block-valerieFavorite Places in NYC:
The Palace of Ashurnasirpal II at Nimrud, Metropolitan Museum
The intersection of Barrow Street and Commerce Street
Film Forum, Houston Street
Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center
Pearl Paint, Canal Street
Seastreak Ferry, Pier 11 at Wall Street
Porto Rico Importing Co, Bleecker Street
East River Esplanade in Carl Schurz Park

Favorite jazz albums for writing:
Duke Ellington – Such Sweet Thunder
Bill Evans and Jim Hall – Undercurrent
Ruben Gonzalez – Indestructible and Chanchullo
Stephane Grappelli and Michel Petrucciani – Flamingo
Vince Guaraldi – Greatest Hits
Abdullah Ibrahim – Desert Flowers
Lee Morgan – The Sidewinder and The Procrastinator
Houston Person – Blue Velvet
Paula Robison – Rio Days, Rio Nights
Horace Silver – Song for My Father
Ben Webster – King of the Tenors
Gabriel Yared – Betty Blue

Favorite classical albums for writing:
Glenn Gould – The French Suites. JS Bach
Glenn Gould – The Goldberg Variations. JS Bach
Glenn Gould – Images.
The Orchestra of St. Luke’s – Water Music. Handel
Paladian Ensemble – Bach Trio Sonatas
Jonathan Rees – CPE Bach Cello Concierto/JS Bach Violin Concerto
Jordi Savall and Hesperion XX – Banchetto musicale

Favorite Novels:
The Liar – Stephen Fry
Harriet the Spy – Louise Fitzhugh
I, Claudius – Robert Graves
The Aspern Papers – Henry James
Immortality – Milan Kundera
The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate – Nancy Mitford
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
The Counterlife and American Pastoral – Philip Roth
Mating – Norman Rush
A Dangerous Husband – Jane Shapiro
The Prime of Miss Jean Brody and A Far Cry From Kensington – Muriel Spark
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

Favorite Mysteries
Hit Man – Lawrence Block
Lie in the Dark – Dan Fesperman
The Day of the Jackal – Frederick Forsyth
A Perfect Spy – John LeCarré
Mystic River – Dennis Lehane
Detective First Grade – Dan Mahoney
Inspector Imanishi Investigates – Seicho Matsumoto
The Big Bad City – Ed McBain
Black and Blue – Ian Rankin
Honeymoon to Nowhere – Akimitsu Takagi
The Laughing Policeman – Per Wahloo and Maj Brit Sjowall

Other Favorite Books (Short Stories, Memoirs, Graphic Novels)
The Pleasures of Urban Decay: Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer – Ben Katchor
The White Man in the Tree – Mark Kurlansky
The Color of Water – James McBride
The Collected Stories – Frank O’Connor
Collected Stories – V.S. Pritchett
The Rings of Saturn – W.G. Sebald
Easy in the Islands – Bob Shacochis
In My Father’s Court – Isaac Bashevis Singer
The Consul’s File and The London Embassy – Paul Theroux

Favorite Non-Fiction Books:
Flow – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Time – Andy Goldsworthy
No Ordinary Time – Doris Kearns Goodwin
Paris to the Moon – Adam Gopnik
River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze – Peter Hessler
The Botany of Desire – Michael Pollan
Home: A Short History of an Idea – Witold Rybczynski
Great Railway Bazaar – Paul Theroux
Does It Matter? – Alan Watts

Favorite Books on Writing
The Writing Life – Annie Dillard
Writing Down the Bones – Natalie Goldberg
Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
Trust the Process – Shaun McNiff
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind – Shunriyu Suzuki

Favorite Cookbook
Fish – Mark Bittman

Favorite Musical
West Side Story