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 One by One (out now in paperback), Ruth Ware.
Book Marks: First book you remember loving?
Ruth Ware: Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill. It had flaps, which is always a bonus.
BM: Favorite re-read?
BM: A book that blew your mind?
RW: I remain in complete awe of the structure of The Time Traveler’s Wife. People always ask how I keep track of my plots, but I genuinely don’t find it hard to hold everything in my head. However, that book—I have no idea how Audrey Niffenegger kept all the interlocking timelines straight, let alone conveyed it all to the reader. I can only imagine a nightmare of Excel spreadsheets must have been involved.
BM: A book that actually made you laugh out loud?
RW: I very rarely cry at books, but I do laugh a lot. Jon Ronson’s The Men Who Stare at Goats is one that springs to mind—probably because I listened to it on audiobook going through customs in an airport, and I was worried about getting pulled over as I kept giggling to myself. It’s actually quite a dark book with some very sad and moving passages, but it’s also very absurd, and there’s something about his delivery, particularly in the first section, that I just found irresistibly dry and funny.
BM: Favorite book to give as a gift?
RW: I’ve given Edmund de Waal’s The Hare with Amber Eyes over and over.
BM: Classic book you hate?
RW: Lady Chatterley’s Lover. I got to the “little god” part and threw the book across the room. I don’t believe any woman ever thought that.
BM: Classic book on your To Be Read pile?
BM: Favorite book you were assigned in high school?
RW: Probably Dracula by Bram Stoker. It’s so much weirder and more interesting than people who haven’t read it would imagine. Like a long fever dream of epically Freudian proportions.
BM: Book(s) you’re reading right now?
RW: I’m currently reading Fragile by Sarah Hilary. It’s EXTREMELY spooky, and I have no idea what’s going on.
BM: Favorite children’s book?
RW: Hmm… again hard to pick a single one, but possibly Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones. Chrestomanci is a creation of pure genius.
Ruth Ware has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language, and a press officer before settling down as a full-time writer. She now lives with her family in Sussex, on the south coast of England. She is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail (Toronto) bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, The Turn of the Key, and One by One. Visit her at RuthWare.com or follow her on Twitter @RuthWareWriter.
Ruth Ware’s One by One is out now in paperback from Gallery-Scout Press