|Read All Over celebrates the bookworm in all of us, showcasing readers in Vancouver and the books they love most.|
What's on your nightstand right now? Are you enjoying it?
Well I usually read five to seven books at a time. So it's not just one thing. [/humblebrag] But I'm currently reading:
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon (struggling to maintain interest)
The Death and Life of American Cities by Jane Jacobs (loving it, a really intelligent look at city design)
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (enjoyed it a lot at the start, but interest is petering off, nearly done though)
I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video edited by Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks (fun, light and on a subject that interests me)
Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis (I wanted to read a biography of Jim Henson, this is kindof like that, plus Sesame Street was a big influence on my childhood),
The Man Who Was Thursday by GK Chesterton (it feels sort of dated, but it is good, I'm enjoying it with reservations)
and the Rolling Stone Interviews (occasionally fascinating, plus it's easy to flip through)
What genre do you usually prefer?
Well as you can see I read a lot and omnivorously, fiction and non-fiction. My current reading list doesn't really represent my love of sci-fi and fantasy, probably because I read those books really quickly so they're rarely in my list of books for long, but it does showcase my curiosity in pop culture, science, and literature.
What's next on your list?
I've got a few books in the wings.
Old Man's War by John Scalzi (some classic sci fi),
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (to keep up on weird urban fantasy), and
A Bomb In Every Issue: How the Short Unruly Life of Ramparts Magazine Changed America (an influential '60s-'70s magazine I know little about, but I'm very curious).
Who is your favourite Vancouver author/ What is your favourite story set in Vancouver?
My favourite Vancouver author is definitely William Gibson, but since he didn't really set more than a small portion of his books in Vancouver I'd have to say my favourite story set in Vancouver is My Year of the Racehorse by Kevin Chong.
What magazines/journals can you not live without?
I actually hardly ever read magazines these days, but if I see them I'll flip through the Believer, Lucky Peach, the Atlantic, the New Yorker, or any music magazine.
Do you read these mostly online or print?
I didn't count online stuff in the last question... I read a lot online, mostly for current information: it's hard to find a good book on what happened yesterday. My online reading habits are extensive, but tend towards news sites, liberal commentary sites, video game blogs, tech sites, my Facebook wall, and Boing Boing, none of which I'd consider a magazine in the traditional sense.
Where is your favourite place to crack open a book in the city?
The 99 B Line. It's where I do most of my reading.
What is your reading style in five words or less?
Slouched in a bus seat.
Which books/authors have influenced you the most?
Hunter S. Thompson, William Gibson, Catch 22, Hemingway, Neil Gaiman, High Fidelity, Iain M. Banks Culture Series, David Foster Wallace's essays.
Were you obsessed with any particular book or story as a child?
The Lord of the Rings trilogy. My dad had a paperback copy that contained the whole trilogy that was a giant tome. I read it until it fell apart, then I kept going with the pieces.
What were your favourites growing up?
Tolkien, the Narnia books, Brian Jacques, Jim Kjelgaard, Anne McCaffrey, Watership Down, the Forgotten Realms series.
Was there any individual in particular that shaped your development as a reader? How?
Probably my mom was the most influential. She'd take me to the public library every week.
Are you a hoarder or a give-away-er with books?
Definitely a hoarder, though I do like to loan things out, but I want them back dammit!
What's the last book you lent/gave away?
I tried really hard to loan a friend a book so she could be reading it when she met a blind date, and strike up a conversation about the book, but she couldn't decide on one and cancelled the date. Presumably she cancelled the date because she couldn't figure out which book she liked best.
If you enjoy this series, and what The Vancouver Book Club is all about, why don't you give us a shout? We're looking for contributors to help out with the section. Please shoot me (Jen Kim) an email at books (at) vancouverisawesome.com.