Avid reader Amy Wotton knows what she likes and isn’t bashful about recommending it.
“Get back in there!” she exclaims, upon hearing that the interviewer has only read two or three of the Diana Gabaldon ‘Outlander’ books. “They’re great!”
What else does she read?
“Anything I can get my hands on,” says Wotton, who works for Alberta Agriculture and Forestry in Slave Lake. “Books from the Canada Reads series, best-sellers, recommendations from friends, books from my mom.”
Audio books too, lately, because she’s doing a lot of commuting to and from work.
“You don’t even have to think.”
Wotton reads on trips; she reads before bed; she reads more than one book at a time. She’s been reading for as long as she can remember, after the classic start in life with both parents reading to her and being taken often to the library with her brother.
“Even when I was in university and got busy I still found time to read,” she says.
As to what she has read, Wotton says she goes through phases, or periods of enthusiasm for a certain genre or subject.
“I did a religious phase,” she says, listing books on various religious traditions or points of view. “And environmental – The Golden Spruce, Silent Spring, the Sand County Almanac – all those earthy ones.”
Other recent non-fiction reads that impressed her were ‘Girl, Wash Your Face,’ by Rachel Hollis and ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k’ by Mark Manson.
But on the whole, she says she’s a fiction lover. Besides Gabaldon, she recommends Thomas King’s ‘The Inconvenient Indian’ (not actually fiction), and – somewhat surprisingly ‘A Discovery of Witches’ by Deborah Harkness.
“It’s not my normal thing,” she says. “But my mom recommended it.”
Wotton is not much of a buyer of new books. She relies on the library, borrows from friends or picks up second-hand copies at discard sales.
“I don’t re-read books and I don’t keep them once I’ve read them,” she says. “I give them away.”