The Life of Shinke

Approximately 3 1/2 years ago I came across the Fill in the Gaps challenge on the blog A Novel Challenge.

The aim of the challenge is to read a 100 books that you have been meaning to read in the space of 5 years. The challenge would be considered complete if you read 75 or more of these books in the allotted time frame.

Feeling quite ambitious instead of placing individual books as recommended I threw in a number of series which ended up doubling my goal to roughly 200 books.

Today, with less than a year and a half to go I will share my progress and come up with a plan of action to tackle the remainder of the list.

Over the past three and a half years I have completed (drum roll please) a whopping 22 books. Sad, I know, but to be fair there are a couple series in there.

List of Completed Books/Series

3. A Separate Peace – John Knowles

4. Princess Diaries – Meg Cabot

6. Sense & SensibilityJane Austen

8. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

9. Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen

16. The Great GatsbyF. Scott Fitzgerald

20. Of Mice And Men – John Steinbeck

21. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

22. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – Washington Irving

25. Romeo & Juliet – William Shakespeare

30. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

31. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

37. Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson

39. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding

46. The Percy Jackson Series – Rick Riordan

66. Hamlet – William Shakespeare

74. The Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collins

80. Peter Pan – J.M. Barrie

87. Thursday Next Series – Jasper Fforde

88. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

90. The Vampire Diaries Series – L.J. Smith

94. Artemis Fowl Series – Eoin Colfer


There are also a number of books that I have read that fit in a series on the list but as I haven’t completed the series I can’t check them off as complete.

List of Partially Completed Series

17. The Lord of the Ring Series – J.R.R. Tolkien

a. The Hobbit

19. Sherlock Holmes Series – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

a. A Study in Scarlet

49. Coldfire Trilogy – C.S. Friedman

a. Black Sun Rising

73. The Tudors Series – Philippa Gregory

a. The Constant Princess

b. The Other Boleyn Girl


With that being said there are still approximately 150 individual books out of the 200 that are left to be read.

To ensure that I at least hit the 75 mark by the end of 2015 I will be reading one book from the list each week for the rest of the year. To ensure that I can stay on track I will tackle the shorter books first and the tomes in 2015.

Wish me luck!

Are you participating in any challenges this year?

How are they going?

Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading! :)

I have always liked the concept of a book club. A place for like minded individuals to get together and discuss their passion for books. Each month the club picks a book to read together and then discuss in earnest at a prearranged time. It is an amazing concept.

The beauty of a book club is that it introduces you to books and genres you wouldn’t normally consider and allows you to dig deeper into the book with discussions. It also just allows you to revel in a book because you have a set of people who want to talk about the awesome plot twist or the great ending.

Unfortunately I have never been a part of a book club. I’ve discussed books with my friends and family that were also into reading but it was never at a structured time and we never read the books we discussed concurrently.

So imagine my delight when I discovered online book clubs. The beauty of a book club without the actual need to be in the same location or be invited. This concept was made even better with discussion boards on sites such as Goodreads which allowed anyone to join the club and discuss the book pick of the month with a very welcoming book community.

Choosing a book club to join is a very daunting task because there are so many of them and a lot are niche based however once you find one that you like it is an amazing experience. I highly recommend using Goodreads’ group page as a jumping off point for finding the book club that is best for you.

I read a lot of different genres and so I decided to join five different book clubs that focused on my favorite genres as well as a genre I wanted to read more of.

Below I have listed them in case you want to check them out.

1. Sword & Laser

I came across this book club while searching for a new bookish podcast to pass the time. After stumbling across Sword & Laser, which I discovered is hosted by two of my favorite tech personalities Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt, I found that it was also a book club on Goodreads and joined immediately. They read Sci-Fi and fantasy novels each month which are two of my favorite genres.


2. Vaginal Fantasy Book Club

After listening to Sword & Laser for a while I realized Veronica also co-hosted another book club, Vaginal Fantasy that specialized in reading romance novels filled with smut which is again right up my alley. The other hosts are Felicia Day (yes, that Felicia Day), Bonnie Burton and Kiala Kazebee.


3. Catching Up on Classics (and lots more!)

This book club I found poking around on Goodreads in search of a club that would inspire me to read more classics. They have quite a few picks each month and even a long pick which runs for two months as a number of classics are indeed tomes.


4. Little Book Club

This group was recently formed by Katrina (Little Book Owl) on YouTube due to an overwhelming request for it. Each month a theme is voted upon and once chosen, a book fitting that theme is voted upon and that is our book pick for the month. As this book club was created due to fan request, most of the power is placed in the fan’s hands which is great.


5. Booksplosion Read-Along

This group was formed by a few booktubers (YouTube personalities that discuss books on their channel) and normally features books from the young adult genre.

Do you like book clubs?

Are you a part of a book club?

Is it a classic face to face one or is it online?

Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading! :)

Today I want to debut a new series on the blog called “Favorites”.

What I aim to do with this series is to showcase things that I might not otherwise talk about but I really love and enjoy.

This week’s list is about my favorite YouTube personalities. When I see new videos from these channels in my subscription box I’m super excited and I will drop everything to go and watch them.

So in no particular order here are three of my favorite YouTube stars.

1. iiSuperwomanii

Lilly Singh aka Superwoman is a Canadian ball of sunshine. She is so cheerful, fun, optimistic, honest and down to earth. Her videos are hilarious as well as inspirational. She attempts to make you smile as well as reach for your dreams. Her down to earth mentality and funny quirks makes her videos very relatable and easy to enjoy.


