Sometimes I read like a fanatic one or two books a week. Other times it takes me several weeks to get through one book. It is lack of time during those periods, but also lack of interest. I start reading magazines, journals or the Internet and lose my interest in reading a book. There are so many books out there that when I start one that is bores me, then I get bogged down and can't read any book.
Yesterday, I spent most of the day finishing the People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. It tells the story of the 500 year old Sarajevo Haggadah. Most of the work is fiction and goes from the present to the past in alternating chapters detailing the journey of the Haggadah from its origins until today. There really is a Sarajevo Haggadah, but the characters in the story are fictional, and Ms. Brooks fabricates the origin of the Hebrew codex. It makes for a fascinating "what if" story. I really like the way the Christians, Jews, and Muslims aid each other through the time periods that the author describes. She also describes the hateful actions that the different religious groups inflicting on each other. So you get an interesting picture presented.
Next on my to read list is Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table by Sara Roahen. The author is a transplant from the midwest, and she came to New Orleans to write about food. I used to read her weekly column in Gambit. Her take on the local cuisine is from the outside in, as a native I am anxious to read her viewpoint on New Orleans' indigenous food. This book was selected as the 2009 One Book One new Orleans selection. To find out more about this program go here--> http://www.onebookoneneworleans.com/?page_id=21/