It’s National Read a Book Day and Here Are Five Random Books I’m Reading
It is National Read a Book Day and I am celebrating by sharing a few recently-read books from my rather eclectic collection. My interests are truly all over the place and, if you were to peruse my bookshelves, you would see books about serial killers, the Olympics, the history of Broadway, religion/mythology, infectious disease, music icons, and some incredible coffee table books.
Today on our morning show, Angel and I are asking folks to help us celebrate National Read a Book Day by letting us know what they're reading. Naturally, I am joining in the fun too. I am sharing five books from my collection (and, yes, they're just as random as you'd think) that I have read recently.
The timing for this one couldn't be more perfect!
Over the weekend, Serena Williams played in her final (we think) U.S. Open. She made an inspiring run to the Third Round and took out the world's #2-ranked player in the process. Serena Williams is a tennis and sports icon and my fandom goes all the way back to southern California in 1997.
That's when I met Serena for the first time. I had box seats at the Toshiba Tennis Classic in Carlsbad and Venus was playing the main draw that year. Serena was there to cheer her on and came over to chat with a woman sitting next to me. I said, "Hey!'" She said, "Hey!" And, though I hadn't yet seen her play, I was already becoming a fan.
Any fan needs to read Gerald Marzorati's study of Serena in the months following he return to tour after the birth of her daughter. This is Serena through the eyes of her peers, sports analysts, journalists and fans. If you've ever wanted to know what makes a sports legend tick, just ask the people around her and those who have to play her. That's what Marzorati did and it's gripping.
Look! I have worked in radio for nearly 25 years now and Howard Steern has been my hero for longer than that. And while what I do in my radio career is completely different from what Howard does, I have nothing but respect and admiration for the empire and brand he's created. In Howard's book, Howard Stern Comes Again, he's not really the star of the show. The celebrities appearing on his show are and Howard shares excerpts from some of his most legendary interviews. And that's where Howard deserves the most credit. He's a masterful interviewer and Howard never hesitates to ask the questions most people in media would shy away from. And, you know what? More often than not, he's able to elicit honest answers and the most revealing ones are featured in this fascinating read about the glory and price of fame.
I was fascinated by infectious disease long before the outbreak of COVID-19. So, when a modern-day pandemic started to wreak havoc around the globe, that fascination was heightened. David Quammen made a guest appearance with Anderson Cooper on CNN and I happened to catch the episode. In it, Quammen made various references to his compelling l Spillover, which traces the origins of some of the most deadly diseases known to man- Ebola, AIDS, SARS and more.
Quammen is a master researcher and storyteller. He routinely takes you to "ground zero" to trace deadly viruses from their sources of origin. It's an absolutely harrowing account of disease and it's persistent threat against man. If you don't believe that COVID-19 could have spread from a wet market in Wuhan, then you just don't know anything about spillover. Read this book!
Clearly, I am a sports fan. I am a rabid fan of tennis (and a sort of amateur historian of the game). My love for the sport started to bloom in the very early 80s, during the twilight of the career of Billie Jean King. So, I didn't really have the chance to become a fan of her on-court work. But, since that time, I have become a fan of her off-court contributions. This autobiography covers both.
There's no doubt Serena Williams' legacy in the sport will be revered. There's also no doubt that Billie Jean King paved the way for it. This book is a portrait of a woman decades ahead of her time. What Billie Jean King accomplished for women in sports (and outside sports) is undeniably revolutionary. After reading this book, I will forever be in awe of her. What an inspiring pioneer.
I love to travel and I love researching destinations around the world. Rick Steves is my spirit animal and, before embarking on any trip to a destination he has written about, I pick up his books and comb through them like a college student. I make notations. I highlight sections I find interesting and helpful. Not only is Rick an informative historian, his travel trips from getting to and from destinations are on the money. On my recent trip to northern Europe and Scandinavia, I carried Rick Steves in my backpack. It was a handy and faithful travel companion.
These are just a few examples of books from my shelves that I have been diving into lately. So, in the spirit of National Read a Book Day I am sharing them with you.
Now, what are YOU reading?