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8.25.2014

It's Monday! What are you reading? - Austen in August

This is a meme hosted by Book Journey.



I've finished nearly everything on my list.  I'm hoping to finish Cassandra & Jane by the end of the week. How is your Austen in August reading going?

Reading list:
Longbourn by Jo Baker (BCD) (4 of 5 stars)
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (4 of 5 stars)
The List Lovers Guide to Jane Austen by Joan Strasbaugh (4 of 5 stars)
Mr. Knightly's Diary by Amanda Grange (4 of 5 stars)
Cassandra & Jane by Jill Pitkeathley (still reading)
A Darcy Christmas by Various Authors (2.5 of 4 stars)


8.22.2014

Book Beginnings/Austen in August - Cassandra & Jane

This is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  They ask that you post the first line(s) to the book you are currently reading and share some feelings on the book.  I'm tweaking this a bit and I'm going to share first lines of books/stories, written by, about, or in the theme of Jane Austen. Since today is August first this is also our start to Austen in August! This year it is being hosted by Jenna over at Lost Generation Reader.


This week I'm taking my opening from Cassandra & Jane: A Jane Austen Novel by Jill Pitkeathley.

Prologue
Chawton, October 1843
I have kept everyone of the letters that Jane wrote to me. I have read them all now and sorted them into two piles. At first, I stored them in my lacquered box and later, after her death, I transferred them to her rosewood trunk.
The two piles are those Cassandra intends to burn and those she intends to keep.


Book Description:

They were beloved sisters and the best of friends. But Jane and Cassandra Austen suffered the same fate as many of the women of their era. Forced to spend their lives dependent on relatives, both financially and emotionally, the sisters spent their time together trading secrets, challenging each other's opinions, and rehearsing in myriad other ways the domestic dramas that Jane would later bring to fruition in her popular novels. For each sister suffered through painful romantic disappointments - tasting passion, knowing great love, and then losing it - while the other stood witness. Upon Jane's death, Cassandra deliberately destroyed her personal letters, thereby closing the door to the private life of the renowned novelist . . . until now.
In Cassandra & Jane, author Jill Pitkeathley ingeniously reimagines the unique and intimate relationship between two extraordinary siblings, reintroducing readers to one of the most intriguing figures in the world of literature, as seen through the eyes of the one person who knew her best.

8.18.2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Austen in August

This is a meme hosted by Book Journey.


I'm still listening to Longbourn by Jo Baker, read by Emma Fielding.  I'm so close to being done, and I'm trying to find reasons to be in the car so I can keep listening.  The book is broken into three volumes and I'm in the third and OMG. Things have been hinted at throughout the book and with this section we're finally learning some really great background information on some of the characters.

I'm still reading Mansfield Park. I'm moving kind of slow in my reading, but making good progress.

Here's my review:

A Darcy ChristmasA Darcy Christmas by Sharon Lathan
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

This includes three novellas by three authors.

Mr. Darcy's Christmas Carol by Carolyn Eberhart. -3 Stars
This novella changes the end of P&P so Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth don't get married alongside Bingley and Jane.  Then it follows the basic plot of A Christmas Carol.  It was an okay story. Honestly the reason this got 3 instead of 2 stars was because there was a brief visit with Anne and Frederick!

Christmas Present by Amanda Grange. -4 Stars
This was the only story to stick closely to the characters of P&P.  In this one it's about a year after the end of the novel and something special happens on Christmas.

A Darcy Christmas by Sharon Lathan -1 Star
I haven't read any of Sharon Lathan's books, but I've been told how great they are, and sadly I really didn't see it in these Christmas shorts. This novella, is broken down to all the Christmases that take place during the course of her series and her characterizations didn't work for me. 


What are you reading?

8.15.2014

Austen in August/Book Beginnings - Dancing with Mr. Darcy

This is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  They ask that you post the first line(s) to the book you are currently reading and share some feelings on the book.  I'm tweaking this a bit and I'm going to share first lines of books/stories, written by, about, or in the theme of Jane Austen. Since today is August first this is also our start to Austen in August! This year it is being hosted by Jenna over at Lost Generation Reader.


This week I'm taking my opening from the Dancing with Mr. Darcy: Stories Inspired by Jane Austen and Chawton House.  I decided to go with the start of both the Forward and the Introduction.

Forward by Sarah Waters:
From Bridget Jones's Diary to Bollywood's Bride and Prejudice. from the Regency-honor mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to the forthcoming sci-fi film Pride and Predator, it seems that Jane Austen's work is being appropriated by contemporary culture in ever more playful and creative ways. The fact that most of the modern interest in Austen converges on just one of her novels, however, suggest that the role she plays for us might actually be dwindling, even as her presence around us seems to be on the increase.
Introduction by Rebecca Smith:
I fell in love with the novels of Jane Austen when I was thirteen. I remember sitting in a 1950s prefab that was more greenhouse than classroom. ... The school was in Dorking, and the view from the playing fields was of Box Hill. ... There was no Mr Darcy. I don't know if the boys were reluctant to dance I didn't go to the discos.



Book Description:

Traumatized by her parents’ decision to give up the rectory in Hampshire where she grew up, Austen had been unable to write for ten years. During that time she moved from one rented property to another and it was only when her brother Edward offered her a permanent home in his Chawton House Estate that she had the peace and security to pick up her pen again. All of her novels were written or published while she lived there.

Dancing with Mr. Darcy is the very best short fiction inspired by Jane Austen or Chawton House as judged by Sarah Waters, bestselling author of Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith. In addition to featuring the winning piece of fiction and nineteen other stories, this anthology contains introductions from Sarah Waters, as well as from Rebecca Smith, the great-great-great-great-great niece of Jane Austen.