Rossland Library Profile — Elaine Klemmensen

By Contributor
June 29th, 2021

Rossland Library Profile — Elaine Klemmensen

Books of My Life

Q and A with Elaine Klemmensen, a prairie transplant turned Rosslander 24 years ago. Elaine loves to travel off the beaten path and has recently discovered the joy of seeing the world from the seat of a bicycle. Elaine is a mom to two amazing kids, James and Hannah, and a wife to best friend and long-suffering husband, Rob. She is also a veterinarian who decided to reinvent herself in middle age and become a leadership coach and consultant. Can you say mid-life crisis?

1. What is your favourite childhood book?

Nature and animals have always featured prominently in my life and as a child I remember reading the Burgess Books with my sister and being excited to learn what adventures and lessons awaited the likes of Grandfather Frog, Reddy Fox, Blacky the Crow and others. We spent hours drawing pictures on large rolls of brown butcher paper of the Babbling Brook, the Green Meadow, and Old Mother West Wind, along with the animals who lived there.

2. Name a book you’ve pretended to have read.

This spring I finished a Certificate in Executive Coaching at Royal Roads University with a cohort of incredibly accomplished and intelligent individuals — people with titles that involve C’s and O’s and other letters combined together in ways that I don’t understand. Do you see where this is going? They scare me a little and I want them to like me, so I joined the book club and, spoiler alert, I didn’t read the book. I am going to have to finish it because, clearly, I have something to gain from the wisdom within. It was Atomic Habits by James Clear. 

3. Name the last book that made you laugh.

I am pretty sure it was Calypso by David Sedaris. I love his writing style, sense of humour, and ability to make you laugh when the subject matter should really make you cry. His story about learning French as an adult in Paris is so funny. I also laugh a lot whenever I read Patrick DeWitt. Most recently, French Exit, such a fun read!

4.  Name an author / book that changed your life.

The book that changed my life, or at least opened my eyes to a different world, would be Dove by Robin Lee Graham. It is the coming-of-age story of a 16-year-old boy who sets off on a solo journey around the world in his 24 foot sailboat, Dove. When I first read this book, I was around the same age the author was when he left on his life-changing adventure. As a kid growing up on a prairie farm, I had no knowledge of sailing and travelling abroad just wasn’t something our family or friends did. The idea was entirely foreign to me at the time. Dove introduced me to a world I had never considered and sparked in me a great curiosity and desire to see new landscapes and meet the people who lived in far flung places around the world.  

For the same reasons, I have to give a shout-out to Paddle to the Amazon by Don Starkell. An amazing story and one of the few books I have read more than once!

5. What books might people be surprised to learn you love?

I have to answer this question as it feels a little like “true confessions” for book lovers. I love weird, quirky characters and plots that take me into worlds beyond my imagination. Think Geek Love by Katherine Dunn and Swamplandia by Karen Russell. I also love books that are fun and witty like The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett and stories about weird historical events where I get a glimpse into a different world or mindset. Think Five Wives by Joan Thomas. Bottom line, give me a good story with well-developed, fascinating characters then throw in a little weirdness for good measure and I’m hooked! 

RPL Announcements and Information

Current Displays

Pride literature and Indigenous literature displays are right inside the front doors. Some selections from the Pride literature include Dear Evan Hansen, adapted from the musical by Val Emmich and Branded by the Pink Triangle by Ken Setterington. This latter is composed of historical research and firsthand accounts of the Nazi persecution of homosexuals in what was once a tolerant society.

Secret Path by Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire reveals the life story of Chaney Wenjack, a 12 year old Anishinaabe boy from Northern Ontario who died from hunger and exposure trying to return home after fleeing residential school in 1966. Embers: One Ojibway’s Meditations by Richard Wagamese is a beautifully written series of everyday reflections on lessons he has learned from life experiences.

Summer Reading

The BC Summer Reading Club is a free literacy program designed to engage school-aged children, ages 5-12, with libraries and reading throughout the summer. Programs will be facilitated by two summer students and will be held outside, weather permitting. You may sign up your child at bcsrc.ca. Currently registration is limited, but if BC maintains its current restart plan, we could potentially include more participants. Take-home packages will be available for families who want to stay close to home.

The Summer Reading Program will run from July 6th to August 21st as follows:

  • Thursday: 1:30pm-2:30pm: Ages 5-8
  • Thursday: 3pm-4:30pm: Ages 9-12
  • Saturday: 10:30am-11:30am: Family Storytime (all ages) 

Books of My Life

Have you enjoyed reading “Books of My Life” interviews? Do you love reading and sharing your favourites? If so, please consider participating in a “Books of My Life” interview. For more information, email rplpublicrelations@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from readers of all ages.

Job Opportunities

Are you motivated? Organized? Creative? Passionate about Public Service and Libraries? Do you enjoy working with children of all ages? Are you looking for a rewarding position in a wonderful community? Visit the job posting on our website and if it looks like a good fit, bring your resume and cover letter to the RPL or email Director Stacey Boden at director@rossland.bclibrary.ca.

Categories: Arts and Culture

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