Monday, July 26, 2010

Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: Reading Books Parallel

A post on Monday. That is not usual for me. But felt the need to talk a bit about my latest reading experience.

I read two books parallel:
The Dream of Perpetual Motion
(2010, 432 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-0312558154] by Dexter Palmer

"A wonderfully imagined debut novel about a greeting card writer who must come to terms with the madness of a genius inventor and his quest to create the perpetual motion machine.
Imprisoned aboard a zeppelin that floats above a city reminiscent of those of the classic films Metropolis and Brazil, the greeting card writer Harold Winslow is composing his memoirs. His companions are the only woman he has ever loved, who has gone insane, and the cryogenically frozen body of her father, the devilish genius who drove her mad. The tale of Harold’s decades-long thwarted love is also one in which he watches technology transform his childhood home from a mere burgeoning metropolis to a waking dream, in which the wellheeled have mechanical men for servants, deserted islands can exist within skyscrapers, and the worlds of fairy tales can be built from scratch. And as he heads toward a final, desperate confrontation with the mad inventor, he discovers that he is an unwitting participant in the creation of the greatest invention of them all-the perpetual motion machine." [Source]

The Edge of the World (pb, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0316004190] by Kevin J Anderson.
"Terra Incognita - the blank spaces on the map, past the edge of the known world only by the words here be monsters.
Two nations at war, fighting for dominion over the world, pin their last hopes of ultimate victory on finding a land out of legend.
Each will send its ships to brave the untamed waters, wild storms, sea serpents, and darker dangers unseen by any man. It is a perilous undertaking, but there will always be the impetuous, the brave, and the mad, willing to leave their homes to explore unknown. Even unto the edge of the world ..." [Back of the book]

That leads to the question why to read several books parallel. I know people who read up to five books parallel.
My limit is three books. Coming to the why. there are two main reasons why I do it.

For me reading depends on mood. With several books I do not need to stop reading when I am not in the right mood for a book.

The other reason is part of the book itself. That sounds more mysterious than understandable. There are books where I can't read more than 30 pages a day. And The Dream of Perpetual Motion is the perfect example for that. It is a unique. extraordinary read. There is an expression in the book itself which explains nearly what I like to say:
"It is like reading two books, one with each eye, and understanding them both" [p. 113]
Let me specify it a bit more. When I read The Dream of Perpetual Motion, my sense of time slows dramatically down compared to the time around me. It is like sitting in a high-speed train and the landscape whoosh by. I don't have any problem with it. But to read The Dream of Perpetual Motion is like reading three books at the the same time. I have the impression the content of each page is tripled. That means reading 30 pages of The Dream of Perpetual Motion is like reading 90 pages in an other book!! I takes me longer to read these 30 pages than usual and to be honest I am totally filled up in a very beneficial way. So I have time to read left - after a break. Anyway I can't dive into The Dream of Perpetual Motion again on the same day. But I have time to read left AND I want to read. And that is exactly the point where a second or third book comes into play. In order to use my time for reading I need exactly a second and/or third book.
In current case I have only one more book that I read parallel: The Edge of the World. It differs a from The Dream of Perpetual Motion. But I like to read it a lot. Because it is in some ways familiar and new at the same time. In my youth I could get enough to read about the legendary expeditions of David Livingstone, Sven Hedin, Thor Heyerdahl, Roald Amundsen, Hiram Bingham, Henry Morton Stanley, Auguste Picard, Vasco da Gama, Marco Polo, Howard Carter, Heinrich Schliemann and more. Uncharted things have had my full interest. The Edge of the World reminds my of my youth. Uncharted seas are such a promise. But Kevin J. Anderson delivers much more: The whole story is based on a detailed and convincingly new world, with different peoples, a touch of magic, demons and monsters, description of societies and more. Every time I open the book, I smell the sea, I listen to the seagulls, I follow several people. I feel free and my exploratory urge awakes. And I can read more then 30 pages.

From reading point of view both books complement perfectly. A day with The Dream of Perpetual Motion and The Edge of the World is a satisfying day. The only thing I do not know at the moment is when I will finish both.
I hope soon because the next three books are waiting .....

You would like to know which ones? Here we go:

The King's Bastard (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1907519000] by Rowena Cory Daniells
"Cloaked in silent winter snow the Kingdom of Rolencia sleeps as rumours spread of new Affinity Seeps, places where untamed power wells up. By royal decree, all those afflicted with Affinity must serve the Abbey or face death. Meanwhile, King Rolen plans his jubilee, unaware that danger threatens those he loves.
Sent to the Abbey because of his innate Affinity, the King’s youngest son, Fyn, trains to become a warrior monk. Unfortunately, he’s a gentle dreamer and the other acolytes bully him. The only way he can escape them is to serve the Abbey Mystic, but his Affinity is weak.
Fiercely loyal, thirteen year-old Piro is horrified to discover she is also cursed with unwanted Affinity. It broke their mother’s heart to send Fyn away, so she hides her affliction. When Fyn confesses his troubles, Piro risks exposure to help him.
Even though Byren Kingson is only seven minutes younger than his twin, Lence, he’s never hungered for the Rolencian throne. When a Seer predicts that he will kill Lence, he laughs. But Lence Kingsheir sees Byren’s growing popularity and resents it. Enduring loyalty could be Byren’s greatest failing."

The Company (pb 2009) [ISBN-13: 978-1841495101] by K. J. Parker
"Hoping for a better life, five war veterans colonize an abandoned island. They take with them everything they could possibly need - food, clothes, tools, weapons, even wives.
But an unanticipated discovery shatters their dream and replaces it with a very different one. The colonists feel sure that their friendship will keep them together. Only then do they begin to realize that they've brought with them rather more than they bargained for.
For one of them, it seems, has been hiding a terrible secret from the rest of the company. And when the truth begins to emerge, it soon becomes clear that the war is far from over."

The Storm Guardians (pb 2010, 543 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-0982565636] by Stephen Zimmer.
"Storms break out across the world and the realms beyond, as the Convergence seeks to advance its worldwide agenda, and Diabolos unleashes great powers from the depths of the Abyss.
The Fallen Avatar Beleth’s legions pour across the boundaries of Purgatarion, even as the Night Hunt is loosed once again, in the modern world. Dagian readies for a monumental unveiling of Babylon Technology’s greatest invention, a technology that holds grave implications for every living person on the face of the world.
It is a time when the Exiles in the Middle Lands, the An-Ki, and many others are falling under the shadow of the Abyss. Guardians of all forms, great and small, must rise to resist as the storm of darkness spreads. From high school students Seth, Jonathan, and Annika, to Ian, Arianna, and the others of humankind that have been drawn into the spiraling course of events, choices with dangerous consequences have to be made.
An epic tale of resolve and heroism, The Storm Guardians takes the reader farther and deeper into the Rising Dawn Saga."

Finally I would like to know from you:

Do you read several books parallel? And if yes, I would like to know the reason why.

I hope you understand now why I have to return to The Dream of Perpetual Motion and The Edge of the World soon
Not decided yet when I will be back and with what ...........


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