Em is a library director and teaches media production to youth. She voraciously listened to the Harry Potter audiobooks in 2007 and ever since has consistently been reading/listening to at least two books at a time (not in unison). She loves books with strong characters; a little bit of fantasy, sci-fi, or dystopia; and stories that make her sad or happy (generally teary eyed). In her “spare time”, she co-hosts the radio show, Bound By Books, with three amazing tween readers.
Random questions below provided by some friendly young adults.
If you could live in the world of a book, which book world would you most want to live in and which would you least want to live in?
I would want to live in the world of The Hobbit. Mostly I want to live in the Shire. I don’t really need to go on any adventures to places with giant spiders or anything. I would least like to live in the world of Ship Breaker; I would not last a day there.
If you could be any inanimate object, what would you be?
I would want to be a piano, but preferably one that gets played more often than mine and by a really amazing pianist who plays lots of Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy, and Schubert.
If you could have any super power what would it be?
I would have a super power that sends out a wave of calmness. Basically, I’d make people chill out when tension was running high.
What is a color you miss in nature after a snow storm?
I don’t miss any colors right after a snow storm. Usually everything looks so dirty and dead right before a snowstorm, so I appreciate the nice clean blanket of white. But otherwise, the obvious answer is green (unless we’re talking freak snowstorm that puts an end to a beautiful orange-red-yellow autumn in which case, orange).
What are the qualities that make a good friend?
Fun, funny, easy-going, trust-worthy, thoughtful, and invested in learning/growing. Nora gets extra points for being vegan and eating/cooking food with me and for sharing my love of YA.
What is the best dream you have ever had?
Any dream where I am not stressed or scared or owing a lot of money is wonderful.
If you had to have one song stuck in your head for the rest of your life what would you choose?
I’d pick this sitar and tabla music by Zakir Hussain (I’m not sure who plays sitar with him). It’s soothing. I’ve used it to help a friend overcome his insomnia. I think it could fade into the background when other music was on but be enjoyable when I actually want to hear it as well.
If you had to be trapped in a TV show for a month, which show would you choose?
I’m going with Quantum Leap. I would get to go all over the place and hang out with Scott Bakula.
What YA character would you most like to be friends with?
I would be friends with Luna Lovegood. She is so nice. And I appreciate her quirkiness.
What inspired you to start blogging about YA literature?
I read so many books but have little opportunity to discuss them and my most active book club was made up of teachers who were not really needing opportunities to talk about books intended for young adults (that’s what they do with their kids every day). I also enjoy the process of reviewing books and tv/film and was looking for an outlet.
What is your favorite non-YA book?
I love Kindred by Octavia Butler. It’s sad that she had to leave us so soon. If I could cheat and pick two, my other favorite non-YA book would be Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. I love the line “Oh to be a pear tree – any tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the beginning of the world!” Beautiful.
What is your favorite thing about yourself?
I’m easy-going (my seventh-grade English teacher told me I was “even-keeled”). It’s a nice way to be.
When did you start reading YA literature?
In elementary school and middle school, I was really into Sweet Valley High and scary stories by Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine. In high school, I switched over to adult books except for the occasional classic-crossover like Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, and Fahrenheit 451. I came back to YA as an adult when I finally decided to venture into the world of Harry Potter via audiobook (I had a very long commute to work). Jim Dale (vocal artist for Harry Potter audiobooks) and J.K. Rowling are both amazing. I would sometimes get home at the end of my commute and sit in my car listening to the books until a good stopping point.
What is your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?
India. Definitely, India. The food alone wins India my top destination vote, though there is plenty more to love about the country for sure.
What is one book you wish you could change or re-write?
I would change and re-write the entire Twilight series (I am assuming all four, since I haven’t read Breaking Dawn yet). I would make Edward less creepy/stalkerish and I would make them more condensed and less redundant. I want to like these books, but I find myself bored far too often. I would also cut a little Quidditch out of the early Harry Potter books. The series gets so much better once Quidditch dies down a bit.