I’m on a Leah Hager Cohen kick at the moment. I really can’t wait to get and read her book “No Book but the World”, so I tend to Google her often right now to read interviews and articles. While reading an interview she participated in for the New York Times in May 2014, I was inspired by the questions she was asked and decided to take a stab of them on my own.
The link to her interview is at the bottom of this blog post.
- What books are currently on your night stand?
Technically, I have two books on my night stand right now. I was reading “The Little Stranger” by Sarah Waters, but it’s just been such a struggle to get through that I decided to take a break. Now, I am reading…devouring…“The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.
- What was the last truly great book you read?
“We Are Not Ourselves” by Matthew Thomas. I just loved it. It’s rare that I’ve read a book a second time in my life, but I think I will re-read and re-read this one for years. It’s just a beautiful tale that is relatable and real and emotionally charged.
- Sell us on your favorite overlooked or underappreciated writer.
“I Am Rosemarie” by Marietta D. Moskin – a holocaust survivor. The book tells of her experiences during the holocaust, and is approached like a novel. The story is emotional and gripping. I remember reading it in a matter of days when I was younger. I didn’t put it down. This is one of the books that I have read multiple times.
I don’t know if it is overlooked or underappreciated, but I have rarely met anyone who has read it. It appears to be quite famous when Googled online. It was the first book my mother owned, and I now own it. I actually own the copy my mom got in 1973 from a Scholastic book sale when she was in school.
More people should read this book.
- What was the last book to make you laugh?
The book that I’m currently reading, “The Help”, makes me laugh at least once every chapter. Because I read when I get into bed at night, I have to be careful not to bounce too much as I laugh so I don’t wake Glen up.
- The last book that made you cry?
“We Are Not Ourselves” by Matthew Thomas.
- What kind of reader were you as a child? And what were your favorite childhood books?
When I was young, I was an avid reader. It took me a while to learn to read, but once I had it, I was set. I loved reading the “Goosebumps” series by R.L. Stine, and I really loved all of the “Fear Street” series and sagas by the same author. They were some of my absolute favourites. I think I still own about 100 R.L. Stine books.
I really, and truly, loved the “Flowers in the Attic” series by V.C. Andrews. I read that series in a few weeks while listening to the “Shades of Purple” CD by M2M. It was a great few weeks full of twists, danger and excitement.
I read the third book, “If There Be Thorns”, first. It was an accident actually. I didn’t realize it was part of a series. I recommend that everyone who reads the series start there because you are as unaware of the dark secrets of the family as the main character is as he reads the diary of his grandmother. THEN go back and start the series from the beginning. I read “If There Be Thorns” twice by doing it this way, but it was so worth it.
- You’re hosting a literary dinner party. Which three writers are invited?
This is an easy choice for me. I would invite Matthew Thomas, Leah Hager Cohen and Nadine McInnis. I am a fan for life of all three. All three of them have a command of the English language that leaves me in awe. Reading anything by them is emotional, beautiful, unflinching and relatable. I love being able to relate to characters and the emotional turmoil and challenges they are facing internally regardless of whether I can relate to the actual experience or not. I like stories that make me feel, and these three authors are all masters at doing that to me.
I don’t even think I would want to talk. I would just listen to the three of them discuss writing, character development, style, word choice, anything. It would be pretty spectacular.
- What book are you most eagerly anticipating this year?
I don’t tend to follow books that are coming out soon, but I know that my most anticipated future purchase is “No Book but the World” by Leah Hager Cohen. I loved her novel “The Grief of Others” and can’t wait to read this next one. It looks amazing.