IQ: The books of revelation 

As Henry David Thoreau said, "Many a person dates the turning point of his life to the reading of a book." Many of us would have very different reference points, ways of seeing and styles of approaching life -- and possibly even careers -- were it not for certain books we'd read at formative points along the way.

click to enlarge Matthew Ramirez
  • Matthew Ramirez

Matthew Ramirez
Vista Grande

What's the most recent book you've read? Hannibal by Thomas Harris.

Do you read or watch TV more? If you include all the reading I have to do for my job, then reading wins. If you include only leisure reading, then TV.

What's your all-time favorite book? Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. It brought back so many happy memories about growing up in an extended Hispanic family.

What book has influenced your life most? I'd have to say Tom Sawyer. My grandmother was from Missouri. I loved imagining her in the scenes as I read that book and we had some great talks about what it was like growing up there.

Is there any book you absolutely hated? Fools, by Pat Cadigan. It was bewildering and incomprehensible.

What author would you most like to meet in person? [Mark] Twain. I'd love to talk with him about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

click to enlarge Petra Sullivan
  • Petra Sullivan

Petra Sullivan
Meter reader

What's the most recent book you've read? The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

Do you read or watch TV more? About the same, though I prefer leafing through art books to reading.

What's your all-time favorite book? Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I love his descriptions, like the parrots in the living rooms.

What book most changed your life by reading it? Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. It made me see that you find spirituality within, not in what you own or what you do.

Is there any book you hated? I hate Harlequin romances.

What author would you chose to meet in person? E.T.A. Hoffman, an old German novelist. He had a broad range of talents. He was a little weird. He'd be fascinating to meet.

click to enlarge Kathy Borelli
  • Kathy Borelli

Kathy Borelli
Pulpit Rock
Junior high school teacher

What's your most recent read? Beethoven's Hair by Russell Martin.

Do you read or watch TV more? About equal.

What's your all-time favorite book? A Room Of One's Own by Virginia Woolf, although I also really liked Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood.

What author most influenced your life? Woolf, because she talks about independence for women -- the need to create and the need for financial independence to make it possible to do that. I look at her as a model for how I can live my life.

What's your all-time least favorite book? Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad -- although I just assigned it to my students.

What author would you most like to meet? Woolf. She was so creative, open and liberal, yet she had personal demons to deal with, too. She hung out with the Bloomsbury group, some of the best minds of the time.


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