5-4-3-2-1: Len Vlahos

Excited to have our first 5-4-3-2-1 of 2017, with Len Vlahos, author of Life in a Fishbowl (published by Bloomsbury), taking part!

Books you’d save from a burning bookcase (In alphabetical order)

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely— An important book in the U.S. that is a great conversation starter on the relationship between police and young African American men. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams — Because laughter is everything. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon — One of the most beautiful love stories I’ve ever read, and a shining example of why YA lit is so important. The Thousand Autumns of Jakob de Zoet by David Mitchell — A master class in writing. The guy is a genius. Truman by David McCullough — Brilliant biography of the 33rd U.S. president that reads like a sweeping, epic novel.

TV shows you can watch all day long (when not busy writing)

The West Wing — There’s West Wing, and then there’s all other television. (Are you getting the sense that I’m a political junkie?) Breaking Bad — Devastating, hard to watch, impossible not to watch. Best acting…ever. Big Bang Theory — Makes me laugh every week. That I’m also a science geek doesn’t hurt. MLB Hot Stove — I’m a big, big fan of baseball, and this is the show for inside information.

Authors you’d want with you if you were stranded on a desert island Jon Krakauer — I figure he’ll know how to build a fire, and that will come in handy. John Allen Paulos — Wrote a brilliant book on statistics an probability called Innumeracy, and I figure we’re going to need someone who can do math. Douglas Adams (you know, if he were still alive) — Because, laughter is still everything.

Places you love to read

Trains — I love a long train trip. I once traveled by rail from Frankfurt to Paris… It was amazing. The book for that trip was John Corey Whaley’s Noggin. That was amazing, too. Toilets — No, really, it’s true.

Pieces of advice you’d give yourself if you could travel back in time to before you became a published author Shut up and listen. Really, this is advice I’d give to my teen self. If you’re looking for advice I’d give to my writing self, well, then I’d say shut up and listen.


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