Lucy Knisley is the author of Kid Gloves.
Where is your favorite place to read?
In a hammock on my back porch. The porch is right off my office, so it’s “work,” and it’s also work if I fall asleep because that part is “research.”
What is your favorite book to give an adult or a child?
I admit I’m very partial to giving my own books as gifts— it’s very convenient! But the last book I gave my niece and nephew is Inga Moore’s The Vegetable Thrives, which was one of my favorites as a kid and also one of my son’s current faves. It’s a slightly weird book, as all the best picture books are, featuring a bulbous-eyed mouse couple who struggle to keep their garden tended-to, only to then face thieves who steal their hard-earned crops. It ends up being about sharing what you have and how that helps you in return, which is a nice message for kids, particularly right now.
What books are currently piled in your “To Be Read” stack … and where can the stack be found in your home?
My partner and I upgraded our nightstands to straight-up bookshelves. There’s literally bookshelves next to our beds to house our “currently reading” and “to be read,” along with our “I just want to sleep next to this one” stacks. Currently I’m working up the energy to read Posy Simmond’s Cassandra Darke, which I know is going to be so good it’ll make me question my own practice, so I need some time to get used to that idea.
What’s the last book that had you reading past your bedtime?
Outlander. What a wonderful piece of escapist, time-traveling lady adventures. I also stayed up reading Jen Wang’s forthcoming book, Stargazing, and Venable/Crenshaw’s Kiss Number Eight. I never get enough sleep.
What book puts in you that “back to school” state of mind?
Anything fantasy. I have always used it as an escape from school, where I didn’t have the greatest time, so reading books like Sabriel and Assassin’s Apprentice give me that cozy feeling of being able to block out the world with a book.
Who made reading important to you?
My parents were always supportive of my reading habits, but the first person to come to mind was my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. King, who was part of a two-person book club consisting of just me and her. I was obviously a super popular sixth-grader, staying inside at recess to trade YA fantasy novels with my teacher. She brought so many good books into my life and really encouraged my pleasure in reading.
Bonus Question: What’s your favorite children’s book?
It’s a three-way tie between the original Shrek by William Steig, which I have memorized, Ride and Purple Pelican by Jack Prelutsky, and Ooh La La, Max in Love, by Maira Kalman.
Lucy Knisley is the author and illustrator of beloved graphic novels about memory, identity, food, and family. She previously published the New York Times bestseller Relish: My Life in the Kitchen and Something New with First Second. She lives and works in Chicago, with her husband and child.