Episode 06: Janice Y.K. Lee

Books Mentioned on The Spine

  • Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster
  • My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • White Angel by Michael Cunningham
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • People Like That Are the Only People Here by Lorrie Moore (short story in The New Yorker)
  • Anywhere but Here by Mona Simpson
  • Euphoria by Lily King
  • The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
  • The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard
  • Demonology by Rick Moody

Authors mentioned

  • Jane Austen
  • Ann Beattie
  • Amy Bloom

Memorable Quotes

  • "I remember seeing the Little House on the Prairie series on the bottom shelf, and I took one, and I just fell in love. That experience of reading, you know, if you think about being a Korean child in Hong Kong in the '70s and reading about the prairie and how real it felt to me. That's when I understood the joy of reading and how it could completely take you away."
  • "I looked up one day from reading [Gerald Durrell books during class in grade school] and realized that my entire class was gone. But I had been in Africa, which was so much better!"
  • "Reading just immersed me in a way...it was like going under water. I couldn't hear or see anything else."
  • "[Reading] was a pleasure. It was like eating ice cream. My mother would take me to the bookstore and on the car ride home I would start reading and get car sick. But I couldn't stop!"
  • "The pleasure of a good book is the best pleasure I can imagine."
  • "I would read 'Jane Eyre" every year, and I would cry at the same places...the experience of that book is just me weeping."
  • "...reading is wonderful because very different books can move you in very different ways."
  • "Every sentence seems surprising but then seems inevitable. And that is what I've always loved: when writing revealed to me something that I should've known but didn't."
Janice Y.K. Lee