Chicago author Sara Paretsky ‘By the Book’

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In a recent edition of the New York Times Sunday feature By the Book, veteran Chicago-based author Sara Paretsky — most famous for her bestselling V.I. Warshawski novels — talked about her writerly influences, childhood reading and her ideal literary dinner party guests, among several other topics. Here are some highlights from the interview:

Books on her night stand: Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, John Williams’s Stoner, Claude Izner’s Strangled in Paris.

The best detective authors of all time: Anna Katharine Green, Wilkie Collins, Dashiell Hammett, Amanda Cross and Lillian O’Donnell.

Best travel reading: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

What kind of reader she was as a child: A “flashlight-under-the-covers reader” who devoured books about “girls doing active things.”

Ideal invite list for a literary dinner party: P.D. James, Shakespeare, Sappho.

For the entire interview, visit

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