Lynne Rae Perkins is a Newbery Award Winning author of “Criss Cross”, “Wintercake”, “Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea” and many other fine books as well as an accomplished illustrator. Look for her newest book “Little Bird” written by Cynthia Voigt and illustrated by Lynne Rae this October at Bay Books.
On your nightstand now:
You’ve Got to Read This: Contemporary American Writers Introduce Stories That Held Them in Awe (It’s short stories – reading these before bed)
And, Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty, poems by Tony Hoagland, which I’m currently reading with my morning coffee.
Favorite book when you were a child: Because there were hundreds, I’ll pick two:
The Forgotten Door, by Alexander Key, and Blitz, by Hetty Burlingame Beatty.
Your top five authors: Alice Munro, Charles Dickens, Russell Hoban, Miriam Toews, and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Book you’ve faked reading:
What comes to mind is how when I go to conferences, I like to have read work by my fellow presenters, but I don’t always give myself enough time. I have a clear feeling of having given (or tried to give) the impression I read someone’s entire book, when I had only got part way through, but enough to drop a few key phrases or ideas. But I can’t remember which books those were.
Book you’re an evangelist for:
Hmmmm. Lately, I’ve been kind of gaga over Amor Towles’s A Gentleman in Moscow. Because I didn’t expect to like it, and then I didn’t want it to end.
Book you’ve bought for the cover:
Are you kidding – I’m a childrens’ book person! I do this all the time! For example:
But I do it with grownup books, too. I distinctly remember buying this one for its cover, and this was 40-ish years ago:
Book you hid from your parents: My journal.
Book that changed your life:
Well, they almost all do, don’t they? But I remember encountering Vonnegut in high school and being completely taken with his way of looking at and describing the world. Like nothing I had met up with before. And it seemed useful somehow.
Favorite line from a book: “’Oh my,’ she exclaims, her breath smoking the windowpane, ‘it’s fruitcake weather!’” Although in my mind, I usually leave out the middle part. It’s from Truman Capote’s story, A Christmas Memory.
Five books you’ll never part with: The Philosophy of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman, Under Milkwood by Dylan Thomas, 100 Demons by Lynda Barry, The Thanksgiving Visitor/A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote, CDB by William Steig.
Do you ever read anything besides books by white euro-people:
YES, YES, YES! Here are just a few that I have loved:
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngochi Adichie, White Teeth by Zadie Smith, Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie, White Tiger by Aravand Adiga, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa. Many more.