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Sharon Jennings, author & CANSCAIP president: "If I hate a book..."

What was the first book you ever read all by yourself?

The first book that I remember reading ‘all by myself’ was Pierre Berton’s The Secret World of Og. I was in grade two. Still have my original copy, now signed by Berton after I became published and met him through TWUC.

What book changed the way you look at the world?

Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces changed the way I looked at the world, and I said good-bye to my Presbyterian upbringing.

What book did you love as a kid that you realize now was “of its time” and would not be published today?

As a teenage girl, I loved Gone With the Wind, and wanted to marry Rhett Butler. I can still quote the opening line, which will not be my answer for Question # 5!

Of course, this book wouldn’t be published today.

Name a book you never finished reading, and why?

I feel tremendous guilt if I don’t finish reading a book; I’m aware of how hard the author tried, so I do my best, especially if it’s a kid’s book. If I hate a book, I (literally) throw the book in the garbage rather than donate it and inflict it on an unsuspecting reader.

Tell us a favorite opening line from any children’s book.

“If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book. In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle.” A Series of Unfortunate Events: Book the First, by Lemony Snicket.

What is a word you loathe?

I loathe the overuse of the word ‘actually’. As in: You can actually go online and actually find out what is actually going on at City Hall.

Choose three adjectives to describe yourself.

Funny, kind, more or less intelligent.

Would you rather have good reviews or good sales? (“both” is not an acceptable answer) And why?

I’ve had many good reviews. Good sales might be nice for a change.


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