This is the eighth interview for Reader of the Month.
I first knew Kendal H. as Kendal T. We were freshmen at Baylor, in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core (BIC) , and lived in the same dorm. Since the beginning of our friendship, Kendal and I talked about books. While I enjoyed lighter fiction, Kendal favored Russian writers of tomes. 🙂 Also, Kendal has been one of my biggest encouragers in reading and posting reviews. So, let’s roll with the interview!
1. What’s the best thing you’ve read in the past year?
It’s too hard to pick just one book! There are a few that stand out: Life of Pi by Yann Martel, One Day by David Nicholls, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas, and The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.
2. Do you have any quirks when it comes to reading?
I’m not sure if this is a quirk, but I refused to use e-readers because I didn’t like the name of Amazon’s e-reader (the Kindle – it’s too close to my own name and now people spell my name K-I-N-D-L-E). Only recently have I begun using my husband’s Kindle. I caved when I found No Name by Wilkie Collins for free in Amazon’s library after finding out our library doesn’t have the book.
3. What’s on your bookshelf or in your book bag?
I keep the books I’m currently reading on my bedside table at home. I’m currently reading No Name by Wilkie Collins and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.
4. Who supplies your reading material?
Ultimately, the library. I find books to read by searching lists on Goodreads, or other websites (including Jorie’s), the Sunday NYT Book Lists, NPR book lists, or This Week In Tech’s Audible suggestions. I can usually find most of the books I want to read at our local library.
I also get some of my books through my husband’s Audible account. Adam (my husband), prefers to listen to books, so each year for his birthday I sign him up for 2 books a month for the year. I love that he exposes me to genres I would never otherwise read. I also love that he has taught me to enjoy listening to books. It’s amazing how much more I enjoy cleaning my house when I have a good book to listen to! Adam mostly reads (listens to) science fiction and non-fiction economics books.
My dad is an avid reader and he often sends me books after he’s done reading them (he uses Half Price Books as his expensive library) and I have I always enjoyed what he sends me (usually historical non-fiction or mystery books). He only sends me something if he thinks it is worth putting in the mail, so I know it must be good!
My book club is my final source of reading material. I started a book club this year with some local friends. We submit books we want to read and then vote on them. I’m hoping I’ll be introduced to some new authors and genres through this club. Our club is relatively new (we’ve only met 3 times since starting in March), and we seem to have varied tastes.
5. What type of reading do you usually enjoy?
Classics, mysteries, historical-fiction, historical non-fiction, and non-fiction books. I think last year I read too much fiction, so this year I’m trying to balance out my reading with more non-fiction books. Although, honestly, it takes me a lot longer to get through non-fiction books than most fiction books.
6. Who are some authors that you read regardless of anything?
Agatha Christie, Ray Bradburry, Wilkie Collins, Lisa See, Jane Austen, and Charles Dickens. Agatha Christie is my chicken-noodle soup for reading. I grab one of her books if I want a fast, easy, enjoyable read for an airplane.
7. What’s on your TBR (to be read) list?
- Lady Audley’s Secret – Mary Elizabeth Braddon
- The Magician’s Assistant – Ann Patchett
- The Ethical Assassin – David Liss
- Empress Orchid – Anchee Min
- Imperial Woman: The Story of the Last Empress of China – Pearl S. Buck
- The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
- Paper Towns – John Green
- Cloud Atlas – Liam Callahan
- The Crime at Black Dudley – Margery Allingham
8. Can you recall a book that changed your life? How so?
Green Feet (Keys to Reading). My family moved twice every year while I was in the first, second and third grades (I had two teachers at two different schools for each grade!). I think this is why I had trouble with reading and math in first and second grade. My second-grade teacher sent me home with a first-grade level reader over summer vacation and at some point that summer it finally clicked and I figured out how to read. I don’t remember how or why it clicked, but it did. I loved that reader. I loved the pictures and the simple stories. It was through that book that I discovered I loved to read.
9. What was something you enjoyed reading as a child?
Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel, the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary, Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, Runaway Girl by Ruth Morris, The Haunting of Frances Rain by Margaret Buffie, The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford, Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls, The Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing Hahn, The White Mountains by John Christopher, all Roald Dahl books… I could go on and on. I love children’s literature! I loved reading as a kid (almost exclusively fiction). I would often stay up all night reading during the summers. I had so many favorites. My dad took me to the library every weekend to pick out new books to read. I’d wander the children’s section where we had a vast collection of older books in our library – hardbacks with crinkly dust jackets and old faded pictures on the front. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the names of a lot of the books I read as a kid.
10. Where do you like to read?
In bed or the bathtub (especially when it’s cold out), or at the kitchen table when I’m eating dinner (I’m a bad library patron – bathtubs and food all around my books!).
11. Other than reading, what do you like doing?
Running, biking, quilting, knitting, baking, photography, traveling, rubber stamping, antiquing (if that is such a thing?). I love listening to a book while I quilt or walk my dogs.
12. Where can we find you online?
Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter.
13. Would you like to make a shout out to any other avid readers that are online?
14. How about sharing five random facts about you?
- I eat homemade granola almost every day.
- I’m an avid cyclist
- I collect Toby mugs because I like their ugly little faces.
- I don’t have a TV.
- I’m a vegetarian.
15. What do you challenge other people to read?
I guess by hosting a book club I’m challenging some of my friends to read. Some of my friends were going to read regardless, but some of my other friends don’t read anything except our book club book (if they read it at all). Our next couple of books include Cloud Atlas and Life of Pi. I’m hoping even more of my friends might be willing to read books being made into movies. We plan on going as a club to watch these movies together. =)