Welcome to CAnnonball ReAd! I realize it might be too early to tell, but I always ask: can you tell if it’s changing the way you read?
Thanks! It’s long overdue for me to join up, but I’m having a great time so far. I’m definitely paying closer attention as I read. I worried that it would slow me down (I’ve never been a super-fast reader), but I really haven’t slowed at all. I’ve started taking a few notes as I’m reading to remember quotes that I particularly like or to record reactions that I might want to include in the review. I’ve also noticed that my impressions of a book can change quite a bit in the days between finishing a book and writing the review because I’ve been giving them more thought than I have in the past.
What are your three desert island books? If you knew you were going to get marooned somewhere, what would you take?
Only three is tough! I’ve rarely taken the time to re-read anything as an adult, so this is pretty wide open for me. The books that seem to pop up most when I write up a list of favorites: Midnight’s Children by Rushdie; Song of Solomon by Morrison; and If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Calvino. I’ll probably change my mind in five minutes, so I’d better leave it at that.
I love your idea (from your bio) of books as souvenirs! Any examples of when that has worked out really well, with a new favorite discovered?
I try to find authors from the country I’m visiting so I can expand my range. My second read for CBR10, The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso, was a great find. I was just browsing shelves in Cape Town and picked up the book, had never heard of her. It’ll probably end up in my top books for this year. Same goes for a book I picked up in Melbourne called Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. It’s gorgeous, but I probably would have missed out had there not been a nice big section of Aussie authors at the bookstore.
Were you a reader from childhood, or did you grow into it?
I was a total book nerd as a kid and spent a lot of time reading. I grew up on a farm outside a very small town and used to check out armloads of books every time I got to go to the library. I was into a little bit of everything: mystery/suspense, horror, classics, sci-fi. I slacked off after college but picked back up again in my later 20’s.
How do you decide what to choose next from your To Be Read pile?
It’s usually a reaction to what I’ve just read. After something long, I’ll grab for something short. After something heavy, I tend to look for something light. After literary fiction, I’ll go to fantasy or nonfiction. After something particularly bad, I make sure to read something I’m certain I won’t hate. After that, it’s very much about whatever mood I’m in. I’ll pick up any number of books until I find the one that just feels right in the moment.
What’s your favorite genre of food?
I’m torn between Japanese and French, but mostly for the same reasons. I love the attention to aesthetics and presentation. I prefer smaller portions of rich foods and flavors. And I love that their philosophy seems to be that everyone deserves good food, so it doesn’t have to be expensive to be great.