The book I am currently reading
I just began Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland. I was a huge fan of the first book in the series, Dread Nation, and even on the first page I could tell this one is going to be difficult to put down. I love a book that compels you to read!
The book I wish I’d written
I wish I’d had the experience of writing Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. I know that the only thing more gripping, more immersive than reading a story I love is writing that story. I’m obsessed with the world she created, Weep. I wish I’d lived in it as immersively as she must have. I’ll just have to settle for reading it a million times.
The book that influenced my writing
I don’t think I have a true answer to this question. There isn’t a single book that I ever read that made me think, “I want to do that,” or even “I could do that.” When I was writing my first book, I had no conscious thought of “I want to shape my story like this or that great novel.” I think that over the course of my life I just filled up like a reservoir with all the stories I’ve ever read (and watched). When the dam finally broke, what poured out was a pretty integrated mix of my entire reading experience.
The last book that made me cry
My last big book cry was during The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen. Such a beautiful story of impossible love and sacrifice. I love non-Eurocentric fables that are new to me.
The last book that made me laugh
I recently raced through Martha Wells’s Murderbot Diaries series, loving every minute. Murderbot is now one of my favourite characters, and kind of a piece of my soul. I have never related to a killing machine more deeply. And Murderbot made me laugh out loud about every third page.
The book I couldn’t finish
I once bought a murder mystery by a popular author when I ran out of reading material in an airport. Pretty early in the plot there was a coincidence so big, so impossible, so imbecilic, that I couldn’t move forward. I couldn’t spend another minute inside a universe where anyone with half a brain would accept any part of that premise. I almost never quit a book, but that one defeated me with stupidity.
The book I’m ashamed not to have read
I don’t have any book I’m really ashamed I haven’t read, because I have a very optimistic mindset (which applies to books only) that I will eventually get around to everything. It’s probably not possible to read every book ever written, but my subconscious doesn’t know that.
The book I give as a gift
This summer, it’s Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale. First of all, it’s a tremendously good book, both entertaining and somehow lyrical in its prose, so it makes a great gift regardless of the condition of the world. But during a pandemic, as we’re all struggling with staying in place, it felt like the right thing to be reading. A story about a girl who, despite being bricked into a prison tower, somehow manages to be happy and see all the positives around herself, is a comfort to me.
The book I’d most like to be remembered for
If I never wrote another book, I think I’d probably choose The Host. It feels like my most important story in a lot of ways. But I very much hope that my best book is still ahead of me. (Let’s be honest, though. I’m going to be remembered for Twilight.)
My earliest reading memory
The first adult book I ever read was The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. I was seven years old, and my father started reading it to me and my siblings at bedtime. He read to us every night, whatever book he was reading for himself, and it was usually fantasy or science fiction. I got so caught up in the story of The Sword of Shannara that I couldn’t bear the slow pace of one chapter per night. I started sneaking into my father’s closet (where he kept his personal bookshelf) and reading ahead. Somehow, I had it in my mind that I would get in trouble for cheating this way, so I didn’t use a bookmark, I just wrote the page number down on a piece of scrap paper. It didn’t occur to me that a 300,000 word novel wasn’t meant for a seven-year-old. Maybe part of the excitement was thinking I was on an illicit adventure, but I discovered that the epic stories are in the thick books with no pictures. After that, I never stopped reading them.
My comfort read
When I need a break from the realities of life, I always turn to Rainbow Rowell, usually Attachments, but sometimes Fangirl. It surprises me that realistic fiction is my go to. I would think that for myself, getting out of the world completely into another universe would be the better escape, but when I’m sad, I only want Lincoln and Beth, or Cather and Levi.
• The new Twilight novel, Midnight Sun, by Stephenie Meyer is published in the UK by Atom (£20). To order a copy go to guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply.
Source: The Guardian