Thursday, March 28, 2013

Books books books

I have a short attention span. I’m not ADD or anything (I’ve checked). But I am one of those people who is happiest when I’m doing 8 different things at once. And things like meetings, long university lectures, and waiting in traffic are close to my worst nightmares.*

It also means that I can have a slight lack of patience with reading. So if a book isn’t engaging me 100 percent, I can have a hard time getting into it. And thus there are a lot of great, potentially slow-starting books that I might miss out on… if I didn’t read more than one book at a time.

That’s right. I’m one of Those People. Apparently I’m not alone though – Karen, friend of the blog, admitted on facebook lately to reading multiple books at once. In the comments, a couple people mentioned they much preferred one book to the two books – maybe three – at a time.

I do six.

Yes, that’s right, six books. That’s how short my attention span is. Most of these are lighter books. I’m not trying to read Doestoyevsky, James Joyce, and Salman*** Rushdie all at once. I’ve been reading a lot of YA lately. You’ll note my list bares a shocking resemblance to Melanie’s lists (particularly this one). Here are some of the books I've read and enjoyed recently, somewhat in order of how good they were.

Really, this should have made it on my awesome list. I adore this book. I want to buy dozens of copies and give it to unsuspecting acquaintances. This is definitely one where my system of multiple books helped me out; I found the first third to be very slow, and almost stopped reading. Thank god I pushed on, because this is the best book I’ve read in a long, long time.


Really? You haven’t read this yet? How many of us is it going to take jumping up and down with this book proclaiming our undying love? Yes, there are kids with cancer in this book. But it’s not a cancer book, not in the Lurlene McDaniel way. It’s a book about living, not about dying. Oh god, I’m about to cry again. But in a good way.

Love, love, love this series. It’s completely addicting – and I’m always pulling these out of my larger pile to read frenetically because I absolutely have to know what happens next. I've got the third one in my stack of books to read. I'm convinced that a certain female love interest is secretly out to get Cassel.

Adult fantasy set in an Egypt-based society (no pyramids, but rivers and desert and loincloths). The main characters are Gatherers, a group of assassin-priests who are sent to kill those judged corrupt by society. The Gatherers are masters of dreams. This was recently nominated for a Nebula award.

I was warned it wasn’t as good as Divergent, which I really liked. But still worthwhile. And I still can’t wait for the third book. In other news, have you heard that they cast the same actress as both Tris AND Hazel from The Fault in our Stars? I think she looks more like Tris, personally.

 I think by the time I got to this book, I’d read far too many dystopian YA novels in a short time span. It was still good, and the sequel is waiting for me to pick it up from the library. Apparently they're making a movie from this too.

I’m only halfway through this. Another slow-starting book, mostly because the first half seems to be entirely about the horrible things happening to all the characters and multiple innocent civilians in the course of war. It’s lacking some of the wonder of the first one. But I’ll still keep reading, because darn it, I want to figure out how Karou and a certain someone are ever going to manage to reconcile. And yes, there will be a movie for this one too, which I think that of the group of upcoming movies has the potential to be completely amazing or completely horrible.

And, of course, there are lots of other books on my to-read lis.

The Far West, Patricia Wrede  (I’ve loved all the books in this series so far; fabulous worldbuilding)
Crewel, Jennifer Albin
Tuesdays at the Castle, Jessica Day George
A Confusion of Princes, Garth Nix

Some of the other nebula nominees:
-Glamour in Glass, Mary Robinette Kowal (liked the first in the series; I highly recommend that series to Jane Austen fans)
-Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed
-Ironskin, Tina Connolly
-The Drowning Girl, Caitlín R. Kiernan
You’ll note there aren’t many YA books in that to-be-read. What do you all think I should add to it? I’m particularly looking for more good YA. I’m also always on the lookout for adult non-Tolkien-esque fantasy (no elves, and also no politics please. Unless it’s an extra awesome book).

A-Z challenge!
 Almost time! I’m going to start writing my posts this weekend. I bow down to those of you brave enough to do ALL of them on your own. Even four is kind of intimidating.

*Actual worst nightmares (the sleeping kind) tend to include things like zombies, tornadoes, tyrannosauruses**, and being late to work.

** No, really, I’ve had like three dreams about being chased by t-rexes. Thanks a lot, Jurassic Park.

***You know you’re a biologist when you spell it Salmon Rushdie the first time.


  1. That is a lovely list!
    Personally I liked Insurgent a lot better than Divergent. I'm not sure why--it might just have been my mental state at the time.

    I just finished Prodigy this week. It was good, but it helped me come up with Writing Tip number 637: It doesn't work to decide a main character is gay during book 2. And you can't just flip a switch and suddenly have every new character you introduce be gay too. It's ridiculous. However, I still enjoyed the book, though I thought Legend was better.

    I'm adding the Patricia Wrede book to my list. Love her!

    1. The first book in the Patricia Wrede series is the Thirteenth Child. Loved it.

      lol @ writing tip number 637. Yeah, you'd think that would be something one decided right at the start, and at least gave hints about early on! Just picked up Prodigy from the library today, so I'm interested to start reading it.

  2. Wow, I could have, with complete honesty, written that same first paragraph. However, my upper limit is reading three books concurrently, although I once tackled four. I never critique more than one at a time though. And for me, the bad dreams are tornadoes and tsunamis. Tyrannosauruses need not apply.

  3. I wish I could read six books at a time. Or three. Or two. In fact, I only just unpacked my book shelves, so I should probably try to start with one. (On a side note, my books are now all in one spot in the house, and as it turns out, I own far fewer than my husband imagined. He kept asking me if I was missing some of them, which I assured him I wasn't. So when he finally said, "Wow, I guess you don't have as many as I thought," I took that as a green light to go buy more.) I'm starting a new To Be Read list, since I haven't unpacked my old one, and most of the books on your post are at the top. The only ones that didn't make it are the ones I've already read. :)

    My husband probably won't thank you, but I'm excited to check these out!

  4. I've always been a one book at a time reader, but I think I'd like to try multiple book path. Looks fun. I don't have as much time to read as I'd like anymore, and life is too short and full of too many good books to read one at a time. :)


Got an opinion? Use it! Remember... be silly, be honest, and be nice/proofread.