I heard that after the many embarrassing moments involving George W. Bush and what book he was supposedly reading, that the question, “Mr. President, what are you reading now?” was off limits to the press core. That may have been after a photo was snapped of him reading a book upside down, or after his admission that he used books as a sedative before sleeping. After his admission that he was a diehard Tom Wolfe fan his well-meaning handlers published his 2005 reading list that supposedly included such heady subjects as the history of salt (the seasoning not the treaty), a biography of Alexander the Great and an epic tome on the Great Influenza epidemic of 1918. It was more believable when he admitted his favorite books were The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the Bible.
I sometimes cringe when I think about what my reading list would reveal about me. I have eclectic taste, I swap books with friends every month, and I read multiple genres at once. Perhaps that says that I am easily distracted, or easily bored. I’m not sure. What I do know, is that I always have a towering stack of books that I haven’t started yet and that makes me at once eager and guilty. I guess I’ve never met a book that I didn’t think I wanted to read. So I’ll let you be the judge of what these books say about me, and challenge you to share what your book stack looks like and imagine what they may say about you.
Books Most Recently Finished:
Tinkers by Paul Harding, Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron
The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss by Edmund de Waal
Books I am currently Reading:
La Seduction: How the French Play the Game of Life by Elaine Sciolino
The Best Short Stories of 2009 edited by Alice Sebold and Heidi Pitlor
Four books for the graduate course I will teach Winter Quarter: Governance as Leadership, Reframing the Work of Nonprofit Boards by Richard Chait, William Ryan, Barbara Taylor; The New Breed, Understanding & Equipping the 21st Century Volunteer by Joanathan McKee, Thomas W. McKee; The Art of Governance, Boards in the Performing Arts by Nancy Roche, Jaan Whitehead; Leading Roles, 50 Questions Every Arts Board Should Ask by Michael M. Kaiser
This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of Human Obsession by Dr. Daniel J. Levitin
Top Three Books on the Stack:
Great By Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos and Luck--Why Some Thrive Despite Them All by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen
Fear of the Water: Poems by Alex Grant
Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
. . . and at least 10 more waiting right behind them.