Today on Reade and Write I welcome Rabbi Ilene Schneider, who is both an author and an avid reader. I had the pleasure of meeting her at a Malice Domestic convention in Bethesda, Maryland, and I’m thrilled to finally host her here. Ilene answers my questions for readers today, but I hope to have her back soon to answer my questions for writers, too!
Welcome to Reade and Write, Ilene!
How often do you read?
Constantly. When do I not read is easier to answer: when I’m talking with someone, when I’m driving, when I’m sleeping, when I’m in the shower, when I’m at the movies or a play or concert, when I’m at religious services … I can’t think of any other times I don’t read. I even read while watching TV.
What is the name of the last book you finished?
The Cat in the Living Room, a natural and cultural history of house cats.
What are you reading now?
I just started Alexandra Sokoloff’s Huntress Moon.
What is your preferred genre?
Cozy mysteries, with ventures into natural history books (recently reread John McPhee’s Pine Barrens for the umpteenth time) and popular history (anything by Erik Larson).
What was the last book you read outside your preferred genre?
The Cat in the Living Room.
Are you in a book club?
Where do you obtain most of the books you read- from a bookstore, online, the library, borrowed from a friend, etc.?
Kindle. I’m addicted to it. I realized a while ago it’s not books I love but reading.
How do you decide which books to read?
Recommendations, reviews, new releases by authors I’ve enjoyed in the past, books by authors I’ve met.
What is in your To-Be-Read pile?
How much time and space do you have? 28 on my to-be-read list, 39 on my “classics” (books I may reread, including such books as Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Maltese Falcon, as well as Sherlock Holmes, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, etc.), 26 nature, history, biography, and research.
Do you pay attention to especially bad reviews of books when deciding whether to buy or read them?
Yes, I want to see if any of the negative reviews contain criticisms of things I dislike, like excessively gory or gratuitous violence, explicit or gratuitous sex, lack of character development, stilted dialogue …
Lots of people don’t have a favorite book for a variety of reasons. Do you have a favorite? What is it?
Whatever I’m currently reading. Assuming I like it to begin with.
Where is your favorite reading spot?
Wherever I am.
Anything else you want me to know?
If I have to lose a sense, I’d prefer anything but sight. I am a visual learner, so audio books won’t do it for me.
Rabbi Ilene Schneider, Ed.D., one of the first six women rabbis ordained in the U.S., has finally decided what she wants to be when she grows up. She retired from her day job to devote full time to writing. She is the author of the Rabbi Aviva Cohen mysteries: Chanukah Guilt, which was nominated for the Deadly Ink David Award for Best Mystery of 2007, was one of My Shelf’s 2007 Top Ten Reads, and was a Midwest Book Review Reviewers Choice Book; and Unleavened Dead, which won First Place from the Public Safety Writers Association, and was nominated for the Deadly Ink David Award for Best Mystery of 2012. Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine called Unleavened Dead “… a solid, funny mystery that provides an insider’s look at Jewish life.” A resident of Marlton, NJ, near Philadelphia, she has completed the third book in the series, Yom Killer, and is also the author of Talk Dirty Yiddish.
Thanks for stopping by, Ilene!
Until next time,