Part 1: Catch-up Report on The Big Read project
Finished yesterday: book #90 for the year, The Provincial Lady in London (E.M. Delafield), a humorous novel in diary form, from the 1930s; and book #91, Glacial Lake Missoula and Its Humongous Floods (David Alt), a very dry and dull account -- read Bretz's Flood by John Soennischen instead if you want to know about this fascinating topic.
Catching Up Report: Books read in the 2nd half of January 2014
Audubon Nature Encyclopedia, volume 3 (a set from the 1960s aimed at families)
Birds Across the Sky (Florence Page Jaques)
Florence and her artist husband Francis traveled in many northern U.S. and lower Canadian wilderness areas in the 1930s - 50s and wrote/illustrated a number of delightful books focused on keen observations of nature.
Birds Do It, Too! (Kit & George Harrison) -- sex lives of birds, unfortunately marred by "cutesy" humor
The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (Alan Bradley) -- mystery set in 1950s Britain featuring 11-going-on-12-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce, who is akin to a budding Sherlock Holmes -- this series should be read in order, starting with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Hamlet, Revenge! (Michael Innes) -- mystery, classic British puzzle-style mystery set in aristocratic home
Three Times Lucky (Sheila Turnage) -- middle-grade novel with a distinctive Southern U.S. flavor, about orphan Mo LeBeau and her search for answers to many mysteries; humorous, with eccentric characters, very well told
Triple Witch (Sarah Graves) -- mystery set in contemporary Maine -- I've given up on this series now
Part 2: Reading Habits
I am incapable of reading one book at a time. I've tried, honest I have, but with a few rare exceptions for page-turning, gripping novels, I just can't do it. There are different reading moods and locations that require different books, and I also like variety -- or maybe it's a lack of ability to stay focused...no, I rather prefer the "loves variety" reason!
So I typically have going, at the same time:
The Bus Book -- something light to read during my work commute, often a mystery novel or other fiction
The Lunch Hour Book -- usually nonfiction for a more uninterrupted span of time
The Evening Books -- often I switch back and forth between the Bus Book and the Lunch Hour Book while a baseball game is on TV. I grew up with television and like having it on, but as background, something I don't need to pay great attention to, and sports in general are perfect for this, baseball being the best. I can read, and only need to look up when I hear the crack of the bat.
The Nightstand Book -- This is intended to be read until I grow drowsy enough to fall asleep, so is always something very dull or a re-read of an old favorite so that it doesn't matter if I nod off and forget what I just read.
Out of a vague sense of propriety, I shall refrain from discussing The Bathroom Book.