Five Books in My Life: Megan Abbott
Frightful Admissions and Books from Other Planets
Megan Abbott’s latest, You Will Know Me, is out today from Little, Brown.
What was the first book you fell in love with?
I’m not sure I remember a time when I wasn’t falling in love with books. But I do remember my mom introducing me, at a very young age, to the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace—those were big. They were set at the turn of the last century, a kind of lost small-town America, and Betsy, whom we follow from age five or six until college, is a budding writer.
Name a classic you feel guilty about never having read?
Oh, so many! To Kill a Mockingbird for starters. That’s a frightful admission. It’s one of those books that everyone reads in school for the first time. My school never assigned it. What were we reading instead? Probably A Separate Peace.
What’s the book you reread the most?
I’m a big fan of the reread. I think I’ve read The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler and William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury the most. Or Gatsby, which strikes a different chord in me every time. And a lot of non-fiction. I return to Otto Friedrich’s City of Nets every few years. It’s about Hollywood in the 1940s, one of my favorite eras in film, and I open it just to look something up and end up reading the whole thing again.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
Countless. But I’ll go with Carson McCullers’ Member of the Wedding and Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley because they both read like books that no one else in the world could ever have written. They are books that seem to come from another planet.
What’s the new book you’re most looking forward to?
David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon.