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.

Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

The preciousness of life and the changes of weather and the beauty of seasons - all those things have always sort of dazzled me.

Gold and diamonds are nice, but clean, crisp, controlled water has long been the preeminent hallmark of the rich.

My ribs ache from all the texts I'll never make time for.

When people ask for book recommendations, I say this: Do some math. If you read one book every week for the rest of your life, and if you're lucky enough to live for 50 more years, you're only going to get to 2,600 books.

Sometimes I wake at 2 A.M. worrying that my great-granddaughter will have to march through her distant, broiling future gathering all the plastic I ever disposed of.

My mom is a science teacher in high school, and one of my brothers works in optics at Bell Labs, and so I was always surrounded by it.

Science and literature are both ways to ask questions about why we're here.

I originally got very interested in memory in high school when my grandmother came to live with us. She had been diagnosed with dementia. It was the first time I had heard the word 'Alzheimer's disease.'

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.

I have always felt that it's a little artificial to divide the sciences and the arts on college campuses.

We only get 60 years, if we're really lucky, as adults on earth, and why not try to wake up every day and learn something and talk to people?

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.

That's the power of fiction, that it can take the collective and make it personal.

The only books I give up on are texts where the writer's attention is concentrated so heavily on narrative questions that his or her use of language becomes careless.