Amy Schneider shares her funny, philosophical memoir, ‘In the Form of a Question.’
On this week’s episode, Amy Schneider joins us to discuss In the Form of a Question: The Joys and Rewards of a Curious Life (Avid Reader Press, Oct. 3). If you’re from a Jeopardy! family (as I am), you’re already well-acquainted with this debut author’s name, cool calm collectedness, and winning sense of humor. The most successful woman in Jeopardy! history shot to fame with a 40-game streak that lasted from November 2021 to January 2022. She then won the 2022 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, bringing her earnings to date to $1.6 million.
How did she get so smart? Well, that’s one of the first questions she tackles in her wryly funny new memoir In the Form of a Question. Schneider chronicles her journey from brainy theater kid to trivia maven and trans rights champion in a series of “clear-voiced and often irreverent” essays, Kirkus writes in an admiring review:
“Fittingly, the author darts from subject to subject: a complex love life, memories of teachers great and terrible, experimentation with drugs, notes on a political scene that finds her ‘targeted because many of my fellow citizens wish me ill, and base their vote at least in part on whether or not it will hurt me.’ Would-be Jeopardy! contestants should turn to Bob Harris’ Prisoner of Trebekistanfor the nuts and bolts of game play, but for a funny, memorable, philosophical take on life, Schneider’s book is far and away the winner. Only incidentally about the show that won her fame, but a pleasure and an education awaits in the reading.”
Schneider, who spoke with me on publication day (Oct. 3), shared her plans to celebrate with friends in New York City after a day of back-to-back interviews. We speedily dispatched with the top three questions she fields most frequently (“How does it feel to be so successful?” “What are you going to do with the money?” “How does it feel to be so trans?”) and turned to geeking out over our shared love of learning. We discussed how she titled her chapters; the animated propaganda film Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue; how the subtext of a question she’s been asked her whole life (i.e. “How did you get so smart?”) changed after Jeopardy!; Nelson Rockefeller’s favorite cookie; memory training; being a theater kid and her all-time favorite role; her relationship with her editor; working on a book for young readers; challenging Jeopardy! winner stereotypes; and much more.
Then editors Laura Simeon, Mahnaz Dar, Eric Liebetrau, and Laurie Muchnick share their top picks in books for the week.
Into the Bright Open: A Secret Garden Remix by Cherie Dimaline (Feiwel & Friends)
Remember Us by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books)
How To Say Babylon: A Memoir by Safiya Sinclair (Simon & Schuster)
Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll (Marysue Rucci Books)
ALSO MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:
Venco by Cherie Dimaline
After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein by Jamie Bernstein
The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina
THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS:
Wit & Witchery by Geraldine Burrows
At the Court of Broken Dreams by Laurence Baillie Brown
Just City by Olga Tymofiyeva
Tales of Whimsy, Verses of Woe by Tim DeRoche, illus. by Daniel González
Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.