Shelf Awareness

shelfBOOK BRAHMINS: VALERIE BLOCK

Valerie Block is the author of three novels, Was It Something I Said? (SoHo Press, 1998), None of Your Business(Ballantine, 2003) and, released last month, Don’t Make a Scene (Ballantine, $24.95, 9780345461858/0345461851), a fresh comedy of manners for movie lovers mystified by real life. She lives in Montclair, N.J., with her husband, the writer Alexis Romay. She can be reached at valerieblock.com. Here she answers questions we occasionally put to people in the industry:

ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND NOW:
Totally, Tenderly, Tragically: Essays and Criticism from a Lifelong Love Affair with the Movies by Phillip Lopate

FAVORITE BOOK WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD:
Ferdinand the Bull by Munro Leaf

YOUR TOP FIVE AUTHORS:
Michael Frayn, Nancy Mitford, Philip Roth, David Sedaris, Muriel Spark

BOOK YOU’VE FAKED READING:
Moby Dick, for 11th grade English. Still haven’t read it.

BOOK YOU ARE AN EVANGELIST FOR:
The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan. You should read it!

BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT FOR THE COVER:
The Best American Non-required Reading of 2004

BOOK THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE:
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

BOOK YOU MOST WANT TO READ AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa

FAVORITE LINE FROM A BOOK:
“I have lived in the present from time to time, and I can tell you that it is much overrated.”

–From Against Joie de Vivre, by Phillip Lopate

FAVORITE LINE FROM A BOOK THAT MADE YOU CHOKE ON YOUR COFFEE:
“I think most people would rather be processed through the digestive tract of an anaconda than be Celine Dion for a day, once they realized what a brutally unpleasant wasteland her interior universe needed to be in order to host such a deadly amount of the Fame virus.”–From A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-examined as a Grotesque Crippling Disease, by Cintra Wilson

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