My name is Anna; I’m an Assistant Editor at LBYR, where I work on picture books through young adult.
Favorite Book of All Time
The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. I think it was the first book I ever read with a powerful, uncompromising female character who wasn’t ever diminished to be made more likable—who could be respected and loved, both. That entire series is sterling silver.
Favorite LBYR Book
Ash by Malinda Lo!! I’ve been a critical authority on Cinderella stories since I was three, and this is still the best written retelling there is. It’s completely gorgeous. (The best cinematic retellings of Cinderella are the one with Brandy and the one with Drew Barrymore.)
Book(s) You Think Everyone Should Read
I try to avoid being prescriptive about books, because I do it so easily, but literally every human alive should read Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. It has an almost unbearable tenderness that I think every human alive should feel—reading it is like being an angry baby bird in someone’s hand.
Book You've Been Meaning to Read for a While
Ugh, Orlando by Virginia Woolf. It’s been on my bookshelf staring me down since like, 2013. I’ll read it, Virginia.
Favorite Book Cover
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. I have a huge print of this cover in my bedroom. I’m a sucker for snakes and flowers with too many petals. There’s also a lil rat in there. But it looks friendly, like Templeton, with cleaner ears. I also have a poster of the reissue cover for We Have Always Lived in the Castle. No rats in that one.
Unexpected Book that You Love
The Once and Future King, by T.H. White. It was really surprising to me, after eight years of public school resentment towards John Steinbeck, how deeply I could love a book by a white dude. White male literature is kind of a niche category that’s hard to make universally relatable. But The Once and Future King is really good.
Most Worn-Out (but Well-Loved) Book
My copy of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, is on its absolute last legs but I can’t replace it because it’s signed. I should have used this one for my signed book! But I didn’t.
A Weird Literary Fetish
I am slowly reading every biography that’s ever been written about Joan of Arc. I think I have about fourteen now. Talk to me about Joan if you ever want to waste an hour of your life.
A Signed Book on Your Shelf
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. It’s not signed by the author, so I guess I’m cheating this question, but it IS inscribed, and it was the very first book on my shelf. Someone gave it to my mom before I was born, and they wrote in the front, “To baby: May your library be as full as your heart.” I always really liked that someone gave me Little Women before anyone expected a gender of me.