January 17, 2015, Saturday morning -- Reading Veronica Roth

This is my last Australia post. On Monday morning I returned back to San Francisco on a 13 hour flight, went to Trader Joe's to restock the fridge, and asked a man reading a kindle, sitting on a bench, surrounded by grocery bags, if I could take his photo for my blog and he said no.  No one had told me no the entire month I was in Australia. I was in the equivalent of a reading Disneyland. I mostly photographed friendly tourists from northern Europe, blissed out on the sun. This reader, in this post below, however, is a local.
At Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia
She just got back from vacation where she finished reading the Game of Thrones series, by George R.R. Martin. She's now re-reading this book because she has nothing new left to read.

Question: If you live in a place like this, where do you go for vacation? I should have asked.


January 14, 2015, Wednesday evening -- Reading Saskia Noort and Sophie Kinsella

Visiting from Rotterdam, in the Netherlands and enjoying the sun at Bondi Beach, in Sydney, Australia
They are reading De Eet-Club (The Eating Club), by the Dutch author, Saskia Noort and Can You Keep a Secret, by Sophie Kinsella (which she found at the hostel they're staying at.)

The Eating Club, translated as The Dinner Club in the English edition, is mystery/thriller about city people who move to a village and find friends who they have dinners with, and then they get mixed up in affairs and murder.

A notable Dutch author they told me about, other than Saskia Noort who is also the woman on the left's favorite, is Suzanne Vermeer, who writes thrillers. I looked this up on Wikipedia and Suzanne Vermeer was a pseudonym for Paul Goeken, but after he died in 2011 the publishing company kept the name and an unknown writer or writers are, you could say, ghost writing???


January 11, 2015, Sunday night -- Reading Ernest Hemingway

Beneath a free-wireless portal in Bondi Beach, in Sydney, Australia
He is reading The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway. Lately, he's been reading the classics, because he has time. He quit his job in the tech industry in the San Francisco Bay Area and has been traveling.  Before this he was reading SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper, by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin. He read it because one of his friends was accepted to Seal Team Six, a group that was responsible for the raid on Osama Bin Laden.

One of his favorite books is Sea-wolf, by Jack London. (Do you notice a theme here?)
His t-shirt is a Big Lebowski reference -- Calmer than you are.


January 5, 2015, Monday evening -- Reading Peter Temple

At a hotel on Walsh Bay in Sydney, Australia
She is reading Truth, by Peter Temple. She found it on the shelf of the hotel bookcase and picked it up because, she said, "I am a seeker of truth." However, she wasn't enjoying the few pages she'd read so far when I approached her.  "It's violent," she explained. A few hours later, after I'd eaten dinner I went back to the lounge room in the hotel and saw that she'd returned the book to the shelf. 

Coincidentally, it's the same book I photographed on Christmas Day in Kangaroo Valley.  That reader said she was only skimming it, so she could get to books she'd been given for Christmas.  According to Wikipedia, Truth is a crime novel set in the state, Victoria, Australia, and has won the Miles Franklin, a prestigious Australian literary award.
 The last bit of pleasure reading she did was Fifty Shades of Gray, by E.L. James. She was studying law, then elementary education, so she hasn't had much time to read.


January 2, 2015, Friday morning -- Reading Douglas Coupland

At Bronte Beach in Sydney, Australia
He is reading Toutes les famillles sont psychotiques (All Families Are Psychotic), by Douglas Coupland. He is French, living in Australia, and it's one of the books he picked up when he was last in France, that was recommended to him.

The best book he read in 2014 was a biography of Winston Churchill.  He said that he likes to read about history from different perspectives, that we get used to reading about historical events from our own country's historians.


January 1, 2015, Thursday evening -- Reading Dan Buthler & Day Öhrlund

On New Year's Day at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia
She just flew in from Sweden to visit family (via Austria to visit more family and Dubai where her flight connected), and is trying to stay awake until bedtime.  It's  hours from Austria to Dubai and then another 14 to Australia.  The bright sunlight, she said, helps.  Just a day ago she was skiing with ice stuck to her eyelashes.

She is reading Erövraren, by Dan Buthler & Day Öhrlund.  The title means "conqueror."  I didn't ask what it's about, but it's a crime novel. I told her about how I was in Sweden earlier this year, er, um, I mean last year, and read a crime novel in which the police were constantly going to coffee shops for coffee and cinnamon/cardamom buns and how, when you're reading you really want one, and then you, as the reader go yourself.  She nodded in agreement. 

