Lately I’ve been re-exploring the books of my youth. This is great fun. As I told someone the other day, the best part about reading a book you’ve already read, is that you know it’s going to be good – otherwise you wouldn’t be re-reading it, right? And if you’ve got a crappy memory (like some rheumatologists I know) you won’t remember the plot, so it’s almost all new again anyway!

So for me this means some mystery, some science fiction (SF please, not sci-fi. You see sci-fi on TV; you read SF in books and magazines), and some fantasy. So over the last few months it was a festival of Dashielle Hammett (kicked off by the new Maltese Falcon release) and Raymond Chandler. Now it’s re-reading Dune, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Cattle of Dune, Dune Goes to Maine, etc.  Frank Herbert’s great actually.  I love the Dune books, and he’s got other great SF too.  In the near future will be some fantasy: I have the Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser books bought and ready to go, and just bought the complete, new edition of the complete Conan stories by Robert E. Howard.  After that, who knows.  Isaac Asimov?  Robert Heinlein?  Or maybe delve into some more “literature” like fiction with Robertson Davies.

And how do I have the time to do all this reading?  Quite honestly I don’t.  Every time I pick up a book I feel guilty about all the medical/epi reading I should be doing, or the paper I should be writing, or the data I should be analysing, or the homework I should be doing.  But you know, I’ve been reading fiction since I was, what, 12 or so? and I don’t plan to stop now.  It’s something I love and plan to do for a long time to come.  I get it from my mom – she always had a book going.

So I’ll try to keep things balanced as much as possible, and try to make sure I continue to get some work done in between trips to Arrakis and Cimmeria.  And of course I’ll try to make a little time to write about arthritis, rheumatology, and things epidemiologic …

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