I'm on a Nabokov kick. I just read Pale Fire for the second time and now I'm reading Lolita for about the hundredth time. It has to do with the novel that I'm now writing. Nabokov's approach, and his language are very important to me at this juncture – it's like a little fix. Contemporary writers: I just read Orhan Pamuk's Snow, which is the first time I've ever read a Turkish writer. I'm very charmed by it. I also read Arthur & George by Julian Barnes. It does something that I like to do: taking an historical figure and wrapping a story around him – in this case, a true story.
I watch baseball – preferably with the sound off, a book in my lap, and some music playing. I grew up in New York as a Yankees and Mets fan and now I've lived [in Southern California] a long time and I'm a Dodgers and Angels fan.... I watch old movies. But I haven't seen a regular prime-time TV show since 1972 because I'm a crank and I hate the commerciality ... of it. I know that I've missed great stuff like "The Simpsons," for instance, which, for my sons, is their Bible, you know? But that's the way it is. If you're going to be a crank, you're either in it 100 percent or zero.
I continue to love music. I listen a lot when I'm working. I continue to listen to [old] rock and roll and contemporary rock and roll. I really love the Mars Volta, a very bizarre Mexican band that sounds kind of like Led Zeppelin. I recently got into a lot of old Neil Young after seeing the Jonathan Demme movie ["Neil Young: Heart of Gold"]. I get tons of music sent to me by fans. They send me tapes that are pretty wonderful.
• T.C. Boyle published his latest novel, "Talk Talk," on July 6. Previous works include "The Tortilla Curtain," "The Road to Wellville," and "Drop City." Learn more at tcboyle.com.