Exclusive David Simon Q&A (page 19)
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Exclusive David Simon Q&A Q: What are you reading that you can recommend?  [Wirehead you met in New Orleans]

A: Reading currently?  At my bedside right now:

"Ace of Spades," by David Matthews, a memoir of growing up mixed-race in Baltimore.  It's a reader's copy; soon to be released by Henry Holt.

"The Bang-Bang Club, Snapshots of a Hidden War" a memoir by two photographers of the township war in South Africa at the end of apartheid, by Greg Marinovich and Jaeo Silva.

"The Wrong Case," by James Crumley.  (I just finished Crumley's "The Last Good Kiss" earlier this year.  Fantastic.)

"At Canaan's Edge," by Taylor Branch, third in the civil rights trilogy.

"Proof," The play by David Auburn.

"The State of Africa: A history of fifty years of Independence," by Martin Meredith.

"Sister Carrie," by Drieser.

I've also been rereading "Last Exit To Brooklyn" by Hubert Selby and slowly working my way through the Everyman Library's edition of the Qu'ran.

When I get through a few of these - I read back and forth, picking up books in tandem - I'm going to start Madison Smartt Bell's trilogy of Haiti novels, and some Philip Roth to correct a glaring hole in my education.  My better half recommends starting with Portnoy, of course.

I'll recommend everything.  Nothing I'm reading currently is disappointing me in any sense, although I'll offer the caveat that the Qu'ran - like most religious works, my own tribe's Old Testament included -- is a slow, careful slog.  Much genuine wisdom, much ancient idiosyncrasy, much self-affirming dogma.  How anyone in this modern world - Jew, Christian, Muslim, Druid - can be a fundamentalist in his or her religious pursuits, to the exclusion of all other ideas not contained in a single, solitary text, eludes me.  The world is a complicated and confusing place, but determined efforts to simplify it are, I think, to be regarded with great suspicion.  Still, I'm enjoying the chance to expose myself to the core values of a religion otherwise maligned and stereotyped by the recent violence done in its name.

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