by Edmundo Paz Soldán. Too soon to talk about it but fascinating so
far; looks like it's something I will definitely be recommending. I am
also reading Antología de crónica latinoamericana actual,
edited by Darío Jaramillo, a unique compendium of the best chroniclers
in Latin America. A book every Spanish speaker should own (or at least
What was the last truly great book you read? A wonderful novel by one of my favorite contemporary authors: Javier Marías. His last book, Los enamoramientos,
tells the story of a man's brutal death, stabbed by a stranger on the
street. Throughout the novel Marías unravels the twisted story behind
the death, never fully confirming the truth to his readers because The
Truth, as such is never what it seems and may not even exist. The
captivating story, as in all his novels, is merely the backdrop for all
types of questions about love, death, loyalty, finding out the truth and
what to do with it if you are able to; do you plant a doubt in
someone's mind which will destroy his/her life? It only takes a second, a
Are you a fiction or nonfiction person? What’s your favorite literary genre?
I am definitely a fiction reader. As Barbara Kingsolver
said in her conference at BEA, "Nothing else out there puts you inside
another human mind" and novels that accomplish that are my favorite. I
love a good story, but only if it takes me inside the characters' flow
of thoughts, if I myself can feel the moral dilemmas they are confronted
with, if there is a philosophical, metaphysical, psychological
undercurrent. But I also enjoy non-fiction, particularly biographies and
Any guilty pleasures?
My teenage daughter's first love novels, like Anna and the French Kiss byStephanie Perkins. Those galleys Becky and Jeanne give me for my daughter are a great temptation.
up late on a Saturday morning to an empty home, make coffee, start
reading still in PJ's on the living room couch and read all day. Break
for a very late lunch, shower, maybe go watch a movie with friends, have
a tequila (or two), and then come back and read until 2 or 3 am. Wake
up REALLY late on Sunday and lounge on the same couch to read until
sunset (and the reality of Monday with all the unaccomplished to do's)
falls on me. Before I worked at Books & Books, I loved spending the
whole day reading at the Gables store, moving from the courtyard into
the restaurant (in the great company of Susie Horgan's photographs) and out into the courtyard again.
Your reading habits?
my ideal reading experience seldom happens (it does, but only a few
times a year), so I really read sitting at the Books & Books bar
while having lunch (my favorite time of the day in my favorite place in
the world!), in the car while waiting for my daughter to come out of
after school activities, before bedtime, and as much as I can on
weekends. A habit I cannot seem to break is needing to read many books
at once. I'm always finding a book (or two or three or four) that I
can't wait to read until after I finish the one I'm reading. I literally
don't wait, I start peeking at the first pages and when I read too
much, I end up having two or three started at the same time, advancing a
little in each while trying to decide which one to really settle with
and read first. If I just can't pick, I read two, get a third one in
audio book to listen to on the way to work and back, and then plots and
characters get very confusing. When my daughter asks me what we're
having for dinner and I can't figure out which novel she belongs to, I
know I've gone too far!
Do you prefer a book that makes you laugh or cry?
really because that brings me back into reality, wakes me up, so to
say. If I have to stop to dry some tears, the magic has been broken, I'm
back on my couch or bed and not inside the novel; if I laugh out loud,
it disrupts the silence. I like to absolutely inhabit whatever I'm
reading, lose my sense of self. In terms of the emotions I like to
experience while reading, I think I prefer almost crying to almost
laughing. Of course, my favorite are those authors that have you on the
brink of crying or gasping and then with masterful writing make you
laugh instead, or vice versa.
One that teaches you something or distracts you?
than teach me, show me, take me inside another life, its vulnerability,
and have me questioning everything all over about mine when I come out
again. Of course it's great to get lost in an easy read once in a while:
best, healthiest escape ever!
If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be? Julio Cortázar
What would you want to know?
in particular, just being able to spend a day talking with him about
literature and life, over coffee or a nice dinner as you would with one
of your closest, most influential friends, would be the best treat ever.