More Conversation with Star

What book should everybody read by 21?
“The Wind in the Willows.” 

What book should nobody read until the age of 40?
“Persuasion,” or “The House of Mirth.”

Do you count any books as guilty pleasures, or comfort reads?

Alexander McCall Smith’s “The Sunday Philosophy Club,” series. Also, Sharyn McCrumb’s Ballad Novels. “She Walks
These Hills” still haunts me. And “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.”

What’s the last book you read that made you laugh?
“The Deepest South of All: True Stories From Natchez, Mississippi"

What is the last book that made you cry?
“Pax.”

Which subject do you wish more authors would write about?
I will have to concur with Diane Johnson, and say friendship. Something so crucially important
to living an optimal life should be highlighted more.

What moves you most in a work of literature?
Finesse —the ability to be concise, no unnecessary word choices, just the most perfect ones
strung together. That kind of skill leaves me breathless. Cormac McCarthy drips finesse.

Do you prefer books that reach you emotionally or intellectually?

I can’t separate the two when choosing what I will read. I read for illumination, and that makes it
emotional to me.

What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with
you most?

Voracious! I remember reading “Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth,” in fourth
grade. E. L. Konigsburg is a favorite of mine. I devoured all the Nancy Drew series soon there after. I loved “Little Women,”
and the “Little House on the Prairie” books, too. “The Children of Green Knowe,” “Lucky, Lucky
White Horse,” and “The Hounds of Baskervilles,” occupied space in my nightstand bookcase.

Disappointing, overrated, just no good: What book do you feel as if you were supposed
to like, and didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

“The Poisonwood Bible.” I love, love Barbara Kingsolver. “Prodigal Summer” is a fav, as is
“Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.” I’m hard passing on TPB.

What do you plan to read next?
“Lorna Mott Comes Home,” “Palace of the Drowned,” ”This Is Your Mind on Plants,” and
“Everyone Knows Your Mother Is A Witch,” are “Jumping the Queue.”