Jane Austen discussion

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message 1: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
I wanted to see if anyone was interested in discussing a couple of books aimed at the young adult audience, but ones that I have heard mentioned several times by adult readers. These two books by Patrice Kindl are mentioned in this article

http://www.slj.com/2015/12/collection...

Keeping the Castle and A School for Brides

I was interested in still looking at books with some amount of Austen inspiration and maybe comparing these with our recent Eligible read. They are also not Austen retellings exactly. And I don't mind that these may have a bit lighter tone than the Sittenfeld novel.

I will be away from the computer for a few days, so I if anyone wants to think about it and timeframe of the discussion if you are interesting in discussing as a group.


message 2: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 503 comments I’ve read Keeping the Castle and liked it well enough but found it a bit hectic. Review here, if you’re interested: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show....

Personally, I’d be more inclined toward a somewhat more serious read and would be happy to have it closer to Austen. The period mysteries by Stephanie Barron are wonderful, and she has a great gift for Austen-sounding language. Some of the P&P retellings from Darcy’s point of view are also interesting—Pamela Aidan’s (except for vol. 2) and Stanley Hurd’s. And I’ve heard good things about A Useful Woman but have not read it yet.

The best modern adaptation of P&P that I’ve ever read is a little-known self-published one (by an experienced mystery writer, though this one is not a mystery): Pen and Prejudice by Claire M. Johnson. I would love to see more people appreciate that one!


message 3: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 123 comments I'm up for any of these suggestions, although I would prefer a re-interpretation rather than the same book from the perspective of a different character. Pen and Prejudice sounds interesting; I hadn't heard of that one!


message 4: by Emilia (new)

Emilia Barnes | 268 comments I think it's a great idea Sarah. I'd be up for reading something Austen-inspired, don't really mind what it will be in the end. All these suggestions sound good.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ Hi Sarah!

I've finished watching the Lizzie Bennett clips (& some of The Lydia Bennett ones) so I'll be diving into the threads soon. :)

I'd like to see if there is a Bride & Prejudice thread.

I didn't like the first of the Stephanie Barron books but have been told the series improves from the third one so...maybe.

I want to reread P&P later this year & Mansfield Park next year. :)


message 6: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
I am headed off just shortly, so wanted to say thanks for the input so far. I think these are all great group discussion ideas that we might want to approach separately. For example, the Barron books and the Pamela Aidan have been around longer and do represent separate categories in the Austen-related world. We can take a browse at the Johnson and Abigail's other suggestion and see where they fall as far as category.

Some of us have stronger interests in some and not others. I am interested in the Kindl due it being possibly influenced but not really an Austen retelling -- and this being relatively newer work. I am not personally as interested in revisiting the Pamela Aidan Darcy series but we can set up a read for those who do want to read that or another book that is a well-know retelling from different character viewpoint. These are all good ideas.

Over the next few days, we can see what other members weigh in and make a plan for some new posting. And for those topics that already have some posting, as Carol said, we could promote some new conversation there. Great ideas!


message 7: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 123 comments I didn't think about this before, but there are a couple of books connected to the LBD series. Behind the scenes perspectives from Lizzie and Lydia.


message 8: by Louise Sparrow (last edited Jul 08, 2016 04:26PM) (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 304 comments I'm definitely interested in theory, it just depends on what gets chosen, and possibly how much they are on kindle.

Stanley Hurd's retellings are good and if you havent tried Victoria Connelly's Austen Addicts series, I would recommend it.

Pen and Prejudice sounds interesting and I have already bought the audiobook of the Lizzie Bennett Diaries but not listened to them yet. (I loved the youtube series)

Bride and Prejudice was great, and Austenland (though I didnt like the book of that). I like retellings and tributes, alternate versions but am more reluctant to read sequels.

I'm not sure thats at all helpful ;)


message 9: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 503 comments If people really want to go alternative, the series beginning with Mary Bennet and the Bloomsbury Coven is quite good fun! Not for purists, though.


message 10: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 123 comments Ooh, and if anyone wants a different perspective, Two Guys Read Jane Austen is great!


message 11: by Gretchen (last edited Jul 08, 2016 07:30PM) (new)

Gretchen | 37 comments Count me in! I like the perspective ideas. I have read bride and prejudice that is pretty good . The Stephanie Barron series are good mysteries but they are written as English mysteries so there might be a gruesome scene or two in the beginning but the language is the same and Jane uses her intellectual abilities to help solve the mystery that part is really good. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries books are good that could easily be young adult. I haven't read Pamela Aiden I will have to try her. I would also have to try Victoria Connelly and Stanley Hurd books and Pen and Prejudice I love it new Jane Austen like books! Right now I am rereading Emma and Sense and Sensibility.


message 12: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 698 comments I loved Keeping the Castle. I laughed so hard at the opening scene. I also loved The Mischief of the Mistletoe (Pink Carnation, #7) which is very loosely based on The Watsons and features Jane Austen as a minor character. Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot is a fun Austen-inspired book. Murder at Longbourn is modern Pride and Prejudice-inspired mystery. The first of a series.

