Sunday, September 2, 2018

In Which I Finish With Jane Austen and Find I Am Free to Read Whatever I Wish


I can't quite believe it, but I have now read all six of Jane Austen's novels. I feel quite proud of myself. 

Mansfield Park is my final Austen read. It's the story of a poor girl, Fanny, who is sent to live with her affluent relatives. She grows into a refined and beautiful young woman, despite her treatment as a second-class person by the rich members of her family. Fanny is captivated by her resolute cousin, Edmund, while in true Austen-ish fashion, Edmund is drawn to a beautiful neighbor, Mary Crawford, and Mary's brother, Henry, becomes infatuated with Fanny. 

It's a wild ride of a romantic triangle, with all sorts of triangles within triangles. At the same time, Austen takes us out of the drawing room, into the corners of lives lived in poverty, into the lives of those who are involved in slave trade, into lives of the idle and morally uncertain rich, and leaves her readers with lots to think about.

And that wraps up Austen in August for me. What have I accomplished in August?

1. I've read the four (of six) Austen novels I'd not yet read: Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Emma, and Mansfield Park, and I watched a movie for each novel. 

2. I wrote a post for Austen in August called The Newbie Janeite in which I shared all the information a reader new to Austen needs to know. One reader commented, "Bravo! I feel like this is a post I could save and reshare with friends over and over again."

3. I wrote a post for Readerbuzz called Which Jane Austen Novel is the Classic-est? in which I tried to figure out which of Jane Austen's novels could be considered the most classic novel. I also included a poll for anyone interested in voting. Here are the results of the poll:

As you can see Pride and Prejudice was the clear choice for most classic. Persuasion surprised me by bypassing Sense and Sensibility for second place. Northanger Abbey and Emma had one vote each, and no one chose Mansfield Park. 

A happy reading month.


We are searching for a few good readers to serve as judges for the Cybils 2018. If you want to know more about the Cybils, take a look at my post about the Cybils from last week. Please apply to be a Cybils judge here.


I love this monthly calendar from Action for Happiness. Download your own copy free here.


My mailbox was jammed full this week. I will be reading these this week:

Houston's Hurricane Harvey Floods by Kevin Blake
Deadly Spider Bites by Kevin Blake
Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner
Carlos Santana: Sound of the Heart, Song of the World by Gary Golio
Sinister Savannah by E. Merwin
Unsheltered: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver


I'm through reading Paris stories and I'm through with Jane Austen. 

For the first time in two months, I can read whatever I want to read. 

I think I will.

Austen in August is a celebration of all things Jane Austen, featuring reviews, discussions, vlogs, giveaways, interviews and more. This event runs all of the month of August. Faith Hope and Cherrytea has also created an Austen in August Instagram challenge for the month of August.  To find out more about the Austen in August Instagram challenge, visit Faith Hope and Cherrytea. To find out more about Austen in August, visit The Book Rat.

What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've
wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound
 journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens
at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their
own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly,
mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!
This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read”
book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted at The Book Date.


  1. Congrats on completing the Austen canon. Sounds like a great month! And, it sounds lovely to read what you want, too!

  2. Congrats on finishing all you Austen books. What is up next? I hope you get a fantastic week ahead.

  3. Oh, yay, you are a rock star, completing all the Jane Austen books. Sadly, I've only read Pride and Prejudice...but I've read a few retellings of some of the others. I know, that doesn't count. Someday!

    Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

  4. Congratulations of completing your Austen adventure... you've had a very productive August!.Can't wait to see what you choose to read first now that you can read anything you want!

  5. Yay for Jane Austen. Love all things related. Happy reading (other stuff). ;-)

  6. Well done! I don't think I could read one author for an entire month. Now you can enjoy your "random" reading. :)

  7. I am looking forward to self-care September, the timing is perfect with the start of school!

  8. Congratulations on reaching your goal to read all the Austen novels! I haven't yet read Mansfield Park. I still have a ways to go before I can say I have read all of Jane Austen's novels. I have only read three so far. Yay for reading whatever you want! It sounds like you have a lot of great new books to get to. Thank you for sharing the self-care calendar. That looks like a great idea. Have a wonderful week, Deb!

  9. That's great that you finished the Austen books. Good job! Enjoy reading at will! That has to be a great feeling. Have a great week!

  10. Wow, that's a lot of Austen for one month! I feel like I'd be sad to read her novels all in one go like that - cause then I'd have nothing left. But that is certainly a feat you've achieved :)

  11. Congratulations on a job well done! I have only read Pride and Prejudice, and Emma, and I do not remember either with great joy. I did like Colin Firth in the film, though. 😜

  12. I don't think I've ever read anything by Jane Austen. I know, terrible of me! Maybe someday. Congrats on getting them all done. Enjoy your September reads!

  13. I can't imaging reading all of that Jane at once! What a feat! Have a marvelous week!

  14. Wow very nice. I think your notes there on Mansfield Park make me want to read it now, and this from a reader who didn't get very far with Pride and Prejudice (although I love the movies). I've thought about trying Sense & sensibility too as I think that one might work better for me. I think I need to go read the Newbie Janeite.

  15. Cool on the Austen book. Persuasion is my least favorite of the group.

  16. My sister (who named her daughter Emma, if that gives you a clue as to her opinion on Austen) gave me an Austen omnibus for an 8th grade promotion gift. I know I read all six of the books then, but have only re-read Emma, S&S, and P&P. I'm partial to S&S, but then again, I'm pretty sure I only read the 3 others when I was in my early teens. A LOOOONG time ago.

    I would not do well with restricted reading at all. I'm impressed you did two months of it, and am happy for you that you can now be a complete mood reader. I've been away from the blogosphere in August, so I missed your fantastic posts, but will go read them all now. I did apply to CYBILS again and am counting the days until we hear back, and that self-care calendar looks like just the thing as the school year hits full swing again. In other words--terrific post! Thank you!

  17. Have fun exploring something other than Jane Austen and Paris. I know you'll find great books. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  18. I almost picked Mansfield Park. It's my second favorite. My weekly updates

  19. I love Austen but I don't like to be pigeon-holed into what I am reading. Especially for a whole month! I'm glad you had fun and thanks for stopping by!


  20. Congrats on finishing your reading of all of Jane Austen's novels. I've read all of her novels but would definitely like to watch all of the movie adaptions at some point.

  21. Congratulations on finishing Austen. I still am struggling with Mansfield Park. Tried to finish it in August for the Austen in August, but it is just sooo dreary. I will have to force myself to read a chapter a day. I love most of the Austen books, but this one is just so boring. Fanny is the most boring character and afraid of her own shadow. Quite irritating. My favourites are Pride & Prejudice, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.
    I love the Brontës, but have also difficulties with Charlotte's Sybil. A chapter a day it has to be.


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