Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Meet Alix Reid! [Part 2]

Alix Reid, the new editorial director of Carolrhoda Books and Carolrhoda Lab, is back on the blog to answer more questions, this time talking about her favorite books, hobbies, and what she'd be if she wasn't an editor. (In case you missed it, you can find the first round of Q&A here.)


1. What were your favorite books as a kid? What are some favorite books you’ve read recently?

I was (and still am) an avid re-reader and some of the books that I read over and over again as a kid included Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeliene L’Engle, The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, Homecoming by Cynthia Voight, and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aitken. And, of course, the Anne of Green Gables and Little House books.

I have so many recent favorites! Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, Clariel by Garth Nix, The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (I came late to this amazing series), The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal, and Ricky Yancy’s Monstrumologist series. My favorite adult book right now is Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life. As I’ve grown older, as might be clear from this list, I’ve been gravitating toward science fiction and fantasy.

2. Say you’re trapped on a desert island—what 5 books would you want with you?

I’ve never read The Inferno, though I’ve started it about fifteen times, so this would be a great opportunity to finally settle down with it. Jane Eyre would definitely be on my list; I read it about once a year. Maybe the Complete Oxford English Dictionary; that probably sounds pretentious, but in graduate school I studied Anglo-Saxon and Italian, as well as Chaucer, and I love seeing how languages evolve over time and cross over into each other. I think I’d have to put Cynthia Voight’s Homecoming on the list, because it is one of the most beautiful and satisfying books of all time. For my last book, I might pick The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, but I’m not entirely sure about that.

3. Tell us about Chicago. What draws you to the city?

I never thought I’d leave Manhattan, where I grew up, but when my husband got a job in Chicago he couldn’t turn down, and we were in the process of adopting our wonderful daughter, it was an opportunity we had to take. I love the friendliness of the city—strangers actually say hello to each other, which took some getting used to. The lake is beautiful, and the sculptures and architecture are breathtaking. Although we live in Oak Park now (home to Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio and replete with original Wright houses), we love going into the city to visit the museums and try out the many new restaurants.

4. If you weren’t an editor, you’d be a…

When I went to graduate school, I was planning to become a professor of English literature. I did teach some graduate level courses in creative writing and the history of publishing, but found I really didn’t enjoy the experience as much as I’d expected. However, I’ve been working one-on-one with second graders in my daughter’s class, helping them write stories and edit them, so I could see tutoring children as an alternative career. But I love being an editor, so it’s hard to imagine doing anything else!

5. Speaking of things other than editing, what are your hobbies?

Spending time with my daughter and husband, of course. I also have a big, energetic golden retriever who loves long walks. I enjoy knitting scarves, although I’m running out of people to give them to, and I’ve recently started doing barre classes. And I like to obsess about the Game of Thrones TV series.

Hoss, Alix's golden retriever: "He's a goofball."

Thanks, Alix!