Meet December Reader of the Month: Garrett Hohmann
I’ve been a circulation assistant at the Carnegie-Stout for nearly five years. I love to read, but am somehow even more nerdy about music and video games. My library check outs generally reflect these interests (e.g. graphic novels and nonfiction), but I am open to try anything. Favorite topics include visual arts, psychology, nature, music, or really anything that makes you think or feel something. Catch me at one of the desks and let me know if you like any of my picks!
Q & A:
Q. What is the best book you have read within the last year (or ever)?
A. For me, the best book this year was “Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness” by Kristen Radtke. I think anyone who has experienced a form of loneliness (everyone?) can relate to something in this graphic nonfiction. The structure and arrangement makes it an accessible entry for someone new to graphic novels. It’s also a great example of the unique way graphic art communicates ideas and stories that are moving and real.
I have also just started Michael Pollan’s “This is Your Mind On Plants,” which is already excellent.
Q. What is your ideal reading environment (location, sound, snacks, etc.)?
A. My favorite reading spot would be somewhere outside by a lake. Not yet securing that lake house of my own, I can settle for any comfy spot with some bourbon and instrumental music that fits the mood of the book (soundtracks, jazz, ambient, etc.). I’m also not afraid to take my books on the road (yay audiobooks)!
Q. What book are you most excited about reading next, and what about it is most exciting?
A. I recently requested “The Madman’s Library: The Strangest Books, Manuscripts and Other Literary Curiosities from History.” As you might guess from my book selections, I’m into some unique stuff and this looks like it has plenty of fun absurdities. I am also excited for “Immune: A Journey Into the Mysterious System That Keeps You Alive,” this is made by the outstanding YouTube series Kurzgesagt—In a Nutshell. If the book holds a candle to the content of their channel, it will be a thoroughly researched dive into a relevant and fascinating topic.
Q. What book do you think more people should read, and why do you think they should read it?
A. Any new popular science books. There are so many things to learn from these dang scientists discovering things every day. Did you know that some of them even write well? I especially recommend science-related books to those that find normal news depressing. The world is actually amazing, believe it or not. Terrible? -yes, but amazing too.
Q. What book has been most challenging for you to read? How did it challenge you?
A. I tend to struggle with most fiction, I have a hard time getting invested in fictional characters unless they really grab me. Usually, I am hooked if they have a unique writing style or something thought provoking. I have an unfortunately low patience for unnecessary details unless those details are creatively illustrated or serve the story.
Q. When do you decide to stop reading a book? In other words, do you read every book to the last page or is there a moment when you decide to stop?
A. As they say, life is too short to read books you don’t like. I’m more than happy to put a book back after a brief skim if things don’t click. However, if it’s a recommendation from someone such as you dear reader, I’ll give a much better chance!