Chris' 5 Questions
Five questions answered by the BookshelfTracker community
Be sure to follow Chris on Instagram @cs.readsbooks
1.) Did someone read to you when you were a child (who, what, when, where, why)?
My mother was a single mom. Until I was maybe 9 or 10, she read to my younger sister and me often, sometimes throughout the day but mostly at night before bed. English is her second language, so she enjoyed the challenge of reading to us— it helped her learn. We would correct her pronunciation sometimes. I distinctly remember her reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and some American/Little Princess books. She would also read us a collection of Bible stories for kids.
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2.) What’s the first book you remember reading that had a lasting effect on you?
I remember reading Cam Jansen books by David Adler in first grade. I started to develop the love and anticipation of reading books and the “what happens next” vibe. I also grew to love the Goosebumps series. I had a bookstore near my home (Bankstreet Bookstore on 112th Street, NY) that my mom would take me to, and I’d buy 1 or 2 of the Goosebump books each month. I must have had 30 of those books!
3.) What genre(s) do you love?
I read pretty much anything except romance and those girly thrillers like “Girl/Woman/Lady in/on the train/woods/next door” (Sorry ladies!!).
I love detective thrillers…anything James Patterson or Michael Connelly, and I love action/espionage thrillers from Jack Carr, Vince Flynn, Gregg Hurwitz, and Mark Greaney.
I also thoroughly enjoy good literary fiction books. The Road and All the Light We Cannot See are my two favorite books of all time. My fav read this year was The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store.
Lastly, I’m a big sucker for history and biographies.
4.) Has a book ever changed your life?
Not in a sense where reading a book made me drop a bad habit or create a good one, but I’d say being gifted Harry Potter, The Prisoner of Azkaban for my 13th birthday, definitely cemented my love for reading. That was my first “big” book (300+ pages), and after finishing it, I knew I could read anything moving forward. I had never read a book so fast in my life. I went to B&N and bought parts 1&2 and finished those within days. The rest is history!
5.) What attracts you to a book? The cover? Podcast? Recommendation from others?
I’d say a catchy cover always helps to pique interest. But the NY Times book section is the primary way I get book recommendations. I’m a subscriber, so I go on the app every few days and read what the reviewers say about books they read. They also have monthly articles: “X# of books you should read next month.” I check the bestseller list, and at the end of the year, I look at their “100 Memorable Books of the Year” list, and I pick up ones I think are interesting.
The end of the year also means a bunch of other awards like the Booker Prize, National Book Award, etc., so I look at those lists as well.
Most IG bookish accounts are generally YA Fantasy or those girly thrillers I mentioned earlier, so I don’t get much influence from IG. However, I do like some fantasy from Sara J. Maas, Cassandra Clare, etc.
IG has me curious about Fourth Wing and the Atlas books. So I might have to check those out in 2024!
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