I’m in the middle of a few books right now. Ever since I was little, I’ve always read more than one book at at time. I like to leave them around the house so wherever I am, I can just pick up a book and read. I know it’s weird, but it works for me! Right now, I have one book on my bedside table, one in the living room, one in the basement and I usually keep one in the car, but I just finished that one. (Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick, which was terrific.) I always have one or two going at school, too, otherwise I’d never keep up!
While most of my books are new to me, one of my current reads is always a book I’m rereading for the second, third or hundredth time. A few weeks ago I had a long, involved conversation with a friend about my reading habits. I have a love/love relationship with books that has gone on for most of my life. Reading is my one true escape and I’ve been known to get very involved and invested in characters and settings, mostly due to my rereading habit. Books and characters are like old familiar friends the kind that don’t change, disappoint or surprise you. I like knowing that some things remain unaltered with passage of time. I especially like rereading a book I read a long time ago, when I was in a different place in my life, and I find that the book has new meaning, or I understand the actions of a character differently. It’s not always about the plot, but more of an appreciation of writing style and ability. To be able to pick up a book I’ve read many times and still be as captivated as the first reading amazes me.
These are my current reads:
The Time Traveler’s Wife byAudrey Niffenegger: I have to say I’m really enjoying. I can’t talk too much about it until after my book club meets, but I’m planning on finishing that one this weekend if possible.
My “reread” selection is a book I discovered in a college lit class on the Romantic period. That’s where I discovered the Shelleys (Percy Bysshe and Mary), Byron, William Blake and Coleridge. While I enjoyed all of these poets, the book that made the most impact on me is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or the Modern Promethus. If you haven’t read this amazing book, you should. Don’t get confused with the square head, bolts on the neck, arms out marching, monster of the horror film version of Frankenstein, this book is a complex study of psychology, the power of human connection and above all, consequences. It’s a masterpiece of a novel and even more impressive is that Mary Shelley was just 19 when she wrote it. (I remember that the very beginning is slow…but important, so keep that in mind). I wrote the best paper of my undergrad career on this book. I’m sure I’d cringe at it today, but I think my theme (Victor Frankenstein and postpartum depression — seriously…it worked) was pretty spectacular. I need to look for that paper. I’m sure I have a hard copy, somewhere.
The Cobweb by “Stephen Bury”: This story takes place during the Gulf War. It’s co-written by Neal Stephenson and his uncle under the pen name of Stephen Bury. I like reading books co-written by two authors because of the meshing of different writing styles and conventions (ala Stephen King and Peter Straub’s The Talisman). I’m not very far into this one (maybe chapter 4) but so far it’s keeping my attention. It’s not my typical genre, so I hope I’m able to keep up with all the political, bureaucratic and military speak!
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling: I got the collector’s edition of this book for my birthday and I’ve spent the last month just looking at it. I finally started reading it the other day and should finish it tomorrow or Sunday. It’s handwritten with drawings done by the author, so it’s lovely to look at as well as to read. There are some beautiful photos on amazon.com of the original one they bought last year. (Scroll down to the bottom)
That’s my current reading list. I have the following books just waiting to be moved to the top of the pile. More on these titles later.
The Fire by Katherine Neville (sequel to my beloved “The Eight”)
The Virgin in the Garden by A.S. Byatt
A Drowned Maiden’s Hair by Laura Amy Schlitz (A Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award nominee)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak