November 17, 2007 -- Saturday afternoon

In Dolores Park

Reading aloud, Alice in Wonderland, by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll. Their baby was enjoying it, too, until he fell asleep.

His favorites--The Joy of Cooking (he's a chef), by Irma von Starkloff Rombauer; The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho; and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, which he listened to on CD, a version that was initially recorded on the BBC. Douglas Adams, he said, got the idea for the series while lying in a pasture near Amsterdam, reading a book on hitchhiking through Europe and decided to do a spoof on it.

She's the big reader of their family. At the age of seven she was reading college-level books. Her mom, in searching for things at an advanced level, got her V.C. Andrews books accidentally, without knowing they were filled with sex and incest! As a child she questioned why the good people were always very fair and princess-like characters.

Her favorites? It depends on her mood. Recently she read Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, which she liked. A good sad book is Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. She loves books that show you a totally different experience, that just take you away.....even if it is to a not-so-pleasant place.

Something they both really liked--Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett, a World War II psycho thriller, which shows the point of view from different sides. In the first ten minutes of reading someone gets killed. It drags you in. The book is exciting.

She gives him books to read when she finishes them--or, I believe, she said, throws books at him.... He starts them, but doesn't always finish. He got three-quarters of the way through City of God, by E.L. Doctorow. He didn't read Life of Pi. He's been reading The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas, for the past three or four years. He likes to read slowly and, if it doesn't keep his interest, he stops.

For their son they've got a huge book called The Book of Everything, with pictures of all sorts of things in it--costumes, trucks, tools. They also have Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd;The Very Hungry Caterpillar, written and illustrated by Eric Carle; and a book of classic fairy tales. They'll get more when he gets older. He's only five months. A lot of children's books, they said, are moral tales that are wrapped in religion, usually Christianity, and they don't really like that.

They are a comic loving family. Check out the Superman shirt, which says, in full, My Daddy is Superman. Though, as you can see from the other photo above, before it got cold and he zipped up his jacket, his dad is actually Captain America.

He just finished the first of The Killer series, by Matz and Luc Jacamon, and can't wait for the next one to come out. She is reading the graphic novel, From Hell about Jack the Ripper, by Alan Moore and artist Eddie Cambell....which she said is really, uh, graphic and everyone is awful. When she was little she liked the American Splendor comics, by Harvey Pekar.