Jim Zorn's Reading List
Much of my afternoon will be taken up with watching Fred Smoot read to elementary school kids in Northern Virginia, which seemed like a good excuse for re-visiting Jim Zorn's current reading list. The info is courtesy Barry Svrluga, who included much of it in his recent Zorn profile. But as someone who's reading list lately has been limited to Reid and La Canfora and El-Bashir and Carter, I was sort of impressed that Zorn has less narrow aspirations. Times three.
* Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West, by Hampton Sides. "It's quite a book," Zorn said, "a history of the development of the United States of America in the early 1800s going West. It's pretty awesome."
* Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon series. "I read novels," he said. "I've been reading a guy, an author Daniel Silva - he's written a whole series of great thriller novels, spy novels. Up to date stuff. Stuff that is current, and very thrilling. He's got a great hero. Much like '24.' He's really good. He has sent me every one of them."
* Lincoln: And the American Manifesto, by Allen Jayne, which explores the links between Lincoln's greatness and Jefferson's example.
Notice the obvious lack of "Coyote Skinning: A Beginner's Handbook." And notice that the guy who rides bikes with the current president and reads books about two previous ones might not be a bad fit in D.C.
Anyhow, much of this also appeared in Barry's story, but it's probably a decent reminder for those of us who spend our evenings watching Monday Night Football and responding to e-mails about local college basketball polls rather than cracking the Tolstoy.
"You have to choose," Zorn told Barry. "It's not the same every day. I don't say, 'Oh, I've got to read now.' I'll catch 15 minutes before I go to bed. I'll catch the airplane when I'm on a trip. When I'm in my room, I shut off the TV, read for half an hour, 45 minutes.
"I'm trying to develop it into a priority. I think it's important. To not read, just to go through the whole season and not be stimulated in other ways, I think is kind of foolish. We can get ourselves so wrapped up into one thing, it's crazy...."
"The guy that taught me that: Mike Holmgren. I think he's got a really good perspective on it....This would be my work life: When I'm here, there's nothing more important. I spend a lot of time here. I'm here by about 5:15, and I stay until I need to go home. And it's usually 9:30 in the evening....
"And I always say this too. when I'm gone, when I leave, I feel like I can fully leave. I don't write notes down when I go home, and I'm in the bathroom brushing my teeth. I don't have a little tablet there. I'm going to bed so I can get up and do it again."
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