Get to know us through the books we read! Get to know us through the books we read! This month we chat to Vicki Fourie, an interpreter and the coordinator of the Language Centre’s portfolio for South African Sign Language interpreting. She is also a facilitator for academic literacy modules. Vicki hails from the Eastern Cape, and says: “My heart always yearns for the beauty of nature, sunrises and sunsets, mountains and freedom.”
What is die title of your favourite book, or a book that had a great impact on you, or a book that is memorable for some or other reason?
It’s impossible to answer this question, but I’ll stay with Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
Why did this book make such an impression on you?
I’m crazy about American literature: Mark Twain, Harper Lee, Louisa May Alcott and even Louis L’Amour (now you really know everything about me!), but I found Margaret Mitchell’s epic story to be unforgettable. The combination of romance, history and adventure is everything a good story requires – and good stories are firstly and foremostly the reason why I read!
Who is (are) your favourite author(s)? Also tell us why?
At the moment it is Chimamda Ngozi Adichie. Her feminism and honest stories about the marginalised members of society are so authentic that they inevitably tug at one’s heartstrings and resonate with one.
What are you reading at the moment?
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (again), and When helping hurts by Steve Corbertt en Brian Fickert (for the first time). I’m also listening to John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress as an audio book. I hope it counts!
Do you have a preference: reading physical books with paper pages, or on a Kindle or other electronic platform? Why do you say so?
I only recently discovered the wonder of a Kindle! How lovely to be able to read while lying flat on one’s back, without having to hold a bulky book, and to have an unlimited number of books at your fingertips (I usually read more than one book at a time). Nonetheless, my bookcase and the books on its shelves are undoubtedly my most treasured possessions.
What book have you re-read? Also tell us why?
Most books should be read more than once, but I think the books I have re-read the most times are all the books in the Asterix series – I probably know them by heart! We had the whole series in our home when I was growing up, and that is where I discovered my love for reading.
Who is your favourite literary character?
Asterix! No, not really. It would have to be Scout Finch in To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee:
Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.”
But now that I think about it again, it should possibly be Atticus Finch …
Have you perhaps learnt a life lesson from a book or character that you would like to share with us, if this hasn’t come up in one of your answers already?
The book, A Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp was not the first book that changed my outlook on life, but it is the most recent one to have done so. Ann Voskamp taught me that thanksgiving precedes miracles. When looking at life through a lens of gratitude, one is able to experience it in all its fullness and glory.
Thanksgiving precedes the miracle.” – Ann Voskamp
What book or books would you recommend to your friends, students or anyone else?
Many! Every book is just right for a specific individual at a specific time. The book Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George deals with this very topic in the shape of the owner of a “Book Apothecary” who prescribes books for spiritual, emotional and physical disorders. I think it is a brilliant idea to use books as medication.
This is my prescription (use as required):
- A Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp – when it feels as if your own difficulties are consuming you.
- When helping hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert – when the hardships of others overwhelm you.
- Come and eat by Bri McKoy – how to celebrate in the face of adversity.