Monday, April 23, 2012

Ginger Strand

Ginger Strand is the author of Inventing Niagara, a Border’s Original Voices choice, and Flight, a novel. Her nonfiction has appeared in many places, including Harper's, OnEarth, The Believer, and Orion, where she is a contributing editor. She grew up mostly in Michigan and now lives in New York City, but spends a lot of time on the road.

Her new book is Killer on the Road: Violence and the American Interstate.

Earlier this month I asked Strand what she was reading.  Her reply:
I always have two stacks of books. The one by my desk is books for my current projects. These include The Swamp, a history of the Everglades by Michael Grunwald, a biography of the physicist Irving Langmuir called The Quintessence of Irving Langmuir, Men and Volts, the classic history of GE by John Winthrop Hammond, and everything by and about writer Kurt Vonnegut. Yes, everything. I had a lot of it already, but I had to fill out my collection at the local indie bookstore and when I walked up to the counter with an armload of recently reissued books, the clerk said, “Whoa. That’s a lot of Vonnegut.” He said it like it was maybe a bad idea. Time will tell.

My second stack of books tends to hang out on the bedside table, or to lie around on the coffee table. These are what I think of as pleasure reading, even though I always enjoy reading, even for work. Right now the pleasure pile includes a great collection of short stories from Tin House called Fantastic Women, the hilarious novel Homeland by Sam Lipsyte, Joyce Appleby’s history of capitalism, The Relentless Revolution, and The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Philips, because, besides capitalism, what could be more fun than someone having managed to write a convincing “lost” Shakespeare play?
Visit Ginger Strand's website.

The Page 99 Test: Killer on the Road.

--Marshal Zeringue