Friday, September 11, 2015

Currently Reading

As is usual with me, I can't really just read one book at a time. Right now I've got three going. These are:

1. Who's Afraid of Marie Curie?, by Linley Erin Hall. This is subtitled: "The Challenges Facing Women in Science and Technology." Given that the vast majority of my students at Xavier University of Louisiana are women, I thought it a good idea. I found the first chapter very general but it has improved as the author has begun to focus more on actual research.

This book is my "school" reading, meaning that I generally only read it while at school, such as during my lunch hour or between my afternoon classes, or when I'm giving a test to students. During the school year I always have one of these books going, always nonfiction and related either to my field or to academia in general.

2. "The Axe" by Donald Westlake. I'm enjoying it quite a lot. I've classified it as a thriller. I think the basic plot, while very simple, is rather ingenious. I don't want to give it away. The book itself reveals it pretty early. (My copy has a solid black cover)

This is my "primary" read at home, which means I'm mostly focused on reading this whenever I get a few moments, such as while in the bathroom, while 'watching' TV, while cooking, or just before bed. I always have one such book going. About eighty percent of the time this book is fiction, but nonfiction might fall here as well, particularly if I'm reading nonacademic stuff such as musician or author biographies.

3. Luana, by Alan Dean Foster. This is a novelization of the movie. Foster does a lot of novelizations and does them well. I've never seen the movie but it was clearly supposed to be kind of a female Tarzan concept. Luana's plane crashes and she is raised by a pair of animal mothers, one a chimp and the other a panther. At least that's how the book starts. The movie is on you tube but I don't plan to watch it anytime soon.

This is my "secondary" read at home. I'll typically read about three times as many pages in my primary read as in my secondary, but I switch off between the two. Not sure why I do this but I've gotten into the habit of it. I think part of it is that I'm always looking forward to my next read, and hoping it will be one of those 'knock your socks off' books. I don't find a whole lot of those, though, so I pick up a fresh book before I'm finished with the one I'm on.


sage said...

The first book sounds interesting, especially since I have a 17 year old daughter who enjoys and does well in science even though she thinks she'll go more into a social science field.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Loved THE AXE. One of his best books.

Cloudia said...

Thanks for the tips!


Stephanie Faris said...

Curious about the second book there--I see the World Trade Center towers there.

Rick Robinson said...

I often have more than one book going at a time, maybe a mystery, a science fiction or fantasy novel, and a short story collection or anthology.

BernardL said...

That is as varied a three book list as I've seen. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Sage, it's got some interesting stuff in it. The first chapter was weak but now it's getting into more data.

Patti, it's certainly holding my attention.

Cloudia, cool.

Stephanie, that's actually not the cover of the copy I'm reading. But it does have to with financial issues and economic downturn.

Richard, I also always have a short story collection to "fall back on"

Bernard, it's strange. In music and TV I tend to like only certain things, but I'll read just about anything and enjoy it.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, I got a couple of Donald E. Westlake novels I plan to read sometime this year. The author would be a first for me.

Riot Kitty said...

Mr. RK reads a few books at a time, too. I can only handle one. My brain gets too full ;)

the walking man said...

Before computers and blogging and online news sources I was the same way, though I did all of technical reading of service manuals on the clock sitting on th alignment hoist right in front of the foreman's office. there were more comfortable places but I liked to piss them off by "not doing anything."

I read only a tenth the amount I did a decade ago but I have a medical reason for that; on the other hand I can't intelligently discuss new works, I remember well enough the thousands of books I have read since it became more than a tedious thing third grade made me do "to learn by rote" what i already was capable of doing.

As I said before I could read by age 3 and was surrounded by books,periodical, newspapers, hundreds of them no matter which relative's house I was at and restricted from nothing.

Three books is a good number Charles, you may switch back and forth between your secondary and third choice but you're also allowing your brain to work as it should, honing it as can.

Charles Gramlich said...

Prashant, I came to Westlake late as well but have really been enjoying his work.

Riot Kitty, my brain is generally empty you see, so I have room. :)

Mark, I figure it can't hurt to keep the old noggin at work. And I try fairly frequently to read stuff that requires a bit of work to get through.

Erik Donald France said...

Cool, Charles ~ I dig it! I do exactly the same kind of thing, but with no pattern or thought of book type. What can I say? I'm left-handed and don't classify like this at all. I find this interesting because I know a dude who classifies his "LinkedIn" connections like you classify books, with logical breakdowns.

In any case, we can all agree that Reading Books = Good ~!!!!!

Charles Gramlich said...

Erik, I think I'm a frustrated Linnaeaun. I love to classify stuff.

Chris said...

I generally have four going at the same time. A "primary" read, one going on my phone (for those middle of the night/can't sleep reads, waiting somewhere, etc.), an audio book when driving around, and a fourth, usually an anthology of one kind or another, that I try and read an offering from every day.

jodi said...

Charles-How do you do that? I can only read one book at a time. I get too attached to the characters and feel a crazy 'loyalty'. Nuts I know, but I've always read that way.