Featured Reader

Erin Macklem

GVPL has an ongoing and rewarding partnership with the Belfry Theatre that includes collaborating on programs such as our Belfry Booksmacks, upcoming Belfry at the Library presentations and more. This month we’re featuring a behind-the-scenes player in these projects, the Belfry’s Artistic Associate and Outreach Coordinator, Erin Macklem. We think you’ll enjoy discovering what titles live in the teetering pile beside this artist’s, bedside.

What reading material is on your bedside table?

I have two piles of books on my bedside table (aka the floor). One small pile is mine and one large, teetering pile is my 14-month-old daughter’s. Highlights of my pile include:

Anne of Ingleside / Lucy Maude Montgomery – I was given the full Anne of Green Gables box set for my birthday this year – I had loved these books in my school days and when my family decided to take a trip to Prince Edward Island this summer and I decided to reread them

Mrs. ‘arris Goes to Paris / Paul Gallico – I am a costume designer so a book about the pursuit of the perfect dress: c’est magnifique!

Handwriting / Michael Ondaatje – a collection of poems that I found in a free book exchange on a side street in my neighbourhood

The most read titles in my daughter’s pile include: 

Each Peach Pear Plum / Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Little You / Richard Van Camp

Owls See Clearly at Night: A Michif Alphabet / Julie Flett

Singing Away the Dark / Caroline Woodward, illustrated by Julie Morstad.

When/where do you like to read? Do you prefer print books, ebooks or audiobooks? Do you listen to music while you read?

I like to read whenever I get the chance these days, which is not often. I work full time and have a toddler, so mostly I read before bed. I prefer print books because I like to be able to bend the pages and use random ephemera for bookmarks. I love music but I don’t listen to it while I read because I find both reading and music listening to be unique immersive experiences and they compete for my attention.

What was your favourite book when you were a child?

My mom tells me that my favourite book as a child was Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, and it is also a favourite of my daughter’s. The first book I really remember loving is Kitt William’s Masquerade. The mystery, the treasure hunt, the amazing art – I still love pouring over that book.

What audiobook would you recommend?

Dame Edna’s Peter and the Wolf or Samuel L Jackson reading Go the  F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach.

What was the last book that made you laugh? What was the last book that made you cry?

The last thing I read that made me laugh was a play. I work at the Belfry Theatre and our third main stage play is Michael Healey’s Proud. When I read it, I laughed so hard I actually drooled on the script. My colleague in the next office thought I was going to choke. Even thinking about it now I’m still chuckling.

Anne of Ingleside made me cry – when she loses her first baby. I remember crying at that part when I was in grade 8, but I bawled this time around.

What book are you dying to see turned into a movie?

I think The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is screaming out to be made into a movie. I read this book over the course of two late nights and the whole time I was thinking how the setting of the decaying house would be so great on screen.

Do you have any literary guilty pleasures?

Horoscopes. But I refuse to feel guilty for that.