One genre isn’t enough for author Brad Meltzer. During his long career, he wrote history books, children’s books, comics and thrillers. In his most recent, “The Lighting Rod,” unusual details about a corpse lead to a high-level military unit and its secrets. This is the sequel to his best-selling “The Escape Artist”. Meltzer also hosts the TV show “Brad Meltzer Decoded” on the History Channel. He lives in Florida with his family.
BOOKS: What are you reading?
FOUNDER: I’m reading “Fuzz”, the most recent book by Mary Roach. I have read all of her. I’m also halfway through Jerry Craft’s “New Kid” graphic novel. This is the story of a young black man who moves to a new school. I bought this because it was forbidden in some schools. I always buy banned books. That’s the way to fight.
BOOKS: What other banned books have you bought recently?
FOUNDER: They keep coming. “I am Jazz” by Jazz Jennings. We already had “Maus” by Art Spieglman, but bought another copy when it was banned by schools in Tennessee. We started doing this last year when the school board in York, Pennsylvania banned my books “I Am Rosa Parks” and “I Am Martin Luther King” along with many others. I organized a protest urging people to buy everything they had banned on the list.
BOOKS: How would you describe your reading?
FOUNDER: I always read fiction, non-fiction, a bunch of comics and young adult fiction. Before “Fuzz”, I read “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by VE Schwab. It’s about a woman who makes a deal with the devil not to marry and live forever but no one will remember her. It is infinitely fascinating. It’s YA fiction, a bit of science fiction. I tend to like books that don’t fit easily into one genre.
BOOKS: How long have you been reading comics?
FOUNDER: Comics were the first thing I read, the first thing I liked. I remember talking about comics with Michael Chabon and Zadie Smith at a cocktail party. We were all crazy about comics. There is something magical about them. I discovered how to be a good person and fight the horror we see every day by reading comics. I know that sounds silly.
BOOKS: Who are your favorite comic book authors?
FOUNDER: “Saga” by Brian K. Vaughn is what excites me most now. Alan Moore is my all-time favorite. I’ve never read any old comics, except I’ve read his “Watchmen” every year since I was 16. I just gave this to my 13 year old son. He just lost his mind. I read it over his shoulder.
BOOKS: What kind of reader were you growing up to be?
FOUNDER: There were no books in our house, but my grandmother had this magic item called a library card. We didn’t have a lot of money, but she did. At the Brooklyn Public Library, this librarian said to me, “This is your section. I thought she meant these are your books. I was like, “Thank you.” I met my dearest friends there, Agatha Christie and Judy Blume.
BOOKS: Do you read crime novels or thrillers now?
FOUNDER: I don’t read a lot of thrillers. I’ll enjoy them for maybe 150 pages and then I’ll be like, “Oh, this is the killer and this is the MacGuffin.” The only exception I make is for anything Gillian Flynn writes.
BOOKS: How have you changed as a reader?
FOUNDER: I was a much more snobby reader in my twenties. I cared who recommended it. I long realized that I would get as good a recommendation from a 13-year-old queuing at one of my book signings as from a snobby reviewer. I read “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins very early on because a kid told me to read it.
BOOKS: What’s in your stack to read?
FOUNDER: My piles of reading are flooding our house. There are books in the cupboard on my kitchen counter. On the next pile is “The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August” by Claire North. The last three or four books I read were about reliving your life. This is clearly where I’m stuck right now. When it works and makes you happy, don’t change it.
Follow us on Facebook or Twitter @GlobeBiblio. Amy Sutherland is the author, most recently, of “Saving Penny Jane” and can be reached at [email protected].