What are your reading goals for 2023?
For 2023, I definitely have lofty goals for my bookshelf (aside from it always needing to be bigger). This year I am wanting to engage more often with Australian authors and their works while also seeking to diversify my reading into new genres and the perspectives of marginalised groups.
What is your favourite genre and why?
When it comes to books, I definitely have a comfort zone. For a book to make it to my shelf, it generally has to meet one of two criteria: ‘is it gay?’, or ‘does it have magic?’.
What book or author do you always recommend?
I would say this definitely depends on the reader I am talking to, their age, interests, and past reading experience. But, if we’re sticking to my wheelhouse genres, I would always recommend Sarah J Maas — as a general fantasy crowd favourite — and Trudi Canavan for fantastic world building and a great magic system. Jim Butcher’s Furies of Calderon is also one of the most enthralling series I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading and Lynette Noni’s (Aussie) The Medoran Chronicles is reminiscent of Harry Potter — but written better (in my opinion). I must also recommend anything by Tobias Madden (another Aussie) who manages to capture Australian charm, teen angst, queer love and the beauty of the arts in his novels.
If you could meet any author, who would it be?
This question is like asking a parent which kid they love more… there’s definitely an answer, you just don’t want the rest finding out. So I’m going to give two answers to this and it’s not (just) because I’m indecisive. One author I would love to meet would definitely be Sarah J Maas. I feel like her work is so popular, prolific and expansive that I just need to know how her mind works and try and squeeze out some teasers as to what is coming next. The other author who is top of my list is 100% Tobias Madden. It’s not only amazing to see an Aussie author’s works doing so well, but his books were also the first where I felt the most represented in a novel and not just for their ability to depict what it’s like growing up gay in Australia.
If you could pick the world of one book or book series to live in, what would it be?
I feel like the classic answer would be Harry Potter (cause who hasn’t wanted to go to Hogwarts, right?) but I’d really need the Wizarding World to catch up to the 21st century before I took that leap. Then there’s Percy Jackson, but I don’t think I’d be able to survive all the quests and battles that seem to happen regularly. So, if I had to choose just one, I’d have to pick Sarah J Maas’ world of Crescent City. It’s got all the benefits of modern technology and culture so I wouldn’t have to miss anything while also having the added benefit of magic.
Do you have a book you always find yourself coming back to?
For me it’s Trudi Canavan’s The Magician’s Apprentice. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve read it; it always feels fresh. The story’s compelling, it’s written beautifully and always gets me out of a reading slump if I’m in one.
Any upcoming releases you can’t wait to get your hands on?
I’m definitely looking forward to Laurie Forest’s The Dryad Storm to see how she finishes up the series (also would recommend). Tomi Adeyemi is also expected to release Children of Anguish and Anarchy later this year which I’m keeping an eye out for. There’s also The Shadow Cabinet by Juno Dawson which I’m both excited for and dreading given how the first book ended. And there’s undoubtedly another 10 I’m forgetting but my TBR pile is also threatening to fall and kill me whenever I walk past it, so all those books are currently occupying my attention.
Where is your favourite place to read?
There’s a whole list of places I like to read: beside a pool, on the grass in the backyard, at the park or beach. And there’s a plethora of places I will read: in the car, on the bus, train, plane, etc. But something just hits different about reading in bed, super later at night, with all the lights off except for the one reading light (usually sobbing about another favourite character that an author has brutally or tragically killed off).
Do you prefer paperback, hardcover or ebook?
Paperback hands down. Absolutely no question whatsoever. Paperbacks have all the beautiful physicality to them like hardcovers without the rigidity that makes you hold them awkwardly or forces you to bend your head in weird directions to read them ‘comfortably’. And ebooks are just a big NO. Where’s the flick of the page? The feeling of seeing the size of what you have left to read diminish as you race towards the end of a story? The superiority complex you get from displaying all your books on your bookshelf and proving to your friends and family how much more cultured you are compared to them? So ebooks are just a no. Hardcover is too rigid (even though they’re oh so pretty). Which means paperback is the best mode of reading.