Meet Our Writers: Amanda Nelson

Jeff O'Neal

CEO and co-founder

Jeff O'Neal is the executive editor of Book Riot and Panels. He also co-hosts The Book Riot Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @thejeffoneal.

We have a bunch of crazy-passionate book folk writing here at Book Riot, and we want you to get to know them a little. We asked them to answer some questions, and they did. Up first, Amanda Nelson. Amanda is a freelance writer living in Richmond, VA. She blogs about (mostly) classic literature at Dead White Guys. Follow her on Twitter: @deadwhiteguys


1.    When did you begin to think of yourself as a reader? In utero? It’s always been a part of my identity.

2.    What is your favorite word? Nutella. Mmmmm.

3.    What is your least favorite word? Luscious. It just sounds like the opposite of what it means. It sounds like that gross and comedic (not on purpose) food-sex scene in 9 ½ Weeks.

4.    What is your genre kryptonite? Agatha friggin’ Christie. Love that lady.

5.    What is your literary pet peeve? Precocious child narrators who are not Scout Finch.

6.    What is your favorite quote/favorite line from a book? “I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.The Great Gatsby. This is pretty much my worldview in one sentence.

7.    What is the craziest/funniest/nerdiest/most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done because of a book? I travelled to Washington D.C. by myself for the National Book Festival entirely so I could hear Jennifer Egan speak because I loved A Visit From the Goon Squad so much. Most of my other favorite authors are dead, so they don’t really give me opportunities for crazy fangirling.

8.    What’s your favorite Book Riot post that you’ve written? What’s your favorite that someone else wrote? My favorite post written someone else- well, that’s a three-way tie (I AM NOTHING IF NOT A CHEATER). I love Rebecca’s “The Misanthrope’s Guide to Reading While Traveling (or How to Be Left Alone).” That’s some valuable information right there. I have a crush on Kit’s post “A Backpack Full of Socks, Underwear and Books in South America”– what an original and fascinating convergence of obsessions. And finally, I heart Jeff’s “Close Reading: The First Line of David Copperfield” because David Copperfield is one of my favorite Dickenseseses, and because I don’t ever read like that and love to see it handled that way.

9.    What is the best thing about being a reader today? How we’ve taken one of the most solitary things you can do and made it into a communal activity through blogging and social media. It’s both a blessing and a curse because digital interaction can distract you from actually reading, but the extent and depth of the literary conversation these days is amazing.

10. What do you do when you’re not writing for Book Riot? I run Dead White Guys: An Irreverent Guide to Classic Literature. I’m also the sales manager for FridayReads, a literary social media company. I’m a freelance writer and blogger for a number of clients about an odd mix of topics. I also work part-time at Fountain Bookstore, a lovely indie in my city. In between and over the top of all these things, I take care of my twin boys Rhett and Atticus during the day.

11. What’s the next book you can’t wait to read? Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens- I’m on a quest to read his entire canon and I only have a few left. I’ve been saving this one for almost six months. I’M ALL A-TINGLE WITH ANTICIPATION.