C-SPL July Reader of the Month


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Meet the C-SPL July 2024 Reader of the Month, Lora LoBianco!
C-SPL July 2024 Reader of the Month Lora LoBianco holding a book set against a background of an enlarged vintage suitcase with stickers from around the world.

I disguise myself as a part-time children’s librarian here at Carnegie-Stout, but am actually an elementary teacher. My husband, who is a Dubuquer, and I taught at American schools in Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Qatar for a total of 26 years. As it probably is with most of you, the friends I have made, the sights I have seen and the experiences I have had, strongly influence what I read.

C-SPL July 2024 Reader of the Month Q & A:

Q: What book(s) are you currently reading?

A: I am halfway through “Wish You Were Here” by Jodi Picoult. It is set during the beginning of the COVID pandemic, has a New York City doctor as a protagonist (remember back to when NYC was the worst-affected area in the US), and is causing me to have some seriously emotion-filled flashbacks to that time when we were in lockdown in Qatar.

Q: What is the best book you have read within the last year (or ever)?

A: I could never choose my favorite book, but in the last year I read and loved “Demon Copperhead” by Barbara Kingsolver and “The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World” by Laura Imai Messina. Kingsolver’s book prompted me to try to read “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens and Messina’s novel took me back to March 11, 2011, when the Tohoku earthquake separated us from our two children.

Q: What is your ideal reading environment (location, sound, snacks, etc.)?

A: I carry a book with me and read anywhere, anytime: road trips while my husband is blasting The Cure, sitting outside on a curb waiting for an oil change, on the crowded train during my commute in Tokyo, as my kids splash though swimming lessons, waiting for the muezzin’s call to prayer in Khamis Mushayt, and while eating during my lunch hour. It’s a wonder to me that I’ve never had to pay to replace a library book.

Q: What book are you most excited about reading next, and what about it is most exciting?

A: Hmmmm…I guess as an incognito teacher, turned librarian, I should know what I’m going to read next, but honestly, I have no idea. My list is extremely long, so I’ll just choose from it whatever is checked in. My sister told me she stayed up until 2:30 the other morning reading “The Women” by Kristin Hannah, so I’d love to be able to get my hands on that and then talk to her about it.
The most exciting thing about reading any book for me is how I completely disappear into a story world. Sometimes I find myself having a conversation in my head with one of the characters, as if I know them in real life. Often books cause me to carry a phrase or feeling around for a very long time. So much so that their characters seem like friends that I have made and their plots feel like experiences that I’ve had.

Check out Lora’s Favorite Books
Be the next C-SPL Reader of the Month!
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