Books of My Life with Louise Drescher

By Contributor
August 4th, 2021

The Rossland Library Summer Reading Club takes place Thursdays and Saturdays on the front lawn — weather and wildfire smoke permitting.

Anyone wanting a lovely picture should attend Saturdays between 10:30 and 11:30 for Family Storytime. The program concludes August 19th. 

This week’s Books of My Life is local artist and resident of Rossland since 1994, Louise Drescher.

1.  What was your favourite childhood book?

Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I loved the surprises and the way “Lewis Carroll” played with logic and how he understood the confusion a child might feel navigating the world of language and rules of behaviour. But I never understood why Alice always wanted to go home. Wonderland was so liberating.

2. What author did you enjoy reading aloud to your children?

Roald Dahl.  His books for children are brilliant and full of fun, always hilarious and outrageous, sometimes sinister. Coupled with the illustrations by Quentin Blake, they remain in a category all their own: unique and truly connected to children’s sense of what is funny and what is fair and just.

3.Name an author that changed your life.

James Joyce.  As an undergrad back in Toronto I studied James Joyce.  His writing made me really look at words.  Every word has a life and a history, and I became passionate about etymology which led to a graduate degree in Medieval Studies (Old English, Old Norse, Medieval Latin, Palaeography). 

4. Name the last book that made you laugh.

Understanding Ken by Pete McCormack. I just re-read this book, originally published in 1998.  Pete McCormack lived in a house with his dad here in Rossland and this brilliant, autobiographical novel is about a 10-year-old boy with a passion for hockey. There are laugh out loud episodes told in the voice of a child who is hurting from his parents’ divorce and blaming all his frustrations on Ken Dryden, famous goalie for the Montreal Canadiens.

5. Name the last book that made you cry.

Rue Deschambault by Gabrielle Roy. The perfection of her writing, the poignant detail in these autobiographical stories told of a childhood spent on a street in St. Boniface, Manitoba made me cry. I sometimes cry when beautiful music hits me in a shivery way. Her stories are like that. Just read “The Pink Hat” to see what I mean.

6. What book do you read over and over?

Eating Dirt by Charlotte Gill, the memoir of a tree planter. I am always searching for truly outstanding writing, the craft of the perfect sentence, the authentic voice.  I never get tired of reading this book.  It is a Canadian treasure and a work of genius.

7.What book do you like to give as a gift?

Klee Wyck by Emily Carr. But Beware. For 50 years Canada read a mutilated version of this book. When it was published in 1941 it won the Governor General’s Award. In 1950 a new, censored edition came out, ostensibly for schools, that omitted 2300 words. The parts that were removed were the observations Emily Carr had written about missionaries and residential schools. In 2003 the publisher, Douglas & McIntyre, reproduced Klee Wyck in its original. This is the edition I give to people. Klee Wyck is a gift to the Nation, written by someone very brave and honest.

Rossland Public Library Announcements and Information

The West Kootenay French Association Arbre ambulant / Traveling Tree is being displayed until August 5th. This project aims to explore the origins and diversity of the Francophonie in the West Kootenays and to paint a portrait of young Francophones and Francophiles through an object representing their attachment to the French language. Come in to read the messages carved into each of the “leaves.” You may send your own message via link from QR code. A suitcase of symbolic objects is beside the tree.

The Summer Reading Club continues until August 19th. Take-home packages go out on Tuesdays for the week’s activities. You can complete them at home or come in. Join summer students Evan and Elise Thursdays from 1:30-2:30 p.m. (ages 5-8), Thursdays from 3:00 to 4:30 (ages 9-12), and Saturdays from 10:30 to 11:30  a.m. (family story time, all ages).

The Lost Sheep Knitters are back. Join us Thursday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon.

New Books and patron requests are arriving regularly. Some new books are featured on our homepage.

Art in the Library

Come in to view the beautiful photography of Shannon Martin and Janell Lancaster. Lauren Mask’s “Settling In” hangs near the front desk. You may apply to have your art displayed by visiting our website.

Did you know …

  • Kobo Readers and iPads are available for use.
  • ·You can drop off used batteries for recycling.

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.

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