Bookshelf Bio #1: Meet "Literary" Linda Ketner

Because you never really know someone until you know what's on their bedside table... reading wise, that is

Two percentage points.


That’s how close Linda Ketner came to ousting entrenched 1st District Congressman Henry Brown in the 2008 election. In case you didn’t know—she’s a Democrat, and a woman—and those two things alone are pretty radical in conservative Henry Brownsville, so we counted the race as a victory. Long before she stepped into the political limelight, Linda’s been moving and shaking the Charleston scene as a community activist, volunteer and philanthropist, who’s passionate about affordable housing, equitable education, women’s issues, GLBT issues…basically all the good stuff. She’s served as president of the Coastal Community Foundation, Crisis Ministries, The Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable Housing and Homelessness, and about every other board in town.


As the first subject of what will be our ongoing “Bookshelf Bio” series, we interroblogged Linda about her reading life.


So meet the indomitable Linda Ketner—smart gal, avid reader, wise leader, future SC governor and/or President of the United States.


What you’re reading now?  

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (about the migration of Southern African Americans)


Just finished?  

Re-read The Sparrow and Children of God, by Mary Doria Russel … I very seldom re-read but these are intriguing books.


Book that first made you change the way you understood things or challenged your world view?

Not first made me change my world view (because books have guided my world view since I was a child), but did change the way I understood myself and my faith, Stealing Jesus, by Bruce Bawer.

Your vote for a book that should be on required High School reading lists?

To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.

Favorite book and/or literary scene about Charleston?

Charleston, by Alexandra Ripley. Yes! Only historical romance will do for this!

Your go-to book for a (graduation/birthday/special occasion) gift?

Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy (if they haven’t read it, which everyone should have!). If a wedding, The Art of Intimacy, by Thomas and Patrick Malone, MDs. If for graduation, Oh the Places You’ll Go, by Dr. Seuss and The Road Less Traveled, by Scott Peck. I also give: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese; What is the What, by Dave Eggers; and both Winds of War and War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk. Can you tell I like to give books?


Ideal or favorite reading location?

If cold, “my” chair in the den with a fire in the fireplace; in bed every night of my life; if warm, on a lounge chair in my back yard; and, on an anchored boat in a creek off the Intracoastal Waterway.

Real old-fashioned pages or a NOOK/Kindle/iPad?

Old fashioned pages unless I’m traveling. When traveling, iPad. Also Audio Books when I’m traveling by car. If I’m going anywhere that takes more than an hour, I am listening to a book!

Section of the library where you’re mostly likely to be found? Highest overdue bill ever?

Fiction. No overdue bills! I turn them in on time because I’ve been on the waiting-anxiously-end and don’t want others to do without their literary fix!


I subscribe to:

The Economist. Charleston magazine and all her sister publications.


Writer you’d most like to take to dinner and where (in Charleston-area)?

Pat Conroy. We’d go for some steamed oysters at Bowen’s Island.


Thanks Linda!

(And you out there, feel free to send your suggestions for future Bookshelf Bio subjects.)