April 22, 2017, Saturday morning -- Reading Raymond F. Dasmann

In the Mission District
He is reading The Destruction of California, published in 1965 by Raymond F. Dasmann, a wildlife biologist and conservationist. He got it at a thrift store up north and is finally getting around to reading it. Something else good he read recently was The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, by Jeffrey Toobin. When he was a child his favorite book was The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer. Like The Destruction of California, it was also published in the 1960s.

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April 1, 2017, Saturday afternoon -- Reading George Saunders

In my backyard
We were really just having cocktails, but then my sister and brother-in-law pulled out their matching Lincoln in the Bardo books, George Saunders's first novel. Together they've also read Dissident Gardens, by Jonathan Lethem, and How Music Works, by David Byrne (and saw Byrne's exhibit in Palo Alto).

Other good things they've read recently have been Embassytown, by China Miéville for him, and Tenth of December for both of them (but they didn't read it together).

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April 1, 2017, Saturday afternoon -- About to read Pat Carey

In the Mission District on a sunny afternoon
She is about to read, or, she admitted, probably flip through and read parts of, Growing up Irish Catholic, and Surviving my Mom's Eleven Sisters, by Pat Carey, that she just found at one of those itty bitty free birdhouselike libraries.

Like this one, her favorite books are biographies. Right now she is also reading a biography about Lincoln, which she is not reading linearly and completely either.

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April 2, 2017, Sunday afternoon - Reading Margaret Atwood

On Bernal Hill, on a perfect, windless sunny day
She is reading The Heart Goes Last, by Margaret Atwood. She saw it at Green Apple books, and got it when she realized that there was a Margaret Atwood book that was published a couple years ago that she hadn't read yet.

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.

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I'm still on blogging hiatus

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Still no post this week - check back later

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Again this week I saw readers, but I've been on an interviewing hiatus. Check back again next week.

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No reader this week, check back next week

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February 12, 2017, Sunday afternoon -- Reading Erich Maria Remarque

On a sunny Sunday afternoon
He is reading Three Comrades, by the German novelist Erich Maria Remarque. It was recommended by a friend. The book is about World War I.

The last book he read that also compelled him to read while walking was American Gods, by Neil Gaiman, and his favorite author is Ken Follett.

He's on his way to a park bench to read in the last sunny hours of the late afternoon and watch the sun set over the city.

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February 6, 2017, Monday evening -- Reading along to the Quiet Lightning Literary Series

In the cotton candy glow of the Stud, a bar on 9th and Harrison and reading along with the chapbook at Evan Karp's Quiet Lightning literary series
Lately, his favorite author is Arundhati Roy.

Sort of related, I've been listening to a lot of audio books lately, just because I can lay on the floor and stretch easily while listening, or while I'm traveling I can be "reading" something that doesn't require carrying heavy books, and also isn't hard on my eyes like a smart phone or tablet. Anyway, although I'm in an audio book phase, I really like seeing words on a page. I feel like I can remember and process, and let my mind have a conversation better with the author when I'm looking at print. Especially when I'm at a literary reading and there are other distraction like people ordering drinks or bartenders shaking drinks. It's good to have the printed word to ground myself. That's one of the things about Evan's series, is that you've got access to that.

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February 4, 2017, Saturday afternoon -- Reading author unknown

At the protest at Civic Center Plaza I saw a child reading in a crowd. He was leaning against the legs of an adult.
My cell phone had lost its charge because I was listening to an audio book on the way to the protest (Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett), so I couldn't take a picture. I didn't even go over and talk to them, but I should have. Now I'm wondering what he was reading. 

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January 29, 2017, Sunday afternoon -- Reading Tyson Amir

At San Francisco International Airport during the protest against Trump's Executive Order, surrounded by chants such as "Let them Out" and "No Hate, No Fear, Refugees are Welcome Here."

He is reading Black Boy Poems, by Tyson Amir. He learned about this book at a poetry reading in Oakland. Right now, it's his favorite book. The poem he's reading today is "Between Huey and Malcom (2015)". The introduction to the poem says, "Dr. Huey P. Newton had an epiphany when he once said, 'I do not expect the white media to create positive black male images.'"

The notes for his sign are Remember: We are on stolen, Indigenous land, a nation-state built by enslaved African captives whose founding principles were white supremacy and settler colonial genocide. Resist with a sense of history.

