I have a bad habit of reading too many books at once, which is distracting. But I've spent years trying to break the habit -- to concentrate on a single book at a time -- and I just can't do it. There's a sense of satisfaction I get when my nightstand has a variety of books on it in order to fit whatever mood I'm in. I recognize that this mixing of readings serves to slow down the rate at which I finish any given book, but this is the price I pay.
Books do rise to the top of the pile, their quality demanding more of my attention than other, less excellent works. And of the current pile I'm working through, two books have risen above the rest.
The first is Tibor Fischer's novel, Good to be God, a farcical wonder, and the second is Denis Dutton's book, The Art Instinct. Both books have earned my enthusiastic recommendation, and I'm on my second pass through each.
That's another thing: following an admonition I got from Nabokov, I don't consider that I've really finished a book until I've read it at least twice. Call me a glutton.
I'll have full reviews of both of these books up soon.