Lainey Lui at CTV's 2019 Upfront presentation, where the network reveals new show lineups and the talent hits the photo booth. Photo: George Pimentel/Contour by Getty Images

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The Social Host Lainey Lui Has Pandemic Brain and It’s Interrupting Her Reading

The Social host can't wait to read Kazuo Ishiguro's 2021 novel Klara and the Sun / BY Athena McKenzie / November 1st, 2020

Elaine “Lainey” Lui is co-host of CTV’s The Social, the acting anchor on etalk, and creator of the popular celebrity-gossip website


  • What’s the best book you’ve read this year and why?

Reading is something that I’ve been really struggling with this year. I’m a lifelong reader and typically finish 15 to 20 books a month, but because of COVID, it’s a struggle. I’ve made up a word for it. Inlectio – like insomnia, but for reading. I can’t finish a book since the pandemic started. Well, I’ve read a few books for work, but I haven’t been able to read for pleasure. I will say then that the best book I’ve read this year — which is a very good book in its genre — is Jessica Simpson’s Open Book. For a celebrity memoir, it’s terrific.

Kazuo Ishiguro

  • What book can’t you wait to dive into and why?

I am very, very much looking forward to Klara and the Sun, which is Kazuo Ishiguro’s new book out in March. Never Let Me Go is one of my favourite books of all time. I love Ishiguro’s writing. I love how his stories are about the human condition, as all stories should be. There’s so much empathy in his writing. I can’t wait to read the new book.

  • What’s your favourite book of all time?

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Everything about this story made me feel seen — from the mahjong, to the aunties, to the food, but especially the connection to the past in search for identity and the present; reading a book in English that was so purely Chinese shaped me in ways I am still trying to understand.

  • What book completely changed your perspective?

Books change my perspective all the time. I just talked about Never Let Me Go — it permanently altered me. It made me reconsider what it means to be here,  what contribution is, and purpose. Every time I read Zadie Smith’s books they change me, especially White Teeth and On Beauty. And Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life made me consider again how we contribute to humanity or take away from humanity. 


Photos: Mireya Acierto/Getty Images (Tan); Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images (Ishiguro), Miquel Llop/NurPhoto via Getty Images (Smith)
  • If you could have dinner with any author, living or dead, who would it be?

I’m obsessed with Zadie Smith, so I’d probably say Zadie Smith. This is the most superficial thing, but I think she’s just the coolest person alive. She’s so thoughtful, so imaginative and original. Her voice is amazing, and she has really great style—  and she’s beautiful. I just think she’s the perfect person.


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