Conducted February 6, 2014

Note from Paulette: This is the second interview in the 2014 readeatlive Interview Series. Upstate New York Dave tells us about some interesting books. I love to listen to him talk books and reading!

Tell us about what you are reading these days.
The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly, Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin. River of Doubt by Candace Millard; and A Christmas Blizzard by Garrison Keillor. Oh, and I reread The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Did you have a favorite book of the past year, and why did you like it?
Doris Kearns’ Bully Pulpit. She writes detailed history, yet it flows like a novel. She’s a fantastic researcher.

What books would we be surprised to find on your shelves?
Many titles by Robert Parker. His dialogue is witty and I relate to it. He’s a great escape writer.

Do you have a favorite author, or two or more?
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Ken Follett, Nelson DeMille. Like Robert Parker’s dialogue, DiMille’s dialogue crackles with wit and sarcasm, but DeMille’s plots are more developed.

What book that you read in the last year or two was a disappointment and why?
I was disappointed in The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. I felt the author repeated information which added unnecessary length to the book.

Is there an author you wish more people would read?
Doris Kearns Goodwin. She makes history interesting. Some people have lost an appreciation for history. She can help a reader find that.

What writers would you like to invite for lunch?
Goodwin, Grisham, Follett and Stephan Talty who wrote the novel Black Irish. It’s set in Buffalo, NY. The group would talk some interesting local and global history.

What books are in the waiting-to-be-read pile?
Quest by DeMille, Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly and Mitch Albom’s The Time Keeper.

What helps you decide what to read?
Bookmarks Magazine, newspaper reviews, suggestions from my wife and friends.

Do you have a favorite genre?
I like history, historical fiction, whodunits and scriptural commentary/history like Jesus of Nazareth by Scripture scholar Gerhard Lohfink.

What will you read next?
The Time Keeper.

What do you do with a book after you’ve read it?
I offer it to my wife and then to friends. I often put a mark in the front with an arrow indicating my rating, up or down.

Tell us anything else about your reading that you would like us to know.
I like to underline and annotate which is why I could not get into reading on Nook. I keep a journal of what I read, with ratings on a scale of 1 to 10.

From Paulette:
Thank you Upstate New York Dave. I’m with you when it comes to annotating. I like to keep track of what I read, too. I like the way you keep your journal, writing short reviews of many of the books you read.

And to all you blog readers out there: Isn’t it interesting to learn more about another reader’s reading life? Reading is personal; reading practices vary. It adds a dimension to our own reading when we listen, discuss and think about what someone else likes to read and the habits associated with their reading.

Upstate New York Dave would be glad to answer your questions. I can arrange it. Send them along in the comments section.

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