Feb 01

How many books can I possibly read at once? A veritable blizzard of books with “snow” in the title! And two books we can’t wait for you to read: Swamplandia! by Karen Russell and Open City by Teju Cole.

Embracing Book Polygamy

We know that some of you read several books at once and some of you are strictly a-book-at-a-time. I’ve always been able to read a couple of books at a time, but lately, I’ve been reading five books. I’m not sure why or how, but it’s really working for me. Ann can read multiple books as long as they are different genres or in different formats (i.e. two print books as long as one is fiction and one is non-fiction, plus an audio book, plus an e-book). If you’re a multiple reader, what’s your strategy for juggling and what’s the biggest number you’ve had going at once?

Snow Books for Snow Days (6:03)

Ann and I have snow on the brains, mostly because, here in the Northeast, the flakes just won’t stop! So here are some books that have “snow” in the title:

What are your favorite books with “snow” in the title?

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (21:03)

Karen Russell, author of the amazingly-named short story collection St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves is back with her first novel, Swamplandia! (and yes, the exclamation point is part of the title!). It’s the story of a dilapidated alligator wrestling theme park in the Florida Everglades, run by the eccentric Bigtree family. My colleague Ron is in love with Open City by Teju Cole, so I’m recommending it to you here. It’s the story of Julius a Nigerian born man, now a graduate student living in New York City. He escapes the stresses of the day by wandering the city at night, examining his life and his relationships. Check out the author’s website to see his schedule of events.

  • The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin is amazing, although also depressing. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder is a perennial favorite.

    • Anonymous

      The Long Winter is actually one of the few books of hers that is primarily based in fact. A lot of the story is true, say for a few things that happen in the book.

  • You do have “The Snowman” but I remember “The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs a famous kids book turned into a wonderful animated film.Briggs by the way said in an Guardian interview that he is tired of it.Too bad.BTW a good idea for your podcast is…Books by authors who say that they are tired of the one book that they are famous for.As for how many books I can read at one time.i think that I am doing that now.Reading W & Peace and
    Neil Gaiman’s”The Graveyard Book”which I will not stop reading.ger

  • I read incredibly slow yet since I now have an iPad I am able to bounce from different books. So I read print, a book on the iPad and an audiobook. Right now I have Hunger Games starting tomorrow in print, I’m re-reading Eat, Love, Pray on the iPad and I will also be starting the audiobook of American Gods. At least that’s the plan. We’ll see how it goes. đŸ™‚

  • What about “Smilla’s Sense of Snow”?

    I am juggling way too many books, between my Nook, audiobooks for my commute, library requests all arriving at the same time, and all the great recommendations from you guys. I think I need to limit myself to one library book, one audio book, and one nook book in order to finish anything in a timely fashion.

  • What about “Smilla’s Sense of Snow”?

    I am juggling way too many books, between my Nook, audiobooks for my commute, library requests all arriving at the same time, and all the great recommendations from you guys. I think I need to limit myself to one library book, one audio book, and one nook book in order to finish anything in a timely fashion.

  • Cindy P.

    I am so glad you brought in the Outlander series. While all seven books are filled with fascinating history and rich stories, the character Jamie Fraser is single-handedly responsible for jump starting the libidos of so many women. There are FB groups, websites and a whole sub-culture of crazed fans for this book and character. Diana is one of the greatest storytellers.

  • There is enough snow on the ground outside, I don’t need it in my reading! I’m looking for books with heat. That said, I’m alternating between Ron Chernow’s biography of George Washington and Jaimy Gordon’s “Lord of Misrule.” To compliment “Lord of Misrule”, a great horse racing novel, I am watching “Secretariat.”

