I forgot to mention how the "Improve My Mind Through Reading" project was going.
Very well actually. I'm currently working through Jane Austen's novels - so far I've read Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility and Emma, and I've just started Northanger Abbey. I must admit, so far I'm not enjoying Northanger Abbey as much. It's too self-aware - the "this is a novel that I am writing. See? You are reading a novel!" thing is niggling me a bit. I'm glad I didn't read this one first. My literary criticism is mind-boggling, is it not? :-) I also got Pride and Prejudice on DVD, as it's probably my favourite and also it has Colin Firth soaking wet which is never a hardship.
On Emma, I still think that Emma Woodhouse needs a damn good slapping. I thought that when I caught some of the recent adaptation on TV. I really think Mr. Knightley must have the patience of a saint. I know that's the idea, but aargh. At least she comes to her senses somewhat.
The only downside to all this Austen is that the language is rubbing off a bit. I have to be careful not to start talking like one of her characters and calling people "Good sir" and being terribly polite.
So all in all, successful so far. I can't believe it has taken me this long to read Jane Austen. I'll probably start on the Brontë sisters next. Although Ange has lent me some Christopher Brookmyre novels so I need to have a look at those too. Maybe as an antidote to all the good manners and fainting ladies :-)