|photo: Eric Jason
Sherry Thompson is a non-practicing poet and ex-bookseller, raised on Tetris. She is now the mom of a toddler named Lyra and a teen named Jared, and is married to a banker with great hair named Eric. All three, she says, are grandly and generally troublesome. Her favorite genres are post-apocalyptic science fiction and graphic novel memoirs. She develops and teaches classes for youth of all ages and adults related to children's education as youth services librarian for La Porte County Public Library in La Porte, Ind.
On your nightstand now:
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson; The Children's Crusade by Ann Packer; Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn; Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg; A Little Lumpen Novelita by Roberto Bolaño; The Here and Now by Ann Brashares.
And because I'm a youth services librarian: Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters and Brooke Allen; and A Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell.
Favorite book when you were a child:
The top of the top had to be Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. My creative writing teacher in fifth grade read Silverstein and taught us haikus and other styles of poems.
Your top five authors:
Margaret Atwood, Philip K. Dick, Charles Dickens, Kazuo Ishiguro and Sylvia Plath
Currently impressed with (I'm not cheating. I'm categorizing.): Rainbow Rowell and Gillian Flynn
A writer--living or dead--for whom you'd take a bullet:
I would never take a bullet for a writer! BUT I would stop a bullet from hurting any of these books: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, Women as Lovers by Elfriede Jelinek and The Gate to Women's Country by Sheri S. Tepper.
Book you've faked reading:
I've never faked reading a book, technically. I've aced some tests on books I've never read. (Sorry, English teachers.) And I may have exaggerated slightly about how thoroughly I've read Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. I've possibly skimmed a few pages, maybe. I mean I get it already; he's in a real pickle. (It's a great book.)
Book you're an evangelist for:
I would pass out the book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie at the grocery store if I could. I have recommended it tons. I have also hand-sold it many times at bookstores I don't work at.
Also, Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick. This book. Hold on, let me get my pulpit.
I'm an evangelist for recommending the right book for the person at the time they are ready for it.
Book you've bought for the cover:
Unless I'm hooked on a specific author, I pick pretty much all of them by their cover. But specifically I remember being summoned to 2666 by Roberto Bolaño by its cover. The book is so unapologetic, artistic and ambitious. The cover really expresses that intensity.
Book that changed your life:
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood and Audrey Wood. I was reading this in first grade and was completely swept into the story and didn't realize the teacher had told the whole class to put away our books and start cleaning the classroom. It wasn't until a girl had asked me to move my feet so she could pick up paper from under my desk did I snap out of the story. (It's thrilling, if you haven't read it.) It was then I understood I lived in two different worlds.
Favorite line from a book:
"The unqualified truth is, that when I loved Estella with the love of a man, I loved her simply because I found her irresistible. Once for all; I knew to my sorrow, often and often, if not always, that I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be. Once for all; I loved her none the less because I knew it, and it had no more influence in restraining me, than if I had devoutly believed her to be human perfection." --Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Which character you most relate to:
In different stages of my life I've related to a variety of characters.
I've related to Lois Lowry's Anastasia Krupnik, then Dave Eggers as Dave Eggers in The Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius, then Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut. Recently, I've toddled a fine line with Bernadette from Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple a time or two, but I'd never admit that to anyone. But who hasn't wanted to tell off a member of the PTO?
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
There are SO many. Jealousy/excitement kicks in when I know a customer is reading THE book for the first time.