…are you reading now?
I’m a bookstore addict. I love visiting bookstores. At the moment, I’m reading We Begin At The End by Chris Whitaker. I didn’t know if I would like it, but I’m finding it really, really entertaining.
It’s about revenge and retribution — and the wider impact of that. Since writing together with President Bill Clinton on The President Is Missing and The President’s Daughter, we often send books back and forth. So my next read will probably be one he recommends.
…would you take to a desert island?
One Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It floored me when I first read it. It’s probably my favourite book to return to because on each successive reading, the story keeps revealing new mysteries. I get asked a lot which book I wish I’d written and I always pick it. Every sentence is a jewel.
James Patterson (pictured) is currently reading We Begin At The End by Chris Whitaker
…first gave you the reading bug?
I really loved comic books as a little kid. Another early memory was reading Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. I loved that sense of adventure — and searching for buried treasure! And I also loved Peter Pan.
I still love Peter Pan, it is the only ride I enjoyed at Disney. Reading in the early years is so important for development.
I was first inspired to write my own books for children after realising my son, Jack (then aged eight), wasn’t excited about reading. I decided it was a problem I should tackle. The right children’s book can transport you to another world.
Tristram Shandy shivered my timbers as a grad student, and woke me out of my zombie state about the glorious possibilities for breaking the rules whenever I damn well felt like it. Mix first person and third person? Sure, if it helps the story. Sentence fragments? Hell, yes.
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…left you cold?
I put down at least a book or two a week. I also walk out on scads of movies, and even Broadway plays. I believe it’s the sane thing to do. I don’t like picking specific books, as I know how hard authors have to work, but I’m not a big Gatsby fan, and, unfortunately, I never got into Don Quixote, even though I thought I would love the book. A lot of it is emotional with me. You have to care.
And if it’s a crime thriller, a good mystery is about so much more than a murder. It needs to be packed with interesting characters and surprising twists if it’s going to get me hooked.
I tend to avoid the same kinds of books that I do people — long-winded, sanctimonious, goody-two-shoes, self-important, mean-spirited. Well, maybe not mean-spirited when it comes to books.
The President’s Daughter by Bill Clinton and James Patterson is out now (Cornerstone ￡20).