  • SEY

    Another storm so finally got to hear your “SNOW” show, enjoyed it but shame on you both for not reading Snow Falling on Cedars-to the top of the TBR pile!
    Many books set in New England & Canada feature snow heavily-pardon the pun. Louise Penney’s Bury Your Dead, her latest mystery, set in a Quebec winter, is wonderful. Listening to it on audio. To keep warm I have Cleopatra by Tracy Schiff, a sublime gift for NF( Now we all really need to learn more about Egypt.) Had to set it aside though to read Justin Cronins’s The Widower’s Tale from the library for book group, just finished a part where they went xcountry skiing, cool.
    Always have at least three books going and try to keep them distinct like Ann – audio, library, own – but usually have at least five I’m into at any one time, then you all give me more…..such a problem…

  • Jana

    My siblings and I are very far apart in age. A few summers ago we were gathered together and we found out we ALL read many, many books at once. I usually have 7-8 going. It’s never a problem unless they are too similar. I was having a bit of a problem multi-tasking A Visit from the Goon Squad with Day for Night…both short stories that are connected in some way.

    I usually have a few ‘real’ books going; one on my phone Kindle; one on my phone called iFlow (which I LOVE to read, it’s my favorite phone app); and always an audible.com via my phone. Right now I think I’m down to 6, one being War & Peace.

    It’s interesting to hear from other multi-readers. I don’t know any others except my family, but apparently we’re out there!

  • Love the theme. Interesting how many meanings the word “snow” took on besides the obvious. As for Snow Crash, it’s positively eerie how relevant it continues to be. He was already exposing the importance of bandwidth control and user generated content, critiquing globalization and the digital divide. In 1992!!! Not to mention it was the direct inspiration for Second Life.

  • Love the theme. Interesting how many meanings the word “snow” took on besides the obvious. As for Snow Crash, it’s positively eerie how relevant it continues to be. He was already exposing the importance of bandwidth control and user generated content, critiquing globalization and the digital divide. In 1992!!! Not to mention it was the direct inspiration for Second Life.

  • hannah

    I can easily read 4 or more books at the same time and have no problem switching back and forth. I don’t usually do this for whatever reason. Lately I’m really slow in finishing nonfiction books so I’ll read them over a course of several months whereas I can devour a novel in matter of days. If I read several books in the same subgenre (such as cozy mysteries or historical romance) the details of each book sometimes blend together a bit. For that reason, I’d like to try to alternate genres more often, unless I start reading a series that’s just too good to stop!

    I was going to mention the Outlander series as a recommendation for an excellent audiobook (the unabridged versions in particular narrated by Davina Porter) Looks like you’ve already read the series, though.

  • Patricia Snyder

    Any list which centers on “snow” has to contain Orhan Pamuk’s “Snow” and Peter Hoeg’s “Smilla’s Sense of Snow.” They are both international classics.

  • Awolverton

    I normally read/listen to five or six at a time: one novel, one non-fiction (both actual books), one graphic novel, one audiobook on CD in my car, another audiobook on my iPod for running or doing things around the house, and maybe a short story collection or anthology (in print). Chaotic, but I don’t know any other way!

  • I used to be a monogamist, but these days I’m usually juggling 3-4. I read one fiction, one non-fiction, and one audio. I do read some on an ereader, but I don’t differentiate on that basis. Sometimes I have a fourth one going if I’m not particularly invested in a book I’m reading for one of my book groups–particularly if it is non-fiction.

  • Linda

    I reached a high at one point of juggling 8 books at the same time. At this precise moment, I’m only working on 4 actively – I have a few others I have temporarily put down.

    Note about the Gabaldon series, “A Breath of Snow and Ashes” is number 6 of the 7 published. I turn my nose up when someone says “romance” (I live it, not read it!), but these are so much more. I encourage anyone to read one. Ms. Gabaldon does her homework as far as the history – I know because she included one of MY ancestors in one of the books. If that wasn’t a thrill to read!

  • Linda

    I reached a high at one point of juggling 8 books at the same time. At this precise moment, I’m only working on 4 actively – I have a few others I have temporarily put down.

    Note about the Gabaldon series, “A Breath of Snow and Ashes” is number 6 of the 7 published. I turn my nose up when someone says “romance” (I live it, not read it!), but these are so much more. I encourage anyone to read one. Ms. Gabaldon does her homework as far as the history – I know because she included one of MY ancestors in one of the books. If that wasn’t a thrill to read!

  • Anonymous

    I am currently juggling 7 books at the moment. One is a book club book, one is for the war and peace read-a-long, one is an audiobook, and the others are books I want to read for various reasons. Seems the book club book and war and peace are winning out as my main reads at the moment.

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