September 15, 2018, Saturday afternoon -- Reading Steinbeck

At a cafe in the Mission District
He is reading The Winter of Our Discontent, by John Steinbeck. He is on a Steinbeck kick. Before this he read Grapes of Wrath and then East of Eden. I told him that I have East of Eden in my audio book queue and he said, that's a good one.

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September 4, 2018, Monday evening, Labor Day -- Reading Paul Kalanithi

At the movie theater
When I asked her if I could photograph her for my blog, she said that I had asked her that once before. Here's the post from a couple weeks shy of 4 years ago when I saw her reading at Sutton Cellar's winery.
This time she is reading When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi, It's about a neurosurgeon who gets cancer. She knows someone who loved the book so much they bought multiple copies and gave them away. She was at (her mom's house?) and found the book by coincidence and started reading.
Something else good she read recently was No One Tells You This, by Glynnis MacNicol, a memoir about a woman who turns 40 and realizes she is 40 and has no children and is happy with her choice.

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August 29, 2018, Wednesday afternoon - Reading Lynn V. Andrews

On a sunny evening near the Ferry Building
She is reading Star Woman, by Lynn V. Andrews. She got it at the library last night and is enjoying it. It's about Native American culture and mythology. Another good book she read recently was Just Kids, a memoir by Patti Smith. She had always loved Patti Smith's music and discovered while reading the book that Patty Smith was good friends with Robert Mapplethorpe, a photographer whose art she likes, too.

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August 19, 2018, Sunday evening -- Reading N.H. Munro, or "Saki"

On the bus, rolling through Potrero Hill
I usually don't photograph people on the bus because if the reader isn't interested, I can't just walk away. But, this time the bus was so empty, I could have. But he said yes.

He is reading Beasts and Super Beasts, by N.H. Munro, or "Saki." He bought it on 3rd Street and has  read it pretty much in one sitting. It includes the famous story, The Open Window, set in Victorian England, about a man going into the countryside to recuperate from a case of the nerves.

The book he read before this one was Of Mice and Men. He found it misogynistic. The 200 page book, he thought, wasn’t long enough for Steinbeck to develop the female characters. However, he said, this was not the case in The Grapes of Wrath.

Usually he reads books about radical economics and anarchy.

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August 13, 2018, Monday evening -- Reading Madeline Miller

At a coffee shop in the Mission District
He is reading The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller. He picked it up because he has been fascinated by Greek mythology since childhood, and the book had a lot of good reviews on Goodreads.

Some of his favorites are Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens; The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien; and The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, by Leslye Walton, about a girl who is born with wings, which he said was an unusual book.

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August 10, 2018, Friday afternoon -- Reading Evelyn Waugh

In the Mission District
He is reading, or actually revisiting, Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh. He read it about 6 or 7 years ago and recently saw it in a bookstore and wanted to read it again. It begins in Oxford in the 1920s between the wars and follows the life of a man named Charles Ryder who is friends with a family who lives in Brideshead Castle, in North Yorkshire. The complete title of the novel is Brideshead Revisited, The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder.  

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July 22, 2018, Sunday afternoon -- Reading David Sedaris

In the Mission District
Even though I was in a hurry I stopped to interview this reader, mostly because her book was making her laugh out loud. She is reading Calypso, by David Sedaris. Mostly she reads science fiction. Right now she's also reading The Three-Body Problem, by the Chinese author Liu Cixin (translated into English by Ken Liu), which she is excited about.  It won the Hugo Award, science fiction's most prestigious award, in 2015. She also likes Heinlein.

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July 15, 2018, Sunday afternoon -- Reading Cintra Wilson

At Sunday Streets, an event where the streets are closed off to cars and people do all sorts of stuff in the street, like hula hoop, show their art, roller skate, or read
He is reading Fear and Clothing: Unbuckling American Style, by California writer/actress Cintra Wilson. He just got the book from the public library's book mobile that was parked not far from where he was sitting.

Something good he read recently was a book about Motown in Chicago, but he can't remember the title and author. 

He likes to get books at flea markets, and goes early to get the best selection.

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July 14, 2018, Saturday afternoon -- Reading Janine M. Benyus

At Dolores Park, reading among San Franciscans, like Phillip Ruise, who was striking poses while dressed in silver and mirrors.

She is reading Biomimicry, by Janine M. Benyus because her minor is biology and she's interested in biomimicry. I looked up the definition on the website for the Biomimicry Institute, of which the author is a co-founder. Biomimicry is "an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature's time-tested patterns and strategies." 

Her major is chemical engineering, but she reads all sorts of books, usually what people recommend to her. The last good book she read was Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett, about an opera singer under house arrest.

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July 14, 2018, Saturday afternoon -- Reading Q. Hayashida

At Dolores Park
He is reading the first volume from the manga series Dorohedoro, by Q. Hayashida. His friend gave him Prison Pit, by Johnny Ryan, in which there's an ongoing battle, filled with disgustingness, and monsters, fighting in a desolate landscape. He hadn’t read mangas for a while, but really liked it, so went to bookstore and asked for something similar, and they suggested Dorohedoro, also a gritty post-apocalyptic manga.

