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Diana Gabaldon: Q&A

The author of ”An Echo in the Bone” takes our book quiz

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How many books do you read in a month?
Probably 20 to 30. I read all the time. People ask, ”Do you read while you work?” And I say, ”I better.” I take two or three years to finish one of my enormous books, and I can’t go that long without reading.

What do you have next on your bookshelf?
I have this book by Jo Nesbø; he’s a Scandinavian author. For a while I had avoided his books because his character’s name is Harry Hole. Harry. Hole. And I thought, ”Surely not.”

Are there any books you’ve pretended to have read, but really haven’t?
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. That was because I was involved in this extremely long online argument regarding censorship and Huckleberry Finn. I cited a lot of examples from it, but I hadn’t actually read it. It wasn’t that hard to pretend. That’s one of the good, or maybe bad, things about the Internet.

Did you have a book you’d reread as a child?
I’d say Alice in Wonderland is one I read more than most.

Do you have a favorite place to read?
Anywhere is my favorite place. When you’re reading, you’re not where you are; you’re in the book. By the same token, I can write anywhere. I have a laptop and a Kindle, so I can pretty much be anywhere.

Any guilty pleasures?
I’ve actually never understood that. If it’s a book, what’s wrong with it? And given the background for the books that I write, I could be reading all kinds of very peculiar things. I’ve got The Pleasures of the Torture Chamber, An Illustrated History of the Rod, and The Sex Life of the Foot and Shoe, to name only a few.