1. What book is on your nightstand now?
Isis: I have a ton of books on my nightstand, but the one on top is In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero. It’s the book we’re currently reading for book club.
Nicole: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen because I read a little before bed about a month ago, and left it there. I haven’t picked it up again since.
2. What was the last truly great book you read?
Isis: The last truly great, nearly flawless book I read was At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson. I adored that book and raved about it a lot. It’s one of my all-time favorites.
Nicole: The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story by Hyeonseo Lee was a really great book, but if I had to pick something fiction it would have to be The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight. It probably isn’t even that great of a book if you criticized it on a basic writing level, but it was the last book I read that truly grabbed me and forced me into the story. Which is sad since I read it last October.
3. If you could meet any writer—dead or alive—who would it be? What would you want to know?
Isis: I’ve already met my favorite author, Benjamin Alire Saenz, twice before. So other than him, I’d love to have met Jane Austen. Her life was fascinating and I admire the way she crafted her stories. She was so ahead of her time. I just love her.
Nicole: I really like Victoria Schwab so meeting her would be cool. Talking about writing with Rick Riordan or J.K. Rowling would be nice too. Realistically, whenever I meet authors I’m usually too nervous to barely say hi to them, so it doesn’t really mean anything to me.
4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?
Isis: I do have a book on my shelf called The Threesome Handbook by Victoria Vantoch. The only reason I bought it is because I went through a Misha Collins-Vicki Vantoch obsession and I felt it was necessary to have. No shame, though, right?
Nicole: It might be surprising that I have a whole shelf of romance books since that’s a genre I don’t gravitate toward ever really. I don’t think I have a particular book that would be surprising though.
5. How do you organize your personal library?
Isis: No real organization to it. Other than Benjamin Alire Saenz and Stephen King shelves, everything else is just scattered. I guess I group them by size mostly.
Nicole: I tried to set it up by genres, but I don’t have enough shelf space so I have random stacks of books everywhere.
6. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?
Isis: Right now I’m pretty disappointed in myself for not yet reading The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz. It just recently came out and I got him to sign it for me before it was even released. But I have it tucked away with no plans to read it yet. I will, though! I’m just reading so many books at the time. I’m not embarrassed over not reading anything, though I wish I could get to Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo ’cause everyone praises that book and I have it, but again, not sure when I’ll get to it.
Nicole: I always mean to finish the Percy Jackson series but I never pick up the next one. I’ve been meaning to pick up The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin too. I usually feel a little embarrassed if a book is really popular and I haven’t read it. Only when it’s being hyped up though.
8. What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?
Isis: I’m drawn to contemporary, realistic stories. Lately I’ve been trying to read more angel books for research, but other than that, I just love a good realistic world with realistic characters. With a happy ending, preferably. I do stay clear of high fantasy books. I find it difficult getting into those type of books. Also, probably any sci-fi. I’m picky sometimes.
Nicole: I’m usually drawn to any story with magic. So fantasy I like just not the ones with old kingdoms that are really political and that’s it. I’ve also really been into nonfiction lately. I stay clear of stories that just depressing nothing happy goes on at all. I like contemporary, but I’m also really picky about which ones. Anything too tropey or straight romantic I stay clear of.
9. If you could require the president to read one particular book, what would it be?
Isis: The current president? Jeez, can he even read?
Nicole: Maybe Wonder by R.J. Palacio or something like The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.
10. What do you plan to read next?
Isis: I plan to read Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera. I have the ebook and I started it a few weeks ago, but I just stopped reading it. It was great and I can’t wait to focus on it again!
Nicole: I’m in the middle of five books right now so I should probably finish those, but honestly that’s not gonna happen. I feel like reading The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino right now, but I might leave that half finished too.