When he's not reading mangas, what he reads depends. He mostly likes Lovecraftian horror, but gravitates toward no specific authors. He just likes scary books. A good short story he liked was
I Have No mouth and Must Scream, by Harlan Ellison, about a super computer who tortured humans.


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July 7, 2018, Saturday evening -- Reading Neil Gaiman

In the Mission District
He is reading Anasi Boys, by Neil Gaiman. American Gods is his favorite Neil Gaiman book. His favorite authors right now are Neil Gaiman, Philip K. Dick, and authors of the classics, like Dostoyevsky. He said he goes through phases. Right now he's reading a lot of Philip K. Dick. He described the writing as cryptic, macabre, and mystical visionary. He also told me how it's no secret that Philip K. Dick did a lot of speed biker meth to improve his productivity to write. Throughout his career he wrote 44 novels, as well as short stories, and struggled for most of his life to make enough money.

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June 30, 2018, Saturday afternoon -- Reading Andrew Shaffer

In Truckee, California (where I'm on vacation)
She is taking a break from working at a bookstore
and reading an advance copy of Hope Never Dies, by Andrew Shaffer. It's an old school mystery and the main character is Joe Biden.
I asked her what her favorite books are and she said, Like ever? I said yes and she said East of Eden, by Steinbeck, commented that she has so many, said she'd just been talking about Of Wolves and Men, by Barry Lopez, and also mentioned Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver.
I asked her if she could recommend any local authors and she said that if you're looking for an interesting, fun mystery that takes place in the area, she recommends Todd Borg. He writes the Tahoe Mystery series, which is about a homicide inspector from San Francisco who moves up to Tahoe to become a private investigator.
The bookstore she works at is called Word After Word. On Thursday night I spotted their book bike at Truckee's weekly street fair. Here's a picture.


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June 23, 2018, Saturday morning -- Reading Mary Oliver

Having breakfast at the Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel, on the cliffs above the Pacific
He is reading Why I Wake Early, a book of poetry by Mary Oliver. This is the third book he's read by her.

His favorite reading experience is the Once and Future King, by T. H. White. He also enjoyed going through the Father Brown stories by G. K. Chesterton, who he described as a Christian essayist. He described Father Brown as sort of a Sherlock Holmes character and a bumbling Catholic priest. He said the stories are about 20  pages long, witty and they each have a moral take away.

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June 17, 2018, Sunday afternoon - Reading Alain Naze

At Dolores Park on a sunny day
He is reading Manifeste contre la normalisation gay, by Alain Naze. In English the French translates into The manifesto against gay normalization.   Here's an author interview I found about the book from lundi.am. The article was more philosophical than I'm used to reading, but I think, in summary, Alain Naze says that the de-criminalization of same-sex relations is positive, but that trying to fit into heterosexual norms like marriage is limiting, shows a lack of inventiveness, and should not be an absolute goal. 

He mostly reads philosophy. His favorite author is French philosopher, Michel Foucalt.


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June 6, 2018, Wednesday afternoon -- Reading Roald Dahl

In the Mission District
She is reading, or re-reading, The Witches, by Roald Dahl. It's summer and she's getting in touch with her inner child again. Her favorite book is Holes, by Louis Sachar, another young adult novel. She read it as a kid and loved how it's darker than expected. Dark kid books, she said, help kids get ready for life.

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I have missed posting readers lately. Life has just been busy. I'll start again soon, hopefully next week.
Thanks for checking my blog.
~Sonya

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November 11, 2017, Saturday afternoon -- Reading Henry Kimsey-House,‎ Karen Kimsey-House,‎ Phillip Sandahl,‎ and Laura Whitworth

In the Mission District, in a quiet corner during open studios, a yearly art event in which artists open their doors to the public to visit their studios, see their art, and drink their wine.
She is reading Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives, by Henry Kimsey-House,‎ Karen Kimsey-House,‎ Phillip Sandahl,‎ and Laura Whitworth. She is in the process of becoming a life coach.

She is a poet, as well, and her favorite author is the poet, Yesika Salgado. She had admired her from afar and now has monthly Facetime wrting-coaching sessions with her. Salgado recently published a book of poetry is called Corazón.

Another favorite book of hers is Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, selections from an advice column written for the literary website, The Rumpus, by Cheryl Strayed. She likes the honesty in the advice.

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October 25, 2017, Wednesday morning -- Reading David Neiwert

Reading while walking down the street in the Mission District
She is reading Of Orcas and Men: What Killer Whales Can Teach Us, by David Neiwert. She is working on a master's degree in anthrozoology -- the study of humanity's relationships with other species.

Other good books she's read for her program are Being a Dog and Inside of a Dog, by Alexandra Horowitz.

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October 24, 2017, Tuesday afternoon -- Reading Geoff Emerick and Howard Massey

In Dolores Park
He is reading Here, There, and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles, by Geoff Emerick and Howard Massey. He's a Beatles fan and borrowed it from friends.

Something else good he read recently was Tenth of December, a book of short stories by George Saunders.
 


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October 15, 2017, Sunday evening -- Reading Neil Gaiman

On Potrero Hill
He is reading American Gods, by Neil Gaiman. He got it at the bookstore across the street from where he's sitting. He said it's a change from what he usually reads, which is science related or, lately, philosophy books for school. Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell was the last non-school book he's read.
 

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