One of my best memories as a child is when my Mom helped me to enroll as a card-carrying member of the Puffin Book Club, which was Penguin’s label for children’s books. To this day, I still have my copy of Roger Lancelyn Green’s King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table as evidence. Obviously, books were important to me from the beginning.
I grew up in San Francisco and attended Dartmouth College where I majored in history but took enough English and Comparative Literature classes that I probably could have double majored (but nobody did that back in those days). Thanks to great teachers and classmates, I was able to get through works such as The Sound and the Fury, The Brothers Karamazov, and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I didn’t appreciate until it was all over how much I valued discussing these books with my professors and my classmates. It was so odd after college when I would read a book and not have anyone to discuss it with.
I went on to have a 15-year career in Public Administration, working in Washington D.C., Sacramento, and eventually Seattle. In Seattle I met my wife (a lawyer) and had my now 12-year-old son. During a mid-career transition, I also decided to write a book, a memoir of growing up with a mother who died from anorexia nervosa. This led me to take numerous writing classes and fall in with a fantastic writing group that met consistently for over five years. The book was eventually published and the process of writing it was the most fulfilling thing I have ever done and cemented my love of all things literary.
For the last 15 years, I have been a high school history teacher. I love to talk with my students about what they are reading and to share with them some of my favorite books. In my free time, I like to hike, travel, watch movies, and attend my son’s myriad sporting events. But whatever I am doing, you can bet there is a book by my side just in case there are a few quiet moments at some point.