Friday, April 13, 2012

Robin Wasserman

Robin Wasserman is the author of the Seven Deadly Sins series, Hacking Harvard, and the Skinned trilogy, which bestselling author Scott Westerfeld called "spellbinding." She has a master's degree in the history of science, and is fascinated by Renaissance philosophy, religion, magic, science, and the interplay among them.

Her new novel is The Book of Blood and Shadow.

Earlier this month I asked Wasserman what she was reading. Her reply:
When I was a kid, I was always the kind of person who had three or four books going at once (one to read over dinner, one to hide under my covers, one to hide under my desk at school, one for the bathtub, etc - you can see what my childhood was like). I seem to be heading back in that direction, although I've now learned better than to try to pair reading and showering. (At least until someone gifts me with a waterproof Kindle.) These days my apartment is littered with half-read books, and I pick one or the other up depending on what I'm doing. This week, I'm just back from a trip, which means David Foster Wallace's Consider the Lobster, one of my all time favorites, for the plane. Usually when I'm flying, I try to find something so fast-paced and riveting I won't notice the time passing -- a couple weeks ago, that was Peter Straub's terrifying Ghost Story, a Stephen-King-esque novel about small town evil. But for this trip, I didn't have time to go to the bookstore. Fortunately, Consider the Lobster, a book of ridiculously brilliant essays about things like tennis, politics, lobsters, and porn, turns out to be the perfect go-to flying book, not because you fly through the pages, but because you're forced to puzzle out every single sentence, taking apart the prose like a puzzle. Your brain is working so hard to get through the essay that you barely notice the flight attendants spilling drinks on your head. So I saved that for the plane rides; while I was actually on the trip, I read whatever I could find lying around the hotel's little library, which meant Colson Whitehead's Zone One and Rick Riordan's Lightning Thief. Zone One is a post-zombie-apocalypse novel, ie it's set during the cleanup efforts of a zombie apocalypse, when all that's left to do is mop up the remaining undead and try to forget about that time you saw mommy eating daddy's brains. Needless to say, it is terrifying. But also beautiful. The Lightning Thief, on the other hand...well, I probably don't need to say anything about that one except that I'm a moron for not reading it sooner and I can now see why it has a zillion fans, but in case you've been living under a no-children's-books allowed rock: It's the story of a kid who discovers he's the son of a Greek God and is thus totally screwed, in the most fun way possible. Basically Harry Potter, but with lightning bolts and tridents. Suffice to say: It was more fun than the vacation.
Visit Robin Wasserman's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue