I miss reading books. These days I'm mostly reading scripts, either material people want me to comment on or consider doing or directing. It's a good problem to have, I suppose. In that material, I'm looking for something with some originality or timelessness, people or ideas that aren't just trendy or today's hip issues. I want to support things that will last. But I do read aloud a lot, with my wife and children. I'm reading Nicholas Nickleby to my 13-year-old daughter right now.
I have eclectic tastes and I favor older music, even stuff I listened to in high school, like The Beatles and The Eagles. I like Lyle Lovett and I love Alison Krauss. I've seen her live and just love her whole persona. But I don't keep current with music. Really, the only thing I keep current with is the news, I listen to Air America and NPR. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool, left-leaning, liberal truth seeker.
My wife [actress Brooke Adams] gets Motion Picture Academy screeners, so movies these days are in my living room. Once again, I don't have time to watch any ongoing TV series and I hardly get out to the movies. But I did see Helen Mirren in The Queen, and I just loved it. It's so delicately done and her performance is amazing. I just adore that style of acting, her internal life is so rich. I love the fullness and stillness of her performance.
• "Monk," a series about a neurotic private detective, returns to USA Network on Friday, Jan. 19 at 9 p.m. EST. Shalhoub stars alongside Patricia Heaton in "The Scene," a black comedy that opens off-Broadway at Second Stage Theater Jan. 11.