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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Skinny Dip with Brenda Sederberg

Brenda SederbergBrenda Sederberg is the current facilitator of the Chapter & Verse Book Club in Duluth, Minnesota. She’s an enthusiastic reader and wonderfully avid about sharing the books she reads. A retired teacher, she continues to inspire learning wherever she goes.

How many bookcases do you have in your home?

Oh … soooo many! When I retired from 34 years of teaching I brought very little home from my classroom, but I did bring 24 boxes of children’s books! I’m just not ready to part with them. They take up bookshelves on an entire wall in my house. From time to time I will be chatting with someone about something, and end up saying, “oh … you should see this book by ….”, and I find the book and loan it out. When guests with children visit they often end up reading books from my shelves.

I also have shelves of books in another room in our house, organized:

  • nature and outdoors books
  • books by Hispanic authors (I taught middle and high school Spanish for a number of years … before teaching elementary school)
  • travel books
  • an assortment of Nobel Prize winning literature
  • children’s books from places I’ve visited (Maine, Texas, Rhode Island, France, Germany)
  • favorite fiction and nonfiction books I’ve read or want to read

Brenda Sederberg's bookcases

Have you traveled outside the United States?

I love to travel, and when I do I look for children’s books from the area I’m visiting, or read a book while I’m there that was written by an author from that region. I read Heidi in Switzerland last fall, and Pinocchio in Italy the year before. I enjoy hiking and biking in the wide open spaces in these countries, the small towns … and I stay away from the big cities.

Mt. Royal Public Library, Duluth, MN

Mt. Royal Public Library, Duluth, MN

Which library springs to mind when someone says that word?

It’s hard to choose one! We lived in a small town in North Dakota when I was young, and I biked to the Public Library there and checked out as many books as the book clamp on my bike would hold. It was a beautiful building, of course, as libraries are! There were large steps leading up to the door, and columns alongside the steps. The old public library near Lincoln Park School was a favorite when I went to school there, and now I LOVE the Mt. Royal Library in Duluth. When I was in college in Duluth, I worked 10 hours a week in the Children’s Library at UMD, run by Lorraine Bissonette. She arranged books beautifully, with stuffed animal book characters next to books, colorful mobiles hanging above the shelves, green and flowering plants throughout, and comfortable chairs in which to sit and read. It was a library like no other, to be sure … more like some of the wonderful children’s bookstores … the Wild Rumpus, for example.

Do you read the end of a book first?

NEVER. I do not usually read any information on the flap or the back, either. I like to start with the dedication, and then the first line of the book, and continue from there. I want to read it and let it speak for itself, I don’t like to know much at all about a book before I read it! First lines are important to me … I sort of “collect” first lines!

"In the Carpenter Shop," Carl Larsson

“In the Carpenter Shop,” Carl Larsson

Who is your favorite artist?

It is hard to choose one … I like the art of Carl Larsson, Swedish painter, and visited his home in Sweden where one can see the painting he did IN his home, above doorways, around walls. I copied a “saying” he painted in his house, above a doorway in our home: “Whef Du Vad, Var God Och Glad,” in Swedish (forgive any errors!), in English: “I’ll tell you what, be good and glad.” I love Betsy Bowen’s woodcuts, and the prints of Rick Allen, who has a studio in Canal Park in Duluth and each spring releases a new print of “The Trapper’s Daughter”! He has practically written a book in printing her many adventures! The lettering and text he sometimes incorporates in his work is wonderful, and often humorous.

2 Responses to Skinny Dip with Brenda Sederberg

  1. Hollace Weiner January 16, 2018 at 11:20 pm #

    What an amazing Q&A. I, too, re-read Heidi when I was n Switzerland. When I’m traveling and siteseeing, I look for the children’s books because they explain the history at a down to earth level I can understand. I pretend I’m buying these books for my grandchildren, but really they are for me. Brenda affirmed what I’ve been doing .

  2. Julie Kolquist January 19, 2018 at 12:47 pm #

    I can attest to Brenda’s book collection…if you talk about a book, she either has it or has read it! (she also didn’t mention how many books she has passed onto teachers’s libraries!!) She shares her passion and love of books so well – my class can’t wait for her to visit each week! What a wonderful article, thank you!

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