the contextual life

thoughts without borders

meet the reader: from the desk of a book-reading aspiring-writer

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today’s interviewee, SP, reads a lot, if slowly, and is currently working on a book. she also enjoys sending east coasters pictures of her bare feet from the beaches of california.

do you prefer to read fiction or nonfiction?
I read both, though I write nonfiction, which makes reading it a sometimes uncomfortable and anxious experience! So I may “prefer” to read nonfiction to learn something about writing it, the reading isn’t always completely pleasurable.

what’s the one thing about reading that makes it impossible to do without?
More than consuming any other media I find reading lets me reflect and think and respond to what I’m consuming while I’m consuming it. I never feel like I’m interrupting my reading by reacting to it while reading (which I do feel while I’m watching a movie or listening to music). So there’s a nice interaction with whatever I’m reading…. and whoever wrote it, in a way.

one book that’s been on your list that you still haven’t gotten around to reading?
There are many — they go to a particular part of my bookshelf and get dusty and make me feel guilty. Some of them have been there for a long time and will probably never be touched (the dauntingly fat The Fate of Africa by Martin Meredith, I did manage the first 100 pages), and others are newer and I do hope to read them soon.

what was the last great book you read that you recommended to nearly everyone?
The Geography of the Imagination by Guy Davenport. I can’t remember how I came across it. It’s like a whole college curriculum in a book.

last great book someone recommended to you?
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

what was one of your favorite childhood books? The Silver Crown by Robert O’Brien, a wonderful fantasy story about a 10 year old girl whose family dies under mysterious circumstances and plunges her on this quest…. It’s dark (as so much good kids lit secretly is) but I loved it for this girl, who seemed to know in a way that usually only (male of course) heroes know that they’re fated for greatness.

was there one book you had to read in high school that you’re glad was assigned?
Believe it or not we read the Bible, which I had never previously encountered. I was glad to do it before college, but still in context of a class, and one that managed to raise no ruckus in our town, which was really liberal.

do you read literary journals or book review sections/sites? if so which ones.
Yes — I like the London Review of Books, the New York Review of Books. I like those funny pieces in the Guardian that send-up a book in a page or ten words. And I like reading what writers listen to on Largehearted Boy.

how do you find the books you read?
Mostly friends or reading what other (famouser) people are reading or, occasionally, random inspiration or some sort of extreme sale pricing.

books and travel, what comes to mind?
I like to choose topical (or at least geographically related?) things to read while traveling…. This started because when I was 13 and off to India my best friend bought me a copy of A Passage to India.

what’s up next?
Probably Julian Barnes’ A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters. A friend just suggested it!


Written by Gabrielle

February 9, 2011 at 8:41 am

Posted in books, interviews

Tagged with , ,

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