What's on your nightstand? Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.)

What book is on your nightstand right now?

I’ve been reading Crusade in Europe. It’s Dwight D. Eisenhower’s memoir. I’m also reading We Still Hold These Truths. That’s a book that deals with what the fundamental constitutional principles of this country are, and [it’s] a very interesting read.

What magazines and newspapers do you regularly read?

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I read Western Horseman magazine. My [passion] is riding horses on a ranch back home. We have a small interest in a large ranch, which is better than a large interest in a small ranch. We’ve got cattle on it, we’ve got buffalo on it, we’ve got horses on it. I get to play cowboy, but I’m not a cowboy. I also read Sports Illustrated and National Review.

What’s your guilty-pleasure read?

Sometimes I read Louis L’Amour’s short stories, or if I want to relax, I’ll usually watch a Western movie, like “Lonesome Dove.”

What do you consider the most important political books or authors?

Well, in terms of performance, there’s a small little book by Jack Valenti on pubic speaking called Speak Up With Confidence. It’s the best piece of advice on public speaking. I also read a lot of stuff by George Will and William F. Buckley. The Federalist Papers are a great read to get an idea of where the Founding Fathers were at on a whole host of subjects. And if anyone’s interested in Ronald Reagan, definitely read Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader by Dinesh D’Souza. It’s a great read for people to get a sense of what Ronald Reagan was like when he was president.

What are you favorite novels?

The best piece of literature is actually a play — for someone in public service or an attorney. [It’s] A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt. It’s the best explication of the question of ‘How do you serve both personal conscience and public duty?’ Without a doubt, it’s brilliant. And I would say that anyone who wants to go to law school or go into public service, read that.

And I just finished Losing Mum and Pup … Christopher Buckley’s memoir of his parents. That was just an enjoyable read, and there are some very funny parts to it. You really don’t want to put it down, and it makes you lose sleep because you read it longer than you should. It’s not that big of a book, and it’s very inviting.



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