What I’m Reading

So I’m reading four books right now. So is Mary. Is that a lot?

1) Sailing to Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay – Adult 2nd world fantasy.
2) The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner –  Young adult 2nd world fantasy.
3) The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides – Contemporary literary fiction.
4) The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson – Historical non-fiction.

You can see that, while I am reading four books, they all fulfill pretty different reading desires. Mary’s four books do, too – she’s reading a Victorian novel, a contemporary novel, a book of short stories, and a biography. Is this spreading out over genres by design or is it an automatic, necessary piece to be able to juggle reading more than couple of books at once? For me, it’s at least 90% the latter. Do ya’ll have any thoughts?

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2 thoughts on “What I’m Reading

  1. I’m reading…two books right now? Dune and Tender Morsels. There are several others I have left unfinished, and I guess I can’t count them as in-progress unless I actually plan to pick them back up. I definitely have a tendency to read several at once unless I’m really involved in one or don’t have the time to read more than one, like with Liar. I like your thought about the automatic nature of reading different genres at once–that seems true to me.

    (Also, I don’t know that I’ve heard the term “2nd world fantasy” before–would you define it for me?)

    • Oh! It’s a fantasy that doesn’t take place in our world, but a wholely different world – a 2nd world. It’s an umbrella term that includes high fantasy, but second world fantasy don’t necessarily have elves or a big fight between good and evil. Second world fantasies also don’t necessarily have a lot or even any magic – the fantasy is that this world exists at all. (See Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner.)

      Sabriel would still be a second world fantasy because while Ancelstierre is modeled after early 20th century England, it’s pretty clear it’s a different place. But then Stardust gets interesting. Most of the book takes place in another world, but one that is connected to *our* world. My gut says that second worlds are ones where our world doesn’t exist – it’s only ‘second’ to the reader. So what is Stardust, then? 1 1/2 world fantasy? And then what about the Golden Compass? Is that like infinite worlds fantasy? :P

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