Kathy’s Reading Insights

What are you reading now?

I’m currently reading these books, one, Flash Boys, I bought several years ago and read some, tucked it away, and have begun re-reading. I like historical mysteries and found Stephanie Barron at the Library tucked back in the “B” fiction section years ago.  She’s created a series with Jane Austen as an amateur sleuth, I find them delightful.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas by Stephanie Barron
Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis

What is in your TBR pile?

I read the Handmaid’s Tale when the streaming adaptation was made and want to read her follow up book, The Testaments.  There has been much buzz about Celeste Ng from the new streaming adaptation of her book that has me interested to read it.  I’ve read several books by Erik Larson and always enjoy them.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson

What is your favorite Children’s book and why?

There are so many children’s books I’ve read over the read and I’ve loved most of them, but my favorite is truly an emotional pick stemming back to my childhood.

The setting, 1956 -1960, my mom reading aloud to my brother and I on her bed in the quiet afternoon, not picture books, but from a thick red covered Anthology of Classic Short Stories.  Our favorite story that we begged for was “The Happy Prince” by Oscar Wilde.

Fast forward years later the story is now an illustrated children’s book.  I’ve given many copies of it as gifts to people I love and have read it aloud at the Library to children several times. 

Favorite Nonfiction book and why?

Truly difficult to answer as at my age, I have forgotten so many read, that I loved at one point of my life or other. Most impressionable and never forgotten, “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank. I was born 6 years after WWII ended and knew Holocaust survivors and families growing up in Southern California.  Also life changing was “Soul on Ice” by Eldridge Cleaver . I read this book in 1969 at 18. 

Favorite Movie and why?

Another extremely difficult question to answer, I have so many. I can narrow it down to two, both movies, I will sit down and watch whenever they pop up at TCM and I actually have both movie DVDs.

West Side Story – 1961.  I was 10 and saw this movie at least 10 times in the theater. How can you go wrong with William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as a musical, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. It was bigger than life to me and I can still sing all the songs.

Gigi –1958. A musical Cinderella story with the ridiculously handsome Louis Jourdan, my first crush.  Granted, I did not see this movie in 1958, I was a bit too young, but it is forever a favorite of mine from my youth.

Favorite TV series and why?

Prior Century and truly my real favorite I Love Lucy – even today she is funny, funny, funny. I never tire of catching an episode when awake at 3 in the morning to have a laugh.  

This century-Mad Men – just for the era it took place in, the characters were the adults in the room in my childhood. I was late to this series and had the
opportunity to “binge” watch it. There were so many events packed into this
time period that had profound impact on the world. 

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – another period piece with a strong funny woman.  I figured out Mrs. Maisel was a contemporary of my mother.  Smart writing and thoroughly enjoying to watch.

Favorite Fiction Book and Why?

Sorry, both the Bronte sisters:

Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

Why: I was a very shy young girl (I know, ridiculous to imagine that) who read all the time.  I read both books in the summer of 1964, (13), tragic, gothic love stories and processed and digested them in that manner.  I have
re-read both over the years and definitely processed them differently than a
lonely 13 year old. So many more layers to the stories now, but I still love them. As a big fan of classic movies, I still vote for Joan Fontaine for Jane Eyre and Meryl Oberon as Cathy in Wuthering Heights.