Several at once

A few years ago, I had the crazy idea to start reading from a number of “top 100” lists, such the Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels List and the BBC Big Read List. I felt like I was in a bit of a reading rut, and I also felt like my education had some literature holes (e.g. I have still never read any Jane Austen, though at least I’m familiar with the plots to some of her work), so I thought the list was a good way to fill those holes.

Well, that idea didn’t pan out as expected.

Turns out my brain can’t handle reading that many things outside my comfort zone at once. (It also can’t handle having only one book in progress, apparently.) So, I’ve taken to having at least three books in progress at any given time. One is always a children’s or young adult book, as I’ve mentioned before; sometimes this is one I’ve read before and sometimes it isn’t. Another is general fiction, and the third is one from – you guessed it – one of the top 100 lists. Occasionally I’ll have a fourth book in progress, and this can be anything – nonfiction, graphic novel, whatever.

This kind of makes for slower finishes, but it does mean that if I can always pick up something to suit my mood. So if I want to read but am not in the mood for, say, zombies, I can go back to The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope (a selection from the Observer’s 100 Greatest Novels of All Time list).

So, what else am I reading now, anyway? Well, I’m continuing with the Oz series and I’m on the seventh book, The Patchwork Girl of Oz (more thoughts on these books to come!). Also, I’m working on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Yes, I know I’m doing it backwards since I’ve never read any Jane Austen. But whatever, that’s how I roll, and I’m enjoying it anyway, so there!

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