Dear Mr. Knightley

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Some people don’t like to let the day end with an argument running.

I don’t like to let the day end with a book unfinished.

I’d started Dear Mr. Knightley yesterday afternoon with middling hopes for it and it met my expectations.

The book has many things going for it that I like–strong Jane Austen ties, a heroine trying to find herself, writers, Chicago and an epistolary format. I enjoyed watching the heroine, Sam, develop relationships with friends, another kid in the foster care system, learn how to be a better writer and find a new family. I liked watching her bounce around Chicago with Alex, her overly perfect male friend who you can tell wants to be something more. There were several fun moments in the book, including a moment when Sam wins a literary quote-off.

Unfortunately, it also contained a protagonist who is flawed in a non-charming manner, a golly gee perfect male lead, an obviously smarmy Wickham-type, a mystery that is obvious halfway through the book and no real tension. Many of the issues that crop up for Sam seem especially unbelievable because I expect her to be more street smart than she is. I can accept that she’s emotionally delayed due to her past, but I have a hard time believing that she’s not developed more common sense and street smarts.

Furthermore, it’s Christian Romance, a category I noticed about three seconds after clicking the Buy Now button. If you want an inexplicably chaste heroine who can’t tell that a guy is dating her in the hopes of getting laid, hasn’t been kissed until 23 and suddenly starts praying and thinking about God when her adopted family starts praying, you’ll be thrilled. If you’re looking for overt Christian themes, you’ll be disappointed. If you’re a godless heathen, you’ll be annoyed.

I wouldn’t hit the book out of someone’s hands if I saw them pick it up at the bookstore, but this review is probably the last I’ll think about it because…eh.

Book Pusher – The Fault In Our Stars

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It occurs to me that you may not yet have cried so hard this year that your eyes got all puffy and gross. Let me help you fix that problem!

tfios okay okay

If you’ve not done so already, you need to read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It’s about two young cancer patients who fall in love and go on an adventure.

There’s going to be a movie coming out in June and I’m really looking forward to it.

tfios movie poster

eBook Recommendation: Bitch in a Bonnet

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If you have ever read a Jane Austen novel, you need to go to Amazon and pick up Bitch In a Bonnet. It’s 99 cents and worth every single damn penny and more. You probably spent more than that for a soda to go with your lunch.

In it, the author shows us how misunderstood Jane Austen has become. She’s perceived as being a dewy-eyed, marriage minded romance author when truly, she was a brilliant satirist and social commentator.

If you don’t find yourself grinning and then laughing out loud while reading Bitch In a Bonnet, there is something wrong with you.

Here’s an except from the review of Pride and Prejudice. This is right after Darcy finds Elizabeth visiting Pemberly and has asked if he can bring his sister to meet her.

Lizzy naturally expects that Darcy will bring Georgiana to call the day after the girl returns to Pemberly; but in fact they show up the morning before that, which pretty much means Darcy must have allowed her about ninety seconds to drop her bags and splash some water on her face before hustling her off to Lambton. It’s as though he fears Lizzy might change her mind and hop a freight train out of town before he can get the two women together.

Ghost Story

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Have you read Ghost Story yet? If not, what’s wrong with you?

Went to Unity on the Plaza with Pam on Tuesday for a Q&A with Jim Butcher and to have him sign our books.

His short hair was unexpected, because I’m used to the crazy ass long hair he’s had on his previous book covers.

He was very funny, very geeky and says um a lot. He was nice enough to pose with us while signing our books.

Jane Austen

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I am a big Jane Austen fan. I have all of the books she wrote and a few books containing unfinished manuscripts and juvenalia. If I see a book that is a sequel, prequel or reimagining of a Jane Austen novel, you can be assured that there is a good chance I will pick it up (unless there are zombies, sea monsters or vampires involved).

I follow several blogs about Jane Austen related books, movies, events, etc.

My favorite Jane Austen blog, and the one that I think you should be reading, is Bitch In a Bonnet.

The author, Robert, just finished up a wonderfully snarky review of Sense and Sensibility. He has been going through the book and posting a review every 5 chapters.

If you have ever read Sense and Sensibility, the reviews will crack you up because they are spot on. If you haven’t read it because you are worried that the book is too dry or you are just too darn manly to read chick books, his posts may change your mind.

Let me get you started. First, go read his introductory post. Next, go read his review of chapters 1-5.

If you have not laughed or thought positively of Jane Austen by the end of your reading, I wash my hands of you and suggest you go read some Dan Brown or watch NASCAR.

Recent Books

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I didn’t realize my reading habits were that interesting! I can certainly tell you about the books I have read in the past week or two.

 

I keep a book at work to read on breaks and lunches so that I am not constantly toting a book around. My current work read is Emma by Jane Austen. I’ve read it several times before. It’s not my favorite Jane Austen novel, but my favorite movie adaptation was based on this book–Clueless starring Alicia Silverstone. I decided to re-read it because I had read an article on Persuasions discussing how Emma can be regarded as a mystery novel because we are given clues throughout the novel that things are not quite as Emma perceives them to be. It’s made this re-read rather fun for me.

 

I have also just started To Wed a Wicked Prince by Jane Feather. Someday I will remember that her stories now irritate me and I will quit buying her books. I’m about 50 pages in and so far there is a handsome Russian prince romancing the heroine because he wants something inside her house. Yawn. I imagine this will get tossed straight onto the tub of books to sell once I have finished it.

 

Yesterday morning, I finished The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer. I’ve been on a bit of a Heyer kick, as you will soon see. The Nonesuch is about a man from London visits property he recently inherited in Yorkshire and sets the countryside on its ear with excitement. Picture George Clooney (mmm…) coming to stay in your neighborhood and he plans on hanging out with all the neighbors.

 

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer is rather fun. It’s about a girl who comes to stay with her family for a few months. She’s a bit of a busybody, so she quickly sets the family to rights and gets everyone settled.

 

Romancing Mr Bridgerton by Julia Quinn is one of my all-time favorites. It’s got nearly everything I like in a romance novel. Young woman who is overlooked by society who is actually rather fun to talk to? Check. Handsome, charming man who is just plain nice? Check. Avoidance of obnoxious themes like The Big Misunderstanding? Check.

 

The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Mary Street is excellent if you enjoy the nerdiness that is Jane Austen paraliterature. It is the telling of Pride and Prejudice from the view of Mr. Darcy. I enjoyed it so much I started it over again once I had finished it!

 

Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer was not as much fun for me as her other novels. It’s about the son of two of her previous characters and how he reforms from a hellion into a good man. “Meh,” I say.

 

Fortune’s Fool by Mercedes Lackey is her third 500 Kingdoms novel. This one mostly focuses on the myth of the lucky seventh son and a bit of Little Mermaid. I’d like to re-read it again so I can pay more attention to the mythological aspects than the story line.