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What are you reading?

The UltraMind Solution, by Dr. Mark Hyman. It’s about a doctor who had a very good diet when he was in college and medical school, but after he graduated and got married and had kids, his life became more stressful, and he moved away from the diet. Then he started to experience problems with fatigue and ADD, and that led him to start researching the neurochemistry involved in the way food affects people. I like that he’s a Western doctor who’s moving to a more holistic approach. I want to be a nutritionist for autistic children, and this inspires me.”

Why did you pick it up?

“Because it wasn’t assigned. I get a lot of books assigned to me. I also just finished reading The Great Gatsby. That’s the story of a wealthy, mysterious man who sets out to retrieve the love of a girl he once knew. In the end, you find out that the reason he cares so much about money and has so much money now is that he came from a poor background. To escape it, he studied all kinds of different things.”

Tell me about the style.

“It’s very…well, it’s very Fitzgerald-y.”

Who is your favorite character?

“I don’t really have one. I usually identify with a character, but I didn’t this time.”

Who is your favorite author?

“Mark Twain — Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer. I love the way he writes people. I can get inside their skin and live in them.”

What book was most life-changing for you?

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. It’s the story of a shepherd who goes on a journey in search of a treasure. I just read it at the right time. I was young, and it inspired me to go and do the things I wanted to do, and I did them. I went backpacking in Europe. I ran with the bulls in Spain. Another was Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. The central character is Dagny Taggart, and she’s involved with all these movers and shakers, the people who know what’s really going on. I know that today, you hear her name attached to conspiracy theories — that Alan Greenspan was a follower of hers, things like that. That she planted the seeds of a social philosophy, a movement.”

Do you talk to anyone about what you read?

“I talk to my sister all the time. We both read a lot. But usually, it’ll be things like, ‘Oh, this is like this scene from that book!’”

Why do you like reading?

“It’s interesting; I’m not a good reader. I’m dyslexic, but really worked hard at it, probably because my grandmother read to me a lot, and I ended up taking AP English in high school. I still can’t read out loud, and I’m a very slow reader, but I read a lot. I like that when you read, you can go away and escape — you’re away from the world, away from everybody, and you go into this world that no one can take away from you.”

What magazines or newspapers do you read?

“None. I don’t like reading other people’s opinions. Though I do admit I sometimes go online and read headlines.”

Name: SANDY STEVENSON | Age: 30 | Occupation: NANNY

Neighborhood: UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS | Where interviewed: TWIGGS

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