Jane Austen January

Portrait of Jane Austen in watercolor and pencil by Cassandra Austen (1773-1845), digitally restored and remastered by Amano1 Source: http://www.janeausten.co.uk/regencyworld/pdf/portrait.pdf via Wikimedia Commons

On Christmas Day in 1997, I received a collected volume of Jane Austen’s novels from my mother.  It is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.  I had read Pride and PrejudiceSense and Sensibility, and Mansfield Park several times, but this volume introduced me to the other books.  In January of 1998, I read all of the books, and in every January of the following years, I made it a tradition to read at least a few Jane Austen novels.  This coming January represents the fifteenth annual Jane Austen January, and I’m hoping to make it into a somewhat informal blog event.

This year, I plan to read Pride and PrejudicePersuasion, and Northanger Abbey, but I might add in Sense and Sensibility as well, depending on how much free time I have.  My goal is to write at least one blog post about each of the books and, I hope, to engage in discussions with other readers.  I’m totally open to discussing other Jane Austen works, but I probably won’t read more than these four books, so my comments will be limited to my last reading.  (It’s been a while since I read Mansfield Park and Emma…)

Every time I read these books, I discover something new about them, though whether that is due to my changing over the years, to the books’ being that nuanced, or just to my possessing a truly terrible memory, I’ll never know.

Is anyone game to join me in this fifteenth annual Jane Austen January?  Please let me know in the comments below.  (Lurking is also totally welcome.)  Discussions can take place on Twitter, if that’s convenient, and in the comments feature on this blog.  Check the side bar for my Twitter info.  Please also feel free to do your own thang with posts on your blog, if you have one.  I do this event every year, alone; this is my first attempt to bring other folk into the mix, so we’ll see how it goes.  🙂

An epic dueling review of Gabriel’s Inferno and Gabriel’s Rapture, by Sylvain Reynard

Hands down, the niftiest side effects of my starting this blog, getting on Twitter, and discovering the book blogging community are the book-related friendships I have discovered with folk in that community.  Books are meant to be discussed, and a whole bunch of book bloggers and book enthusiasts on various blogs and on Twitter have been so welcoming and gracious as I’ve chimed in on conversations that did not include me, aired opinions that are not well-formed, and, in general, acted like the quirky nut ball that I am.

Of course, I’m not the only quirky nut ball out there.  My friend Kim over at Reflections of a Book Addict reads a heck of a lot, and I’ve noticed, through reading her blog, that a.) we tend to be drawn to the same books and b.) we tend to form similar conclusions about said books.  In other words, our taste in books is uncannily similar.  We started reading some books together and discussing them on Twitter and in Goodreads, and it’s been a blast.  A while ago, Kim read Gabriel’s Inferno and Gabriel’s Rapture by Sylvain Reynard and asked if I would read them also.  As it turned out, our takeaway from these books differed by rather a lot.  We decided to review the books together over on Reflections of a Book Addict, and we ended up having a lot of fun putting together our dueling review.  Even if you have absolutely no interest in reading these books (and I certainly don’t recommend them), I think you might get a kick out of our discussion.

Go check it out!