Thursday, June 11, 2015

Nina Berry

Nina Berry is the author of the Otherkin series and the newly released The Notorious Pagan Jones. She was born in Honolulu, studied writing and film in Chicago, and now works in Hollywood. When she's not writing, Berry does her best to bodysurf, explore ancient crypts, or venture forth on tiger safari. But mostly she's on the couch surrounded by cats, reading a good book.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Berry's reply:
I’m always reading several books at once, a mix of research books and books for pleasure.

The first of my current pleasure reads is the entrancing The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories by Angela Carter. It’s a collection of short stories that are lush, adult echoes of familiar fairy tales and tropes, like Bluebeard or Beauty and the Beast, written in sensual prose that arouses and disturbs at the same time. The stories practically vibrate in your hand as you read, while also giving you unique psychological insight into archetypes you thought you knew.

The Bloody Chamber is an interesting reading companion for my second pleasure book, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Maas takes the familiar story of Beauty and the Beast and upends it, adding her unique world-building, a tough but vulnerable heroine, and a page-turning plot. This is a world where the fae wear masks all the time because something went wrong with magic during a masquerade ball and now they’re stuck! I’m enraptured with this idea, and can’t wait to find out how our protagonist deals with the magical world, and to see what’s under all those masks.

My current research read is The Eternal Nazi: From Mauthausen to Cairo, the Relentless Pursuit of SS Doctor Aribert Heim by Nicholas Kulish and Souad Mekhennet. It’s a fascinating combination of biography and true crime story, about a notorious Nazi doctor who conducted hideous experiments on people in the Mauthausen concentration camp. He disappeared after the war and was the subject of a long manhunt by a determined German policeman. This book reveals that Heim fled to Cairo, converted, rather incredibly, to Islam, and was adopted by an un-knowing Muslim family. The book delves into both his story and that of his dogged pursuer and shows how German attitudes toward its Nazi past changed over the years. So far this non-fiction book reads a lot like a thriller, and it’s inspiring a lot of ideas for my next book proposal.
Visit Nina Berry's website.

--Marshal Zeringue