Monday Book Recommendation

Cooking with Jane Austen
Author: Katherine J. Chen
Publication Date: July 24, 2018

Synopsis: The overlooked middle sister in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice casts off her prim exterior and takes center stage in this fresh retelling of the classic novel. 

I will tell you the story of how I knew myself to be plain and therefore devoid of the one virtue which it behooves every woman to have. 

What is to be done with Mary Bennet? She possesses neither the beauty of her eldest sister, Jane, nor the high-spirited charm of Lizzy. Even compared to her frivolous younger siblings, Kitty and Lydia, Mary knows she is lacking in the ways that matter for single, not-so-well-to-do women in nineteenth-century England who must secure their futures through the finding of a husband. As her sisters wed, one by one, Mary pictures herself growing old, a spinster with no estate to run or children to mind, dependent on the charity of others. At least she has the silent rebellion and secret pleasures of reading and writing to keep her company. 

But even her fictional creations are no match for the scandal, tragedy, and romance that eventually visit Mary's own life. In Mary B, readers are transported beyond the center of the ballroom to discover that wallflowers are sometimes the most intriguing guests at the party. Beneath Mary's plain appearance and bookish demeanor simmers an inner life brimming with passion, humor, and imagination--and a voice that demands to be heard. 

Set before, during, and after the events of Pride and Prejudice, Katherine J. Chen's vividly original debut novel pays homage to a beloved classic while envisioning a life that is difficult to achieve in any era: that of a truly independent woman.

Programing note: This is one of the selections for our September 15th Reading Group.  We will be discussing works of Jane Austen fanfiction.  You can read one or all three; for each book, on attendee will present a short summary/book report for the benefit of those who have chosen a different book. 


Meet the Janeites - Susan

Name: Susan

How did you become a Janeite?  Reading the novels

Favorite Jane Austen Novel?  Persuasion

Favorite Character?  Anne Elliot

Favorite Movie Adaptation?  Persuasion with Ciaran Hinds

Any Sequels or Adaptations you enjoy?  I recently read Mr. Darcy's Daughters by Elizabeth Aspen and thought it was well done. 

Anything else you want to share?  It's a fun period to learn about

Want to be featured on Meet the Janeites? Please fill out the linked form which is a quick survey about your Janeite background.


Afternoons with Austen @ Princeton Public Library

The Princeton Public Library presents Afternoons with Austen

Wednesdays at 3 pm in the Community Room. 

Enjoy a cup of tea and a film adaptation of a Jane Austen novel on Wednesday afternoons. For true Austen fanatics, “Addicted to Austen” calling cards will be distributed at each screening to be stamped by staff. Those who attend three or more screenings will be entered in a drawing to win a prize pack of copies of all of the films shown in the series.

July 31 - Pride and Prejudice (2005)

August 7 - Emma

August 14 - Love and Friendship

August 21 - Sense and Sensibility (1995)

August 28 - Persuasion (2007)

Click here to get a printable copy of the flyer. 


Book Quote Monday

Trying something new here on the blog, using a random word generator I will get a word and find it in one of Jane's novels. I will share that quote here. 


There was too much wind to make the high part of the new Cobb pleasant for the ladies, and they agreed to get down the steps to the lower, and all were contented to pass quietly and carefully down the steep flight, excepting Louisa: she must be jumped down them by Captain Wentworth. In all their walks he had had to jump her from the stiles; the sensation was delightful to her. The hardness of the pavement for her feet made him less willing upon the present occasion; he did it, however. She was safely down, and instantly to shew her enjoyment, ran up the steps to be jumped down again. He advised her against it, thought the jar too great; but no, he reasoned and talked in vain, she smiled and said, "I am determined I will": he put out his hands; she was too precipitate by half a second, she fell on the pavement on the Lower Cobb, and was taken up lifeless! There was no wound, no blood, no visible bruise; but her eyes were closed, she breathed not, her face was like death. The horror of that moment to all who stood around!

--Persuasion and Chapter 12