6 questions we always ask: Claire, a new MN Reads reviewer

My favorite people in the world are the people who randomly email me and say, “hey, I want to write about books on Minnesota Reads. Claire is one of those people. In her own words: The most important thing to know is that I’m originally from Wisconsin and I’m a loyal fan of Wisconsin sports teams, especially the Packers. I knew I was a true book worm when I realized that being banned from reading as a punishment wasn’t something that upset other kids. I’m a high school English teacher, but the only grammar errors that get under my skin are excessive, misplaced, useless apostrophes or quotation marks. I like eating apples, being outside, and learning new things, and I love doing all of those things while reading a good book.

What book(s) are you currently reading?
I’m re-reading The Hunger Games and The Odyssey because I’m currently teaching both to my high school students. For pleasure, I’m reading The Grace of Silence by Michele Norris. I received The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson in the mail today, so that’s up next.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character? Who?
I guess I don’t have romantic crushes on characters, but I get frequent friend crushes; Anne (of Anne of Green Gables) and Harry Potter immediately come to mind.

If your favorite author came to Minnesota, who would it be and what bar would you take him/her to?
After switching my favorite author on a weekly basis for ten years, I have been pleasantly stuck on Jhumpa Lahiri for awhile now. I would take her to the Red Stag.

What was your first favorite book?
My mom read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books to me, and they were some of the first books that captivated me enough to make me want to read them repeatedly.

Let’s say Fahrenheit 451 comes to life, which book would you become in order to save it from annihilation?
A good stare at my bookshelf has prompted me to say People of the Book by Gwendolyn Brooks. I could preserve some sense of the story of the physicality of books.

What is one book you haven’t read but want to read before you die?
I’ve never taken the plunge into a long Russian novel. I should probably do that.

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  1. LeAnn Suchy 11.Oct.11 at 10:25 am

    I hope you write a review about The Gargoyle because I’ll be excited to hear what you think. The beginning captivated me, but eventually it started going downhill and I stopped reading it. I want to know if I should’ve continued to read it or not.

    1. Claire 20.Oct.11 at 12:23 pm

      @LeAnn Suchy, I hadn’t planned on reviewing it, but maybe I will to add some of my thoughts to the pot. I didn’t love it, but fantasy is never really my thing. It was fun to read something outside of my comfort zone. There are some embedded short stories in it, and I thought those were beautifully written. I attended the Books and Bars book club where it was discussed, and that was enlightening. There are some neat hidden messages, like the first letter of each chapter spell out a message, as do the last letter of each chapter (though one of those messages is in German). There were about 50 pages toward the end that I skimmed because they got too unrealistic for me; otherwise, it was maybe a seven out of ten for me.

  2. Jodi Chromey 11.Oct.11 at 10:28 am

    Wow! I’m surprised. A few years back Ben, Christa, and I all reviewed The Gargoyle and loved the crap out of it. In fact it made all three of our Top 10 lists the year we read it.

  3. LeAnn Suchy 11.Oct.11 at 10:33 am

    @Jodi Chromey, Interesting. I’ll have to go check out your reviews sometime. I really did love the beginning and the descriptions of his body after the car crash. I got chills. But then it went downhill for me. I talked to a couple of my friends and they said the same thing, though they did finish the book.

  4. Emily 11.Oct.11 at 11:28 am

    As another high school English teacher with similar interests (including apples!), I’ll look forward to your reviews, Claire. Happy reading!

    1. Claire 20.Oct.11 at 12:25 pm

      @Emily, Thanks, Emily! Hopefully we both can squeeze in a few more trips to the orchard before the dreaded onset of winter.


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