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Rick Bragg, a former New York Times reporter who worked at the St. Petersburg Times early in his career, is a professor in the University of Alabama journalism program. The Pulitzer Prize winner will discuss his book The Prince of Frogtown at the Times Festival of Reading on Saturday.

What's on your nightstand?

I've got a lot of books on my nightstand. I always do, but I'm just a little frustrated right now because I haven't been able to finish books as quickly as I used to. I've got Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke. The main character, Dave Robicheaux, is my heart. I love that kind of destructive character who's kind at the same time. . . . And I picked up a Sherlock Holmes collection recently. Reading Sherlock Holmes lowers your blood pressure.

What's slowing your reading down?

I've been mired in my own books. It's a matter of time, but I'm absolutely a voracious reader. I always hope that when I die, they find me with a book on my chest, and when they stand over me, they say, "Don't he look so peaceful?''