Review: Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen


Ah, Fanny Price. An Austen heroine so unpopular (well, comparatively) that Mansfield Park wasn’t even on clearance when my childhood Barnes & Noble closed up shop over the summer and that the recent film adaptation had to make her half-Jane Austen to make her appealing. She’s a difficult character, and Mansfield Park is a difficult novel. While I’m going to share my usual feelings with you, I’ll also discuss the novel a bit more academically–because whining about how much I don’t like Fanny or how, no matter how acceptable it was at the time, incest still skeeves me out isn’t going to be very interesting at all.

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Booking Through Thursday: Foreign

Name a book (or books) from a country other than your own that you love. Or aren’t there any?

When it comes to foreign books, I read and enjoy a lot of British literature; Jane Austen, Harry Potter, Brideshead Revisited. I’m a pretty poor Frenchwoman most of the time, but I love and adore Alexandre Dumas, especially The Count of Monte Cristo. However, beyond Europe, I don’t read too much in translation, which is something I’m trying to fix.

Teaser Tuesday: Mansfield Park

 

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“Of Rears and Vices, I saw enough. Now, do not be suspecting me of a pun, I entreat.”

pg. 54 of Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Booking Through Thursday: Travel

When you travel, how many books do you bring with you?
Has this changed since the arrival of ebooks?

This is a very timely question, as I’m traveling to Washington D.C. today!

It depends on the length of the trip and the length of the book. For this particular trip, I’m taking along The Rose of Martinique and Mansfield Park, both of which are just over four hundred pages long–I really don’t expect to finish both of them before Sunday, but I do expect to finish The Rose of Martinique on the flight. On average, though, I usually bring two or three dense books to last me through a trip.

Digital books have changed nothing for me in this regard. I don’t bring my laptop with me when I travel and I don’t have a digital reader, so there’s no way I can access the handful I do have.

Review: Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen


Of all the Austen novels, Northanger Abbey is the novel I knew the least about. In popular culture, it tends only to pop up as part of Austen’s oeuvre, and it’s the lone Austen novel that has not received a motion picture adaptation. (Okay, technically, Persuasion suffered the same fate, being a BBC television adaptation, but it was released theatrically here.) The only thing I really knew was that it was the first novel Austen started (Sense and Sensibility was the first she completed). With no preconceptions or, really, expectations, I picked up Northanger Abbey for class.

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The Sunday Salon: The Commonplace Book

Back in August, Eva posted about the way she reads; how she bookmarks, where she usually gets her books, and, most importantly, her commonplace book. If you, like me before I saw the post, don’t know what a commonplace book is, it’s essentially a literary scrapbook, ideally filled with quotes discovered in the course of your reading. Eva kept a commonplace book in high school, but had fallen off the wagon since. In its place, she now keeps a private commonplace blog. After some thought, I decided to start keeping a commonplace book of my own.

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Booking Through Thursday: Current

What are you reading right now? What made you choose it? Are you enjoying it? Would you recommend it? (And, by all means, discuss everything, if you’re reading more than one thing!)

Currently, I’m reading Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier and Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I picked up Woman off the strength of Ana’s review, and I’m enjoying so far–it’s very late-nineties female empowerment, so I’m feeling very warm and fuzzy about my own geography. I would recommend it so far, but I haven’t finished yet. I’m enjoying Northanger Abbey; it’s very sweet, and manages to mock its heroine lightly without making her unsympathetic.  I picked it up for class so I could get ahead a little. I ought to finish up by this weekend (I’m only reading fifty pages a day), so then I’ll see if I recommend it or not. But I like it so far.

Review: Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

This semester, I’m taking a class on Jane Austen. It’s absolutely fascinating–not only do we get to sit around and suck the very marrow out of stories, one of my favorite activities, but there’s a focus on placing Austen squarely in her historical context. Of course, for the class, we have to read her entire canon; the way it’s structured, we’re usually reading one novel while discussing another. So before the year is out, I will have read and reviewed all of Austen’s novels (but not Love and Freindship, as picking on little girls is mean). We’re already read Pride and Prejudice this semester, so I’ve just finished Sense and Sensibility.

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The Sunday Salon: Typography for Lawyers

On Thursday and Friday of this past week, I, in whatever spare time I could grab, was fervently editing old and new posts to replace “…” with “…” and “-” with “–”. What on earth motivated me to do such a thing?  Why, Typography for Lawyers! Despite the name, Typography for Lawyers isn’t just for lawyers. Matthew Butterick, a typographer-turned-lawyer, is sick and tired of looking at ugly law documents, where some lawyers believe putting things in ALL CAPS will draw a reader’s attention instead of repel it. To combat this, Butterick created Typography for Lawyers, a slick little website that offers a typography primer and refresher.

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Booking Through Thursday: Day and Night

Today’s question is suggested by Mae.

“I couldn’t sleep a wink, so I just read and read, day and night … it was there I began to divide books into day books and night books,” she went on. “Really, there are books meant for daytime reading and books that can be read only at night.”
– ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera, p. 103.

Do you divide your books into day and night reads? How do you decide?

The way I have my schedule structure, the time I have for just pleasure reading is an hour and half before bed–the rest of the day I’m usually pouring over Jane Austen, Shakespeare, or medieval English literature. In that way, I guess, I separate them out- academic reading during the day, me reading during the night. The only other way I separate it, I guess, is if I’m reading horror, which I won’t read at night. For instance, there’s a story about a haunted Majora’s Mask cartridge floating about the Internet that finished up last night, but I couldn’t finish it last night, as I would like to, you know, actually sleep. But otherwise, not really.