Booklist Readers: Muriel Bernardi

muriel smallToday’s Booklist Reader is our departing summer intern, Muriel Bernardi, a senior English major at the University of Chicago. In her time here at Booklist, she’s participated in a range of activities, from wrestling piles of books to writing blog posts. When I asked her what she liked about working here, she told me, “I think what I’ve enjoyed most about my internship for Booklist was that every task, whether it was spell-checking reviews or re-alphabetizing the children’s collection, was made to feel important and appreciated by everyone I had the pleasure to work with this summer.”

And appreciate her they did. “Muriel has been fantastic on all fronts, mastering every intern task with high spirits, and affirming her book bona fides when a chance office encounter outed her work at Chicago’s terrific Seminary Coop Bookstores, the next best thing after libraries,” raves Donna Seaman, our Adult Books editor. She wowed our Books for Youth editor Dan Kraus as well: “Muriel is a wonderful cruncher of statistics—something I bet came as a surprise to an English major like her,” he said. The marketing department was equally impressed. “Muriel was an exceptional intern—intelligent, diligent, and so pleasant to work with!” says our marketing associate Sarah Grant (exclamation point hers).

More importantly, what does she like to read? Let’s find out.

What do you do when you’re not at Booklist?
I work down in the south side at the Seminary CoOp Bookstore. I also am doing a lot of (what feels like) panicked reading in an attempt to get ready for my last year at the University of Chicago. Who started the rumor that the English major was easy?

What are you an expert on?
I cringe at this answer, but I consider myself an expert on sleeping no matter the conditions. I backpacked across Norway a while ago, and I brought a bright yellow tent with me for camping. I consider that life-event my credentials because of the sleeping challenges I overcame (or daresay, mastered) when my little yellow tent was faced with Norway’s charming habit of 22 hours of sunshine during that lovely summer season.

Mill on the flossHave you ever literally thrown a book across the room in frustration? If so, which one?
I’ve never actually thrown a book, but I got pretty close to it with Jonathon Franzen’s The Twenty-Seventh City a month or so ago. I was so invested in the recovery of one of the main characters. Not to spoil anything, but…

What’s the last book that made you cry?
The last book to make me cry was George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss (I warned you I was an English major). She has some really touching scenes between two siblings that, in the right context, got to me. And this is going to sound staged, but the book I can remember crying most over was a book called Dewey the Library Cat. I was probably 12 when I read it, and I had a bad habit of reading late at night. That backfired in this case since my wailing woke up the entire house at two in the morning. Sorry again, mom.





About the Author:

Eugenia Williamson is the Associate Editor of Digital Products at Booklist. She worked in bookstores for twelve years, reviews books for The Boston Globe, and writes about books, culture, and politics for several other publications. Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_Genie.

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