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To see like a songwriter is the easiest. . . . Hearing like a writer is a lot harder; you've got to really listen. -- Bono

Bono Interviewed By Jenna Bush Hager On 'Today' Show About Books

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Bono Jenna Bush Hager Today books

The “Today” show has posted a video of Bono being interviewed by co-anchor Jenna Bush Hager (former President George Bush’s daughter) for her segment “Open Book,” a series about reading and literacy.

“I love books when I’m on the road … you can dip in and out of,” Bono said. He recommended Lifelines: Notes On Life & Love, Faith & Doubt by Malcolm Doney and Martin Wroe if you’re “interested in opening up … your spiritual life.”   

When Hager asked Bono if he recalled a book he read as a young man that opened his eyes, changed him, or that he really loved, he mentioned Moby-Dick, Or The Whale by Herman Melville,The Chronicles Of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok.

Bono said his parents didn’t really read to him as a child. “Growing up in Dublin, my dad played opera, so we had deafening music. Reading wasn’t such a big thing.”

He said he developed a passion for reading as a teenager and “read a lot about America,” including works by John Steinbeck, the Beat writers and Allen Ginsberg.

To his children, Bono said, he read everything from the books in the Harry Potter series to the Bible (Eugene Peterson’s version).

Hager reminded him that when her daughter Mila was born, Bono sent her a copy of Peter & The Wolf with the following inscription: “Welcome to the world. There’s a lot of work for you to do, but not just yet.”

“I cried,” Hager said.