Welcome to #Spotlight. If you are new to the blog, this is the interview series where you read about the most amazing humans who love books and all things bookish. Today’s #Spotlight is on Assia. You’re about to find out why in a bit.
Have you read my list of Bookstagrammers You Need To Follow For Diverse Reads? Assia’s is an account you MUST follow on Instagram if you want to enrich your reading life. And that’s all we want, right?
I love her personality, you don’t get to see much of her on the ‘gram but her joie de vivre shines through her reviews and book picks. I legit feel smart when I read her reviews, they are so enlightening. You always learn something.
Assia and I are in a group on Instagram called The African Review(you should check that out) and when you’re done with this interview, you’d love her as much as I do.
Where did your love of books /reading come from?
I learned to read French when I was around 6 or 7 years old and because we had just moved to France (from Algeria) my mum made sure we went to the local library once a week, and I was also very bored at home so books filled my time the right way. So I guess my love of books came from my mum and my boredom.
Which genres do you especially enjoy reading?
I don’t like limiting myself so I read everything, except for poetry (it has to be very good for me to actually invest in a poetry book). These last few years, I have been into non-fiction, as well as historical fiction. These are probably my two favourite genres at the moment.
What moves you most in a work of literature?
The writing style for sure because it leads to everything else. The writing style can perfectly transmit emotions to the reader or it can just do nothing but be there. I think the writing style must measure up to the feelings and emotions it deals with.
What’s the last great book you read?
I’m tempted to say Pachinko (I read it in 2017, that’s how great this book is!) but on a long second thought I’m going to say Anumpa Warrior by Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer (I love indigenous literature!).
Is there a classic book you never got around to reading until recently?
Probably an unpopular opinion but I don’t like European classics so there is nothing on that side. Honestly a classic book, I don’t think so, but a classic author YES! I recently finally read Naguib Mahfouz, the book I read – Mirrors – is apparently not a classic though.
If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose?
Korean. No doubt!
What’s the most interesting thing you learned from a book recently?
Hmm… I remember reading that the Choctaw Tribe helped the Irish when they suffered from the Potato Famine (1845-1852).
Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)?
Autobiographies! I honestly don’t remember the last time I read an autobiography.
What is your policy on book lending?
Only lend books (I’ve read) to people who will take care of them. Then I don’t mind they can keep it as long as they want.
How do you like to read? Paper or electronic? One book at a time or simultaneously? Morning or night?
PAPER! I hate reading on my phone or laptop, I’m growing old and need to take care of my eyes. My sister recently got an epub, and meh not a huge fan but still better than reading on my phone.
Usually, it’s one book at a time, I haven’t mastered the multi-book-reading technique yet.
Morning or Night? Both actually, it’s impossible for me to read during the day when everybody is around.
What book might people be surprised to find on your shelves?
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. I don’t like classics, yet I have this book.
What’s the best book you’ve ever received as a gift?
As a Harry Potter fan, I will say the first four volumes of Harry Potter!
You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?
Tata Maïssa Bey, Toni Morrison, and Mohammed Dib (and Min Jin Lee in case somebody doesn’t make it to the party!)
How do you decide what to read next? Is it reviews, word-of-mouth, books by friends, books for research? Does it depend on mood or do you plot in advance?
Depends on everything! On the posts, I see on bookstagram, the reviews I read, my mood (the last book I read called me, I took a nap, woke up with an urge to read Mirrors by Mahfouz) but I guess most important my choice is based on what I already own.
If you could be born into history as any famous person who would it be and why?
Trump (Or Marine le Pen, French female Trump) so I can make him Muslim, fast Ramadan and go to Tarawih prayer.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
I did me. Make sure you do you.
You discover a beautiful island upon which you may build your own society. You make the rules. What is the first rule you put into place?
Would rather sweat mayonnaise or have cheese for saliva?
What is your guilty pleasure Disney movie?
Confession: I don’t watch Disney, never watched a Disney movie so… I don’t have one.
If you were known as a strain of cannabis, what would your name be?
I actually had to google “strain of cannabis” to answer this question and I’ll go with cherry pie because.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Yes, of course! 1, 2, 3 VIVA L’ALGERIE!
Doesn’t you feel smart already? I love her so much! Follow Assia @shereadsox on Instagram and check out her website. It’s a treasure trove of book recommendations and stimulating reviews.
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