When he’s not training or representing Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympics, figure skater Vincent Zhou has his nose in a book.
“I like to read, I’ll read basically any novel that has a good plot,” Zhou told EW just before he left for PyeongChang. “I don’t plan to start watching TV shows anytime soon; I feel like they take up too much time and I don’t want to distract myself.”
We wouldn’t want him to be distracted either: At 17, Zhou is the youngest member of Team USA this year. So instead of bonding over This Is Us, EW spoke with Zhou about the music that fuels his rigorous training schedule and the books that help him the get lost “in another world.” Before he takes the ice for the men’s final — airing tonight on NBC — check out his Must List.
1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
“I absolutely love it. I know it’s being made into a movie that’s coming out this year. I read the book and it was absolutely amazing. It’s just such a comprehensive story that takes you into a completely different world.”
2. Find Her by Lisa Gardner
“It’s sort of a thriller crime kidnapping kind of thing. It was one of the first novels I ever read and it kept me up at night. It was a page turner.”
3. Author Douglas E. Richards
“He’s a New York Times best-selling author. He writes a lot of sci-fi novels that explore quantum theory and the human mind, and they all are very realistic books.”
4. Allie X
“I love Allie X, she has a very unique style. If you watch all of her music videos and stuff, she’s just very unique and her melodies are all extremely well put together and interesting. My two favorite songs from her are ‘Downtown’ and ‘Paper Love.'”
“I don’t listen to too much mainstream music, I think its overplayed and overused. Honestly, I feel like lots of songs that make the top charts aren’t even that good; it’s only really because they’re by big names and they have the production,” Zhou said about his playlists. “There’s tons of good music that I listen to that I tell people about and they’re like, ‘Who’s that?'”
5. “All of Me” by Big Gigantic ft. Logic and ROZES
“I actually think he’s one of the few people who can actually rap. I listen to some of his lesser-known songs and collaborations. I’m a big fan.”
6. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
“It’s a very advanced level of reading that I don’t know if even I can comprehend well enough yet, but it has a really good rating and, from what I can tell, the writing is a very mastered style that my ‘young uncultured mind’ can’t exactly process completely yet,” Zhou told EW. “I honestly got it from Amazon Prime because it had a perfect rating and all the reviews said it that it was amazing. It was listed under the ‘also check this out’ list under Ready Player One, which is my favorite book.”