【野马絮语】《纽约时报》（The New York Times）“书评栏目”（Book Review）里的一个非常有意思的专栏“手不释卷”（By the Book：Writers on literature and literary life）。每期一位知名作家谈文学、阅读及其创作生涯。转载于此。分享给不便翻墙的文学爱好者们。
原文见：The New York Times >Dec. 1, 2016
The actress, singer and author of “Scrappy Little Nobody” would love to be a bath reader, “but the Parisian charm wears off after five minutes, and then I just want to be dry.”
What books are currently on your night stand?
Taraji P. Henson’s memoir, “Around the Way Girl.” I was a little sneaky and asked my editor to get me a copy before it came out. I’m only a chapter in and I already love it.
Do you read self-help? What’s your favorite self-help book of all time?
I don’t read a lot of self-help books, but I buy a lot of them. I usually give up when the first chapter hasn’t magically transformed me into someone wonderful. The one exception is Gavin de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear.” It should be required reading for all women, and men for that matter. Maybe men would then get why we reject their advances in poorly lit parking lots — it’s not because we’re bitches, it’s because we don’t want to get murdered.
How and when do you read? Electronic or paper? Bath or bed?
I prefer paper. I wish I could claim that’s because I’m so delightfully old-fashioned, but it’s just because I keep forgetting how to use my electronic reader — wherever that thing is. I would also love to be a bath reader, but the Parisian charm wears off after five minutes, and then I just want to be dry.
How do you prefer to organize your books?
I put the most impressive ones where people are most likely to see them, AMIRITE?! (No, but I do do that.)
What do you like to read on the plane? On the set? On vacation?
On a plane I like to read something light and fluffy to counteract flying anxiety. On set, reading nonfiction is especially fun, because I get to share little factoids between takes (whether my co-workers like it or not). On vacation, I like books that are dark and engrossing, like “All Quiet on the Western Front” or Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” because the beach makes me feel too content and I don’t like it.
What book might people be surprised to find on your shelves?
Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations.” I kind of thrive on stress, so I’m almost embarrassed by how comforting I find this book. I don’t even agree with everything in it, but when philosophy is described in such practical language, it’s soothing.
The best book you’ve read about Hollywood?
“Writing Movies for Fun and Profit,” by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, is hilarious, but more than that, it’s insanely accurate — right down to what your parking assignment when visiting a studio “really” means.
What’s the last book that made you laugh out loud?
There’s a joke in “Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships,” by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá, about the commonly held belief that women choose their sexual partners based on a man’s ability to “provide.” Essentially the punch line is that Darwin thinks your mother is a whore. Anyway, the patriarchy, good stuff.
The last book you read that made you furious?
I only read “The Handmaid’s Tale,” by Margaret Atwood, very recently. On the night of the first presidential debate, Patton Oswalt tweeted, “We’re moments away from the prequel to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’” and I think I messaged him, “O.K., that is not funny!”
What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?
More serious than I am now. The year I turned 12, I read “The Crucible,” “Jane Eyre” and “The Great Gatsby,” and after I finished each one I was beside myself with rage. Abigail Williams and Daisy Buchanan never get their comeuppance, and Jane never gets to go off (Jerry Springer style) on the Reed family? I’m still mad about it.
If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?
“A History of the Wife,” by Marilyn Yalom. It’s one of those books that I read with a highlighter in hand, because there was so much great information in it. Maybe plenty of people already know all of this stuff, but it definitely wasn’t covered in my history classes.
If you could befriend any author, dead or alive, who would it be?
Whom would you want to write your life story?
Jon Ronson. “The Psychopath Test” and “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” were both a great balance of horrifying and fun. However, the people he writes about are subjected to this super-perceptive honesty that I might not survive, so as long as this is my fantasy, I’d prefer he wait until I’m dead.
What do you want to read next?
My brother keeps going on about “Ready Player One,” by Ernest Cline, so I think I’d better read it before the holidays or I’ll end up in a headlock.