Saturday, March 27, 2010

Stephanie Dickison

Stephanie Dickison's latest book – on her career as pop culture, book, music and restaurant critic – is The 30-Second Commute: A Non-Fiction Comedy About Writing & Working From Home.

About a week ago I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
When I’m not writing or cooking, eating or walking, I can be found at my local library, picking up the mass amount of books I’ve put on hold, or on the couch, dipping into the next title on the pile.

Before I wrote full-time, I read 10 books a month. Now I average around 3, though I wish it was still 10. Most of my reading is done before bed. And now that I’m running 2 book clubs, my reading list is comprised mostly of what’s on the list (though the teetering pile beside the couch in the living room keeps me hopeful that eventually I’ll get to all those other titles before their due dates).

I think you can tell as much about a person by what they read as what’s in their wallet.

The titles for March and April so far, are:

I have a food book club where I’ve picked books about food and then I choose a restaurant based on the book and we have our discussion there. I’ve just completed reading The Tenth Muse by Judith Jones and The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn because I’ve had to pick the places we’re meeting in. I’m just about to start Calvin Trillin’s Alice, Let's Eat: Further Adventures Of A Happy Eater. I had read About Alice years ago and was incredibly moved by his writing.

And don’t think that all of this reading about food hasn’t got to me – I’ve been cooking up a storm, baking (which I never do) and it led me to create a new website about food. So now when I’m not reading, I’m cooking or shopping for ingredients.

I co-host another book club where the books aren’t about food, but regions, so I pair a restaurant with that region and we talk about the book over the cuisine of the region. So I am just finishing The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones. Our meeting is tomorrow, so I’ve spending the evening on the couch trying desperately to finish! Mones wrote Lost in Translation, which I didn’t know existed. I thought the movie was all Sophia Coppola. Now I want to read it after having seen – and loved – the movie.

I host a radio show once a month about memoirs, so I’ve always got a memoir to read before interviewing the author. I just read two kind of controversial memoirs, Too Close to the Falls and After the Falls for my interview with Catherine Gildiner, and I’m just about to start Confessions of a Trauma Therapist by Mary K. Armstrong, who is my next guest.

For absolute pleasure and my own selfish wants, I like to read non-fiction and very contemporary fiction.

Because I’m reading so much non-fiction for work stuff, I am reading a lot of humour and fiction right now. I’m about to start Galore by Michael Crummey, recommended by a friend. I can’t wait to start I Drink for a Reason by David Cross, because I don’t know his humour outside of his character on Arrested Development. And even though it’s the slimmest book that you really can’t call a “read” (because it’s just a paragraph or two beside each photo) I’m saving Dirty Bow Wow: A Tribute to Dogs and the Objects of Their Affection by Jeffrey & Cheryl Katz for an afternoon or evening where I can just enjoy and savour it along with a hot cuppa tea.


Whether I am reading for work or for pleasure, I am so grateful to have too many titles to choose from. It truly is a wonderful problem to have.
Visit Stephanie Dickison's website and blogs.

--Marshal Zeringue