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January 3, 2017, Tuesday afternoon -- Reading Yuval Noah Harari

On Sunrise Beach at the Happy Vibe Beach Bar in Koh Lipe, Thailand
He is reading Homo Deus, by Yuval Noah Harari. He heard about the book that comes before this one, Sapiens, from the BBC. Sapiens was about the history of people, from the Stone Age until now. Homo Deus is about the future of people. He has really enjoyed both books.

Something else good he's read lately is The Bone Clocks, a novel by David Mitchell that won the World Fantasy Award in 2015.


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January 3, 2017, Tuesday afternoon -- Reading Henning Mankell

On the island Ko Lipe in southern Thailand

She is reading Villspor, by the Swedish crime writer, Henning Mankell. 

She is from Norway and is an engineering student. This is the first fiction she's read in a long time. Her mother gave it to her to read on vacation. I think the English translation of the book is titled Sidetracked

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December 29, 2016, Thursday morning -- Reading Elizabeth Jane Howard

On Bronte Beach in Sydney, Australia
He is reading Falling, by Elizabeth Jane Howard.

A couple of his favorite authors are Ken Follett and John Grisham.

He is visiting Australia from England and says that if you go to a pub in London chances are it'll be an Australian who'll serve you a pint.

Other vacation reading he's brought along is The Search, by C.P. Snow, which is about the life of a scientist, written in the 1930s, and was a gift from his Mum. He'll also read a book about World War I, another Christmas gift.

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December 29, 2016, Thursday morning -- Reading Hannah Kent

At Bronte Beach in Sydney, Australia

She is reading The Good People, by the Australian author, Hannah Kent. The book was a Christmas present from her Mum. It's set in Ireland in the first part of the 1800s and is about a woman who lost both her husband and her daughter and is now taking care of her disabled grandchild. The story is about her trying to overcome and is also about superstitions and fairies. The good people are the fairies of old Ireland.

One of her favorite authors is Geraldine Brooks, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2006 for her book March. March is a re-telling of Little Women from the perspective of Mr. March, who is called away to participate in the American Civil War.

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Sometime around 1872 -- Reading author unknown

This week I was too busy with Christmas to interview a reader. Happy Holidays! 

Instead, here's a painting by Claude Monet that was on a card I received from my friend Allison this past birthday. It's entitled Springtime and was painted circa 1872 and resides in the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore.


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December 19, 2016, Monday night (in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) -- Reading Ashlee Vance

At the Kuala Lumpur airport
He lives in Kuala Lumpur, and is on his way home to see his family in the UK
He is reading Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance. Recently he hasn't had much time to read outside of books for work (he's a physicist) and found this pleasure reading at a bookstore in the airport.

When he does read for fun, one of the genres he likes is sports autobiographies. He read Hitting Back: The Autobiography, by Andy Murray, a tennis player from his home country, Scotland, who became number 1 in the world this past November. He also enjoyed reading Four Men in a Boat:  The Inside Story of the Sydney 2000 Coxless Four, about the 2000 Olympics and Great Britain's rowing team, by Tim Foster, Rory Ross.

It feels a little serendipitous posting from Kuala Lumpur, not only because I like the way it sounds, but also because back in 2008 I inspired Uzair Sawal and Dizzy to interview people reading books and start their own reading blog in Kuala Lumpur. I don't see any recent posts their blog, but here's the link if you want to see people outside the airport reading in Kuala Lumpur.  Unfortunately I don't get to leave the airport, I'm just on a layover, but some day maybe I will.

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December 6, 2016, Tuesday afternoon -- Reading Zadie Smith

Downtown, waiting for someone
He is reading White Teeth, by Zadie Smith. It's been on his shelf and he's been meaning to read it for a while.
His favorite book is Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace, which he noted was a cliché  -- he's a well educated male in his mid- to late-twenties.

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November 28, 2016, Monday evening -- Reading Arnaldur Indridason

In the Financial District
He is reading Strange Shores, by Arnaldur Indridason. He got it in one of the free libraries that look like birdhouses.

Something good he read recently was The Instructions, by Adam Levin. His favorite author is Mikhail Bulgakov. He's read almost everything Bulgakov has written. A couple that stand out are Heart of a Dog, Master and Margarita, and a biography of Molière.

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