I really want to thank Julie Metz, author of Perfection, for stopping by BookHounds to answer my silly 20 Questions.
1. Bookmarks or dog ears?
When I read hardcovers I use a bookmark. Paperbacks I often treat like my college books—I make pencil notes and dog-ear pages I love. Post-It notes make a good bookmark.
2. Dust jacket on or off when reading a hard back?
I usually keep the cover on. Sometimes I take off the dust jacket and use it as a bookmark. As a graphic designer, I love looking at book jackets. A great one truly enhances the reading experience.
3. Favorite author?
Oh jeez, please don’t make me pick!…(in no particular order and incomplete:Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Jane Austen, the Brontes, Dickens, E.M. Forster, Richard Ford, Tom Perotta, Kiran Desai, Jhumpa Lahiri, Vladimir Nabokov, Alice Munro…
4. Favorite genre?
Fiction: Novels and short stories. Occasionally a thriller/mystery, but nothing too gory. And sometimes a biography. This year I finally read the terrific biography of Edna St Vincent Millay: Savage Beauty.
5. What is the best book you have read in the last year?
Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, and Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss (sorry, that’s two). And The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman. Okay, I know, that’s three.
6. What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
I think Savage Beauty would make a fantastic period film. Edna St Vincent Millay was such a rock star poet—it would be a great role for a younger actress, with plenty of early hardship, romance, drama, and fantastic settings from New York to Paris to rural Maine and New York State. I just Googled it and it seems that there is one in the works…
7. E books: Friend or foe?
I do not have an e-reader…yet. I accept the practicality of e-readers, I know they are the future but I will miss the aroma of paper and ink and the tactile experience of turning the pages. But I know I am old-fashioned.
8. Was there a book that inspired you to write?
9. What are you reading right now?
I am re-reading The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.
10. What is the last book you bought just for the cover?
Stickwork—about the art of Patrick Doughterty. He builds these amazing structures from branches. I had seen one on a school campus and when I saw the cover photo I remembered my wonderful in-person experience and I just bought the book on impulse.
11. What is the last book you received in the mail?
Schooling by Heather McGowan
12. What is the number of books you own?
Whatever number fits into 70 boxes! I know this because we just moved and those boxes are still in our basement.
13. What is the first book you remember reading by yourself as a child?
I Can Fly, a picture book. I still have it.
14. Do you have a favorite place to read?
In bed, at night, under the covers.
15. What is next for you, publishing-wise?
I am working on a novel…
16. Do you have a favorite place to write?
We just moved to a new apartment in Brooklyn. I now work at a small desk in our living room. It’s quiet and peaceful, with good light, which is all I ask for.
17. Do you have any pets ?
We have two cats. One is an ancient gray and white lady. It’s like having an adorable grannie living with you. Somehow she is hanging in there. The other cat is younger and pretty much a chowhound. I have no one to blame but myself. I did what I never did with my own daughter—I succumbed to whining!
18. How does your garden grow?
I have a real garden again at last, a 20 by 40 Brooklyn back yard. It was a wasteland when we moved in, but now I have a small tree, shrubs and I am awaiting a shipment of bulbs. In the spring I will order roses (winter will be spent happily poring over catalogs!) It’s weird I know, but I truly love weeding.
19. The last thing you Googled?
The website for Burning Man. I will never go, I was just going on a vicarious road trip.
20. What makes you cringe?
Among many other things, my own eagerness to read junky magazines at the gym.