Do you have a guilty pleasure book?
I don’t have a guilty pleasure book, but I do have a guilty pleasure author. If (when) this author has a new book, I drop everything and read his new book. Harlan Coben is a mystery writer who just knows how to hook the reader. His stories are multilayered, and he has no qualms about killing any character (even the main character) if it enhances the story. He has a series of books with Myron Bolitar who is a former NBA star turned sports agent. Myron often turns into a sleuthy detective to help his friends, family and clients. Coben also has numerous standalone suspenseful mysteries.
What is your favorite genre? Which do you avoid?
I read all different kinds of genres, but if I have to pick a favorite it would be magic-fantasy. I was caught up in the Harry Potter craze and have continued my love of all books magical. My favorite magic-fantasy series for adults is The Magicians series by Lev Grossman. There is really no genre I avoid, but for me to enjoy a non-fiction book, it must be interesting. I prefer narrative non-fiction. I like for it to read like a story but still teach me something.
I must also confess that many of the books I read are labeled young adult. If you have never read a contemporary young adult book, I highly recommend that you do. Young adult novels today run the gambit of genres and themes. They are engaging and plot driven with well-defined characters. Adults who pass over books labeled “young adult” are missing out on some fantastic books.
What is a book that you’re afraid to read?
I wouldn’t say that I am afraid to read it, but I have had The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett sitting on my to-be-read pile for years. I don’t think it is the size that intimidates me, because I love epic books. I am not sure what is holding me back from it. Maybe I will make it my 2022 goal to read it.
What is a book you dislike/hate that everyone loves? Do you remember the last time you put down a book without finishing?
I can answer both of these questions with one book- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. There is so much love for this book, and everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but this was not the book for me. I didn’t like the writing style. I found the character development lacking. There are no authentic, complex characters and one-dimensional. I don’t normally like to leave books unfinished, but this one I skipped and skimmed large chunks to get through it.
Do you have a favorite book no one else has heard of?
Indeed, I do! I love a good psychological thriller, and when I found My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing, I was ecstatic. The plot had so many twists and turns, and the character development is incredible. There is not one scene in this book that doesn’t take on a new light once you get to the end of the book. I found myself going back and re-reading once I finished and realized there was so much I missed.
What book is currently sitting on your nightstand?
The book currently sitting on my nightstand is House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1) by Sarah J. Maas. I am in the process of rereading this 800-page current day fantasy, because the sequel is being released on Feb. 8th. I can’t wait!
Do you prefer books that reach you emotionally, or intellectually?
I definitely prefer books to reach me emotionally. Whether it’s fiction, nonfiction or biography, I want to feel something when I read a book. A great example of this was Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir by Kwame Onwauachi and Joshua David Stein. His culinary coming of age story in the restaurant world was so touching and relatable.
Describe your ideal reading experience (when, what, where, how).
It definitely depends on the time of year! During the summer, my ideal reading experience is early in the morning, before it is too hot, and I take my book and my iced coffee and sit in my swinging hammock chair and read. No one else in my house is an early riser, so it is always peaceful. In the cooler months, I enjoy putting on my pj's and some fuzzy socks and curling up with my coffee and my puppies on my comfy reading chair. I enjoy reading when it is nice and quiet and there are no other distractions.
Where do you find your books? Where do you look when you’re searching for your next great read?
I am always amazed at how much talent there is in the world. There are so many amazing writers and some many books published every year. I hear about a lot of the books that I read through friends. Word of mouth book recommendations usually turn out to be great reads. I also read book reviews in different magazines and have somehow fallen into the BookTok side of TikTok. I was never a fan of the books Oprah chose for Oprah’s Book club, but I have definitely found some great books from Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club choices.
What book would you most like to see turned into a movie or TV series that hasn’t already been adapted?
A book that I would love to see turned into a movie is Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. His boundless and weird imagination is amazing. Neverwhere is the story of an ordinary man who discovers the dark and strange world of Neverwhere. It would make an amazing movie.