What are you reading right now?Children of the Arbat by Anatoli Rybakov.
Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?It's hard to say what mood I will be in then, but aside from my school books I might try Heavy Sand, also by Rybakov, or I might start one of the books for the Outmoded Authors Challenge, I'm excited to read some May Sarton again and the Olivia Manning and Ivy Compton-Burnett have my curiosity piqued. His Dark Materials is also in the queue for a reread.
What magazines do you have in your bathroom right now?
None, unless they're in the garbage can under the sink and they shouldn't be, they're recyclable.
What’s the worst thing you were ever forced to read?
The book on penmanship I had to use in summers between grades in elementary school comes in first. Being and Nothingness is a close second. I threw it across the room. Mostly, I won't finish hateful books. There are too many good ones.
What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?
The Goldbug Variations, often I give it to them too, because I know they probably won't buy it, but don't let that give you any ideas.
Admit it, the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don’t they?Actually not. I reserve books and DVDs online and just pick them up there. There used to be bookstores that knew me, but only 3 Lives and St. Marks get regular visits from me now, and occasionally Strand. Mostly I'll drop into a random shop I'm passing, especially in places other than NYC. Through the internet I can give independent bookseller business and get what I want, they only shame is that I miss browsing and finding new stuff, which is why I still go.
Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don’t like it at all?For Kings and Planets by Ethan Canin. A lot of friends I've told about it have given me a 'huh?' Also Hopeful Monsters by Nicholas Moseley which is one of the best books ever, but many of the people I've recommended it to haven't finished it.
Do you read books while you eat? While you bathe? While you watch movies or TV? While you listen to music? While you’re on the computer? While you’re having sex? While you’re driving?
While I eat yes. I don't bathe, I shower and that would be a little inconvenient. I don't have TV, I'll read while the ragazzo watches DVDs on our monitor, but if I'm watching it too then I won't read. While driving, uh...no. While having sex, hell no, but I do read in bed, as well as on public transport, and while I'm waiting for anything or anyone. I love reading in cafes or bars w/ a glass of wine or a cup of tea while I wait for a friend to show up.
When you were little, did other children tease you about your reading habits?
I was teased for pretty much everything except reading. Most of my classmates were readers too and my friends definitely were.
What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?
Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott was the first fiction book I read after my semester ended, so I read it straight through late into the night just because I could, but The Emporer's Children by Claire Messud kept me very late because I found it a truly compulsive read. Many years ago, one of Iris Murdoch's books, I think it was The Philosopher's Pupil, or it might have been The Message to the Planet actually kept me home from work all day - I had to call in sick.