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Sigrid Nunez once expressed that during her childhood, she aspired to become like Dr Seuss.

Sigrid Nunez once expressed that during her childhood, she aspired to become like Dr Seuss.


The earliest memory I have of reading is…

As a child, one of my most vivid memories is of my mother reading to me even before I could read on my own. I would eagerly trail after her, pleading for her to take a break from her chores and continue reading. Our favorite stories were often from the Grimms’ fairytales collection. However, she never seemed to read for as long as I wanted and I couldn’t comprehend why household tasks were deemed more important. (I still struggle to understand.)

was “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

As a child, the book I loved the most was “To Kill a Mockingbird” written by Harper Lee.

I continued to cherish my childhood fascination with fairytales and also developed a strong interest in myths. I owned a paperback copy of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, featuring eye-catching illustrations by Steele Savage, that was so well-loved it required rubber bands to keep it intact. Being a horse enthusiast, I also became a devoted reader of Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series.

The book that had a profound impact on me during my teenage years.

During a late night, I spent several hours in the bathroom engrossed in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina while everyone else in the apartment was asleep. I distinctly recall choosing to read instead of sleeping, highlighting my strong preference for reading over other activities. This realization made me feel different from those around me at that time. It was then that I truly recognized the value and impact of great books on my life.

The book that inspired my desire to become a writer.

As a young person, I held the belief that I would one day become an author of children’s books. These stories were the ones that inspired me to create my own imaginative tales. I yearned to write about witches, tiny individuals, mythical creatures, and talking animals. My ultimate aspiration was to become like Dr. Seuss.


The writer returned to their job.

During my time in college, I encountered some works written by John Cheever. However, for reasons that elude me, I did not find them particularly impressive. Fortunately, approximately ten years later, when a compilation of his stories was released to great praise, I gave them another chance and became a devoted admirer. Since then, I have revisited many of his 61 stories multiple times and my admiration for this exceptional writer has not waned.

I read the book again.

I frequently have the desire to revisit Proust’s works. One of my go-to reads is Rilke’s The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. Jamaica Kincaid’s powerful novel, Lucy, which depicts a young person’s journey to adulthood, is a text I have taught in multiple literature classes throughout the years. Despite my extensive familiarity with it, every time I reread it, I am able to gain new insights and find it to be a fulfilling experience.

The book I could never read again

A frustrated English teacher once scolded our class, saying, “One day, you will have to read the Bible.” And so I did, from beginning to end (using the King James Version). I don’t recall how long it took, but even with another lifetime, I cannot imagine doing it again.

The book I discovered later in life

I discovered Christopher Isherwood later in life, reading his Berlin Stories for the first time at the age of 60. I was deeply impressed and continued to explore his work with Prater Violet and A Single Man, which greatly influenced my own writing.

is “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.

I am currently reading “The Alchemist” written by Paulo Coelho.

A while back, I completed Walter Kempowski’s last book, All for Nothing, which was translated from German by Anthea Bell. It takes place during the end of the Third Reich and is one of the greatest books I’ve ever read. Currently, I am starting his initial novel, An Ordinary Youth, translated by Michael Lipkin. Originally released in 1971, it is an autobiographical work inspired by Kempowski’s childhood in Nazi Germany.

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My comfort read

I don’t have a specific go-to comfort read. Any book that captures my attention and brings me enjoyment is comforting to me.

Source: theguardian.com