Sunday 23 December 2012

Sunday Sundries: Let's talk about these bloody challenges then, and also CHRISTMAS!

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
Classic Mystery/Horror/Crime Fiction: Armadale by Wilkie Collins
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
3. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
And, two reserves:
13. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

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!

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! 


  1. Oh honeybunch, your Sunday posts are, like, THE BEST THING ABOUT SUNDAYS in my world. So, challenges. I totally get this too! Like, for the TBR challenge, I spent aaaaages in December making my list of 12 books I was SO FRICKIN' EXCITED about reading this year, and I was all determined and I'd got my bandanna on and I was jogging on the spot and ready to DO THIS SHIT... then 1st January came. And suddenly it was like, "Oh, look over there at every other book I own that suddenly looks about a million times more interesting." So... I'm going without this year. Just to see if I fare better or worse. I think I'll miss the TBR one a little bit, but still. NO CHALLENGES. NOT YEAR-LONG ONES ANYWAY. :)

    I'm working Christmas Eve and the 27th too, for the first year ever (usually we take a bunch of time off from Christmas Eve to about 4th January and that's our winter break... but not this year. Because our sales have been too crap so we need to go pander to people who can't STOP THE FUCK SHOPPING over the festive break yet are mysteriously really grumpy about it, yaaaay). So, yeah. I Feel Your Pain.

    I watched A Christmas Carol last night and found out that Richard E. Grant as Bob Cratchit still has a special place in my heart after all. Take that, O Talking Frog. I also found out that the special effects in that version are really funny, but hey... Your baking sounds goooood, I just realised I have loads of food in the fridge that needs eating, like, NOW, and no time to eat it, so all I'll have after Christmas is mince pies. Is that good or bad? I haven't decided...

    Okay, that's my Sunday ramble over here done, and I've just nearly killed a customer for being a total douche, so I think it's time to drink coffee and eat something with chocolate on it now. MERRY CHRISTMAS SWEETPEA, HAVE A WONDERFUL ONE AND SEE YOU BACK IN INTERNETLAND IN A FEW DAYS! :D

    1. Awwww, I'm so glad! Your comments are a preeeetty special part of Sundays too!

      I have SUCH issues getting enthusiastic about books I've decided I'm going to read and it makes NO sense and I'm just like 'you're a MORON, love' and yet... I totally can't help it. NO CHALLENGES INDEED.

      Booooooo to working over Christmas. And YES, what is with the grumpy zombie shoppers between Christmas and New Year? It's like... Just stay at home and watch The Sound of Music if you don't want to be out here! God, I hate sale shopping.

      I made nutella biscotti yesterday and it is the YUMMIEST, because it involves nutella, you know. I really hate mince pies so I say that SUCKS, but what do I know? (Nothing)


  2. Laura - I'm SO impressed with all the books you read! I have to go back now and read all the reviews I missed! The only challenge I signed up for this past year was the 50 Book Pledge and even that one I failed at! So now I am discouraged from joining any other challenges for next year, because clearly I suck at even the simplest of challenges. Are you on goodreads?

    Being an adult sucks hey? I don't care how old or adulty I'm *supposed* to be - I like to have all of Christmas (week) off! Year before last I worked Xmas eve, Xmas day and only had boxing day off. It was so sad and Christmas already flies by quickly enough! So go ahead and complain - I totally hear ya! ;)

    1. Aww, you don't have to read them ALL (you totally do. Go on. Do it now. I'm waiting!) Challenges always seem like a good idea at the time you sign up for them, and then you actually have to *do* them and it's like... I don't wanna! I am not on goodreads because I didn't know it existed, and if I had I probably would have been like 'oh look, I can write little reviews and stuff!' and then would never have had a blog! And that would have just been tragic!

      Brie, your last Christmas makes me super sad! I totally want to have this whole week off, and I could kick myself because I think I totally could have been like 'I don't really want to work' and it would have been like 'yeah, that's ok' but now I am all signed up to do it, so hmph. (DO YOU HAVE BOXING DAY IN CANADA OMG!)

    2. WE HAVE BOXING DAY!!! Sadly, I am in Florida for Christmas this year, so no real boxing day. Ok, not SADLY because it's FLORIDA, but Boxing day will be here in spirit :)

      Goodreads is really fun for tracking your books. I like doing little updates on what page I'm on :) Haha.

  3. Um, congrats on finishing the challenges? You seriously took some major ones though. I don't blame you for not being excited to do any more!

    1. Haha, thanks for the congrats! I am proper grumpy about them, only because I think I don't have the right mindset to do them! But you did totally make me read more classics, so thanks for that! :)

  4. " 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" YES THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WITH CHALLENGES. So congrats for making it through yours.

    Would you just feel better already? You've been sick for a billion years? (If it makes you feel better, or at least have someone to commiserate with, I had a bad cough for like 2 months this fall. Stupid ailments.)

    1. Did I not say I felt better? I totally feel better! I think Christmas might have cured me! Although I am very loath to say that I'm all recovered, because tomorrow I could wake up with another cough or something. But for nowww...

      BOO CHALLENGES! No more ever. Probably.

    2. Well you said better but not ALL FIXED and I demand perfection

  5. Maaaannn just reading about your challenges makes me want to sign up for some this coming year, but I EPICALLY FAILED just about all of them. You are super-awesome for doing so many!

    Glad that you're feeling better and hope you had a lovely, wonderful Christmas!! :-)


      Thank you poppet! You too!

  6. Great job finishing -sorry that you didn't have more fun with it! You have been linked-up in the "home stretch" post and entered for that $50 gift card, though. ;)

    1. Woohoo! It's weird because, I enjoyed a lot of the books on my list, but it was like actually reading them was somehow depriving myself of reading other things? But also I wanted to read these books? And did I mention that I'm INSANE?! It did set me off on a massive Bill Bryson binge though, which is always good!

  7. I just completed the TBR challenge for the 2nd year and I love it. Maybe if you only did one challenge you'd like it better? I think if I did 3, I'd hate it, too.

    Just food for thought!