Tribune staffers readers as well as writers—April 30, 2010
Before writing this column I usually talk with library staff and patrons to see what readers are reading. This week I thought it would be a fun twist to call on Tribune staffers to see what writers are reading.
"Most of us read quite a bit,“ said Tribune wire editor Tami Humphreys. "It's good for increasing vocabulary and general knowledge."
An avid reader, herself, Tami said she got her first library card when she was in fourth grade. “I told my parents it was the only thing I wanted for Christmas. I've read thousands of books by hundreds of authors.”
One of her all-time favorites is Barbara Mertz who has been writing the best-selling Amelia Peabody historical mystery series under the pen name, Elizabeth Peters. (Mertz also writes gothic and supernatural thrillers under the pen name Barbara Michaels. Mertz started using the pseudonyms to prevent her novels from being confused with her earlier academic books on ancient Egypt.)
“Every year I look forward to reading the latest installment in Peters' Amelia Peabody Mysteries.”
The series was introduced in 1975 with “Crocodile on the Sandbank,” which follows the travels and romance of Egyptologist Amelia Peabody and archaeologist Radcliff Emerson. Book 18 of the series, "A River in the Sky," was just released and is available at the library in book and audio book formats.
Online editor Erik Buderus also is a big reader and a fan of series fiction. Hooked to read more after the first two, he’s currently absorbed in the third book of C.J. Box’s mystery series that is centered about the adventures of the fallible, but likeable, Wyoming game and parks warden, Joe Pickett.
“I think he’s very easy for a lot of us out-state Nebraskans to relate to. . .many of us know guys like him. The way Box develops this character really makes you fall hard and fast into the stories, as well as the plots,” Erik said.
Set against a backdrop of the Bighorn Mountains, the stories take on environmental issues while calling on Pickett to solve a murder.
“Personally I don’t see myself in him, but he reminds me of my grandpa who loves to hunt and fish. I laugh at times and other times find the suspense really builds,” Erik said.
The Pickett series books stand alone but may make more sense read in order. “Open Season” is the series’ debut novel. Box’s 10th and newest, "Nowhere to Run," was just released this month.
News Director Deann Stumpe’s job requires her to read copy all day but she said she still enjoys reading for pleasure off the job. “I’ve been reading basically my whole life,” Deann said, but also noted that she's often motivated to read a book after having seen the movie version.
“The book always is better.”
Among her most recent book-after-movie choices was the four-volume “Twilight” series - all exciting reads for those who like to sink their teeth into a delicious romance/vampire novel.
Deann also enjoyed the tail-wagging movie and book, “Marley and Me” by newspaper columnist John Grogan. Having just seen “The Time Traveler’s Wife” movie, Deann said she’s soon going forward (and backward) with the book.
These titles all are available at the library in both book and DVD formats.
Biographies are what Tribune feature writer John Huthmacher finds the most satisfying reads.
“As a kid I read a lot of biographies on athletes. I find personal stories the most interesting.”
John’s enthusiasm for reading biographies is reflected in what he likes to write. He said he enjoys telling the stories of people, and he’s always on the lookout for someone who’s passionate about something.
My guess is that one day there will be a John Huthmacher biography on the library’s shelves!
Of course you can read all of these Tribune staffers’ recent and past works at the library. The library has last year’s Tribune editions in print, and microfilm copies dating back to 1905.
There’s something for all readers and writers at Hastings Public Library!