A friend recently sent me an article on the types of readers. ‘You’re a polygamist reader!’ she declared.
I paused a second, baffled by the term. Did that make me a Mormon? I’d describe myself as obsessive-compulsive and easily distracted rather than a polygamist reader. However, after I’d read the article, I agreed.
Oddly enough, the term fits. I’m the type to have too many books on my ‘Currently Reading’ list. What I’m reading rapidly shifts based on my mood, what I happen across in second hand stores and friend’s recommendations. My Goodread’s ‘To Read’ list acts mostly as an overpriced bookmark for the multiple books I’m trying to finish this month. So, I’ve decided to put it to good use. The books below can be found lurking in my handbag, sitting on my dining table, and on my bedside table as I frantically flip pages and try to progress a little further each and every day. I’ll finish them all one day! And I’ll always take recommendations.
I’m Currently Reading
Vested Interests: Cross Dressing and Cultural Anxiety by Marjorie Garber
Progress: 10 pages / Just started
Why am I reading it? I found it in Elizabeth’s Second Hand Bookstore in Newtown. After doing a number of courses on gender in medieval history, the chapters on cross dressing saints appealed to my research focus. It’s promising so far.
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamon
Progress: 97 pages / A few weeks in
Why am I reading it? Another find in Elizabeth’s Second Hand Bookstore in Newtown. A number of people have recommended it as an important historical work of the twentieth century, however, it has been criticised for racism. I’ll withhold judgment until I’ve finished it.
Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty by Nancy L. Etcoff
Progress: 94 pages / A few weeks in
Why am I reading it? Elizabeth’s Second Hand Bookstore in Newtown is my second home from the look of things.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Progress: 100ish pages / A month in
Why am I reading it? Recommended and loaned by a friend. A modern fantasy, full of intrigue and magic. I’m rather enjoying it. If you enjoy modern fantasy and stage magic, you should read this book. And then you should try the TV show The Magicians (based on Lev Grossman’s books of the same name).
Bedlam: London and its Mad by Catharine Arnold
Progress: 16 pages / I’ll get back to it soon
Why am I reading it? Stolen from a friend’s bookshelf. An interesting history of Bedlam, I really need to devote more time to. I’m fascinated by the history of mental illness and early modern medicine and Bedlam is a perfect melting pot of both.
Tribal Science: Brains, Beliefs and Bad Ideas by Mike McRae
Progress: 34% / I’ll get back to it soon
Why am I reading it? I bought this on my Kindle after it was recommended to me. Social beliefs and biases are pretty critical to the history of science and it’s an intriguing exploration. I need to finish it soon!
The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas L. Friedman
Progress: 63 pages / I’ll get back to it soon
Why am I reading it? An interesting look at 21st century global economics and the effects of the global economy on everyone, not just the Western world. Yet another book I found in Elizabeth’s. The benefits of outsourcing on third world countries was something I’d not considered and is actually quite interesting. I’d recommend it!
The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution by Faramerz Dabhoiwal
Progress: 62 pages / I’ll get back to it soon
Why am I reading it? This is a really good book. Beginning with the transition from medieval attitudes to the modern, it discusses the policing of morality and punishment for transgressors, providing a variety of evidence of medieval and early modern legislature and literature. I’m keen to read more by Dabhoiwal, as he is highly recommended. First, though, I need to finish this!
Second Variety and Other Classic Stories by Philip K Dick
Progress: 342 pages / I’ll get back to it soon
Why am I reading it? Stolen from a friend’s bookshelf. Phillip K Dick is one of my favourite sci fi authors. I’ve not yet started Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep but that is also lurking on my shelf.
False Impression by Jeffrey Archer
Progress: ?? pages / I’ll get back to it soon
Why am I reading it? Borrowed from an ex’s bookshelf. I need to return it soon actually. A typical Archer crime novel which also focuses on classical art and forgery, which I find fascinating.
Pet Sematary by Stephen King
Progress: ?? pages / I’ll get back to it soon
Why am I reading it? I’m a bit of a Stephen King fan. Creepy, with elements of Native Indian myths, it’s a good read so far (what I’ve read of it in iBooks). I don’t know why I didn’t finish it!