I have a reading problem.
It’s amazing the number of ways that statement could be interpreted…
(And yes, those are my TBR shelves…or at least two of the three…but the third one is really just a single cube shelf…) But no, what I really mean is, I have this problem where I can’t ever be reading just one book at once. The only exception is if I happen to pick up a book that is so good I read the entire thing in one sitting.
So this means I’m reading multiple books right now. Even more so because a few of them are real chunkers.
Through the Shadowlands by Julie Rehmeyer (2017). 60% complete per Goodreads out of 288 pages. Excellent book about the author’s struggle with ME/CFS and her quest to discover what triggered the illness for her. I really am enjoying this book. Rehmeyer is a science writer and really knows how to turn a phrase. I love her style. I got to a point, though, where once the trigger had been discovered and there was still almost half the book left, I found myself needing a break. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great book! I feel like I am ready to start reading it again. But I needed something different for a week or so.
The Plantagenets by Dan Jones (2012). 70% complete per Goodreads out of 534 pages. I really love this book because I am literally a direct descendant of the Plantagenet line through Edward III’s youngest son, Thomas. (Edward III himself is my 21st great-grandfather.) Plus, as an American, it gives me a chance to learn about the history of another country, especially one in which I am so genetically rooted. (Thank you, AncestryDNA.) But I think it is because of the relation that I found myself needing to take a break. Some of the events described in the book are quite, shall we say, barbaric. Not necessarily unusual for the time, with notable exceptions, but still enough to make you grimace. And there is, of course, sheer idiocy that makes me face palm and feel ashamed that I’m related to these people at all! But I think I just feel the events more, just by knowing that these are my ancestors. I mean, I’m literally reading my family tree. I’m not sure when I’ll pick this one back up, even though I’m so close to the end.
We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter (2017). 18% complete per Goodreads out of 416 pages. This one I just started about a week ago as a way to ease myself back into some historical fiction after taking a break. I like this one because it’s based on the author’s own ancestors, so it’s historical with factual events based on what she uncovered evidence for, with some fiction to fill in the gaps. Meaning, it reads as perfect historical fiction, but is based on actual people and events with less contriving than with most novels of this genre. This one I am actively reading, although I haven’t picked it up in a few days.
Ravensbruck by Sarah Helm (2015). 27% complete per Goodreads out of 768 pages. This book. Oh, this book. My soul cries every time I pick it up. Not to mention there’s a woman on the cover who I honestly look exactly like. (Fifth from left, to the left of the left post.) See her? It even scared the crap out of my husband when I handed him the book and told him to look at the cover. I started it way back on February 4th and apparently hadn’t touched it since February 11th when I picked it up again last week. That’s because this is a very difficult book to get through because of the subject matter. You can only read so much about real people and real events from concentration camps before you need to step away. And the author doesn’t even remotely sugar coat or gloss over anything. It’s real and raw and shocking. I would say this is a must-read for everyone as a dose of “wake the hell up and look around you.” I have a feeling this book is going to take me a very long time to finish. And that woman on the cover…she was real…and she survived to the end.