The books that parents read to their kids can have a lasting impact.
That experience helped shape the career paths of three award-winning, Colorado-based authors.
“It’s interesting to note that we were all read to a lot as kids or told stories to, and that’s pretty special,” author Lisa Jones says during Colorado Public Radio’s latest Book Club segment, which airs during the Colorado Art Report at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 30.
Jones, Peter Heller and Helen Thorpe are close friends who’ve been gathering regularly for years in each other’s living rooms to discuss the books they’re reading. Each month, our Book Club segment transports their lively conversations to the CPR studio.
Jones recalls her father reading Paul Gallico’s “The Snow Goose.” The novella’s plot in part coincides with the British military’s retreat from Dunkirk during World War II.
“My father would just become overcome, it was actually a really sweet thing,” Jones says. “I think I felt real compassion for him, but I was very small.”
Heller’s father often read poetry out loud, including E. E. Cummings’ “Buffalo Bill’s.”
“I think Dad read that to me when I was six or seven, and I didn’t really know what it was about,” Heller says. “But the beauty of the language totally transported me, and I thought, ‘I want to do that.’”
Thorpe takes us back to when she was seven and her family temporarily moved from the United States to Austria.
When riding on the electric tram cars in Vienna, she says her mother wanted to read but also had to keep an eye on Thorpe and her two siblings. So she read out loud to them.
“I just remember her reading this very adult novel out loud to us in English, with all these people speaking German around us,” Thorpe says. “We would get caught up in it; the magic of being read to.”
Colorado Public Radio wants to know from our listeners: When you were younger, what did your parents read to you?
Please share your memories and how the experience impacted you by emailing us.
To hear the full Book Club discussion, tune in to CPR’s Colorado Art Report on Friday, May 30, at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.