The Dido Kent mysteries are similar to Barron's Jane Austen mysteries but more inspired by Austen's life.

I just adored Pamela Aidan's trilogy and would be happy to discuss it with anyone.


message 13: by Nathalie (last edited Jul 13, 2016 06:39AM) (new)

Nathalie | 29 comments I would definitely like to join into more group reads! I thought we had a very interesting discussion about Eligible so I would like it if we had regular group reads. As for the books we could read I must admit that I haven't read many Austen retellings yet, so I'm afraid I'm not very helpful. But there seem to plenty of suggestions already.


message 14: by Nathalie (new)

Nathalie | 29 comments Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔ wrote: "Hi Sarah!

I've finished watching the Lizzie Bennett clips (& some of The Lydia Bennett ones) so I'll be diving into the threads soon. :)

I'd like to see if there is a Bride & Prejudice thread.

I..."


I would also like to reread P&P this year! Perhaps there's also some interest to reread Austen's novels as a group read?


message 15: by Emilia (new)

Emilia Barnes | 268 comments Nathalie wrote: "I would also like to reread P&P this year! Perhaps there's also some interest to reread Austen's novels as a group read? "

Yaaas!! :)


message 16: by Karen (new)

Karen Sofarin | 27 comments I am much more interested in rereading Jane Austen novels rather than retellings. Any of the 6 would be great for me.


message 17: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 123 comments If we're re-reading, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, and Mansfield Park are the ones I haven't re-read as recently. :) But any of them are great!


message 18: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Hi everyone, I am back from the road and I will sort through all these suggestions - so many! And so much good discussion opportunity. What a happy thing. I don't want to set up a discussion schedule that is too intense, because I have a sense that we are all reading a lot and have a lot of interests -- however, I think we could try to do a few group reads before the year is out.

Let me read through and look at a few of the referenced titles and I will be back! Hope you are all having a nice weekend.


message 19: by Gretchen (new)

Gretchen | 37 comments I would go for reading a Jane Austen or a retelling I'm flexible


message 20: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 304 comments Someone recommended, Darcy By Any Other Name by Laura Hile, and I've just finished reading it... it was really hard to put down!


message 21: by Emilia (new)

Emilia Barnes | 268 comments Louise I just read the blurb of Darcy By Any Other Name and it sounds hilarious. I'd be definitely up for group reading it! A very intriguing set up, I think!!


message 22: by Ceri (new)

Ceri | 68 comments There is a giveaway currently open for 'Darcy By Any Other Name' over at Austenesque Reviews, open until 12 Aug if anybody would like to try their hand at winning a copy: http://austenesquereviews.com/2016/08...


message 23: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Hi fellow members,

I am sorry to have taken so long to return and actually get on this reading! I looked through all the suggestions in this thread and, with such variety, I really could never set up a "method." The only thing I did was to set aside my suggestion of Keeping the Castle, for now, to maintain group-moderator neutrality. Also setting aside for now Pamela Aidan and Stephanie Barron, because I would like to try lesser known and newer authors.

So not really a method, but I kind of pulled A Useful Woman A Useful Woman (Rosalind Thorne Mysteries #1) by Darcie Wilde out of the hat for the next proposed group read. This is a 2016 publication, which I was hoping for -- the several of you lean toward the mystery genre so I was hoping this was a good starting place.

I would then like to put up a poll to choose the following read from Jane's own work. So I will just list all of the works in the poll and ask for a vote from you Jane Loyalists. Then the third read out, if someone wants to strongly voice another Jane-inspired, we will go in that rotation.

Would starting A Useful Woman in a week be agreeable? Too soon? I know it may be hard to acquire a book so soon, if some of us are reading paper copies rather than ebooks. Please let me know, and we will work towards agreement on a start date.

