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By the Book: By the Book: Ani DiFranco

What books might we be surprised to find on your bookshelves?

Hmm, no real surprises here, I don’t imagine. There’s a bunch of learn-how-to-meditate books that don’t seem to be helping. Some books of poetry for when my mind is spinning too fast to even deal with complete sentences. A lot of feminist theory and neuroscience for laymen. “The Tao of Pooh.” No murder mysteries. No romance novels. I’m so predictable!

What are the best books about music you’ve read?

I remember really loving Joe Klein’s “Woody Guthrie: A Life,” but, truth is, before my recent memoir-reading binge, I hadn’t read many books by or about musicians. Let alone books about music itself. As Martin Mull famously said, “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture!” I preferred to just do music, or listen to it.

What kind of reader were you as a child? Your favorite book? Most beloved character?

I loved reading as a kid. I remember devouring a series of “Black Stallion” novels. Later, there was Judy Blume and then other great American authors like Mark Twain and James Baldwin, for whom I seemed to need no translator. I wanted to be Huckleberry Finn (and, in a sense, I think I succeeded). Then, in my early adulthood, came a wave of feminist writers, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, Anaïs Nin, and that’s when I really graduated from my own homemade school.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned from a book recently?

Trees warn each other about danger. They care for their sick. They have relationships. They communicate electrically, through root systems and fungi, like underground computer networks, and also with airborne pheromones, just like animals. They might even

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