Nightstand Reading: Newbery winner Rebecca Stead

This month’s guest blogger is Rebecca Stead, author of When You Reach Me, a middle-grade novel that just won the Newbery Medal (the most distinguished honor in children’s literature). Rebecca is in Seattle today to visit schools, chat with Nancy Pearl for an upcoming episode of Book Lust on the Seattle Channel  and to read tonight at the University Village Barnes and Noble (7 p.m., 206.517.4107). We’re thrilled that in the midst of a busy book tour, Rebecca took the time to share what she’s been reading — and what she will soon be reading.

So, here’s what’s on Rebecca Stead’s nightstand:

Currently reading:
by Jane Austen. This is my last Jane Austen novel, and I am savoring it. I refused to read it in my twenties because it was published posthumously and I thought that meant it had probably been “finished up” by some man. It turns out to be wonderful.

Seed Across Snow by Kathleen Driskell. Kathleen is a poet who taught a workshop I attended earlier this month. I’m a long-time poetry-phobe, and it was a real stretch, but she made me see a future for myself that includes poetry. Amazing.

Recently finished reading:
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. A fantastic book. The writing is gorgeous, almost impressionistic in some parts. But it’s also a complicated, moving, all-around satisfying story. I’m a fan.

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. This was different from what I expected after reading What is the What. The writing is entirely straightforward, and the book is a bit like a very long, well-written newspaper article that completely held my interest.

Spooner by Pete Dexter. I read this book because Nancy Pearl told me to (on NPR), and I completely fell for it. I’d read Dexter’s Paris Trout, and was prepared for the possibility of a dark story. But it’s something completely different, fresh and amazing. I think it’s about recognizing the people who have made you: my favorite kind of love story.

Started to read, and then put down:
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson. I enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but I couldn’t stay with this one very long. I will try again someday.

Looking forward to reading:
Where The God of Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom. My husband just gave me this book for my birthday. I love short stories, and enjoyed Amy Bloom’s other collections. I hear that some of the characters from her earlier work appear here, in later stages of their lives. That kind of thing always hooks me – I’m actually going to get to find out what these folks have been up to all these years.

2 thoughts on “Nightstand Reading: Newbery winner Rebecca Stead”

  1. I recently finished ‘Let the Great World Spin’ and found it beautiful and heartbreaking. I loved how all the characters were living their own lives although they were part of a greater story that ultimately connected them all.

  2. I really enjoyed both of Steig Larsson’s posthumously written novels and am looking forward to the last one being published. I figure that parts of the book should have been edited out, but I wonder if because he had already died if the editors couldn’t/wouldn’t do that. Other than the few parts that seemed to be rambling, I really like both books.

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