1. The Moody Road Studios bookshop features a “Moody Road Canon”—a collection of our favorite 100 or so books. What five books are in your personal canon?
Brill: The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard, The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, The Voyage of the Narwhal by Andrea Barrett, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, and White Teeth by Zadie Smith.
2. What kind of reader were you as a child/teen and what were your favorite books?
Brill: I was voracious, to say the least. I had to bring at least two books on every family trip, be they for a few hours or a few days, because what would do if I finished the one I had and found myself bookless? My favorites as a young child were The Color Kittens, and Pussy Willow. Both were written by Margaret Wise Brown of Goodnight, Moon fame, though I didn't know she'd written them until I was in college. I read them to my kids now and am still moved and awed by their rhythm and beauty.
3. How many books do you currently own? Where/how do you keep your books?
Brill: Too many, and wherever I can stack them without fear of them falling and maiming a small child.
4. What kind of relationship do you have with your books? For example, do you underline favorite lines? Never write in them or crease the covers? Reread a particular book every year? Loan or give your books out to friends?
Brill: I'm careful about the ones that are in my 'canon' but not so careful that I hoard. I do lend books and I find that, over time, they tend to make their way back, one way or another. I don't write in them, but I am guilty of dog-earing my paperbacks.
5. What is your favorite book-related memory?
Brill: Listening to my mom read the part of The Color Kittens where the kittens fall asleep and have a magical dream about a red rose tree that "turned all white when you counted three." They are holding hands around the tree, and then they count one, two... and she turned the page and it was this moment of wonder, because the dream tree was now white, and the whole background was a dreamy blue, and the kittens were awed, and I was just transported. I still get chills when I read that part out loud.
Brill: I am deeply in love with my local bookstore, Community Bookstore. They are like the little bookshop that could. They do so much in a small space, and are so committed to local authors (including yours truly). We are lucky to have them in Brooklyn. And now they have a little outpost, Terrace Books, right up the street from me. More books! Yay!
7. What are you reading right now?
Brill: I just finished Submergence by J.M. Ledgard, which was intense and fascinating, and now I'm reading The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, to see how she handles narrative that moves around in time. My pile of books to-be-read is towering. Really, it's dangerous.