Sunday, August 5, 2018

Amber Brock

Amber Brock teaches British literature at an all-girls’ school in Atlanta. She holds an MA from the University of Georgia and lives in Smyrna with her husband, also an English teacher, and their three rescue dogs. Her new novel, Lady Be Good, is set in the world of the mischievous, status-obsessed daughter of a hotel magnate and the 1950s electric nightlife of three iconic cities: New York, Miami, and Havana.

Recently I asked Brock about what she was reading. Her reply:
I’m a voracious reader of non-fiction, since I tend not to read fiction while I’m writing (and I’ve been writing pretty continuously for two years now—thanks, deadlines!). Some are in the hopes of advancing my teaching, some are part of my novel research, but others are just personal interest. Here’s what I’m reading now:

Shooting Victoria: Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy by Paul Thomas Murphy

This was a long but fascinating read, and I applaud any author who can sustain a narrative in such a captivating way over such a huge span of story. This book follows the eight assassination attempts on the life of Queen Victoria, but it’s so much more than that. Each tale of a would-be assassin includes what was happening in Victoria’s life, government, and justice system at the time of the attack. The result is a thoughtful inquiry into Victoria’s place in the span of the British monarchy and the wider world, through the context of the men who would have ended her reign. I teach British literature, so I’m endlessly curious about British history.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Quite a few educators I respect recommended this book to me, and I’m delighted I took their recommendation. Grit resonated with me not only as someone working to persevere through her own struggles, but also as a teacher hoping to guide young women (I teach at a girls’ school). This book explores the relationship between “grit,” a combination of determination and interest in one’s pursuits, and success. I found I had a lot to think about once I’d finished in terms of my own goals and the goals I’m helping others pursue.
Visit Amber Brock's website.

My Book, The Movie: Lady Be Good.

Coffee with a Canine: Amber Brock & Bitty, Fred and Vicki.

--Marshal Zeringue