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9.02.2014

Austen in August Wrap-up!



Longbourn by Jo Baker (BCD) (4 of 5 stars)
I will admit that I couldn't wait to finish listening and picked up the book at work and read the last few chapters at lunch.  I really liked how the novel was set during the time of P&P but it wasn't just a retelling.  It was a whole new story and I cared more about what was going on Sarah, Mrs. Hill and James than I did with the parts that reflected the events of P&P.  
The novel is in three volumes and the third one was the hardest for me to get through.  It was like when a show you love ends a season on a cliffhanger and when it comes back it doesn't pick right back up.  The third volume covered a lot of background information and eventually caught back up with the ending of volume 2 (that's when I started to get desperate to be in the car).  I highly recommend this book!
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (4 of 5 stars)
I took my time in my rereading of MP. It was my first time rereading the novel since my first reading back in college. It was kind of like reading it for the first time, I rediscovered why I disliked some characters and why I liked others.  I found myself enjoying it more than I remembered the first time.  I saw a lot of myself in Fanny which really made me feel for her during a number of scenes. I did, however, dislike the end of the novel. I had forgotten that we get very little concerning the courtship of Fanny and Edmund. 
The List Lovers Guide to Jane Austen by Joan Strasbaugh (4 of 5 stars)

I really enjoyed it and think it's a great resource to have on hand. It's really just a book of lists. I can already tell I'll be using it as a reference for writing blog posts in the future!
Mr. Knightly's Diary by Amanda Grange (4 of 5 stars)
It was wonderful to get Mr. Knightly's take on the events of Emma.  It was a quick and fun read and I enjoyed the bits taken from Emma. I liked how we got to see how he realizes he is in love with Emma. 
A Darcy Christmas by Various Authors (2.5 of 4 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. 
Cassandra & Jane by Jill Pitkeathley (DNF)
I did not finish this book. I gave it a really good try, but I just couldn't get into the story. 

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?