December 26, 2018, Wednesday afternoon -- Reading Colson Whitehead

On (or next to)  the Thai island, Koh Lipe
She is reading The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead. She picked it up because of the subject matter, it won a Pulitzer Prize, and Barack Obama said it was "terrific." Her favorite author is John Grisham. She just finished reading The Partner. She loves how crazy detailed Grisham's writing is, which makes her feel like she's watching a movie. Her favorite Danish author (she's Danish, but usually reads in English) is Jussi Adler-Olsen. He also writes thrillers, but she said, Grisham is better.

Two years ago I also visited this island. On this visit I happened to look up and, sitting under a tiki bar (with a book) was someone I'd photographed two years ago


December 19, 2018, Wednesday afternoon -- Reading Ilya Ehrenberg

At Adobe Bookstore in the Mission District, looking at Meditation for Beginners, by Jack Kornfield, a book that he just purchased for the store.
What he is actually reading right now is The Fall of Paris, by Ilya Ehrenberg. It's about why the French republic fell to Nazi invasion. They were horrified by World War I and didn't want to become a battleground.
He reads a lot of history. I asked him who his favorite author is and he said he sees so many books he doesn't know what to fall in love with. He said he likes Willa Cather, and his favorite book of hers is My Ántonia.
While I sat talking to Andrew so many people came in and out of the store and a few people bought things, including The Hidden Life of Dogs, by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, and a book on tiki art. Bookstores are not dead.


December 19, 2018, Wednesday afternooon -- Reading Elyssa Friedland

In the Financial District
She is reading The Intermission, by Elyssa Friedland. Someone left it next to her while she was sleeping. Recently she read You Will Pay, by Lisa Jackson and The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, an autobiography by James McBride, which she really enjoyed and left with someone who works near where she sleeps sometimes.


December 15, 2018, Saturday night -- Reading N.A. Diaman

Reading aloud a segment of the book that is set in Paris while accompanied by a cellist
He is reading Portraits, a gay love story and novel by N.A. Diaman, who was also at the party and is actually the person holding the book in the picture above. When I asked permission to photograph the reader, he told me I should ask the author. I was a little taken aback because no one has ever said that before. Usually the author is not present.

The author has written 11 books, including Ed Dean Is Queer, The Fourth Wall, Second Crossing, Reunion, Castro Street Memories, Private Nation, and The City. He grew up in San Francisco, about a 5 minute walk from where the party was.

The reader's favorite book is The Glass Bead Game, by Hermann Hesse, which he read about 20 years ago. He liked it for its ability to find connections between things, on which the surface seem to have nothing in common.

The cellist also accompanied other readers and I also heard her play beautiful piece by Vivaldi. I've lived most of my life without hearing literature being read without musical accompaniment, but earlier this month during a MAPP event at the Red Poppy Art House, I heard a man recite Emily Dickinson while accompanied by piano music.


December 7, 2018, Friday afternoon -- Reading John Green

Enjoying the sunshine
She is reading Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green on her public library Libby app. She just started it and she's not sure if she'll continue with it or not. It was recommended by Amazon because of another book that she read.

Something good she read lately was Children of Blood and Bone, a young adult fantasy novel by Tomi Adeyemi. It's a page turner and socially relevant because of the racial tensions in the book. 


December 3, 2018, Monday morning -- Reading Kelly Thompson, Stacey Lee, Jenn St-Onge, and Jen Hickman

Waiting for the train
She is reading Jem and the Holograms: Infinite, written by Kelly Thompson, and illustrated by Stacey Lee, Jenn St-Onge, and Jen Hickman. She's an 80's kid, she said.

Something good she's read recently is Into the Drowning Deep, by Mira Grant. She described it as an inventive, realistic horror story. It's about an ocean voyage to the Mariana Trench.


No reader to post this week

I walked through Potrero Hill and the Mission District today, looking for a reader but didn't find one. Through a coffee shop's windows I saw a woman studying a text book, but that's not really what I like to take pictures of. I'm more interested in what we read when we're not obligated to read. While I walked I listened to an audio book on my newish headphones. Audiobooks and walks are two of my favorite things these days. I usually listen to books from the public library on their app called Libby. Right now I'm listening to Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami's latest novel. It's about 28 hours long and the reader has a deep, soothing voice. I find Murakami's books very soothing even when they aren't read aloud. This one is about an artist who paints portraits and is just as good as his other books that I've enjoyed over the years.


