When you’re feeling stressed or sad, what author, series, or genre helps you feel better and why?
This is hard — I think just reading in general makes me feel better. If I had to choose, I’d say sci-fi, something that gets off this planet and far away from whatever my current situation is. I come back to reality feeling a little removed and refreshed, with a better perspective. In my last funk, I read The Freeze Frame Revolution, and it was a great tonic for my ills.
What was it that first helped you fall in love with reading? Was it a particular book? A person? Something else?
I think it was two things. First, my parents always reading to me before bed, for as long as I can remember. And second, The Chronicles of Narnia. I read and re-read those books so many times as a kid. I credit Narnia from my childhood, and House Of the Spirits from my young adulthood, with my deep love for magical realism. (Speaking of, I’m reading The Murmur of Bees right now, very good, recommend.)
Do you reread favorite books, or is your TBR pile too demanding?
My TBR pile is ridiculous. I’ve read The Great Gatsby at least seven times, but I usually start something new instead of revisiting books. Recently though I’ve re-read some books and found them almost unrecognizable – I remembered the plot but found so many new nuances. I’m more interested in re-visiting my old favorites now.
Who’s your favorite book character?
Oh man, this is really tough. I hardly ever think about favorite characters, only favorite stories. I think it’s gotta be Morozko from Katherine Arden’s Winternight trilogy, which of course I found thanks to Cannonball Read. For being (sort of) a protagonist, his role is also intriguingly ambivalent. His nature was so unique and well-written. Epecially for a love interest!
How many times have you participated in CBR? Has it changed the way you read?
I started in 2015 — and that was the only Cannonball I’ve successfully completed! So that makes this my fifth CBR. It has totally changed the way I read – mostly because of the great recommendations I’ve found on here, and also because I started seeking out shorter books in order to finish more books in the year. I’ve found some wonderful novellas and short(er) stories that I never would have found otherwise. The two that come to mind immediately are Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker and All Systems Red by Martha Wells.
You don’t have a bio! Tell us something interesting about yourself.
That’s easy: I live in Timor-Leste. My husband and I work at the US Embassy, and we’re here with our kids for a few years. I’m into fancy homemade tiki cocktails (we even make our own orgeat!), and sewing kids’ clothes.
Another interesting thing is that I once worked as a “balloon-ologist” which is just a goofy way of saying I made balloon animals at restaurants for tips.
It’s Fall(ish)! Are you mourning the end of hot weather, or looking forward to cold?
I miss cold weather. The seasons here are hot/dry, and hotter/wet–but honestly I love that too. I do like the rainy season here though, which starts around Nov/Dec–it rains enough that it feels a little like fall and is perfect for a second cup of coffee and a good book (until the sun breaks through and the mugginess sets in.)