Anne Marie Ruff, a former reporter for NPR, PRI, BBC and PBS, has recently published her first novel, Through These Veins. Anne Marie reported on AIDS research, drug development, biodiversity conservation, and agriculture from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa. Her articles have appeared in Time, Christian Science Monitor, and Saveur among other publications. Drawn from her extensive travels and the unique people she has met, Through These Veins brings together the disparate worlds of Ethiopia and AIDS/HIV research, and features two strong women in pursuit of a long-awaited cure.
Most of my books by the bed arrive there as gifts from others, and most are nonfiction. Novels come to me also as gifts or recommendations, but these I carry religiously with me to read on my commute to and from the office and then pass them on once I am finished. I also end up with a number of books – memoirs, poetry, or novels – written by friends or relatives (what a wonder are the new publish-on-demand services).
The Fifth Mountain – Paulo Coelho (the next novel I will read)
Zadie Smith’s On Beauty — (a Christimas gift from two years ago)
Five Continents – NI Vavilov (one of my heroes, Vavliov was a brilliant Russian scientist killed by Stalin. I have carried this book with me to four different continents)
Faith in a Seed – Thoreau (for sentimental reasons I have kept this with me for nearly 20 years)
Healing and the Mind – Bill Moyers
The Help – Kathryn Stockett (a Christmas gift from last year)
The Art of Cooking Omelettes – Madame Romaine de Lyon (a little gem of a book, published in the 1960s – a gift from a friend when she heard I had acquired a flock of hens in my backyard)
Of Martyrs and Marigolds – Aquila Ismail (a recently published novel by a Pakistani friend I met while living in Abu Dhabi)
Saudi Aramco World magazine (I am always stunned at the quality of writing and breadth of topics, and its free!)
Save the Cat Goes to the Movies – Blake Snyder (fascinating deconstruction of the story teller’s arc)
How to Speak Punjabi – (still haven’t learned after ten years, but I do know all the slang not in the book, thanks to my husband.)
Called by Name Called to Serve – Lola Ruff (my cousin’s memoir)
Chasing the Devil: A Journey Through Sub-Saharan Africa in the Footsteps of Graham Greene – Tim Butcher (after reading of his hike through Sierra Leone and Liberia, I feel no need to endure that myself)
Walter Ruff: A Tribute to My Father – Dale Ruff (my cousin’s biography of my father’s eldest brother and his life in North Dakota)
Red Earth and Pouring Rain: A Novel – Vikram Chandra (this has been sitting here for far too long, perhaps this will be the next novel I read)
We Wanted To Be Writers – Eric and Glenn (of course!)
Have you read any of these? What books are by your bed?