Updates

July Recap 2018

We are done traveling (long haul at least) for the summer! I know most people would not be as excited about this as I am, but it is exhausting.

I put a photo recap down below under books and bookish things because most everything we saw was connected to books, except for my friend’s wedding. We drove over 24 hours in total while we were visiting and it was awesome because we saw parts of the country I’ve never seen except by train or plane. The above photo is our full trip with a photo of our northern post point Ben A’an and our southern most point Brighton.

We did so many bookish things that I’ll just include a slide show below and put a caption explaining what they are rather than write them all out. We didn’t even set out to do that many it just happened (mostly because Tim told me this was our last trip to the UK for some time). Continue reading “July Recap 2018”

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Books

Book 557: The Brontë Plot – Katherine Reay

The Brontë Plot cover artThe downside with reading so many romance novels by the same author back-to-back is you quickly discover their strengths and weaknesses. As I read each of Reay’s works, they became less and less memorable even as I was reading them.

If I have to tie it down to the most basic its character development closely followed by pacing. I’m not one to need a “two months later” directional at every instance, but in Reay’s case it would’ve helped a lot. Toward the beginning of the novel the meet cute and the timing was so off I found myself having to re-read multiple sections to see if I’d missed the introduction or some major indicator of time having passed. (I hadn’t.)

Continue reading “Book 557: The Brontë Plot – Katherine Reay”

Books

Book 543: The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton

We moved last month and I had to shuffle books around and needed to pull one of a certain size off my shelf and this one was it so I figured might as well read it and I’m glad I did! I honestly thought this was on my Classics Club list, but apparently it wasn’t when I went to document it on my lists.

Apparently, I picked it up as part of my re-read books from high school that you didn’t like to see how they/I have changed after attending a panel at the 2012 Boston Book Festival. Although I didn’t read this one in high school, I read Ethan Frome, which of course I was disgruntled about because it wasn’t Star Wars or fantasy. Now I am again interested in the retelling that I mention, so who knows I might revisit this sooner than I think. Continue reading “Book 543: The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton”

Books

Book 520: The Bookshop – Penelope Fitzgerald

I did not realize this one was a Man Booker Award Short List nominee when I started it. I expected fluff and lightness but realized within a few chapters that this was a lot better written than I was mentally prepared for when I selected to read it because it was one of the shortest books left on my list.

I would say this book reminds me of Joanne Harris’ Chocolat, but I honestly think Chocolat (because it was published so much later) got a lot from this type of book. The idea of someone coming into a town (no matter how long you’ve been in the town you’re still not from there) and basically stirring up the locals is a tried-and-true trope. The difference between this and Chocolat is that Fitzgerald’s The Bookshop is written so subtly that the magic you see in this book isn’t actual magic. IT is emotions and growth and community.

Continue reading “Book 520: The Bookshop – Penelope Fitzgerald”

Books

Book 516: Jane Austen: A Brief Life – Fiona Stafford

After being disappointed by the much hyped (by me internally at least) Jane Austen, the Secret Radical by Helena Kelly I looked elsewhere to nurse my mental wounds and found this lovely brief biography by Fiona Stafford. I reached out to the publisher for a copy as the book was recently re-released as part of Austen’s 200th death anniversary.*

I’ve surprisingly steered clear of nonfiction works concerning Austen (not really though because I like that she’s a bit of a mystery even with what we know about her. That being said I do have a few on my shelf that I plan to make my way through eventually. I’m not sure many, if any, will top this delightful read.

Continue reading “Book 516: Jane Austen: A Brief Life – Fiona Stafford”

Books

Book 514: The Dashwood Sisters Tell All (Adventures with Jane Austen and Her Legacy #3) – Beth Pattillo

Another weekend, another great beach read! If you’re keeping track, which only I am, that’s three Jane Austen fan-fiction novels and one male-male romance novel. Talk about a great summer at the beach 😀

This is the third and final installment in Beth Pattillo’s Adventures with Jane Austen and Her Legacy series, following Jane Austen Ruined My Life and Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart.

This felt like the weakest of the three books when it comes to narrative and characters, but I have to give Pattillo kudos for trying something new. Rather than focusing on one primary character and their voice/point-of-view, she split the book and moved back and forth between the characters Ellen and Mimi (not too much of a stretch from Elinor and Marianne am I right? – Pattillo nods to this).  Continue reading “Book 514: The Dashwood Sisters Tell All (Adventures with Jane Austen and Her Legacy #3) – Beth Pattillo”

Updates

May Recap 2017

In case you missed it, I went back to the UK this month. It was the first time I’ve been back since I left after finishing school over there in 2009. It was a wonderful trip and I got to see so many people who I haven’t seen in SO long! We attended a wonderful wedding in London for my friend Emily and then afterward were joined by my childhood best friend Alie in London.

Not only did I see a bunch of friends from Leeds, but I also got to see a few friends from summer camp which was even better! I won’t spend the whole post talking about it, but suffice to say there are a lot of photos that I want to share but won’t because I either can’t be bothered to edit them or don’t want to overwhelm everyone. Highlights of the trip, specifically book related include: Jane Austen’s House (photos after the jump (left), Warner Brothers: The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour, British Library and National Portrait Gallery. I didn’t have NEARLY enough time at Jane Austen’s, but I will go back eventually. That’s a photo of me and I was so excited and I was smiling so much that my eyes are closed in all of the photos.

Continue reading “May Recap 2017”