A Bloggers Reading Journey – Reader Dad

Today’s Bloggers Reading Journey is from Matthew Craig who blogs at Reader Dad. He describes himself as a voracious reader of dark crime, horror, sci-fi and fantasy works. The darker the better. He can be found on Twitter here . So here are his answers to my questions:

What is your earliest reading memory?

That’s a tough one. Probably reading Jill Tomlinson’s gorgeous THE OWL WHO WAS AFRAID OF THE DARK as a child.


What was your favourite childhood book? Probably Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne and E. H. Shepard. Though, more recently, I discovered Oliver Jeffers’ STUCK, while reading it to my son. It’s hilarious and totally bonkers.


What book do you remember reading at school?

I’m going to cheat here and name three that have really stayed with me, one from P7 (Robert C. O’Brien’s Z FOR ZACHARIAH) and two that were part of the GCSE English curriculum at the time (Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding). I return to all three at times, even now.


What was the book that changed you?

Stephen King’s SKELETON CREW, and its opening story, “The Mist”, set me on the path to becoming a lifelong fan of the man’s work. Not sure if that’s a change for the better… Who was the author who helped you discover a whole new genre? I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction as a child, then crept over the genre lines into horror when I got my hands on SKELETON KEY around about the time I hit my teens. But it was Raymond Chandler who opened my eyes to the crime genre – which is probably the one I read most in these days.


What was the last book that you bought?

“Book”? I can’t just come away from a bookshop with ONE book, so my last trip ended up netting me: A TALE OF ONE JANUARY by Albert Matz THE TREES by Percival Everett CLOSE TO HOME by Michael Magee (definitely one of my books of the year) and YELLOWFACE by Rebecca F. Luang


What was the last book you reread?

I’m currently re-reading Stephen King’s THE STAND. Before that, it was the audio version of James Herbert’s RATS.


What was the last book you couldn’t finish?

Once upon a time, I would have finished every book, if it killed me. About 10 years ago I realised that it wasn’t really worth the effort: there are too many great books out there. It’s not a frequent occurrence (3 so far this year), but it happens. The most recent was at the end of May: Ruth Kelly’s THE VILLA. My own fault: it’s about a reality TV show, which is a genre of TV that I really can’t stand. About 50 pages in I felt like I was watching an episode of Big Brother, and had to ditch it.


The book I am currently reading

CENTRAL PARK WEST by James Comey, who has the distinction of being able to say he was sacked by you-know-who in his bio.


Where do you read?

Wherever I can! Usually, sprawled across the settee between 10:30 and midnight, when my wife and son have gone to bed.


What books/genres do you turn to, to get out of a reading slump?

I can always rely on King to get me out of a slump. But sometimes I need something that requires little from me, and I’ll turn to James Patterson’s Alex Cross series or Matthew Reilly’s non-stop thrillers.


What was your last five-star read?

THE LAST SONGBIRD by Daniel Weizmann (Melville House)


How many books do you currently own?

Too many (according to my wife). If I had to guess, it’s gotta be somewhere north of 2000. Enough to fill the attic and start spilling out to other parts of the house.


What is the oldest book on your bookshelves?

If you mean the oldest in terms of age, it’s probably the clothbound copy of Joseph Conrad’s NOSTROMO dated 1919. If you mean the earliest one I bought (or, as the case is, was bought for me), it’s a now rather ragged paperback copy of SKELETON CREW.


What book did you last buy based on the cover?

SCORCHED GRACE by Margot Douaihy


What book do you always recommend?

ROOM by Emma Donoghue, or the aforementioned STUCK by Oliver Jeffers

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  1. Liz Dexter

    Great interview. It’s always interesting to read about someone’s reading life that has no intersection with one’s own!

    • Paul

      Thank you. Thankfully the range of genres out there is vast. Is this a good time to ask if you have looked at yours yet? 🙂

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