Emma Straub is the author of the wonderful Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures, a captivating debut about the lure of the 1930s Hollywood, in all its dangerous glamour. Here Emma shares her favourite books, films and parties - why not go out and discover them for yourself?!


2012: A year in books

What is your favourite book of the year?

Arcadia, by Lauren Groff. 

What is your favourite Picador book ever?

Ever?! I don't know! Over here in New York it's hard to keep track of who publishes what where. My two favourite Picador books of 2012 are Megan Abbott's wicked novel Dare Me and Stuart Nadler's astonishing story collection The Book of Life

What is the book that was most neglected (fairly or unfairly)? 

See above! I do look forward to the day when someone asks me to be on some giant prize committee. 

What are you looking forward to reading most next year? 

I'm a little bit behind at the moment, so I'm still looking forward to reading many of 2012's big hits--Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue, the Junot Diaz story collection This Is How You Lose Her, Zadie Smith's NW.

2012: everything else

Who is your hero of the year?

My husband, for joining me on my nearly 3 month long book tour. Actually, he's tied with Netflix Instant Watch. 

Who is your villain of the year? 

My clothing, which seems to shrink when I'm not paying attention. I refuse to believe this has anything to do with my relentless hunger for cheese and chocolate. 

What is your resolution for 2013?

Take an actual vacation. 

What is your favorite blog or who is your favourite tweeter?

Slaughterhouse90210, on Tumblr: blogger Maris Kreizman pairs up stills from TV shows with lines from books. She is a beautiful genius. 

What was the best movie?

Any year that has new films by both Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson is a great one. (Moonrise Kingdom and The Master, respectively.)

What was your favourite book as a child? 

I loved mysteries--Nancy Drew, Christopher Pike, Agatha Christie. 

What is the book you recommend most? 

I love to give people Donna Tartt's The Secret History

What is your favourite poem?

Having a Coke with You, by Frank O'Hara

Do you read on paper or ebook?

Paper paper paper. 

One book you have read more than once? 

Middlemarch. Long but ever so worth it.

General and parties

Your worst ever job? 

Ha! Publishing! I only lasted six months!

What is your favourite party in literature? 

Toss up between the Russians (Tolstoy) and the Brits (Austen)--we Americans are straggling behind, though Gatsby has some good ones. 

What is the best party you have ever attended?

Oh, I just love parties. Crowded ones, ones with smoking indoors, ones with smoking outdoors, ones with dancing even though I don't like to dance, ones with weird punches. I choose them all.