Reading Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray. It's one of her old favorites. She's recently finished the bar exam and while waiting for the results, she has rediscovered reading for pleasure. She used to teach English at Berkeley, but quit when she couldn't force herself to write her diseration, which began as an exploration of the poets Byron, Pope and Wordsworth.

Since she's finished the exam she's read On Beauty, by Zadie Smith; The Way We Live Now, by Anthony Trollope; Black Dogs, by Ian McEwan; and The Soloist, by Mark Salzman, which she recommended to her mother. Her mother, also very well read, keeps up with the book reviews and reads mostly contemporary authors. The last recommendation she got from her was by the British author, Anita Brookner.

A variation on the favorite book question--if she were marooned on a desert island and could have only one book to read and reread, it would be Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.