Jillian Denning: By the Book

21 Aug

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Based on the recent interview with Amy Schumer

What books are currently on your nightstand?

According to the LA County Library app I currently have 21 books out of the library with 6 on hold. Of those, I’m curious about the poetry and essays of So Sad Today, by the Twitter vixen Melissa Broder.  My friend who never gets it wrong recommended Truth and Beauty and Girl Meets God. And then there’s Valley of the Dolls. I have a feeling now is the right time for me and Valley of the Dolls since it seems like the type of book I would have read and fell into a melancholia/feminist rage at just years ago and can now approach as a rational human being.

I expect to pull myself out of the melancholia/feminist rage in three months minimum.

 

Which writers—novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists, poets—working today do you admire most?

Nick Hornby, obviously. Warsan Shire. (When Lemonade came out and suddenly everyone was about Warsan I was childishly like BUT ME FIRST, PLEASE PROVE YOUR CREDENTIALS I HAVE SEVERAL.) Elena Ferrante is also on there, mainly due to the mystique and I really need someone to talk to about her hello is it you.

What genres do you especially enjoy reading? And which do you avoid?

In the last two years I’ve become a way bigger nonfiction/memoir person. I credit Anne Lamott with that, but in general I’m a fiction girl, usually adult, sometimes young adult. I avoid: dystopian YA with the same female lead I’ve read 40 billion times who has exactly one personality trait, anything that begins with a sentence like “Elascador bowed before his king, the sword of Roandresibe by his side” and 50 Shades of Grey.

 

What’s your favorite self-help book?

The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up hello it’s me.

 

 

I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet.

 

How and when do you read/ electronic or paper/ bath or bed?

For a brief period in London I used a Kindle as it was easier than carrying a book with me everywhere, but I really hated it. I read All the Light We Cannot See on a Kindle and I think it ruined the experience for me because I just didn’t love it as much as everyone else and there was a weird page turning/date thing.

I do not have a bathtub but I fancy myself a bath reader.

Truly I just read in bed like I do everything in my life.

It’s a comfortable bed, though.

 

How do you organize your books?

I used to organize them using the “shove in communal bookshelves wherever they fit” method but now that I have my own place I’m thinking about this seriously. Color is trendy, pretty and impractical–many things I enjoy.

Maybe I’ll figure out the Dewey Decimal system for fun on a long Wednesday evening and then explain it to you all in depth.

Most likely I’ll do author all boring like.

 

What do you like to read on the plane?

I just bring whatever book I’m reading at the moment. I want to be into magazines, but I truly only buy them if Stevie Nicks is on the cover.

I will Google articles if Bachelor stars are involved.

Would you like to hear more about my article reading habits yes or no?

 

What book might people be surprised to find on your shelves?

Three copies of The Corrections by Jonathon Franzen. One because I’ve never read it and two because Franzen is the ultimate douche writer whom my entire Twitter feed hates, though is apparently great?

 

What’s your favorite book by a comedian?

It’s got to be a Nora. Maybe I Feel Bad about My Neck?

What’s the last book that made you laugh out loud?

I just read Diary of a Wimpy Kid for the first time and there were lots of laughs there and not just because Rob looks a bit like the lead on the cover. Oh! And The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian! Read it now!! If I only do one thing for your life!

 

What’s the best book you’ve ever received as a gift?

A blog reader turned friend Bailey told me to read Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott and that really kickstarted a huge era of my life that now leads to me liking and sharing each individual Instagram post Anne deigns to give us unworthy mortals.

Tell us your favorite TV, film, or theater adaptation of a book.

Bridget Jones was a wonderful film and I think that book is truly perfect do not change a word perfect so this is a big statement.

Lord of the Rings surely surpassed the books as I’ve never finished them.

 

What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?

I was a voracious reader. I would max out my library card and sit with a stack of books next to me on a Sunday afternoon. I played librarian.  I was grounded from books at several points.

Once, in a fit of mania, I printed off a divorce decree and used a quill pen to fill it out for Alana of Trebond after she chose the wrong man in the Lioness Quartet. “I married the wrong man, I was always in love with someone else,” I wrote, in my earnest handwriting.

Narnia, Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women and Ender’s Game were all wildly influential to my childhood and my current self.

Scarlett O’Hara made me the selfish, determined drama queen I am today.

I lived for Sweet Valley.

 

If you could be friends with any author, dead or alive, who would it be?

Nora Ephron. I want her dinner parties and her wisdom and her food and her dinner parties and her wisdom and her food and wait what.

 

Disappointed, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like and didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

I finally read Ballet Shoes, of You’ve Got Mail fame and it was only OK for me.

I was devastated by this. I mean, clearly it meant something to Nora. Clearly I should have named my future daughter Posy.

I wonder if this is an age thing, like those people who go to Disneyland for the first time as adults and then find it only OK?

I started a book about Rosaline following Romeo and Juliet, recommended by a Twitter librarian I’m all about and had to return it to the library before I finished. It was a bit of a relief.

 

Whom would you want to write your life story?

Myself obviously.  If that were impossible, I would like Hilary and Rob to collaborate with notes from the following:

 

Mariah Carey lyrics

Mother

My wannabe Sylvia Plath poetry

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2 Responses to “Jillian Denning: By the Book”

  1. Bailey Brewer August 22, 2016 at 8:06 am #

    <3 We are overdue for queso. xoxo (And that double date that will probably take a long time to coordinate but will be worth it).

  2. Hilary August 22, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

    You’ve got me feeling emotions.

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