6 things we learned about Hillary Clinton, Book Nerd
Hillary Clinton has been a lot of things – First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State, Presidential Candidate. But through it all she’s also been one over-arching thing: A major book nerd.
In her panel at the annual Book Expo America at New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center Thursday night, Clinton spoke with fellow famous author Cheryl Strayed in front of a packed crowd of booksellers about the upcoming additions to her literary canon. That would be the fall-slated picture book edition of It Takes a Village and an as-yet untitled memoir. But as Clinton and Strayed talked all things politics and hiking (Strayed, famous for her memoir Wild, joked that the now famous hiker Clinton should join her on the Pacific Crest Trail), they also discussed their mutual love of books.
Here are six facts Mashable learned about Clinton’s love of literature, and what fictional heroine made her who she is today.
Clinton keeps a record of every book she’s read in her adult life
What a nerd! Though she hasn’t stopped to count, the number is likely a large one. As she told Strayed, Clinton tries to read every night before going to bed.
Her favorite literary genre: Mysteries
While reading for pleasure (and “total distraction”) in her post-election life, Hillary Clinton’s clearly preferred genre is mystery. “It was very comforting, reading about somebody else’s problem.”
Her favorites include Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs books, Donna Leon‘s Venice mysteries, and especially Louise Penny. “I got so into her characters and her locale Three Pines. It made a big impression on me.”
Her favorite book from childhood is weirdly the same as Laura Bush’s
Though she was a teen when she read it, Clinton cites The Brother’s Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky as one that stayed with her. That was also likely the last time she appreciated Russian influence.
When it comes to writing, Clinton’s most trusted reader and editor is none other than her husband.
She said of the former President Clinton “he’s a tough critic, and cross examines me on why something’s in [or] something’s out.” The two have collaborated on editing her work ever since law school.
“He’s always been my closest and most critical reader.”
Her most recent read has a coincidental connection to her days as First Lady
Clinton gushed over the World War II biography Jersey Brothers by Sally Mott Freeman, which she found completely entrancing. She was especially delighted that a man who popped up within the pages was a former Roosevelt aide who Clinton once worked with when she was First Lady, when he helped her restore an old map to the since-refurbished White House Map Room.
When asked a follow-up as to what her grandchildren have read most recently, she plugged her daughter Chelsea Clinton’s new children’s book She Persisted, which she’d recently seen her daughter reading to the youngsters.
Finally, Clinton revealed which literary heroine was her biggest influence, and it’s none other than Nancy Drew
As a child, Clinton read every Nancy Drew mystery, though she admitted to preferring the early stories to the later ones.
But Nancy herself was a role model for Clinton. “She just seemed like such a go-getter. Really smart and brave.”
[Nancy Drew] was a model for me, and for my friends. When I think back, I read a lot of books when I was growing up, but that had a big impact on me. She was, dare I say it, a little bit of a role model. I always felt so bad because her mother had died. But she was taking care of the house, she was going to school, [and] she was solving mysteries!