May 31, 2017, Wednesday afternoon -- Reading John Gray and Edna Buchanan

Between semesters, I was able to take a vacation to France and Switzerland. I spent a couple of weeks eating good food, swimming, hiking, and managed to photograph a few readers, too.

On the shore of Lake Annecy in Duingt, France
They are from the Netherlands and doing some vacation reading. She is reading Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, by John Gray. He is reading Moord in Miami, by Edna Buchanan. During their non-vacation time they don't have much time to read, but when they do have time she likes to read "chick-flick"books, and he likes books by Dan Brown.

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May 20, 2017, Saturday afternoon -- Reading Captain Charles Moore, with Cassandra Phillips

I think San Francisco would be an even nicer place if everyone sat on their front steps and read.   Coincidentally, May 20, 2017, when I met this reader, was SFPorchfest, for music on porches, backyards, and stoops of the Mission District. Reading should have a day like that. Work could be cancelled on a sunny day and everyone would go home and sit on their front steps and read and talk to their neighbors about their books.
She is reading Plastic Ocean, by Captain Charles Moore, with Cassandra Phillips.
She met and interviewed the author a few years ago when his boat was docked at her hometown.  She was doing research and studying (ecology?). She got Plastic Ocean about six years ago and is finally getting around to reading it. It took a sunny day. She just gave her dog a bath and they went out into the sun to dry off. Her dog loves the sun.
She has lots of favorite books and authors, but a couple that came to mind were The Name of the Wind, a fantasy novel by Patrick Rothfuss, and Righteous Porkchop, by Nicolette Hahn Niman, about the meat industry.


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May 18, 2017, Thursday afternoon/evening -- Reading Donald Miller

At that time of day when it's both afternoon and evening at the same time
 He is reading Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller. It was a birthday gift. I asked him if he was feeling pressure about finishing it and reporting back because it was a gift and he admitted that he does find it hard to finish books sometimes, but this is honestly good. He can't put it down. 

If he had to name a favorite author it would be Charles Bukowski. A couple of good books he's read recently are The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho and This is Water, a  transcription of a graduation address David Foster Wallace gave in 2005.

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May 18, 2017, Thursday afternoon/evening -- Reading Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney and Cory Doctorow

On a sunny Thursday afternoon/evening in the Mission District
They are reading The Nest, by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney and Walkaway, by Cory Doctorow. They bought them at a real live bookstore (!!). He chose his book because on the cover it is recommended by William Gibson. I asked my "favorite book/favorite author" question and like most people, he was stumped its weight. He doesn't really have a favorite author or book -- it depends on his mood and he cycles through work books and escapist literature. Right now, he likes Neal Stephenson. Something he read recently that was good was A Spy Among Friends, by Ben Macintyre. She tried to read it but couldn't get through it - lots of who is who? and backstabbing. Something else good he read was Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, who is an economist. It's about how decisions are made.

For her, she was on the phone for most of the time we were talking, but she said that a good book that stands out for her is Little Bee, by Chris Cleave, which she read about 5 years ago. It's about a Nigerian Asylum-seeker.
The real live bookstore where they got their books was Christopher's Books in Potrero Hill.

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May 11, 2017, Thursday evening -- Reading Robert Fernandez

At a bar in North Beach
She is reading Pink Reef, by Robert Fernandez. She heard about him at a poetry workshop. After hearing one of his poems, she wanted to read more. After this, she said she's going to City Lights to see if she can get his other books. He's pretty young, she said. He was born in 1980. One of his influences is Frank Ocean, an R&B artist she loves.
Her favorite author is Eileen Myles, who I looked up online while writing this blog entry. She has won several awards and written 19 books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. It's good to have a favorite author who's prolific!

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May 4, 2017, Thursday morning -- Reading Jerome Bixby

In the Financial District
He is reading Mirror, Mirror, by Jerome Bixby, who wrote episodes for the original Star Strek.

He read a short story collection by the author and then found this.

Another author he's been reading lately is Ned Beauman. Last year he read The Teleportation Accident and from the first page he loved it. Now he's "going after" Beauman's other books.

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April 27, 2017, Wednesday evening -- Reading Haruki Murakami

In the Mission District
He is reading What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by Haruki Murakami. This is his 15th book this year that he's read, which is a record for him. Before he read something by Murakami he thought of reading as a chore. Now, he reads lots of different authors. He likes to switch it up and read fiction, then nonfiction, then maybe a design book, so he doesn't rush into another story too quick. Fiction is his favorite. Other authors he's read recently have been César Aira, Simone de Beauvoir, and Kobo Abe.

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April 26, 2017, Tuesday evening -- Reading Kenzaburo Oe

In the Mission District
She is reading Death by Water, a novel by Kenzaburo Oe. Lately she's been exploring history from a non-Eurocentric viewpoint.

She has lots of favorite authors, including Marcel Proust and Percival Everett.

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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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