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Get to know your booksellers: An interview with Marisa Neyenhuis November 9, 2012

Posted by Galaxy in Staff.
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Our second bookseller to be interviewed is Marisa Neyenhuis, who came to us with a glowing recommendation from her former employer at Chapter One Bookstore in Hamilton, Montana. Marisa is a woman of many hats who takes time from her other jobs to spend Thursday afternoons at The Galaxy bookshop.

On your nightstand now: A whole slew of galleys that I have the best of intentions to start, Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner, Messenger by Lois Lowry and The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman.  I also have a stack of The New Yorker that I have been fully neglecting for the last month.

 Favorite book when you were a child: This is a tough one. I loved the Chronicles of Narnia series, the Anne of Green Gables series, The Phantom Tollboothand the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series too. Not to mention the hundreds of picture books my parents read to me before I struck out on my own. There are too many good books to choose just one!

Book that changed your life: Wally Lamb’s first book, She’s Come Undoneinspired me to be a vegetarian from ages 16-26. There was a passage in the book equating meat to rotting flesh and it struck a chord. I didn’t eat meat in earnest again until my 2nd time living in Texas. Turns out, Texas is way more fun if you’re a carnivore!

Person who had the biggest influence on your literary life: I think my parents began reading to me before I had even left the womb and they were always happy to buy me a new book any time we went to the bookstore. When I started working at Chapter One Bookstore in high school all my co-workers were great about recommending new books that I wouldn’t have thought to pick up on my own. They loved pushing my literary boundaries.

Five books you would want with you on a desert island: The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Blankets by Craig Thompson, The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Indian Creek Chronicles by Pete Fromm and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst (This is my go to book on a bad day and I bet there are bad days on desert islands, too.)

Biggest literary crush: Johnny from S.E. Hinton’s The OutsidersWhen he died, I could not stop crying.  I first read this book right when I was starting to notice boys and Johnny was a very safe crush, unlike all the boys roaming the halls of Daly Elementary School.

Book you can’t live without: The book I always go back to, at least every other year, is The Giver by Lois Lowry. I suppose I could live without it, but I don’t know if the world would be as nice of a place.

Best thing about being a bookseller:  Spending time in bookstores is such a joy that it’s a dream come true to get paid for it!  There’s also the thrill you get when someone comes back to let you know they loved the book you recommended and that they’re recommending it to friends.


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