Continuing our bookseller series with… Ellen! As BookPeople’s Bookfairs Manager, Ellen is always busy working with schools to put together awesome bookfairs for their students! Learn more about her favorite books, quotes, and her delicious ice-cream making abilities below!
How long have you worked at BookPeople?
E: Seven years!
What is your favorite thing about working here?
E: It’s sort of obvious, but the books? I love having easy access to books.
What book will you continue to reread throughout your life?
E: As a kid, I reread books. But as an adult, I am definitely not a rereader. The only thing that comes close to rereading is using the same cookbooks. My most-often used, or referred to, cookbooks are THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, and THE PERFECT SCOOP by David Lebovitz. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is probably the best, most helpful book in my cookbook collection. It is an amazing reference for flavor combinations and ideas. (I also have two other books by this duo – WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT and THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE.) THE PERFECT SCOOP is fantastic for ice cream & other frozen treats. The trick is deciding which ice cream to make!
What is your favorite literary quote?
E: Currently, it is from the upcoming SKUNK AND BADGER by Amy Timberlake, illustrated by Jon Klassen: Skunk teaches Badger one of the great truths of our world: “I cook. You clean. It is a Law of Nature.”
What is something that is guaranteed to make you laugh?
E: Well-done physical comedy. Really bad jokes. Videos of animals doing silly things.
Who’s the most exciting person you’ve met through BookPeople?
E: Judy Blume. Meg Medina. I got to ride in a car with Gene Luen Yang while he finished signing books on his way to the airport. That was fun. Oh, and I can’t forget about shaking hands with Willie Nelson because Texas.
What would be your first buy if you won the lottery?
E: A massive trip to everywhere I have ever wanted to go.
You have a time machine and one week to spend in any era. When/where would you go?
E: Can I go to the future? Not my future specifically, but our future. I really want to see how all this turns out.
What are you watching on Netflix right now?
E: The Baby-Sitters Club, which is such a delight and I would have loved it as a 9-13 year old. (Who am I kidding? I am 40-something and loved it.) I watched it all in one sitting. Is that something I should admit? Besides that, I really like British & Scandinavian detective shows, of which there are many, some better than others.
What was your favorite book as a child? What is your favorite book at this very moment?
E: As a child, I really loved THE ANIMAL FAMILY by Randall Jarrell (Dad gave me this book), THE WESTING GAME by Ellen Raskin (a teacher gave me this one), and nearly everything by Judy Blume (a teenage neighbor gave me her taped together copy of SUPERFUDGE). I also adored JUMANJI by Chris Van Allsburg, and MISS NELSON IS MISSING by Harry Allard & illustrated by James Marshall.
I can’t really say I have a favorite book at this very moment, but some recent things I’ve read and would recommend are: WHISKEY WHEN WE’RE DRY by John Larison – a western with a fantastic main character and the best horse ever written; WE RIDE UPON STICKS by Quan Barry – an unusual blend of 1980’s nostalgia and the Salem witch trials, it sounds weird but it works so well!; CLAP WHEN YOU LAND by Elizabeth Acevedo – lyrical, beautiful novel in verse about two sisters who find each other after their father dies in a plane crash; and DRAGON HOOPS by Gene Luen Yang – it is on the surface about basketball, but it goes beyond basketball to being an author, and the kids who play the game. I just finished MEN WE REAPED by Jesmyn Ward which is heartbreaking and raw, and FROM THE DESK OF ZOE WASHINGTON by Janae Marks, a fantastic new voice in middle-grade. Currently reading KING AND THE DRAGONFLIES by Kacen Callender.