Emma by Jane Austen

Emma by Jane Austen

The idea of reading Jane Austen tends to split readers into those who will read her over and over, and those, like me, who’ve never been interested. Since finishing the novel, I can redefine those two groups as those who will read her over and over and those who really should. One of the reasons I’m reading through many novels that I’ve never approached before is to create a library for my daughters to grow up with. Today, they’re two…

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And Then There Were None
 by Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None
 by Agatha Christie

The second Agatha Christie novel on my list of books I want to read, And Then There Were None joins The Murder of Roger Ackroyd as one of the most famous detective stories ever written. Adapted many times over the years, it’s her best-selling novel and her most recognised, yet doesn’t feature Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple. My first memory of And The There Were None is a play and not the book, though I seem to have known about…

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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by 
Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by 
Agatha Christie

As a Poirot and Agatha Christie fan, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is the first novel on my to-read list that I have read before. Probably more than twice. And seen the TV adaptation. Despite my familiarity with the story, and its famous twist, it was the most engrossing book I’ve read so far. The mystery works just as well if you know the secrets or don’t. My first memories of Agatha Christie’s works begin with a bookcase that used…

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Improve Myself

Improve Myself

The third of my ten core values is self-improvement. Where happiness and honesty were easy to define, I’ve found improvement to be difficult. Living up to these values is a form of self-improvement, so it’s hard to see where I can be specific enough to act. Struggling with what to do, I turned back to the inspiration for my value, the 10 Buffer Values. Under Have a Focus on Self Improvement, they list: 1. You are conscious of your current…

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30 Years Old

30 Years Old

A week ago I turned thirty. I feel OK about that, it’s just the same as 29 really, probably not much different to 31 either. Despite that, it’s still a big birthday and a life marker. I thought that to celebrate, I’d write a few thoughts on where I am right now and where I want to be, whether in the next year or the next 10 years. As I’ve been writing, the one theme I keep returning to today…

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How Important is Sleep?

How Important is Sleep?

Last month, I wrote about how I’d started drinking a healthy amount of water every day. Having given that habit some time to bed into my lifestyle, I decided to add a second habit to my routine. Continuing my focus on physical and mental wellbeing, I chose to improve my sleep. We all sleep, so this isn’t a case of doing something others aren’t. The challenge here was to find out how much sleep I need for my health, whether I…

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Be Honest

Be Honest

The second of my ten personal values is honesty. That means being honest with myself as well as with other people, and being as transparent as I can be without hurting others. Honesty is one of those things that’s intrinsically good. Just like dishonestly is evil and the blurry middleground plain sucks for everyone. Measurement and Analysis How can you track honesty? What does honesty mean? I’ve had a good look and there are not many apps tied in to…

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The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum by Heinrich Boll

The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum by Heinrich Boll

The best part of my project to read some of the best books ever written is finding completely new authors. I’d never heard of Heinrich Boll or this novel before adding it to my Library list. Reading a book with no expectations can have startling effects. Like A Room of One’s Own, I read this novel in a few days. It’s gripping almost throughout, with only a slight middle-act sag. Much of this comes from the unusual structure that leads…

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Best Selling Books (Over 100 Million Copies)

Best Selling Books (Over 100 Million Copies)

As I’m trying to read a lot of the most critically-acclaimed books of all time, I thought it made sense to look at some of the bestselling books of all time too. These are the time-tested books that it is impossible to deny are anything but legendary. You can no more judge the artistry of a book by it sales that you can its cover (and these have had many of both), but it says something that over 100 million people have…

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Be Happy

Be Happy

The very first personal value I came up with when I tried to list the ten values that I wanted to live by was happiness. It’s the first of my values for good reason, happiness is everything. If you’re not happy, what’s the point? You could have everything except happiness and you’d know it. So where better to start? Measurement and Analysis How can you tell if you’re happy? How happy do you need to be to consider yourself happy?…

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