So, I’m peeking my head out of the revision cave for a split second to post. Shana Silver and I decided it’d be fun to answer the NYT By the Book section questions ourselves. My answers are below and after you should hop over to Shana’s blog to see what she had to say! Feel free to snag the questions and answer them on your own blog–leave a link in the comments!
What was the best book you read last year?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I have an unhealthy obsession with that book.
When and where do you like to read?
In the bathtub or in bed before the lights go out usually.
Are you a fast or slow reader? How many books would you say you read in a year?
I’m fast for the most part. I wouldn’t say that equals an inordinate amount of books, though. I’m more of a binge reader, but I’m trying to become more slow and steady. I’d say about 25 books/year.
How do you decide what to read next? Do you read more than one book at a time?
Recommendations from friends primarily. Or blogs that I follow and trust.
Who are your favorite authors?
John Green, my literary and personal hero. Half the reason I want to be an author is under the strange illusion that by some twist of fate we’ll get to hang out someday. Lauren Oliver, William Styron, Sara Zarr.
What’s your preferred literary genre? Any guilty pleasures?
Right now? Young adult contemporary, but it changes. I don’t feel guilty about anything I read.
Are there any particular kinds of books you prefer to listen to on audiobook rather than read?
I don’t really know until I’m listening to them. There are definitely some books I enjoy more than others on audiobook, but I think that depends on the narrator, production of the audiobook, etc. I would always prefer to read than listen to an audiobook, though.
How do you organize your personal library?
By stuffing books on the shelf of my nightstand and on the shelves in the garage. I have a dream, though, of someday having beautiful bookshelves where I can sit and look at my collection. I sincerely doubt that it’ll be organized even then though.
What are your most cherished books, and where do you keep them?
My husband gave me a very beautiful and rare edition of The Hobbit. It has illustrations by Tolkein. I have a box set of the John Green books with an autographed copy of The Fault in Our Stars. Those are in our living room on a shelf. I have a tattered old paperback of Sophie’s Choice that I like an awful lot too, but it’s in a box.
Are you a rereader? What books in particular do you find yourself returning to, and why?
I used to be. I read The Hobbit 12 times for instance, when I was young. I’d say I’m not so much anymore though. As evidence, I’ve only read the Harry Potter series the whole way through twice!
What were your favorite books as a child? Do you have a favorite character or hero from one of those books? Is there one book you wish all children would read?
Lord of the Rings, A Wrinkle in Time, Tuck Everlasting, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Golden Compass, True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle…
What book had the greatest impact on you? What book made you want to write?
That’s tough. On Writing by Stephen King had a big impact on me and it’s one of the books I continuously turn back to. Clearly, I already wanted to write by the time I read that, though. I think I always wanted to write, but I certainly romantacized authors. Sophie’s Choice with Styron’s semi (though maybe faux?) autobiographical Stingo was an important book for me.
How have your tastes or interests evolved over time? Any recent shifts in the kinds of books you find appealing or gratifying?
I go through phases. I only read “classics” for most of my early adult years and Pulitzer winners. Then I discovered there is this whole world of new fiction coming out. I started reading YA and was so caught up in all the exacting things that were happening within that perspective. I’m now starting to split my time more evently between adult and YA.
Disappointing, overrated, just not good: What was the last book you hated? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?
I have put down several books recently, but I’m not sure I’d blame it on the books. I’ve just lost momentum when caught up in deadlines, etc. I’ll pick them back up again hopefully.
If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you want to know?
John Green! I think I would want to know everything about his writing process because that’s an area he doesn’t touch on a whole lot. Then I’d want to discuss the French Revolution or something.
If you could meet any character from literature, who would it be?
What’s the best love story you’ve ever read?
What do you plan to read next?
The Secret History by Donna Tartt for book club!