You asked about the eight books I read over the holidays. . . Let me tell you I didn't throw myself into literature, well actually I did with The Human Stain by Philip Roth and somewhat with Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach, but I pulled myself up and out of all that intellectual stimulation, which I presume we owe to "serious" writers, and went right over to Scott Turrow's Pleading Guilty, and Elmore Leonard's Split Images and Unknown Man #89 (I love the way Leonard does staccato dialog and his wicked sense of humor).
I like to escape into the heart-pounding suspense of crime and punishment and sometimes just desserts.
Then I read the very short version of The French Revolution (about 160 pages) by J.M. Roberts and a quick re-read of Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford. As I write this I'm working my way through Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham. I'm assuming it's an enormous tome -- I'm reading it on my Kindle -- because I am barely 10 percent into it and I've been reading it for three days. It's a magnificent book, I highly recommend it.
To be perfectly honest, I didn't finish The Human Stain, and this is my second go at it. I do plan to apply myself with the rigor it merits when I feel I can handle it.