Join Me: By the Book for the Common Reader

 I’m shamelessly stealing this little post from Jennifer Brinkmeyer.


The New York Times runs a series called By the Book in which famous people are interviewed about their reading lives. I’m calling all readers out there to post their own answers to the By the Book questions. Please add a link to your post in the comments so I can read about all of you fantastically non-famous readers! Visit a few links and leave some comments.

What books are currently on your night stand?

The pile is huge, but here are a few that have waited patiently for a long time:

Who is your favorite novelist of all time?

Not going to pick just one: Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, Thomas Hardy, Stephen King, the Brontë sisters, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Carolyn Keene, and Toni Morrison

Whom do you consider the best writers (novelists, essayists, critics, journalists, poets) working today?

Toni Morrison, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Carsten Stroud, and Stephen King

What genres do you especially enjoy reading?

I run the genre gamut, and with fiction, I’ll pretty much read anything and everything. I have a few limits, but I’m always open to recommendations. I’m not a huge fan of nonfiction, unless it’s historical. I will occasionally read a biography, but memoirs and autobiographies rarely make my list (I’m not sure why).

 What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

Anyone who knows me would not be surprised by anything on my bookshelf. If I’m forced to pick, I would say anything Steampunk. It’s my latest passion.

If you belong to a book club, tell us about it. If you don’t, tell us what your ideal book club would be like.

 Who’s your favorite fictional hero or heroine?

Victor Frankenstein’s Monster. I consider him to be a hero because he overcomes the adversity of his birth and abandonment with fortitude and steadfastness. He only wants love, acceptance, and understanding (don’t we all?), but when his parent (and society) refuses him these things, he becomes the monster everyone presumes him to be. Who out there is perfect enough to judge him for that?

What kind of reader were you as a child? What were your favorite books, and who were your favorite authors?

I was never without a book. Book fairs at school were the perfect days. I haunted the library. I remember reading the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder because I read them so many times. I remember liking books about animals that were personified. I couldn’t get enough of those.

Have you ever gotten in trouble for reading a book?

I used to bring my book to the table to read before supper was ready. My mom constantly yelled at me to take that book off the table (it was no doubt from the library and incredibly germy).

Who would you want to write your life story?

I choose Stephen King because I would want it to be a loosely based work of fiction, and he would be able to put a unique and exciting twist (with a bit of horror mixed in for good measure) on an otherwise ordinary life.


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