Welcome to the Book Marks Questionnaire, where we ask authors questions about the books that have shaped them.
This week, we spoke to the author of Private Means, Cree LeFavour.
Book Marks: First book you remember loving?
Cree LeFavour: Go Dog Go, the Dr. Seuss classic. I think it’s the first book I realized I could read. That dog party in the tree at the end blew my mind.
BM: Favorite re-read?
CLF: Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield. Bonus fact: it was one of the handful of books Robert Falcon Scott’s men passed around over the course of their three years in the Antarctic.
BM: What book do you think your book is most in conversation with?
CLF: I worship Ian McEwan. The troubled marriage in The Children Act resonates through Peter and Alice’s chilly detente.
BM: A book that blew your mind?
CLF: Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. Wow. I mean, just, wow.
BM: Last book you read?
CLF: Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s The Worst Journey in the World.
BM: A book that made you cry?
CLF: Miriam Toews’s All My Puny Sorrows.
BM: What book from the past year would you like to give a shout-out to?
CLF: Raven Leilani’s Luster.
BM: A book that actually made you laugh out loud?
CLF: St Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose novels.
BM: What’s one book you wish you had read during your teenage years?
CLF: I was too much of a snob to read Judy Blume and I wish I had! I might have felt a bit less alone.
BM: Favorite book to give as a gift?
CLF: Jonathan Miles’s great early novel, Dear American Airlines. It has the virtue of being funny and profound.
BM: Classic book you hate?
CLF: James Joyce’s Ulysses. Argh! Does it count if I haven’t finished it?
BM: Classic book on your To Be Read pile?
CLF: I’m embarrassed to admit, Stendhal’s The Red and the Black.
BM: What’s a book with a really great sex scene?
CLF: Nicholson Baker’s Vox. A classic but definitely hot.
BM: Favorite book no one has heard of?
CLD: Well, I wouldn’t say nobody has heard of it, but Hardy’s The Return of the Native is just so fantastic. Most people think Tess when it comes to Hardy.
BM: Favorite book of the 21st century?
CLF: Got to give that to Mantel’s Wolf Hall.
BM: Favorite book you were assigned in high school?
CLF: Let’s call it favorite author: Shakespeare!
BM: Book(s) you’re reading right now?
CLF: The great Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls.
BM: Favorite children’s book?
CLF: The Bear That Wasn’t by Frank Tashlin. It’s the story of my life.
BM: Book you wish would be adapted for a film/tv show?
CLF: Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things would make a stunningly beautiful, dramatic film. Why hasn’t it made it to the screen yet?!
Cree LeFavour is the author of several cookbooks, including the James Beard Award-nominated Fish. She has a BA from Middlebury College and a PhD in American Studies from NYU. Her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times Book Review, O Magazine, The Times (London), and Bon Appetit.
Cree LeFavour’s Private Means is out now from Grove Press