For this installment of Booklist Readers, we tracked down Daniel Kraus, our books for youth editor, who has been very busy talking to the New York Times about S. E. Hinton and reading 80s horror paperbacks.
What do you do when you’re not at Booklist?
I write novels. This is a terrible idea. It’s like working in a cheese factory all day and coming home and eating cheese. Most of my books are fairly unpleasant too. Rotters is about a father-son graverobbing outfit. Did you know biologic slime in caskets is called “coffin liquor”? So it’s not just that I’m eating cheese at home, it’s that I’m eating rotten cheese. This is the life I have chosen.
What’s your least-favorite thing to do?
I’m terrible at feeding myself. I don’t know how to cook. And I don’t want to know. If left to my own devices, I just forget to eat, and then end up shoveling down cookies or something. I’m not proud of this. If there’s anything someone should know how to do, it’s keeping themselves alive. I also hate anything having to do with cars. Like, I can never remember what kind of car I own. I hate talking about cars. I hate describing cars. I find cars inexpressibly boring. I am now too bored to go on writing this paragraph.
What’s the last book that made you cry?
I’ve never cried reading a book. I basically never cry. Probably the closest I’ve come is Richard Adams’ The Plague Dogs, about a couple of dogs who escape an animal-testing facility. The final scene is crushing. It’s a scene I can’t shake. I probably think about it a few times a week. I’m thinking about it now. Thank you for that.
If books suddenly became literal food, what genre would you find most appealing and why?
I wish this were true! (See question #2.) I think I’d go with books about cars (also see question #2) because I would be happy to rid the world of books about cars. I feel this Q&A got off a weird foot. Can we have a do-over?