She also likes to read the British authors Ken Follett and Frederick Forsyth, translated into Swedish, as well as Swedish novelists, including Lars Kepler (who is the pen name for not just one, but two Swedish authors -- Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril -- who are married.

She asked me if I had seen a show called The Bridge, a crime drama, which was written by Hans Rosenfeldt, about finding a body on a bridge between Sweden and Denmark.  The story was then adapted for the U.S. to take place across the border of Mexico and California.


December 25, 2014, Thursday afternoon -- Reading Anne Michaels and Peter Temple

At the Kangaroo Valley watering hole for a Christmas swim (a couple hours south of Sydney, Australia)
They are reading Fugitive Pieces, by Anne Michaels and Truth, by Peter Temple, so they can get on to the books they gave each other for Christmas.

The woman on the left, reading Fugitive Pieces, her favorite book is In the Skin of a Lion, by Michael Ondaatje, which is the prequel to The English Patient.  The woman reading Truth, her favorite book is either The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, or The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver.  And, the woman on the right, she's holding the family's new puppy.

Of note, if you ever plan on swimming in a river in Australia, at least in this part of the country, there are no water snakes.  I did get my toe nibbled on by a skink, though (on land). 
 Merry (late) Christmas and Happy New Year!


December 20, 2014, Saturday evening -- Reading Sophie Kinsella

On the side of a street near Bondi Beach, in Sydney, Australia (where I'm on vacation)
She is reading Wedding Night, by Sophie Kinsella. She picked this book up because she's read others by the same author that she liked.  She likes reading chick lit and Lee Child's thrillers.  There's another author she mentioned, too, but I can't remember the name....

She's here in Australia finishing her semester of study abroad, studying business at the University of Sydney, and will soon be returning to the cold winter of Sweden.  She remarked that while she's been here she'd notice the few degrees in temperature difference between places around Australia - colder on the south coast - but that will be nothing compared to the 25 degree (Celsius) difference when she returns home.

She's been reading in English because it's hard to find Swedish books here. One of her favorite Swedish authors is Astrid Lindgren, who wrote the Pippi Longstocking books. 


December 18, 2014, Thursday afternoon -- Reading Victor Canning

At Bondi Beach, in Sydney, Australia
She is reading The Whip Hand, a mystery by Victor Canning.  She found it at a second hand store.  It's set in England, between the wars.  It was rediscovered and republished.

One of her favorite books is Poppy, by the Australian author, Drusilla Modjeska.   It's a book she's loaned out several times and still likes having on her bookshelf.  It's a story that the author wrote about her mother, from facts and imagination.

She also really liked The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan, though she found it more difficult to read.  The book won the 2014 Man Booker prize.  It's about an Australian doctor and is about World War II and it's effects, and love.  Richard Flanagan is considered one of Australia's best contemporary novelists.


December 18, 2014, Thursday afternoon -- Reading Dennis Lehane

At Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia (where I'm on vacation)
He is reading The Drop, by Dennis Lehane. He likes reading books that are made into movies, so that he can see the movie later.  He just completed a business degree.  One of his favorite books was Like A Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School, by Richard Branson.
 In the little bottle with the red cover is fish oil, an important ingredient in Asian cooking (he works as a delivery person for MissChu, an Asian restaurant which, as I've heard, a cult following).  He's originally from Vietnam.  He used to read in Vietnamese all the time, but hasn't read in his native language for over four years, so long that he's forgotten the names of his favorite authors.  For now, he's been reading only in English.


December 17, 2014, Wednesday afternoon -- Reading Ernest Hemingway

Did you notice that this photo was taken on Wednesday afternoon, but I'm posting it on Wednesday morning.   I'm a time traveler!!! 

Here's the real story:
At Bondi Beach, in Sydney, Australia, where I am for winter break, on the other side of the date line

He is reading For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway.  He likes to read both old and new books, for balance.  Before this he read the most recent Bourne book, The Bourne Ascendancy, by Eric Van Lustbader. 

Some of his favorite books are the Lord of the Rings series, by J.R.R. Tolkien.  He also really liked a crime trilogy by Martin Cruz Smith: Gorky Park, Polar Star, and Red Square, set in the time in which the Soviet Union was collapsing.


December 10, 2104, Wednesday evening -- Reading Edward Humes

In downtown San Francisco
He is reading Mississippi Mud, by Edward Humes.  He got it from a bookstore at the Ferry Building.  When I asked him if he had a favorite book or author he said no, that he likes to read across the spectrum -- Science Fiction, Mystery....


