So, I decided my fifty books should all be books I hadn't read before. Otherwise, there's no challenge for me. I'd just re-read the top two shelves of my bookcases and be done.
Now, thus far, this hasn't been a problem. However, with my exam looming in less than a week, I shouldn't be reading anything other than endless coursebooks about health. Health, health, health. Where everything you'd think is a good thing is actually bad, and they use big words like salutogenesis and iatrogenesis and expect you to understand and recite their meaning verbatim (a paradigm of wellness in spite of disease, and medicine making you worse, in case you were wondering). Reading for pleasure at this point in time comes with a whopping great side order of GUILT and PROCRASTINATION. So, I've not really been doing much of it.
I've been reading magazines. Mainly the Radio Times, because I prefer reading about telly to watching it, but also cardmaking, Private Eye and food magazines, because I am crafty, snarky and greedy.
I've also been re-reading a few old favourite books. First, The Lord of The Rings because reading The Hobbit made me yearn for all that hobbity action, and elvish bollocks. Then The Pillars Of Hercules by Paul Theroux, which is a travel book about a man who meanders around the edge of the Mediterranean, carping furiously at everything. I love him. I also read French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David. She really started the food revolution in this country after rationing ended, introducing garlic as a non-terrifying foodstuff, and increasing interest in things like pasta. Her books are poetry, and her recipes all seem pretty legit. I admit, I read them for the food porn rather than as a manual.
Currently, I am reading...slyly and guiltily... Sunrise With Seamonsters by Paul Theroux, which is a collection of his journalism. It's mostly based around travel and other writers, and covers the first twenty years of his career. I'm also reading, less guiltily, The Art of Eating by M.F.K Fisher. If you have never heard of Mary Kennedy Frances Fisher, you are MISSING OUT. She was basically the US's version of Elizabeth David, waxing lyrical about French food and inspiring two post-war generations (she started writing between the World Wards) to eat better. The Art of Eating is an anthology of her first five books, and her autobiographical The Gastronomical Me is one of the best examples of food writing I've ever read. It is delicious. I am evangelising. Go read.
So, in a week, I start on the enormous pile of fantasy books waiting for me. After seeing the reaction of TV viewers to The Game Of Thrones Red Wedding, I can't wait. And I really can't wait to get this hateful exam done... Where was I? Prevention...is it better than cure? Probably not... *sigh*