What's on your nightstand? Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.)

What book is on your nightstand right now?

I’m reading Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris. I read The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, which was his first one. I saw recently that President Obama was reading it. That’s a Pulitzer Prize-winner and a great book. It’s a very entertaining read. And I really thought that I should have a better sense of what one of the greatest leaders of our country had accomplished, especially as we make some progressive changes. I’m about halfway through Theodore Rex and it’s been slower going than The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. I read a little bit last night before I fell asleep.

What magazines and newspapers do you regularly read?

I read the [Raleigh] News & Observer, which is our local paper, so I read that. Am I doing better than Sarah Palin so far? I typically read The New York Times online and The Washington Post either in print or online. With magazines, I usually read articles that interest me rather than magazines as a whole. But fairly regularly I read The American Prospect, The New Republic, The Economist.

What’s your guilty-pleasure read?

I read a lot more of those than I do the more serious books. I read Robert Parker, where the main character is a private detective named Spenser.

Although that series gets a little repetitive after you’ve read 25 or 30 of them. I read John Sanford, who writes the Prey books, which is also detective fiction. I like detective fiction and I like comedic novels — comedic mysteries especially, like Lawrence Block’s burglar novels. In one of them, the main character was burgling a house and he looked in the freezer, and there was tens of thousands of dollars wrapped in aluminum foil, and I thought,

“[Former Rep.] William Jefferson [D-La.] should have read this.”

What do you consider to be important political books?

I’m not sure that I can name just one. But I ...  like biographies.

What are your favorite novels?

I used to love P.G. Wodehouse, even though he was a Nazi sympathizer. I liked the Bertie Wooster novels a lot; I think I read all of them. But that was a long time ago. Lately I can’t bring myself to buy the hardback copies of books. I have bought a $30 book before, but not on today’s budget.