Lorna Landvik’s latest novel, Once in a Blue Moon Lodge, is a sequel to her debut, Patty Jane’s House of Curl.
Lorna Landvik recently visited Reading Group Choices to read and discuss her work with an audience. Lorna also took the time to answer our questions and shared life-changing books, Norwegian curse words, her favorite bookstore, and what she finds most fascinating in the world of science.
Reading Group Choices: What book changed your life?
Lorna Landvik: It would have to be Dick and Jane, the book that taught me how to read.
RGC: What books are coming out this year that you’re looking forward to reading?
LL: I look forward to reading Tom Perrotta’s new book, Mrs. Fletcher, and Happiness by Heather Harpham.
RGC: What books are currently stacked next to your bed/on your desk/in your to-read pile?
LL: Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (I’ve read and re-read it), Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen, Our Short History by Laura Grodstein.
RGC: What book did you most recently recommend to someone else?
LL: Gloria Steinem’s My Life on the Road.
RGC: What was your favorite book when you were a child?
LL: Betsy Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace.
RGC: Who are your favorite writers?
LL: Anne Tyler, John Irving, Flannery O’Connor, Anne-Marie McDonald, Michael Malone, Mark Twain…oh the list goes on and on.
RGC: Do you commonly use a word or phrase that is specific to a place you lived/from childhood/from family that you don’t hear often in day-to-day conversation?
LL: “Uffda” maybe, which is an all-purpose mild Norwegian expletive.
RGC: What book/s could you never part with? Think “stranded-on-a-desert-island” books.
LL: If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d hope to have a survival guide, one that would instruct me as to how to get off that desert island.
RGC: Were you ever embarrassed about a book you loved?
LL: Probably, but I can’t remember which one.
RGC: What fictional character do you most identify with? Why?
LL: Maybe Caddie Woodlawn, pioneer girl. Because she was always up for things and wasn’t about to be limited by what society thought she should be.
RGC: Do you have a favorite musician or genre of music?
LL: I have pretty broad musical tastes but these particular CDs get a lot of play: the soundtracks from The Royal Tennebaums, O Brother Where Art Thou, Cabaret; Brian Eno’s Another Green World and A Wonderful World; a K.D. Lang and Tony Bennet duet album.
RGC: Is there a creator who is doing something you find amazing?
LL: I just read about scientists here at the University of Minneapolis who discovered how to make a sponge that can absorb mercury, which would be used in cleaning up polluted waters. I’m amazed by any scientist whose discovery helps our beautiful planet stay beautiful.
RGC: What do you wish you knew more about?
LL: How we all got here and where we’re all going.
RGC: Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
LL: So many I could learn from, be enlightened, amazed, and entertained by…but maybe I’d pick my dad, who died when I was twenty-seven.
RGC: Vinyl, cassette, CD, or digital? Typewriter, notebook, tablet, or computer? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or none of the above? Sweet or savory?
LL: Vinyl, because it forced you to take your time to listen to music; notebook for the doodle-as-you-write capability, and laptop computer for its write-while-reclining aspect; none of the above; and sweet AND savory.
RGC: What is your most meaningful place?
LL: Any place I can see the sunset with my husband.
RGC: What’s your favorite bookstore?
LL: Although it’s no longer open, I’ll always love A Woman’s Place in Salt Lake City, which was one of the first out-of-state bookstores to host me on my debut book tour. The enthusiasm, heart, and sense of fun of its booksellers set a wonderful standard, one I’m happy to say many independent bookstores embrace.
RGC: Can you share a favorite line from a creative work (book/play/film/song)?
LL: Can’t beat the invitation of the words “Once upon a time…”
RGC: What do you enjoy most about doing a reading or talking about your book?
LL: I love meeting readers and hearing their very subjective opinions about my books. It’s moving and humbling to hear readers’ stories about what your books have meant to them.
RGC: What is something you know about or have heard about Madison or Wisconsin?
LL: As a citizen of Minnesota, I often get to Wisconsin and love driving its rolling hills and stopping at ‘supper clubs’ on the way to friends’ cabins. I’m a hockey fan, so I’m aware of UW-Madison’s prowess on the rink and I also am a big fan of the progressive community alive and well in Madison.