|photo: Ming Joanis
Sonya Lalli is a Canadian writer of Indian heritage. She studied law in her hometown of Saskatoon and at Columbia University in New York, and later completed an MA in Creative Writing and Publishing at City, University of London. She lives in Toronto with her husband. Her debut novel was The Matchmaker's List; her new novel, Grown-Up Pose, is available now from Berkley.
On your nightstand now:
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus. This book is full of magical realism and is beautifully written and entirely engrossing. The book is like a fairy tale for book lovers. I haven't read her first book, The Night Circus, but it's now definitely shooting straight to the top of my TBR list.
Favorite book when you were a child:
Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I've re-read the series countless times. I loved her journey, the character and I always felt a little special reading them because I, like the author, grew up on the prairies (I was born and raised in Saskatoon).
Your top five authors:
Jhumpa Lahiri, Louisa May Alcott, Arundhati Roy, Madeleine Thien and Jean M. Auel. I stand in awe of all of these amazing women!
Book you've faked reading:
The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. I'm a diehard Lord of the Rings fan, and I've read all the books and watched all the movies, including the Hobbit ones, but I've never been able to get through The Silmarillion. I find it too involving.
Book you're an evangelist for:
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. This book has it all: a complex protagonist, a vibrant setting, an intriguing pace and a problematic love triangle.
Book you've bought for the cover:
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple has an incredibly funky cover. The story turned out to be pretty amazing, too, with an amazing and super complex heroine. I can't wait to see the movie.
Book you hid from your parents:
As a preteen I hid my Harlequin romances. I was a bit too young to be reading them perhaps, but it definitely piqued my interest in reading and writing romances.
Book that changed your life:
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. This book resonated with me so much. As a child I had never read a book that featured a child of Indian immigrants growing up in the West. The theme of being caught between two conflicting cultures and trying to embrace them both was something I really identified with.
Favorite line from a book:
"What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though." --J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Love this quote--those rare books that stay with you forever.
Five books you'll never part with:
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. I loved each of these books on their own merit, but I think sometimes we read the right book at the right time, and something just resonates, and that's also why we hold onto to certain books--in order to also hold onto the feelings.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
The Harry Potter books, for obvious reasons. I haven't re-read the series since the last book came out, and I'm finally at a place where I have forgotten a lot of what happened in the books, so I can look forward to reading it all over again. It's as close as I'll come to reading it for the first time.