HPL: What are you reading right now?
VS: The Magicians. I’ve read three chapters of it because I don’t get a lot of time to read. I picked up The Magicians because I love Harry Potter. I started watching the show and people told me that [the book] is like an adult Harry Potter. The show is about this guy who reads this book and then he gets thrown into this world of the book. And isn’t that what any fan of Harry Potter ever wanted? Or any fan of fantasy really, to be a part of the book that you love, so that is why that show and now the novel is appealing to me. This is what I would’ve liked my life to be, I hope I get to open a door one day and go into the Harry Potter world.
HPL: So, it’s like adult fan fiction?
VS: Yeah, it’s adult. I’m only three chapters in but I assume there will be sex. That’s what’s on the go
right now. I’ve also read a lot of Haruki Murakami. Rowan, my boyfriend, has been reading him for a while, like years now. We’ve both started trying to read more in the last year. Like we’ll go on a date to a Chapters and browse through the books together until we come out with one book each, and usually, I read his books. He doesn’t read my books but he should.
HPL: What else have you been reading this year?
I think that’s one of the best books I’ve read in the last year because it came at me at a time when I
needed it a lot. In December, I quit my corporate-y, full benefits job to take on a contract that was only four months. It was a kind of an unknown because I didn’t know what was going to happen after those four months, and it was a challenging role for me. So that move was kind of terrifying, right? You go from something that has a good safety net, that I didn’t love and wasn’t really that challenging, to something where I don’t know if I can do this. But in her book, she talks about taking risks, and women who are going to advance and succeed need to take these risks.You can’t stay stagnant. You can’t just fall back on the safety net all of the time and that, amongst a bunch of other things, was really perfect for me at that time.
I wasn’t able to bring it since I lent it to other people because I want them to read it. I have some friends taking the safe route in their career and I was like, “You should read this.” It was also good for somebody who is in a relationship because she talks about why her marriage failed. That book was really great because it got me thinking about the person I want to be, the types of relationships I want to have, and like I said, it came at a really good time. So, that is my highly recommended book for a young woman or even an older woman.
VS: Oh my god, all the time. When I think about starting a new book, I’m like “dammit why didn’t I finish the other one?” I think lately I was reading [a lot of women’s memoirs] and then I switched
back into fiction. I started reading Haruki Murakami because Rowan had all these books on the shelf so I might as well read what I’ve got before I start buying more. I’m also joining a book club. They’re my cousin’s friends, and I thought this could be fun and might get me reading more since I’ll be more accountable. It’s interesting though because the novels they’re choosing, they’re all fiction. They’re all traditionally “girly” romance novels but we also read The Light Between Oceans. I think they read it differently than me because they have children… and it’s about what you’re willing to do for family. It’s not my cup of tea exactly.
HPL: What kind of books do you normally relate to? You mentioned Harry Potter and The Magicians?
VS: Fantasy books I read a lot of or fiction books. I also like to read these kind of things [holding Mindy Kaling’s book]. Mostly fantasy, so Harry Potter and The Magicians, anything Haruki Murakami. He’s kind of weird, but it’s interesting. He leaves his novels off often without a conclusion. It’s not completely unbelievable but it’s weird and different, and I like that about him. It’s also interesting to read a book that has been translated from Japanese into English.
Oh! I also read that! [A bus with an ad for The Girl on the Train passes us]. I liked it. I do like thrillers. I read that book in one day by the pool in Chiang Mai. I also read J.K. Rowling’s Robert Galbraith series, which I actually really liked. I knew it was J.K. Rowling while I was reading them, and it’s so funny to draw parallels to the Harry Potter world [but] I just couldn’t stop myself. I still really liked them and I think they’re pretty well written and definitely more adult than Harry Potter. Which I think is nice because I like Harry Potter but she wasn’t the best writer when she wrote those. But it was still fun and exciting and you can tell that she’s grown a lot by reading these books which was nice to see.
Wow! I’ve read a lot more books this year than I thought I had. That’s nice to reflect on, like wow, I wasn’t as shitty of a reader as I thought I was this year.
HPL: Yeah! You figure it out as you list them but you don’t really think about it, right?
VS: No, I didn’t! I also started, Still Alice but I put it down because I could just tell I was going to cry if I read that book. I read two pages, I got goosebumps. I don’t think anything even happens in those two pages but I was like “I can’t do this.” My grandfather on my dad’s side and my grandmother on my mother’s side had Alzheimer’s Disease and now I’m volunteering with Memory Ball, and I’m listening to these stories of girls who are 21, 22, 23, 24 and their moms who aren’t even 60 are already so far gone.
HPL: And that’s the book!
VS: And that’s the book and I’m like “I can’t do this. I can’t read this.” I’m terrified that this is going to happen to my parents because it’s genetic, right? And it’s happened on both sides of my family. So that book is just not for me.
HPL: You’ve already told us what you’re reading now. What would you recommend for other young ladies?
VS: Definitely, Our Turn. It came at the perfect time for me and I think a lot of people can relate to it. What I want to read other than The Magicians is probably Anna Kendrick’s book. I didn’t know she was writing one until someone told me it was coming out and she preordered it. I was like “Ah, I need that too!” Just another person to aspire to be I suppose. You don’t always think of these women, like Mindy Kaling and I, we have completely different career paths, what are we going to have in common? But then you read it you feel like, “Oh my god, everyone is really the same!” There’s a lot of things that everyone can relate to.
Follow Victoria @vickiistace and on her blog Florals + Teacups.