Surprising no one, I’m a huge nerd about Jane Austen. I first read Emma and Pride and Prejudice when I was in Junior High and I’ve been rereading Austen, watching adaptations, and picking up bookish rewrites ever since.
When I saw that Maggie had done a Jane Austen Book Tag over at Macarons and Paperbacks, the Janeite in me knew she had to join in. The tag was created by Jenessa and is, obviously, themed based on Jane Austen’s works.
This time around, I really tried to come up with books I haven’t written about much (or at all) on this blog so be prepared for some new recommendations from me. . .and one of my old stand-bys.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson ~ I read this several years ago as part of my “Halloween Reading List,” and it was definitely appropriate for spooky, October reading. The plot centers around two unusual sisters and the mysterious death of their entire family. (Not entirely a Marianne and Eleanor situation, let’s just say.) I don’t know what it is about Gothic novels, but they nearly always have some sort of weird family dynamic going on—which I find a lot of fun.
Armada by Ernest Cline ~ I loved Armada. . .it just took me about eighty pages to get into it. I don’t usually stick with boring novels that long, but the Pop Culture references kept me reading for longer than I would have otherwise. Once the plot kicked into gear, though, I was sold on all The Last Starfighter-esque action.
One Day by David Nicholls ~ I tried to come up with another book for this category, but I couldn’t think of any other that fits the bill quite so perfectly. I’ve said this before, but David Nicholls is one of my favorite writers and Em and Dex are my absolute favorite creations of his. I’ve actually been dying to watch the movie adaptation again lately—in spite of the fact that I’ll never forgive whoever cast Anne Hathaway in the lead.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo ~ This isn’t a Cinderella story. A lot like Mansfield Park, Shadow and Bone shows that things can get complicated once you go from ‘rags to riches.’ Over the course of this YA novel, Alina goes from being an orphan/soldier to becoming the 2nd most powerful Grisha in the land. Her life certainly gets swankier once her powers start showing themselves, but stuff gets really complicated. I binge read this series while waiting to get my hands on The Winner’s Crime and it’s the perfect sort of Fantasy to read when you’re not in the mood for a big, epic that weighs a ton.
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund ~ This feels like cheating since For Darkness Shows the Stars is a dystopian retelling of Persuasion. I don’t care though because, obviously, it has a big focus on second chances! I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did (Jane Austen retellings are inconsistent at best), but it was actually very good. AND it gives me some hope that the CW’s dystopian retelling of Little Women might even work.
The Martian by Andy Weir ~ It’s tough to come up with a novel that has a particularly imaginative character in it, but I think Mark Watney fits the bill. He survived on Mars for years with very few supplies and only his own ingenuity to count on. He’s not imaginative in the same way Catherine Morland is, but he’s an out-of-the-box thinker all the same.
Who is your favorite Jane Austen character. Oh, and if you’d like to do this tag, feel free to join in!
Image Source: Kiss Them Goodbye