Sandy Reul teaches Spanish classes at Fearrington Village and film classes for Duke University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Center. She is a member of the Spanish-language book club Compaginar, which meets bi-monthly at the Pittsboro Library.
Recommended read: “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined” by Steven Pinker. It’s an amazingly well-researched book that explains how and why, despite current thought, violence has actually declined over long stretches of history. I was very surprised and impressed by Pinker’s argument.
Currently reading: “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” by J. D. Vance and “The Flanders Panel” by Arturo Perez-Reverte.
Who or what taught you to love to read? When I was a little girl in Memphis my parents read to us nightly. I have fond memories of their reading us the “Little Golden Books” purchased from the grocery store. I also participated in the summer Weekly Reader program.
What favorite book from childhood have you kept? “A Child's Garden of Verses” by Robert Louis Stevenson. I believe this book, especially the poem “Travel,” inspired me to go abroad later in life. I have now traveled to more than 60 countries.
What is your favorite reading memory? I was on an eight-hour drive to the Ruby Mountains when I lived in Oregon. I was reading the last chapter of “Watership Down” by Richard Adams and was so touched that I refused to get out of the car until I finished the final pages!
What is your favorite book that nobody’s heard of? “Ordinary Thunderstorms” by William Boyd, a recommendation of my London book friend Lesley Pearson.
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
Viking, 832 pages