Wednesday, December 10, 2014


As Goodreads likes to remind me every time they send me an update, I am currently reading four different books. That's... probably not a good idea, all in all. And I expect that I'll soon be starting a fifth book, still without finishing the other four, because at this point, why not?

So, what am I "currently reading"?

In early November, I started reading Bauchelain and Korbal Broach by Steven Erikson because it's been on my shelf for a while and I thought it might be some inspiration for my own novel writing. Of course, time spent reading is not time spent writing, so that wasn't really sustainable.

In mid-to-late November, I realized that one of the book clubs on Goodreads was reading To Ride Hell's Chasm by Janny Wurts, and besides the usual discussion, they had Janny involved, answering questions. I really like her Wars of Light and Shadow series and like her as an author, so I wanted to join in the discussion. But, of course, November was devoted to writing, not reading. I listened to the first three chapters, which were available on a podcast, and I like it so far... but then the discussion and author Q&A was over. And, as you'll see, other books elbowed their way in.

While driving to Thanksgiving, Lauren and I started listening to an audiobook, Ken Follett's Fall of Giants. We both enjoyed his Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, and as a bonus I've been listening to an awesome podcast called Hardcore History, specifically I've been listening to the series on World War I. Fall of Giants, then, has been a very good fit. So when it comes to listening to something, it's been this one. Reading without reading.

Another Goodreads book club, it turns out, is reading Steven Erikson's Forge of Darkness this month. So, in a way, it comes full circle, reading what's sort of Erikson's equivalent to Tolkien's Silmarillion, rather than my initial selection of stories contemporaneous to Erikson's landmark Malazan Book of the Fallen series.

But it turns out that I'm kind of a bad person, at least if you look down on things like buying a book for someone as a Christmas present and reading it before giving it away. Somewhere in the mail, I have headed to me a book for a friend that I also want to read, so I'll probably blitz through that so I can get it in the mail in time for Christmas. It is Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion by Sam Harris. As detailed in this post I have a longstanding interest in meditation and yoga, but both of those practices can have a tendency toward woo-woo mushy thinking. I'm interested, then, in "spirituality" or "spiritual practice" that's grounded in science and a certain skepticism.

But I'm really going to have to read it quickly. And then I can get to the other four books.

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