Saturday, January 6, 2024

Welcome to My Life in Books, a weekly series where readers, authors and content creators tell how books have shaped them over the years.

Rachel Soo Thow is an Auckland–based beauty development executive whose gorgeous Instagram the Lit List – which blends thoughtful thoughts on books with stylish setups- is one of my references for book recommendations. As a self-confessed beverage lover, Rachel finds the Internet on weekends in search of book fairs, discovers new thrift stores and buys even more books to add to her growing TBR.

What is your first memory of reading?

It would have to be in elementary school-I remember sitting on ottomans in the library, surrounded by the saddle club, the babysitting club and the scary books, devouring them blanket by blanket, while the rest of the kids were playing football outside, I loved every minute of it.

Do you have a favorite book from your childhood?
Probably everything from the scary series by RL Stine-I remember watching the cover of “Stay out of the Basement” and it was love at first sight. I’ve loved everything to do with horror ever since.

Do you have a favorite book from school?
Tweets by Roald Dahl. The whole premise of the book was ridiculous, wonderful and magical at the same time.

How often do you read now?

I try to read every day, but with a full-time job, I have to admit that it’s a little hard for me to sneak as far as I want, but every time I have a quiet moment in the morning or after at night, this is the best form of silence that you will ever experience in your life.

What are you reading right now?
The Book of the Goose by Yiyun Li! It’s a roller coaster ride in search of a toxic friendship between two girls – I’ve never read anything like this before and I have to admit that I was rushing home from work just to read it!

Is there a book you’ve always wanted to read but haven’t read yet?
Ok, I’m looking at my TBR right now and it’s a bit confrontational. There are so many that I would like to read, but I would say Olga Tokarczuk’s Jacob’s Book – it’s a monster, but I expect this as a holiday reading at the end of this year! I’ve seen some fantastic reviews about it and I’m so ready for a saga.

Is there a book that you would recommend to almost everyone?

Conversations about Love edited by Natasha Lunn and Annie Lords heartbreak notes. It’s no surprise that they’re both at love – Lunn’s novel draws on the experiences of 15 essayists and writers and explores the definition of love in all its forms, while Lord’s novel is a love story told backwards that explores the pains and difficulties of heartbreak. I couldn’t wear either of them and would recommend them again and again!

Which book doesn’t live up to its hype?
Oooh, it’s hard, but I must say that today a woman went crazy at Hilma Wolitzer’s supermarket – the cover was A+, but the content was boring for me personally. I wanted more drama and more hilarity and wit in the relationship between Paulie and Howard and instead I could only muster mediocre observations.

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