|Read All Over celebrates the bookworm in all of us, showcasing readers in Vancouver and the books they love most.|
As a Community Librarian, Natalie enjoys partnering with organizations, such as addiction centres and soup kitchens, to welcome and create new connections with individuals who may have barriers accessing the library’s services. So when you see her and the Majestic Unicorn Motorcycle Club members ride past displaying their aggressive unicorn patches, don’t be afraid – she may even stop if you appear to be looking for a good read. This MUMC, who meet out of their own garage called Dirtymoto, have been receiving some press in the California-based magazine Dice (Issue #53), as well as an article in the local Motorcycho zine.
What’s on your nightstand right now? Are you enjoying it?
I tend to always have a few fiction and non-fiction on the go, so right now I’m reading The Vagabond by Colette, Phantastes by George MacDonald, and Love and Living by Thomas Merton.
Colette writes from an autobiographical perspective featuring the life of a divorced woman in France during the 1920s. The character Renee has chosen to work in the dance halls of Paris to eke out a living, considers a second marriage, and uses her writing to find refuge from loneliness. Her writing is personal, beautiful and raw, which I like.
I’m reading Phantastes because MacDonald was an influence on C.S. Lewis, who I admire. It’s a bit slow-going for me, but I’m stubborn and want to complete it.
Thomas Merton is a new author for me, and so far I’m enjoying how he encourages contemplation and reflection that is really accessible. He is respected within both Buddhist and Christian traditions, a good friend of Thich Nhat Hanh (Buddhist monk poet from Vietnam), and I could just underline this entire book, it’s so full of wisdom.
Is this the genre you usually prefer? Why?
I find myself reading fiction that either features women or is by a woman author probably because it’s easiest to find a point of empathy and I generally like to support female writers. I just read The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner, and she pretty much nailed it for me as the protagonist, like myself rides motorcycles and is involved in interesting subcultures. Plus, it was so well-written and researched.
In terms of non-fiction, I’m interested in biographical stories that feature people who have overcome adversity, or books that challenge me and deepen my connection to others. So, I’ve been reading authors like Henri Nouwen, Ravi Zacharias, Ronald Rolheiser, and Merton, and I especially liked Walking on Water: Reflections on Art and Faith by Madeleine L’Engle, who I loved reading as a child.