Welcome to the Book Marks Questionnaire, where we ask authors questions about the books that have shaped them.
This week, we spoke to Catherine House author Elisabeth Thomas.
Book Marks: First book you remember loving?
Elisabeth Thomas: The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Camping out in a warm little boxcar, surviving on blueberries, bread, and cool fresh milk… it all sounded terribly romantic.
BM: Favorite re-read?
ET: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.
BM: A book that blew your mind?
ET: Not to be hyperbolic, but THICK by Tressie McMillan Cottom changed the way I think about beauty, money, race, family, everything. I can’t wait to reread it again and again.
BM: Last book you read?
ET: The Street by Ann Petry, a haunting, violent, and darkly funny story.
BM: A book that actually made you laugh out loud?
ET: Alessandro Boffa’s You’re an Animal, Viskovitz!
BM: Favorite book no one has heard of?
ET: The Happiness Flower by Eva-Lis Wuorio, the story of a schoolgirl who befriends an ancient Finnish elf called a peikko. I think I borrowed my copy from my elementary school library and never gave it back… I’m sorry!
BM: Favorite book you were assigned in high school?
ET: Ovid’s Metamorphoses, for Latin class.
BM: Favorite book of the 21st century?
ET: It changes all the time! But at the moment, I’ll say the uneasy, nightmarish Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin.
BM: Book(s) you’re reading right now?
BM: Favorite children’s book?
ET: The Light Princess by George MacDonald, or My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett, or Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales translated by Diana Crone Frank and Jeffrey Frank. I read a lot of children’s books; I like their magic logic.
Elisabeth Thomas grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where she still lives and now writes. She graduated from Yale University and currently works as an archivist for a modern art museum. Catherine House is her first novel.
Elisabeth Thomas’ Catherine House is out now from Custom House