WHAT SPARKED YOUR LOVE OF READING?
I can’t point to a single moment but I can’t remember not having a book in my hand. Early mornings, peeling back plastic shades/late nights, flashlight in hand. As a young child, first favorites included Maurice Sendak’s "Chicken Soup with Rice," Beatrix Potter galore and A.A. Milne’s "Winnie the Pooh.” Ramona Quimby was my best friend.
Once I got into series-land I devoured each and every Babysitters Club book so it’s a real trip watching the recent resurgence and my kids doing the same; if only I’d saved all my old copies - the originals are going for a pretty penny on E-Bay! I was definitely that kid who was never without a book in hand.
WHAT'S ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?
Constantly changing but always a towering, aspirational stack. Today: "Red Pill" by Hanzu Kunzru; “Earthlings" by Sayaka Murta; “Daddy" by Emma Cline; "The Office of Historical Corrections" by Danielle Evans; "Love After Love" by Ingrid Pesaud; "Poet X" by Elizabeth Acevedo; “The Black Kids” by Christina Hammonds Reed, and for pure voyeuristic pleasure, "Chef’s Fridges: More than 35 World-Renowned Cooks Reveal What They Eat at Home by Carrie Solomon. I procured the European version a couple of years ago and I was thrilled the new American publication brought copies to our store. Way too many back issues of "The New Yorker," "The Atlantic," "The Paris Review," "Vanity Fair" to count. My subscription habit is purely aspirational.
I agree with Tatum, I’m all for a dysfunctional family narrative. We’re also pushing for “Impending Doom” to become a section at Barrett. But really I’m up for anything.
DO YOU HAVE ANY COMFORT READS?
Anything by Elizabeth Strout. I’m always happy when I’m with her. Mysteries and thrillers are a good distraction when the world seems dark. “Frog and Toad” by Arnold Lobel. And I love a good food memoir/cookbook binge.
FAVORITE BOOKS TO READ WITH KIDS?
The “Mercy Watson” series is enormous fun. Great for read aloud and the beautifully illustrated volumes are perfect for young readers to take up on their own. Sophie Blackall has brand new book Brianna recommended that my youngest is enchanted by — “If You Come to Earth;” we loved “Hello Lighthouse” as well. Anything that gets a laugh. But arguably the best thing is watching the kids grow into independent readers, finding their own paths and interests.