All About the Books – with Gwenda Bond
We’re delighted to bring you the answers today of Gwenda Bond, the talented and beautiful author of Blackwood (out in all good bookshops in September!)
1) One Book That Changed My Life
Having to choose just one book induces an existential crisis (all over again!), so I’m going to cheat and choose two. One would have to be an anthology I encountered earlyish in childhood, Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbinders in Suspense, which had a fabulous cover and an even more fabulous TOC. “The Birds” was one of the first truly creepy stories I read, and add to that “The Most Dangerous Game” (I grew up in the south surrounded by hunting culture) and stories by Robert Bloch, Roald Dahl, and Dorothy Sayers, I was hooked. The second is a book I came to in adulthood, Lewis Hyde’s The Gift, which I think every writer/artist/creative should read. It’s also an accidental but fair approximation of an operating guide for the internet that I’d sum up as ‘Give freely and you’ll get more out of it.’
2) One Book I’ve HAD to Read More Than Once
Well, I’ve never been forced to read a book more than once. But one book I’ve reread more than a few times is Jonathan Carroll’s Bones of the Moon, a novel about a woman named Cullen James and her encounters with the strange land of Rondua. It came highly recommended to me, and I’d kept an eye out for it in used bookstores for a couple of years before I found a copy. It lived up to the wait.
3) One Book I’d Want on a Desert Island
The Norton Anthology of Children’s Literature, purely based on length and variety, since I’m guessing “MacBook” isn’t allowable. Not to mention, desert island is probably wireless-free.
4) One Book That Made Me Laugh
This is almost a cheat, but not quite: Daniel Pinkwater’s 5 Novels. It’s one book, but it collects five (obviously), and some of my favorites, especially Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars, Young Adult Novel, and The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death.
5) One Book That Made Me Cry
I know I’m not alone here, but most recently I was sobbing before the end of the first chapter of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, and most of the way through. When I wasn’t laughing, that is. That’s how I knew it was brilliant.
6) One Book I Wish I’d Written
I don’t wish I’d written other people’s books (feels too much like wishing to be another person), but I would love to write something as wonderful as Margaret Mahy’s The Changeover someday. Or as wonderful as most of her books, really.
7) One Book I’m Currently Reading
I tend to be a book monogamist, not counting nonfiction, and I just started Malinda Lo’s Adaptation. It’s a departure for her, an SF thriller instead of another lush high fantasy. I’m excited. I do love a writer with range.
8) One Book I’m Intending to Read
Libba Bray’s The Diviners! She had me the moment I heard it was set in the Roaring Twenties, and now I hear it’s scary too. I can’t wait.
Anything you fancy adding to your reading list now?