Sunday, January 22, 2012

What I'm Reading

Jane Austen.

I adore Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice is my absolute favorite novel, and I set aside time to read Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy's love story every summer. But I delight in all of Austen's novels; Emma, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion all tie for second. Since I enjoy her writing immensely, I also try to devour everything I can on Ms. Austen herself. I read her biographies, watch the documentaries and catch all media renditions of her books. I'm in love with the movie version of Pride and Prejudice starring Kiera Knightly, and enjoy BBC's version of Emma. But I also adore movies like Becoming Jane and The Jane Austen Book Club.

Conversely, I read stories on Austen and her novels from other avid fans' views. I know some people have an issue when a writer creates sequels from beloved classic novels. However, I can't put the books down. Sometimes I, myself, wonder what life was like after the story ends, as with Emma and Mr. Knightly. I'm amused with what other writers' imagine. Just Jane and Sharon Lathan's Darcy series are some examples of this style of writing. And I recently stumbled across another such novel: The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James.

Yes, I devoured this book. It was so interesting, and there was a time towards the very beginning that I thought the book was actually fact (which I heard happened to a lot of readers). A true fan of Jane Austen can't help but believe that Austen knew real love. How can someone who writes about it so well, with so much emotion, not? If you happen to be a fan of Austen, check out this story about Jane's secret love affair!

While obtaining my Master's in Library Information and Science, I read a lot of young adult books. And I have to say, most of them I truly enjoyed. There are excellent YA novels out there that adults would definitely find worth reading. Markus Zusak's The Book Thief is one of them. Although I did not read this book as part of my coursework, many people, friends included, told me I must read this YA novel. And all I have to say is that I'm sorry I waited so long!

Zusak's writing is brilliantly captivating, and the point-of-view lends itself to this heavy blanket of darkness with the turn of each page. The book's plot focuses on a German family, particularly a young girl, during WWII and the Holocaust. I couldn't put this book down. My heart was broken. I cried, more than once. The experience was a little life-changing.

Now...onto the new read for my book club. I love that my co-workers (they're more than just co-workers, I love hanging our with these girls!) and I have a book club! And we're moving on to Book #2: One of Ours by Willa Cather. Cather won a Pulitzer for this novel.

One of the members suggested this book because she had read other Cather novels and always wanted to read this one. None of the rest of us knew much about Cather, so we agreed. I downloaded it to my Kindle (for free, by the way) and dived in. I'm almost half-way through One of Ours, and I really like the main character 21-year-old Claude Wheeler, but I'm still waiting for a plot. The book takes place in the great farmlands of Nebraska as America enters WWI. (For some reason, recently I can't seem to get away from war stories...hmmm.) As of now, I'm still interested; however, it needs to get going.

With Love and God Bless,

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