Poll: How many books at a time?

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.ย  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 hitย  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!

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
This entry was posted in Reviews of exceptional books. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Poll: How many books at a time?

  1. K.M. Weiland says:

    If you count a book of poetry and my daily devotional book, I’ve got six going on right now: Wives & Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell, Free by Chris Anderson, Unleashing the Idea Virus by Seth Godin, The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, The Andrew Murray Daily Reader by Andrew Murray, and The Rattle Bag edited by Seamus Heaney.

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    • Linda Yezak says:

      I figured you’d have at least half a dozen open! At home, I have a devotional and a writing how-to going, but I didn’t think to bring them with me. That would makee five for me if we counted them

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  2. Brad says:

    Mostly religious and scientific non-fiction. But I’m reading True Grit, The Last Patriot by Brad Thor, The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. And now I just downloaded The Survivor’s Club to my Kindle ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Linda Yezak says:

      I just got a Brad Thor book–do you like him? And I’ve always wanted to read Atlas Shrugged. I’ll have to add it to my list.

      Lisa Gardner, I think, is an exceptional writer. I’ve found a quirk or two that’s distracting, but otherwise, this is an engrossing book!

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  3. Amber says:

    Well, I’ve started two Christian fiction books at the moment–The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers and Holy Guacamole by Dan and Denise Harmer, both of which I’ll be reviewing on my blog. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also got one for Easter (Love Finds You in Carmel by the Sea, CA) that I’m hoping to get into soon!

    And then, of course, there’s school reading and devotional reading… For school I’m currently reading Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare, a book I’m reviewing as a project for my Nature and Structure of the English Language class. It’s actually surprisingly entertaining! ๐Ÿ™‚

    ~Amber

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    • Linda Yezak says:

      Holy Guacamole! What a cute name! Send me the link when you review that one, okay? And Damp Squid? I’m really curious about that. I’ll have to see if it’s on Amazon.

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      • Amber says:

        Isn’t that such a cute name? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve only read about 2 pages so far, but I think I’m really going to enjoy it! Reviews are supposed to go up on Cinco de Mayo (May 5th), so I can send you a link then if you want!

        I actually bought a Kindle for PC copy of Damp Squid from Amazon, so I know it’s on there! It’s very interesting in an informative way. ๐Ÿ™‚

        ~Amber

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  4. I must be the odd man out. I read one book at a time. In fact I do everything one thing at a time (except work which requires multi-tasking.) I am so focused on what I am doing at the moment that I cannot stand to pull away in the middle to do something else. It’s the same with my reading material, my painting, my writing. Single minded, focused until it is finished. Been that way all my life. Everyone I know does multiple books at a time. Ah, well. Too old to change even if I wanted to! Great line up, by the way.

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    • Linda Yezak says:

      There’s a lot to be said about being focused and single-minded, Marie. I never had more than one painting in the works at one time, but I’ve always had multiple manuscripts. As for reading, I had to read more than one book at a time just to keep up with my sister-in-law. She reads fast and a lot and, I swear, all at once. Picture her with a book in each hand, one resting on a table, and one suspended in mid-air, and you’ll have a close idea! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  5. Brad says:

    This is my first Brad Thor novel. It’s okay so far but I’m trying to read a good number of thrillers this year, so I’ll probably be reading a lot more from him.

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  6. Lynne Walding says:

    Normally I read just one at a time. Not because I’m afraid of getting mixed up, however. If I like a book, it’s doubtful that I’ll take more than two or three days to finish it. If it’s moving slowly, I might start another. In which case, I often drop the first one. I don’t do “slow”.

    The exception to this rule is political books. I have to be in a completely different mood for that kind of reading, and they take longer, so they often overlap other books. I’m currently reading “Arguing with Idiots”, Glenn Beck, and I just started “Love Finds You in Maiden North Carolina”, Tamela Hancock Murray.

    Interesting post!

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    • Linda Yezak says:

      Sounds like you picked a couple of terrific books to read. I love Beck!

      I started The Survivor’s Club because Dear and Glorious Physician is a bit slow. I’m reading the third primarily because I’m on a time limit. But I’m enjoying all these different worlds I’ve been dropped into!

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  7. Walk says:

    I’ve gotten three going, focused on one right now, “Crazy Love: Overwhelmed By A Relentless God” by Francis Chan, every Christian should read this one. The other two are “American History in Black and White” by David Barton and rereading “Shadow Of The Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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