I was nominated by my friend Rachel for this a while back, but I finally have a chance to do it!
What’s the worst book you had to read for school? It’s a tie between Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and some short story collection by Ernest Hemingway whose title I can’t even remember because I did my best to wipe it from my mind. I understand the appeal of The Scarlet Letter and I get why it’s so important and significant, but something about it just came off so dull and dry to me. Then again, this was back in high school, so perhaps I would feel different if I read it now. Hemingway, however, I wouldn’t go near with a ten-foot pole. He’s awful. He wrote a whole short story about some dude going fishing! Why??
Within your own country, where would you most like to visit that you haven’t already been? California!!! I’ve been obsessed with California for a looooong time. While I don’t think I would like to live there anymore (too hot and sunny and there’s one too many wildfires and droughts for my liking), I definitely still love the California vibe and I think it’s a beautiful state. There’s just something about it that’s so compelling to me. One day I’m going to do a road trip along the coast of California, from San Diego to the Redwoods!
What’s the best first line of a book you’ve ever read? Ironically, the best first line I’ve ever seen belongs to a book I DNF’d, and that book is Mark Lawrence’s Red Sister. It begins like so: “It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size. For Sister Thorn of the Sweet Mercy Convent, Lano Tacsis brought two hundred men.” That line is SO GOOD. I think I’m going to give Red Sister another chance sometime next year; perhaps I just wasn’t in the right mood for it? Everyone loves it so much and I keep hearing so many excellent things about the second book.
Runner-up to this question is The Heart’s Invisible Furies, which begins like so: “Long before we discovered that he had fathered two children by two different women, one in Drimoleague and one in Clonakilty, Father James Monroe stood on the altar of the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in the parish of Goleen, West Cork, and denounced my mother as a whore.” Hilarious.
Do you have any tattoos and do you want any? No and no. I have nothing against tattoos but I am SO indecisive and changeable that there is no way I could pick a design that I would love forever. Plus I hate the idea of having something on my skin f o r e v e r. I don’t like permanence.
If you watch booktube, who’s your favorite booktuber? If you don’t watch booktube, what’s your favorite thing to watch on youtube? I used to not see the appeal of booktube at all, but now I’m obsessed with it! My favorite booktubers are: kat @ paperback dreams, madi @ the book pusher, jean @ jean bookishthoughts, emily @ possibly literate, and sam @ thoughts on tomes. I also watch lots of videos about curly hair care.
Which classic do you think more people should read? I’m not the best person to answer this question because I’ve only very recently started to read classics. I despised them in high school and I was of the opinion that they should be nixed from the curriculum. Now, I’m actively trying to read more classics, especially Gothic classics. So far I haven’t come across anything that’s felt life-changing, though.
What would you consider the most overhyped and the most underhyped book you’ve read in the last year? For the most overhyped book, it’s a tie between V.E. Schwab’s Vicious and Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone. Both were decent books (though the former is much better than the latter), but in my opinion way, way, way overhyped. Underhyped is a more difficult question to answer, because I’ve actually spent this year reading a lot of popular, hyped books…hmm…maybe If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio. It’s not obscure, but in my opinion it doesn’t have the fandom it deserves.
Would you like to work in the publishing industry, or do you prefer to keep books and reading strictly a hobby? I used to want to be an editor, but I don’t anymore. I like the idea of being on the periphery of the publishing industry as a book blogger and potentially an author one day, but I don’t think I would ever actually want to be in the industry as an editor/agent/publicist/etc. It feels like it would be a stressful industry to work in and the sort of place where you bring your work home a lot. Plus I think if reading became work, I wouldn’t love it as much anymore.
If you’re a writer, which author’s style do you think is most similar to your own? If you’re not a writer, which author’s style do you connect with the most as a reader? I am a writer, and this is such a difficult question to answer! It’s gonna sound weird and arrogant, but oddly enough, it’s Victoria Schwab’s writing that I connect with most. Or at least, that I feel like I try to emulate, whether successfully or unsuccessfully. Could this be the reason why her books never wow me as much as they wow everyone else? I just feel like there’s something about her style – simple, yet solid, limited 3rd person POV with a vague air of omniscience – that reminds me of how I write, or how I try to write. Even when I’ve been rejected from things (short story venues) I’ve always been told my writing is clean and engaging, and I think that’s one of my better skills (plot………leaves a lot to be desired lmao).
What’s your least favorite book cover? I have two answers for this! First is the actual worst cover I’ve ever seen that belongs to a book I haven’t read, called A Mad, Wicked Folly. It literally looks like a badly photoshopped forum sig tag from 2008. My second answer is all of the new covers for Libba Bray’s Diviners series. I mean, going from this to this? Dear God, why??????
Who’s your favorite actor/celebrity? I’ve been obsessed with Nina Dobrev for like ten years, since I first started watching The Vampire Diaries. I think she’s a fantastic underrated actress and I also think she is so goddamn beautiful I can’t handle it. I also adore Natalie Dormer and Jasmine Cephas-Jones.