary fiction, especially books that are a little quirky or have magical elements to them. Although I am very loyal to my favorite genres and authors, I try to read new writers and books that are outside of my comfort zone as much as I can. I still have a lot of trouble enjoying classic literature, but I will keep trying!
If you could have dinner with one author, living or dead, who would it be?
David Sedaris, hands down. I think we would have very amusing and wonderfully strange conversations. In my fantasy world, he would go on to write a story about our memorable dinner and it would be on an episode ofWBEZ’s This American Life.
What are your hobbies and interests other than reading?
I enjoy spending time outside whenever I can, going to the movies and traveling.
Good Book = Intriguing characters, plot, and setting
3 Fav books= Alienist (Caleb Carr). Remembrance of Things Past or In Search of Lost Time (Marcel Proust), Myth of Sisyphus (Albert Camus)
Fav online database= Chilton's
Profile: Mary is our Arts/Interior Design/Architecture/Crafts specialist. An avid mystery reader, she also works in the Youth Services Department.
What do you look for in a good book? Multidimensional characters (whether fiction or nonfiction), an element of wit, and surprise are all important to me in a book. Even if it is nonfiction and I know how it is going to end, page-turning writing that evokes people, time and place keep me up reading well past when I should be asleep. A happy ending is always nice but often I love books with sad endings, wishing they would change.
Who are some of your favorite authors? I will read anything written by Hampton Sides, Anne Tyler, Ben Macintyre, Tracy Kidder and Jacqueline Winspear. My favorite book you've probably never read is Eileen Garvin's How To Be a Sister: A Love Story With a Twist of Autism, which is so honest, funny, and true. And Daniel Pinkwater is the author I'd want to have dinner with.
What is your favorite database? My favorite database depends on what I am using it for - for general research I start with General Reference Center Gold; for shopping, Consumer Reports, for health information, Medline.