|photo: Michael Christie
Annette Christie is a Canadian American hybrid with a BFA in Theatre and a history of very odd jobs. She's had articles featured in various publications including HelloGiggles and the Guardian, and the back of her head is featured prominently in the film Mean Girls. She resides in Alberta with her husband and two children. The Rehearsals (Little, Brown, July 13, 2021) is her adult debut, about a couple who call off their wedding after a disastrous rehearsal dinner, only to wake up the next morning trapped in a time loop.
On your nightstand now:
When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole: I first became aware of Alyssa Cole years ago when I was discovering my love of romance novels, and now I'm engrossed in her thriller. Is there anything she can't write?
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab: I deliberately slow-burned this beauty of a book because I didn't want it to end and now I'm just keeping it close. For company. As one does.
Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky: Reading poetry is good for my soul and this book is stunning.
Several X-Men comics: These belong to my son. I'm going to read them so we can have a little comic book club.
The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon: This book quickly became one of my favorite romantic comedies of all time. Since I reread books as a way to manage anxiety, it's there just in case I need it.
Favorite book when you were a child:
When I was quite little, my favorite book was The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone, illustrated by Mike Smollin. Who am I kidding, this is still one of my favorites. It's hilarious. And, like Grover, I have discovered I am my own monster.
Your top five authors:
Douglas Coupland: Someone gave me a copy of Shampoo Planet when I was 15 or 16, and it cracked my imagination open with its wit. I don't know that I'd be a writer without Douglas Coupland's books to help me see that my weirdness just might be one of my greatest assets.
Jia Tolentino: Reading her essays feels like having a meaty conversation with my best friend. My best friend who also happens to be an insightful genius.
Tana French: Her mysteries are engrossing, her prose is lush and, as an added bonus, whenever I read her books I start mentally narrating my day in an Irish accent. My ancestors would be proud. Or embarrassed. Or both.
Roselle Lim: Her writing is exquisite, and each book shows a new side of her. She's also a well-known foodie and her books make me very, very hungry.
Jason Reynolds: Not only are his books wonderful, but he is such a powerful force of good in the world. I really admire him.
Book you've faked reading:
The Iliad by Homer. In my senior year of university, I decided it was a good idea to talk a professor into letting me do an entire Classical Mythology course in the span of just a few weeks. I faked reading a lot of things during those weeks, but I also managed to graduate on time.
Book you're an evangelist for:
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough. I love a good novel in verse and this is one of the best. It's based on the life of artist Artemisia Gentileschi. It's raw and fierce and beautiful.
Book you've bought for the cover:
I bought one of Amanda Lovelace's poetry books because of the stark cover and intriguing title. And then I bought all of Amanda Lovelace's books.
Book you hid from your parents:
Sweet Valley High: The New Jessica by Francine Pascal. I borrowed it from my older sister (okay, I stole it from her). My mother thought it was too racy for an eight-year-old (or perhaps she was just upset I had taken it without asking?). In my defense, that same sister had recently stolen--and hidden--my Rick Astley cassette. I never saw that cassette again. One might say my sister did the opposite of Rick-rolling me and stealing her book was payback.
Book that changed your life:
So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson. I recently listened to the audiobook and it's absolutely altered how I look at social media.
Favorite line from a book:
"Thankfully, persistence is a great substitute for talent." I read Born Standing Up by Steve Martin around the time I decided to pursue a writing career in earnest and this clever line stuck with me. Whenever imposter syndrome or self-doubt comes knocking, I remind myself that tenacity is my friend; whatever I lack in natural ability, I can make up for with the determination to get better. You can always get better at something. (Note: This apparently does not apply to bowling. No matter how many times I go bowling, I remain terrible.)
Five books you'll never part with:
I volunteer for a writing mentorship organization called Pitch Wars. Through it I've found my community of writers and I'll never part with books by people I love, like:
Throwaway Girls by Andrea Contos
I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre
Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl
Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey
I'm also going to cheat and list a book that hasn't been published yet, but I'm sure will be one day because it's a masterpiece: Jackal by E.E. Adams.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. When I finished it, I experienced such a brutal book hangover that I immediately started it over again from the beginning.
Upcoming releases you are looking forward to most:
The Make-Up Test by Jenny Howe
Well Matched by Jen DeLuca
Seoulmates by Susan Lee