The Life of Shinke

Archive for August 2011

Looking this morning to Plinky for inspiration I found this prompt “What decade or era do you find particularly fascinating?”

I’d have to say I find old England fascinating, from the Elizabethan era to the Victorian era. That period holds such magical joy for me. The clothes, the language, the mannerisms of the people, the people in general that lived in this period.

Can you imagine meeting Shakespeare, rubbing elbows with all the famous dignitaries of that time? Back then being a princess, a queen, a duchess actually meant something. Now it’s mostly just a traditional title with no real power behind it.

Can you imagine going to all the balls and parties of that time, the corsets, the ball gowns, the jewellery. I can just imagine the fun they had dancing with suitors and rogues. The drama they must have had back in those days.

The only problem I would have would be the whole hygiene thing. There is something to be said about the little knowledge they had of germs and their effect on us. Plus when rich people got drunk they sloshed wine all over the place and ate like pigs…ick!

Other than that I think I’d love to go back in time and experience old England for myself but until that happens I’ll just have to live vicariously through the characters in my favourite novels, movies and TV shows.

What’s your favourite era?

Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Monday! 🙂

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Here I am thinking I need to stop procrastinating and start cranking out some posts for the week ahead only to check Plinky for some post ideas and see this prompt “List your favourite ways to procrastinate“.

LOL! It must be fate.

So without further adieu here are my top five favourite ways to procrastinate.

1. Playing Facebook games (FarmVille and CityVille)

2. Watching reality TV (or just TV in general)

3. Making elaborate to do lists and planning for the future.

4. Watching YouTube videos (from beauty gurus to nail gurus, to product reviews to vlogs, I watch them all)

5. Daydreaming because nothing says procrastinating quite like that.

These were just my top five.

What are yours?

Let me know in the comments below!

Have a good weekend! 🙂

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Posted on: August 27, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!!!!!

Today I’m double deuces!

Yeah baby!!!!


Unfortunately I’m going to be spending my day negotiating class schedules and running errands.

On the up-side I’m going to get my hair and nails done and have lunch with my friends.

Looking on the bright side makes everything better!

Happy Birthday to everyone born today! Live it up! Today is our day, enjoy it to the fullest! It’s a pleasure sharing the day with you. Have a great day!

Let’s celebrate! 🙂

PS. Today is the 27th but WordPress wasn’t letting me publish yesterday…bad WordPress. So Happy Belated Birthday to me! Enjoy your day! 🙂


Title: That Summer

Author: Sarah Dessen

Published: 1996

Description: For fifteen-year-old Haven, life is changing too quickly. She’s nearly six feet tall, her father is getting remarried, and her sister—the always perfect Ashley—is planning a wedding of her own. Haven wishes things could just go back to the way they were. Then an old boyfriend of Ashley’s reenters the picture, and through him, Haven sees the past for what it really was, and comes to grips with the future. (Taken from Goodreads)

Off the bat I should say that this book is not what I expected it to be. After hearing such good things about Sarah Dessen and her phenomenal romance novels I picked up her début novel with one thing in mind, mind-blowing romance. However That Summer really isn’t a romance novel at all. It’s a coming of age story of a girl struggling to let go of the past and move on with her future and as such it fell short of my expectations.

That aside it was a good read. The story was great, the characters believable. I could see the teen drama playing out in real life and although I’m only 5’3 I could relate to her height anxiety.

Sumner was my knight in shining armor, the perfect boy and oh so delectable. I really hoped, wished, even prayed that he and Haven would get together some how…regardless of the age difference. But then we found out the truth and you realized that he was flawed just like the rest of them.

I was happy with the end, the sister bonding, the acceptance of her fate. Over the summer a new, better Haven was born and I was really happy for her.

That Summer may not the romance novels Sarah Dessen is known for, but I think it’s still worth a read. I give it a 3.5 out of five.

Have you ever labelled a book one thing and then read it and realized you were totally wrong?

Did you still enjoy the read?

Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reading! 🙂

Title: Nikolas and Company – First Look

Author: Kevin McGill

Published: June 30th 2011

Description: “The Rones lie about their true intent. They enter the city of Huron at the peril of us all. Save me.”

Every steward has a city and every steward hears the voice of the city. Fourteen-year-old Nikolas Lyons has heard the voice of Huron and she will change his life forever.
Nikolas and company are transported to a time when Earth is tethered to the fantastic world of Mon – or as we have come to call her, the Moon. He learns that Mon is filled with fire-breathing winged lions and volcano born nymphs and magic so thick you can breathe it. But not all things are grand and beautiful. While aboard the Mottled Craw and in route to Huron, Xanthus is poisoned by a mysterious creature. It is not long after Nikolas understands that his friend’s poisioning and the evil brought on by the Rones are one and the same. Never one for responsibility, Nikolas finds himself tasked with finding a cure for a dying Xanthus, while protecting the city of Huron from the mysterious creature most foul. (Taken from Goodreads)

Kevin McGill is a part of the fabulous duo that hosts the podcast Guys Can Read and for months I’ve been hearing about his YA novel Nikolas & Co. So when he released a 100 page excerpt I was beyond happy and downloaded the epub copy right away.

