What book is on your night stand now?

“Rome,” by Robert Hughes. Though I’m finding it challenging to read about Rome without immediately wanting to run away to Rome.

When and where do you like to read?

When I am awake, and wherever I happen to be. If I could read while I was driving, showering, socializing or sleeping, I would do it.

What was the last truly great book you read?

Nothing in the last few years has dazzled me more than Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall,” which blew the top of my head straight off. I’ve read it three times, and I’m still trying to figure out how she put that magnificent thing together. Now I’m on to its sequel, “Bring Up the Bodies,” which is nicely satisfying my need for more Thomas Cromwell.

Are you a fiction or a nonfiction person? What’s your favorite literary genre? Any guilty pleasures?

I enjoy both, although I unfairly hold fiction to a far higher standard. With nonfiction, I figure I can glean something educational or interesting out of the book even if the writing is weak. But if the first chapter of a novel doesn’t feel perfect and accurate to me, I simply can’t read on; it’s too painful. Meanwhile, my (very) guilty pleasure is tabloid journalism. I hate to say it, but I know the names of all the celebrities’ babies.

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