Adam Schiff and Terry Tornek confess to their literary habits

Adam Schiff. Judy Chu at Pasadena
Politicians tell all about books that inspired them as young people, and books that motivate them now.
From left at the table: Judy  Chu, Adam Schiff, Terry Tornek, and Laura Friedman.

The 7th LitFest Pasadena is being held this weekend in the Playhouse District. One of the most provocatively titled events on the schedule was “Politicians That Read: The Books that Motivate”. Obviously, with a title like that Trump was not invited to join the panel which included Congressman Adam Schiff, Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman and, as a last minute addition, Congresswoman Judy Chu. There were, however, quite a few Trump jokes!

Schiff revealed that he was inspired to go to law school after reading “To Kill a Mockingbird”.  His young dreams were to be another Atticus Finch.  He also mentioned that he reads biographies and science fiction.  No books about impeachment, he added.

State Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, who represents Glendale, confessed to a love of science fiction.  She especially recommended the works of China Mieville.

Mayor Tornek brought a rucksack filled with books and his own brand of humor about reading them.  He categorized them as books he would never read, books other people thought he should read, books he reads for professional reasons, and–lastly–books he has read for pleasure. He told the audience at Vroman’s bookstore that he was taking the books in the rucksack to the donation box at the Pasadena Public Library after this event.

Congresswoman Judy Chu talked mostly about politics and discrimination. If I remember correctly she mentioned “Farewell to Manzanar”, the book about the Japanese-American  internment camp during WWII.  She said she puts all her books on a Kindle so she can carry them with her wherever she goes.

Now for all you booklovers out there, especially those who spend time thinking about the future of the world, I recommend “A Sea of Rust” by C, Robert Cargill. He writes of the world where humans no longer exist and robots are discovering unpleasant truths.  Great book!


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