The Books of My Life with Louise Drescher


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

Anyone who wants a great photo should attend Saturdays between 10:30 am and 11:30 am for family story time. The program ends August 19.

This week The books of my life is the local artist and resident of Rossland since 1994, Louise Drescher.

1. What was your favorite childhood book?

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

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

Roald Dahl. His children’s books are brilliant and full of fun, always hilarious and outrageous, sometimes sinister. Coupled with Quentin Blake’s illustrations, they stay in a category of their own: unique and truly connected to children’s sense of what’s funny and what’s right and right.

3. Name an author who changed your life.

James Joyce. As an undergraduate student in Toronto, I studied James Joyce. His writing really made me look at the words. Every word has a life and a story, and I got passionate about the etymology which led to a graduate degree in Medieval Studies (Old English, Old Norse, Medieval Latin, Paleography).

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 father here in Rossland and this brilliant autobiographical novel is about a 10 year old boy who was passionate about hockey. There are episodes of giggles told in the voice of a child who suffers from his parents’ divorce and blames all his frustrations on Ken Dryden, famous Montreal Canadiens goaltender.

5. Name the last book that made you cry.

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

6. What book do you read over and over again?

Eating Dirt by Charlotte Gill, Memoirs of a Tree Planter. I’m always looking for truly exceptional writing, the art of the perfect phrase, the authentic voice. I never tire 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 has 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, apparently for schools, which omitted 2,300 words. The parts that were deleted were the comments Emily Carr wrote about missionaries and residential schools. In 2003, publisher Douglas & McIntyre reproduced Klee Wyck in its original. This is the edition that 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 French Association of West Kootenay Arbre ambulant / Traveling Tree is on display until August 5e. This project aims to explore the origins and diversity of the Francophonie in the West Kootenays and to draw a portrait of young Francophones and Francophiles through an object representing their attachment to the French language. Enter to read the messages engraved in each of the “sheets”. You can send your own message via the QR code link. A suitcase of symbolic items sits next to the tree.

The Summer Reading Club continues until August 19e. Take-out packages are released on Tuesday for the activities of the week. You can complete them at home or come. Join summer students Evan and Elise Thursdays 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (ages 5 to 8), Thursdays 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (ages 9 to 12) and Saturdays 10:30 a.m. 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 requests from patrons arrive regularly. Some new books are featured on our home page.

Art in the library

Enter to see the beautiful photograph of Shannon Martin and Janell Lancaster. Lauren Mask’s “Settling In” hangs near the reception. You can request to have your art exhibited by visiting our website.

Did you know …

  • Kobo readers and iPads are available.

  • · You can hand in used batteries for recycling.

The books of my life

Did you enjoy reading the “Books of my life” interviews? Do you like to read and share your favorites? If so, please consider participating in a “Books of My Life” interview. For more information, send an email to [email protected] I look forward to hearing from readers of all ages.

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