WHAT BOOK would novelist Lauren Weisberger take to a desert island?
- Novelist Lauren Weisberger is currently reading The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz
- She would take Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy to a desert island with her
- Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume first got her into reading
…are you reading now?
The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz. I don’t always love books about writers, but this one is a terrific exception.
When a middling novelist and writing professor is faced with a question — what to do with the winning book idea of his student who has died before having a chance to write the book — you can’t help but ask yourself the same thing.
And I don’t think the answer is as obvious as we’d all like to think! I’m only half-way through, but this one hits close to home in all the best ways.
…would you take to a desert island?
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I read it for the first time in college and then again in my 20s. While I haven’t read it since then, I want to. As an English major and general book-lover, I’ve read my share of both assigned classics and all-time greats but, in my opinion, Anna Karenina is the best of them all. Anna and Vronsky are both so complex, so intricately drawn, and their affair is one for the ages.
I love the rendering of Russian imperial society and all the themes of marriage, family and betrayal. The levels of complexity would surely keep me busy on my deserted island far longer than, let’s say, The Bible. So it seems like a lay-up.
Novelist Lauren Weisberger is currently reading The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz
…first gave you the reading bug?
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. I probably read this book for the first time when I was around nine years old and, to this day, I remember thinking: Margaret understands me!
What a gift for a young reader, that realisation that an author — through a fictional character — can crawl inside your head and put words to thoughts and feelings you thought were yours alone.
Margaret was the perfect friend-character to journey with: sympathetic, sweet, a little bit sassy. Her struggles and worries and triumphs at 12 were all of ours, and I’ll never forget that new and wonderful feeling that there were others who experienced these things, too.
Judy Blume was the most transformative author of my childhood — I loved all her books, but this was my favourite.
. . . left you cold?
Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Sorry, but it’s true. What’s worse is I didn’t even read it. My husband (also an English major) realised neither of us had ever read this classic. It was a fact I could live with, but he could not so, recently, he bought a large paperback home and began assiduously working his way through it.
Unfortunately, despite my protestations, he insisted on reading large chunks of it aloud to me, which was nothing short of torture. It was long-winded, tedious, and boring. I’d beg him to stop.
I only heard excerpts here and there (mostly while I was too tired to walk away), and let’s suffice it to say that I won’t be revisiting it anytime soon.
WHERE The Grass Is Green by Lauren Weisberger (HarperCollins, £12.99).
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