Why do you think the Twilight books are so popular?
They're about becoming divine. We're sort of hardwired for that story. Each book is a different step in the spiritual life. The relationship between Bella and Edward is the relationship of the human seeker with God. Bella represents the Virgin Mary, and we get this divine child, Nessie, who is just like Jesus, the god-man. So you have this spiritual allegory within the book, told within a young adult romance.

What do the Mormons think about this?
Go online and see what a jerk I am. Really, I don't have any dog in this fight. I'm not a Mormon, I have Mormon friends, and I think that their religion is what it is. It's none of my business. I'm not one, but I look at this Mormon writer and I have to examine her books in light of her beliefs.

Tell us about your new book, Bella Swan's Bookshelf.
I'm going to be writing about the twelve books that influenced Meyer and shaped the Twilight series. A lot of them you know, because they're actually mentioned, like Romeo and Juliet--that's pretty much the whole story of New Moon. And then in Eclipse you have Wuthering Heights, and then you have Midsummer Night's Dream and Merchant of Venice in Breaking Dawn, but you also have things like the Book of Mormon for one thing, and you have Orson Scott Card, [Meyer]'s favorite author.

What other books would you recommend for a Twilight fan? The book that you have to read if you like Twilight is The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. She's written two books so far, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. The third book will come out this August. They're about a young girl in Appalachia in the far, far future who is chosen to compete in these sadistic games. I haven't been as excited about a book series since I started reading Harry Potter.

John Granger is speaking at the New York Public Library's Mid-Manhattan branch at 455 Fifth Avenue (at 40th Street) at tonight, click here for more info.

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