December 02, 1994 at 05:00 AM EST

I’m currently reading the collected short stories of Tennessee Williams, which get overshadowed by his plays, but they deserve to be read. If he’d never written plays, he’d be famous for the stories. It would make a great gift. Particularly, I like the stories ”Desire and the Black Masseur,” ”Two on a Party,” and finally, ”The Kingdom of Earth,” for an astonishing exercise in raw sexuality. I just finished reading The Hot Zone, a must-read, everybody’s nightmare come to life: an airborne virus that kills (horrifically). When nonfiction is this good who needs fiction-unless it’s E. Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News, which I’ve just begun; I’m enjoying her unique style immensely. I always read myself to sleep. In fact, I often wake up with a book in my hand and the light on. Reading transports me.

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