In exactly two months it’s my birthday. I will be 36. Closer to 40 than 30. (And still childless, but that’s not a post for today.) It seemed like as good an occasion as any for another progress report on my 40 before 40 challenge. Not that I’ve achieved a great deal since March, but whatever. We’re doing this anyway.
Number 5: Read the rest of the books from the BBC Big Read that I didn’t manage before turning 35
That’s a total of 63 books, and last time I had read 5 of those. Since then I’ve read two more – Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay – to give me a total of seven. Only 56 left to go then.
Number 14: Read 25 non-fiction books
I have read precisely one – Mr Briggs’ Hat: The True Story of a Victorian Railway Murder by Kate Colquhoun. Yeah, I’m not great at reading non-fiction.
Number 14: Read a book published in each year of my life ( =one book each from 1983 until 2023)
Last time, I had read books from 20 years. Now I’m up to 23. You’d think this one would be easy but I keep either reading relatively recent books with publication dates between 2016 and 2019 – years I’ve already completed – or it turns out the books were published in 1978 or something, which is too early. You can see all the ones I’ve read here.
Number 16: Try 10 foods or dishes that I haven’t had before
I managed to eat two new-to-me foods in Spain! In Ronda we went for tapas and I tried oxtails. I’ve had oxtail soup before but this was my first time trying them not all blended into liquid. And in Cádiz Jan and I both tried a cold garlic soup, which is an Andalusian speciality. Both were delicious. With the one I had eaten last time around that leaves me with seven more new foods to try.
And that’s all I’ve got for you today. I’m hoping to have crossed off a big chunk of the books for each year of my life by my next check in. Wish me luck!