Last week, we talked to Tori. This week, we’re revisiting Becca. This post was originally published on October 5, 2018.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’ve always been a book nerd so it was no surprise that I became an English teacher. When most people find out that I’m an English teacher, they picture me reading Ulysses or some other equally confounding tomb. Suckers! I love comic books, classic books, and a cereal box if it’s within reach. My dog, Nala, loves when I read out loud to her. Her favorite book is Things Fall Apart, but I don’t have the heart to tell her she’s on her own there. This picture is of Nala waiting for me to read some lit theory to her.
If you could spend a night hanging out with three authors, living or dead, who would you choose?
I’d like to hang out with Oscar Wilde, drinking champagne (obviously), Zadie Smith, and James Baldwin. All 3 of them speak to me so much and I can’t help but go back to their work time and again.
Which classic or popular book do you hate?
I don’t really like The Crucible. It’s boring. I don’t like teaching it or even showing the movie anymore. We get it, Daniel Day Lewis — you only have your name. But news flash: you create your identity, not those wiggos. I also never read any of the Harry Potter books until my mother-in-law made me read the first one when I was about to graduate from college. I guess it’s good for 11-year-olds, but not so much if you’re 22.
How do you keep track of books you’ve finished and books you want to read?
I use Goodreads to keep track of books that I want (and basically to generate my wish lists for my birthday and holidays). I like that it suggests other books to read once I’ve finished one.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
- White Teeth by Zadie Smith — I can’t really articulate what all I like about this book (the writing! the characters! the plot! the underlying commentary on post-colonialism!), but it’s always had a special place in my heart.
- A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles — This is just such a wonderful story told in a delightful voice. I was reading a few books about Russia at the time…BONUS: Towles is apparently a distant relative of my husband!
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald — I re-read this every semester when I teach it and notice new things EVERY TIME!
- The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama — Books don’t usually make me cry like I did when I read this, but maybe it’s the fact that I recently finished it and am nostalgic/sad/disgusting with our current world.
- The Giver by Lois Lowry — This is the first book I remember reading that stressed the importance of thinking for yourself and not buying into what other people want from you.
Finally, leave us with your favorite bookish quote.