April 23, 2016, Saturday afternoon -- Reading Alysia Abbot

In the Mission District
She is reading Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father, by Alysia Abbott. It's about a girl whose mother dies when she is two and she moves to San Francisco with her father who is bisexual and becomes a member of the amazing cultural scene that San Francisco was in the 70s and 80s. This book was recommended to her by a friend.

Her favorite author is Rebecca Solnit. The first book of Solnit's that she read was The Faraway Nearby. Then she read Wanderlust:A History of Walking and A Field Guide to Getting Lost.

Something else good she's read recently is Between You & Me, by Mary Norris.

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April 16, 2016, Saturday evening -- Reading the American Heritage Dictionary

In the Mission District

He is reading the American Heritage Dictionary. Why? He's trying to figure out how long it takes for chicken eggs to hatch. Also, showing me another page with a diagram of a rose, he said he wants to know how long it takes for a flower to bloom. He estimates 1 - 2 months for a flower and 2 weeks for chicken eggs.

I asked him if he has a favorite book or author and he said no, that he just likes to read the dictionary. (He had two more dictionaries at his feet.) It seemed that he was doing more than reading, though, that he was using the dictionary as a jumping off point for inspiration. Like any book, a dictionary can be a conversation between the author and the reader, if you're creative.

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April 1, 2016, Friday afternoon -- Reading C.S. Lewis

In the Mission District

She is reading The Silver Chair, the 6th book in The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis. I was excited to see her reading this because two weeks ago, when I was at the Asilomar Conference Center, I found The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, the 1st book in the series, on a bookshelf in the lounge room, and read it again for the first time as an adult. He is really a brilliant story teller.

I asked her, What's your favorite book? and she was suspicious. Why do you want to know? she asked me. No one has ever asked me that before. Like with my other interviews with readers, I had already explained that I have a blog where I post my pictures, so her question was, really, why would the readers of my blog want to know. I didn't really have an answer to that, except that, by association, this blog can help readers know what books "travel together." If I like ____, I might also like ____ because this reader likes both. In the end, she didn't have an answer about her favorite book, but said that this, the one she was holding, was really good.


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March 31, 2016, Thursday afternoon -- Reading Kevin Trudeau

On a sunny Thursday afternoon

She is reading More Natural "Cures" Revealed: Previously Censored Brand Name Products that Cure Disease. She told me that natural doctors have been murdered, possibly by pharmaceutical industry. This is not why she's reading this book though. She's just interested in natural medicine.

Her favorite book - she says she has many and it's hard to say which one, but possibly Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt.

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March 24, 2016, Thursday afternoon -- Reading Seven

Near the main library downtown

She is reading Gorilla Black: A Novel, by Seven. She loves reading urban lit. Another good book she read recently was Hold U Down: Tripple Crown Collection, by Keisha Ervin.



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March 20, 2016, Sunday afternoon -- Reading Herbert F. York

At Asilomar Beach
She is reading The Advisors: Oppenheimer, Teller, and the Superbomb, by Herbert F. York. She is getting a Master's in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies at the Institute for International Studies in Monterrey. Right now she's on Spring Break.

I asked her who her favorite author was and she said that the author she has the most books of is Stephen King. Her dad started reading her Stephen King books for bedtime stories when she was 9-years-old. On reflection, she said, his books probably weren't intended to be bedtime stories for 9-year-olds.

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March 13, 2106, Sunday afternoon -- Reading Rupi Kaur

At the mall, hiding from the rain
She is reading milk and honey, by Rupi Kaur. She bought it for her friend who is sitting across from her. They sometimes give each other gifts, and sometimes the gifts are books. She was going to give her Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir), by Jenny Lawson, which she described as Tina Feyesque, but decided that this, a recommendation from a poet friend in Toronto, was a better gift. She bought two -- one for herself and one for her friend. Here's a write-up from the Huffington Post.

Her favorite book is Nine Stories, by J.D. Salinger. I asked her which one she likes best and she said they are all good, and dark. She first read them in high school and is re-reading them.

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I didn't have time to interview and post a reader this week. Check back next week. Thanks!

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February 24, 2016, Wednesday morning -- Reading Angela Flournoy

Usually, in scouting for readers, I find people reading the news in the morning and books in the afternoon, which was why I was so happy to see, at 7-something in the morning, on my walk to work through the Ingleside neighborhood, this reader enjoying the morning sun with a book.

(The picture of the book is fuzzy because the gate was broken and I had to take the picture from a distance then crop it.)
She is reading The Turner House, by Angela Flournoy, which she learned about from NPR.  It's about a family, and their home, in Detroit.

Her favorite author has been Steinbeck since she read East of Eden when she was ten.

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February 15, 2016, Monday morning -- She is reading Zuri Day

Waiting for the bus
She is reading Silken Embrace, by Zuri Day. She chose it because her granddaughter has the same first name as the author, Zuri!

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No blog post today -- Happy Valentines and President's Day!


