City Council Reads – Sally Bagshaw, District 7

This past November, Seattle swore in a new Mayor and City Councilmember, and we here at ShelfTalk thought this would be a great opportunity to continue our series of posts in which we invited your representatives to share books that have meant a lot to them. This time, we asked them “What book was most influential in your life or career and why?” Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, District 7, reflects on a book that is much beloved by many, and soon to be discovered by many more.

Photo of a group march, with people carrying a sign that says "Grandmothers Against Gun Violence." Text on photo says: Sally Bagshaw, District 7, Pioneer Square to Magnolia

What book was most influential in your life or career and why?

You’ve given me an especially tough challenge to identify ONE book  that had a profound impact on me and my career.  I can tell you about one book LIST called something like “100 of the best books you should have read before you went to college but didn’t”.  After law school I read every book on that list and the list’s creator was right  — I learned so much from those writers who wrote honestly and shared their wisdom through their hearts and experiences.

Last year I gave you another list that led me into and through issues of slavery and abolitionists, so this year I will give you just one book from my childhood:  Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.

I read this book after sixth grade, riding the bus from Portland to Boise.  I had been visiting my grandfather and was returning home.  It was the first meaty book I ever read cover to cover; I was on the bus alone, read without interruption, and I remember being slightly disappointed when the bus arrived in Boise.

I know now that this book has been criticized from many sides since it was first published — from Christian evangelists, to politicians who see it as corrupting young people’s minds over social issues such as conformity, and many more.  Bosh.

As a 12 year old, I was enthralled and buoyed by Meg’s independence, her strong love for her little brother and family, her determination to save her father, and her belief in the theory of the tesseract.

After my sons were born decades later, I delighted reading them not just The Wrinkle in Time, but the other four in the series.  Yes, the universe can warp and yes, love prevails.

Editor’s Note: if you’ve never read the series, this is the perfect time to draw your own mental pictures before seeing the motion picture adaptation arriving in theaters next month – or even the trailer. The series, in order, is A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time.

~ posted by David W.

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