December 8, 2014, Monday evening -- Reading Jenny Schroedel

I usually don't approach people sitting in their parked cars because it tends to startle them, but this time it turned out to be okay.
He is reading The Everything Saints Book: The inspring lives of martyrs and miracle workers throughout history, by Jenny Schroedel.  The page he's on right now is about Junipero Serra, who started founding missions in California in 1769.  There's Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, San Jose....

He likes the St. James Bible's Old and New Testaments and a book about angels (Book of Angels?)  I wasn't sure if there was an A or a The at the beginning of the title and when I looked online, I found that the difference in article is two different books.


December 7, 2014, Sunday afternoon -- Reading Samuel Eliot Morison

At a cafe in the Mission District

He is reading Maritime History of Massachusetts: 1783 - 1810, by Samuel Eliot Morison.  One of his favorite authors that he's read recently is J.D. Salinger.


No post today. Check back on Monday. I almost went out in the rain to find a reader, but home was just way too cozy.


November 29, 2014, Saturday afternoon -- Reading Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon

At a coffee shop on Valencia Street
She is reading Preacher, by Book Six, by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon.  It was recommended by friends.  
One of her favorite authors is Neil Gaiman.


November 25, 2014, Tuesday evening -- Reading LaVyrle Spencer

At the food court of Westfield Center shopping mall
She is reading The Gamble, by LaVyrle Spencer.  She saw it at the Beat Museum, on Broadway Street, second hand, and bought it because she's read it before (and liked it) and needed some fluff to contrast with the political science books she's been reading.  She's a tour guide, from Norway, and will be leading a tour in Russia next, so she's been reading about Putin and Ukraine, and she needed a break.

From the top of her head, some of her favorite books are Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell; crime novels by Jo Nesbø (a Norwegian author) and Michael Connelly; and the Harry Potter books, by J. K. Rowling.  When I told her I was reading The Secret History, by Donna Tartt, she said to add that to the list of favorites and that that book, and Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones were two books that she consumed in one sitting. 

She reads in English when the books are set in English-speaking places.  For example, she said that she threw out her Norwegian translation of Gone with the Wind because of how the translator handled dialect.  People who were harvesting cotton using the same dialect as potato farmers in Norway and she knew the story wasn't taking place in Norway, so it was too disorienting.  The English version, she said, is better.
Sorry for the blurry picture, though it sort of makes the food court look softer and cozier.  Note to self: use a flash when in doubt.  Note to blog readers:  look at how nicely a fork keeps a book open.


November 23, 2014, Sunday afternoon -- Reading Joseph Heller

I didn't get around to photographing a reader for today's post. Instead, I spent 19 1/2 hours of my weekend binge-listening to an audiobook of Joseph Heller's Catch-22. Here's a link to all of the readers on this blog who inspired me to read it, who were either reading it or mentioned it as one of their favorite books. This is one of the hazards of my blog -- it makes me want to read. 


November 18, 2014, Tuesday afternoon -- Reading George R. R. Martin

At the BART station
She is reading A Storm of Swords, the third book in the Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin.  She hasn't watched the TV series yet, but said she might after she finished the series.

One of her favorite books is East of Eden, by John Steinbeck.  She likes it for the humanity.  There's a character, she said, who wants to commit suicide, but doesn't because someone tells him to pretend he's happy instead.  She thought that was good advice.  Other authors she likes include Margaret Atwood and Kurt Vonnegut.


November 13, 2014, Thursday afternoon -- Reading James Horn

At the 24th Street BART station, getting ready to play some Woodie Guthrie, Leonard Cohen, and Bob Dylan
He is reading Kingdom Strange: The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke, by James Horn.  He's always been interested in Roanoke and learned through the website Archeology News that there was a new book out that looks at the genes of local contemporary people to determine if the people of Roanoke were absorbed into the Croatan tribe.

He said he goes through phases of reading -- A Jack London phase, a Jane Austen phase.  One of his favorite Jack London books is The Valley of the Moon, which takes place in Oakland and Napa.  Persuasion was his favorite of Jane Austen's books.   I asked him if he would be reading more books about Roanoke and he said he didn't think so - this is the latest book on the topic, and he wouldn't want to read anything less current, but he might read about Jamestown next.
He tries to play at the 24th Street station on Thursdays and the 16th Street Station on Fridays.