Right now, I’m in the middle of way too many books… I’m reading Witold Rybczynski’s Looking Around, a great collection of short essays about looking at architecture. I just finished Rybczynski’s Makeshift Metropolis, his book on urban planning. He’s a great writer for anybody with a lay-interest in architecture. Along the same lines, I’m reading Ways of Seeing by John Berger—I’ve been interested in non-fiction about other art forms—architecture, photography, painting, etc.—mostly to see what, as a writer, I can learn from people thinking and writing about visual art. I just picked up Julio Cortazar’s From the Observatory, a really beautiful book combining Cortazar’s photographs of an abandoned observatory with writing that is, so far, the strangest Cortazar I’ve read. I try to think about everything I read as research for the novel I’m working on, even though the only thing I’m reading right now that really counts toward that is V.S. Ramachandran’s The Tell-Tale Brain. One of the characters in my novel-in-progress has synesthesia, so I’m reading Ramachandran’s book about his research into synesthesia (and, more generally, the way our brains work). I’m also reading Virginia Woolf’s A Writer’s Diary, an interesting, and often humorous, collection of Woolf’s journal entries on writing (and reading).
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