The Life of Shinke

Archive for December 2011

A year ago I decided to undertake five, count ’em FIVE reading challenges. At this point I have realized my insanity with all the work I had to do this year. These goals were rather ambitious and I graciously accept defeat in most if not all my challenges.

Challenge #1: War & Peace Read-Along

I never finished this book, didn’t even half or quarter it, I barely scratched the surface. I got as far as the army inspection after the boys were deployed and stopped. I lost interest and when next I picked up a book it was anything but War and Peace. I imagine one day I’ll finish it as I hate starting a book and not finishing it, even if I don’t like it, I have to see it through, just in case it turns the corner and becomes magnificent.

Challenge #2: Read 50 Books in 2011

Yeah, about that I’ve read 19 books. Which is sad since in my A Year Of Challenges: Progress Report post I had read 12. However I cite school, work and sleep as the reason for my lackluster performance, school was brutal this semester, it’s a miracle I made it out alive. oO

Challenge #3: Fill In The Gaps – 100 Books That Fell Through The Cracks In 5 Years

As this challenge doesn’t end until January 1, 2016 I still have time to complete it and redeem myself. Since my last report I have dispatched three more making my final tally for 2011, six.

#4: Princess Diaries – Meg Cabot

#6: Sense & Sensibility – Jane Austen

#8: Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

#9: Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen

#30: A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

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

Challenge #4: Nicholas Sparks

Technically I have completed this challenge but not how I had planned to. The challenge merely asks for me to complete 1-4 Nicholas Sparks books but my goal was to read four, I only read two; The Notebook and A Walk To Remember.

Challenge #5: Harry Potter

As I stated in my progress report I never got around to re-reading these books but I will someday, possibly in audiobook format. 🙂

Bonus Challenge: WordPress Post A Week 

Yeah, I have not posted a blog post a week and have not amassed 52 posts in 2011 and as such fail this challenge as well but I have tried to post more often, if that is any consolation.

So all in all this year was a failure for my challenges, it could be due to the pressure to complete them (my mind tends to procrastinate when told to do something) or the lack of time due to my obligations, or a combination of both. As a result I have vowed not to take any challenges this year, except of course the fill in the gaps which will continue until 2016 and see if my performance is any better when I’m not bound to reading.

Did you fare any better on your reading challenges this year? I sure hope so.

Let me know in the comments below.

Be safe ringing in the new year and happy reading! 🙂


Title: Jane Eyre

Author: Charlotte Bronte

Published: 1847

Description: Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed. With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte’s innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers… (Taken from Goodreads)

I read the shorter kid friendly version of this book when I was 11, I actually got it as a graduation prize for being the best behaved member of my class, and I thought it was amazing. When I was and this is probably going to sound weird but before age 18 I was blissfully unaware that I hadn’t read the entire book just an abridged version made to lure children into reading classics. It wasn’t until seeing a friend of mine with a copy that I realized my error and vowed to right this literary wrong. Fast forward a couple years and here I am finally completing that goal and I’m glad to say I still think this book is amazing, even more so now than then.

I could easily put this book on a best book ever list and not worry in the least at being ridiculed for my taste. Charlotte Bronte does such a good job pulling you in and making you care about these characters. In the kid friendly version they just laid out the events one behind the other without the reflections and pace of the original manuscript but when those are poured in what a life this story takes on.

Jane is an amazing woman. She was always striving for better, knowing there had to be more to life than what people wanted her to accept. She is a brilliant character and a role model to us all. The fact that Charlotte made her a plain looking girl just helped her personality to shine more and prove to us that beauty is not everything, hear that Ms.Ingram?

Rochie, Rochie, Rochie, what to say about dear Mr.Rochester. I love him, I don’t know if it was because I already knew the story had a happy ending but I love Mr.Rochester. I love all their interactions, I can just imagine all his side-long glances, loving stares, I could give myself goosebumps. Yes, I am aware of his flaws but still, just like Jane I can’t unlove him now.

The side characters were wonderful as well, Mrs.Fairfax, poor poor Helen, even Ms.Ingram played her part well. This story is a must read, and a must re-read. I give it a whopping 5 out of 5 and a big, shiny favourite sticker for the world to see.

Which favourite classic have you revisited lately?

Were you ever tricked into thinking you knew the whole story when you just had the kid’s version?

Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reading! 🙂

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