I write reviews of science books for the Boston Globe, so I like to give science books.

Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

Indeed, every book on my shelves is a key to a little vault of memories.

We Americans are churning through fresh water at an alarming and unsustainable rate.

I studied history and English in college, got a master's in writing, but I was always sort of an autodidact in science.

My sister-in-law is a painter, and I'll say, how long did it take you to paint that painting. She'll say, It took me maybe three days, but it took me all my life to get the skills to paint that painting.

It took me about three years to write About Grace. I wasn't teaching two of those years, so I was working eight-hour days, five days a week. And it would include research and reading - it wasn't just a blank page, laying down words.

Memory is this one attempt to not be erased by time. And I think that ties back to what I learned watching my grandmother lose her memories is, you know, we are all facing erasure eventually.

Supposedly, some writers work in rowdy coffee shops or compose whole novels to Megadeth, but when I write, I wear a pair of chainsaw operator's earmuffs.

I always told my dad I'd play professional football.

I think some people think that writers read and read and read, get the information, and then write. That's not how it works. Often, you write yourself into a dark place where you don't know what you need to know, so you go get the information.

Maybe scarcity isn't always a bad thing. Maybe scarcity is something to seek out, to fabricate for oneself.

When I was a boy, all the books I owned fit on a single shelf. Now I have several thousand stacked around the house.

'Research,' for me, is a big word that encompasses a lot of different activities, all of them based around curiosity. Research is traveling to places, or studying snowflakes with a magnifying glass, or excavating one's memories. Research is walking around Hamburg with a notebook.

I'll read anything Anne Carson writes, anything J. M. Coetzee writes, and anything Cormac McCarthy writes. I'll drop whatever I'm doing to read a new Mary Ruefle essay.

My parents would drive us to Florida every spring in this big old, rusy Suburban, and we'd collect stuff on the beach for our aquarium back in Ohio; we had this big saltwater aquarium back in Ohio. Every time we found anything, any mollusk, my mom would bring out the guidebook and quiz us on what it was, so that stuff was built in early.