''I am reading William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Why am I reading this? I must have something in mind to write about in the future. And I just came back from a few weeks in the mountains, so I needed something fat. I'm also reading Christina Garcia's Dreaming in Cuban. I've been reading a lot of books about Mexico for a book I'm writing Tortilla Curtain, about the issue of borders, walls, and 5.5 billion people on the planet Coyotes, by Ted Conover, about working with illegal Mexican aliens, and Oscar Lewis' book The Children of Sanchez. When I was a youth, I read every book right till the end. Now I realize I don't have to clean my plate all the time.''