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

I got caught up with the marches this weekend and forgot to write the blog post, so more details to come this afternoon when I have time.

Here's the pictures for now, taken on Koh Lipe in Thailand.


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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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Happy Thanksgiving

I was visiting my family for the holiday and although readers were everywhere, especially in the airports, I was too worn out and consumed with my own life to contemplate talking to a stranger about what they were reading. I learned that catching up with relatives, watching magpies, and stirring a custard over a double boiler for an hour can be exhausting.
Late Saturday night I was on my way home, my flight was delayed, and I was hoping it wouldn't be delayed even more. I was pacing up and down concourses in the airport trying to stay awake, frustrated that the wireless at the airport was too finicky to let me upload a new library book to my Overdrive account, when one of my favorite people sent me a link to an article entitled The Need to Read, by Will Schwalbe. Even reading the title of buoyed me up, even though I couldn't read the article in its entirety because I don't subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. The following afternoon I realized that if you do a search for the article instead of following the link, you don't need to be a subscriber. Check it out, and check back for a reader next week. Happy Thanksgiving!

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November 16, 2016, Wednesday afternoon -- Reading Ursula K. Le Guin

In the Mission District
She is reading The Unreal and the Real, by Ursula K. Le Guin.
One of her favorite books is A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole.

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November 10, 2016, Thursday afternoon -- Reading author unknown

At a BART station
She is reading a religious pamphlet she just picked up. She mostly reads nonfiction books about medicine. She's a doctor. When she was in her second year of medical school one of her professors told her that if she becomes a doctor she will be a student all the time, and it turned out to be true. Before she went to medical school, she enjoyed reading Alexandre Dumas, Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, and the four most famous Chinese novels, which when she said this, I was confused, by what she meant, but I've looked it up online and I think she was referring to these novels, which I found on Wikipedia.

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October 29, 2016, Saturday afternoon -- Reading Toni Morrison

In downtown San Francisco
He is reading Sula, by Toni Morrison for an African Studies class in school. His favorite book is Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. Something good he read recently was Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe. He also read all of the Harry Potter books over the summer, which he said kept him busy. He would read the book, then watch the movie after each book.

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October 25, 2016, Tuesday afternoon -- Reading Edward Deming Andrews

On Market Street
He is reading The People Called Shakers, by Edward Deming Andrews. He bought it on South Van Ness for 75 cents after all of his belongings were stolen the night before.

His favorite book is The Sands of Time, by Sidney Sheldon. It's an adventure romance about nuns who flee a Spanish convent when it is raided by the Spanish army. He started reading it when he was in San Quentin, and didn't finish. He said the superstition is, if you don't finish a book you start in prison, you'll be back. He did finish it later, and not in prison, impelled to keep reading not by superstition, but because it was a good book.

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October 17, 2016, Monday evening -- Reading Kaplan

At a donut shop

He is reading Kaplan SSAT & ISEE: For Private and Independent School Admission, while waiting for his tutee. His favorite author is Shel Silverstein, whom he first read in grade school.

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October 15, 2016, Saturday morning -- Reading Catherine Marshall and Maricela Oliva

In the Mission District
This is a photo from the publisher's website
He is reading Leadership for Social Justice: Making Revolutions in Education, by Catherine Marshall and Maricela Oliva.

Usually I remember to take a photo of the cover of the book. This time I forgot. I think it was the ear buds. I always feel a conscious that I'm interrupting someone who is wearing earbuds, and want to make the conversation as short as possible.  I did ask him if he had a favorite book or a favorite author, but he hesitated before answering, and then explained that he didn't want to give an answer without taking time to think about it. Most people are initially stumped when I ask them this question, and some give an answer, but it's always a tense moment. It's a big question they aren't expecting. I wonder, how many of the people who are able to give me an answer think of a different answer after we finish talking.

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October 1, 2016, Sunday afternoon -- Reading Tina Fey

In the Mission District on a sunny morning

He is reading Bossy Pants, by Tina Fey. He started reading it while keeping company the person who is having the sidewalk sale. Something good he's read recently is Chrissie Hynde's autobiography, Reckless: My Life as a Pretender. The woman who was having the sale said something good she's read is Eat Like You Care: An Examination of the Morality of Eating Animals, by Gary L. Francione.

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September 21, 2016, Wednesday morning -- Reading Toni Morrison

In the Financial District


She is reading Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison, for an English class.


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September 22, 2016, Thursday evening -- Reading Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

Even after 10 years of photographing readers, I continue to be impressed by people coordinated enough to read while walking.

On Mission Street
He is reading Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.. He's reading it because he gives talks on leadership.

His favorite book is The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, because it's about the journey. I asked him if life's journey is a part of his talks and he said yes. He told me that part of his own personal journey has been standing still when faced with adversity. Sometimes it's about just not taking a step backwards.

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September 11, 2016, Sunday afternoon -- Reading Robert Bly

At a taqueria in the Mission District
He is reading Iron John: A book about Men, by Robert Bly. His girlfriend is a therapist and counselor and he is interested in gender identity. The book uses mythology to talk about toxic masculinity in our society, how boys today lack of role models, and how our society has lost traditions to teach boys how to be men.

His current favorite writer is Anne Carson, an award winning Canadian translator, poet, and essayist, who has a background in the classics.


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September 6, 2016, Tuesday afternoon -- Reading Bruce Tremper

At China Beach on a day warm enough to go swimming
He is reading Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain, by Bruce Tremper. He reads a lot of books about snow safety.

One of his favorite books is The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien, about what the soldiers carried with them in Vietnam. He said he usually does not like reading books with lists, but this book wasn't just a book of lists. It talked about the soldiers' whole lives.

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