a reader’s perspective
My name is Lori Zalewski and my review blog is Lusty Penguin Reviews—www.lustypenguin.com.
When did you fall in love with reading?
I come from a family of voracious readers although I did not find my love for reading until I stumbled upon Robin Cook’s Outbreak when I was a college junior. Discovering that there were books out there that could hold my attention was a game changer for me. Since that time, I joined my mom and sister as a voracious reader. For many years, I read mysteries almost exclusively. My family’s love of reading turned into a profession, and for over a decade, we owned and operated an independent bookstore, Alibi Books. During that time, I had the pleasure to discuss books with our wonderful customers. I not only got to learn about authors I hadn’t read yet, but I was also able to share with our customers the authors I really enjoyed reading. Each month our store sent out a newsletter filled with book reviews.
Do you remember your favorite places to read throughout the years?
My favorite place to read above all others is my bed. During my college years, I loved to read at the grill on campus or the Burger King down the street. Currently, my second favorite place to read is at the dining room table.
Do you remember your first favorite paperback book? Do you remember the first e-book you purchased?
First paperback? No, I don’t remember a first paperback at all. I do clearly remember buying Robin Cook’s Outbreak, though. After I finished Outbreak, I called home to tell my mom about my reading experience. Needless to say, mom was super excited for me and bought me all kinds of mystery books for Christmas that year. First ebook? I honestly don’t remember.
What book has most inspired you, brought you to tears, or changed your perspective?
Inspired – Outbreak by Robin Cook. As mentioned in my little bio, Outbreak is the book that changed everything for me. I was completely pulled into this book because of the graphic and violent death in the opening chapter. I was compelled to finish this book to figure out what it was that was killing everyone and finished it in a day. Since I have a very short attention span, I discovered, with this book, that books could hold my attention and keep me engaged. I guess it took finding the right kind of book. Although I still love mysteries very much, during the last few years, I’ve been reading more and more romances.
Changed Perspective – The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn. I had to read this book for my Freshman Studies class in college. Kuhn’s book has been the most influential book on my thought process about scientific progress. Kuhn argues that scientific progress is not linear in nature, but changes because of breakthrough moments that disrupt classical thinking, the paradigm shift, that usually occurs from someone in a different branch of science or from the outside completely.
Brought Me to Tears – Losing Julia by Jonathan Hull. Losing Julia was a book I read while at Alibi Books. I really loved this book because it was a beautifully written combination of love story and war journal, which had me in tears all the time.
Have you ever found a book so disturbing, that you couldn’t finish it, or had to leave it and come back?
I’ve had a couple books that I’ve had to put down and come back to. 1. Nobody’s Perfect by Kallypso Masters – the BDSM scenes were intense and there were times I just needed to step away for a while to process what I was reading 2. Broken Heart by Laura Browning – the abuse perpetrated by the husband in this story was beyond the pale and I contemplated frequently about not finishing this book.
When reading, what types of characters do you find yourself relating to more than others?
Sometimes it is really easy to relate to a character because you have experienced something similar or the characters activities mirror some of your own. Personally, I love characters that run because running is such a big part of my life. But, in general, I don’t think that you need to relate to a character to fully enjoy a story. I love to let the characters talk to me through their story and I do my best not to impose myself on to them. In other words, just because I personally would react in a certain way to a certain situation does not mean the character would or should react like I would. If the story is well written with three-dimensional characters, the characters will come to life and will draw you in whether you relate to them or not.
Are there books that you find yourself revisiting? (Either in your mind or literally picking up the book to reread it again and again).
Characters do have a way a haunting me long after I have finished reading their story. Obviously, some characters sick around more than others do. I’m not really one to reread a book because I have so many books to read. But, when I’m in-between books and not sure what I want to read next, I will go back and reread scenes and sections from books that I’ve enjoyed.
What are ten words that describe the way reading makes you feel – where reading takes you, as you drift away with the characters and their stories?