Thursday, October 18, 2007

Michael Largo

Michael Largo is the author of the Bram Stoker Award-winning Final Exits: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of How We Die, The Portable Obituary: How the Famous, Rich, and Powerful Really Died, and three novels.

I recently asked him what he was reading. His reply:
This is a fun idea. I think I read a fortune cookie once that said, "You are what you read." I don't know how true that is, since my lucky numbers on the flip-side proved losers to date. But the spirit of it is good, and I always have more books to get to than time.

The next book I am currently writing has to do with creative people who committed suicide, so I've been starting the morning reading poetry, some Anne Sexton, John Berryman, Paul Celan and a few others.

I am currently working through a number of medical books and find Epilepsy and Sudden Death (Neurological Disease and Therapy) a fascinating clinical study of why epileptics die for no apparent reason. At lunch break I read some of Edwin S. Shneidman's Autopsy of a Suicidal Mind. When I go down to the bus stop to pick up the kids I've been reading Stefan Timmermans's Postmortem: How Medical Examiners Explain Suspicious Deaths.

I'm also enjoying the The Best of Robert E. Howard for his stylistic descriptions, and for pure escape.

I just picked up a copy, with Stephen King as editor, of The Best American Short Stories 2007, so I know what's happening with new fiction.

And as a nightcap of late I've been reading Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson.

I like to keep multiple books going on at once, and find it more interesting to flip through different intellectual channels. This notion of only having one lifetime to do all these things is getting very disturbing.
Visit Michael Largo's website.

--Marshal Zeringue