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What're You Reading?

On the Street with the City's Reading Habits

City Paper Digi-Cam™
Name: Kendra Kopelke

Occupation: Professor, writer in residence, University of Baltimore

What’re you reading right now?: “I read a bunch this summer. Harryette Romell Mullen is my new favorite language poet. Sleeping With the Dictionary—is that a great name or what?”

What’d you last read?: “One book I read is The Means of Escape from Penelope Fitzgerald. She’s one of my new favorite authors. And another book I read was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Mark Haddon’s book, the autistic narrator. Have you read this book? It’s such a great book.”

What’re you looking forward to reading?: “So many books at home that I look forward to reading. I don’t retain any of the names. I want to try David Eggers’ book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. So that’s on my list. People would be surprised, it’s not very me.”

City Paper Digi-Cam™
Name: Russell Wattenberg

Occupation: Executive Director, the Book Thing of Baltimore Inc.

What’re you reading right now?: “Tepper Isn’t Going Out: A Novel, by Calvin Trillin.”

What’d you last read?: “Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt, by David McCullough.”

What’re you looking forward to reading?: “[Banquets] of the Black Widowers . . . by Isaac Asimov.”

Uli Loskot
Name: Sheila Dixon

Occupation: President, Baltimore City Council

What’re you reading right now?: “The Purpose-Driven Life, by Rick Warren, and Being the Person God Made You to Be, by Joyce Meyers.”

What’d you last read?: “Until Today!, by Iyanla Vanzant.”

What’re you looking forward to reading?: “Yes You Can: How to Start, Operate and Grow a Business While Developing Yourself and Pursuing Your Personal Goals, by Barbara Robinson, and Brothers and Sisters, by Bebe Moore Campbell.”

City Paper Digi-Cam™
Name: Maurice Anscombe

Occupation: Cable-splicing technician, Verizon

What’re you reading right now?: “I’m not actually reading a book right now. I generally read more periodicals at this point.”

What’d you last read?: “The last book or books that I read were J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. When the movies came out I reread the trilogy.”

What’re you looking forward to reading?: “I tend to read a lot of technical journals and electronic books related to work. And my hobbies—automotive and electronics.”

City Paper Digi-Cam™
Name: Helen Blumberg

Occupation: Manager, adult and young adult sections, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Central Library

What’re you reading right now?: “I carry it in my little book list so I can remember. I just last night finished reading Royal Heist, by Lynda La Plante, who’s a British suspense writer who wrote the series Prime Suspect that was on PBS.”

What’d you last read?: “Well, there’s one that I also just read, and it’s called—can I get my cheat sheet?—Between Two Rivers, by Nicholas Rinaldi. Very different, deals with a high-rise apartment building in New York City about a year or two before 9/11.”

What’re you looking forward to reading?: “That’s tough. The fall publishing season is just coming down the pike now, so there’s a lot of good stuff coming out. I don’t have a particular thing I’m looking forward to, although a couple of my favorite mystery writers are due to come out with things in the fall. Diane Mott Davidson, who’s the grande dame of a lot of the culinary mysteries, has a new one coming out [Double Shot]. That’s probably the one I’m looking forward to the most, right now. Ask me this afternoon, it’ll be something else.”

City Paper Digi-Cam™
Name: Andrew Richards

Occupation: Video technician, Laureate Education

What’re you reading right now?: “Barbara Ehrenreich’s book Nickel and Dimed. She is a journalist . . . and she took this assignment to try and work minimum-wage jobs in different places in the country and see if she could live off that.”

What’d you last read?: “More often than not, I read periodicals. The last [book] I read was the entire [J.R.R.] Tolkien collection that I got for Christmas a coupla years ago.”

What’re you looking forward to reading?: “And the next thing I got is Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.”

City Paper Digi-Cam™
Name: Supria Ranade

Occupation: Student, environmental science and economics, Johns Hopkins University

What’re you reading right now?: “I’m reading a lot of books for school, but currently a book by Tennessee Williams called Camino Real. It’s a play.”

What’d you last read?: “Also by Tennessee Williams, The Night of the Iguana, another play.”

What’re you looking forward to reading?: “The new book by [Gabriel] García Márquez. It’s his autobiography.”

City Paper Digi-Cam™
Name: Felix Mills

Occupation: Taxi driver

What’re you reading right now?: “The [Big] Book of Reggae, I’m reading the book.”

What’d you last read?: “Last book that I read? It’s been a long time. I can’t remember. Being a car driver, there is no time to read books.”

What’re you looking forward to reading?: “I’m looking to read that book that [Bill] Clinton wrote [My Life], but I’m not looking to buy.”

City Paper Digi-Cam™
Name: Marc Steiner

Occupation: Host, The Marc Steiner Show, WYPR (88.1 FM)

What’re you reading right now?: “The House at Otowi Bridge: The Story of Edith Warner and Los Alamos, by Peggy Pond Church, really interesting story. 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft and Debs—The Election That Changed the Country, James Chace. And I’m reading Laura Lippman’s new one, By a Spider’s Thread.”

What’d you last read?: “The Mists of Avalon. And the one before that was a sci-fi book about the Jesuits in 2004 that came back from outer space [The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell], really a good novel, intense.”

What’re you looking forward to reading?: “I need to read for work, Secrets of the Soul: A Social and Cultural History of Psychoanalysis, by Eli Zaretsky. I spend my life reading, that’s what I do.”

City Paper Digi-Cam™
Name: Pat [last name withheld]

Occupation: Mail carrier

What’re you reading right now?: “What am I reading? The Sunday papers. Are you talking book? Right now I’m reading [The Lake House, by James Patterson], it’s a mystery novel.”

What’d you last read?: “[The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison]. An ethnic-type book, I guess.”

What’re you looking forward to reading?: “I think it’s called Bad Boys. It’s about money, why bad things happen to bad people.

Uli Loskot
Name: Martin O’Malley

Occupation: Mayor, Baltimore City

What’re you reading right now?: “The 9/11 Commission Report.”

What’d you last read?: “The Fourth Power, by Gary Hart.”

What’re you looking forward to reading?: “How John Kerry Became President and Saved Our Nation from Another Disastrous Bush Term.”

City Paper Digi-Cam™
Name: Mohamed Mahmoud

Occupation: Hot-dog vendor, Charles and Chase streets

What’re you reading right now?: “I don’t read anything.”

What’d you last read?: “The book about American history, it was very good, interesting.”

What’re you looking forward to reading?: “I’ve got to improve my language.”

Big Books Issue 2004

The City That Writes Hey, remember writers? The people who, like, create books? They’re still around in full effect, but ...

Hustler Once an Anonymous Internet Sex Writer, Now the Diva of Erotica, Zane Has Erected Her Own Hot Publishing Empire | By Anna Ditkoff

Transition Words For Author Maud Casey, Moving to Baltimore Has Led to Writer’s Block, Obsession, and Her Most Ambitious Book Yet | By J. Bowers

Making History After 15 Years, Madison Smartt Bell Brings His Benchmark Haitian Trilogy to a Close | By John Barry

What're You Reading? On the Street with the City's Reading Habits | By Wendy Ward

By Wendy Ward | Posted 9/15/2004

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