CRRL Guest Picks
As my parents can most definitely testify, one of my greatest passions is reading. My mom fondly tells everyone, that the reason for my glasses is not video games or excessive TV watching as it may be for other kids, but rather excessive reading. Little six-year-old me who wasn’t willing to put down a book, sneakily reading in the middle of the night with a flashlight is, according to my mom, the culprit behind my less than amazing vision. Let’s face it: she’s probably right (although, when is she not?). Fast forward 10 years, and, as a now 16-year-old, that same anticipation for a good book still exists, and, if anything has been amplified over time. In order to keep up with my admittedly vociferous appetite for books, I can often be found at the library scanning the thousands of books - and trying very hard to not take home every single one.
Our guest reader for May is also our guest speaker at CRRL Con. Come listen to Steve's lively talk on making it as an artist in the game industry and as a comic writer on Saturday, May 19, 2:00-3:00 at Howell Branch. Steve will also be signing copies of his books.
Steve Ogden has been a professional artist, animator, and writer for almost 40 years. He’s worked for a variety of game companies, including Cyan (maker of the 1990s hits Myst and Riven) and currently works for Sid Meier’s Firaxis (Civilization, Railroads, and X-COM) just north of Baltimore. He is the creator of several comics: Croaker’s Gorge; the award-winning graphic novel Moon Town; his most recent, Madigan’s Guide to Acting Human; and Magnificatz, which is syndicated through Universal/Andrews & McMeel.
Bob Thomas represents the 28th district in Virginia's House of Delegates, which includes Stafford County and the City of Fredericksburg. After an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps in 2003, Bob and a fellow Marine started their own local company, Capriccio Software. He and his wife, Christi, have eight children and spend some of their free time traveling the country in their motorhome.
Books are a big part of my life: paper books and audiobooks, magazines and newspapers. Some have been part of a common canon I shared with my parents; others are shared with friends. Some help me learn new things. Others offer an escape and a distraction. Sometimes the great ones fit all of the categories. There are so many that have enriched my life it was hard to pick just a few, so I’ve focused on books that give me a sense of place and that I’ve gone back to time and time again.
From the West Coast to the East Coast, this month's guest reader has experienced the many opportunities that libraries offer.
Born in Southern California, my first exposure to a library was in conjunction with the local summer reading program. When it was blazing hot my mother would drive us to the library, which was an oasis of coolness. While I greatly appreciated the very effective air conditioning years ago, the early exposure to books has generated a lifetime of enjoyment from reading.
The Germanna Community College Film Club was revived in fall of 2016. All of our members are avid movie fans, as well as a few avid readers, and enjoy sharing our enthusiasm with others. It is because of this that we decided our choices would be book-to-movie adaptions. In our college experiences, we have each been asked to learn about different points of view, consider the actions we make and their consequences, and, most importantly, ask "why" when determining the reasons behind people's actions. We hope that the titles we chose, while each entertaining for different reasons, will challenge other readers/viewers to do the same.
Born and raised in Newport News, Virginia, I am a retired military warrant officer, serving 27 years in the United States Army. My family consists of a charming husband, handsome twin boys, a beautiful daughter, and two energetic grandsons. I presently work for the Department of Defense and own a small business, which provides a number of financial services. Additionally, I am a licensed real estate agent associated with the CTI Real Estate firm. I hold an associate’s degree in graphic design, a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management, and a master’s in organizational management.
I have had an interest in art, history, reading, and culture for over 30 years. I am a member of the Sisters Sippin’ Tea Literary and Social Club. This book club has chapters all over the United States, and we not only read books but also participate in community service programs as well. I’ve been a collector of miniature dolls for over 10 years. I use my miniature collection to design historical exhibits for various venues. One of my exhibits ("For Love of Liberty") was in Fredericksburg’s downtown library last year. My newest interest is Civil War reenacting. I am a member of the 23rd Regiment United States Colored Troops, the Women of the American Civil War group, and a board member of the John J. Wright Educational and Cultural Center Museum.
This month’s guest reader is New York Times bestselling author Jamie Ford. His novels plunge readers into the Pacific Northwest of decades past, as experienced by characters whose Asian heritage was a source of personal strength, even as it sometimes divided them from society.
Inspired by a Superhero’s Death
What makes a writer? In Jamie Ford’s case, he had known he wanted to tell stories for a long time. In an interview with Bill Kenower for the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, he explained that reading about Jean Gray’s (Phoenix/Dark Phoenix) death as a young man in X-Men #137 turned him on to deeper stories and their potential impact. He wasn’t the only one. After X-Men #137, people sent funeral wreaths to Marvel Comics’ headquarters in New York City, mourning Jean Gray. “Suddenly, characters for me had souls… Those characters were unforgettable.” And certainly timeless, as Marvel’s continued popularity at the box office proves.
Dr. Daniel Wallace is a human factors engineer for the U.S. Navy. He is active in teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to children through demonstrations and teaches a science camp for a week every year at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Colonial Beach, VA. He is now in his 14th year as a member of the Westmoreland County Public School Board. He is also a musician, playing violin in the praise and worship band at his church.
We are very happy that he has agreed to share some of his favorite books with CRRL readers. To begin, here are favorites from his childhood: