Aaron Klein – a radio talk show host and Jewish Press columnist – is the author of seven books, including three New York Times bestsellers.
What books are currently on your night stand?
Only one. I read/study about half a chapter of Tanya every night before bed. Aside from the deep philosophical and mystical insights into the Torah, it’s also comforting to recall that our daily routines are but minutiae compared to the grander scheme of the universe.
What kind of reader were you as a child? Your favorite books and authors?
Believe it or not, I wasn’t much of a reader. As a kid, I equated reading with schoolwork. I used to rebel against homework, arguing it was inhumane to subject children to hours of elementary school only to have us do more work during the few hours we had to play and be kids.
If you had to name one book that made you who you are today, what would it be?
Benjamin Netanyahu’s A Durable Peace: Israel and its Place Among the Nations. It came out around the same time I started becoming more active in Mideast journalism as editor-in-chief of Yeshiva University’s student newspaper, and it helped me realize there was a complete lack of honest reporting in this arena.
Have the radical Islamists you interview as a journalist read your book Schmoozing with Terrorists?
Most terrorists interviewed in the work can’t speak or read English. However, they were fully aware of my background and what I was trying to accomplish with the book, and many of them still speak to me today, with some even appearing on my radio show. They’re very proud of their Islamist ideology and ultimate goals. It’s the news media that hide their true agenda.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read on the American Left?
Aside from my own 485-page tome on the subject, Red Army, I think Jamie Glazov did an excellent job at framing things in United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.
If you could require Jewish leaders to read one book, what would it be?
What Jewish “leaders”? Do you know of any? I don’t. I recommend they search the word “leadership” at Amazon and buy any one of the dozens of self-help books with such titles.
What books might people be surprised to find on your bookshelves?
Every book ever written by Saul Alinsky, George Soros, Cass Sunstein, and a host of other leftist radicals. For research purposes, of course.
Disappointing, overrated, just not good: What book did you feel you were supposed to like, and didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?
The problem is that I’m friends or associates with many of the authors on my bookshelves so I can’t answer that question without upsetting someone. Let’s just say that hosting a radio or cable news show does not necessarily make one an author.
What books are you embarrassed not to have read yet?
I haven’t read the Quran from start to finish. I need to. Oh, and Michael Savage’s latest novel, Countdown to Mecca.
What do you plan on reading next?
Michael Savage’s Countdown to Mecca.
(format and questions modeled after those ofThe New York Times’s popular “By the Book” interviews)