rich cohen

I’m very excited to be interviewing the best-selling author, Rich Cohen.  He has authored many books, including such New York Times Bestsellers as Tough Jews, The Avengers and Monsters.  Rich also helped author the popular book, When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead with Jerry Weintraub.  More recently, he is known for co-creating the hit HBI series Vinyl, with fellow co-creators Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Terence Winter.  Rich Cohen is also a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone, he has also written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Harper’s Magazine.  So, if you haven’t got the picture, Rich Cohen is a prolific writer who is globally renowned for his work.  I am personally a fan of his work, which makes me especially pleased to present you my interview with Rich Cohen…

When someone asks you ‘what do you do for a living?’ – How do you respond?

I tell them I work in financial services. If I say I’m a writer, they think I’m unemployed.

gamblers anatomyWhat are you reading at the moment?

I am reading Gambler’s Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem, which is so good it makes me nervous.  I’m also reading the Hogs Wild: Selected Reporting Pieces by Ian Frazier, because he’s the master.

When you think about your childhood, what book comes to mind?

The Outsiders by S.E Hinton, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Cannery Row by John Steinbeck.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

The big brother.

What do you think your school aged self would think of the present day you?

Wow, I’m exactly the fucking same.

If you could wrap up a single book and gift it to yourself as you left education – which book would it be?

The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman.

Does your reading have routine? Is there a particular time or place that you like to read?

I read anywhere and everywhere, sitting down and standing up, walking and running, leaning against beams, sitting on trains, waiting at customs.

up in the old hotelWhich book has had the biggest impact on your career so far?

Up In The Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell.

Do you have any books that you strongly associate with someone important in your life?

You Can Negotiate Anything by Herb Cohen, which I associate with my father, Herb Cohen.

What book have you recommended the most to friends and family?

My Pilgrim’s Progress by George WS. Trow.

Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?

I go book by the book. I want it like whisky. Very strong, one ice cube.

Do you think reading is important?

If you don’t read, you don’t know how to think. And you’re all alone. So, yes. It’s important.

What’s the best book you’ve read in the last 6 months?

The Making of the Zombie Wars by Aleksander Hemon.

Do you prefer real books or digital books?

Real books.

life on the mississippiName a book that you feel every human should have to read by law.

Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain.

What is the book that you feel has had the single biggest impact on your life?

The King James Bible.

Are there any books you haven’t mentioned that you feel would make your reading list?

Every single thing written by Shirley Hazzard, Janet Malcolm and George Trow.

What books or subject matter do you plan on reading in the next year?

The new Here I Am: A Novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer by Arthur Lubow, Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen.

If you were to write an autobiography – what would it be called?

Hello, I Must Be Cohen.

If you’d like to learn more about Rich Cohen, you can find him on his website and his Twitter.