December 8, 2007 -- Saturday afternoon

In Washington Square in North Beach

Reading Ordinary Heroes, by Scott Turow.

His favorite book? That, he said, would be a tough one. One of the best series he's ever read is Secret of the Rose, by Michael Phillips. It's a historical novel that starts with the Nazi occupation of Austria and goes through several generations.

What else is he reading? The Bible. He reads it every day. He likes reading the Gospels over and over again.

As a six, seven-year-old kid, he liked Swiss Family Robinson.

His own book--it'd be about the loss of integrity in society, on a personal level, not from a religious perspective, but how there's been a loss of truth for truth's sake. We've found it too easy to abandon ethics and honesty, and it frightens him as to how easily we are willing to lie.

Reading, for him, is a form of relaxation. He finds that he can only completely relax when he's reading. A movie won't do. There's something about the visual engagement of the mind, straining through the pages to listen, to comprehend.