8 Great Questions: Samantha Irby

The bitches gotta eat blogger answers Read it Forward's literary questionnaire.

Funny lady Samantha Irby’s memoir We Are Never Meeting in Real Life is comprised of essays—some funny: ones about her adopted cat, why she should be the next Bachelorette; some awkward: cringe-worthy sexual encounters and tales of Internet stardom; and touching: her rough childhood and the road trip she took to Nashville to sprinkle her estranged father’s ashes. We asked the bitches gotta eat blogger about her favorite books: what she’s looking forward to reading, the one she gives all her friends and the childhood series she wishes she could re-read.

1. What are you reading now?

I’ve always got a huge stack piled next to my bed; I can never read just one at a time. Currently: Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy; No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts; The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti and History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund.

2. What’s the one book you tell everyone to read?

The Mothers by Brit Bennett. It immediately drew me in and I finished it in a day. It was my favorite book of last year. I love it so much.

3. Name three characters from literature or authors (dead or alive) that you’d want in your ideal book club?

Nikki Giovanni, Stephen King and Dorothy Allison.

4. What word do you love and why? What word do you hate and why?

Love: “Beverage,” because it sounds disgusting.

Hate: “Banal,” because I’m never 100% sure of how to pronounce it?

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5. What’s the one book you love to give as a gift and to whom do you give it?

The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz and I’ve given it to practically everyone I know who hasn’t yet read it.

6. What’s the one book you read as a kid that has stuck with you?

The entire Sweet Valley High collection. I’d re-read every single one of them now if I could get my hands on them.

7. What’s the one book that never fails to delight or inspire you?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I don’t know, “delight” might be too strong of a word but I loved that book and I never saw the twist coming and it always feels a little bit magical when that happens.

8. If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Mystery/Thriller, hands down, because even the truly terrible ones are compulsively readable. I always need to find out who did it.

Bonus Round:

Favorite independent bookstores from around the country?

Women and Children First (Chicago); The Book Cellar (Chicago); City Lit Books (Chicago); Bookbug (Kalamazoo, MI); The Strand (NYC); McNally Jackson (NYC); Powell’s (Portland)

What’s the last book you read on a long flight?

The Mare by Mary Gaitskill

What’s the one book you lie and tell people you’ve read, but actually haven’t?

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. I swear I tried to finish all 137 pounds of this book, but I just couldn’t get all the way through it.

Featured Image: Lorenzo Gritti; Author Photo: EvaBlue

SAMANTHA IRBY writes a blog called bitches gotta eat.
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