Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Featured Reader: Joanna Goddard

When I was first dreaming up this blog, one of my main goals was to bring readers together. I am always incredibly curious about what people are reading, where they read, and how they read. I'm that weirdo on the train craning my neck to catch a glimpse of the cover someone is reading across from me. It's my way to break the ice with strangers. I wanted to use this blog partially as a fun place to share the reading habits of others, since I am sure there are people out there just as curious as I am.

I am so excited about my first Featured Reader, Joanna Goddard from A Cup of Jo. I have been a reader of her fantastic lifestyle blog for quite some time now, and I thoroughly enjoy her style and design tips, recipe sharing, love of New York City, gift guides around the holidays, and her advice and insight on raising her adorable toddler, Toby. Joanna also has a great taste in books - particularly cookbooks and memoirs, which made me certain she would be a great start to the Featured Reader segment of The Lit Girl. Joanna was kind enough to answer some of my questions, so here we go!

What are you currently reading?
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, which is a beautiful and funny book about writing. After I had a baby, I read her hilarious, real and heartwarming book Operating Instructions about her first year with her newborn son, and I've since been a devoted fan of hers.

Have you always been a reader? If so, what is your earliest reading memory? If not, what turned you into a believer?
My parents read to us a TON when we were little, and when I was in elementary school I would lie behind our living room sofa (between the wall and the sofa!) and read books. It felt like a secret hiding spot. Although once I left a glass of apple juice there, and my mom got me in trouble when she found it, all moldy and gross.

What genre of books tend to be your favorite?
I love literary fiction, memoirs and graphic novels. 

Where do you do most of your reading? What about that place makes it best for reading books?

One of my favorite things in the world is reading books in bed. It's so cozy, and my husband sometimes will finish reading the last few paragraphs of a chapter out loud if I get too sleepy to keep my eyes open. (He's a keeper:)

Has having your (totally adorable) son, Toby, affected your reading habits? How have you adjusted reading time as a mom?
I read a little less now because I spent so much time playing with him. But I still sneak in reading time at night. His 7:30pm bedtime is key!

Do you read to Toby? Does he love story time?

Toby is forever asking me if we can sit on the pillows and read "a bunch a books." We love reading together, and favorites include Along a Long Road, Knuffle Bunny Free and Dragons Love Tacos. He also loves all books about cars and trucks, naturally.

What are three of your most favorite books?

The History of Love, Epilogue and Peter Pan are at the tippy top of the list. The Glass Castle was also great. And anything by Roald Dahl.

Lastly, the holidays are coming up, and I think you're pretty much a pro on gift guides :) What is one of your favorite books to gift?

Cookbooks are always a huge hit. My friend Jenny Rosenstrach wrote the book Dinner: A Love Story, which is part cookbook, part memoir. She actually has a little diary, where she's written down every single dinner she's had since 1998! So she knows her stuff and is full of funny stories.
Joanna also shared this gorgeous picture of her book shelf. Don't you love how all of the books are color coordinated, and the great little figures that adorn each shelf?

Thank you so much for sharing, Joanna! 


  1. Great interview! I just added Bird by Bird to my "Want to Read" list on Goodreads. I'm also adding this blog to my Google Reader. It's a great idea!

    1. thank you! i've also been meaning to read 'Bird by Bird.' It shows up on every list I find about the craft of writing!

  2. I loved Anne's Operating Instructions--such a great book for new moms.

  3. Just found your blog! Love this segment and I love books = new follower :)

    1. thank you! i'm glad to have you :)

      **sorry I am replying to this so late. my computer was being sassy and wouldn't let me reply to comments properly on here. but after a software update, i am finally able to get caught up!

  4. what a great feature!

    I read "Operating Instructions" and agree that it's the perfect book for a new Mom. I cried and laughed and wanted to hug Anne Lamott for her honesty.

    My ex used to read to me in bed like that... sigh

    I always say books make the best gifts and funny enough, have never thought of cook books!

    and "The History of Love" has been on my to-read list forever. This reminds me to get on that because I feel like I'm missing out (don't you feel like that with books on your to-read list? like you're literally missing out)

    I am going to enjoy reading this feature Courtney! Thank-you for it :)