Meet January Reader of the Month: Kelly Francois
I am married with two young children (and about 10 animals). I am a Probation/Parole Officer and also enjoy teaching at the University of Dubuque when possible. I love doing crosswords, playing board games, and bird watching. And while I consider myself extremely busy, I make it a priority to read any chance I get. The truth is I will read any genre, if the story and writing grips me, I will stick with it. If there are no books available, which is rare, I will read cereal boxes or any other material at my disposal.
Reading is a part of my fabric, and I can count on one hand the days I haven’t been able to read at all. Reading is in my routine and anyone who truly knows me, knows this. I love discussing books and welcome every opportunity to do so.
Q & A:
Q. What is the best book you have read within the last year (or ever)?
A. The best book I have ever read in terms of its affect on me is “Overstory” by Richard Powers.
Q. What is your ideal reading environment (location, sound, snacks, etc.)?
A. My ideal reading environment is in my living room with natural light at any time of the day. I will read anywhere, anytime, whenever I get the chance.
Q. What book are you most excited about reading next, and what about it is most exciting?
A. I am really looking forward to reading Heather Gudenkauf’s new book “The Overnight Guest” (January 25, 2022). Heather is one of my favorite authors and I always enjoy her stories.
Q. What book do you think more people should read, and why do you think they should read it?
A. More people should read “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story.” I think we should do everything we can to educate ourselves about the truth of history. When we are informed, we are better.
Q. What book has been most challenging for you to read? How did it challenge you?
A. I would say “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” was my most challenging book to date. I was overcome with horror.
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. I read the first couple of lines or the first paragraph of a book, and if it doesn’t grab me, I am okay with putting it down. My belief is that life is too short to spend time reading something that doesn’t interest me and there are too many books to read.
Q. Do you remember when your love of reading began?
A. My Mom was reading to me before I was born, and I think I came into this world loving books. I used to go to the library every Saturday I could and spend the day on the bean bags devouring as many books as possible.