Reading With Their Backs to the World, Portraits from Serbia, by Norweigan journalist, Åsne Seierstad, which just came out this month. Her The Bookseller of Kabul, published in 2003, was an international bestseller. Here's a Mother Jones interview with the author from last May.

The reader's favorite book--A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole. She usually reads books that have a political slant to them; right now, however, she is reading a book on brewing beer.