2. sWooZie

Adande aka Swoozie is from Florida and probably one of the best storytellers of all time. His stories are hilarious and riddled with nerd and geek references. He normally portrays his stories through animation however he doesn’t miss a beat when he tells them in his normal human form. He is also very down to earth and fun to watch.


3. VlogBrothers

The Vlog Brothers are made up of Hank and John Green, two brothers who vlog for each and the world to keep in contact. And just in case you’re wondering, yes he’s that John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars among other books. Hank while not as well known to the non-YouTube public is a talented musician. I first saw them in a pre-roll ad and had to check them out. Their videos are informative as well as hilarious.


Honorable Mentions:

1. Humble the Poet

I discovered the awesomeness that is Humble the Poet after he did a song with Superwoman called #LEH. His videos are more inspirational and thought provoking than funny but they are quite good and I look forward to hearing his thoughts on different topics.

2. Mary Kate Wiles

Mary Kate Wiles is an actress, known around the YouTube sphere for many roles but most notable Lydia Bennett in the Lizzie Bennett Diaries. This is her personal channel and while not updated often is quite interesting. She has a mix of videos from behind the scenes to vlogs to unboxings but in each one her great personality shines through making them more interesting than they would initially seem.

3. Nerdy and Quirky

Sabrina is as her username explains nerdy and quirky. She makes fun and interesting videos with the humor you would expect from a quirky YouTuber.

Do you watch any of these YouTubers?

Who are your favorites?

Let me know in the comments below.

Happy viewing! :)

Title: Outlander

Premiered: 2014

TV Station: Starz

Adapted from: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Description: Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate relationship is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. (Taken from IMDb)

I have always wanted to read the Outlander series and so when I found out that it was being made into a TV series I chucked my “read then watch” rule out the window and watched the premiere and I am so glad I did!

This series is amazing! The setting is awesome, Scotland is beautiful and they really make it seem as if we’re back in the 18th century. The actors fit their roles beautifully and for an hour I can just dive into the time of Scottish lairds and English brides.

It has romance, adventure, time travel, suspense and a little mystery, what isn’t there to love? I highly recommend watching this series. Catch up on the previous three and dive in on Saturday! I promise it’ll be worth it!

Have you read or watched Outlander?

How are you liking it so far?

Which is better, the TV show or the book?

Let me know in the comments below.

Title: The Fault in Our Stars

Author: John Green

Published: 2012

Description: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. (Taken from Goodreads)

I read this book a little over a year ago and my enthusiasm and love for it has not wavered.

This book is amazing and I believe everyone, everywhere should put down what they’re doing and read it immediately.

The characters are awesome! John Green does such a great job making them real and human. Hazel has cancer but she doesn’t ever stop being a person, she doesn’t become shell of a person because of her disease. She’s funny and kind, she has hobbies, hopes, dreams, fears. You never pity her, I mean you are sad that she has cancer and she’s going to die too soon but you never feel that she’s less of a person because of it.

Augustus Waters is the boy. He is so kind, caring and loving. He understands her fears and her hopes. He gets it because he’s been through it but I swear, I think he would get it even if it didn’t happen to him. Their relationship was so amazing and powerful and better than most that get all the time in the world.

John Green went above and beyond with this book, these characters, this story and it will always have a place in my heart and on my most beloved book list.

To follow-up this amazing story, 20th Century Fox bought the rights for the screenplay and made an equally amazing movie.

The movie captures the characters and their story so well. It made me feel all the emotions I felt reading the book. The actors, Shailene Woodley (Hazel Grace Lancaster) and Ansel Elgort (Augustus Waters) do such a great job making me believe that this is their life.

Watching the movie and reading the book takes you on such an emotional roller-coaster but I guarantee you it’s well worth it.

Have you read The Fault in Our Stars yet or watched the movie?

What did you think?

Have you read any other John Green books?

Do you have any favorites you want to share?

Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reading! :)

Hey guys!

Long time no see…again. I know, I know! I keep trying to be consistent with this blog but life is very demanding and she does not like to share. I will however attempt once more to be more consistent in my updates. If not once a day, at the very least once per week. *pinky promise*

So yesterday I hit the big 2-5, the proverbial beginning of the end.

Or so I thought when I was a kid but truth be told we’re not living in the 17th century where the life expectancy was 35. I, theoretically, have a long and happy life ahead of me.

So what does the quarter quell signal the end of exactly?

The end of partying and wild abandon? The end of frivolous spending and dependency? For most people, yes.

This is the year that you’ll reassess your life and redefine your goals. You’ll take stock of what you have accomplished, what you haven’t, why you haven’t and how you go about fixing that.

You’ll start transitioning from having a job to having a career, start thinking about having kids (or not having kids), getting married and buying a house, being independent and debt free.

It’s quite a lot to take in and it normally results in a mid-twenties crisis but I think it’ll be worth it in the end.

So cheers to the beginning of the end, I’ll see you on the other side a better and stronger person!

Keep calm and carry on! :)


It’s Tuesday and I’m bringing back Snapshot Tuesdays!

While I am no longer using my iPod Touch and the photo app Camera+ I still highly recommend the app.

Instead I’m using my Moto G and trying out the app Snapseed.

I like it so far, however I wish it had more filters.

So without further ado here are my pictures.



Let me know if you like them in the comments below.

Happy photo snapping! :)


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