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Book Love

Book Love is a series of interviews with people who love books. Buchanan Library Fellows, visiting scholars, invited speakers and faculty talk about the books they fell in love with and the books that have influenced them. All stories are unique and everyone’s favorite book is important.

"The first book you fall in love with shapes your life ... ." writes Laura Miller in  The Magician’s Book (2009)  about C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia (1954). We're interested in all these questions. Contact Mary Anne Caton if you'd like to discuss your book loves via these questions:

  1. What was the first book you fell in love with?        
  2. What made that book special to you?       
  3. Have you reread it? If so, how do you feel about it now?
  4. What book captured your imagination as a reader before college? Why?
  5. Is there a book that set you on your professional path?  What impressed you about this book?
  6. In your work, what book influences you?
  7. Is there a book you share with friends, family, coworkers?
  8. Tell me about a gift book that you remember.


Martin Seay
Author, The Mirror Thief (2016)
October 2017 Interview 
Books loved: Kit Williams, Masquerade (1979)

Ke Francis
Book artist
November 2017 Interview 
Books loved: Homer, The Illiad & The Odyssey (8th Century BCE)
Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974)

Mickey Casad BookLove Interview

Madeline Casad
Executive Director, Vanderbilt University Digital Humanities Center
September 2017 Interview 
Books loved: DuBose Heyward, The Country Bunny and The Little Gold Shoes (1939)

Geoffrey M. Fleming, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
October 2017 Interview 
Books loved: Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited (1945)

Alice White BookLove Interview

Alice White
Digital Editor @Wellcome Institute, London UK
November 2017 Interview 
Books loved: Terry Deary, The Horrible History Series (1993)
Patricia Fara, Science, a 4,000-Year History (2009)

Kelly Perry BookLove Interview

Kelly Perry
Buchanan Library Fellow, Vanderbilt University
December 2017 Interview  
Books loved: E.B. White, Charlotte's Web (1952)

Scott Ellsworth
Author, The Secret Game (2015)
February 2018 Interview 
Books loved: C.L. Sulzberger, American Heritage History of WWII (1966)
Bennett Cerf, editor, Landmark Books, 180 volumes (1950-1970) including
includes Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Paul Revere and the Minute Men (1950)
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 1884

Lucha Corpi
Author, Black Widow's Wardrobe (1999)
Crimson Moon (2004)
Death at Solstice (2009)
March 2018 Interview
Books loved: Gabriel Garcia Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)
Scheherazade, One Thousand and One Nights (1775)

Teresa Dovalpage
Author, Death of a Telenovela Star (a Novella) (2020)
Death Comes in through the Kitchen (2019)
The Astral Plane: Stories of Cuba, the Southwest and Beyond (2011)
March 2018 Interview 
Books loved: Leopoldo, Alas y Ureña [Clarin] La Regenta (1884)
Rhoda Janzen, Mennonite in a Little Black Dress (2009)

Alicia Gaspar de Alba
Author, [Un]framing the "Bad Woman": Sor Juana, Malinche, Coyolxauhqui, and Other Rebels with a Cause (2014)
Calligraphy of the Witch (2007)
Desert Blood: The Juarez Murders (2005)
March 2018 Interview
Books Loved: Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (1868)
Carolyn Keene, Nancy Drew (1930)
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (1847)
Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights (1847)  

Joy Castro
Author, How Winter Began: Stories (2015)
Nearer Home. (2013)
Island of Bones: Essays, (2012)
March 2018 Interview
Books loved: Books loved: Platt and Monk, editors, The Little Engine that Could (1930)
F.H. Burnett, The Little Princess (1905)
Katherine Mansfield, Collected Stories (1956)
Helen MacInnes, Above Suspicion (1941)
Kate Atkinson, When will there be Good News? (2008)

Jorge Salles Diaz
Buchanan Library Fellow, Spring 2018
April 2018 Interview 
Books loved: J.R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (1937)
Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605)
Isabelle Allende, House of the Spirits (1982)

Blas Falconer 
Poet, Forgive the Body This Failure (2018)
The Foundling Wheel (2012)
October 2018 Interview 
Books loved: Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree (1964)
E. B. White, Charlotte's Web (1952)
C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950-56)
Homer, The Odyssey (8th Century BCE)
Naguib Mahfouz, Palace Walk (1956)

Fred Arroyo
Author, Sown in Earth: Essays of Memory and Belonging (2020)
Western Avenue and Other Fictions (2012)
The Region of Lost Names: A Novel (2008)
Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Middle Tennessee State University
December 2018 Interview
Books loved: Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (1935)
Lucia Berlin, A Manual for Cleaning Women (2015)

Lila Quintero Weaver
Author, Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White (2012)
October 2018 Interview 
Books loved: Eleanor Estes, The Hundred Dresses (1944)
Carson McCullers, The Member of The Wedding (1946)

Kate Daniels
Edwin Mims Chair of English; Director of Creative Writing, Vanderbilt University
December 2018 Interview
Books Loved: Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (1868)
Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie (1935)
Clare Cooper Marcus, House As a Mirror of Self: Exploring the Deeper Meaning of Home (1995)

Reyna Grande
Author & Teacher, The Distance Between Us (2012)
A Dream Called Home: A Memoir (2018)

August 2019 Interview
Books Loved: Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street (1983)
Marion Zimmer Bradley, Mists of Avalon (1982)
Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands / La Frontera (1987)

Eric J. Asen
Buchanan Library Fellow, Spring 2019
September 2019 Interview
Books Loved: Bill Waterson, Calvin and Hobbes (1987)
Christopher Paolini, Eragon (2002)
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997)

Sharonda G. Adams
Buchanan Library Fellow, Spring 2019
September 2019 Interview
Books Loved: Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief (2005)
George R.R. Martin, The Song of Ice and Fire (1996 - )
Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope  (2006)

Andrea W. Kikkert
Assistant Professor, Hampden-Sydney College, VA
August 2019 Interview
Books Loved: Arnold Lobel, Owl at Home (1975)
Mary Stewart, The Crystal Cave (1970)
Paul Cantor, Gilligan Unbound (2001)

Bill Hook
Director Emeritus of the Divinity Library, and Deputy UL (retired)
August 2019 Interview
Books Loved: Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time (1962)
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (1937)
J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings (1954)

Gretchen Selcke
Director, Latino and Latina Studies Program
September 2019 Interview
Books Loved: Beverly Cleary, Beezus and Ramona (1955)
Fernando de Rojas, The Celestina (1499)
Loida Maritza Perez, Geographies of Home (1999)

Phillip Walker
Director of Eskind Biomedical Library
December 2018 Interview
Books Loved: Malcolm X & Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965)
Tracy Kidder, Mountains Beyond Mountains (2003)
Sun Tzu, The Art of War (5th century BC)

Jacob Schroeder
Buchanan Library Fellow, Fall 2019
February 2020 Interview
Books Loved: Rick Riordan et al., The 39 Clues (2008 - 2011)
Mary Pope Osborne, The Magic Treehouse (1992 - 2020)
Franklin W. Dixon, The Hardy Boys (1927 - 2014)

Grace LaFrentz
Buchanan Library Fellow, Fall 2019
February 2020 Interview
Books Loved: Jeanne Birdsall, The Penderwicks (2005)
Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees (2001)
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye (1970)

Bobby Smiley
Interim Director of the Divinity Library
April 2020 Interview
Books Loved: Dr. Suess, On Beyond Zebra! (1955)
Italo Calvino, If On a Cold Winter Night (1979)
John Savage, England's Dreaming (1991)