Nothing But Reading Challenges discussion

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Previous BRs - Authors; A - D > Austen, Jane - Pride and Prejudice - Informal Buddy Read; Start December 11, 2015 *** REVISIT starts August 1, 2018

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This topic is open for discussion about Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen




Book synopsis:
When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.


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message 4: by Jen (new)

Jen (reader44ever) | 2930 comments I read this back at the beginning of June. I'm not sure how much I'll remember for discussion purposes, but I'll try to keep up with you all to contribute where I do remember something worth contributing. :-)


message 5: by Emily (new)

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 1388 comments Cool, Jen!


message 6: by Drishti (new)

Drishti (drishti_ohri) | 1047 comments This is one of my favourite classics. So, there's no way I'm gonna stay out of this BR. :D


message 7: by Emily (new)

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 1388 comments Awesome, Drishti! It's my favorite classic for sure :) We'll have at least one first time Austen reader doing it with us, which should be fun.


message 8: by Drishti (new)

Drishti (drishti_ohri) | 1047 comments Reading Pride and Prejudice is always fun! :D


message 9: by Jen (new)

Jen (reader44ever) | 2930 comments I really loved it. I might have to see about getting it from the library again so as to more easily follow along and participate in the discussion. :-)


message 10: by LB (new)

LB (raceforthepuck) | 228 comments Emily wrote: "Awesome, Drishti! It's my favorite classic for sure :) We'll have at least one first time Austen reader doing it with us, which should be fun."

You guys will have to take it easy on me since it's my first foray! =)


message 11: by Gina (new)

Gina Garland | 15 comments Oh I definitely want to join you all in this one! Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book! I'll even read it again with you all! :)


message 12: by Allison (new)

Allison Steadman I don't know if I'll have time, but I will hopefully join you all in reading this. I'm so busy all the time that I may have to skip this one.


message 13: by Amethyst (new)

Amethyst (theamyst) | 7 comments I will read this.. if it's okay that I've already read it 36 times :) It's an amazing book


message 14: by Emily (new)

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 1388 comments Welcome, guys! Look forward to reading this with you all and hearing your thoughts!
If you've literally read it 36 times, Amethyst, I'm beyond impressed! (I haven't even read the first Harry Potter anywhere near that many times ;)) I've read it 4 times I think, and I am looking forward to reading it again!


message 15: by TerryJane (new)

TerryJane I would enjoy re-reading this classic with you all, if time allows. I'll add it to my calendar and hope for the best. :)


message 16: by Emily (new)

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 1388 comments Cool, TerryJane :) Hope you can join us!


message 17: by Drishti (new)

Drishti (drishti_ohri) | 1047 comments Starting now! It would be my third time reading this book.


message 18: by Emily (new)

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 1388 comments Yay! Not sure if I'll be able to actually start rereading today or not until tomorrow, but to start the discussion off: for those of you who have already read it, what are your favorite things about Jane Austen's writing?
You can answer now or as you reread. :) I'll post some of mine later today.


message 19: by Jen (new)

Jen (reader44ever) | 2930 comments Emily wrote: "Yay! Not sure if I'll be able to actually start rereading today or not until tomorrow, but to start the discussion off: for those of you who have already read it, what are your favorite things abou..."

My favorite is probably the snarky humor that infuses her works. I loved the snarkiness in P&P. I'm now reading Sense and Sensibility and the little zingers of snarky humor are what's keeping me going. :-)


message 20: by LB (new)

LB (raceforthepuck) | 228 comments Jen wrote: "My favorite is probably the snarky humor that infuses her works. I loved the snarkiness in P&P."

I'm literally only the first chapter in, and I can already see that in Mr. Bennet.

I swear I started this book once before but didn't get very far. Glad I'm trying while I'm a little older. I think I'll be able to appreciate it much more now than I would have previously anyway. Also, am currently listening to Mindy Kaling's new audiobook and she was saying how she suedo modeled the main characters for The Mindy Project from P&P, so that just got me amped up for this buddy read =)


message 21: by LB (last edited Dec 11, 2015 04:11PM) (new)

LB (raceforthepuck) | 228 comments Up to Chapter VI

Is it weird that so far, I completely relate to Mr. Bennet? I would much rather be at home, lost in a book than at a party. I'm not one for gossiping, so I actually laughed aloud when Mrs. Bennet starts to tell him the entire story of who Mr. Bingley danced with (it reminds me to listening to drawn out stories that certain family members of mine tell).

