Booking Through Thursday: Current Reading

Lost in Literature

This week’s Booking Through Thursday asks readers what they’re currently reading and what they think of it. I posted a reading update just a few days ago, and nothing has really changed since my update. I’m still reading The Heretic’s Daughter, The House of Seven Gables, and Great Expectations. I haven’t started Jamaica Inn on audio yet.

However, I will say that while I find The Heretic’s Daughter interesting in its historical detail, and even a good and fair account of the Salem witch trials (at least the part of the book which I’ve read), it’s not grabbing me, and I am not itching to pick it up. I think it’s suffering unfairly from my just having finished The Hunger Games trilogy. That kind of action and edge-of-your-seat reading is rare—after all, the novels have rightly become a publishing phenomenon for that reason. I think I always knew The House of Seven Gables would be a slower read for me, and it’s not suffering from any discrepancy regarding my expectations.

What I’m more interested in talking about is the fact that I’m reading three or four books at the same time. I didn’t used to be the kind of person who could do that, or I suppose I should say I didn’t *think* I could, so I didn’t attempt it. However, I have discovered the ability to juggle several books at once in the last couple of years. It depends on the way I read. I usually have one book going in DailyLit, which is very slow going with just a five-minute portion of the book each day; however, I have managed to read five books in the last couple of years in this way, and I think at least three of them, I never would have finished had I tried to read them any other way. I usually try to have an audio book going, too. Aside from that, I’ve discovered I can read two other books either in print or on my Kindle. But four seems to be my max, and I can only read four if two are in some format aside from print/e-book.

It turns out NPR’s Talk of the Nation recently ran a story about folks who read more than one book at a time. The story calls them polyreaders. Interestingly, the story mentions that some folks frown on reading more than one book at a time. I found that curious because I have never met anyone who frowned on the practice. Have you? It seems a strange thing to be disdainful about!

What do you do? Do you read one book at a time or several at once? Why?

photo credit: truds09

NPR’s 100 Best Beach Books Ever

NPR released the results of a poll conducted to determine the 100 best beach books.

Books on the list that I’ve already read:

  • The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling (1)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (2)
  • Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (5)
  • Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, by Rebecca Wells (6)
  • The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (7)
  • The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver (10)
  • The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien (14)
  • The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger (15)
  • Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell (16)
  • The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien (18)
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain (21)
  • The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver (22)
  • The Princess Bride, by William Goldman (28)
  • Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer (30)
  • A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole (31)
  • Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier (36)
  • The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough (39)
  • Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice (43)
  • The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas (47)
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (55)
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll (57)
  • Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov (58)
  • The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway (71)
  • The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding (74)
  • Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë (76)
  • Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon (77)

Books on the list that I want to read:

  • The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini (3)
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams (8)
  • Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, by Fannie Flagg (9)
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger (11)
  • Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen (20)
  • The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith (23)
  • Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel (27)
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (35)
  • Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett (41)
  • Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy (42)
  • Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier (44)
  • Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (56)
  • Dracula, by Bram Stoker (89)—I’m actually currently reading this one
  • Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger (92)

I’ve never read any Donna Tartt, but I’ve heard good things. Would you recommend the book on the list (93)—The Secret History—or something else by her?

Which books on the list have you read? Which ones do you want to?