Good Reading : December January 2009
me my shelf i layne beachley Layne has won a total of seven surfing world championships – six of them consecutively. She has also conquered the largest wave ever surfed by a woman. She learnt to surf at the age of four and turned professional at 18. ? What are you reading now, and why? Breath by Tim Winton. It was recommended to me and I am familiar with his other novels but this book in particular is special because it is all about growing up surfing on the West Australian coast. ? Who are your favourite authors? Bryce Courtenay, Ayn Rand, Ben Elton. ? Which books have had the most influence on your lifestyle or philosophy? So many different books have had an influence on my life. From ET 101: The cosmic instruction manual (by Zoev Jho, Diana Luppi and Mission Control), Life of Pi (Yann Martel), the Dalai Lama’s The Art of Happiness and Dan Millman’s Way of the Peaceful Warrior, to The Neverending Story (Michael Ende), Conversations With God (Neal Donald Walsch) and Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand). I believe every book comes into your life for a reason and each has a purpose. ? Which author would you most like to meet, and why? I would love to have met Ayn Rand. I love her philosophies and passion for life. She never settled for mediocrity and had such conviction. ? Is there a well-known book you never finished or did not enjoy? Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes. I enjoyed it but I couldn’t finish it. Then again, I’m guilty of reading several books at the same time and swapping between them. Right now I’m in the middle of three diverse novels – Ernest Hemingway (True at First Light), Ayn Rand (Anthem) and Jodi Picoult (The Pact). ? When you were a child what did you enjoy reading? My favourite book as a child was The Neverending Story. It was so easy to lose myself in the characters and colour of the story-line. I was also a huge fan of Garfield comics. ? What is your all-time favourite book? Atlas Shrugged. It requires such concentration and even though it took me months to finish it, I could read it over and over again! ? If you had one book that you could give to an aspiring athlete, what would it be? The Inner Athlete and Way of the Peaceful Warrior, both by Dan Millman. Both have very valuable messages that are inspirational and educational. 8 goodreading i DECEMBER 2008 / JANUARY 2009 ? Do you have a favourite film of a book, and if so why? Jurassic Park. It’s such a believable concept considering where genetics are now. It’s highly possible that we can create a world depicted in the novel. ? Where are most of the books in your home? In a bookshelf in our games room. ? Looking at the books on your shelves, is there any one category that dominates? Self-help books. ? How are the books on your shelves organised – or aren’t they? Utterly disorganised. ? When do you do most of your reading? In bed, when I’m tired and trying to put myself to sleep and while I’m travelling. ? Where is your favourite place to read and where do you do most of your reading? In bed, on planes and lying on the beach in between surfs. ? Do you have a favourite bookshop? (In Australia and/or overseas) Borders on Oahu, Hawaii. I spend hours shopping for books that inspire me and absorb me. I’m not biased when it comes to reading and if a book is recommended to me then I take that as some sort of omen that it is meant to be in my life ... Layne Beachley: Beneath the waves by Layne Beachley and Michael Gordon is published by Ebury, rrp $34.95.