January 19, 2008 -- Saturday afternoon

At The Crepe Escape at Haight and Ashbury, reading One of Us, by Michael Marshall Smith.

Her friend in Scotland mailed it to her about a year ago when she was having a tough time. He'd highlighted the following passage:
Problems don't go away immediately, or sometimes even at all: imperfection and sadness are the price you pay for being alive. They can be a high price, and there are times when life seems like a struggle where the only reward you get for hanging on is the chance to struggle some more. It's a heavy toll. But it's a fine ride, and sometimes you get to see the sea.

Some of her favorites--One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez and, what she called her "geek books" --The Lord of the Rings (she read the whole trilogy in four days) and The Chronicles of Narnia, which she re-read recently. Recently she's also read Women who Run with the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. and The Second Sex, by Simone De Beauvoir.

She and her coworker (who is reading something by Jack Kerouac and loves The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand) said they did a book poll the other day, calling out to people, "Hey, what's the last good book you read?" The first guy answered, without even skipping a beat, Blindness (by Jose Saramago -- here's someone reading it in Washington Square in North Beach). Other people said Stiff, by San Francisco author, Mary Roach (here's someone reading it in Boston); The Infinite Plan, by Isabelle Allende, also local; The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara; East of Eden, by John Steinbeck; and Factotum, by Charles Bukowski.

Thanks for sharing the results of your poll!