Jodi Picoult

One of my favorite storytellers in the fabulous Jodi Picoult. Not only is she an incredibly talented writer, but she’s also an active member of my small New England community. Jodi was gracious enough to share some of her thoughts about words, writing, and Harry Potter, when we asked her to fill-in-the-blank of the following sentences. (Her answers are in bold.)

Ms. Wormgrunt would be a great name for a children’s fictional character.

My most memorable writing teacher was Mary Morris  because she taught me to be my own best editor.

The most common grammar/spelling mistake I still make is putting a comma when I need a semi-colon.

If I could have been a fly on the wall for any conversation in history, I would have liked to have heard Shakespeare talk his way through Romeo & Juliet.

The most beautiful word in the English language is uxorious: excessively fond of one’s wife.

The ugliest word in the English language is intolerance.

The most romantic love scene in the word would have to take place in the Maldives.

I believe that a psychic is one profession which has a lot of potential for a good character.

The song to my life’s soundtrack is anything my son Jake sings.

Three of the most memorable fictional characters in the world are:  Nick Carraway, Lady Brett Ashley, and Harry Potter.

My favorite children’s book is The Paper Bag Princess.

The most important snack which fuels literary creativity is: chocolate.

My favorite place to read a book is the bathtub.



Clark Moore

I knew Clark before he starred in Love, Simon. I knew him before he was an a capella star on The Sing Off. I knew him before he won his first Oscar. (It hasn’t happened yet, but it will.) And he’s not only talented, funny, and smart…but he’s also kind. He’s a big city guy but he’d be a wonderful small town neighbor. I spoke to him in 2015 about everything and nothing.

What was your first job, and what did you learn? My first job was a regional radio commercial for Coke and I learned how gratifying it was to get paid to do something you love.

Where is your favorite vacation spot? Any beach house in Hilton Head, South Carolina! There’s nothing more relaxing than a southern beach town.

What’s a necessary indulgence? I could never say “no” to anything wrapped in (or that incorporates) bacon, or a great sale!

If you’re in a department store, which section/thing do you gravitate towards?  The fragrance section. I have a very strong sense of smell that is directly connected to many fond memories.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? “The Southern Benedict” (fried chicken on a biscuit, covered in a black-peppered, sausage hollandaise gravy) at Folk Art in Atlanta.

Something most people don’t know about you? I’ve seen every episode of Battlestar Gallactica.

Do you sing in the shower?  What’s your go-to tune? I do a full broadway show in my shower every single day! This morning I was singing a playlist that included Beyonce, Britney Spears, and Robyn.

What’s one thing on your Bucket List you’d like to see/do/experience? I want to live in Ireland for at least a year.

What would people be surprised to find out about your daily routine?  People are usually surprised when they find out I don’t iron my clothes. I don’t even own an iron!

How do you order your eggs? Always over-medium with salt and pepper.

What was the first concert your saw live?  *NSYNC No Strings Attached. It was life changing. They came down from the top of the stage suspended by strings like puppets.

Finish this sentence: I’m likeable because… my glass is always half full.

Willie Geist

I don’t watch a lot of daytime television but I’ve always loved Willie Geist. He reminds me of the kid in class who could hang with both the troublemakers and the teachers. If Willie ever wants to move out of the city, I’d be the first to welcome him to the woods. He was kind enough to answer some questions about his love of books in 2016, and I still find his answers effervescent:

The book I hope to read soon is David McCullough’s “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris.”

My most memorable English teacher was Abby Brown in 7th grade.  Mr. Brown was young and passionate. He once yelled at me for throwing a book to a friend because it disrespected the book. That, I must say, was a little over the top.

The most common grammar/spelling mistake I still make is putting the period or the comma outside that damned closed quotation. Still looks better to me on the outside, but what do I know?

If I could read an autobiography about anyone, it would be Jesus. We’ve heard everyone else’s version of the story. He definitely would debut high on the New York Times bestseller list — just after Bill O’Reilly.

The most beautiful word in the English language is “Chateaubriand.” Wait, that’s French. How about “effervescent”?

The ugliest word in the English language is “Buttafuoco.”

The most romantic love scene in the word would have to take place in Provence, maybe during a walk up Mont St. Victoire as it looked to Cezanne.

If someone wrote a book about my life, they would be surprised to learn that for the better part of the early 1990′s,  I tried to dress like a rapper. It didn’t work.

The book which I continue to re-read is “City Slickers” by William E. Geist. It’s a collection of my dad’s best columns during his time at The New York Times. Man, they’re good.

The book I tend to gift to loved ones is “What To Expect When You’re Expecting.” It gets very awkward when it turns out the loved one is not pregnant — they’ve just put on a few pounds. Always ask a third party before giving that book. Lesson learned.

My favorite children’s book is “Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus.” We’re big on the Mo Willems collection in our house.

My favorite library/bookstore in the whole world is Bookends in Ridgewood, New Jersey. It was my hometown store growing up, and a small bookseller that is thriving.

When I read, I love to snack on Twizzlers. Industrial-sized bags of them.