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Lifestyles -

March 2, 2013

Local residents share their favorite tales


George Betts of Worcester wrote that his favorite book was British author George Eliot’s sweeping and complex Victorian novel, “Daniel Deronda” (1876).

The novel that inspired Mayor Dick Miller of Oneonta to dream impossible dreams was Miguel de Cervantes’ 1605 “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha.”

Miller said that for him, the novel encourages readers “to try to accomplish more that what seems reasonable or possible — and in doing so to be prepared to fail.”

The Rev. Mark Michael’s most influential book is the novel “The Diary of a County Priest” (1937) by French author Georges Bernanos.

“It’s the story of a young priest in a French village, who believes that his work for God has all been in vain, but who also grows in saintliness through suffering and leaves a legacy of deep faith,” Michael, the rector of Christ Church in Cooperstown, wrote. “I read it just before I was ordained to the priesthood, and many times since.”

Dr. William F. Streck, president and CEO of Bassett Healthcare, is an avid reader of presidential biography. The most influential one he has read, he said, was David McCullough’s “Truman” (1993). Streck has read Gore Vidal’s “Lincoln,” and Robert Caro’s multi-volume history of Lyndon Johnson, and all of those figures “had ideas and they were tenacious,” Streck said.

For Steve Page, fitness center and cardio center coordinator at the Oneonta YMCA, the book most influential for him is the Bible.

“The principles in there are good — they lay the good foundation for a good, solid life.”

His choice of most interesting book is Karen Ralls’ scholarly work “The Templars and the Grail.”

“Thoreau’s ‘Walden’ and Plato’s ‘Apology’ are my favorite and most influential books, my go-to’s,” said Bob Berglewicz, assistant manager of the Green Earth Health Food Market. “I think both books explore concepts and mindsets that are not held by the majority and help me to remember to shed my own light and thought processes on things instead of taking them for what they are.”

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