Panel Talks About How Books Have Shaped Their Lives
BY MISSY MILLER
Special to The Pilot
Southern Pines Public Library's new annual Author Read Series continues as the library presents "My Reading Life" on Sunday, Nov. 20, from 3 to 4 p.m.
The program features a celebrity panel who will share how particular books or authors have shaped their lives.
Program speakers will include local author Cos Barnes; Steve Bouser, editor of The Pilot; Mary Scott Harrison, principal of Southern Pines Primary School; Hugh Mensch, a member of the town and library planning committees; and Linda Pearson, executive director of Moore County United Way.
The program concept is based on the memoir of the same title by Pat Conroy in which he celebrates the authors and books that have had a significant influence on his life.
The 15 essays that make up Conroy's memoir reveal his lifetime passion for reading. His mother was primarily responsible for igniting that passion when he was a boy.
Although several authors and books have shaped him into the writer he became, he says, "I became a novelist because of Gone with the Wind." His mother first read the book to him when he was 5, and they read it together over and over.
He also says that when he read Thomas Wolfe's "Look Homeward, Angel" for the first time, the experience was "so visceral that I mark [it] as one of the pivotal moments of my life." One of Conroy's essays in "My Reading Life" is titled "A Love Letter to Thomas Wolfe."
The library has multiple copies of Conroy's books available for checkout, and some are available in audiobook or e-book versions.
"The audiobook version of 'My Reading Life' is particularly appealing because Conroy reads it himself," says a Conroy fan.
More upcoming programs that are part of the Author Read Series include a free screening of a film based on one of Conroy's books at the library on Sunday Dec. 7, and a program featuring traditional Gullah folk music and language during the Palustris Festival on March 25.
All programs are free and open to the public. For more information, call (910) 692-8235 or visit www.spppl.net .
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