21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
I always recommend books I love, but I've actually been trained for book recommending. No, really. When I was in library school, I knew I wanted to focus all my course work on preparing to apply for music librarian jobs, and also did a concentration in technology. I had one elective and I spent it on taking a genre fiction for adults class. My public library friends had a lot more training and experience in doing readers advisory, but the taste I got in that class was great fun. I like figuring out what it is that a friend or student has liked about a particular book before suggesting other books. "What did you like about it?" is the key!
22. Favorite genre?
Post-apocalypse and dystopia. Side note - my spell check always suggests I change dystopia to utopia. Hmm.
23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
How much time do you have? I think my biggest area of reading envy has to do with genres I already read. I feel like I'm never going to catch up on science fiction, post-modern literature, etc., etc. I also admire people who regularly read history books. Other than a few exceptional music history books (The Rest Is Noise by Alex Ross is so spectacular I have read it twice; and The Gesualdo Hex by Glenn Watkins was great fun), I just can't even force myself to try.
24. Favorite biography?
My Life by Bill Clinton is one of my favorites - the audio book is read by him and is really enjoyable. However I think the foodie biographies are going to win it for me, hands down. I couldn't not mention Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, My Life in France by Julia Child, and Heat by Bill Buford. I have a soft spot for people who made food their careers after I decided it wouldn't be mine!
25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
One book that I resisted reading for a while because I had dismissed it as a self-help book is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It changed how I worked, and I'll always be grateful to my boss at the time for recommending it. I was just a graduate intern back then! The next one I plan to read, along the same lines Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
26. Favorite cookbook?
Oh. Oh my. One thing you might not know about me is that I'm a hobby baker. I couldn't live without Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or Baking with Julia or The Bread Baker's Apprentice . Still, the cookbook I use the most is Vegan Planet , and I swear by any recipe Robin Robertson writes. She is a vegan who hasn't forgotten what food should taste like, and her recipes are friendly even for people who aren't vegetarian.
27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Livingby Dan Savage
28. Favorite reading snack?
Cheetos! What a nightmare that would be, hmm? I don't have a favorite snack for reading but I imagine if I did it would include chocolate.
29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
Sometimes I won't read a book for a long time because of hype, and then feel like it is too common to like it. In reality, I should be thrilled when good authors receive hype, because it means they will be more likely to write more. It is my own hype that will most often ruin a reading experience, because I'll have high expectations and then be annoyed if a book doesn't meet them.
30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
Ha. Anyone who has followed my reviews for any length of time knows how often I will end up disagreeing with judges for awards, at least. I wanted to personally chastise any critics who rated Freedom by Jonathan Franzen highly. Cross-reference this American Chickens three-panel review of Freedom to see exactly how I felt!