Reading The Great Mortality, An Intimate History of Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time, by John Kelly. Before this he read a book about this history of polio, which he found more interesting because it's closer to the present and, therefore, easier to relate to. The Great Mortality, he admitted, was pretty dull. He had been hoping it would be more about the plague itself, but it goes into the history around it which, unless you have a prior understanding or appreciation, it is easy to get lost.

One of his favorite books is Maximum City, Bombay Lost and Found, by Suketu Mehta. The author was born in India, moved to the U.S. to be a writer and then moved back to India to write this book. The book shows the contrast between rich and poor and all the crooked things in the city. He picked up the book because in 2005, in an attempt to find adventure, he visited India and now has a great appreciation for Indian culture. Having actually been there helped him visualize what he was reading.

He tends more toward non-fiction than fiction, though recently he picked up Life of Pi and read it in two days. Again, his appreciation for the book was a result of being familiar with Indian culture. When he got to the end he wished that it had been a true story.

A good non-fiction book he's read recently--American Prometheus, the Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, which is about the father of the atomic bomb. He found it interesting because the set of fears people faced in this era are very different from those that we face now--despite the current events, we don't feel as though a nuclear threat is immanent. Though, like the history of polio book, because it takes place in the not-so-distant past, it's easy to relate to.

He's also a fan of travel writing--Paul Theroux and Rolf Potts in particular. He has a lot of respect for travelers who get outside of the air conditioned tour bus and travel in a way that romanticized way that most people don't have the guts for. (When he went to India his trip was semi-airconditioned--he went with a small adventure travel group.)