Since I've wrapped up some of the books I was reading, I've been dipping into a bunch of other ones to see what I might read next. I mean, technically I'm still in the middle of four books, but The Prince is going to be sitting on the back burner till I finish it, and The Girl Who Played With Fire is an audiobook, which doesn't count in the same way. So technically I'm only reading two books: Lamb and The Name of the Wind, both of which are excellent, but enormous. I need something slight to fill in the cracks, you know?
So first I looked at my pile and made some decisions. For example, I'm going to put Lamb on the back burner until I go on vacation on Tuesday. It'll be an excellent book to lie in the sun and read for two or three hours in a row. I'm also taking Mistress of the Art of Death, by Ariana Franklin, and Jovah's Angel, by Sharon Shinn with me. Those, plus maybe one or two others, should get me through my four day trip.
Of those that are left, what should I read? I've started four or five books in the past couple of days, just to see what takes. So far it looks like The Shape-Changer's Wife, by Sharon Shinn, is a contender, mostly because I've been reading it for about an hour and a half and am a quarter of the way through. Also because I love Sharon Shinn a whole bunch. I think she's my new choice of The Author Whose Work I Wish I Could Have Produced. The Shape-Changer's Wife is her first, I'm pretty sure, and it's not as rich as a lot of her other books, but it's still a pleasure to read.
But then there's The Invisible Gorilla, by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, which is one of those books about psychologists running a bunch of experiments, which are such fun. It's not the best of them--it could be a lot tighter. It's like they did a great job of learning how to write for a popular audience in every way, except for the academic need to explain your conclusions in every possible way of phrasing them so that no one can pretend you didn't explain it well enough. I'm in it for the clever experiments; you don't need to end every single paragraph by explaining that we all hold erroneous assumptions about how our minds work. By the fourth or fifth time, I've got it.
Or how about Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, by Alexander McCall Smith? The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books are always light and pleasing. Or The Passage, by Justin Cronin? Vampire/zombie dystopia with a really promising first chapter. Or the second Sharing Knife book, Legacy, by Lois McMaster Bujold? Picks up right where the first one left off!
I did manage to rule some stuff out in this little expedition. There was a book, Bonechiller, that I just pulled off the shelf randomly a few weeks ago. I finally picked it up, and the first few pages really didn't speak to me. I won't say it didn't look good, but it didn't look good enough to me to bother with right now. And Birthmarked, which I had been kind of looking forward to, somehow didn't catch my eye. I might try it again sometime--it's one of those ones that has all the elements that would make you set me up on a blind date with it--future dystopia, midwives, girl finding her power, fellow alumna author. But it's got a waiting list at the library, and I know I won't finish it before it's due. And somehow, that doesn't bother me right now.
So I'm leaving for vacation on Tuesday! Just me--Mike and Adam are staying home. I don't know how that will go, but I'm pretty excited. I'm going with Linden's family, and I know that these trips to the lake involve pretty much swimming, canoeing, eating, and reading. Which is all of my most favorite things in the whole wide world. I'm so excited that I almost feel guilty.
Hopefully I'll get past that.