Sharon Jurist
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What are you reading?

“Jedi Search, by Kevin Anderson. It’s a Star Wars book. I read Star Wars and Star Trek books. I’ve got a number of them at home, and I also check them out at the library or here [Barnes & Noble]. This one takes place about seven years after the Empire has fallen. Luke is looking to start the Jedi again, and he’s looking for candidates to train as Jedi.”

What’s interesting about it?

“Well, I’m only halfway through. I’m actually really upset about the new movie they put out. They had a whole universe, and it’s all messed up. Leia and Han have the twins, and they have the younger boy, Anakin. But in the movie, they changed it all around. They made Han and Leia have one child, who is actually Luke’s child.”

What else are you reading?

“I’m always reading something. I read how-to things: how you can make pine-needle baskets. I make gourd stuff, and pine-needle coiling on top of the cord is a very popular thing to do, but I have not been really successful at it. They’re hard to work with: you have to get the right needle, sometimes you have to soak them, and the stitching is hard because you don’t want it to look sloppy.

“I also read historical fiction. Things like The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare, which is about the Salem Witch Trial era. I home-schooled my kids, and we read tons and tons. Some of it was stuff I’d read when I was young and kept around, like From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg. I’d read to them, and then they’d start to read on their own, though my son wouldn’t until he found the Warrior Cats series by Erin Hunter. Then he was, like, ‘Yeah!’”

What book was most life-changing for you?

“The Bible. I grew up with it, but, really, it was reading it as an older person, understanding and getting into it. Because what I was raised with raised a lot of questions. ‘Hey, Mom, how come the Bible says this and you’re doing that?’ ‘Oh, that was then and this is now.’ That’s not an answer, you know? Also The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien, though I can’t explain how. But it was powerful.”

Who is your favorite author?

“Mark Twain. He sees things the way they should be, and his wit is very irreverent, which I like. And he’s very insightful. I was pretty young when I read Huckleberry Finn, but it had a big impact on me. It made me think about things I had never thought about before. I liked Huck’s relationship with Jim, how he started to see Jim as a person and not just a slave.”

What’s something you remember reading with your kids?

“I read the Divergent trilogy from Veronica Roth with my daughter; she’s turning 21 this month. Not only was it a good story...if you were paying attention, Roth was saying a lot in there. From my understanding, she knew the Bible; she was probably a believer. This girl Tris, she knows herself. She’s born into this group that’s supposed to be self-sacrificing, and she never feels she can live up to that. She ends up going into this other faction that’s hardcore and protective and brave. It turns out she has an affinity for three different groups, and in the end, she is really very self-sacrificing. She sacrifices herself for her brother, who tried to kill her. I was thinking, Wow, I don’t know if I could do that. Then I read about the movie and decided they were way off; it was nothing like that book. I didn’t even go see it.”

Do you read any magazines or newspapers?

“I get Biblical Archaeology Review and Native Peoples Magazine. The ones I like, I keep for reference. I have a little bit of Native American in my background, and I’ve felt an affinity for that culture from the time I was very young.”

Name: Sharon Jurist | Age: 56 | Occupation: Jewelry-maker | Neighborhood: Ramona | Where interviewed: Barnes & Noble, Grossmont Center

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