If you’ve ever read this blog before you know I really love two things: books and Jane Austen. So when I found out Charlie Lovett, author of The Bookman’s Tale wrote an Austen fan-fiction novel (my label) I was super excited! I requested a copy from the publisher and received no compensation for my opinion.
Many authors have tried to write novels featuring Jane Austen at the time she wrote her stories and try to connect her novels to her life. However, few have done it as well as Lovett has in First Impressions. The author worked around many of the issues other authors face (mirroring Austen’s language and getting the time period and personality of Austen and her characters correct) by immediately jumping into Jane Austen’s life. The book opens in the late 1700s with Austen on a walk through the countryside (hello Lizzie Bennet) and as the reader gets to an interesting point Lovett jumps to modern-day London. This could be confusing, but Lovett does it effortlessly.
This was a crazy month. I completed five of my 30×30 list AND read five books. Most of the month surrounded my trip to Acadia. I know I did other stuff too, but my brain is absolutely drained.
The photo to the right, was an awesome snapshot I took while visiting Bar Harbor, Maine. I think what I was most impressed with is that there are no people other than the driver and it could really be any time period (except for the pram/stroller). It wasn’t my favorite book shop we visited, that was Mystery Cove and I didn’t get the chance to visit the Big Chicken Barn but I will go back up at some point!
I don’t care what people say. I love J.K. Rowling.
She is a skilled story-teller and talented writer. With the two types of reactions most people have when they hear her name, it’s easy to see why she wanted her name kept far from her works as Robert Galbraith. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen, but this was a bonus for those of us who would never have discovered them.
On one side, you have those with visceral negative reactions to her and her writing. (A lot of the time by those who’ve never read her books.) And on the other side, you have the people who adore them solely because it’s J.K. Rowling; Obviously. Thankfully, I’m somewhere in the middle. I can both appreciate her as an evolving writer and find fault in her skills as a story-teller, especially in her post Harry Potter novels. (I’m still waiting for the, hmm Harry Potter isn’t as wondrous as I first thought it was moment, but it still hasn’t happened.)
The Classics Club moderators are really pushing us out of our comfort zone this month and I’m enjoying it, even if I can’t think of a great answer outside of the excellent example they provide! I might do another “avoid answering” by answering differently, as it’s where I’ve gone in my head.
Select two classics from your list (by different authors) that you have finished reading. Now switch the authors, and contemplate how each might have written the other’s book. For example, what if Charlotte Brontë had written David Copperfield, and Charles Dickens had written Jane Eyre? How might the style, focus and impact change in a work of literature by a different author’s pen? What about William Shakespeare writing Pride & Prejudice, and Jane Austen writing The Taming of the Shrew? Etc. If you discuss the story, please of course remember to warn folks plot details are forthcoming.
What an exhausting month! I’m still not sure where summer has gone and I’m seriously struggling to believe it’s September 1st! It probably doesn’t help that the weather here in Boston has been a bit of a shit-show recently: down in the 60s last week and in the 90s most of this week, no thank you. There were other crazy things going on that I’m not able to talk about now, but suffice to say it was a super busy month.
On top of the strangely mixed weather, I’ve done a lot of blogging and working to expand my bookish empire! Muwhaahaahaahaa! I released the mini episode of my podcast, Come Read With Me, to get it on iTunes and just yesterday released the first FULL length episode where I talked with my friend Caroline about From Russia with Love. On top of that I read The Grapes of Wrath as part of my 30 x 30 list and did a lot of cultural things too!
As promised, here is Episode 1 (the real first episode) of Come Read With Me! My guest on this episode is my good friend Caroline and we discuss Ian Flemming’s From Russia with Love, which I reviewed WAY back in February, which was also when we recorded this!
In the episode we discuss anything and everything from our first experiences with Bond to a distracted few minutes of ogling Sean Connery (the promised picture is below) and discussing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career. And I find out about Caroline’s adorable first library card!
Download it here: CRWM #01 (Right click and “save as.”)
Give me a book about a another book (missing, newly discovered, controversial, etc) and I’m happy. The writing could even be mediocre (this one was better than mediocre) and I can still deal with it!
I’m pretty sure this only serves to further verify I am a bibliophile, which isn’t at ALL shocking. I requested and received a copy of this book from the publisher after previewing it on NetGalley and received no compensation in return for my honest opinion.
Overall, I enjoyed the novel. It was a quick and fascinating read. However, I had some issues (and this may be from the fact this was a digital ARC copy) with the books structure. The book is set up as three intertwining stories: the original story/timeline of Robert Green’s Pandosto (1592-1879) (Wikipedia link), the beginning of Peter and Amanda’s relationship (early-to-mid 1980s – 1993/4) and the current events of the story (1995).You can imagine how this would be a bit confusing, especially as I never read anything about a book before I jump into it!