Saturday, April 21, 2018
Books

What's Mark Bircher reading?

Nightstand

Mark Bircher

Bircher, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and retired Marine Corps Reserve brigadier general, was the first Republican to jump into the race in the redrawn 13th Congressional District last December. Now, as he nears the finish line for the Republican primary, he's up against incumbent David Jolly. Bircher, a commercial airline pilot, also ran for the seat in the 2014 special election after the death of C.W. "Bill" Young. He lives in Seminole with his wife, Jackie, and 12-year-old son, Bill. He attributes his decision to run for public office to his fatherhood. "Frankly, I don't think I started to appreciate government until I was a parent. It gave me a whole new perspective,'' said Bircher, 63. "There's a special part of you that you don't know you have until you have a child.''

What's on your nightstand?

Frankly, I have to recertify as a pilot, so that has been a majority of my reading time, preparing for that. You always want to do the best you can. However, I have a few books. First, The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin. I also just read The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court. Basically, it's Bob Woodward's look at the Burger Supreme Court, the transition between the Warren and the Rehnquist court. This book is not new, but I wanted to read it. The impact of the court has been pretty fascinating. I don't think the Founding Fathers envisioned the power of the court in guiding our policies. The whole idea of the federal court is a great subject to me.

I also have a little-known book, The Reason Why: The Story of the Fatal Charge of the Light Brigade by Cecil Woodham-Smith. This is back in the 1850s, right before the Civil War. What is most interesting is the history of England and Ireland, and what this leads up to. This took me by surprise. And the third one I have is The Heights: Anatomy of a Skyscraper by Kate Ascher. I marvel at skyscrapers wherever I travel, and when you get into details, it's even more fascinating. A skyscraper is a monument of technology.

Since you travel as a pilot, it seems the lighter e-books would be the way to go, but you like print versions?

When it comes to my reading, I like having books, especially something like The Heights, since it is mostly illustrated. I'm still an old-school guy.

Contact Piper Castillo at [email protected] Follow @Florida_PBJC.

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