I have just got to say that I love this book, or to be exact this excerpt of the book. It was a great beginning, at first I was confused but as soon as the chips began falling into place I was all in.

The twists and turns that I see coming up in this book just makes me so happy. And there is ALWAYS something going on, never a dull moment. No one likes an adventure book where we spend the majority of it just waiting. We need conflict and surprises and Kevin seems like he’s willing to supply both, and lots of them too.

The excerpt ended at such a great place and I just can’t wait to get my hands on the finished product.

Check out the excerpt at Nikolas & Co – First Look and on September 15th grab a finished copy.

Let me know what you guys think of it in the comments below.

Happy Reading! 🙂


Title: Sense & Sensibility

Author: Jane Austen

Published: 1811

Description: ‘The more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!’

Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor‘s warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love—and its threatened loss—the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love. (Taken from Goodreads).

After reading and completing enjoying Pride & Prejudice I figured I’d try my hand at another Austen book. So with the help of Librivox and their audiobooks I have completed yet another classic.

I’ve got to say I loved Sense & Sensibility, not as much as Pride & Prejudice but I loved it a lot. Again Austen has a way of letting you fall in love with her characters and care about them and their well-being.

Elinor was such a strong character, she was a rock to her family despite the emotional turmoil she was going through thanks to one Ms. Lucy Steele. I must say I despise that girl with a passion, she was so mean and vile, rubbing her engagement in Elinor’s face like that under the pretense of friendship, despicable girl.

Reading about Elinor and her struggles made me feel like I could go through anything. I could take anything head on, and overcome without losing my head. Elinor is a GREAT role model.

Marianne on the other hand was a very frivolous character. She did as she pleased when she pleased without a thought in the world for anyone else. She also never saw anything in gradations, she was either all in or all out. The lesson Marianne teaches is to love with all our hearts, love with ever fiber of our beings and do everything to the best of our abilities with all the enthusiasm in our possessions, and this is a marvelous lesson to learn.

Of course the real lesson is that to make it in this world you need to be able to balance your sense (Elinor) with your sensibility (Marianne). Something we all need to remember. We need to be shrewd about who we choose in life to spend our time with but to be truly happy we’ve got to let go and love with all we’ve got. Love is risky, just make sure who you choose is worth it.

Of course no review of Sense & Sensibility could be complete without mentioning the wonderful Colonel Brandon. I felt for this man so much. To think he had to sit and watch the love of his life fall in love with another man, a worthless one at that. His love never lessened, never weakened, in fact it grew with time. Colonel Brandon is perfect, I wouldn’t change a hair on his head.

I give Sense & Sensibility 4.5 stars out of five, just because Pride & Prejudice had to be higher than it. I’d recommend it to everyone. Go out and get a copy now or revisit it as soon as possible.

I think I’m turning into an Austen fan. 🙂

Are you an Austen fan?

Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading! 🙂

A couple of weeks ago while listening to Books on the Nightstand Ann or Michael I can’t remember which one mentioned a blog written by a woman that read a book a day for a year.

Yes, that’s 365 books and these weren’t small picture books either, these were good-sized books, tomes even. Plus she reviewed every one of them. O.O

So you must be wondering why she would take on such a challenge? Well one of her sisters died and to combat the grief and depression she started to fill her days with activities in hopes of living a full life to compensate for the one her sister lost. However after a couple of years of this she realized that living a full life and having a full social planner isn’t always synonymous and turned to her old love of reading.

She decided that for a year she would only read books her sister would read and they had to a certain size, as I said no small picture book and she would read one a day. This was what helped her overcome the grief of losing a beloved sister and to enjoy life again.

Tis a very touching story if I ever heard one and it inspired me to start reading like my old self again. I used to read at every spare moment, reading was preferred over all other types of entertainment and little could pull me away. But now tv shows, reality tv, podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, the Internet in general are all taking precedence over my books.

She’s inspired me to rectify that immediately and return to the wonders of my books and the happy security they offered. So instead of watching tv I’ll read a book and instead of listening to podcasts I’ll listen to an audiobook. Books were my world and its high time I return them to their rightful place.

Her name is Nina Sankovitch, her blog is Read All Day and her book documenting her year of reading is Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading. Check it out!

Has anyone influenced you lately?

Hope it’s to do something positive.

Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reading! 🙂

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