Ray requested A Conference of Birds, by Farid Ud-din Attar. He's a Persian Muslim poet who influenced Sufi poets like Rumi. The book is a kind of parable from the Sufi faith, and tells the story of a group of birds who go on a quest to find a king. Ray is from Iran, and came to the United States when he was 12. His father worked for the embassy in Iran during the revolution, and was actually one of those detained during the hostage crisis in 1979. Ray's family was able to come to the U.S. in the early 80s, and he has lived here since.