Which genres are you drawn to and which do you avoid?
I’m pretty omnivorous — in fact, I don’t think of books in terms of genres. J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books are no more Y.A. reading, to me, than John le Carré’s Smiley novels are spy stories.
That said, I enjoy thrillers, science fiction, graphic novels, dystopian fiction, cyberpunk, sports books (especially anything by Roger Angell).
The one genre I’m not really into: self-help books.
What kind of reader were you as a child? Who were your favorite books or authors? Heroes or heroines?
When I was a child, reading was a refuge and a magical form of transport to other worlds. When my parents got a new refrigerator, my father cut a door and windows in the box it came in, creating a playhouse for me — or, rather, a private reading room, where I could hide out with a stack of books and a flashlight.
I read anything and everything, but especially loved “A Wrinkle in Time,” the Oz books, Winnie-the-Pooh, “Horton Hears a Who!,” the Landmark series of biographies, Edith Hamilton’s “Mythology,” Paul de Kruif’s “Microbe Hunters,” the Marguerite Henry-Wesley Dennis horse books (“Misty of Chincoteague,” “Brighty of the Grand Canyon”) and animal stories like Sterling North’s “Rascal,” Joy Adamson’s “Born Free” and Gavin Maxwell’s “Ring of Bright Water.” I also spent hours looking things up in the World Book Encyclopedia.
Favorite heroines and heroes: Meg Murry in “A Wrinkle in Time,” Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Max in “Where the Wild Things Are,” Lucy in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” Frodo in “The Lord of the Rings” and Nancy Drew.
If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?
“Richard III” (Shakespeare).
What’s the one book you wish someone else would write?