1. Describe yourself in 3 books
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf. I, too, do not want to run around and butt heads with other bulls, literally or figuratively, and would rather sit quietly and smell the flowers. Also, much like Ferdinand, I’m not a big fan of bees.
Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams. While reading this book, which I loved apart from the comments I’m about to make about it, I was struck by how much I saw myself in the main character. Tiny is poised and smart, quiet and soft. She keeps her strength and determination on the inside, where she needs it the most, and I found it so refreshing to read about a character who could be the heroine in her own story without changing her entire personality.
Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis. I don’t particularly identify with Auntie Mame the character, but I hope to be somewhat like the book. It’s fun and sparkly, charming, witty, and immensely re-readable. Positively delightful. The kind of book you always want with you on a vacation. Here’s hoping people also like to go on vacation with me. Anyone? ANYONE? Don’t leave without me!
2. Favorite reading spot
I have a super comfy papasan chair with a fluffy, furry cushion and a cozy blanket that I would happily sit in all day long and read. I also love curling up with my book and my tea in a comfy, overstuffed chair by a giant window with a view of the Pacific Ocean from a beach house somewhere on the coast of Northern California.
3. If you could only save one book or bookish item in a fire, what would it be?
My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger. One of my very best friends got a copy of this book autographed for me when I graduated from law school, and it is perhaps my most treasured bookish possession. The inscription says “For Emily – Never stop believing in real life magic. -Steve Kluger.” This book is filled with hope and real-life magic, Mary Poppins, musical theater, family, delight, and humor, which are all a few of my favorite things. It celebrates the little moments that make life magical without ignoring that sometimes it’s hard to be a person. It’s heartwarming and refreshingly whatever the opposite of cynical is and I can’t believe you haven’t read it already.
4. Book character you most admire
Nancy Drew. She is the literary heroine I wanted to be as a child (and as an adult), and I love the confidence with which she forges ahead solving mysteries with nothing but blind faith in her own intelligence and a couple of conversations with her attorney father. I also like that she literally chases down bad guys in her “smart skirts” and low-heeled pumps.
5. Fictional book setting where you’d most like to live
Highbury, England. I’m not entirely sure if this is a real place or not (I suppose I could Google it, but I didn’t), but it’s the town in which Jane Austen’s Emma is set. Emma is my favorite of Jane Austen’s books, and I would happily spend my time strolling through town with Mr. Knightley, or heading out to Donwell Abbey for a delightful picnic or afternoon tea.
6. Are you a one-book-at-a-time kind of gal? Or a juggling-multiple-books kind of gal?
One at a time. I made a New Year’s Resolution several years ago to stop reading a million books at once because it stresses me out. I love reading, so why was I making it so stressful? Literally no one knows. Not to worry, since focusing my energy on reading one book at a time, I’m no longer stressed out by my books. The endless pile of books I haven’t yet read is a whole other story, though.
7. Childhood favorite that still holds up
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. This is not my favorite book from childhood, and I don’t even think I read it as a child. Though I’m fairly confident it’s a book for children that lots of people still agree is good. I’m including it here because I wanted an excuse to share my all time favorite quote from any work of literature ever. Here it is:
“After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working.”
8. Best book-to-movie adaptation
The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Since the author of the book also wrote the screenplay for the movie, I feel it’s ok to love the book as much as the movie. The movie follows the book nearly perfectly, except that the book has the added layer of it having been written as though it’s a book that Goldman found and has interjected his own commentary and abridgements for your (the reader’s) enjoyment. The book is a must-read, and if you haven’t already seen the movie (um, who are you and what have you been doing all your life?), then it’s the perfect way to watch the story and the story-within-the-story come alive.
9. Next up on your TBR
Still Life by Louise Penny. I’ve been meaning to get into Penny’s Inspector Gamache series, and there’s no time like the present, I always say. I don’t always say that.
10. Favorite book you had to read for school
Hands down, Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier. I loved this book so much when I read it in high school that I couldn’t believe it was required reading. It’s captivating, page-turning, and has probably the best surprise reveal that I’ve ever encountered in a book. I remember gasping out loud upon reading it and furiously turning back pages to make sure I hadn’t missed something leading up to the big reveal. It made me want to read every other gothic novel ever written in hopes that they would be as good as this one.
Wishing every day were Book Club Sunday,