How many books are you actively reading? (Be sure and respond to the poll at the end of this post.) I have three going at the moment, each in a different room in the house awaiting the quick snatches of time I can afford them. I have a reason for choosing them. I made up my mind to read books beyond those written by my favorite authors so I could learn different genres, study other authors’ techniques, pick up gems from antiquity, and a variety of other reasons. Primarily, I want to broaden my scope.
Here’s my line-up:
The Survivor’s Club has dropped me into contemporary New England and involved me in solving a serial rape/murder case. This is one of those The Fire In Fiction books I resolved to read last year. Let me tell ya, Donald Maass knew what he was doing when he chose this one. Lisa Gardner is a gifted author. Unfortunately–but as expected–this novel contains language that I have to skim over, and the first two chapters almost turned me off because of it. But as I go on in the novel, I can say this one isn’t nearly as bad as the Tami Hoag book I recently discarded. Maass used this one in his first chapter, “Protagonists and Heros,” and I can certainly see why. The two protagonists Gardner’s book are wonderfully portrayed, as are all her characters. Despite the language, I’ll keep this one to review her characterization techniques. Much more about this and other thoughts when I finish the book.
Dear and Glorious Physician by Taylor Caldwell has spirited me off to Antioch in the days of Christ to discover the author’s visualization of St. Luke’s life. I believe this novel can be catagorized as a new classic. Written in 1957, it contains all the writing practices common in its era, but virtually banned today–verbosity, multi-POVs within a single scene, etc. In 2010, I reached the conclusion I didn’t read enough classical and neo-classical work, so I decided to remedy that little problem (although both this novel and the first I read in my new category, Show Boat, are neo. I haven’t hit true classic yet). So far, I’m not finding much in the line of writing gems in this, but its philosophical nature appeals to me. I’ve found tons of nuggets I could use were this a political or religious blog rather than the . . . whatever you’d call it that it is. For that alone, I’ve enjoyed the book and have posted quotes from it on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
To Win Her Heart by fellow Texan, Karen Witemeyer, fulfills part of my plan to read more Christian fiction and more romance, knocking out two categories at once. The added bonus is that I’m a reviewer for this one, so I got an free copy. I just recently started it and am not too far along, but I can already say this promises to be a wonderful ride into 19th Century Texas. If you know me, you know I’m amazingly picky about romance novels, particularly Christian romance novels, and since I’ve just begun this one, I’ll reserve judgment. But I can say Karen has done a wonderful job with characterization, and she has a truly catching opening to her novel. As with the other two, I’ll tell you more about this later.
So tell me, am I strange to have so many books started at one time? Do you read several at a time too?
If you’re a multi-book reader, let me know what’s open at your house!