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January 23, 2016, Saturday evening -- Reading author unknown

In Bangkok, in the Bangrak neighborhood
She is reading an article in a celebrity magazine. While cell phones are everywhere, and most vendors I saw were passing the time between customers on their cell phones, there were a few who spent their time reading printed text. This woman was all set up with a reading light and was happy to have her photo taken.

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January 19, 2016, Tuesday evening -- Reading author unknown

In the sleepy seaside town of Prachuap Khiri Kahn, Thailand
She is selling cuttlefish and reading a romance novel.
Asking permission to photograph her for my blog was challenging. In other countries that I've traveled to I've spoken enough of the local language to explain my blog, but I'd never studied Thai before and the YouTube sites I studied before my vacation didn't cover "how to ask people if they want to be on your reading blog." So, I had to, with a very slow internet connection (Horray for T-Mobile -- free international roaming), show her examples of other posts. She was happy to be photographed.

I also tried some cuttlefish. The cart she is sitting at is attached to a moped/scooter that she drives around town or parks at the market. All the cuttlefish vendors (we saw them in Bangkok, too)  have a horn they toot to let you know cuttlefish is coming through the neighborhood, just like an ice cream truck plays their signature music. After you order, she takes a cuttlefish off the clothesline where it's drying, runs it through the wringer (the device on her left) to flatten it out, then grills it, and then flattens it out further and serves it with a cup of sweet chili sauce with ground peanuts. It's really delicious -- chewy and a little crispy. All this attached to a scooter!

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January 19, 2016, Tuesday afternoon -- Reading Herman Koch

On a boat in the Gulf of Thailand
He is reading, in Dutch, Geachte Heer M., (or Dear Mr. M.) by Herman Koch. It's told from 5 different view points. A teacher has affair and then is killed. What happened? The author has also written a more famous novel called The Dinner.

His favorite author is Van der Heijden, who he likes because the writing is both difficult and clever, touching and emotional. He read Tonio - Ein Requiemroman, a 600 page book about the author's son who died at age 20.

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January 12, 2016, Tuesday afternoon -- Reading

On a hot and hazy day in Sydney, Australia 

He is reading about cars and typewriters from 1966 in Australia Remember When, by Bob Byrne, published in 2915. A friend loaned it to him. 

He lives in a public house where there isn't a good place to read, so he likes to come here, near the ferry terminal at Circular Quay. 

He's from London, but first came here to visit in 1951, visited a couple more times, and then moved here in the 60's.

His favorite book is The Longest Night: The Bombing of London on May 10, 1941, by Gavin Mortimer.
If you look at the picture closely you can see the opera house.

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January 8, 2016, Friday afternoon -- Reading Eckhart Tolle

At Bondi Beach, in Sydney, Australia 

She is reading A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle, in Hebrew. She is visiting Australia from Israel.

Her favorite book is The Master and Margarita, by the Russian author, Mikhail Bulgakov. When she was 8 years old her family emigrated from Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) to Israel. Her mother gave  her the book when she was 13. It's deeper and more magical than any other book she's ever read. She said you would have to have a good imagination and sense of humor to write such a book, and no fear at that time to write such a book at that time and place.

Recently she's read the Millennium series, by Stieg Larson; Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer and the first two-and-a-half books of the Fifty Shades of Grey series, by E.L. James, which she stopped reading because she found it annoying. She also thought the main character was so similar to the main character in Twilight.

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January 4, 2016, Monday Morning-- Reading Lee Child and Cathy Kelly

In the Sydney, Australia domestic terminal 

He is reading Make Me, by Lee Child. She is reading Between Sisters, by Cathy Kelly. They just returned from a cruise and are on their way home. His favorite author is Lee Child. She laughed and said she likes anything that's easy reading.
(I'm in Australia visiting my husband's family and was reading Cockroaches, by Jo Nesbo, on the 15-hour flight.)

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December 20, 2015, Sunday evening -- Reading Anthony Powell

In Helena, Montana


He is reading A Dance to the Music of Time: Spring, by Anthony Powell.  We were sitting in the kitchen at the tail-end of a party, and out comes the book. It's always a good idea to have a book when the party slows down. He read us selections aloud when we asked.

One of his favorite books is Sheldon Jacob's Guide To Successful No-Load Fund Investing, by Sheldon Jacobs, Lawrence Solomon, and Layne T. Aurand.

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December 17, 2015, Thursday evening -- Reading Kahlil Gibran

At a taqueria in the Mission District
He is reading The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran. His grandmother gave it to him a few years ago and he gave it to his cousin, who carries it with him all the time. This is a copy he got to replace the one he gave to his cousin.

Something good he's read recently is Tales of Power, by Carlos Castaneda. It's about an apprenticeship with a shaman. He said it was really trippy and it blew his mind.

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December 10, 2015, Thursday evening -- Reading Molly Crabapple

Waiting for friends on a rainy night
Sometimes this blog is hard to keep up because I don't always feel like talking to strangers, but after I caught a glimpse of the lovely red inky illustrations within the text of the book, I couldn't help myself. She is reading Drawing Blood, a memoir by Molly Crabapple, an illustrator she likes and follows on Twitter.

One of the best books she's read lately has been The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin, which is about books, and love.

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