This month, At The Table With is dedicated to the talented contributors who make PAPER/PLATES happen, week after week.
Today we're shooting the breeze with 23-year-old Saniya Husain, a freelance photographer and graphic designer in Southern California responsible for some of the most beautiful photographs that appear on this site. You can tell she is a former art student, not just by how her lens captures beautiful images, but in the way she describes the books she loves — with enthusiasm, attention to detail and something like reverence. Paired with her excitement for creativity is a cheerful personality that contradicts the airbrushed image SoCal often conjures. I've known Saniya since she was born, and I can attest that there isn't just brains behind that beauty — there's a lot of love, too.
Read on to get to know Saniya!
What is your all-time favorite book?
Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It's hard to pick just one, but this book has stayed close to my heart for a long time. I read the French version, so with every read I discover new details.
What meal do you love to cook?
Pasta is my ultimate comfort food, and, as a bonus, is almost impossible to mess up! I'm often nervous to stray from recipes, but pasta is the one blank slate I'm not afraid to experiment on.
What is your favorite food scene from a book?
The mad tea party from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It's the complete opposite of everything a tea party usually is — frantic, chaotic, and absurd- which makes it seem all the more exciting to me.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee is my life force, but tea is what I go to just for pleasure.
What is the last book you abandoned?
I hate leaving things unfinished! Usually books nag me until I get through them, but the last one I just couldn't complete was The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It was recommended to me by more than one person, but for some reason, it didn't pull me in.
Author you’d most like to meet for dinner, and your order?
Dorothy Parker, because I'd like to experience her dry witticisms firsthand. For food, I would introduce her to sushi, my go-to meal and something she may have sadly missed out on in her time.
Where do you go to find new recipes? New reads?
For new recipes, I check Pinterest and Supercook— the latter helps me use ingredients I may have siting around with no purpose. Most of my new reads I get through word of mouth, but Goodreads is a great resource when I want to expand my literary horizons.
What are your favorite blogs, and why?
Adulting — short pearls of wisdom about all those things adults magically know
Pretty Much Amazing— music reviews of everything out there
The Veda House — beautiful work and tips to improve your design and photography skills
What is your favorite thing about contributing to PAPER/PLATES?
My favorite thing about contributing to PAPER/PLATES is the deadlines! It sounds strange, but it can get hard to make time for all of the things I want to do, including reading new books and trying new recipes. Having a deadline forces me to carve out some 'me time' to read and cook — which is always a nice break from my to-do list!