What are you reading, Luke Underwood?

Tell us about yourself:

I was born & raised in Central Arkansas. I spent a few years in Memphis in public accounting before moving back to Little Rock to enter the insurance industry. My wife Juliana, and both of my two boys, Anderson and Simon love reading. Our 2 month-old Scarlett enjoys us reading board books to her as well. We like to travel, hike, and cheer on the Memphis Grizzlies. I’m a huge fan of classic soul & R&B music.

What motivated you to join the CALS Board of Directors? What do you hope to accomplish in your role?

I wanted to get involved in the community, and since my family and I utilize the library a lot, I made an effort to get plugged in to CALS. I was appointed to the CALS Foundation Board in 2021 and got to know both Nate Coulter and Eliza Borne in that role. Seeing the great work the library does in this community, especially in the midst of the pandemic, showed me how much of a difference a library can make. My main goal is to be a good ambassador for CALS in the community, and help get the word out to folks that maybe don’t realize all the good things that are happening. Additionally I want to help ensure CALS is able to continue serving and supporting our diverse population, listening to voices from every background, and helping individuals reach their potential.

What are you reading?

Currently reading Freedom by Jonathan Franzen and loving it. It’s the first of his I’ve read and want to read The Corrections soon. Others I’ve read recently include Solar by Ian McEwan, The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson, Good Talk by Mira Jacob, and The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton (A 2021 Six Bridges Book Festival Feature). My wife has an exceptional ability to find books I’ll love, and I’m pretty sure all but one of these were ones she gave me.

What was/is your favorite book for children? Why?

I adore the Henry Huggins and Ramona series of books by Beverly Cleary. I wasn’t a big reader as a child, but after my 2nd Grade Teacher read our class Henry Huggins, I read them all. I’ve loved seeing my kids enjoy them as well. Beverly Clearly had a way of capturing how kids see the world and writing from that perspective authentically. Her writing still holds up some 70 years later.

Book Hot Takes:

Physical/ digital/ or audio?

Physical! It makes me happy to see them on the shelf. I enjoy audio books as well when we’re taking a road trip.

Do you judge a book by its cover?

Sigh, I totally do.

Read for business or pleasure?

Pleasure! I’ve tried, but I just can’t do books about sales culture and business unless there’s an interesting narrative to go along with it.