Do you have a guilty pleasure book?
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. I don’t feel guilty re-reading it over and over. I think the guilt creeps in when I look at the books on my shelves I’ve never opened.
What is your favorite genre? Which do you avoid?
I try not to avoid any specific genre. I’ve never read a romance novel- maybe someday? Right now, I’m all about magic realism, historical fiction, and creative non-fiction.
What is a book that you’re afraid to read?
For the longest time, Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace. I was afraid I wouldn’t understand it in all of its grand density. I was right! I’ve read it twice now and there are thematic elements that still make me scratch my head.
What book is currently sitting on your nightstand?
Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine.
What’s the last great book you read? The last book you recommended to everyone you know?
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. I am a huge Murakami fan, and that book is one of my favorites. Every one of his books that I have read holds so much magic in the mundane.
Describe your ideal reading experience (when, what, where, how).
At home on my reading couch, (my older couch I reserve exclusively for reading and writing) with my hair in a messy bun- sipping on some delicious French roast coffee.
Which writers – novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists, poets – working today do you admire most?
Ilya Kaminsky. He is an outstanding Ukrainian poet I had the pleasure of meeting when I was a freshman in college. He taught me the beauty in performing poetry aloud- which gave me courage. I placed in a poetry contest he judged. What an honor!
What’s the most interesting thing that you learned from a book recently?
“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being. It may even be assumed that just as the unconscious affects us, so the increase in our consciousness affects the unconscious.”
― C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Do you prefer books that reach you emotionally, or intellectually?
I prefer a healthy blend of both- I think this is why I teeter between fiction and non-fiction.
What book might people be surprised to find on your bookshelf?
I have 24 Batman Graphic Novels. Kind of a fan of Gotham City tales.
Who is your favorite fictional hero or heroine? Your favorite antihero or villain?
Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series is my favorite heroine. She is so self-aware and flawed and just an all-around fascinating character. Her moral code is unwavering, and some could see her as a villain.
What do you plan to read next?
I plan to read my way through the Octavia E. Butler Earthseed series.
Do you have a favorite book no one else has heard of?
I’m sure people have heard of it- but I recommend The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson to everyone I come across. Such a quick and fascinating read, I couldn’t put it down until I was finished.
Where do you find your books? Where do you look when you’re searching for your next great read?
I like to browse used bookstores for unique finds. I utilize Goodreads when I can. The best finds are at basement library sales!