I’ve seen this floating around the internet and wanted to take a stab at it. I love books and I love answering questions, so there you go. I’m not tagging anyone in this but I’d love to see other people’s answers!
Favorite book cover
I actually don’t know that I have one. I hate starting this off with a big fat “I don’t know,” but…
What are you reading right now?
The second book in the Mortal Instruments series, City of Ashes.
Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?
The third book in the series, most likely. I’m trying to get through them all.
What five books have you always wanted to read but haven’t gotten around to?
Oh, there are a lot. My “to-read” shelf on Goodreads has almost 400 books listed. A few that come to mind are:
The Marriage Plot, Jeffry Eugenides
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
The Secret History, Donna Tartt
Love Is A Mixtape, Rob Sheffield
Bird By Bird, Anne Lamott
What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now?
Okay, confession time: I think it’s super weird to keep magazines in the bathroom. I do subscribe to a lot of magazines, though; I use airline miles so I hardly pay anything. Favorites: Entertainment Weekly and People, obvs.
What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?
I really don’t know. If something’s incredibly terrible, I likely won’t finish it. That said, I did read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. I had to see what the hype was about and once I started, it was kind of fun to snark on. And my final verdict? The writing certainly leaves something to be desired, and the abusive undertones make me uncomfortable about how many women want “their own Christian Grey.”
What book seemed really popular but you didn’t like it?
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. It wasn’t awful or anything, but it definitely didn’t do it for me. I forced myself to finish it.
What’s the one book you always recommend to just about anyone?
I don’t know that I have one universal book recommendation; it depends what people are looking for. I would say that Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld is one I’d probably recommend to most people, though.
What are your three favorite poems?
I don’t read a lot of poetry. If I had to pick a few, I’d say
Wait, Galway Kinnell — this got me through some bad shit back in the day
Sonnet XVII, Pablo Neruda — those last few lines kill me
For Eli, Andrea Gibson — this one is intense and probably a bit too political-activist for me, but damn if it didn’t slap me in the face the first time I read it. It’s spoken word, which you can watch here.
Where do you usually get your books?
Amazon, especially now that I have a Kindle. I love bookstores, though, and wish I could live in one.
When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits?
Just reading, all day e’ry day. Early in my life, my parents gave up on the idea of a bedtime for me because they knew I’d just stay up reading in bed. They figured that since I was doing something awesome (reading!) they would just let me be as long as I was in bed. I read all the time – while eating breakfast, while riding in the car to the grocery store, while watching TV. I was also obsessed with Goosebumps and The Babysitters Club books and the highlight of every month was when a new one came out and I could go to Meijer and buy it.
What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was too good to put down?
All of Gillian Flynn’s books. I’d read Gone Girl awhile ago and then finally started reading her other books. I tore through Dark Places and Sharp Objects in a matter of days.
Have you ever “faked” reading a book?
No, I’m not sure there’s a point to that. I will admit that there are a few books in high school that I just didn’t bother reading because I hated them, but I didn’t necessarily fake reading them.
Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?
No, but I’ve certainly seen covers I liked and then thought the book seemed interesting and bought it.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
ALL OF THEM. No, I probably had some specific favorites, but I actually don’t really remember. Like I mentioned, I loved The Babysitters Club and Goosebumps books. The Face on the Milk Carton was a good one. And The Giver! Also a few little-known books: When The Road Ends by Jean Thesman and Where I Want To Be by Cara Devito. I own them both to this day.
What book changed your life?
The Post Birthday World by Lionel Shriver definitely helped change the way I look at a lot of things. Melissa Bank’s The Wonder Spot became the book version of comfort food that I returned to during a few times of emotional distress. I got through high school with the help of the Sloppy Firsts books by Megan McCafferty. I read Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris long before I was ever laid off from a job, but I’ve referred back to it for a weird sort of comfort multiple times since then.
What is your favorite passage from a book?
That’s hard. And I don’t know.
Who are your top five favorite authors?
Marisa de los Santos
John Douglas for creepy crime/murder books
(It’s interesting that I picked all women with the obvious exception of John Douglas. I actually think it’s pretty awesome.)
What book has no one heard about but should read?
I don’t know that anything I’ve really loved was all that obscure, other than the children’s books I mentioned earlier. I don’t think this is off the radar entirely, but Pretty Is What Changes by Jessica Queller would be good for anyone unfamiliar with BRCA or prophylactic mastectomies. It’s written in a way that’s accessible to everyone, but about something very dear to my heart, obviously.
What book are you an “evangelist” for?
I’m not sure I’m really an evangelist for any books. I did force my boyfriend to read the Hunger Games series; he was convinced he’d hate it and then spent multiple nights reading until 4am. I’d say that was a success on my part!
What are your favorite books by a first time author?
I’ve been thinking hard about this question, but the problem is that I don’t necessarily pay attention to whether people are first-time authors or if something is their first book. This is totally cheating, but I’m going with Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill.
What is your favorite classic book?
To Kill a Mockingbird.
Five other notable mentions?
1. I’m a little over Jodi Picoult these days, but The Storyteller is definitely worth a read.
2. If you’re interested in the whole Amanda Knox saga, I recommend The Fatal Gift of Beauty by Nina Burleigh.
3. If I Stay by Gayle Forman made me bawl my eyes out.
4. My literary crushes: Cole from the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, Finnick from The Hunger Games (and I don’t love Sam Claflin as his film counterpart), Jordan from The 19th Wife, and kind of Holden Caulfield, even though I feel like that’s wrong somehow. I like the douchebags, apparently.
5. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer was amazing.