"How many books ARE you reading," asked my husband. He reads one book at a time along with his favorite periodicals. I, on the other hand am reading at least three books at a given time, and often more than that.
Learning to read was one of the most exciting events of my life. I do not remember exactly when that happened, but I know that I instantly became an avid reader from that day forward. As a child, I devoured the Lois Lenski books, the Nancy Drew books, and the "Little House" books. All right, I admit it...I'm so old I also read the Bobbsey Twins. But I was really young at the time.
While my taste in books has become more sophisticated over the years, my love for reading hasn't diminished at all. When I was working full time, I bought books throughout the year to read on vacation. Now that I have retired, I can read almost as much as I want. It's wonderful.
Right now I am reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. It is the first book of a trilogy, and Larsson died shortly after completing the three manuscripts. Translated from the Swedish language in which it was written, this book is a barn burner. The plot is absolutely engrossing with great characters and delightfully twisting plots. It is definitely not a book to read at bedtime. I am loving every page.
Another book in process is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a non-fiction book by Rebecca Skloot. I have known about HeLa cells since my days in college, but until recently I had no idea the origin of the name, nor the background information of their existence. HeLa (named for the first two letters of Henrietta Lacks) cells were the first cells to continue to grow and divide outside the human body. Discovered in 1951, they have been used for scientific study to benefit all of us.
While not the best-written book I have come across, the story is nonetheless quite interesting. The book tells the story of Henrietta Lacks and gives a good view of medicine and our culture in the '50s. The cells of Henrietta Lacks live on, continue to divide, and continue to be used in research. For years the family was unaware of the use of her cells and the controversy regarding the ethics of the use is central to the book. There is a monetary issue as well, since HeLa cells are grown and sold commercially with no remuneration to the surviving family.
Finally, my "pick up and put down but don't take with you to a doctor's appointment" book is Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. The book details the 2008 presidential election. If half the book is true, it will dramatically change some of your perceptions about politics in general and the campaign in specific. The book confirms many of your opinions about the individual players, and some of your heroes may be portrayed as shrews.