December 4, 2007 -- Tuesday evening

Reading Those in Peril, by Nicolas Freeling.

One of his favorite books is Homeward Angel, by Thomas Wolfe, a good Southern writer who writes in the classic style of the turn of the century, about love. He wrote his undergraduate dissertation on it and would read it to his wife while they were making love.

He has just recently regained the ability to walk. He was mugged and suffered paralysis, and, scarier, loss of language. When he woke up and realized he didn't know the word for "door", he was no longer concerned that he couldn't feel anything from the neck down.

He couldn't read at first, but is now making up for it, averaging two books a week, like The Four Agreements, by the Mexican philosopher, Don Miguel Ruiz.

Here's another fan of The Four Agreements, reading the book on a set of cards, kept in a box.

Now, since the accident he sees life in a series of haiku snippets, grasping the simple. The simple, he said, has a lot going for it.

His own book? It'd be a theoretical dinner party with Isaac Asimov and Bertrand Russell. Math and philosophy, he said, are two sides of the same coin.