I grew up in a tiny town in Western Tennessee (the flat part of the state) but have called St. Louis home for over fifteen years. In 2012 I founded Renegade STL, a company that creates "off-beat and original" tours of St. Louis history and architecture. When I'm not talking all things St. Louis, I can be found at The Novel Neighbor in Webster Groves, talking all things books. I'm mom to two great kids and two great kitties.
Favorite Book as a child: This is a tie between the Sesame Street classic, The Monster At The End of This Book (although looking back, it is possible that this book was my first journey into self-reflection...and anxiety) and Charlotte's Web. I can barely think of the words "Some Pig" without getting a little teary.
Best Book I Read for School: I was knocked out by Tess of the d'Urbervilles (by Thomas Hardy) in high school. Tess' story really opened my eyes to the ways a woman's story can get away from her and the double standards we as women bear when it comes to our perceived morality/immorality. (Would love to know how 15 year old me haughtily discussed this at the dinner table)
Digital or paper books? I'm in the solidly paper camp. In addition to just loving the feel and smell of it, I love collecting vintage books with great cover art and I am so happy when I see little notations in a used book that agree with the emotion I'm feeling as I'm reading. Full disclosure: I work full-time in an independent bookstore and I know the firsthand how amazing the experience of placing a book in someone's hands is. Algorithms don't get a little teary when they're able to find the perfect book.
Book I Wish I'd Written: Most recently that would be the Book of Delights by Ross Gay. The premise of the little book is a collection of diary entries focusing on joy. His ability to infuse delight into everything from watching someone cross the street to his own experiences with racism are just incredible.
Book People Might Be Surprised To Learn I Love: My favorite book of all time is Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It is all of my favorite things...British humor, religion, the apocalypse, and magical realism. I think I'll go read it again right now.
My literary crush: I'm crushing hard right now on YA author Laini Taylor's Lazlo from Strange the Dreamer. Awkward, nerdy, book-obsessed boy who doesn't know he's actually a god? Yes please.
What I'm reading right now: I currently have 6 books with bookmarks in them I've moved in the last two weeks, but my favorite at the moment is what I'm reading with my son. We are loving The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill, a beautiful fairy-tale about a witch who accidentally gives a baby magical powers and raises the child as her own.
Thanks to Amanda Clark for answering our book-related questions! If you'd like to check out any of the books that Amanda mentions in her interview, you can find them below: