I was tagged by Michelle at Book Adventures to do the New York Times By The Book Tag, which I am really excited about, because it’s a tag I hadn’t even heard of before! So, thanks Michelle! This tag was created by a BookTuber named Marie Berg – you can check out the original video here. She was inspired by a column in the NYT called “By The Book” in which authors are asked the questions in this tag. I think this is a really cool idea, so let’s jump into it!
What book is on your nightstand now?
Currently: Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, which I am slowly making my way through, and A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, because I want to start rereading it soon.
What was the last truly great book you’ve read?
I have actually read a lot of amazing books lately, but I the most recent one is A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – you can read my review here. Before that, it was War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy.
If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?
So, fun fact about me: I have actually met a few of my favorite authors, and I tend to get starstruck and say really dumb things. The first time I met Pierce Brown and asked him to sign my copy of Red Rising, I completely blanked when he asked me how to spell my name. MY NAME. I still cringe thinking about it.
Anyway, I think I would actually love to meet Stephen King to find out how the hell he writes so much. Because I seriously want to know.
What books might we be surprised to find on your shelf?
You know I pretty much read everything, so I’m not really sure what books on my shelf are surprising. I’m going to go with my collection books on Jack the Ripper. Because I have about half a shelf’s worth of them. I did my undergrad thesis on Jack the Ripper, so it totally makes sense, but most people who see that shelf give me weird looks. My college roommate was super freaked out by them (I thought it would be funny not to mention them at all for the two months we lived together – it was).
How do you organize your personal library?
By color – I did a whole post about it a few weeks ago. Although, to be honest, most of the books I’ve acquired in the last year are just in random piles all around my bedroom. So I’m only half organized.
What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet?
All of them… I guess if I have to pick just one, I’d have to go with Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen.
Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you are supposed to like but didn’t?
I really didn’t like the Legend trilogy by Marie Lu and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, both of which everyone else seems to love.
What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?
I’m drawn to stories that address human nature in some way. I really like when I can empathize with characters. And I usually stay clear of romance or erotica (though I will occasionally read books with those elements that also fit into another genre, like The Girl in 6E, which is on my TBR).
If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?
This is probably the most ridiculously cheesy and/or pretentious answer, but: War & Peace. while the actual warfare within the book is not exactly modern, Tolstoy spends a lot of time discussing the ethical, philosophical, and psychological implications of war.
What do you plan to read next?
I’m actually going to be ignoring my TBR for a bit and buddy-reading A Game of Thrones with my cousin – I made him watch the TV series, and now he’s obsessed, so I told him he has to read the books. I’ve actually been meaning to reread the first book since it’s been so long and I really want to continue on with the series. Also on my immediate TBR: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (I’m in a high fantasy mood) and The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng.