Friday, March 18, 2011

Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

Well, now I understand why people like Jane Austen! As an English (literature) major, it's always been kind of an embarrassment to me that I've never really read any of the British literature from the 19th century. In my defense, I specialized in American literature from approximately 1850 to 1940, so I have read a lot of American classics and of course some Shakespeare, etc., but for years I have avoided authors like Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, etc. as I feared they would be too stuffy. Also, I have been tainted by several attempts to read Charles Dickens, all of which ended in abject frustration and annoyance, as in my opinion he rambles on and on without reaching any kind of point and I just don't have the patience for it.

I made a little progress in this a few years ago when I read Jane Eyre, but I have to confess that I really only did that because I am a huge Jasper Fforde fan, and I felt the need to read the book referred to in his book The Eyre Affair. I liked Jane Eyre more than I thought I would, but it didn't inspire me to read any other classic authors at the time. 

So now in the spirit of the ROYCZ Challenge, I picked up this book from my 50 cent book pile and braced myself. To my delight, I found this book to be very enjoyable. There were some very funny descriptions that I enjoyed and I found myself involved in the story. I happened to be reading this at the same time I was reading Life of Pi (a bad habit of reading more than one book at a time that I've developed that I am trying to stop) and it was actually refreshing to go between them and I looked forward to continuing my reading (in both books, actually). I now think I will add Jane Austen's other books to my unofficial "to be read" list so I can stop being someone who has seen the movies based on her books (Bride and Prejudice has to be my favorite) and actually someone who has read the books. And enjoyed them! :) So thanks are due to to Danya for hosting the challenge and giving me another author to enjoy!

Note: I am also going to include this book as one for the Forgotten Treasures challenge, not because Jane Austen is obscure (I don't think she is), but I would be willing to bet that this book is not as well remembered as Pride and Prejudice.

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