By Kelly Carr
As you might imagine, considering my job as an editor, I love to read. If you’re taking time to read this, perhaps you do too! Through books we wonder, escape, and step into someone else’s shoes for a while.
How did your favorite childhood books capture your imagination? What did you gain from reading them?
My fascination with reading blossomed early. From as far back as I can remember, my parents read to me and I was hooked. After reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I clearly recall checking the back of any coat closet I could find, hoping a door to Narnia was hidden inside. C. S. Lewis books awaken the creative wonderment in a reader’s soul, both for children and adults alike. I enjoyed watching my own child filled with that wonder when she was old enough to read this story together.
I also gained a love of poetry as a child. Verses from Shel Silverstein were strange and amusing. Although I could never quite turn a humorous phrase as he did, I liked putting my thoughts in stanza format. In high school, Emily Dickinson’s vivid, descriptive poetry gripped me—and caused me to fall in love with the dash.
What Bible study or Christian living book has influenced you?
It’s hard for me to pick just one, but I find that a point from Experiencing God often comes to mind, some 20 years after I read it. The authors talked about how often we think we need to forge some unknown path in our efforts to serve God. But actually God is already at work all around. They challenge readers to look about to see where God is at work and then join him.
What memoirs have given you pause for new thought?
Reading a person’s experiences on a subject draws me in. Look Me in the Eye offered me an understanding and respect for people living with Asperger’s. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks offers scientific details about the study of cancerous cell growth, yet it’s presented within the enthralling life story of the woman whose cells were used for many scientific breakthroughs.
What novels have you most recommended to friends?
Beyond enjoying her wry wit and social critiques, Jane Austen novels expand my vocabulary as my brain is challenged to keep up with her British turns of phrase. As for modern novels, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society captivated me with its style (written in letter form), characters, and plot. (I even got to meet one of the coauthors two years ago!)
Books have also connected me with my neighbors. Several years ago, I was invited to join a book club. Hearing the women’s thoughts on what we read gives me deeper insight into who they are. Though we began gathering for books, that opened doors for us to share more of our lives together. Now we are like a family.
As Dr. Seuss said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Enjoy your journey.