Scott Korb remembers J.D. Salinger as his chief literary inspiration when he was a teenager. "He was the writer who had the greatest impact on me in terms of religious pluralism and understanding the variety of religious perspectives,'' Korb said. With Passover and Easter fast approaching, we spoke with Korb, who co-authored the 2007 book The Faith Between Us: A Jew and a Catholic Search for the Meaning of God. In his new book Life in Year One: What the World Was Like in First-Century Palestine, published this month by Riverhead, Korb mixes humor with history and religion.
What's on your nightstand?
It is a little bit of both work and pleasure. Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State by Gary Wills. He's very important to me as a religion writer, but this book, about how power in this country has consolidated in the executive branch after the atom bomb, it is just spectacular. He's a great storyteller, even when it is war history, not religion.
And what author, not work related, is on your nightstand?
I just finished a memoir by my friend (Justine van der Leun ). It is Marcus of Umbria: What an Italian Dog Taught an American Girl About Love. It's about love gone wrong. It is highly readable and funny. It'll be out in June from Rodale.
What book about contemporary times concerning Palestine would you recommend?
I think Jimmy Carter's Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid is terrific.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer