Margaret Atwood is her favorite author because she makes the characters feel very real, very human. For example, she said this book is dystopian and outlandish, but the characters are real.
The reader is a novelist herself. Check out her book, The Deception Artist, about an American family in the 1980s.
On a side note, even after a hiker came by and said he'd seen a snake nearby, she kept on reading in her spot in the grass. Who cares about snakes if you have a good book.