Meet Stu! He’s a California native, raised on healthy doses of John Steinbeck and Jack London. When asked about his formative years, he is likely to respond “the only good things to ever come out of Sacramento were me and Joan Didion.” Now a proud resident of New York City, he can be found on warm days lounging in Central Park with his dog on his lap and a manuscript in his hand. You’ve probably spotted Stu in our Facebook Live Book Club discussions.
Q: What are some of your favorite books/authors?
A: Joan Didion’s PLAY IT AS IT LAYS, Don DeLillo’s WHITE NOISE, Salman Rushdie’s MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN, Hanya Yanagihara’s A LITTLE LIFE, and Charlotte Brontë’s JANE EYRE. I fricking love JANE EYRE.
Q: What is your favorite place to read?
A: I have a few. We go to a snowy cabin in Vermont during long winter weekends and I love to get under the covers and curl up with a book there. But during the summer, I always rent a beach house with my friends and I love to sit by the pool and roast in the sun with a good book. In both cases, my dog Gunner is right there with me—so I guess it could be surmised that my favorite place to read is wherever he is. We lounge well together.
Q: Tell us about your job. What’s it like working in sales?
Simply stated—I put the books in the airports. I absolutely love it. I love the people I work with, the customers I reach, and all of the authors who enjoy seeing their books out on the road. The sales team here is a large extended family. It is made up of incredibly smart, fun, and energetic people. I love to hear my colleagues’ ideas and different takes on books. And, above all, everyone in this department is here because they love books. Growing up I didn’t have a large breadth of people I could talk to about books and stories—so you can imagine that coming to work for a major publisher was sort of like stepping through the looking glass and finding all of these wonderful people who share my exact same passion.
Q: Outside of books, do you have any fun hobbies?
A: I am a pretty active person, but it’s true that wherever I go I have a book with me, sneaking in a chapter here and there. I ski, swim, and run. I go to the theater regularly and very much enjoy the Broadway season. I also try to get to a new exhibit at one of the museums in New York every month.
Q: What are some things Off the Shelf readers don’t know about you?
A: Fun Facts: 1. My go-to playlist for a long run is just a loop of different renditions of the song “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston. I cannot get sick of that song. (Helpful tip: if you are ever at a party that is not going well and people are not dancing, ask the DJ to put that song on and I guarantee you that everyone will get out of their seat. It has worked countless times for me.) 2. I sing songs to my dog in the morning when we are waking up. He has a favorite and it’s called “Would You Rub my Belly.” If I sing that song he will roll over and let me scratch his belly. 3. I once walked up to Carrie Underwood at a party and told her that she owed me $9.99 for her album Some Hearts and I was asked to leave the party shortly thereafter. Zero. Regrets.
Some of Our Favorites Posts by Stu:
The Always Delightful Magic of Alice Hoffman
The Charming Narrator All Readers Will Want to Befriend
An Unputdownable Series to Read in the Last Days of Summer
What Happened Before the Fall?