I grew up in small midwestern towns in the state of Kansas. Throughout my childhood when I was in trouble my parents would ground me from reading. Now, before you judge them for this, I must confess that I did read A LOT. This habit kept me from doing many of the things I should do, like chores, and obeying my parent’s instructions. Also, it really was one of the few things they could take away from me that was a punishment (I often hid books in the towel cabinet in the bathroom so I could get a chapter in on ‘bathroom breaks’). They did not use this same tack with my brother and sister who were very different from me and had to be grounded from…other things.
I was a good student. I won’t claim to be a straight A student through high school; I did enjoy a social life enough that grades weren’t my first priority. But I did well. I was a library aid in high school, loved forensics, and English was always my favorite subject.
College led to an English major, and in my junior year I decided to pick up a teaching license so that I could get a job more easily right after graduation. I ended up using that license and taught English, speech, and coached forensics in a Jr/Sr High School.
After I married (a wonderful man…who also likes reading) and started a family I left teaching full-time to stay home and finish my masters. I now have two beautiful boys who have reintroduced me to the beauty of picture books and children’s stories.
I am a stay-at-home mom, but I do teach an adult ESL class at our local community college a couple of nights a week. It is a busy life, but I still carve a big chunk out for reading.
As many readers do, I’ve gone through different seasons of reading. There was a time in life when I read mostly romance, or mystery, or thrillers. As I’ve gotten older my tastes have matured and changed. I am quite eclectic in my choices now. Also, I’ve begun to enjoy nonfiction genres a great deal more than I ever did in youth. All of this reading background and experience I bring to bear here. I hope that we can share our love and experience in reading together, and find a way to connect and grow.
One more thing…I am not a reviewer. When I write about books, I am simply talking about them. Sure, I will tell you whether I liked them or not, but I don’t approach writing about them the way a reviewer would. I am a book talker.
R. J. Koehn