Following the publication of Circus Miranda, I am pleased to welcome the author, Cassie Beasley onto the blog to take part in Chuck a Book, where I put the author under a spot light to reveal the books that they love.
1)The best book you have ever read.
Talk about starting with the really hard question! One of my all-time favorites is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Death’s narration is so perfect. The depth of the characters is stunning. And the writing is gorgeous. I know a book is great when I get to the end and feel like I need to re-read it right away. I’ve read this one several times now, and I grow ever more in love with it.
2) A book you loved from your childhood.
Ogre, Ogre by Piers Anthony. This was probably my first “grown-up” book, and it turned me into quite the little fantasy nut. I read almost all of the Xanth novels, and there are a ton of them. I found the series didn’t hold up quite so well as I aged, but I’ve still got a soft spot for this one.
3) A book that made you laugh.
The Princess Bride by William Goldman. I fell for the movie first, which I don’t think is that surprising. My friends and I would watch it every time we had a slumber party. Then I realized there was a book. When I first started reading it, I couldn’t quite figure it out. Goldman’s writing is so unique, and there are jokes within jokes. Once I finally let myself be drawn in, I couldn’t get enough of it. Much of the story is funny on its own, but Goldman takes it beyond that. I also spent months trying to track down a copy of the fictitious sequel, Buttercup’s Baby, so in the end the joke was on me.
4) A book you could not finish.
I am extremely good about finishing books, even ones I don’t like. I’m a fast reader, so usually I just keep chugging along to see if the story gets better. But I have trouble with the entire romance genre. Unless there are dragons or killer robots, it’s really hard for romances to hold my interest. Even great ones. But I’ll go ahead and throw Fifty Shades of Grey under the bus. I picked it up because it was so popular, and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. It was the wrong book for me in basically every way imaginable. I couldn’t do it.
5) A book that made you swoon.
Having confessed to my troubles with romance novels, I will now take a moment to gush about how AWESOME Rainbow Rowell’s books are. Her words! Her characters! When I read her books, I come away feeling like I have been one of the protagonists. Eleanor & Park is probably my favorite. I was sure I wouldn’t like it. (Because romance.) But I adore Eleanor. I adore Park. I adore them even more when they are together.
6) A book you can’t wait to read.
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate. The One and Only Ivan grabbed my heart on the very first page, and it still hasn’t let go. And Crenshaw is about a boy with a giant cat for an imaginary friend. The description of the book makes me think of the movie Harvey. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!
7) A series you have read and loved.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Her plots go in unexpected directions, and she’s not afraid to take her characters down some pretty dark roads. I’m also fascinated by her magical system. It’s hard to find fantasy ideas that feel really new and fresh, but this series is full of surprises.
8) A book that made you cry.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. Actually, everything by Kate DiCamillo. Sometimes I’m crying because of the stories, but just as often, I’m bawling into my blankets because her writing is so darn beautiful. Crying over a great book is the best sort of crying there is.
9) Your guilty pleasure book.
You know, I don’t think I’ve ever felt guilty about reading a book. I’ll try anything. And I’m always so happy to see people reading that it never matters to mewhat they’re reading. I’ll have to tell you about a different kind of book guilt instead. When I was in elementary school, I lost my teacher’s copy of I Left My Sneakers in Dimension X by Bruce Coville. But I couldn’t bring myself to admit it, so I sat there squirming in my seat when she asked our class if anyone had seen the book. When I found it a couple of weeks later, I was too mortified to return it, so I read it over and over again. In my mind, this justified the accidental theft.
10) A book that took you out of your comfort zone.
Martine Leavitt’s stunning novel in verse, My Book of Life by Angel. This book, like so much of Martine’s work, is brilliant. And it is painful to read. Angel is a sixteen-year-old prostitute in Vancouver at a time when girls like her are disappearing with nobody showing much concern. The story is gut-wrenching and unforgettable, and Angel’s voice still haunts me.
Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley out now in paperback (Chicken House, £6.99)
Do you believe in magic?
Micah Tuttle does.
Even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn’t approve, Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other—the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real. And the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather.
The only problem is, the Lightbender doesn't want to keep his promise. And now it's up to Micah to get the miracle he came for.
To find out more about Cassie Beasley: