Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence

Lady Chatterley’s Lover was the first novel on my list that came with a stigma attached. I, like many others, had only heard of it in relation to its sexual content and the obscenity trial of the 1960s. Thanks to this, I had low expectations of the story as I imagined that being famous for including a few choice words meant there was little else of merit in the writing. The book was also the first that I found no…

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The Blue Lotus by Herge

The Blue Lotus by Herge

Tintin has long played a part in my life, through the large comic-style albums I owned as a child, to the reissued collection I’m halfway through today. In between there’s been the old cartoon series of films and the 2011 motion capture experiment from Steven Spielberg. What grounds my love of Tintin is my own adventure creating a comic in primary school. Called The Giggle, I wrote and drew about half an issue each week with two friends. After collecting…

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Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights is a novel so well-known that it’s name is often enough to evoke a sense of gothic nostalgia in readers. It’s a book that carries a certain weight, a sense of heaviness and density even before it’s read for the first time. So it was when I read the novel in school, I came to it prejudiced. We had posters on the classroom walls of film adaptations of famous books and the Wuthering Heights one seemed…

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Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan

Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan

As with The Lost Honour of Katherina Blum, Bonjour Tristesse and Francoise Sagan were unknown to me before I began my reading challenge. Similarly to Heinrich Boll’s novel, discovering another non-English novel has been a delight and feels well overdue. Since writing out my list of books I’d like to read, the title of this novel has stuck in my mind, despite never seeing it before. The superficial link in my limited memory is to La Tristesse Durera, a track…

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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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