What’s On Your Shelf? A Reading Interview with Pat Renshall

Please welcome GS Science teacher Pat Renshall to the blog. Thank you Pat for sharing your reading habits and interests with our community.

Do you enjoy reading? Why or why not?
Absolutely.  It’s a way of experiencing impossible things, seeing unlikely places, engaging with challenging and unpleasant or delightful people, learning about cultures and points of view – and all without leaving your chair.

Do you prefer books, books on tape, e-reader books? Where do you get your reading materials?
I read about two books a week and for the last five years every one of them has been bought and read on an iPad.

What kind of reader were you when you were in high school?
Voracious.  I used to read whilst walking between classes.

Has your pleasure/displeasure for reading ever changed? What/Who was responsible for that change?
I have loved reading ever since my father used to read Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series to me when I was a kid.

Whatare you reading right now?
Trashy space opera (too trashy to confess to).

When and where do you like to read?
On the sofa in front of the fire, or just before going to sleep.  But I always have a book with me in case I have five minutes to fill at odd times of the day.

Who are your favorite writers?
Peter F. Hamilton
Alastair Reynolds
Hammond Innes
E. V. Thompson
(just a few off the top of my head)

What was the last truly great book you read?
Sadly, I don’t remember. Though I can remember the feeling you have when the adrenaline is pumping and your eyes jump around the page as if your brain can’t seem to find the patience to deal with the words one at a time.

Are you a fiction or a non-fiction person? What is your favorite lit genre? Any guilty pleasures?
Fiction.  For me it’s all about the story.  Sci/Fi fantasy or historical.

What book had the greatest impact or influence on you?
Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer

What book did you feel you were supposed to like and didn’t? What was the last book you didn’t finish?
Never could stand Catcher in the Rye.  Or anything by Sebastian Faulks.  People who write to impress others with the skill of their writing and forget to tell a story bore me to tears.  Tolkien was guilty of this to an extent but at least he also had a good story to tell.

What book might we be surprised to find on your shelves?
Fanny Flagg

What do you plan to read next?
More trashy space opera—I have developed the habit of using goodreads.com “author like…” pages to find new writers and then spend a few months devouring their back catalog.
(See what Pat is talking about here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/similar/25375.Peter_F_Hamilton)


Looking to try some ‘trashy space opera?’ Pat recommends these titles, available for check-out from the MDA Library collection:

Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert Heinlein
The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon
Pandora’s Star  by Peter Hamilton


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