November 25, 2018, Sunday morning -- Reading Robert Galbraith

In the Mission District
He is reading Lethal White, by Robert Galbraith. The author is British and he enjoys reading British authors. He said they use words that he doesn't usually encounter, such as crenelated (having spaces that guns, cannons, etc. can be shot through), pusillanimous (timid), and eponymous (of, relating to, or being what is named).
When I asked him about his favorite books and authors he said he's a sucker for David Baldacci and he also told me about a book called Night of Camp David, by Fletcher Knebel, which is about a Senator who discovers the president is unstable and needs to alert the country. Although it was written in 1965, he feels it has some parallels with today. He is not alone in his opinion. I just read an online review that said the title could easily be changed to Night of Mar-a-Lago. In November 2018 Penguin Random House announced it would be re-releasing the book.


October 31, 2018, Wednesday afternoon -- Reading Trevor Noah

Working at the door, in the Mission District
She is reading Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, an autobiography by Trevor Noah, the host of the Daily Show. She gave it to a friend and the friend said it was so good, she had to read it, too. She likes reading about race, humans in general, poetry, and what her friends write.


October 27, 2018, Saturday afternoon -- Reading Edinburgh

At PianFrancisco, my new favorite San Francisco thing -- a view of the city, a piano, and people singing (the pianist was amazing)
She is reading Edinburgh, a novel by Alexander Chee. She said that it is devastatingly sad. It's about a Korean American boy being sexually abused by a choir director, and it is an important Asian American novel, as well as an important LGBTQ novel.

Like many people when I ask them about their favorite books/authors, she was overcome by the difficulty of naming her favorites and not leaving anyone out. She has so many favorite authors, including Elena Ferrante, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Yiyun Li.
Yes, that is a bear giving a bear hug in the background. It was just a few days before Halloween.


October 26, 2018, Friday evening -- Reading Zadie Smith

At Vesuvio in North Beach
He is reading White Teeth, by Zadie Smith. He's been meaning to read it for ages, and has read the first 140 pages today. While he was carrying it around town (he's visiting here from the UK) he said that lots of people came up to him and wanted to talk to him about the book. He said the book reminds him of Santanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie, because of the way the books deal with integration.

His favorite author is Salman Rushdie, and Midnight's Children is his favorite Salman Rushdie novel. He read it for the first time while he was living in India. Another favorite book is The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera.


October 17, 2018, Wednesday morning -- Reading Nnedi Okorafor

At a coffee shop in the Mission District
She is reading Akata Witch, a fantasy young adult novel set in Nigeria, by Nnedi Okorafor, which she got at Borderlands books in the neighborhood. Most of the books she reads she gets from either Borderlands or Dogeared Books, down the street. She also really likes N.K. Jemisin, another science fiction and fantasy writer.


October 14, 2018, Sunday morning -- Reading John C. Maxwell

At a Chinese food and donut shop in the Mission District
He is reading Liderazgo EFICAZ: Cómo influir en los demás, (in English this translates into Effective Leadership: How to Influence others) by John C. Maxwell, who is a pastor and leadership expert. This is his second time reading it. His favorite book is the Bible.


October 9, 2018, Tuesday afternoon -- Reading J.D. Salinger

In the Mission District
He is reading The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. He reads it from time to time, to get away from his phone.  His dad gave him this book five years ago and his uncle gave it to his dad. A note in the back cover from his uncle to his dad says, "I tried to find you a hard-back, kick ass copy of this classic, but no luck; instead you get the cheesiest copy I've ever seen." and thanks him for being a good brother.


October 4, 2018, Thursday evening -- Reading Richard Wright

At the BART Station
She is reading Native Son, by Richard Wright. She didn't expect it to be so vulnerable, rough, and  with sharp edges.
One of her favorite authors is Sandra Cisneros. She got hooked by reading Woman Hollering Creek, and she also adores her memoir, A House of My Own: Stories from My Life.


September 30, 2018, Sunday evening -- Reading Herodotus

At a coffee shop in the Mission District
He is reading Herodotus' Histories, Book 1, by Herodotus, in the ancient Greek, with the help of a Greek - English dictionary. He's also read Sophocles, Xenophon, Plato, and Aristotle in the ancient Greek. The last thing he read, that wasn't in ancient Greek, was The Aeneid, by Virgil, in the original Latin. He enjoys reading in other languages to expand his mind. Latin and Greek, he said, are profoundly alien and that reading them can be mind bending.


September 16, 2018, Sunday evening -- Reading the authors of the Chapo Trap House

At Precita Park
He is reading, and thoroughly enjoying, even though the sun is just about gone for the day,  The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts, and Reason, by the authors of the Chapo Trap House. He listens to their podcast, Chapo Trap House.


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.


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.


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.