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Alexander the Great

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About Alexander the Great

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  • Birthday 07/04/1991

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  • Reading now?
    Blue Monday, by Nicci French
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  • Interests
    My greatest passion is the written word - but I also need these: running, spinning, coffee, music (metal, mainly Epica and Lacuna Coil), writing. My other interests include history, law, crime, well-written TV shows and films, photography, psychology and sociology.

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  1. Game of Thrones

    I've only done a GOT tour in Northern Ireland (never gone to the other counties) and it was simply great! We even got to dress up with cloaks and longswords.
  2. Live Music

    Sounds like a great experience overall! Was it your first time seeing them? I saw my favourite band Epica 7 times last year. They've been touring ever since the release of their last album in September 2016, put out two EPs in between, so while they usually make an album every two years, the next one will be for 2019. I expected I wouldn't see them live very much if at all in 2018. Then they announced a UK tour, and I immediately got a ticket to the Dublin show - with a meet & greet. Then they announced a special show for their 1000th concert that same week on Saturday, so I got a ticket for that. I met a couple from Manchester while queuing for Epica, and they invited me to the Manchester show that same week and told me I could stay at their place. So got a ticket, and also a meet & greet. Then these people said they're seeing Epica at a festival in Austria in August, invited me along, naturally I said yes. Then last week they announced they're playing a festival 15 minutes from my house the week before that, of course I'm going. So I get to see Epica 5 times in 2018 I'll see the band twice officially, and then at both festivals there'll probably be signing sessions. I'm really excited! I also saw Lacuna Coil in London in January, for their 20th anniversary show. They were amazing. A week later, I saw Arch Enemy in Antwerp for the first time. They were absolutely amazing, and I've won a ticket for their Lille concert in June!
  3. What Are You Watching Now? - 2018

    Same for me, I absolutely adored it! At the moment, I'm binge watching Bron/Broen. I'm on the third season now. I've seen the first season of The Tunnel (the British/French version) and the two seasons of The Bridge (the American version). Enjoying it greatly! I never thought I'd like Henrik, and while I do miss Martin at times, Henrik's not so bad!
  4. What are you listening to?

    Epica's my favourite band. Epica's singer, Simone Simons, likes Ghost and has mentioned them at times. I checked out Ghost, found the song "He is" which really spoke to me. I did some research, found out it was written in honour of Selim Lemouchi, who took his life nearly four years ago. That's how I "discovered" his band The Devil's Blood. I really quite like their music and am now listening to:
  5. Alexander's Literary Odyssey 2018

    A Column of Fire review A truly marvellous read. Like its predecessors, The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, A Column of Fire starts in Kingsbridge. We meet the core characters and through them learn of the changes the town and the country went through since the last novel. This time, however, the story spreads out across the globe as Follett takes us not only to London, but also to France, Spain, The Netherlands, New Spain - and at the end even aboard the Mayflower. Follett is a true master of the genre. He manages to tell a riveting story set in the 16th century, mixing fictional characters with historical ones. This book is a story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to protect what they believe in, but also of the same ordinary people being flawed and very human. Nobody is perfect, but as Ned says at some point: "Imperfect people can still change the world for the better". I love how we get to spend entire lifetimes with them, going between the human emotions of love, romance, lust and grief to political intrigue, exquisitely written to make it easy to navigate these choppy waters along with the people you learn to care about deeply or despise entirely. No character is flat, though - even the villains aren't one-dimensional. I truly hope there will be more of this, an excellent read I would recommend to every reader out there.
  6. Vodkafan's Reading Blog 2018

    Books are an addiction, but such a great one. I can understand your inability to resist. But hey, we're all made of flesh and blood, right? Temptation can overwhelm us.
  7. Ian's reading list 2018

    I think I read Going Solo back in secondary school. Dahl is one of my favourite children's authors, if not my favourite. He certainly had a way with words, and a very interesting life!
  8. Alexander's Literary Odyssey 2018

    Thank you on both counts, @Athena All The Light We Cannot See review What a read. This novel set during WWII is predominantly about Werner, a clever orphaned German boy and Marie-Laure and blind, resilient French girl. He lives in Germany, in a mining town, then attends a special school and joins the army. She lives in Paris with her father, who works as the locksmith for the Museum of History. They have to flee to Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure's great uncle lives with his housekeeper. Saint-Malo is where Werner and Marie's paths eventually cross. To me, the novel was gripping, gutting, gnawing. The writing style is quite detached, yet the characters get so close to the skin they get under, all the way to the heart. Chapters are very short, which moves the story along at a good pace. I do admit I expected there would be more time with the main characters together. I liked how the ending wrapped everything up, without throwing happy or satisfying endings all around. It felt very real.
  9. Alexander's Literary Odyssey 2018

    Thank you @Little Pixie! I seem to have slipped a bit with the TBR pile - a library trip to return a book proved fatal, seeing as I returned with five more books... I'm also behind on my reviews, for which I apologise sincerely! Hanging Hill review Previously, I've read two of Mo Hayder's Jack Caffery novels. They were quite intense and heavy, though, and I told myself I'd go back to them at a point where I would be in a better place to handle them. I want to try them again now, but haven't come around to it yet. Hanging Hill is a stand-alone novel by Mo Hayder. I quite enjoyed this read. While the plot in this thriller is definitely important, there was also a lot of focus on a limited set of characters. Not a light-hearted read, but it isn't as grim and dark as the Jack Caffery novels. Two sisters share a complicated past that has driven a wedge between them and despite both living in Bath, they haven't talked to each other for years. Then a teenage girl is murdered and the consequences lead them to each other. The novel dragged a bit toward the end, but what an end! Made me feel slightly nauseous with fear for the characters. I've only had this feeling once before, with Box 21, though I admit it was much stronger there. De voorspelling review This is a Flemish novel for 12-year-olds. I remember at that age I read this one a lot. I've always had an interest in Russia and its history. This novel is set in 19th century Russia, when a notary and his daughter are forced to take in a Flemish officer, who is a count, under Napoleon after he is injured in battle. Rutger, the soldier, falls in love with Elena, the notary's daughter. They travel back to Flanders, where Elena meets his brother, Rafaƫl, and they fall in love at first sight. It has bitter consequences for everyone. This is a very short book, only 178 pages, so I read it in a day. As a 12-year-old, I loved this. As a 26-year-old, I can tell it's meant for young teenagers. The story felt very flimsy, but the characters were very complex and multi-faceted, which is rare in books for younger kids. I do wish I could read an "adult" version of it, because the story has a lot of potential. The Silent Girl review This is a Rizzoli & Isles novel by Tess Gerritsen. This story differs greatly from The Bone Garden by the same author. Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles work a case in Chinatown, with the help of Rizzoli's partner Barry Frost and of Johnny Tam, a rookie detective who hopes to make homicide. Having seen all but the last season of Rizzoli & Isles, it's interesting to read how different the characters and their lives are in the books. Focused mostly on the story/plot, this is a true pageturner. A complex case that never became too complicated, with surprising twists and a satisfying end. I'd recommend it to anyone for a quick relaxing read. That makes seven books read in January 2018. I'm fairly sure that's a record since I started keeping track of the books I'm reading, which was back in 2009. At the moment, I'm reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
  10. Athena's Reading List 2018

    Looks like you got your reading mojo back!
  11. Claire's Book List 2018

    Middlesex is one of my all-time favourite novels. It's been about seven years since I've read it, but I remember that it sucked me in completely. I want to re-read it very badly, it's going on my list now!
  12. Alexander's Literary Odyssey 2018

    @Athena The run after that one was good again Also, as you know, I did end up buying more books! The Bone Garden review The Bone Garden is part historical novel, part modern novel. The emphasis lies heavily on the historical part, though - 1830 Boston, to be exact. That's also where the majority of the story plays out, to the extent that the modern day chapters often felt irrelevant and very flimsy compared to the amazing historical parts. I feel like the novel could have done without the modern parts entirely. In the historical chapters, we follow some truly fascinating characters. The pace of the story is well-set and it's a true pageturner. I couldn't stop reading and loved being sidetracked before getting the true reveal, which I had not seen coming. I'll definitely be reading more of Gerritsen's novels!
  13. Your Book Activity - January 2018

    I've only read Mrs. Dalloway so far, but it's a kind of life's ambition to read all of her work. I'm so fascinated by her life and who she was that I want to do justice to her work. I've been kind of waiting until I'm ready for it, so to speak. Where did you begin? I had a nice time in London. I found the books I'd been debating whether to buy online or in London. Last time I was there, I didn't find them, even though the website of the bookstore said they were available. Now I checked and the website said they were available again, but I couldn't find them in the store. I'm too shy to ask staff, even though they're all very kind there. Then I had the epiphany to look in the horror section, and ta-da! I was fairly sure I owned "The Last Watch" but quickly FaceTimed my mom to go and check in my room. My sister was at our place for lunch and she went and checked. They had all the other books, except the first. I then went to Waterstones, where they had the book I already owned, and the first book. So I managed to complete my collection! In Waterstones, I also found John Irving's 'The World According to Garp'. I've never found it anywhere, they only had the one copy and I was super excited. I'm that guy who inspects all the copies to get the most impeccable one and would sooner not buy a book than one that has damage (if it's full price). But I didn't think twice, so excited. Only when I got home did I notice this, and I'm super sad about it I also this bag/satchel in Camden Market, it's a kind I've been wanting for ages.
  14. Your Book Activity - January 2018

    I'm the opposite - unless I'm reading a series, I have a general rule not to read the same author twice in a row. I do that because I want to avoid comparing two very different books, which I tend to do less if I read a different book in between. For example, I've just read Misery by Stephen King. I want to read 11/22/1963 by Stephen King, but took Tess Gerritsen's The Bone Garden in between to avoid reading two Kings in a row. My plan has been sidetracked somewhat, though. Today, I fell into the Library Trap. I had to bring books back this week and I've finished them all last week, but haven't had time yet to bring them back. Knowing I wouldn't get a chance later this week either, I went now. I swore not to take any books. Then I allowed myself just one. I ended up going home with five library books - leaving only 11/22/1963 in the library because I own a copy, or I'd have taken six.
  15. Alexander's Literary Odyssey 2018

    Do you remember some of them? I'd be interested to read books like that. They're hard to find because 'running' will usually not be included as the key word if the character does running, but the novel isn't specifically about that. Something slightly odd, maybe, but reading about or seeing people in films or tv series run always makes me want to run. I had a very very bad run yesterday and I'd usually dread the next one, but I'm binge-watching Big Little Lies in which Jane is pictured running quite a few times, and it makes me impatient for my next run. I just finished Misery, which is a book I own. The next one I've picked up, The Bone Garden, is also a book I own. Making progress with the books in my possession rather than forever getting lured into the Library Trap is exciting, but while there's no danger of running out of material soon with 400+ books in my collection of which I certainly haven't even read 100, I'm already worrying about what I'll do once I've read them all! Misery review This is my third King novel - previously, I've read Under The Dome and It. Each of these novels have been vastly different, but they have one thing in common: they are unputdownable. This is a thriller, but there's so much more to it. I feel like there is a lot of symbolism. The focus is on two characters: writer Paul Sheldon and his captor, Annie Wilkes. I thought it was very interesting to see Annie deteriorate. Her depiction is masterfully done, her downwards spiral shown with very much attention to detail. Also intriguing to me was how Paul isn't depicted as the Good Guy - he's morally ambiguous and while as a reader I feel for his situation and root for him to get out of it, I definitely didn't always like him. The novel had a great pace and kept me on the edge of my seat most of the time. I would definitely recommend this one - not the biggest, but definitely a great King novel indeed!