I also kind of relate to Mr. Darcy. I would hate a bunch of strangers coming up to me at a party and begging me to dance with them all night, especially ones I had not even talked to yet! I'm sure his pride has a little bit to do with it, but I don't think he's as bad as everyone is making him out to be. He's probably just introverted and anti social, like myself.

I am glad I did not have to grow up in this time period, when women were basically just there to make babies and entertain. I would not have fared well at all lol.


message 22: by Emily (new)

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 1388 comments Elise wrote: "Up to Chapter VI

Is it weird that so far, I completely relate to Mr. Bennet? I would much rather be at home, lost in a book than at a party. I'm not one for gossiping, so I actually laughed aloud ..."


I'll have to see what I think this time around, but I don't think that it's strange that you relate to Mr. Bennet. He certainly has faults, and Austen addresses them, but he's supposed to be likable overall IMO. He and Lizzy have a good relationship, and he's presented as smart and reasonable, unlike Mrs. Bennet.

I'll let your views on Mr. Darcy develop naturally.

Yeah, women's lives in this period would have been so dependent on how lucky they were in their husband. I can understand why Austen chose never to marry herself.


message 23: by Drishti (new)

Drishti (drishti_ohri) | 1047 comments What are your favorite things about Jane Austen's writing?
Like Jen, my favorite is the sarcastic humor that Austen infuses in her writing.

Is it weird that so far, I completely relate to Mr. Bennet? I would much rather be at home, lost in a book than at a party.
Not at all weird. That is like me, too.

I am glad I did not have to grow up in this time period, when women were basically just there to make babies and entertain.
Same here! I couldn't have beem able to bear all that. Like Emily, I totally understand why Austen herself never married.


message 24: by Gina (new)

Gina Garland | 15 comments I just finished reading Jane Erye, so I will start this one tomorrow. Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites.


message 25: by LB (new)

LB (raceforthepuck) | 228 comments Up to Chapter X

I've been listening to Nick Offerman's Gumption audiobook, and one of the things he says in it is that he misses how in the "olden days" they use to use "Oh!" as proclamations, and it is something I have started doing lately because I love it. I've noticed so far in P&P that Austen's characters use "Oh!" every once in a while, so it tickles me every single time.


message 26: by Jen (new)

Jen (reader44ever) | 2930 comments Elise wrote: "Up to Chapter X

I've been listening to Nick Offerman's Gumption audiobook, and one of the things he says in it is that he misses how in the "olden days" they use to use "Oh!" as proclamations, and..."


Oh! (lol) I wasn't aware that this was an "olden days" thing, as I use it nowadays fairly regularly. ;-)


message 27: by Emily (new)

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 1388 comments Ok, so sorry! I'm finally really getting started on this.
This is what I came up with for some of my (many) favorite things about Jane Austen's writing and books (I might add more to this as I reread):
1. How wonderfully, deftly, and realistically she is able to describe people's foibles (plus the workings of their minds and their relationships with each other). She really gets to their true qualities and motivations. None of her characters are perfect, and she examines the positive attributes and flaws of each.
2. That she is able to make fun of characters to great effect while still making them likable- just as she satirizes her society without necessarily criticizing it.
3. How her heroes and heroines are so well matched in personality. I also love the passion she manages to portray through the arguments between them.
4. Her cleverness and wit. She has a playful style- she doesn't take herself or her characters too seriously.

I'm reading an annotated edition (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...) (which, incidentally, I would certainly recommend to anyone interested in rereading and gaining a deeper understanding of the book and more information about the time period, etc.), and I got through the introduction.
It got me thinking about why Pride and Prejudice is my favorite Austen novel. These are the reasons I came up with:
1. I like that (view spoiler)
2. I also love that (view spoiler)
3. P&P is slightly more focused on the MCs and their romance I think than some of the others.
4. Quite probably most importantly, Elizabeth is my favorite of Austen's heroines (and one of my favorites period). I love her sense of humor and on point criticisms of people and her abilities to find fun in life and to bounce back from difficulties.
[Elise- I don't know how much you know about this book already, but I put the above in spoilers in case. They're just general observations about the book, not specific spoilers. We can discuss once you've finished.]


message 28: by Emily (new)

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 1388 comments Up to Chapter 5

I'm reminded how great Austen is with dialogue, both in using it to develop personalities and in creating humor and wit.

We were discussing Mr. Bennet earlier, and I would say his biggest fault is being a somewhat irresponsible father. He does things merely for his own amusement and doesn't always know when to be serious.

I understand what you said about Darcy, Elise, but the insult he gives Elizabeth is still pretty harsh, especially since he probably knew she (and possibly others) could overhear.


message 29: by Jen (new)

Jen (reader44ever) | 2930 comments Emily wrote: "3. P&P is slightly more focused on the MCs and their romance I think than some of the others...."

I've only read P&P, but I'm currently (still) reading Sense and Sensibility and P&P was definitely more focused on the romance than S&S is. S&S is more focused on the interactions and foibles of all the characters. I'm only about 40 or so pages from the end of it.

I'm not enjoying S&S as much as I enjoyed P&P. I am liking it enough that I'll probably give it four stars. (P&P was a five-star read for me.)

:-)


message 30: by Emily (new)

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 1388 comments Jen wrote: "Emily wrote: "3. P&P is slightly more focused on the MCs and their romance I think than some of the others...."

I've only read P&P, but I'm currently (still) reading [book:Sense and Sensibility|69..."


Don't get me wrong, I love all the Austen books I've read (except maybe Persuasion; Emma is my second favorite, followed by S&S) (I still need to read Northanger Abbey- bad me), but P&P is definitely my favorite.


message 31: by Drishti (new)

Drishti (drishti_ohri) | 1047 comments Up to chapter 12

Everytime I read this book, I'm reminded how much I dislike Caroline Bingley.


message 32: by LB (new)

LB (raceforthepuck) | 228 comments Up to Chapter XIII

Drishti wrote: "Up to chapter 12

Everytime I read this book, I'm reminded how much I dislike Caroline Bingley."


She definitely has not made a good first impression on me, nor has her sister. I haven't really connected with any of the female characters yet (of course it is still early), but I am starting to like Elizabeth.


It seems crazy that a short ride on a horse in the rain could have such an impact! I definitely take for granted my immune system and our advances in technology (like water resistant clothes, warmer layers, etc, as well as covered transportation). It's hard to even imagine something like what happened to Jane happening these days.


message 33: by LB (new)

LB (raceforthepuck) | 228 comments Up to Chapter XVI

Sorry my reading is going so slowly; in the middle of buying a house and it's a nightmare!

I am very intrigued by the character of Mr. Wickham and the hidden past between him and Mr. Darcy. So far, the plot has seemed a little slow to me because it primarily focuses on the ploy of marrying off the Bennet daughters, which makes the feminist in me bristle. But I'm loving the snark/wit and and looking forward to seeing if some mystery plays out about Mr. Darcy's past.


message 34: by Drishti (new)

Drishti (drishti_ohri) | 1047 comments It seems crazy that a short ride on a horse in the rain could have such an impact! I definitely take for granted my immune system and our advances in technology (like water resistant clothes, warmer layers, etc, as well as covered transportation). It's hard to even imagine something like what happened to Jane happening these days.

Exactly! I'm thankful for all our technological advances now!


message 35: by Drishti (new)

Drishti (drishti_ohri) | 1047 comments Elise wrote: "Up to Chapter XVI

Sorry my reading is going so slowly; in the middle of buying a house and it's a nightmare!

I am very intrigued by the character of Mr. Wickham and the hidden past between him an..."


No worries! School stuff is keeping me super busy. I haven't got a word past chapter-12.

As for the mystery part, I don't want to give away any spoilers. So, my mouth is shut now. ;)


message 36: by Emily (new)

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 1388 comments Drishti wrote: "It seems crazy that a short ride on a horse in the rain could have such an impact! I definitely take for granted my immune system and our advances in technology (like water resistant clothes, warme..."

I'm definitely thankful for our technological advancements and modern medicines for when we do get sick! This is something that's a bit of a pet peeve of mine in books, though. Getting drenched or cold can not make you sick! A virus or bacteria does that. Could getting wet/cold weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to the virus or bacteria? Maybe, but I'm doubtful. (Sorry, daughter of two doctors here ;-)) it doesn't really bother me in this book, since when it was written, viruses and bacteria were not understood. But when modern books use the whole "you'll catch a cold" thing... Ugh!


message 37: by Drishti (new)

Drishti (drishti_ohri) | 1047 comments I agree with you, Emily. It's sort of irritating when for a stupid reason like this a character falls ill in today's books.


message 38: by Jen (new)

Jen (reader44ever) | 2930 comments Emily wrote: "Getting drenched or cold can not make you sick!..."

