Where you live: Queens, NYC
Insta handle: @piesnprose
Current read: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
What has been your favorite read of the past year?
Circe has definitely been my favorite read. I didn’t think I’d love it as much as everyone else, but I was pleasantly surprised!
What is one book that you think will (or should) become a classic in the next 30 (or 50) years? Why?
The Vegetarian by Han Kang. Kang’s writing is powerful and raw, yet beautiful and delicate at the same time. The novel intimately follows a woman’s journey through vegetarianism in South Korea. Sounds odd (which is why I picked it up in the first place), but the story delves deep into the issues with South Korea’s societal norms that are damaging to their women. I think her powerful writing and the important message in this book makes for an instant classic.
Imagine this. You and a celebrity of your choice are becoming friends. They have asked you for a book rec. Who is the celebrity and what book do you recommend?
I’d recommend Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn to Karen Kilgariff. I’m sure she has already read it!
How do you choose your next read?
There’s this neglected pile of books sitting in a corner of my apartment. I usually grab one that’s standing out to me from that stack!
What book meant the most to you as a child?
Goosebumps. I had so many Goosebumps books. I can’t even tell you the actual number. I’d read them all, choose my favorites, then reread those daily. It is probably what kickstarted my love for all things spooky!
What is your favorite adaptation from book to film, theater, or television? What book do you wish would be adapted?
I haven’t finished the novel yet (almost done!) but I absolutely loved the television adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House. It’s completely different from the novel and still brilliant. I’d love to see a television adaptation of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. I can see it being a horror anthology, with all the youthful creepy stories turning into a show of interpretive, artistic horror!
What’s the one book everyone loves that you just cannot stand?
Ugh, so many! I’ve never been a fan of those widely loved fantasy series. None of them. I’m just not into fantasy in general! So books like Harry Potter, Six of Crows, etc. simply don’t interest me (don’t hate me, internet world!).
What is your favorite book set in or around the area where you live?
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald! I still visualize that movie whenever I’m driving around the city.
What is one classic you think is not overrated?
The Great Gatsby! I love that novel and its message so much. Read and enjoy the imagery, don’t look at it as a school assignment!
If you had to declare yourself an expert in one extremely specific genre, what would it be?
Modern psychological thrillers with problematic (not stereotypical) female protagonists.
What is your go-to book recommendation?
I always recommend a classic and a thriller. Right now, I’d recommend Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston and The Grownup by Gillian Flynn.
What book changed your worldview in some way?
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. It really opened my eyes (in an extreme way, of course) to consumerism and the way humans tend to create communities to cope with trauma which can lead to harmful groups such as violent cults.
If you could inhabit the life of one fictional character for a day, who would you choose?
I think it’d be super interesting to be Circe for a day. She’s so powerful and brave. I would love to use her magic!
Who do you think is the greatest female author?
There are too many! But I love Toni Morrison. It blows my mind that her first book was published when she was 39. Every novel I read by her is disturbing and powerful in the best way. Her works are most certainly classics to me.
I don’t know a life without it! Reading is the same as learning. My mom always said that. When you read a book, you’re learning something. A new word, a writing style, a technique, a social norm. And my mom says to never stop learning. So I’ll never stop reading.
What’s at the top of your TBR or wish list?
Becoming by Michelle Obama. And Lady Killers by Tori Telfer!