My earliest reading memory
I was around seven when I discovered the Nancy Drew mystery series, about a plucky 18-year-old amateur detective. I think clever, independent Nancy made a wonderful role model.
My favourite book growing up
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. It showed me how words can immerse readers into worlds that don’t exist, and make us long for them to be real.
The book that changed me as a teenager
Legend of the Seventh Virgin by Victoria Holt. I was about 13 when I read it, and it introduced me to gothic suspense, and to the concept that stories need not have perfectly happy endings.
The writer who changed my mind
I was in my 20s, and in medical school, when I read The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. Because she, an Asian American novelist, could hit bestseller lists, she gave me hope that I too could have a writing career.
The book or author I came back to
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I tried reading it in high school, but it seemed too dense. Years later, in my 30s, I devoured it. I think you need some life experience to truly understand poor Anna, and the tragic turns that love can take.
The book I reread
I almost never reread books, because there are so many new ones I want to dive into.
The book I could never read again
Probably those same Nancy Drew mysteries I so adored as an eight-year-old! I tried rereading one recently, and now I wonder why I found them so captivating.
The book I discovered later in life
The Aeneid by Virgil. While travelling in Turkey I had immersed myself in the Iliad, and this seemed like the next piece of the story. I remember being so deeply moved by the story of Queen Dido, and her tragic fate after being betrayed by Aeneas, that I was sobbing on the beach.
The book I am currently reading
A nonfiction book, An Immense World by Ed Yong. It’s about how animals sense the world in wildly different ways than we do, and it’s fascinating!
My comfort read
Any story featuring Sherlock Holmes. He makes you believe that every strange event has a logical explanation, that if one is simply clever enough, any puzzle can be solved. There’s comfort in that.
July 18, 2022 at 02:47PM Tess Gerritsen