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#AmReading in 3D

Do you ever read several books at the same time? Right now I have three out from the library, and I am keeping them in three different rooms in my house--one in the kitchen, where I have space to take notes (a history of Constantinople); one in the living room, where it's cozy (a history of Vikings); and one in the bedroom, where my mom won't see it (Naomi Wolf's sociological and physiological analysis of the vagina). I am reading all three of these books in turns, whenever I happen to be in their rooms.

Van Gogh's Three Books

It is incredible how many historical facts, concepts, people, cultural beliefs, political strategies, and other ideas are overlapping among these three seemingly unrelated nonfiction books written by three authors with very different perspectives and areas of expertise. This helps me maintain a healthy dose of skepticism, feel out where each narrative might be veering off into hokey pokey, and what might be various explanations for each discovery or data set. I have an ongoing list of questions and bizarre hypotheses to cross-reference among different academic disciplines.

Reading these three books together has become an almost hallucinogenic experience for me, and my mind feels like a lightning storm bringing a primordial new idea to life--a story about a band of outlaws who travel through the muddy gloom of "barbarian" medieval Europe on a river ride to the brilliantly glittering Byzantine Empire, exploring sexuality, self, power, agency, politics, image, and the magic of the mob. And donkey pee. And herbal spa treatments in convents. And sugar mamas with hot Viking bodyguards. All these things are related, I swear.

The books are due by my next blog post, so I'm off to read! It might sound weird, but I am so excited to start writing the outline for this wild and freaky adventure story.

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