Sunday Book Review Interview with AndThenIt’sPerfect

I always look forward to the NYT Sunday Book Reivew interview with an author. This week I decided to answer the questions myself. 

What books are on your nightstand?

My virtual nightstand – my kindle and audible list – Missoula, God Help the Child, Everything I Never Told You, Brain on Fire, The Girl on the Train, The Secret History, How to Win Friends and Influence People, The Night Circus, Son

(a lot of these were bought with credits, but still. this is out of control and must be attacked before buying more)

Who is your favorite novelist of all time?

This is tough but as I think the thrust of the question seeks an author you consistently enjoy (wrote more than one novel you love) so my gut says either Barbara Kingsolver or Jodi Picoult (don’t hate me, nothing gets me out of a reading drought faster than a Picoult). Or Kahled Hossenini. I’d feel remiss if I didn’t list the author of my favorite book of the decade,  Markuz Zusak, even if I’ve just read one. I think I failed at this question.

What genres do you especially enjoy reading? And which do you try to avoid?

I love memoirs, coming of age stories, and modern you-don’t-always-get-the-girl-but-you-get-what-you-need type romance. is that a genre? i love short stories. I love investigative journalism turned books a la Krakauer and Schlosser. 

I try to avoid European historical fiction. I do love a good WWII story but I’ve read so many I don’t add them to the list without a lot of praise for the book.

What kind of reader were you as a child? Your favorite book? Most beloved character?

I was an insatiable reader as a child. My mom says when I was really little I actually cried holding a book wanting to be able to read it for myself. I did damage at book fairs and stores. Reading was always my thing. The first book I remember staying up late to finish and balling my eyes out over was ‘Where the Red Fern Grows.’ I think I was in about second grade. I read Anne Frank’s Diary and The Summer of my German Solider in 3rd grade. Both were favorite Characters. As was Harriet the Spy. I loved all Roald Dahl.  I had ‘She’s Come Undone’ confiscated from me around age 11 when my mom realized how age inappropriate it was… I could go on and on about what books have given me. Books have quite literally made me who I am today.

You’re hosting a literary dinner party. Which three writers are invited?

Zadie Smith, Barbara Kingsolver,  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Just because I want to have a badass bitches party, no offense to the dudes.

Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like, and didn’t?

Bee season. The Little Friend. 

Who would you want to write your life story?

Cheryl Strayed.

Parting gift: 

Someone once asked me if a book was good and I said “It wasn’t life altering, but it was good.” and they laughed at my presumed hyperbole and said “Well, I don’t think I’d ever call a book life altering.” and I was hit with a wave of sadness for them. Because I’ve read a lot of books that affected me that much. These books made me want to contribute to society differently. Here are 3 that come to mind: The Poisonwood Bible. The Road. The Book Thief. 

Working for those New York Dimes again. I illustrated some pretty great articles for this weekend’s New York Times Book Review section. Jeffrey Eugenides writes on Knausgård, and Schlosser writes on Åsne Seierstad’s book on Breivik. The print version of the paper also includes 3 spot illustrations, which you can see on my website.