I got the chance to ask Lauren Baratz-Logsted one question for her One Question Interview Blog Tour, and because I’m always interested in books people recommend to one another, it was this:
Q: I noticed in your bio that you used to work at a bookseller and you had other book related jobs. What are some of your favorite books to recommend people (let’s say top 5 or 10?) and why?
A: Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It’s my favorite novel by a living author. (The Great Gatsby is my favorite novel by a dead author.) I once saw someone on the beach reading it and experienced intense book envy that the person had the discovery of much of the book still ahead.
Freeze Frame, by Heidi Ayarbe. This YA novel about a boy who isn’t sure if he intended to kill his friend or not is a perfect example of why adults love YA these days too.
The Memoirs of Cleopatra, by Margaret George. The title tells you exactly what it’s about and this doorstopper has given me more pleasure than any other historical novel.
Breath, by Tim Winton. This Australian novel was my favorite adult novel in 2008. Without the framing device of an adult telling a story about his teenage self this could have been easily published as YA. The story, about a boy’s fascination with surfing and the dark road down which it leads him, is thoroughly gripping.
Forever on the Mountain, by James M. Tabor. A nonfiction account of a real mountain-climbing expedition gone bad, this is so well done that even though the reader knows from the start just exactly who will make it down the mountain and who will not, it’s still edge-of-the-seat suspenseful.
Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Ann Burns. Back when I was a bookseller a woman came into the store wearing dark glasses. It was obvious she’d been crying. “Just give me something good to read,” she said. After mentally rejecting more serious literary and dark commercial fare for fear those books might send her running for the open windows, I handed her this charming crowd-pleaser. She bought it and came back the following week to thank me. She said I’d saved her life with that book. How can I not love and go on recommending a book that saved a woman’s life???
Baratz-Logsted has a new Young Adult novel, The Education of Bet, coming out on July 12th. The story is about a girl pretending to be a boy in Victorian England. From the blurb on Amazon:
“When Will and Bet were four, tragic circumstances brought them to the same house, to be raised by a wealthy gentleman as brother and sister. Now sixteen, they’ve both enjoyed a privileged upbringing thus far. But not all is well in their household. Because she’s a girl, Bet’s world is contained within the walls of their grand home, her education limited to the rudiments of reading, writing, arithmetic, and sewing. Will’s world is much larger. He is allowed—forced, in his case—to go to school. Neither is happy.So Bet comes up with a plan and persuades Will to give it a try: They’ll switch places. She’ll go to school as Will. Will can live as he chooses. But once Bet gets to school, she soon realizes living as a boy is going to be much more difficult than she imagined.”
It sounds like it could be cute, especially since she develops a crush on her roommate at the Betterman Academy.
Previous stop (June 22) @ Persephone reads: If you could bring any character – not your own – to life for a day, who would it be and why?
Next stop (June 24) @Wendy Toliver: If an alien offered to give you any position in the world, what would you choose?
Originally posted on janicu.vox.com