I often read several books at once - not simultaneously, but I may have a book upstairs in the bedroom, and another one by the couch downstairs. This is usually because I don't feel like carrying a book with me from one floor to the other, from one room to the other; or I'll forget the book while it's on another floor. (It's not that I won't carry a book around with me wherever I go - I've been known to carry my Kindle around in my purse if I'm doing a lot of errands that require waiting, like going to the doctor or the mechanic; rather, around the house, it seems a bit silly if I have more than one book available.
In any case, I'm slowly making my way through several books at the moment:
- Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church: The LDS church permeates local culture - not surprisingly; short of reading The Book of Mormon, which I'm not especially interested in reading, I'm finding it interesting because Losting a Lost Tribe was written by a geneticist who was former Saint, so historical background that explains the theological thinking is included. To my mind it's rather obvious that religious texts are not scientific texts and should not be taken literally, and it always manages to startle me when I encounter those who agree with the Biblical view of evolution, the creation of the universe, or, in this case, Native Americans being the descendants of a lost tribe of Israel.
- Mormon Sisters: Women in Early Utah: Again, interesting from a historical standpoint, since Utah history is so inexorably tied to early Mormon history. I didn't read the entire book, which was written in essay form, but I especially enjoyed the chapters on midwives, early teachers, and polygamy. (Polygamy especially is really easy to judge, but explained in a more historical context in which statistics and a broader picture was painted, it's certainly easier to understand, whether or not one accepts it.)
- Love Times Three: Our True Story of a Polygamous Marriage: This one is certainly much lighter and easier to read than the other two; it's also entirely coincidental that I happen to be reading three non-fictional books that have to do with LDS. (They all came in through interlibrary loan at the same time.) When children are not being coerced, hearing the relevant context is helping me understand that which is such a big part of local and state history. (I feel that I should add that I am certainly not endorsing polygyny, but my viewpoint has been a bit skewed.)
- Reamde: Because I've never read Neal Stephenson before, and so far (the few pages I've managed to read) look promising, but one could take someone out with this book, it's got so many pages.