Now that I've finished my masters at Pacifica I've had the opportunity to read with a lot more breadth than before. It's fun reading fiction again. Some recent reads are:
1. The Historian: I just finished rereading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. It was a big deal when it came out a couple of years ago-the author got a $2m advance for it. I loved it, actually. I buzzed through it in 3 days-didn't get anything else done. This time around, I wanted to reread it to see what she was doing that I liked so much-what kept me going on to the next chapter, and then the next. I also was able to notice when I started skimming (somewhere around page 500 or so).
2. A Short History of Myth: I finally got around to reading Karen Armstrong's take on myth. It's a small book, only about 130 pages, part of Canongate Books "The Myths" series. She has some good insights on myth and why it's important in human culture. I've been a big fan of Ms. Armstrong's ever since I read The Battle for God a few years ago, and I was really excited to hear what she had to say about my favorite subject. I did a lot of highlighting, which is always a good sign.
3. Succubus Blues: A couple of years ago I attended a writers workshop up in Vancouver, and I met a writer named Richelle Mead there. A few months later I met her again at the Pacific Northwest Writer's Association annual conference. She was trying to find an agent for her novel Succubus Blues. I got an email from her last fall, where she told me that not only had she sold Succubus Blues, but that she has three book series under contract! Maybe there is hope for me after all. Anyway, Succubus Blues finally came out this spring, and I got it read a couple of weeks ago. I really liked it-it was a fun read, sort of a romantic/fantasy/comedy, set in Seattle. Since it's set primarily in Queen Anne, I tried to convince her to include my favorite coffee shop El Diablo in the book, but she stuck with her invented locales. Author's perogative, I suppose. :)
4. Sake and Satori: Sake and Satori is Joseph Campbell's travel journal through Japan and other parts of the Far East, from when he traveled there in the 1950's. Since Ron and I are planning a trip to Japan to visit his sister soon, I thought it would be fun to read Campbell's take on the culture. Haven't finished it yet, but I'm enjoying seeing an informal, unguarded side of Campbell through these journals.
5. Tropic of Night: I've also been rereading Tropic of Night, by Michael Gruber, another book I read a few years ago and loved, because it's about shamanism and sorcery, which is tangentially related to my book. It's also interesting to read it again now after my graduate work, especially the class on African and African Diaspora Traditions, as there is so much in it about the Yoruba, divination, Santeria, voudoun, and other cultural aspects of that part of the world. I'll tell you, he really did his research. It's an incredible read, even the second time through, but dark, very dark. Not for the faint of heart.