The NY Times “By the Book” Tag was originally created by Marie Berg, who was inspired… by the book called… By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review. Wow that’s a lot of the phrase “by the book” in one paragraph. Let’s just jump right in.
- What book is on your nightstand right now?
The Novl sent me an ARC of Matthew Quick’s Every Exquisite Thing, and I want to read and review before it pubs at the end of May. He also wrote Silver Linings Playbook, which I haven’t read yet, but I enjoyed the movie version.
- What was the last truly great book that you read?
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan. This is one of those books I wished I read as a child when I supposed to. But despite it being for grade-schoolers, I LOVED it. It’s beautiful.
- If you could meet any writer–dead or alive–who would it be? And what would you want to know?
I would want to meet Walt Whitman, author of my personal bible, Leaves of Grass. And then I would ask him to marry me. I mean, I know the answer would be a hard “no,” but I’d still ask him in order to be true to my heart.
- What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?
Anyone who knows me wouldn’t be surprised by my shelves at all. They are largely made up of YA, with a lot of classics and contemporaries interspersed. There’s also a smattering of romance, graphic novels, and children’s books. It’s a pretty eclectic mix…
OH, I just thought of one—I had friends over recently, and one of them noticed a book on my leather-bound shelf: a signed copy of Donald Trump’s How to Get Rich. It has a certificate of authenticity and everything!
- How do you organize your personal library?
For the most part, I have them grouped by genre, then by type (hardcover, trade paperback, mass market, etc.), and finally by height. Some are also grouped by color. Whatever, it makes sense to me.
- What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?
I have yet to read any novels by Dickens or Melville, and I am mildly embarrassed by it. They are both hailed as literary geniuses, and I somehow managed to get away without reading them during my undergrad. Both Great Expectations and Moby Dick are on my book bucket list.
- Disappointing, overrated, or just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like but didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?
Over the summer I tried reading an ARC of Alice Hoffman’s The Marriage of Opposites, but had to put it down after only a few chapters. I was so bored and found the main character too unlikable. It was a disappointing DNF because a) I got it for early review and b) Alice Hoffman is kind of a big deal, but I just couldn’t get into it, no matter how great its description sounded.
- What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?
I am very drawn to the fantastical. I like magic, and mythical creatures, and imaginary worlds. Add some romance to it, and I am so there.
I stay clear of murder mysteries, crime, espionage, war/military and horror books. I don't read anything that will keep me up at night (for the wrong reasons).
- If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?
This is a tough question. It might be the cliché answer, but I really want to say To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Any future president should be ashamed of themselves if they haven’t read this brilliant American classic. I honestly believe that anyone who reads it will walk away a better and wiser person for having read it.
- What do you plan to read next?
I have so many YA fantasies in the queue! Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh are just a few I’ve been dying to read.
Now, I tag… ALL OF YOU. If you are reading this post, you have officially been tagged to participate in this meme.
Please feel free to share your version with me in the comments!