Wednesday 19 November 2008

The Reading Lamp: I'll read what he's reading, please

I want to read every single book David mentions below, including the made up one he hilariously assigns to the most unlikely literary duo he can imagine (which I won't spoil for you by dropping any hints about. Just keep reading).

I also want Children's Books Ireland to send me lots of free books but as I am neither Irish nor a writer of children's books, I'm guessing this, like my desire to become one of the WordGirl writers, is just another castle in the air...

Your name: David Maybury

What are you reading now? A whole lot of books published by Irish writers in the last 12 months for the Bisto Book of the Year Awards. And a few new ones out next year but not related to the awards, including Damsel by Susan Connolly and Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan.

Where are you reading them? Anywhere I can find a spare five minutes—buses, trains, tea breaks in work and occasionally under the duvet at 2 in the morning.

How did you discover these books? Children’s Books Ireland hands over a huge pile of books once a month. How nice is that!?

What would your ideal desert island book be? Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s Worldevery time I read it there is something new there. Also, my brother brought my copy on tour through Asia with him so it’s filled with postcards and handy tips from each place he stayed.

What about a dessert book, a book you could read and then eat? There’s a series of cookbooks my Nan has from the sixties. They’re covered in splashes, dried up bits of pasta and cookie dough. If I had to eat a book it would be one of those. Tasty.

Who is your literary boyfriend or girlfriend? I have a bit of a man-crush on the illustrator Alan Clarke these days. The man may be a genius.

What's your favourite either unknown or underappreciated book? Two books that I haven’t seen/heard much talk about are Paul Muldoon’s The Noctuary of Narcissus Batt and The Last Thesaurus. Did they slip under the radar, or was it just me that missed them?

Favourite childhood book? One of the books that influenced me most was David Almond’s SkelligI reread it earlier this year and it is still as great as I remembered.

Ideal literary collaboration that hasn’t happened? The childhood dream come-true would be me writing something with Marvel Comic’s Stan Lee.

The most nightmarish and/or hilarious literary collaboration you can imagine? Jamie Oliver and Dave McKean—I imagine something along the lines of Killer Asparagus Goes to Aerobic Class, with great illustrations.

Weirdest/creepiest/most awesome thing you've ever found inside a used book? I found one of my grandfather’s love letters to my Nan from 1946 in an encyclopedia. It was all of those things at once.

Favourite book-related website (besides and, of course)? Children's Books Ireland—these are the people who keep the cogs turning across Ireland.

Who do you talk to about books? A few good interested friends but mostly I bend the ear of my long-suffering girlfriend…

Do you prefer hardcover or softcover books? Why? Softcover. If I ever do get stuck on that desert island and have to eat a book I think a softcover would be easier…

Do get in touch with me at colleen at bookphilia dot com if you'd like to be interviewed for The Reading Lamp.

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