Reading Facing West, by John Curtis Perry. He's from Madrid and since he's come to the U.S. (He teaches Math in Chicago and is doing a stint at Stanford right now) he's read about four U.S. history books. What he likes about U.S. history is that, unlike European history where everything is very homogeneous within a time period, U.S. history is completely crazy. You can have the Pony Express in the West and skyscrapers going up in New York City.

A Spanish author he likes is Javier Marias, who has written the novels My Heart so Wide and Tomorrow in the Battle Think About Me.

His favorite book of all time--Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov. Scenes he has in mind are the hell's ball, the scene where the cat gets on the tram and pays his fare and the one where Margarita's maid flies off into the night on Margarita's husband, who has been turned into a pig. Another favorite book--The Baron in the Trees, by Italo Calvino, though normally he doesn't really like Calvino.