Sunday, December 17, 2017
Books

What's M.J. Rose reading?

Nightstand

M.J. Rose

In Rose's most recent thriller, Seduction, a mythologist discovers a lost journal written by Victor Hugo. Although this is fiction, Rose bases the story on Hugo's real-life participation in hundreds of seances after the tragic drowning of his 19-year-old daughter. Rose, 59, first found success as an author after self-publishing Lip Service in 1998; it was eventually picked up by the Literary Guild/Doubleday Book Club. Seduction is her 13th novel.

What's on your nightstand?

I just started Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth, and another book that has stood out for me recently was The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. I loved it. It's based on the art heist inside the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which has always fascinated me, and how (the museum) left the frames hanging, empty. A robbery in that museum was an abomination, and the empty frames pay homage to the paintings, and the hope that they will be returned.

What books inspired you early on?

The first book that really fascinated me was Gone With the Wind, but as a teen I read my mother's books, including Philip Roth, Leon Uris, Jacqueline Susann. There's no doubt I'm a novelist because of my mother's books. She was assistant to Judith Krantz, who was the fiction editor at Good Housekeeping. She was an avid reader. There were always lots of books in our home.

Piper Castillo, Times staff writer, can be reached at [email protected]

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