Isn't hypothermia "getting sick"? That'd definitely be a worry of mine. I once lived in Russia and I never went outside with wet hair in the winter when it was 40 below.


message 39: by Emily (new)

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 1388 comments Jen wrote: "Emily wrote: "Getting drenched or cold can not make you sick!..."

Isn't hypothermia "getting sick"? That'd definitely be a worry of mine. I once lived in Russia and I never went outside with wet h..."


Yes, Jen, excellent point. Obviously extreme cold, espescially when coupled with being wet, is dangerous. But by "getting sick," I meant getting a cold. In this case, Jane simply gets soaked with rain, and not in freezing temperatures, so while uncomfortable, I don't think it would greatly impact her health.


message 40: by Jen (new)

Jen (reader44ever) | 2930 comments Emily wrote: "Obviously extreme cold, espescially when coupled with being wet, is dangerous. But by "getting sick," I meant getting a cold. In this case, Jane ..."

I see what you mean. I think it probably depends on the person. In general, you shouldn't catch a cold in such situations as Jane's, but maybe she has a sickly constitution? I can't remember, but I do remember my own life in my teens, when I had "colds" more often and regularly than I had my monthlies. "Colds" in those cases were pretty much just extreme periods of sniffling, blowing my nose, and a general feeling of cruddiness. I used to carry a backpack not so much for my books, but so that I could always have a box of Kleenex on hand.

I'm actually not sure what a cold is, if not that sort of thing.


message 41: by Emily (last edited Dec 17, 2015 12:45PM) (new)

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 1388 comments Up to Chapter 10

Charlotte is a fascinating foil for Elizabeth and a really interesting character. What do you think of Charlotte's observation that "There is so much of gratitude or vanity in almost every attachment, that it is not safe to leave any to itself. We can all begin freely— a slight preference is natural enough; but there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement. In nine cases out of ten, a woman had better shew more affection than she feels."?
I think it's a cynical and unromantic, but fairly true, statement.

Elise, I understand why this book might offend your feminist opinions on the surface, since the society at that time was so unfair to women and put them in precarious economic and social positions. However, I think the underlying messages Austen upholds are more feminist than you might expect. And I think Elizabeth is a fabulous role model in many ways, including her unwillingness to go along with the system and try to snare a rich husband with no thought for love. You'll have to tell me what you think by the end regarding this.


message 42: by Emily (new)

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 1388 comments Jen wrote: "Emily wrote: "Obviously extreme cold, espescially when coupled with being wet, is dangerous. But by "getting sick," I meant getting a cold. In this case, Jane ..."

I see what you mean. I think it ..."


That's true, some people are more susceptible, but Jane isn't portrayed as sickly on the whole. I'm not saying it's unrealistic for her to have gotten sick because everyone gets sick sometimes, just that it was being around someone else who was sick that made her get a cold, not getting wet.
I'm a bit curious if your symptoms in your teens could have been allergy related (seasonal type allergies can cause many of the same symptoms as a cold).
The common cold, just FYI, is caused by a virus, usually rhinovirus to be exact, which causes symptoms that often include stuffy/runny nose, sore throat, coughing/sneezing, fever, etc.


message 43: by Emily (new)

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 1388 comments Up to Chapter 13

How lucky we are to have modern pens and lined paper and keyboards to write with!

One of the annotations in my books points out how fitting the argument between Darcy and Bingley and Elizabeth about how amenable one should be to a friend's request is because it's a theme addressed by the book. Some characters are far too persuadable and others too obstinate, while Darcy and Elizabeth try and find a middle ground. Similarly, other themes like how seriously one should take life and pride are also introduced through Darcy and Elizabeth's lively discussions.

I said something briefly about this before, but these opening chapters have impressed me with how good Austen is at concisely but deeply developing her characters through dialogue. Almost anything anyone says shows something about his or her personality or relationships- what they say, how and why they say it. There's a lot of depth, sometimes quite subtle, beyond the basic plot because Austen really thought out and reworked what she wrote, something I think is lacking in a lot of modern books.

I love a lot about this book and have gained a deeper appreciation for many aspects of it through rereads, but my favorite part is definitely still Darcy and Elizabeth's interactions. I just love their relationship and how it grows.


message 44: by Jen (new)

Jen (reader44ever) | 2930 comments Emily wrote: "I'm a bit curious if your symptoms in your teens could have been allergy related (seasonal type allergies can cause many of the same symptoms as a cold)....."

