Q&A with David Liss discussion

Books you read...

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message 1: by Roxanne (new)

Roxanne (roxy) | 1 comments Hello Mr. Liss,

Let me begin by saying I read 'Conspiracy of Paper' on a very long flight when I really should have been adjusting for the time change. I just couldn't put it down.

I have a few questions, but I will start with an off-beat one.

When you go to bookstores, what types of books do you look for or catch your attention to be the next 'must read'? Which type of writing style do you enjoy the most?


message 2: by David (new)

David | 9 comments Mod
You can look through my list on this site, of course, to get a sense of what I like. My policy, by the way, is to only rate books I like. I don’t want to be knocking down anyone else’s work.

In general I favor contemporary novels with some kind of comic bite and an engaging narrator.
My favorite writers of this kind of book are people like Tom Perrotta, Jonathan Tropper, Nick Hornby, etc.

Even though I write mostly historical fiction, I tend not to read a lot of it. I tend to be very wide ranging in my reading, and I’m not at all a genre snob. If I have reason to believe I’ll like it, I’ll read mainstream fiction, horror, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thriller, you name it. I even once read a romance novel because a friend of mine swore it was really good. Ultimately, on this matter, we did not agree.

message 3: by Alto2 (new)

Alto2 | 2 comments It is curious that you write detailed historical fiction yet are not drawn to that genre to read. I haven't read any of the authors you mentioned, although I'll take a look, but I have read three of your four books. I'm reading The Ethical Assassin right now. I look forward to your new books.

message 4: by David (new)

David | 9 comments Mod
I also like Paul Auster, which is somethign I see we have in common. Plus that's a very handsome cat on your profile photo. Like many writers, I'm a crazy cat person.

I'm not really sure why I don't read a whole lot of historical fiction. I love reading good historical fiction that strikes me the right way, but I find most books too leaden and ponderous. Only a minority of writers know who to keep the research from overwhelming the characters, and in the end, I read fiction for characters and narrative tension, not for historical data. If I want that, I read history.

message 5: by Dottie (new)

Dottie (oxymoronid) Mr. Liss -- I was rather impressed with the bookshelves -- perhaps as I saw several which are high on my own lists among your choices, but I don't believe that is the only reason. Seeing what an author chooses to have on his shelves is a rather unique experience for this reader at least. I'm also one who will peruse openly or covertly the titles on shelves in others' homes given the opportunity -- should I have confessed that or not?

message 6: by David (new)

David | 9 comments Mod
Oh, I do that all the time. Book people can't help themselves.

By the way, of all the people I've checked, you and I have the most books in common.

message 7: by Dottie (last edited Jan 17, 2008 06:53PM) (new)

Dottie (oxymoronid) I often wonder what people looking at the titles on the shelves in my home might think -- my shelves here are even more revealing most likely because they are all right there -- many of my real life books are packed in boxes at least for the moment.

Wow -- now that second part is an interesting little bit of info to know! Heh.

message 8: by Alto2 (last edited Jan 21, 2008 09:04PM) (new)

Alto2 | 2 comments Dottie and I have about 40 books in common, but the curious thing is that our reviews are 73% similar. Like minds, I guess. I was surprised to see how few books David Liss and I have in common, although, again, our reviews were similar.

I'll freely admit to snooping on other people's bookshelves, too!

Oh, and that is one of two fine specimens of Siamese catness who grace this family with their presence. We are not crazy cat people; we are sane people with crazy children and cats.

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