Welcome to our Ten Book Challenge where our favorite authors share some of their most beloved and memorable reads—from the books with their favorite covers and best opening lines, to the reads they gift and the bookstores they frequent. This is a peek into your favorite authors’ perfect bowl of literary comfort food. We hope you discover something delicious!
What we love about Emily Henry is her ability to balance a witty rom-com style while also addressing heavy themes that are relatable and realistic. Think: The People We Meet on Vacation and Beach Read, as well as Hello Girls and When The Sky Fell in Splendor. Now the acclaimed author is bringing us one of the most anticipated books of summer: Book Lovers. Talk about your target audience; after all, as of Book Lovers’ pub day (May 5, 2022), both People We Meet on Vacation and Beach Read are still on the New York Times best seller list for 30+ weeks—and counting.
Book Lovers isn’t your typical rivals-to-lovers romance. Nora Stephens is an all-work, no-play literary agent, dragged to the charming Sunshine Falls by her sister Libby. Why? Because Libby thinks that heading to a sweet small town might soften up Nora and open her heart to romance. But as they arrive, expecting relaxation and a change of scenery, Nora runs into someone all too familiar: Charlie Lastra, a brooding hard-headed editor from back in the city. Like in the books they both work so hard on, this is no meet-cute. They’ve meet many times, and it’s never been cute. If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again, what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.
The Book I…
I last bought/am currently reading: The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
That was my favorite to read last year, and why: This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub. I read an early copy and it was both so fun and so poignant. It made me want to live better. I love when books do this.
Whose author I would love to have lunch with: Well, a lot of my friends are authors, and I would love to have lunch with any of them. If I could time travel to have lunch with Madeline L’Engle, I’d do that.
That made me realize language had power: The Giver by Lois Lowry
I’d like to see adapted to the screen: I’m one of those people who gets so nervous about adaptations! It’s so hard not to measure it all against the book and miss the interiority that often gets lost. That said, I am so, so, so eager for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid to be adapted. I also think Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia would make a fantastic miniseries.
That made me laugh out loud—or cry—while reading it: Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane—honestly, anything by Mhairi McFarlane always makes me laugh. Also Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto.
That has the most gorgeous cover: Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li. One of my favorite covers in years.
With the best opening line: This might be the most expected answer of all time for a romance writer, but I really do think the first line of Pride & Prejudice is absolutely perfect, as evidenced by how constantly it gets used and parodied. Instantly, it tells you not only what the book is about, but it gives you the tone, the humor of it. It’s so sly! I love it.
Bookstore that I frequent/is my favorite: Joseph Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati!
What upcoming release are you excited for: I would shout out Julia Whelan’s Thank You for Listening which is phenomenal!
Don’t miss our our exclusive interview with Emily Henry on the change in inspiration behind Book Lovers, how she sees writing as therapy for her characters, and how her favorite book to write was also one of her most torturous.
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