Brooke Tajer is happy when her nose is in a book. “[Reading has] always been one of my favorite ways to relax. In my opinion, there is no better scent in the world than the one that greets you when you walk into a bookstore.” she said.
She lives in Michigan with her husband, son, daughter, three cats, and a dog. She even named her daughter after a character in a comic book called Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Ramona Flowers was strong and independent, so Brooke and her husband thought it was the perfect name. She said her daughter has the comics on a shelf in her room and, when she’s old enough, they will read them together.
One cool thing about today’s Book Lover is that we both like some of the same books. I like Walk Two Moons, There’s A Boy In The Girl’s Bathroom, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series – just like her. The picture above is Brooke Tajer, enjoying butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks, a cafe in the Harry Potter theme park at Universal in Orlando. (I’m jealous!) Read her answers to my emailed questions below:
Q: What is your favorite book and why?
A: This is a very tough question for me. My favorites tend to change based on my moods or different periods in my life. If I were to pick from my recently read books, I’d say Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman or Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. If I had to pick from my college years it would be Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut… or The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – that book was incredible and moving and I cried a million tears reading it. From my teen years, it’s a toss up between the Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling) and the His Dark Materials series (Philip Pullman). And from my childhood, I was very into Katherine Applegate’s Animorphs series and Everworld series, as well as all of the Goosebumps (R.L. Stein) books… Oh I also really loved Sharon Creech’s Walk Two Moons.
Q: Why do you love reading so much?
A: For me, it’s getting to experience so many different lives and perspectives through books. I’ve always had an active imagination and with books I love how you can escape into someone else’s mind and go on some very amazing adventures. Books are magical in that way.
Q: Is there a quote from a book or author that you really love?
A: There is. And it’s very simple, “And so it goes…” It’s from Slaughterhouse-five and one that’s always stayed with me. There are so many great quotes in that book, but that one in particular pops into my mind whenever I’m going through something hard and I find comfort in it.
Q: What are your favorite children’s books these days?
A: Great question! Ramona (my daughter, 5) and I really enjoy reading the Gaston and Antoinette books from Kelly DiPucchio. The first is about a dog, Gaston, who doesn’t quite fit in with his poodle sisters. One day they go to the park and see another dog family and the two mom’s realize there was a terrible mixup. The poodle mom and the Pug mom each got the wrong puppy. They try to switch it up, because that’s what looks right, but it doesn’t feel right. In the end, each pup goes back to the family they were raised by and are happy. Antoinette is about the other puppy who was mixed up, and it follows her as she tries to figure out what she’s good at. She ends up saving one of her puppy friends (Gaston’s sister) from a terrible fall and realizes what she’s good at. Both books have fun illustrations and engaging stories. Plus, who doesn’t love cute puppies.
Note from Elena Reads: I interviewed the author and illustrator of the books mentioned above.
Q: What books did you read as a kid?
A: I read anything I could get my hands on. A lot of fiction, some non-fiction. I mostly loved, as I said above, Animorphs, Everworld, Goosebumps. I loved the Babysitter’s Club books, the Thoroughbred Book series, this amazing book called Tangerine by Edward Bloor. I had every American Girl novel (Felicity was my favorite); I loved so many of Louis Sachar’s books – Holes, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom. Oh and over course Roald Dahl – I was a big fan of Matilda, The Witches and The BFG.