Bookshelf Report: Olivia Claire is the Key Master

The Bookshelf Report is an ongoing series where a Bushwick reader invites us into their home and shares a little bit about the books that occupy their shelves.

Today, we peek in on singer/songwriter Olivia Claire, who makes her Bushwick Book Club Seattle debut at our Ready Player One event at Bumbershoot on September 2. Let’s take a look at her neat and tidy shelves and collection.

How do you organize your books?

Organize….heh heh. WELL, until you asked, they were a stack of mess in my bookshelf. You’ll now see them neatly arranged by hardcovers (top shelf), miscellaneous fiction (middle shelf) and music/self-development/kids/the rest that didn’t fit on the above shelves (bottom shelf). Very well planned-out and clearly always strictly adhered to.

Be honest. What percentage of the books on this shelf have you actually read?

I’d say a solid 80%.

What’s your favorite book on the shelf and why?

I’m gonna go with Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. What a fun book. Christopher Moore’s story of the lost years of Jesus’ adolescence, told from the perspective of his dunce best friend, Biff, had me in stitches. It’s an adventure, a deep introspection into faith and religion, and simply a blast to read. Thanks for the reminder, I told my Dad I’d mail him my copy 🙂

What book do you plan on reading next and why?

I’ve been gearing up to reread The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel, for the third time. This book is dense. I mean, it’s laden, page after page, with bullet-pointed wisdom and insight. Some heavy, high level, quantum physics in literary form type stuff. There were a handful of years where I was on a very consistent self-development book reading kick. The Master Key System is one book I can honestly say shook me to my essence, and set me on a trajectory in life that has helped make me who I am today. I’m ready for another quantum jolt to my soul. And for all ye haters of spiritual mumbo-jumbo stuff out there, take a chance on this one. In the very least, you’ll have read something unlike any book you’ve ever read before. That’s what Bushwick Book Club is all about anyway, right? Inspiration to create.

I’m glad you mentioned the Master Key System. I was going to ask you about that to make sure it wasn’t about Ghostbusters.

Ha! Are you the Keymaster?

I love spiritual mumbo-jumbo so I will check that one out. Is the Book of Secrets about the meaning of life? It’s a pretty thick book, so there must be a lot of secrets in there.

Ahh, the Book of Secrets, yes. Unfortunately, no… The meaning of life is not revealed within these pages, but some of life’s mysteries may be unlocked for you. Such as “The Secret to Stacking Bread” or “The Secret History of Ivory Soap”.  I’ll share a few tidbits with you, if you promise not to tell ANYONE.


To determine the freshness of an egg, place it into a glass of water. If it lies down horizontally it is only a day or two old; if it sits at a 45-degree angle it is between a week and 10 days old, and if it stands up vertically it is considerably older than that.

Slightly older eggs are better for hard boiling – it is often difficult to remove shells from very fresh hard-boiled eggs.

Eggshells are porous. Storing eggs near anything with a strong aroma can taint their taste. Leave them in their cartons, the papier-mâché will absorb anything.

Oh there’s plenty more… But I’ve shared too much already.

Is that ballet dancer painting a paint by number? It’s pretty awesome. Where did you get it?

It is! You’ve got a good eye 🙂 My Mom found this painting, and a similar ballerina with the same white ornate frame, at a garage sale. She has one and I have the other. I wanted them both, but she thought it would be more appropriate/meaningful we each had one. I’m not a super sentimental person, but gotta keep Mom happy, right? I think she’ll be pretty excited that we’re talking about her ballerina paint-by-numbers 🙂

What’s the most amazing place in Amazing Places?

I should probably only speak for places I’ve actually been to. For me, I’d say it’s a toss-up between Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Versailles, France. One to account for a powerful and life-spawning natural occurrence on our planet, and the other an elaborate and immaculate creation made by human hands.


See Olivia Claire at our Ready Player One event at Bumbershoot on September 2. You can listen to her band Voyage d’Or’s EP. She also sings backup vocals for Nick Droz and the Lost Cause whose next show is at Slim’s Last Chance Saloon on September 26.