I tend to read several books at once, always have since I was a kid. Right now I have a bedside book, a bathroom book, and a book on my tablet for when I'm not at home. And it's funny how often the books seem to resonate with each other, though I never choose them with that in mind.
Right now I'm reading Edna Ferber's "Giant" from the mid fifties. A big sprawling story of Texas, with one of its themes being anti Mexican racism. It also looks at power imbalances, with million acre ranches and those who labour on them, all wrapped up in what is mostly a personal story of one marriage.
Also Susan Isaacs' "Red, White and Blue", set half in the present (when the book was written, in the 90s) and half in a timeline from the late 1800s to now. It's essentially a romantic semi-thriller. Under the story runs a theme exploring what it means to be an American. Set mostly in Wyoming, with white supremacists as part of the plot.
And last, Jess Walters' "The Cold Millions", set in Spokane, Washington, a period piece exploring the early labour movement, specifically the Wobblies. A serious new novel looking at class and race.
All set in the west, all looking at class and race and identity, but differing widely in tone and style. And they're just bouncing around in my head, striking sparks off each other.