I’m a member of the “Reading Globally” group on LibraryThing, which does theme or country-based theme reads every month and I am planning to participate both in the “Balkans” read this month and the “voluntary immigration” (so as to distinguish from displacement or abduction) theme read in June.
Getting ready for those has got me thinking about the potential power of doing mini-theme reads on my own – reading historical fiction, fiction, and/or nonfiction all together around a certain subject in order to get a fuller understanding of the subject. I have a couple that are sort of forming in my head:
- I bought an historical book about Alexander the Great and have solicited historical fiction recommendations about the same from kegsoccer.
- I read one of Lauren Willig’s books, Deception of the Emerald Ring, without knowing it was part of a series, or that it was based on the aftermath of the events in The Scarlet Pimpernel. I have now acquired all but her newest book and plan to read first The Scarlet Pimplernel, then all of her books in order as a slightly different sort of theme read. Probably I will be taking all of these on my honeymoon in July, as her books seem good beach books to me.
However, my first theme read sprang from my TBR pile completely unplanned, as Athena from the forehead of Zeus. As I wrote earlier this week, I experienced some reading ennui after reading and reviewing “Someday My Prince Will Come.” That book was just so charming and fun that nothing seemed right afterwards. I finally decided that this situation called for a not-too-heavy reread. I went to my bookshelves to grab “The Other Boleyn Girl,” but accidentally pulled out “The Historian” instead. “That’s okay,” I thought, “I like ‘The Historian’.” This was the fateful thought that brought about this theme read.
I began reading “The Historian” and thought, “hey, as long as I’m reading this, I should read ‘Vlad the Impaler‘ at the same time, since I already have it and haven’t read it!” I got a little ways into both books and decided I should see what all the fuss was originally about, and sent Brian to Half Price Books to pick up “Dracula” for me. He actually got me a very nice, annotated copy. So now, out of nowhere, I am doing some sort of Dracula/vampire theme read…and it is AWESOME! “Dracula” is actually really, really good so far.