Notes from a Poly-Reader #1

Since I’ve recently re-embraced my tendency to read multiple books at once (for more on poly-reading, see NPR’s interview with Julia Keller), and because I adore Kathleen Jennings’ Books Read, Things Seen series of blogposts, I thought it might be fun (and, because I enjoy accountability, useful) to periodically check in with what books I’m actively juggling, and how much progress I’ve made on any one of them. I figure this will help me avoid biblio-deadspots, wherein I ignore an “in progress” book for months before thinking “Oh yeah, I should probably finish that one…”

Accountability is useful.

So! As of today, I am currently reading:

Status Update

(Okay, if I’m being honest, I haven’t technically started the graphic novel, Trees, yet, but I intend to–possibly today–so it’s on there for now as “imminently reading.”)

The Glass Sentence — Chapter 4 — I started this one as an audiobook, but for some reason it just did not grab me in that format (and actually, left me frustrated, bored, and angry when I did listen to it), so I’ve switched to reading, and by “switched,” I mean I’ve decided to read it, but haven’t actually picked it up since I returned the audio-copy to the library. I’m not sure what it is about this book that I’m finding to hard to get into. I was really, really looking forward to it (it’s been on my to-read list for over a year), but I’m just kind of meh about it so far. I’m still holding out hope that it’ll pick up soon. [[LIBRARY]]*

Osama — ~5% on Kindle — Just started this one a weekend or so ago after finishing The Devil’s Making, which I also read on Kindle. The Kindle’s great for bathtime reading, but lately, bathtime has been fraught, so I haven’t made much progress. That said, I am IN LOVE with this book so far. Tidhar’s prose is so fluid and simplistically elegant–it just…flows, you know? I have a feeling this is going to bump up to CHOICE READ shortly…

The Buried Giant —  Chapter 5 — I’ve actually been listening to this one for a week and a half, and it’s fabulous so far. It’s a long story, so Chapter 5 doesn’t seem all that far in, but I’m making steady progress on it, and am really enjoying its quiet pace and sense of myth and history. Will have to renew it soon–hopefully I’ll be able to get it again!

A Right to Die — Chapter 8 — I always love me a good Nero Wolfe novel, but this one has been less than engaging. I’m not sure if it just hasn’t aged well (white men dealing with/trying to comprehend the racism of the 60s), or if it feels a bit dialed-in by Stout. Not sure–it may pick up later.

His Captive Lady — Chapter 2 — Just picked this one up last week. I haven’t traditionally read much in the Romance genre (other than once through the first Outlander book), but Anne Gracie comes pretty highly recommended, so I figured I’d give it a shot! I meant to get another of her books, but the library didn’t have it, so figured I’d just jump in. I’m withholding judgements so early on–thus far there’ve been a lot of “devouring gazes,” but I’m open to seeing where it goes. [[LIBRARY]]

How to Suppress Women’s Writing – Chapter 9 — Over halfway through this one, and it is, without question, my CHOICE READ this week. It contains so much food for thought, even in how some things have changed, and others decidedly haven’t, for female authors. The first chapter was a bit of a shock because within pages, I practically wanted to shout “YES! THIS IS MY LIFE!” It’s been very interesting, though there are places I feel like the analysis gets a bit muddled, but nothing’s perfect, I suppose. Still, a very interesting read. I’m hoping to have this one done within the coming week. [[LIBRARY]]

The Cat Whisperer — ~60 pages left — I skipped around in this one, focusing on the cat behavioral issues I was dealing with at the time, so I’m going back now to round-out the experience and read through some of the sections not directly pertinent. I was looking forward to the Aggression section, because Oz often expressed aggression towards Mei, but now without Mei it’s less important. I’ve been stalling on this book for months now, simply because the advice offered in the Peeing-Outside-The-Box section was actually really helpful, so it hasn’t been as urgently front-and-center. (I’m apparently obsessed with dashes-for-extended-titles, too…)

Sputnik Sweetheart — Chapter 5 — This is my other CHOICE READ currently, because seriously, did you think I’d go more than a few months without reading a Murakami novel? HAHAHA, yeah, no. I’m enjoying this one for the same reason I enjoy any Murakami novel–the sense of place, the thoughtful/brooding characters, the cultural references to books/music/etc.–but it hasn’t quite swept me off my feet like 1Q84 or Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki or Kafka or Windup Bird did. It’s also rather light on the weird/speculative element I enjoy in his work, but that hardly precludes it from being an enjoyable read, as always. :) [[LIBRARY]]

So, that’s it for now! I’m sure quite a few of these will be on the list the next time I check in, because the one problem with poly-reading is that it makes me slow to complete things. :) It’s always something, right?


*[[LIBRARY]]–Just an indicator to myself so that I remember which ones I really need to put pressure on finishing, because otherwise I’ll run out my renewals and have to bring it back before I’m ready. The ones I own are probably more likely to suffer a slowdown based on how many library books I’ve got checked out at any one time.

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