1. What book is on your nightstand now?
The Fireman, by Joe Hill, and Drood, by Dan Simmons. I’m also listening to The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath.
2. What was the last truly great book that you read?
Eleanor, by Jason Gurley
3. If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?
Haruki Murakami. I’d like to just sit and chat about what he thinks about the world in general.
4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?
I have all of Lisa See’s novels, although I have never read her work. I got each of them for a quarter apiece at my local thrift store because I liked the covers.
5. How do you organize your personal library?
By my favorite books. The better the book, the higher on the shelf they go. I’ve tried alphabetically, but I found that my favorite books were always out of reach on the bottom shelves for some reason. So personal favorites it is. Oh, and I also separate paperback from hardcover, and then organize again by size. That might sound like a mess, but it looks really nice.
6. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?
1Q84, by Haruki Murakami would be the one I think I’ve put off the longest. Not because it’s a long book, but because I seem to always find something else I’m more interested in reading at that time. On topic, I’m kinda embarrassed I’ve never gotten around to reading 1984, by George Orwell. I should read these back to back… Yeah, I think I’ll do that… Soon… Okay, soonish…
7. Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like but didnt? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?
This one is definitely the easiest to answer in this entire questionnaire. Hands down, Bird Box, by Josh Malerman. I thought the novel was absolute garbage, but everyone else seems to love it. The characters were one-dimensional. The pacing was terrible. The author hid stupid crap like names of characters for no reason whatsoever. Yet several talented authors and discerning readers I know fan-flailed over it. I don’t know. I just don’t get it.
The last book I put down was Invisible, by James Patterson. I only made it three pages.
8. What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?
I like reading stories about bad people who get what they deserve. Not like Gone Girl, where nothing comes of anything, but books like Horns, by Joe Hill, and Hidden Bodies, by Caroline Kepnes. I don’t much care for good guys. My childhood was populated by loads of people who seemed terrific on the outside, but who ended up being terrible people who got away with terrible things, giving me an appreciation for books with a strong karmic theme. I’m also not a fan of happy endings in general.
9. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?
Because I’m American, I swapped out “prime minister” for “president”. Hope nobody minds.
I’d love to see what Barack Obama thinks about Stephen King. I think it would be a hoot to hear his thoughts on books like The Dead Zone and 11/22/63, two books that deal heavily with presidents.
10. What do you plan to read next?
After the three I’m reading now, I’ll be moving onto a reread/buddy read of The Funhouse, and maybe a Harlan Coben book, as I’ve heard a lot about the guy but haven’t read anything by him. I’m stoked for End of Watch, by Stephen King in June, too.