I have been a reader nearly all my life – in fact, I have a vivid memory of when I looked down at the pages of a book and could suddenly read the words for the first time! I gravitate towards books that deal with tough topics such as mental health, family dynamics, self-identity, sociopolitical issues, and religion; those topics dominate both my fiction and nonfiction reading. When I need a break from more serious topics, I look for a good love story, or step into the realm of magic and the paranormal. I also enjoy history and historical fiction, as well as family sagas or novels that follow one character throughout their life. Two of my favorite books are White Teeth by Zadie Smith and The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, both family sagas with complex characters, but one being contemporary (White Teeth) and the other historical (The Thorn Birds). Character is what matters to me most, even in nonfiction! I like to “meet” people through my reading and learn about their lives, and the more connected I feel, the more likely I am to love the book.