Inspired by the Book is a series of interviews with Connecticut College folks about their literary lives. Inspiration comes from The New York Times Book Review series called By the Book.

An Interview with Amanda Sanders ‘22, an English major and Government minor in the Media Rhetoric and Communications Pathway at Conn. She’s a member of the English SAB, is currently writing a thesis on the figure of the Jewish man in the early Modernist novel, and is the Editor-in-Chief of The College Voice.

What books are on your nightstand?

Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays, The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton, and Salt Houses by Hala Alyan.

What’s the last great book you read?

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich.

Who is your favorite novelist of all time?

John Irving.

What books do you find yourself returning to again and again?

The World According to Garp by John Irving, Emma by Jane Austen, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Joan Didion’s The White Album.

Are there any classic novels that you only recently read for the first time?

Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to read, it may be my new favorite Morrison novel.

What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?

I read and walked at the same time. It concerned all my teachers and my parents. I never tripped.

What moves you most in a work of literature?

A quality epilogue that spans a lifetime.

How do you organize your books?

By most classic to most unconventional alphabetically.

Do you count any books as guilty pleasures, or comfort reads?

Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

Disappointed, overrated, just not good: What book did you feel as if you were supposed to like, and didn’t?

Normal People by Sally Rooney.

What do you plan to read next?

Ocean Vuong’s debut novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. I just took it out from Shain Library!