The A-Team: Mexican Slayride

The A-Team: Mexican Slayride

In which we meet our characters, travel to Mexico and get on the jazz. Here we go, the first episode of The A-Team, the show that has shaped childhoods for an hour at a time since the 1980s. Before meeting the team, we find a reporter in trouble with a local bandit and his goon squad. Luckily, he gets a message out to his intrepid colleague Amy Allen who sets out to find and then hire… The A-Team… duh duh…

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V for Vendetta by Alan Moore

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore

In which we travel back to the 1990’s, but all is not as we remember. Although it feels like I’ve I know every scene, I can’t remember a time when I’ve ever sat through the full runtime of 2005’s V for Vendetta film adaptation. Unlike Alan Moore’s Watchman, which I’ve re-read many times over, shared with friends and family (and even enjoyed the Zack Snyder film), V for Vendetta seems more iconic but less welcoming. Where Watchmen is praised for its intricate story, new take on superheroes…

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King Solomon’s Mines

King Solomon’s Mines

Written in 1885, King Solomon’s Mines is an adventure novel following Allan Quartermain as he travels across an uncharted Africa searching for a lost man and a mythical treasure. At face value, it’s as simple as that, though like the titular diamond mine there is more buried beneath the surface.The novel holds an odd place in my mind, it’s one I’ve been aware of for as long as I can remember but not with any great reverence. I didn’t consider it a…

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The Yellow M By Edgar P Jacobs

The Yellow M By Edgar P Jacobs

The Yellow M is the sixth volume, but third story in the long-running Blake and Mortimer series. Following on from two longer stories, published over three and then two volumes, The Yellow M is often confusingly found as book number one due to its reprint by Cinebook.  All that number fun aside, The Yellow M is easily the most famous of the Blake and Mortimer series, not least for its iconic cover art, which perfectly encapsulates the shadowy brightness of the book like a pop-noir poster. It makes sense…

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Pig Wrestling by Pete Lindsay & Mark Bawden

Pig Wrestling by Pete Lindsay & Mark Bawden

Alongside reading plenty of fiction, I’m a bit of nerd when it comes to self-help or self-improvement books. If they’re short, snappy and s-motivational I’ll give them a go. A lot of the time, they become a short-lived test until I revert to my old behaviours, but from time to time something or other sticks. I read Pig Wrestling a few weeks ago and have so far used the methods several times at work to simplify my processes and get results faster. …

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Paint a Landscape

Paint a Landscape

A few years ago, I spent some time writing out 100 things I would like to do in my life. The idea was popularised by Laura Vanderkam in her book What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast and based on an exercise developed by Caroline Ceniza-Levine. The short version: write down all the things you really want to do – absolutely all of them, from ‘write a poem’ to ‘win the Nobel Prize in Literature’ – then start doing them! You’ll find…

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The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle

The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle

Once again, it’s time to delve into my complete Sherlock Holmes collection for another mystery with the world’s most famous detective. This time, it’s The Sign of Four, sometimes called The Sign of the Four but who really cares, there are four people and they make a sign. Unlike the more celebrated Holmes novels, A Study in Scarlet and The Hound of the Baskervilles, I’ve never been fond of The Sign of Four. Where Scarlet has the nostalgic pull of being our introduction to the…

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A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

After a short break from reading, I’m thrilled to return to my Library series today and to one of the most compelling novels of all time. A perfect way to start reading again, thanks to its short yet intense burst of genius, A Clockwork Orange is an unparalleled masterpiece. A Clockwork Orange was the first, and to date only, novel I’ve read in a single sitting. I can’t remember why, but I was staying at my grandparents’ house for a…

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The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan

The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan

My first introduction to The Thirty-Nine Steps was through the 1935 Hitchcock thriller, The 39 Steps, starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll. It’s one of my Dad’s favourite films and I remember the excitement of Richard Hannay escaping north from London, evading capture at the Forth Bridge and trekking across the Scottish landscape to meet the man with the missing fingertip. The book never interested me until I found the paperback when staying at my Grandparents’ house. I read the…

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My Beliefs (2017)

My Beliefs (2017)

A while ago, I found a post on Github by a favourite writer of mine, Buster Benson. He sets out, in public, his personal beliefs. It made perfect sense for me to adapt his process to my life. Each year I reflect on and review my beliefs, below is my 2017 update. You can see the list develop over time at lukemcgrath.co.uk/beliefs. The Purpose of Life The purpose of life is to find enlightenment. This is not religious, but personal If…

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