A couple of weeks ago I asked the author about what she was reading. Smith's reply:
I just got back from six months of travel in non-English speaking countries, and have been bingeing on American libraries and bookstores ever since. Right now I'm re-reading The Way of Zen, by Alan Watts—always a good way to press the reset button on a stressed-out brain. I started listening to his lectures when I was in Morocco, and got hooked on his humor and insight. I also started The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes. It's an extremely trippy book, and makes you think about human history in a completely new way. Basically, he argues that all people used to hear voices in their heads, and that consciousness as we know it now is a relatively recent development.Visit Hilary T. Smith's blog.
In terms of fiction, I've been catching up on some classics — Moby Dick, which I'd never read before, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which is simply delightful. Over the past few years, I've lived outdoors or semi-outdoors on and off, so passages like this one really resonate with me:
"We said there warn't no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft."
I've never lived on a raft, but after living in various cabins and shacks and campsites, regular apartments feel pretty cramped up and smothery to me.
Finally, I've been catching up on all the YA fiction that came out while I was away — everything from Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell to What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang. I have a big stack of books waiting to be read — always a great feeling.