May 14, 2019, Tuesday evening -- Reading Brad Meltzer

On a lovely evening, before the days of out-of-season rain hit us
She is reading The Escape Artist, by Brad Meltzer. When I explained my blog and asked if I could take her photo she expressed surprise that I'd want to document the reading of this book. She called it "brain candy." I had the same conversation a few years ago when I'd photographed another reader who worked as a book dealer, and felt that her book wasn't high brow enough. But isn't that the highest compliment to an author and the best thing for readers themselves, to have created something enjoyable or to be engrossed in something enjoyable? Personally, above all other reasons, that's why I read.
Her favorite author is Stephen King.


May 1, 2019, Wednesday afternoon -- Reading Paula Hawkins

In North Beach
She is reading Escrito En El Agua, by Paula Hawkins. Her sister loaned it to her when she was visiting her back home in Colombia two months ago and she just remembered she had it.

Her favorite author is Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Something good she read recently was Ficciones, a collection of short stories by Jorge Luis Borges, which was very deep, but very nice.


April 13, 2018, Saturday evening -- Reading Rachel Cusk

At Gibson's, downtown

She is reading Kudos, by Rachel Cusk. She heard the author read in Berkeley not too long ago and really enjoys her writing.

Something else good she read recently was Dreyer's English, by Benjamin Dreyer, a humorous book about the English language.


April 4, 2019, Thursday evening -- Reading Robert Pinsky

At Adobe Bookstore in the Mission District
He is reading The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide, by Robert Pinsky. It was sitting next to the register, a place where the book store features books they think will sell well. He's only just begun it, but is liking it. He wants to read more poetry and feels this is a good start.

His favorite authors right now are Haruki Murakami, for The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle; Ken Liu, for a short story that made him cry on a bus on his way to work called The Paper Menagerie; and Jane Jacobs, for The Death and Life of Great American Cities.


March 28, 2019, Thursday evening -- Reading Indu Sundaresan

In the Mission District
She is reading The Twentieth Wife, by Indu Sundaresan. It's the first book of a historical fiction trilogy. She was originally drawn to the book for its cover and now has read the whole trilogy and is reading this book for the second time. It's about the last wife of an Emperor in India who had a lot of influence and set policy and shaped the course of history.

She reads a lot of fantasy, and especially liked Phillip Pullman's trilogy His Dark Materials. She also really liked Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly, a historical fiction novel which is set in World War II and is about the lives of three women.


March 25, 2019, Monday afternoon -- Reading Ernest Hemingway

She is reading The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway. She's never read anything by Ernest Hemingway and found this at the library.

Her favorite author is Toni Morrison. She read The Bluest Eye and is reading Sula now.


March 18, 2019, Monday afternoon -- Reading bell hooks

At Union Square
He is reading All About Love, by bell hooks. His girlfriend gave him the book for Valentine's Day. They both heard the author, who is a well known feminist and activist, read at San Francisco State University.

His favorite author is Cormac McCarthy, and of Cormac McCarthy's books his favorite is Blood Meridian, which he likes for its graphic illustration and chaos of the Wild West.


March 15, 2019, Friday afternoon -- Reading Carol S. Dweck

At the BART Station
He is walking to work and reading Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck.


March 10, 2019, Sunday afternoon -- Reading Alex Hutchinson

At a cafe in the Mission District
She is reading Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, by Alex Hutchinson. She is a distance runner and while she's down with an injury, she's working on her mental game for endurance running. She ran the 10k and 5k in college.

Other running books she's read are Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery, by Christie Aschwanden, and Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory, by Deena Kastor -- who has the American record in the marathon -- and Michelle Hamilton.

She doesn't have a favorite book or author, but she does really like Haruki Murakami.


March 1, 2019, Friday evening -- Reading Barbara Kingsolver

On the BART platform
He is reading Pigs in Heaven, by Barbara Kingsolver, which he found in one of those Little Free Library houses in Berkeley. He is a teacher and he teaches his students The Bean Trees, which this book is the sequel of, and he had read everything by Barbara Kingsolver except for this book.

His favorite book is Watership Down, by Richard Adams. His favorite living author is Cormac McCarthy and his favorite deceased author is Carlos Casteneda.


February 24, 2019, Sunday afternoon -- Reading Michael Schiavo

In the Mission District
He is reading Terri: The Truth, by Michael Schiavo. He doesn't have a favorite author, but instead just reads books when they come his way.


February 3, 2019, Sunday afternoon -- Reading Jeffrey Eugenides

At a cafe in the Mission District
She is reading Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides. It was a gift from her sister-in-law, who got everyone books for Christmas. She got lucky that she got a book she wanted to read.

Something good she read recently was Slouching Towards Bethlehem, a book of essays by Joan Didion. She liked it because it was fun to see a portrait of San Francisco.


February 3, 2019, Sunday afternoon -- Reading Tana French

At a cafe in the Mission District
She is just getting started reading The Witch Elm, by Tana French.  It's a murder mystery. She loves this author and is happy to have time to read. It's the first book she's read in a while.


February 3, 2019, Sunday afternoon -- Reading Chris Ying, René Redzepi, Bini Pradhan, Heena Patel, Isabel Caudillo, and others

At a cafe in the Mission District
(The black square on picture of the cover is just to cover up a sticker with library hold information)

She is reading You and I Eat the Same: On the Countless Ways Food and Cooking Connect Us to One Another, by Chris Ying and René Redzepi. It's an anthology of essays and part of a series of books put out by the Danish nonprofit MAD, "intended to inspire, educate, and find creative solutions that make a real and sustainable difference in how the world eats" (from the back flap). Right now she's reading an essay about the San Francisco nonprofit, La Cocina entitled Food as a Gateway, by Bini Pradhan, Heena Patel, and Isabel Caudillo.

Another good food series she likes is called Big City Food Biographies, published by Rowman and Littlefield.

And another good book she's read recently was The Library Book, by Susan Orlean, about the fire at Los Angeles's Central Library in 1986.


January 25, 2019, Friday evening -- Reading John Carreyrou

Near Union Square, walking while reading. Some people have mad skills like that.
She is reading Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, by John Carreyrou. She said the book is about Elizabeth Holmes, founder and C.E.O. of Theranos, a medical technology company. A movie is being made about it staring Jennifer Lawrence.
Her favorite books are The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown and The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt, both related to art. Her minor in college was Art History.


January 20, 2019, Sunday afternoon -- Reading Jack London

At a laundromat in the Mission District
He is reading White Fang, by Jack London. He had the book when he was a kid. He has a resolution this year to read more books and from different genres. When he was a kid, he said he read lots of books but recently hasn't been reading as much. In keeping with his resolution, before this he read Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut and Dharma Bums, by Jack Kerouac. Next up is I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, by Michelle McNamara and Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes.

His favorite book is the Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas, which he likes for the build up and long, drawn-out revenge.

One good thing, he said, about having a broken washing machine (or was it dryer?) is that sitting in a laundromat is good for reading.


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.