May 27, 2016

What Judy Blume Loves To Read

By Danielle Knight

Author Judy Blume and her husband, George Cooper, recently opened an independent bookstore in Key West. Ahead of our May 31 show, we asked Judy about some of her favorite books, what she’s reading now and the books she remembers from childhood.

What Judy Blume Is Reading Now:

“The Atomic Weight of Love” by Elizabeth J. Church 

Judy says she’s “finding it hard to put it down.”

Recently Read by Judy Blume:

“Eligible” by Curtis Sittenfeld 

She finished “Eligible” in April and tweeted: “I am head over heels in love with this book. Thanks for hours of pleasure. Will be hand selling.”

Hear Curtis Sittenfeld on the Diane Rehm Show

“On My Own” by Diane Rehm

Judy says she “loved it and felt so close to Diane while reading it.”

Some of Judy Blume’s All-Time Favorite Books:

“Them” by Joyce Carol Oates 

“I had two small children,” Judy says. “They were playing in the backyard sandbox.  It was summer.  Bath time came and went, suppertime came and went.  But I could not put down this book.  It was unlike anything I’d ever read.  When my then husband came home and found me reading and the children still playing outside, he was not happy. But I was.”

“American Pastoral” by Philip Roth

“One of my go-to novels for inspiration as a writer,” Judy says. “It never fails to amaze me.”

“Martha Quest and the Children of Violence” series by Doris Lessing 

“I was swept into another world by these five novels,” Judy says. “I went from reading one to another to another.  Still, the first, Martha Quest, remains my favorite. It was my husband, George, who introduced me to them.”

“A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” by Dave Eggers

“And it is just that,” Judy says. “I laughed through tears. I’ve never forgotten those “boys” or their story.”

Some Of Judy’s Favorite Books From Her Childhood:

“Madeline” by Ludwig Bemelmans

Judy says this is the first book she fell in love with at the Elizabeth, New Jersey public library.

“I found it on my own, memorized it (I must have been around four and couldn’t read yet).  I loved it so much I hid it so my mother would not be able to return it to the library.  I thought it was the only copy in the world.  To this day I feel guilty.  It was the first book I bought for my daughter’s library when she was born,” Judy says.

“The Adventures of Augie March” by Saul Bellow

This was “one of the books I found in the bookshelves flanking the fireplace in our living room,” Judy says.

She was 12 years old, and “interested in the world of adults and the secrets they kept from children,” she recalls. ” I still remember a steamy scene involving an eagle, one I must have read hundreds of times. Fortunately, my parents placed no restrictions on what books I could read.  In our house, reading was a good thing.”

Hear more from Judy Blume on our May 31 program.


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