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

On Sunrise Beach at the Happy Vibe Beach Bar in Koh Lipe, Thailand
He is reading Homo Deus, by Yuval Noah Harari. He heard about the book that comes before this one, Sapiens, from the BBC. Sapiens was about the history of people, from the Stone Age until now. Homo Deus is about the future of people. He has really enjoyed both books.

Something else good he's read lately is The Bone Clocks, a novel by David Mitchell that won the World Fantasy Award in 2015.


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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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