Tuesday, June 20, 2023

6 Books with Beth Cato

Nebula Award-nominated Beth Cato is the author of A Thousand Recipes for Revenge from 47North (out June 1, 2023) plus two fantasy series from Harper Voyager. She’s a Hanford, California native who now wanders in far distant realms, usually with one or two cats in close orbit. Follow her at BethCato.com and on Twitter at @BethCato.

Today she tells us about her Six Books.

1. What book are you currently reading?

I've just completed a hard push through the Nebula finalist works (whew!), and I'm rewarding myself by reading through an advance copy of a middle grade book, A Sky Full of Song by Susan Lynn Meyer. Fun fact: when I was young, I was obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder's books and read almost every other juvenile-category Old West-set book I could find. This book adds a wonderful new perspective to the old pioneer tales by following a young girl, Shoshana, who leaves Ukraine with her Jewish family and settles in North Dakota in 1905. The book is cozy and yet also heartbreaking as it deftly handles the racism of the period. I wish I could give this book to my 11-year-old self, as I grew up Protestant and pretty sheltered. This book would've opened my eyes in a lot of ways.

2. What upcoming book are you really excited about?

I have a galley of J.R. Dawson's The First Bright Thing that I'm desperate to get to. I mean, come on--a magical circus, time travel, post-World War I America? That so sounds like my kind of thing,

3. Is there a book you’re currently itching to re-read?

Oh gosh, my to-read pile is massive. I feel like the main things I re-read these days are research books when I need to glean new details. I do have a goal to read at least one 'classic' book each month, though, and as part of that, I've been rereading some books that I loved as a kid--things like Island of the Blue Dolphins and Jane Eyre. Coming up, I'd love to revisit more of Marguerite Henry's horse books. I've reread King of the Wind (my absolute favorite) a few times as an adult, but not Misty of Chincoteague. I own many of those books as library discards from my hometown.

4. How about a book that you love and wish that you yourself had written?

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. That book devastated and enlightened me in turns. Such brilliant science fiction.

5. What’s one book, which you read as a child or a young adult, that holds a special place in your heart?

Just one? Okay, a major book for me was Carbonel, the King of Cats by Barbara Sleigh. It's a chapter book first published in the 1950s, and incredibly British. It follows a girl, Rosemary, who ends up involved with a witch and her familiar, Carbonel. The book is cozy and fun, and has great illustrations. I probably checked it out from my hometown library dozens of times as I grew up. As an adult, I hunted down an early edition of the book as well as a recent reprint. I've always had a thing for talking animals, especially cats, and this book really set a standard for me. I don't recommend the sequels, though.

6. And speaking of that, what’s your latest book, and why is it awesome?

A Thousand Recipes for Revenge is about food magic, musketeers, and meddlesome gods! It's set in a fresh fantasy world inspired by 16th and 17th century France. There's political drama, swashbuckling action, and LOTS of food, including my beloved cheese. I've had people ask me if there are actual recipes for revenge included, to which I'll say that there are many riffs on period recipes. It's up to you if revenge is the intent.

Thank you, Beth!

POSTED BY: Paul Weimer. Ubiquitous in Shadow, but I’m just this guy, you know? @princejvstin.