Join Me: By the Book for the Common Reader

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 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?

  • Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
  • The Artist’s Journal Workshop by Cathy Johnson
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  • Revision Decisions by Jeff Anderson
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
  • The latest English Journal

Who is your favorite novelist of all time?

Dave Eggers. He makes me laugh and cry, all while bringing defending human rights.

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

Dave Eggers, Cormac McCarthy, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sarah Kay, Tina Fey, Gillian Flynn, Rainbow Rowell, Patrick Rothfuss, Jacqueline Woodson, Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell, Barbara Kingsolver, Leonard Pitts, and Mo Willems.

What genres do you especially enjoy reading?

  • Nonfiction–memoirs by funny women, micro-histories, and books about social justice.
  • Anything with an element of horror to it.

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

  • The Douche Journals by Schmidt–goofy purchase, but I love New Girl
  • The Art of Urban Sketching by Gabriel Campanario–I’ve never been an artist, but I’m trying to become one.

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.

I’m in three.

  1. Read Whatever Club. My colleagues and I get together once or twice a year and recommend books to each other. One of the members always makes delicious dishes, usually with warm cheese. There’s also plenty of wine.
  2. The Reader’s Habitat. This is mostly just my stepmom and I, but we read a few books together every summer, usually one contemporary, one nonfiction, and one classic.
  3. Midnight Society Book Club. I run this one. We read YA horror.

Who’s your favorite fictional hero or heroine?

Jay Gatsby. There might be some debate about whether or not he’s a hero, but I adore him, even when he’s not being played by Leonardo DiCaprio, although that’s a definite plus:)

What kind of reader were you as a child? Your favorite books and authors?

I read series books like crazy! I started with Berenstein Bears, then moved on to Boxcar Children and Babysitter’s Club before growing into R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series. In high school, I read Stephen King and devoured all of Shakespeare, Steinbeck, and Dickens.

Have you ever gotten in trouble for reading a book?

Only with my dad on vacations. At Disney World, I wouldn’t get out of bed, because I just wanted to read. When I was older, my stepmom and I would get in trouble for reading during long drives, leaving Dad with no one for conversation. I’ve found that it’s best to just wait until he’s taking a nap to read.

Who would you want to write your life story?


Tina Fey. She gets me.

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