Thursday, 30 May 2013

On books and zombies

It's hard getting back into the swing of reading anything I want to, now that my courses have finished for the Summer. It's especially difficult to start reading fiction again. I'm irritated that my non-judgemental reading-anything habits have suffered due to how I've now been taught to look for hidden agendas, analyse text, and edit everything umpteen times. I want to be able to enjoy rubbishy books but at the moment, I can't. Numerous books have been started, then relegated to the 'Yard Sale' or 'Charity Shop' pile. I've stopped downloading free books onto my Kindle because they're often full of spelling mistakes or have bad punctuation. (Similar, in many ways, to this blog, but this is just 'bash-it-out' writing - my Creative Writing tutor would sigh heavily if she could read this.)

Non-fiction is easier reading because I don't feel guilty if I'm learning something. I just finished a book on pathology, which was incredibly interesting (A Matter of Life and Death: Inside the Hidden World of the Pathologist, by Sue Armstrong). 

There was a great bit on the body farm in Knoxville, run by a guy called Bill Bass. He leaves corpses lying around on waste-ground to see how they decompose. Then there was a bit on one of the pathologists involved in discovering the HIV virus in Africa. The whole book was fascinating. Definitely not one for the yard sale pile.

I have just ordered World War Z by Max Brooks from Amazon though, so hopefully my fiction reading habits will kick in again. Son Number One has been trying to get me to read it for a while, and as the film comes out soon, I need to read the book first. Sparkly vampires have never done it for me, but I don't mind a good zombie book. (Hmmm, I've just seen how that kind of relates to the afore-mentioned decomposing corpses...)

While on the subject of books: The Daughter, when I mentioned that I wasn't looking forward to the end of my studies, said I should write a book. Now, as I'm not actually a published author (snort of laughter here...), I think it would be rather arrogant of me to say, 'Hey, I'm going to write a book when I've finished my degree.' Because it's not a book until it's been accepted by a publisher and printed. As that's incredibly unlikely, all I can say is that I'm going to write lots of words in the hope that someone will like them, even if it's just family members being nice. Writing my final piece for my Creative Writing course, I was in danger of running way past my word count, and knew that each of my paragraphs could easily have become a chapter. As I don't get it back until August, I won't know how well/badly it's done, so I'll hold on until I see what the examiners thought. If it did okay, it'll be something to work on, even if it just stops me being bored and driving my family mad. 

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