Books, books, books — a meme

Q. Which books do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

For a while, the Harry Potter series would be at the top of this list — for some reason, I just really, really refused to get into them. But I’ve come around since then. Now, I would say any sort of graphic novel, though I did let my boyfriend talk me into reading Maus — and yes, I liked it.

Q. If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?

To humor my inner 14-year-old, I’ll definitely have to say we’re heading off for an evening dinner on a gorgeous yacht — and I’ve gotta have Edward Cullen from Twilight on my arm! This is assuming I’m 17 — and not 23 — again. Because I guess we would look sort of awkward together. I’ll bring along Jennifer Weiner’s Cannie Shapiro from Good in Bed and Certain Girls to share girl-talk with Edward is getting me a sparkling beverage, and Cornelia Brown from Love Walked In and Belong to Me can come hang out with us after Edward retreats for the evening so we can relive every precious detail of his unexpected, romantic wedding proposal.

Q. You are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for a while, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?

I’ll gnab For Whom The Bell Tolls by Hemingway. Haven’t ever even tried it, but my sister groans at the mere mention of the novel.

Q. Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?

As a HUGE Jane Austen fan, I’m assumed to have read every single work she’s ever created. Confession: I’ve only read Pride & Prejudice and Emma. In many ways, I’m more fascinated by who she was as a person than the stories she’s created. I don’t know if it’s possible for them to be one in the same, but perhaps?

Q. You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why?

I’ll pass Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake over as quickly as I can — it’s one of the most moving, inspiring and well-written stories I’ve ever seen. An excellent introduction to modern literature.

Q. A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?

That’s tough. I’ll say Marisa de los Santos’ Love Walked In again — it’s outstanding.


Q. What have you just read?
I finished Land of a Hundred Wonders last night.

Q. What are you reading now?
I’m about to begin Apart From the Crowd by Anna McPartlin — it’s at the bag at my feet as I type!

Q. Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?

I have a huge TBR stack, but I think I’m going to start The Jane Austen Book Club after that.

Q. What’s the worst thing you were ever forced to read?
The Hobbit. I’m sorry, I’m sorry — I’m just not a Tolkein fan! (Though I did like the films.)

Q. What’s one book you always recommend to just about anyone?
To my female friends, I always go with Jennifer Weiner’s novels (any of them). To the general public, I recommend The Namesake or Harry Potter. You can’t go wrong there!

Q. Admit it, sadly the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don’t they?
I work at a bookstore — and I buy everything there. I don’t even think I have a library card! I’m selfish.

Q. Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don’t like it at all?
I’m always bragging about author Sarah Dessen, but most people shirk away from her just knowing she’s classified in the “young adult” genre. Her books are so much more than that, though! Read Just Listen and you’ll see what I mean.

Q. Do you read books while you eat?
If I’m alone or at my desk on a lunch break, sure.

Q. While you bathe?
I take five to ten minute showers in the morning, so that would be very difficult.

Q. While you watch movies or TV?
Yes and yes. If I’m home in the evenings, I usually have a book propped up in my lap while I’m watching “Ugly Beauty” or something — it’s perfect for commercial breaks!

Q. While you listen to music?

Q. While you’re on the computer?
If I’m waiting for pictures to upload or something.

Q. When you were little did other children tease you about your reading habits?
I don’t think so.

Q. What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?
Once I hit the final 50 pages of something, I have to read it all the way through to completion. So I wind up staying up late pretty often to finish books. Most recently it was Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Year of Wonders.

Q. Have any books made you cry?

I’ve cried over many, many books! The first novel to make me downright sob was Pam Houston’s Sight Hound — and that was a bad scene, considering I was alone on a commuter bus coming from D.C.! Basically any books centering around dogs will do that to me — because the dogs always have to die! Why?!