Wednesday 20 July 2022

Lara Dolphin

A native of Pennsylvania, Lara Dolphin is an attorney, nurse, wife and mom of four amazing kids. She frequently wonders where the time has gone. Her poems are widely published in print and online. Her first chapbook, In Search Of The Wondrous Whole, was published by Alien Buddha Press. Her most recent chapbook, Chronicle Of Lost Moments, is available from Dancing Girl Press. You can find her online at Lara Dolphin.

A book you loved reading as a child.

Oh, what a busy day! by Gyo Fujikawa loomed large in the inner life of my childhood. The beautiful illustrations and gentle passages followed a gaggle of kids feasting, jumping, singing, fighting, falling, helping and having the most simple yet wondrous adventures together. Kids' America by Steven Caney was a boredom-busting treasure trove. From how to make soap or use a quill pen, this book was packed with fun activities. Also, A Light In The Attic by Shel Silverstein was a great source of joy. From the wacky poems to the even wackier drawings, this gem was one of my favourites. 

Your favourite anthology.

My favourite anthology was a modern drama textbook from college. I no longer have the collection or remember the title, but reading plays from around the world was captivating. Some of my favourites were Ibsen's A Doll's House, Pirandello's Six Characters In Search Of An Author,  Soyinka's The Lion And The Jewel, Synge's The Playboy Of The Western World, and Wassertein's The Heidi Chronicles

The first and last books on your bookcase/shelf.

My bookshelves at home have purposely shrunk in recent years. I used to accumulate books that I purchased, but lately I find that having and keeping books isn't important. While I still prefer paper to digital, I almost always borrow books from our community library. Bought books that I am done reading are either donated or go into our family's Little Free Library. At this time, the first book on my shelf is Calvino's Invisible Cities. It was a gift from a friend in Italy many years ago and is in both English and Italian. It's an Escheresque journey through imaginary/yet real cities that are also all Venice as revealed by conversations between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan. On the other end is Jansson's The Summer Book, best known for her Moomin books for children, Jansson explores themes of life and death through the interaction of an elderly woman and her granddaughter. A slim volume, it is the perfect, calming summer read.

A book you have given as a gift / recommended to a friend.

I have recommended Bill Bryson's books to friends. There is something inherently relatable and funny about the pitfalls of travelling. I recommend Neither Here Nor There: Travels In Europe and Notes From A Small Island to start. I have also recommended Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy It's nice knowing the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42 even if you don't know the question. 

What book(s) are you reading right now?

I just finished a book club selection Patchett's These Precious Days. I had read Bel Canto and loved it and was delighted to find her collection of essays equally compelling. I am finishing up Here For It by R. Eric Thomas, which is a truly funny memoir about living an authentic life outside mainstream culture. Next up, I'm hoping to read Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker, 1965–2000.

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