|photo: Jenna Davis
Karma Brown is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author (The Choices We Make). Her latest novel, Recipe for a Perfect Wife, was recently published by Dutton.
On your nightstand now:
I have two: Untangled by Lisa Damour and Five Wives by Joan Thomas. Untangled is nonfiction and is about "guiding teenage girls through the seven transitions into adulthood." Since I have an 11-year-old daughter at home, my family physician wrote me a "prescription" for this book as a must-read. Five Wives is set in the Ecuadorian rain forest, and is about five women left behind in 1956, when their missionary husbands are killed--and it's based on real-life events. Ann Patchett's State of Wonder is one of my favorite books, and this has similar vibe.
Favorite book when you were a child:
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. I was mesmerized--and still am--by the magic and creativity of that book.
Your top five authors:
It is so hard to choose! But a few authors who have written unforgettable book(s) for me are: John Irving, Ann Patchett, Lauren Groff, Stephen King and Meg Wolitzer.
Book you've faked reading:
Paradise Lost by John Milton. It was required reading in one of my university classes, and I hated every tedious minute of it (and fake-read about half).
Book you're an evangelist for:
We All Love the Beautiful Girls by Joanne Proulx. It's a haunting and evocative story about the unraveling and shattering of a family after one fateful night. It blew me away, and I tell everyone about it.
Book you've bought for the cover:
Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum (the hardcover version--gorgeous)
Book you hid from your parents:
Judy Blume's Wifey, when I was about 10 years old. I would read it at the library in the small town where I grew up while my mom shopped.
Book that changed your life:
Probably reading Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. I was young when I read it, and had never before considered things like eternal life--and why you may, or may not, want to live forever. It was exciting and scary to imagine, and to this day that remains one of my most memorable books.
Favorite line from a book:
For me, this line from Katherine Applegate's The One and Only Ivan, is perfection: "I like colorful tales with black beginnings and stormy middles and cloudless blue-sky endings. But any story will do." Perfection.
Five books you'll never part with:
Any of my Lauren Groff books; my childhood copy of Richard Scarry's Best Storybook Ever; A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving that I hid a four-leaf clover inside; my dedicated copy of Taylor Jenkins Reid's Daisy Jones & The Six; a copy of Richard Wagamese's Embers, which my mom gifted to me and is the most beautiful, heart-filled book.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. That book broke my heart, but regardless, I would read it again and again.