It is done. I can hardly believe it, but the challenges are OVER. As I've been saying all year, I've decided to do NO MORE challenges possibly ever again, for the simple reason that I can't take them- for me they're a bad idea because the second I decide to read a book for a challenge, I lose all enthusiasm for that book, and it might as well be laced with poison and filled with pages that guarantee papercuts.
Shall I just do some linky list type things for the edification of adjudicators everywhere? Hey, why don't I? So basically I participated in 3 challenges this year, all of which STOLE MY SOUL and sucked some of the fun out of reading sometimes. Turns out, I don't like to schedule my reading/read things that are on lists that I HAVE WRITTEN MYSELF. Because I'm an idiot. Anyway.
Firstly, the Back To The Classics Challenge:
A Nineteenth Century Classic: Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
A Twentieth Century Classic: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Re-read a Classic: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
A Classic Play: Othello by William Shakespeare
Classic Mystery/Horror/Crime Fiction: Armadale by Wilkie Collins
Classic Romance: Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
A Translated Classic: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Classic Award Winner: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Classic Set in a Country You Won't Visit: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Lookit all those books I read! Aren't I a clever. And don't even tell me that Antony and Cleopatra doesn't count as a classic romance, because I was not AT ALL interested in the Roman/Egyptian politics in that play. So there.
Moving swiftly on, the TBR Challenge turned out to be my least favourite because, it turns out, there was a reason that I hadn't read all these books I was hoarding, and that reason was apparently because I didn't really want to. Still, it's called a challenge because it's meant to be challenging, and challenging it was:
2. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
And, two reserves:
All I can say about this one is, at least it made me get rid of, ooh... 5 books, and it finally made me read Long Walk To Freedom which actually I'm really happy about. ALSO it started off that whole Bill Bryson thing I was having at the start of the year, so that was fun! But still. No. Bad challenges.
And then, finally, there was the Off the Shelf Challenge, which shouldn't have been at all difficult, but turned out to be extremely so. All I had to do was read 30 books that I owned before 2012, and... I just about did that. BUT NEW BOOKS AND LIBRARIES ARE SO TEMPTING DAMMIT!
24. Burton on Burton
Mind you, this challenge also meant that I got rid of another 5 books, and this is not a bad thing at all. And why am I talking up challenges to you, when OMG no I can't do anymore ever again! I was slightly wavering on whether to just do this challenge again next year, but I think I might just track the books that I do read off the shelf in 2013, just as a little record for myself with no pressure! (I understand that all of this pressure is internal rather than external. Just so you know.)
So. CHALLENGES OVER FOREVER! The end. Shall I talk about myself for a tiny bit now? This week has been all about getting better- I finished my antibiotics, and, wonder of wonders, I kind of feel... ok? I mean, I don't feel the BEST EVER because I've basically not been well for the WHOLE OF DECEMBER, but I feel ok! *crosses fingers, hopes she doesn't wake up in the morning with some new ailment* I have been doing some Christmas baking this week so there are plenty of yummy things around to eat, but foolishly I agreed a while ago to work on Christmas Eve and the day after Boxing Day, so this whole Christmas thing isn't going to be able to go on FOREVER like it normally does. Which is maybe an ok thing, because I'm better with a routine, but still... it kind of sucks in that it's the first year EVER that Christmas has been like this for me.
But anyway. It's called being an adult, I guess, and there's no shame in it. Probably. The only other important thing that has happened in my life is that Frances and I had our annual Christmas watching of Gone With the Wind yesterday (if you follow me on twitter, you probably know all about it... SORRY for all the twitter spam!) and it was magical as always and oh my GOSH you really need to try this watching things simultaneously with people on the internet because it is the BEST. Or at least the best solution to certain difficulties. Oh, and ALSO I may be the only person in the history of ever who has now read A Christmas Carol (it was good, but needed more Muppets) and isn't going to review it before Christmas. Or maybe not until next Christmas. What can I say, I have a whole other thing planned for tomorrow! You'll love it!
Anyway. That's enough from me. I hope you all have a truly magical Christmas, if I don't 'see' you again before I go to lands where there is barely any internet (my respective grandmothers') and if I do... I'll probably say it again. Yay Christmas!