Books of My Life

Every now and then, Entertainment Weekly magazine will ask a writer a stock set of questions about books they’ve read or written. This week I thought I would interview myself with those same questions. Who else is going to do it?

A Book I Read in Secret as a Kid

This is a great question because the only reason I have an interest in reading is because of the books my dad gave me to read.

Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys were typical reading for me as a kid. One day my dad said I needed to read a real book and he gave me Twins by Bari Wood and Jack Geasland. Now this might seem like an extreme, but it changed my world as to what stories could be.

Books I’ve Read Over and Over

"Ender's Game," Orson Scott Card,
“Ender’s Game,” Orson Scott Card,

Ender’s Game is the only book I can think of that I physically re-read. Since I didn’t read for most of my 20s, I lost a lot of time so I don’t spend it re-reading. So many books, so, so little time. I also know I won’t be able to capture that thrill the first time I read something that moved me.

There are more books that I’ve read and then listened to, like Ready Player One and Life of Pi.

The Classic I’ve Never Read

Actually, there are a lot on my bucket list. The top ones would be Catcher in the Rye, Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, and The Grapes of Wrath. My Kindle should be buried with me because I probably will only read these in the afterlife.

The Last Book That Made Me Cry and/or Laugh

Mark Watney in The Martian is so witty and personable I found myself laughing, gasping, and even talking out loud as I read it. Kudos to Weir for writing a character I want to be friends with.

"The Martian," Andy Weir
“The Martian,” Andy Weir

Books I Wish I’d Written

To Kill a Mockingbird is such a layered story of relationships and society while being approachable by and relatable to anyone. It’s is one of the best all-around books of all time.

My Favorite Movie Adaptation

There are more of these on my list than you might think but I have to go with The Hunger Games series. Young Adult fiction is not my favorite genre so I’m actually surprised I finished reading the trilogy. Katniss is a difficult character to identify with and I felt the author jerked the reader’s loyalties around whenever it came to Peeta and Gale. But the films capture the world and relationships perfectly. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is especially wonderful and Katniss is a real tragic hero for me.

A Book I’ve Pretended to Have Read

"House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski
“House of Leaves” by Mark Z. Danielewski

Basically I’m a terrible liar. Coupled with my logical, OCD personality I don’t even see the sense in lying about having read a book. Wait, I take that back. I’ve lied about finishing House of Leaves. More than half way through the book I was so confused and frustrated. Was I supposed to read all the gibberish and rambling? If I didn’t was I missing something? If I did was I a fool? I had invested so much time in it I couldn’t admit I couldn’t finish it so I just read the last chapter and declared it sufficiently read.

The Books People Might be Surprised to Learn I Love

'Machete Season" by Jean Hatzfeld
‘Machete Season” by Jean Hatzfeld

There are concepts in life that elude us. We can’t wrap our brains around them. Genocide is one of those for me. The definition is simple but the fact of it is incomprehensible. I’ve read several books on the subject but Machete Season is one of the best. Jean Hatzfeld is a foreign correspondent who interviewed several Hutus who participated in the massacre of 50,000 Tutsi friends, family, and neighbors in Rwanda.

The Genre I’d Pick if I Could Read Only One

Hands down it would have to be sci-fi. I have romance so those books are fallacies to me. Fantasy is too detached from my world, places that I can’t attain. Horror is great but I don’t think I could take the constant downer. Everything else I can get in sci-fi. It appeals to my love of science, adventure, possibilities, and mystery.

On Your Nightstand Right Now

"What Remains" by Tim Weaver
“What Remains” by Tim Weaver

What Remains by Tim Weaver. Some of you may remember our interview with Weaver. Since then I’ve read all the Raker series and just saw on Instagram he’s already working on the next one.

Books That Changed My Life

After reading Twins, I raided dad’s paperback stash in the bathroom and found The Stand. This opened up the genre of horror and science fiction. I read everything Stephen King published after that.

I’ll Give You a Topic

What book changed your life?

Are e-books good for writers? publishers? readers? libraries?

Do you buy more books now because of e-books?

Rhonda has a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science and is a self-taught graphic designer. She considers herself a geek*wildcard because she has a little bit of experience in everything.

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