I don't think they were allergy related. I've never tested positive for any type of allergy except for cats. Though I've since-the-test discovered that I'm - newly? - allergic to whatever chemical the City of Bellevue, WA, put on their grass and allergic - definitely newly - to the adhesive used on Band-Aid-type bandages.

I grew up in Southern California, where I had the earlier mentioned seemingly-monthly - and definitely year-round - colds in my teens (which - coincidentally? - was also the time of the seven-years-drought). Then I moved to WA for college and adult life and my "colds" became scarcer. But I spent my junior year in Siberia and my professors joked that I had an allergy to frost because I had a serious case of almost-constant sniffles once the frost set in. So for roughly eight months. :-(

I've always thought I'm just susceptible to colds, since allergy pills are only noticeably helpful when I'm around cats. (They might also have come in handy in Bellevue, but I never could remember to take them before my infrequent trips to the library there.)


message 45: by Jen (new)

Jen (reader44ever) | 2930 comments Emily wrote: "Up to Chapter 13...

I said something briefly about this before, but these opening chapters have impressed me with how good Austen is at concisely but deeply developing her characters through dialogue...."


That is a very good point. I don't remember P&P too well, but having just read Sense and Sensibility, I'd have to agree. I think that might actually be why I never felt like Edward Ferrars was more than a two-dimensional stick-figure-type: he didn't really have that much dialogue in the story, and the dialogue he did have was not very illuminating.


message 46: by Jen (new)

Jen (reader44ever) | 2930 comments Emily wrote: "Up to Chapter 13

How lucky we are to have modern pens and lined paper and keyboards to write with!

One of the annotations in my books points out how fitting the argument between Darcy and Bingley..."


I agree that we are quite lucky to live in an age with pens and lined paper and keyboards - especially keyboards.

Which edition are you reading?


message 47: by Emily (new)

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 1388 comments Jen wrote: "Emily wrote: "Up to Chapter 13

How lucky we are to have modern pens and lined paper and keyboards to write with!

One of the annotations in my books points out how fitting the argument between Dar..."


I'm reading this edition: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
It's quite good, makes me appreciate P&P on a different level, but it does make it very long and makes it a little harder to get in the flow of the book. I read a chapter and then go back to read the annotations.


message 48: by Jen (new)

Jen (reader44ever) | 2930 comments Emily wrote: "I'm reading this edition: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
It's quite good, makes me appreciate P&P on a different level, but it does make it very long ..."


Wow. 779 pages?!?! I read this edition: Pride and Prejudice. It wasn't annotated, but it did have footnotes and such. I talked a bit about them in my review. As I recall, they were too distracting so I gave up on reading them until I'd finished the book, and even then I found them dry and rather dull. How are you liking the annotations in your edition?


message 49: by Drishti (new)

Drishti (drishti_ohri) | 1047 comments Emily wrote: "Up to Chapter 13

How lucky we are to have modern pens and lined paper and keyboards to write with!

One of the annotations in my books points out how fitting the argument between Darcy and Bingley..."


Like I said, we're lucky to have all these technological advances, now. And, they definitely are worthy of being thankful for.

I thought the same during that discussion between Lizzy and Mr. Darcy. I hadn't significantly noticed these discussions the last time I read this book. (Maybe, that's because I was too young at that time and a neophytic reader, too.) And, I'm really enjoying them now. =)


message 50: by Emily (new)

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 1388 comments Jen wrote: "Emily wrote: "I'm reading this edition: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
It's quite good, makes me appreciate P&P on a different level, but it does make it ver..."


I definitely wouldn't advise reading my edition unless you've read the book at least once before and it's one of your favorites, but with that in mind, I find many of the annotations really interesting. Lots of information about the time period, including the manners and conventions, which give you some more insight into character's actions, discussions about the themes and character development, remarks on literary techniques Austen uses, references that people in that day in age would have understood but that we don't now (including one where Elizabeth is very subtly comparing Darcy, Miss Bingley, and Mrs. Hurst to cows ;-)). Lots of word definitions for that time period, which I don't usually need now that I have a handle on Austen's language, but which are occasionally helpful. On the whole I find the annotations and the introduction much less dry than I did the footnotes and introductions in previous editions I had read (the first two times I read an edition similar to the one you read, and that is the same edition in which I've read several of her other books).


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