Page & Palette

There's a story here.

Sonya Bennett

Douglas Anderson
Sonya Bennett, customer and patron advisor

Sonya Bennett, customer and patron advisor

If money were no object, how would you spend your time?

If money were no object, I would travel as often as I could. I would start with Italy and France and then Scotland and Ireland.  I have been to Israel and Turkey. I would spend my time studying the art of 'writing' as I believe that we all have good stories to share.  I would attend many writing workshops, study one-on-one with Dr. Sue Walker and also with Sena Jeter Naslund as guides to the best courses for this study. I would attend all of the Alabama Conferences also as I love my state and its writers, especially.  I would fly to California and take my children to special events and places.  I would also help people who need help.  I do a lot of this but would do more.

What book(s) impacted your life the most and how?

The most important books in my life have changed as I grow older. Those that impacted me as a child were The Little Wooden Doll, Heidi, all of the Nancy Drew books as a pre-teen and later all of C.S. Lewis books as a student in high school.  I also loved The Chronicles of Narnia, and still do.

As an adult and reading more than in my past busy life as mother:  I think my favorite writer is still Isak Dineson whose books Out of Africa and Shadows On the Grass far surpassed any Hollywood version. ... I love many southern writers and some local, especially.  Rick Bragg's short stories are fabulous. I loved Sena Naslunds Ahab's Wife better than Moby Dick, though I know Herman Melville is great. I love our Judith Richard's Thelonious Rising and most of Faulkner's stories.  My favorite religious stories are written by a famous man named Adib Taherzadeh - books 1-4 of “The Revelation of Bahaullah.” I love the Bible and many of the traditional Sufi and Buddhist stories also.

Tell us something about you that would surprise most of the people who think they know you?

Most people know me well but many do not know that I am very introspective and sometimes mischievous. I think I am much younger than my age of 76. I have kept a journal for more than 50 years and cared deeply about civil rights when it was very unpopular to speak out. Many do not know that I lived in Israel for three years and many do not know that I managed a Baha'i center in Atlanta that was mostly African American.  Many people do not know how much I love to write, and that I have a Diversity Devotional in my home on the last Sunday of every month.