Monday, January 20, 2020

Maureen Johnson

Maureen Johnson is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of several YA novels, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Suite Scarlett, The Name of the Star, and Truly Devious. She has also done collaborative works, such as Let It Snow (with John Green and Lauren Myracle), and The Bane Chronicles (with Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan).

Johnson's new novel, The Hand on the Wall, is the third title in her Truly Devious Series.

Recently I asked Johnson about what she was reading. Her reply:
I always try to have one P.G.Wodehouse novel within reach. The one on my night table right now is Uncle Dynamite. This is pretty much like medicine to me. I like this world in which the biggest problems are who broke the bust or threw the manuscript in the fire or who has to judge the babies at the village fair. My husband was born and raised in a small English wooded village and he is a bit like a Wodehouse character set loose in the world and I love this about him. His dad is always fighting the vicar, a horse broke into their house, that kind of thing.

I read and re-read a lot of classic mystery. I pulled Dorothy L. Sayer’s Gaudy Night back off the shelf. It’s brilliant. It doesn’t even have a murder in it and I am still in love with it. It’s about a series of strange events at Harriet Vale’s women’s college at Oxford. Harriet is more interesting than Lord Peter.

No one is quite as lucid and clear-cutting as Angela Davis. Her collection, Women, Culture & Politics is a collection of her speeches and essays and is a great starting point to get into her body of work.

Mostly Dead Things by luminous weirdo Kristen Arnett is so great. Until I go through with my plans to sneak into her house and live under the floorboards (she knows about this and has given her permission), I keep her book nearby so I can visit her.

In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan is where I like to live. It’s a wonderous fantasy and very, very funny. I think this book is particularly good in the bathtub.
Visit Maureen Johnson's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Hand on the Wall.

The Page 69 Test: The Hand on the Wall.

--Marshal Zeringue