Currently reading, iteration the second

I tend to have bookmarks in a wide variety of things at once. Here's what I'm currently occupying myself with. (NB: Guy Gavriel Kay's Under Heaven will join this group as soon as it arrives this week.)

Katherine Briggs, The Fairies in Tradition and Literature. Story research for Seen. Briggs is a giant in the field of folklore, and rightly so. 

Catherine Fisher, Incarceron. I started this because I'd seen so many people recommend it (including Laura Miller, who is my favorite book critic) that I couldn't not read it. So far, I'm more impressed with the political intrigue sections than the prison sections, but I believe that to be a result of my own preferences as a reader, rather than due to any flaw in the text. And at 133 pages in, I'll definitely add my voice to the chorus of recommendations.

Samuel R. Delany, About Writing. I really like reading writers on writing. Even when I disagree with their advice or find it inapplicable to what I am interested in doing, I love reading what they have to say about the process of writing. And I find it particularly useful at times when, like now, I am consciously trying to rethink my own writing. Reading Delany's thoughtful discussions of writing makes me even more jealous of this year's Clarion students, who get to spend a week studying with him.

Susan Cooper, Over Sea, Under Stone. The plan is to reread (for the eleventy hundredth time) all of her The Dark is Rising  series this weekend. I love these books. They began my love affair with all stories Arthurian. I'm guest lecturing for a King Arthur in Literature course this week, so rereading this series counts as lecture prep.

Jedediah Berry, The Manual of Detection. Smart, and beautifully written. A fantasy noir. I picked it up due to the jacket copy: "... a string of crimes committed in and through people's dreams." I'll finish it because the prose is so elegant I can't not read the next sentence. I'm wickedly jealous that something this skilled is a debut novel.