I think most people pick up this book because they enjoyed the 1940s film adaptation. And I was among those people. I was pleasantly surprised to seeI think most people pick up this book because they enjoyed the 1940s film adaptation. And I was among those people. I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of familiar scenes and characters, and happy that my favorite of the Smith family (Agnes) was still enjoyable. But there was a certain flightiness to the characters and plot that surprised me; Esther and Rose, in particular, were far more shallow in the book.
I loved the format. Little vignettes focusing on every month up to the fair was a delightful way to enjoy the family (and a fascinating comparison to the film's seasonal approach). And I felt that the period was caught through description and action, rather than an informational dump.
It wasn't great literature, but it was a quick, fun read. I'm glad I went to the effort to find the book....more
I'm generally not a fan of corporate leadership books, but when my boss handed me this and recommended that I read it, I complied. Patrick Lencioni alI'm generally not a fan of corporate leadership books, but when my boss handed me this and recommended that I read it, I complied. Patrick Lencioni also wrote "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team", that a former mentor had me read. His approach is through narrative fables, which makes it a lot less technical and - let's face it - boring.
This fable is about Jude Cousins, a fellow who quits his job after issues following his company's merger, and decides to start business as an independent consultant. It goes through his personal growth and development, and realizing that the downside of being a consultant is that after a problem is fixed, the consultant is no longer needed. So he began to look into those issues that management can never seem to get around, and the big one was "silos". This is corporate-speak for factions - departments working interdependently, but with the attitude that they're completely independent and, more often than not, more crucial than others. So, production has the attitude of "we make the product, you can't work without us" while marketing thinks "we sell the product - so what's the use of having it if you can't sell it?", etc., etc. These silos don't communicate well with each other because they place their own goals ahead of the group.
In my corporate experience, this really is a huge issue, and Lencioni's approach to handling it (finding a rallying cry or thematic goal for the whole group, sharing common over-arcing goals) is appropriate. However, these solutions are often what I see in team building activities. The emphasis that Lencioni made that I appreciated is that these thematic goals need to be emphasized regularly, and with the management team - not just in the trenches. His approach to challenging turf wars was to remind the people in charge that their attitudes were shaping everyone who reported to them.
As someone in the middle of a turf war, this was incredibly relevant and useful. In combination with some basic personality-type and conflict-resolution training, this has very much helped my outlook on my particular battle - and more importantly, was a good reminder that my actions and words reverberate and have an impact on anyone who can hear me....more
**spoiler alert** I listened to this audio book immediately after fininshing "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict", which... I didn't especially like.**spoiler alert** I listened to this audio book immediately after fininshing "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict", which... I didn't especially like. However, I was intrigued about the different adjustments Jane would face, taking on Courtney's life, since Courtney had the benefit of knowing (and forgetting or disregarding) ettiquette and history through her own readings of Austen. And in some ways, this didn't disappoint. Jane's struggle was far more frustrating than Courtney's, and I think for that reason we were not privy to as much of her prior life, whereas Courtney's story spent a good deal of time dwelling on her broken heart and bad decisions. I don't know if this was intentional, as maybe the author assumed everyone would find this by way of the first novel and not really care to re-hash everything that Courtney learned while living Jane's life.
This had a bit more explanation - I liked the continuation of the theme that these women were connected prior to their swap, as Jane had been writing Courtney's name and Courtney had been drawing Jane's face. I still feel that much was left abandoned. Why did this book not have an epilogue in Courtney's voice, for example? The vagueness of their switch (masked in a "these things happen because they are needed" mentality) frustrated me, as a time-travel story afficianado.
But one thing I really did love in Jane's adventure was that its ending seemed to focus less on who she loved and more on who she had become. Also, I felt this was more rooted in all of the works of Jane Austen, rather than focusing so strongly on Pride & Predjudice. (Yes, it's a wonderful book, but I'm personally fonder of Persuasion - and all the Ann/Wentworth comments left me quite happy.)
This is still not a book I would recommend - I think there's a lot of potential but overall shoddy execution. However, if someone is specifically looking for time-travel regency novels to read, this and its sister-companion novel would be brought into the conversation, along with a bit of a warning. ...more
This is a book I liked and didn't like; I give the author kudos for not having the protagonist keep her wits about her. Just because someone adores AuThis is a book I liked and didn't like; I give the author kudos for not having the protagonist keep her wits about her. Just because someone adores Austen novels doesn't mean they'd be perfectly reasonable and not share their modern ideas when they're dropped into the past. There was a lot of waffling on the part of the protagonist in her sentiments about Regency life which made sense, but were annoying in their repetitiveness. However, ultimately, I feel the story was a little shoddy overall, and just needed more of some elements (the relationship with Wes, the connection between Courtney and Jane, an explanation of Mr. Mansfield's incredibly modern art) and less of others (the desire to wear make-up, the horrible controlling mother). It felt... unfinished. (I suppose I should mention that I listened to an audiobook, so it's possible that I had an abridged version, come to think of it?). I wasn't sure if this was a book I'd love or hate, given the situation and the reviews. Ultimately it's neither, and that's even worse in some ways. Still, as a rule, I'd skip it and watch Lost in Austen instead, to fill the time-traveling-into-an-Austen-novel niche....more