3-23-14 WHAT ARE YOU READING?
On Late Last Night Books we’re always writing about books and authors, but what are people reading? I took my questionnaire to people I know and people I don’t know, asking: What are you reading late at night? Why? What do you do by day? The answers might surprise you.
1. Confessions/St. Augustine.
2. To deepen my Lenten experience.
3. I help get buildings designed and constructed; and I think about what I read the night before.
Last night I was reading Prague Winter, A Personal Story of Remembrance and War 1937-1948 by Madeleine Albright.
Why? Because I am trying to read more non-fiction interwoven between the fiction I love. Also I am trying to recall the history of WWII, perhaps I never really studied it before or I don’t remember the dull text books I was made to study.
By day, hmm, I play with little children and their families.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (by J.K. Rowling). I like it because Harry gets into trouble in every chapter. During the day I do school stuff and read Harry Potter.
-JAS, age 9
Kennedy: Conservative by Ira Stoll; since we just had the 50th anniversary of the assassination—I’ve been reading about what I lived through in those times; I was a teenager; interesting to look back and remember he was called a liberal at the time and MANY adults were distressed that he was catholic because it was going to mean that ‘the white house will be ruled by the vatican.’
Dear Blogger Sonia, What makes you think I’m a reader? Could it be the piles of books in my living room & another next to my bed not to mention the piles on every other flat surface in my house? Where should I start? Late last night (which for me is about 9:30-10 pm) I was reading (Don’t laugh, sister.) Stocks for the Long Run by Jeremy J. Siegel, a book borrowed from my son, Matthew. Why was I reading it? I’ve set a goal for myself to become more financially literate. Perhaps, next time I meet with my portfolio advisor (aka, “the stock guy”) I will be able better to understand what he’s talking about. Then too, perhaps I will make better decisions like— More bonds? Less bonds? More equities? Less equities? How about those munis? Honestly, there are a million other topics I’d rather be reading about: Spiritual, biography, science, travel, history, etc, but sometimes I just need to be practical & learn something useful. I always have at least 4-5 books going at one time and those are on the easy-to-reach shelf.
Alas, I don’t read books anymore — not more than little bits. Ditto for magazines, and the daily paper, and the Sunday New York Times. I still accumulate, but I don’t read.
Unless I read to edit, in which case I read very intently and try to make things clear for the reader. This week, I’ve read (edited) about how housing problems still go hand in hand with education problems for too many children. And about a huge field-test of new common-core tests in English and math that’s about to start in 36 states and the District of Columbia.
I read the picture captions, too, to make sure that they have verbs (full sentences, not just labels). And that the verbs are in present tense.
So that’s my reading.
I’m reading Richard Russo’s Nobody’s Fool and Todd is reading aloud Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. Late last night it was a little of both, reading to myself until Todd came to bed and read from Mr. Ripley.
During the day I’m writing a new novel or working on my blogs. When I read during the day its usually a colleague’s fiction or one of my railroad books.
-Gary Garth McCann
J. Beaglehole’s The Life of James Cook. I read it 15 years ago and after traveling to New Zealand and Hawaii I got interested again. Also, you have all got to read Max Hastings’ Inferno. It’s a history of World War 2 and you wouldn’t want to be a Russian—or a German.
By day I’m a waterman.
I’m reading The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer because it’s a fabulous book and I’m interested in anything about WW2. By day, I read, write and run around.
A Prayer for Owen Meany. I want to read more of John Irving’s work. His reviews are always good, but somehow I’ve missed most of his books. By day I read, write and dream.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It’s a book club book. By day I write and mother.
Colin Dexter’s Last Seen Wearing. Love his writing—all 13 Inspector Morse novels. By day what I do depends since I have a busy retirement.
Colin Dexter’s Daughters of Cain. Wordsmith. Fabulous. descriptive Passages. Great characters. By day, I write and operate a small publishing company
On my bedside is a collection of essays by Philip K. Dick. I love his writing! I teach math.
Le Canard de Bois by Louis Caron. I’m reading in French to improve my language skills. Also it’s interesting historical fiction re: early French/Canada.
By day I’m an artist.
As for me, I keep picking up Sri Aurobindo’s 724-page epic poem Savitri. The opening line, It was the hour before the Gods awake, never fails to transport me to a vast formless world just coming into being. By day, I read Tolkien’s The Hobbit to various grandchildren, and work on the eighth draft of The Wisdom Project.
What about you? We’d all love to know. What are you reading?