Just 5 Things with Dale McNeill

Welcome to Just 5 Things, where I ask five unfascinating questions to one fascinating person. Today, let’s talk about Dale McNeill.

I don't typically smile this big in pictures. I'm just so happy to see Dale.
I don’t typically smile this big in pictures. I’m just so happy to see Dale.

I threw an actual fit when Dale left NYC for Texas. There was much whining on my part. I just couldn’t imagine NYC library life without him. Though Dale and I have never worked together, he’s one of my most favorite librarians, always there with realistic advice (that’s never pushy or preachy) and the most amazing and hilarious stories I’ve ever heard. As Treasurer and active member of the GLBT Round Table, he’s never hesitated to introduce me to everyone and making sure that all the members feel welcome and supported.

I can’t believe I asked Dale for “Just 5 Things” because Dale’s a real talker. There’s always a story to go with any question you ever ask him, and it’s usually the best story ever (my favorite story of his involves the “Killer Lady”). So shame on me for trying to hold him back.

In this Just 5 Things, I tried to incorporate some vibrant patterns, as Dale is one of the most dapper dressers I’ve ever met:

This is me and Dale at the Librarian Wardrobe Walk-off in Anaheim. He won Best Ensemble, naturally.

And now, Just 5 Things. Or more than five things. Lots more, in fact:

More on all this:

1. Q: What food would you eat from now until forever?

A. Well, if I have to rationally live on the food and if I could have variations of it, I’d say pizza. Every one could be different no matter how long I lived.  But what food is sublime to me? Old-fashioned egg custard!

Somehow I think I should mention that there is a list of foods I just won’t eat: raw tomatoes, eggs by themselves, grapefruit, and any organ meat.

2 . Q: What’s currently your favorite book?

A. That’s really difficult. I read constantly. I generally enjoy whatever book I’m reading. I’ve been reading a lot of mysteries by Swedish authors, re-reading David L. Lindsey‘s thrillers set in Houston, and recent Stonewall Book Award winners.  But two books that I’ve read again and again and that I treasure are The Choiring of the Trees by Donald Harington and James Baldwin’s Just Above my Head. They are very different from each other and showcase worlds both very similar to my own and very different indeed.

3. Q: Who is your least favorite literary character?

A.  I’d like to say something all seriously literary, but I have to be honest. I’ve read the book only once and seen the movie only once, but my least favorite character is Cruella de Vil. What an evil character!

4. Q: What fictional world would you live in?

A. Either Watership Down or Dune. Both these worlds are intriguing and complex. I’d learn things I don’t already know. Now both are also rather dangerous, so I’d want to be able to pick my character!

5. Q: If you could have any super power, what would it be?

A. This one didn’t take a moment to think about–some kind of healing power. Not so strong that people would flock around me or that I would upset the natural order of the world, but power to refresh,  to heal a suffering person each day, to remove scars of anguish (inside and out), to make people feel joy.


If you ever go to an ALA conference, you might get to meet Dale. And if you do, I know you’ll adore him as much as I do.

~Love and Libraries, Ingrid

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20 thoughts on “Just 5 Things with Dale McNeill

    1. I’ve been reading Camilla Läckberg; just finished the last of her books that’s been translated. I enjoy her so much that I bought two of her more recent books from a shop in England!

      Though I lived in Sweden for a while when I was 20 years old (that was a long time ago), I didn’t read many Swedish authors then, just Pär Lagerkvist. A few years later, I encountered Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö; I quickly devoured their series.

      Then a few years later, I heard a review of a Henning Mankell book on Fresh Air. I bought the book (it was checked out at the library) and became a true fan. I don’t love every one of his books, but I don’t regret reading any of them, even The White Lioness, which seemed as though it would never end.

      I’ve read each of Helene Tursten’s books and most of Håkan Nesser’s. I think I’ve read all of Åke Edwardson’s and Åsa Larsson’s. I’m probably forgetting an author or two. (Well, like most everyone, I’ve read Stieg Larsson.)

      I’ve also read a couple of Iceland crime writers. And a few Norwegians. (I actually love crime fiction in general, but especially when translated so that there is cultural information too; I’ve read a number of Japanese crime writers, for example.)

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