Local Author Reading List: Kari Anne Holt

It’s hard enough for us parents to find time to read, let alone to decide what to read. Head to the library and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the stacks upon stacks of interesting-sounding titles (who can blame us for judging a book by its cover?). Just keeping up with book lists can seem like a chore. That’s why we here at LiveMom are introducing you to local authors, who will be giving you the skinny on what’s on their reading lists…because who better than a writer to turn you on to new and interesting books?!


Kari Anne Holt, mother to three charming children, is the author of several middle grade novels in verse including Rhyme Schemer (Chronicle, 2014), and Brains For Lunch. She is also the author of Mike Stellar: Nerves of Steel and the forthcoming space western, Red Moon Rising. Kari has recently contributed to the YA anthology, Dear Teen Me, and as Kari Anne Roy to The Best of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and FAKES: An Anthology of Pseudo Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, “Found” Texts, and Other Fraudulent Artifacts.

We had the pleasure of featuring Kari Anne several years ago here on LiveMom when she was mama to only two kiddos. In the feature, she shares many details about her life including her favorite flowers, what she loves and hates most about living in Austin, and the things that inspire her. It’s definitely a worthy read!

Below are her top five favorite books- ones that she has read over and over again.

1. Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein
If you know me, you know I haven’t stopped talking about this book since I first read it a few years ago. I don’t want to say anything about it, because I think every reader should go into it like I did – not knowing what’s about to hit you. Some people love it, some people hate it. But if you love it, I know we can be friends. (Side note: the first 75 pages are so are pretty dense. Stick with it and you’ll be grandly rewarded, I promise. And I don’t make promises lightly.)

2.Love That Dog, by Sharon Creech
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this book. Every time I start it anew I think, “This will be the time I won’t cry.” And every.single.time I cry. It’s a lovely verse novel for children, but it’s really for everyone. I kind of want to cry just writing about it. So wonderful.

Advertisement3.Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems, by Billy Collins
This is a collection of poetry that is so accessible, so resonant, so funny, so heart-wrenching, so all-encompassingly wonderful that, for those of you who are unsure about poetry, I dare you to read it and still say you’re unsure about poetry. (Also, his collection Ballistics is very good. And Horoscopes for the Dead. And, jeez. Just everything that he writes.)

4. Essays of E. B. White (Perennial Classics), by E.B. White
We all know Charlotte’s Web and Elements of Style, but did you also know that E.B. White wrote hundreds of essays for a variety of publications? He wrote on everything from farm living to politics to seasons in Maine to musings about his dog to what it was like to live in Florida. His essays span decades, and are all still so pertinent today. They’re full of humor and melancholy and beauty. I like to carry this collection with me everywhere I go, because you never know when you’ll have a few spare minutes, and you can always count on Mr. White to brighten your day.

5. The Rook: A Novel, by Daniel O’Malley
This is a crazy book. I don’t even know how to describe it without spoiling it. It’s kind of like the X-Files, but hilarious, and based in England. Just trust me. You want to read it. I mean, the main character’s name is Myfanwy and the first line is, “Dear You, The body you are wearing used to be mine.” I don’t use the word “delight” a lot, but this book delights me. I grin just thinking about it.

(And now I cheat by giving you some runner ups. I don’t think any favorite book list of mine can be complete without mentioning Rainbow Rowell. She is a magnificent writer, and her books consistently make me laugh and cry, often at the same time. Attachments, Fangirl, and of course, Eleanor & Park… once you read one you’ll be compelled to read them all. So good.)

Looking for more reading inspiration? Check out the other book recommendations in our Local Author Reading Lists.

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Catherine Prystup
About Catherine Prystup 2157 Articles
Catherine Prystup founded LiveMom.com out of a desire to build a better community for Austin-area moms. She has three children, ages seventeen, eight and three years old.

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