|Read All Over celebrates the bookworm in all of us, showcasing readers in Vancouver and the books they love most.
|Carol Shaben is the author of Into the Abyss a recently-released book of non-fiction that explores the transfigured lives of four men who survived a 1984 plane crash in northern Alberta: the rookie pilot, a prominent politician, a young RCMP officer, and the accused criminal he was escorting in handcuffs to face sentencing. She has won two National Magazine Awards including a Gold Medal in Investigative Reporting, and was nominated as Best New Magazine Writer in 2009.
Carol lives in Vancouver with her husband, Riyad, and son, Max. She’s launching Into the Abyss on Thursday October 25 at Monk McQueen’s.
Interview by Dina Del Bucchia
What are you currently reading? Your thoughts on it?
I am reading friend and fellow MFA colleague John Vigna’s debut story collection, Bull Head, an unflinching exploration into the lives of hard living, rough-edged men trying to find their place in the world. The collection has been a revelation to read, both because John’s writing and characters are so compelling and pitch perfect, but also because I had read some of John’s stories in their earlier incarnations and they have changed and grown so remarkably.
What books have changed your life?
Such a tough question. I think every good book I read changes me just a little, but the books that probably made the greatest impact were Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. I read them when I was young and traveling the world. I was both humbled and inspired by the sweep of them, Dickens’ mastery of his characters, plot and settings and the resonance of the themes he tackled.
Recently, I’ve been recommending Eating Dirt by Charlotte Gill. I was incredibly moved by the beauty of her writing, both poetic and deeply human. In my mind, she deserves every award and accolade she has received for her years-long effort to document the unexplored and very Canadian rite of passage that is tree planting.
How do you like your books served up best – audio books, graphic novels, used paperbacks, library loaner, e-reader…?
I like my books served up on paper and have not been swayed to deviate until recently as I was racing to read the works of authors I was sharing events with at the Vancouver Writer’s Festival. Kim Thúy’s Giller-nominated memoir Ru, which I ordered online, arrived in French and out of desperation, I purchased it as an e-book. I was surprised by how little I missed the actual hard copy. What I don’t think I could give up is the kid-in-the-candy-store excitement I get every time I walk into a venerable old bookstore like Shakespeare & Company in Paris, or Munro’s Books in Victoria or even Carson’s second-hand books in Dunbar. …READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY>>>