When he's not on the bench, you might find Kern County Superior Court Judge Robert Tafoya reading or listening to a book. Before he was appointed to the bench in 2002, Tafoya practiced law for 23 years and was a certified family law specialist. He earned a bachelor's degree in history and economics from California State University, Sacramento and a master's degree in education from the University of Southern California. He taught high school for two years before he attended law school.
One of 11 children, Tafoya is married to Sandra Serrano, former president of Bakersfield College and current chancellor for the Kern Community College District. They have two children, Galen, 38, and Christina, 33.
What I'm currently reading: In the past three weeks, I have read "The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism," by Doris Kearns Goodwin and "The Things They Carried," by Tim O'Brien, a fictional account of the experiences of young soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War. Quite compelling.
I am currently reading the biography "Ho Chi Minh: A Life," by William J. Duiker. Sandra and I are traveling to Vietnam... and I am curious about the life and times of this former leader of the Vietnamese people.
I am also currently reading "Last Chance in Texas: The Redemption of Criminal Youth," by John Hubner. (The topic) is of interest to me since I work with troubled boys and men as a judge.
I also listen to audio books on a daily basis... I am finishing up the book "The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us," by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons. It is a fascinating study of the human mind and how our intuition can mislead us.
Finally, I am reading "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess," by Bobby Fischer, Stuart Margulies and Donn Mosenfelder. I am a lousy chess player and am trying to improve my game.
Favorite authors: David McCullough, Khaled Hosseini, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Brooks and Isabel Allende.
Favorite book: Whichever one I am reading at the time.
Books I have read more than once: "This Flowing Toward Me: A Story of God Arriving in Strangers," by Marilyn Lacey, R.S.M. and "The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment," by Eckhart Tolle.
Other materials I like reading: The Bakersfield Californian, The Atlantic Monthly and The Daily Journal.
Where I enjoy reading: In bed, on the couch, before a fireplace, at In-and-Out Burger, practically wherever I find myself.
The book that has inspired me the most: "The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment," by Eckhart Tolle.
Other thoughts on reading: Reading is fun, entertaining, informative and inspiring. I can travel the world, meet people and places and be exposed to new ideas without leaving the comfort of my home.