I am currently reading two books at once. I hate doing this, not because I get confused, but because I don't know what book to pick up on my way to the bus stop. Anyway, here they are.
The first book is The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott. I picked it up because I caught the name of Richard I of England, who is actually on my family tree and therefore super-interesting to me. It is the story (thus far) of Scottish knight Kenneth (played in my head by Ewan McGregor) who is in the Middle East during the crusades. He's on some sort of special mission, but I'm not totally sure what it is yet. None the less, it's had some cool little elements of middle age knight tales and early Catholicism. Kenneth stays with a possibly mad prophet, stumbles into a hidden chapel, and falls in love with/gets the hots for a nun-in-training who I think may be his ex-girlfriend (if I am understanding this correctly). There's also been some thought provoking social elements. Kenneth and a Middle Eastern soldier have a conversation where the soldier cannot understand why Kenneth is deprived of sex until marriage, and Kenneth doesn't understand why the soldier won't drink alcohol. It asks questions like what is the link between mental instability and the supernatural, do sexless societies create confusion between romantic love and worship, is courage synonymous with violence, etc.
The other book I'm reading is at my math professor's suggestion. It is entitled Geometry and the Visual Arts by Dan Pedoe. It has been a little out of my league mathematically-I understand it, but only very slowly-but wicked interesting. (Hmm I sound like a British schoolgirl.) I recently read the chapter on Albrecht Durer. I liked Durer's work anyway, particularly Melancholy, but this book has given me a new appreciation for it. I recommend it if you are into math or art.
I will probably give the priority to Pedoe, even if Scott is due back first at the library. Either way I'll have something to do at the train station!