Landscapes Join Cast of Literary Characters

Liane Hansen continues her summer reading series with Sidney Kaser, of Denver, Colo. Kaser says as a Westerner, she is drawn to books where the landscape becomes almost a character in the story.

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

For the next installment of our summer readings series, let me introduce our reader, Sidney Kaser. She's a registered dietician with a hospice in Denver and she's on the phone.

Hi, Sidney.

Ms. SIDNEY KASER (Dietician; Resident, Denver, Colorado): Good morning, Liane.

HANSEN: What are you reading now?

Ms. KASER: Well, I just started a new book by Ivan Doig called "The Whistling Season." Just a real fascinating book about the American West.

HANSEN: Really?

Ms. KASER: Yes.

HANSEN: I don't know the man. I don't know the book.

Ms. KASER: Well, he's a fairly politic writer and as a Westerner, I tend to look for books that talk about the prairies and true to his writing style, he really incorporates geography as one of his characters.

HANSEN: Tell me a little bit about the plot.

Ms. KASER: Well, the thing that I was sort of taken with was, first of all, the cover because it shows a school house in the prairies. And it turns out that the main character is a young boy and is one of three children of a widower. And the widower decides that he needs a housekeeper.

I'm only about 50 pages into the book but my understanding is that the housekeeper's going to be coming from Minneapolis and then lots of things are going to change.

HANSEN: Are you drawn to regional writers?

Ms. KASER: You know, I look at sort of the books that I'm drawn to things like Jim Harrison and Wallace Stegner so I would say probably so.

HANSEN: Are you drawn to other kinds of books?

Ms. KASER: Yes, I am. And I think probably in my travels there's kind of interest. I've been to Australia a lot lately and found this wonderful author by the name of Geraldine Brooks. She won a Pulitzer in 2006 for the book, "March." So I read that and then liked her so much that I read her book the "Year of Wonders." And I have to say I always the demand booker prizes - you can't beat those.

HANSEN: Yeah. I read "March" and…

Ms. KASER: Yeah.

HANSEN: …I love the idea of "Little Women" being told from Mr. March's point of view.

Ms. KASER: Absolutely.

HANSEN: What do you want to read next?

Ms. KASER: Well, probably another book reward, "The Inheritance of Loss."

HANSEN: Who wrote that one?

Ms. KASER: That was written by Kiran Desai.

HANSEN: Yeah. Had you read her before?

Ms. KASER: I hadn't.

HANSEN: Ha.

Ms. KASER: Have you read her?

HANSEN: No. No. Do you know anything about she likes to write about?

Ms. KASER: The cover again, I'm sort of sometimes taken by covers. It's just absolutely beautiful, and it sort of an intriguing story of a man and his orphaned granddaughter.

HANSEN: Oh.

Ms. KASER: I think it makes for a good summer reading.

HANSEN: So if you had all the time in the world, what would you read?

Ms. KASER: I think probably what I would do is start rereading some of my favorites like Wallace Stegner, somebody like Kim Wilson(ph), who's an Australian writer. Perhaps, Edna Ferber, (unintelligible) and then maybe even Jane Austin.

HANSEN: Do you have all these books on your shelf already?

Ms. KASER: I do.

HANSEN: You're half way there.

Ms. KASER: I have my own library.

HANSEN: There you go. Our summer reader is Sidney Kaser and she joined us on the phone from Denver, Colorado. Thanks a lot. Happy reading.

Ms. KASER: Thank you.

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