December 2, 2007 -- Sunday afternoon

In a Berkeley coffee shop
Reading How to Read the Bible, A Guide to Scripture Then and Now, by James L. Kugel. He is a retired historian and identifies as an agnostic....he would be an atheist, but holds out that there may be a God that organized religions haven't come up with.

A favorite book? He is eighty-years-old and has shelves full of books. How could he pick one?

Something good he's read in the past few years is, he forgets the title and author, but it's a love story, between a Muslim princess and an officer in the British East India Company. The story is based on a bundle of letters that were found, exchanged between the two in the early 1800s, before racism had taken root. It was a romance that could happen at that time, but not twenty years later, he said.