I can't remember the last time I read one book, all at once, no matter how good the story or the writing. Instead, I read several books at the same time, jumping between one and the other. This probably makes no sense to an avid reader, but that's just the way it works for me. And I read more non-fiction than fiction by a long, long shot (even though I wish I had the time for fiction). Anyway, here's what I'm feeding my head with today:
1776 by David McCullough
This, for me, is his best book yet. I'm riveted by the sheer drama of what was at stake and I like its focus on the big picture seen through many small details. Also, it's so damn interesting the way McCullough first brings out how the colonists are viewed by the British. POV is everything.
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C.S. Forester
Started watching Hornblower on the A&E miniseries and got hooked into the character and wanted to read the books it was based on. This is Forester's first book, but it's amazing how most of the chapters ended up generating individual episodes even though they read as short stories. Really helped get my head in the nautical side of Blackbeard when I was writing that one.
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
I'm reading this one to my youngest son at bedtime. I know, I know: people dying on Mt. Everest doesn't usually qualify as a bedtime story, but he picked it, and we've both gotten hooked. What can I say? We're making the final ascent as this is posted and, even though I know people are not going to make it, I can't remember who did and who didn't. Krakauer is a brilliant writer and he's right in the middle of this one.
The Dark Side of Camelot by Seymour Hersh
I love the JFK style and the sense of optimism he brought to the country, but I am not an apologist either (neither is the hard-left Hersh). Reading this book (and a number of others out in the last decade) you come to the conclusion that some of the things Kennedy did would have gotten him impeached (or divorced) in a second term. Wrap your head around that one.
Okay, there it is. Eclectic (in a historical way) and not entirely balanced but a great set of reads all going on simultaneously. Like I asked, does anybody else read this way?