What books would you recommend to someone who wants to learn more about Egypt and exploration?
Fortunately, almost all 19th century explorers wrote books about their travels. Richard Burton alone wrote more than a dozen. For secondary sources, Alan Moorehead’s two-volume classic – ‘The White Nile’ and ‘The Blue Nile’ – is as compelling today as it was when first released over 60 years ago. years. I would also recommend Africa and Its Explorers, edited by Robert I. Rotberg, and East Africa and the Indian Ocean, by Edward A. Alpers.
What touches you the most in a literary work?
I hate feeling manipulated by a book, like the author is trying to make me cry or stir up a strong emotion, but if it happens honestly and naturally, then this book will stay with me for a long time. I have to care about the characters, whether real or fictional; recognize in them something of myself or of the people around me; and get completely lost in the story.
What genres do you particularly enjoy reading? And which do you avoid?
I read a lot of non-fiction for work, which I love. It’s the best part of the job, but when I’m home, with time to myself, I usually turn to fiction. For me, the best of all worlds is a well-written page-turner of a novel that teaches me something new or makes me reexamine old assumptions.
How do you organize your books?
I gave up on organizing my books. My family has too many and they are everywhere. We built our house about 20 years ago and had built-in bookcases in almost every room, but there still isn’t enough storage space. Books are stacked on coffee tables, bedside tables, the kitchen counter, bathroom sinks, laundry room bench, sometimes the floor. I borrow books from the library, but if there’s one I really want and the wait time is more than a week, I’m not going to wait. Life is too short.
What book might people be surprised to find on your shelves?
I realized recently that I hadn’t read much poetry in a long time, so I bought a few poetry books a day. I have friends to turn to for advice, but I think that, even more than most types of reading, poetry reading is very personal, so I wanted to try and find my own path. I didn’t have high hopes for these books, but I was surprised at how carefully and carefully selected they are, at least in my humble opinion. Not all the poems are for me, but I was reintroduced to several poets who felt like old friends, from Gerard Manley Hopkins to Christina Rossetti, and fell in love with others I never even had. heard the names. “These Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden instantly stole and broke my heart.