No, this isn’t some kind of multiple-book book review. This is an ungodly silly claim that I can actually read three books at once. Silly, but true.
Now I don’t claim to be a three-armed mutant with six eyes or anything. And I am relatively sure I only have one brain. But, remember, I was a school teacher who could successfully maintain a lesson thread through discussions that were supposed to be about a story by Mark Twain, but ventured off to the left into whether or not donuts were really invented by a guy who piloted a ship and stuck his pastries on the handles of the ships’ wheel, thus making the first donut holes, and then got briefly lost in the woods of a discussion about whether or not there were pirates on the Mississippi River, and who Jean Lafitte really was, and why he was not the barefoot pirate who stole Cap’n Crunch’s cereal, but finally got to the point of what the story was really trying to say. (How’s that for mastery of the compound sentence?) (Oh, so you could better? Really? You were in my class once, weren’t you.) I am quite capable of tracking more than one plot at the same time. And I am not slavishly devoted to finishing one book before I pick up the next.
I like reading things the way I eat a Sunday dinner… a little meatloaf is followed by a fork-full of mashed potatoes, then back to meat, and some green peas after that… until the whole plate is clean.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is the meatloaf. I have read it before, just as I have probably had more meatloaf in my Iowegian/Texican lifetime than any other meat dish. It’s pretty much a middle-America thing. And Treasure Island is the second book I ever read. So you can understand how easy a re-read would be. I am reading it mostly while I am sitting in the high school parking lot waiting to pick up the Princess after school is out.
Lynn Johnston’s For Better or Worse is also an old friend. I used to read it in the newspaper practically every day. I watched those kids grow up and have adventures almost as if they were members of my own family. So the mashed potatoes part of the meal is easy to digest too.
So that brings me to the green peas. Green peas are good for you. They are filled with niacin and folic acid and other green stuff that makes you healthier, even though when the green peas get mashed a bit and mix together with the potatoes, they look like boogers, and when you are a kid, you really can’t be sure. Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter wrote this book The Long War together. And while I love everything Terry Pratchett does, including the book he wrote with Neil Gaiman, I am having a hard time getting into this one. Parts of it seem disjointed and hard to follow, at least at the beginning. It takes work to choke down some of it. Peas and potatoes and boogers, you know.
But this isn’t the first time I have ever read multiple books at the same time. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I finished a book and the next one wasn’t at least halfway finished too. So it can be done. Even by sane people.