What Writers Read: Shar Levine

What do children’s writers and illustrators read in their spare time? In this series of interviews with B.C. book folks, we discuss everything from guilty reading pleasures to the best literary villains. If you’d like to share some favourites of your own, please leave a comment!

Shar Levine

What books are on your end table right now?
I have a Kindle and am reading Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. Amazing book, but much like his other books, it takes a while to get into it. Just finished the fourth in a series of books written through the eyes of a dog. Author Spencer Quinn really understands canines.

Who’s your favourite author/illustrator of all time?
Chris Van Allsburg as an illustrator. Author… let me think about that one. Maybe John Irving.

Where is the best place to curl up with a good book?
At the side of a pool on a hot day, with my legs dangling in and a giant cold beverage by my side.

Which is best: hardcover, softcover, or e-book?
Ebook, without question. It remembers where I left off. It is light to carry. I can read it anywhere and it can be loaded on any of my devices. I can read it in the sun and if I forget my glasses I can make the font REALLY BIG.

Who’s your favourite literary hero?
The Paperbag Princess for kidlit. Adult — hmmmmmmm…

Who’s your favourite literary villain?
Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

If you could have dinner with three writers or illustrators, whom would you choose?
Neil deGrasse Tyson, the amazing astrophysicist and head of the Hayden Planetarium. Jon Stewart, the comedian. Eli Kintisch, who I have dined with but would love to do so again. He is an amazing science journalist.

What series did you read growing up?
Nancy Drew. (I’m very old.)

If you could do the illustrations for a classic, which book would you choose?
This presumes I have any talent. I cannot draw a circle. If I were to illustrate anything it would be with stick people. Come to think of it, The Hobbit done with stick creatures might be funny.

Do you have a guilty reading pleasure?
I love Tom Clancy and John Grisham novels.

Are you more likely to be caught reading a zombie novel or a sentimental romance?
Combination — Pride and Prejudice with Zombies.

To learn more about Shar and her work, please visit her website.
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