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Month in review

Reviews:
Angus and the Cat by Marjorie Flack
Another Life by Charles Oberndorf
Austenland by Shannon Hale
Castway Cats by Lisa Wheeler
Chicka Chicka ABC by Bill Martin Jr. and Lois Ehlert
City of Light, City of Dark by Avi
Clifford the Small Red Puppy by Norman Bridwell
Constellation Chronicles: The Lost Civilization of Aries by Vincent Lowry review copy
Day of the Dragon-King (Magic Tree House #14) by Mary Pope Osborne
The Digital Plague by Jeff Somers
Dino-Dinners by Brita Granstrom
Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House #1) by Mary Pope Osborne
Don't Say Ain't by Irene Smalls
Do You Want to be My Friend? by Eric Carle
Emmaline and the Bunny by Katherine Hannigan
Esoteric City by Bruce Sterling
Evolution's Shore (aka Chaga) by Ian McDonald
Harriet and the Garden by Nancy Carlson
I Spy Fun House by Jean Marzollo
I Wish That I Had Duck Feet by Dr. Seuss
Jin Jin the Dragon by Grace Chang
Lizzi & Fredl: A Perilous Journey of Love and Faith by William B. Stanford
Logicist by Carol Emshwiller
Madeline and the Cats of Rome by John Bemelmans Marciano
The Mammy by Brendan O'Carroll
Minifred Goes to School by Mordicai Gerstein
Miss Pickerell and the Geigor Counter by Ellen MacGregor
The Napping House by Audrey and Don Wood
Nightwings by Robert Silverberg
One Yellow Lion by Matthew Van Fleet
Opera Cat by Tess Weaver
Queen Vernita Visits the Blue Ice Mountains by Dawn Menge
Riding High by John Francom and James Macgregor
Sassy by Gloria Mallette
The Stars Down Under by Sandra McDonald
Strange Reading by Grant Uden
The Sunless Countries by Karl Schroeder
Tarot Cafe Volume 1 by Sang-Sun Park
Tepper Isn't Going Out by Calvin Trillin
Tiger on a Tree by Anushka Ravishankar
Vacation Under the Volcano (Magic Tree House #13) by Mary Pope Osborne
The West End Horror by Nicholas Meyer
Where Is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox
Yoko's Paper Cranes by Rosemary Wells

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Austenland

Austenland cover art (Link goes to Powells)Austenland: 01/25/10

I came to Shannon Hale by way of Rapunzel's Ravenge and while I was eagerly awaiting my chance to read the sequel, Calamity Jack (review coming) I decided to go back and read some of her novels. I chose at random Austenland.

I'm not a Jane Austen fan. I've never made it all the way through a book but I know the plots having seen many an adaptation. So I come to Jane Hayes, Austen fanatic and a Colin Firth (as Mr. Darcy) devotee. Whenever I hear Colin Firth mentioned as the reason why so many women apparently now swoon over Pride and Prejudice I have to scratch my head. I can never remember what he looks like. As far as the Mr. Darcy angle goes, at least I know who he is but he doesn't do it for me either (but Calamity Jack does).

But hey, I didn't read the book to swoon over Jane Austen, her books, her characters or the actors who portray them. I read it because Shannon Hale wrote it.

So anyway... Jane Haynes is given a trip to Austenland, an estate in England where she can live the full Jane Austen experience. She may be a fan of the books and the films but she's not ready to live them. She can't make witty conversation and she feels lost without her technology. She finds the whole experience boring, frustrating and infuriating.

In the middle of all of this is a Darcy inspired man playing a role. There's an attraction but she can't decide if it's the fiction of Austenland or something deeper.

Austenland is a quick read but for me not the romp that Rapunzel's Ravenge or Calamity Jack was. It does have the usual plot points turned on their head and there's a wee glimmer of Jack in Jane's real world Darcy. I just wish I could have seen more of it.

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Comments (4)

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Comment #1: Monday, January, 25, 2010 at 18:34:33

Dawn Maria

I enjoyed AUSTENLAND. It's not the best remix of P&P out there, but it was fun. I'll have to look up those other titles though, they sound fun too.



Comment #2: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 11:43:38

Pussreboots

The other two books are graphic novels and I love them both. I wouldn't normally choose a remix of a Jane Austen novel; her books just aren't my cup of tea. But I wanted to see what Shannon Hale had done with it.



Comment #3: Tuesday, January, 26, 2010 at 12:31:37

Amused

Great review! This kind of adaption has been done over and over again. They can't always be good!



Comment #4: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 12:06:38

Pussreboots

I thought the book was fine as a lighthearted fluffy romance. It didn't turn the typical tropes on their heads like her two graphic novels do. I had hoped for more of her off the wall humor.