Meet Our Readers' Advisors

Rachel

What do you look for in a good book?
The most important things I look for in a good book are good character development and descriptive writing. For me, if I can’t envision the character and the world they live in, I really struggle with connecting to their story. When done well, finishing a book can be a bittersweet experience and I often find myself thinking of characters long after I have returned the book. Usually, I am drawn towards historical fiction, mysteries and literary fiction, especially books that are a little quirky or have magical elements to them. Although I am very loyal to my favorite genres and authors, I try to read new writers and books that are outside of my comfort zone as much as I can. I still have a lot of trouble enjoying classic literature, but I will keep trying! ​

What are you reading right now?
I am reading The Visitors by Sally Beauman and listening to the audiobook version of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Enjoying both!​

If you could have dinner with one author, living or dead, who would it be?
David Sedaris, hands down. I think we would have very amusing and wonderfully strange conversations. In my fantasy world, he would go on to write a story about our memorable dinner and it would be on an episode of WBEZ’s This American Life

What are your hobbies and interests other than reading?
I enjoy spending time outside whenever I can, going to the movies and traveling. ​

See more of Rachel's favorite books on Pinterest.

 

Katy

What do you look for in a good book?
I enjoy books that challenge the reader, with a variety of complex characters and no easy answers. If you can surprise me, if you can turn a trope on its head and show me something new, I’ll be happy! I tend to be drawn to fantasy fiction with an emphasis on culture-creation, psychological horror, and magical realism; and I enjoy well-crafted short stories as much as complex door-stopper novels. Dysfunctional families and the other tropes of contemporary literary fiction tend to hold little appeal for me, but give me an unusual perspective or a unique character viewpoint and I’ll at least be willing to give it a try! A lyrical or lush writing style will draw me in immediately. Some of my favorite authors include Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Bear, Margaret Atwood, Charles De Lint, Ursula Le Guin, Louise Penny, JRR Tolkien, and Joe Hill.

What are you reading right now?
I’ve just started re-reading the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. I don’t watch the Game of Thrones TV series, but the books are amazing!​

If you could have dinner with one author, living or dead, who would it be?
I’d dig into a slice of pie in an all-night diner somewhere out west with Jack Kerouac, drink wine in a small Parisian café with young Ernest Hemingway, or share a big plate of good fresh sushi with Neil Gaiman.

What are your hobbies and interests other than reading?
Photography, embroidery, physical anthropology.​

See more of Katy's favorite books on Pinterest.

 

Heather

What do you look for in a good book?
I am drawn to novels that are written by authors who live in other countries. Some of my favorite authors are Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan), Haruki Murakami (Japan), and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria). The books that I consider to be great offer me a new way of understanding the world, especially in a psychological or philosophical way. ​

What are you reading right now?
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

If you could have dinner with one author, living or dead, who would it be?
Since I think The Metamorphosis is one of the most profound and perfectly written stories I have ever read, I would have to say Franz Kafka. I realize that he may not necessarily be the most delightful dinner date.

See more of Heather's favorite books on Pinterest.