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  1. Leap

    First Quarter 2020 Reading

    Yeah, that's it. I was actually aware of the Forster book, but for some reason it never clicked until now that their titles were actually different. This explains why a previous conversation with my Dad was so confusing though...
  2. Leap

    First Quarter 2020 Reading

    I ended up finishing Why Read The Classics? today. Not much more to add from yesterday, except to say that I will never read a book of essays again, even one I find as interesting as this. I was a bit unsure of what to read next. I have just refreshed my shelf of unread books that I keep to hand (i.e. not with all the boxes of books at my parents house), so I did have a lot of choice; this includes some books that I've been interested in for a long time, like The Master and the Margarita, and The Bell Jar. However, I ended up going with Mrs Dalloway. After reading A Room With A View in January I'm curious to read more by Woolf, plus this will put me back neck-and-neck on books read by male vs female authors (currently 8 - 7).
  3. Leap

    First Quarter 2020 Reading

    Yeah, I did find myself chuckling a fair bit in Travels with my Aunt. It was indeed a really enjoyable read, another one for the re-read pile actually. Some curious similarities with A Spy In The House of Love, though, in some of the characters anyway. Since my last post I've also read Foundation by Isaac Asimov. It's been a while since I've read a sci-fi book, and this one has been on my to-read list ever since my Dad bought me a copy years ago. Overall, I would have to say I liked it. Firstly, it's so recognisable as a modern sci-fi work. It's also just really enjoyable to read from a structure point of view - I don't read many stories that follow that sort of style. A few quibbles: Anyway, I'm cracking on with Why Read The Classics? by Italo Calvino, which I am finding really interesting to read (and also extremely fucking difficult). I picked this up last year hoping it would introduce me to some books. Well, it turns out I would have done better to have actually read the classics before picking up this book, and that is only true for a small portion of those contained in this. However, it has still succeeded at introducing me to new authors and books, and I look forward to returning to these essays when I've read a few more of them.
  4. Leap

    First Quarter 2020 Reading

    Okay, so just finished A Spy In The House Of Love, by Anais Nin. I found this immensely difficult to read, partly because of the dense writing style, but mostly because of the subject matter. I don't think I could fairly review this book without reading it again, but I definitely have no plans to do that any time soon. I did take a glance at the author's bio and I have to admit that that is affecting my reaction to the story, and not in a good way. I will say that I am quite happy to have read something so profoundly different this year. I've enjoyed a lot of books so far, but only this and Wuthering Heights have elicited such a visceral emotional response. Wildly different responses however, despite the commonalities between each book. Anyway, moving on to what is hopefully a relatively chill read, Travels with my Aunt, by Graham Greene. I was actually given this book by my own aunt, who has a singular ability to choose books that I completely adore. Looking forward to it!
  5. Leap

    First Quarter 2020 Reading

    Yeah, gonna side with the Peter V Brett/Demon Cycle sceptics here. I enjoyed the first two as a young teen, and I still think the premise is really good, but...I don't think they're well enough written to handle that kind of topic. That said, I just about read the third one when it came out, haven't read the fourth/fifth ones yet. One thing I did just notice from googling it though: Brett is extremely prolific - a new novel every 2/3 years and a bunch of novellas/short stories set in the same world? That's the dream for any fan. Anyway, I just finished Terry Pratchett's Sourcery, which was fun. Not my favourite Discworld novel, but definitely enjoyable enough that I no longer have any doubts about the Rincewind sub-series. Next up, A Spy in the House of Love, by Anais Nin (but with two little dots above the first 'i' in her name). No idea what to expect with this, but it's the book I bought alongside Sourcery the other day, so I'll read it now rather than letting it become part of the eternal backlog.
  6. Leap

    First Quarter 2020 Reading

    Finished Joseph Conrad's Typhoon. Previously I've read To-morrow and of course Heart of Darkness by Conrad. I felt that this was much more accessible than both. It was short and sweet, extremely vivid. It's high time I went for something with a bit more levity, though. I found myself buying a copy of Pratchett's Sourcery the other day; which incidentally was less than a month into my 2020 resolution to not buy any new books until I'd exhausted my backlog. Looking at it one way, of the 10 books I've read so far, only 2 were actually from said backlog. From another perspective however, I want to read a Discworld book. This one shouldn't take me long anyway.
  7. Leap

    First Quarter 2020 Reading

    Just finished Diane Setterfield's Once Upon A River, which overall I liked. There's the odd writing flourish that I didn't enjoy much, particularly at the start, but I was quite engaged by the whole story. In fact, I'd be interested in reading more about some of these characters. Next up is Joseph Conrad's Typhoon.
  8. Feel pretty positive this has been shared around a few times here, but I definitely haven't clocked it before. One of the best Bowie covers I've heard. Saw Kate Tempest live last year. Honestly, it was weird. Kinda wholesome and scary at the same time. But I did keep listening.
  9. Leap

    First Quarter 2020 Reading

    After years of my Dad casually watching Poirot every rainy Sunday afternoon, I feel like I know a great deal of these stories already. Can't wait to get stuck in. I really enjoyed the structure of And Then There Were None, although I do think it's a little bit hard to really know how it all happened until it was explained. Aha, yeah I found myself doing that a lot. Spoilers for And Then There Were None:
  10. Leap

    First Quarter 2020 Reading

    Today I took another brief break from Once Upon A River to zip through And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. This is the first Christie book I've read and I really enjoyed it. Short and sweet. The prose was a lot plainer than I was expecting, but the plot was commensurately thick. I thought I had clued in to who the murderer was fairly early on, but I had to question myself more than once as the book progressed, although I ended up being right. Overall, really good read, I definitely look forward to reading more Agatha Christie in the future.
  11. 'Long' run today was 11km. Went fairly well - deliberately went out slow but ended up averaging just under 5:00/km overall. It was a bit of a weird one for pacing though - my first four KM were all pretty much the exact same pace. The next two were also the same, but 30s faster. The following two 15s slower. The following two 10s faster. And then my last KM at a fast pace. Just struck me as peculiar since I'm usually a bit more haphazard. Anyway, I also did a short 3km jog yesterday, so my total for the week is 27km. I'll do one more week of building mileage, then do a maintenance week, then it's on to the graft. 2020 is the year I go sub-20. I reckon I can do it before my birthday at the end of Spring.
  12. Leap

    First Quarter 2020 Reading

    I will check it out. I am into podcasts but I've yet to listen to a literature-themed one. Thank you! Today I discovered the joys of the Kindle for PC app at work, and consequently I read A Room with a View by Virginia Woolf. I vaguely remember this being an option when I was studying lit, but I never looked at it personally. I regret that now. Really great read, plainly insightful and often quite funny. Could have done with this in my many essays back in the day. Still powering on with Once Upon A River, which has improved after the first few pages but is still not grabbing me massively.
  13. Leap

    Football: Better Call Raul

    That's the end of a very tough January for Liverpool. They had to play Wolves, Sheffield, Man U and Spurs, and they've not dropped a single point. They only conceded one goal in any of those matches. It's the opposite in February, with Southampton, West Ham, Norwich and Watford. Southampton are the only team there who seem to be playing particularly well at the moment, and that's at Anfield. March is, if anything, even easier - granted one away match Everton. But that's 21 points there for the taking before they play City away in April. Crazy season.
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