Teri Coyne: LibraryThing Author Interview

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During a chat with LibraryThing readers last week, I asked them to recommend their favorite books to me. What surprised me is how many of us have books that we return to over the years, like visiting an old friend. Summer is the perfect time to do this as re-reading a book is pure pleasure, isn’t it? We already know how it is going to end so we read it for the language, our favorite scenes and most of all to take us back to that wonderful moment when we felt connected to something bigger and greater than ourselves. Here are the five books I'm re-reading this summer:

  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The first time I ever went to the Hamptons I had the feeling that I had been there before; I had, when I read The Great Gatsby in high school. This book is full of great writing, intense longing and astute observations about how we all get stuck in a moment in time. There are too many moments to savor them all – one of my favorites is the scene describing Daisy and Jordan resting. "Daisy and Jordan lay upon an enormous couch, like silver idols weighing down their own white dresses against the singing breeze of the fans."
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Is there a cooler heroine than Scout? I don’t think so. There is not book that has affected me as much. This book just gets better and better. Great descriptions of summer too, like this one "Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o'clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum."
  • The Post Birthday World by Lionel Shriver. This book explores the idea of destiny. Unlike the dilemma of most characters in novels where they are forced to choose one road over another, this book takes Irina down two paths – the road taken and not taken. Which choice would you make? This is worth re-reading to see if I still feel the same way a few years later. One of my favorite quotes: "So what do women prefer? For their men to be fine? Or luuuuvly?" "Oh, whichever a woman ends up with, she'll wonder if she wouldn't rather have the other." So true.
  • Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. "My name, in those days, was Susan Trinder. People called me Sue." So begins this amazing and gripping story by Sarah Waters. I pride myself on usually knowing where a plot is going but Ms. Waters took me by surprise. There are a few major twists in this story which literally made me put the book down, look up and say, "How did she do that?" This one is worth reading at least one more time!
  • Cowboys Are My Weakness by Pam Houston. No summer read is complete for me without grabbing a few short stories – and no collection gets re-read more by me than Pam Houston’s brilliant, illuminating and inspired collection. My favorite story is "Cowboys are my Weakness." To this day I don’t think I’ve ever read a story that speaks so much to the conflict independent, romantic women have in finding the right man. "Life gives us what we need when we need it; receiving what it gives us is a whole other thing."

Teri Coyne is the author of The Last Bridge. She is an alumna of New York University. In addition to writing fiction, Coyne wrote and performed stand-up comedy for many years. Coyne dvides her time between New York City and the North Fork of Long Island.

Books by Teri Coyne

The Last Bridge (236 copies)

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