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What Pete Hamill is reading

The novelist is currently enjoying “Tina Modotti: Photographer and Revolutionary,” “That’s the Way I See It,” “Barnaby Rudge,” and “The Waterworks”

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”In the last week I read this biography of Tina Modotti by Margaret Hooks (Tina Modotti: Photographer and Revolutionary). It’s the best book that’s been written in English about her. Her story is ultimately very sad. She was a very talented photographer, and in the course of becoming a heavy Communist, she discarded her art. I also just finished David Hockney’s book That’s the Way I See It. His ability to explain his painting in simple, direct language is truly exhilarating. It’s very rare for a first-class painter. The novel I read recently was Dickens’ Barnaby Rudge. There’s a description of a riot in it that’s as good as anybody’s ever done. I also have the galley for E.L. Doctorow’s new novel, The Waterworks. If I’m reading something really good, I shut off the phone until I’m finished. I read about three hours a day. During the basketball playoffs, though, it’s much harder.”