Again, I am sorry about the delay in getting back to the group. I hope you have all been well and doing some happy reading -- which I suspect you have!


message 24: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 304 comments Hi Sarah,

Unfortunately its not coming up on the library search and £10.99 is more than I'm prepared to pay for a paperback... I wouldn't pay that for an author I regularly read. Even the Kindle price is over the odds.

I will have to sit this one out, but I hope to join you for the next.


message 25: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 503 comments I have been looking forward to reading this book, so count me in!


message 26: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 123 comments Sounds like a great plan! Unfortunately, I'm spending the next month reading books to prep for NoLA StoryCon, so I won't be able to jump in with you guys until October. Can't wait to read your thoughts and join back again then!


message 27: by Emilia (new)

Emilia Barnes | 268 comments I'm with Louise, the price is a bit steep. Any idea if they publisher would send us free copies in exchange for reviews or something? That would help.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ Emilia wrote: "I'm with Louise, the price is a bit steep. Any idea if they publisher would send us free copies in exchange for reviews or something? That would help."

Same for me. Emilia's idea of review copies is a good one though.

I would like to read Mansfield Park or Pride & Prejudice with the group, so look forward to that poll! :)


message 29: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
I am seeing some reasonable prices, new and used, but that is through U.S. sellers. Are the high prices you are seeing for A Useful Woman in countries other than U.S.? Let me do some other quick looking regarding the publisher.


message 30: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Interestingly, also, Darcie Wilde is the pen name of Sarah Zettel...I have read her Arthurian novels. I will investigate more.


message 31: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
I have sent a message to see what is available book-wise for a group discussion :)


message 32: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 304 comments I'm in the UK, to give you an idea:

on Amazon
The Shepherds Crown by Terry Pratchett is £3.99
Venetia by Georgette Heyer is £8.99

And these are well known authors with a huge fanbase... theyre probably harming her sales with that price


message 33: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 123 comments I'm not sure of the transaction rate of the £ to the Amer. $, but trade-size paperbacks here usually run about $15-$20 in a bookstore (not always on Amazon). The fact that the author is not as well known as the others mentioned is also the reason that her book is an average price rather than a low one, I imagine. If publishers know that a book will sell, they can make more of them at a lower price.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ I use the US site for Amazon, but although the rate has improved recently it is still our dollar only buys around 73 cents US.


message 35: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
I wish these publishing world economics didn't hamper our reading needs. Ok, I will wait a few days to hear a word on the A Useful Woman, as to open up the read for as many of us as possible. Meanwhile I will post the Austen novel poll and we can certainly set that up.


message 36: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ (last edited Aug 21, 2016 03:17PM) (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ SarahC wrote: "I wish these publishing world economics didn't hamper our reading needs. Ok, I will wait a few days to hear a word on the A Useful Woman, as to open up the read for as many of us as possible. Meanw..."

Books have always been expensive in New Zealand. So since I have so many unread books at home, on my kindle & I only live 10 minutes from the library I can't justify paying that sort of money.

As an example, here is Eligible at our biggest book retailer.

http://www.whitcoulls.co.nz/search?Se...


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 169 comments Carol!

Those prices are appalling!

Is everyone who reads in NZ wealthy!?!?

I really have stop complaining about book prices where I live!


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "Carol!

Those prices are appalling!

Is everyone who reads in NZ wealthy!?!?

I really have stop complaining about book prices where I live!"


Ha! Economics of a small country a long way from most world markets. If I had paid NZ$48 for Eligible, I would have been homicidal.

My kids are near enough to non readers. My son was happy to pay NZ$30 for a book by one of the Red Hot Chili Peppers as it is likely to be the only book he reads all year. If I paid retail for my books I would be looking at NZ$3k minimum.


message 39: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 304 comments Wow, that's awful, I looked up the exchange rate it's £27 for Eligible! I can see why you wouldn't have been happy, you really need to know it's worth it at that price, I don't buy hardbacks for that.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 169 comments The $35.99 NZD equals about $25.14 USD. I'll concede that this is in the ballpark for hardback here. But many hardbacks are $29 -$35.


message 41: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ (last edited Aug 21, 2016 07:08PM) (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "The $35.99 NZD equals about $25.14 USD. I'll concede that this is in the ballpark for hardback here. But many hardbacks are $29 -$35."

Yeah, that was for the cheaper paperback though. Looking at the delivery times on the other 3 editions, I'm picking they just get them as requested only.

Same for A Useful Woman. $31.95 or US$23.08 for a much smaller book. If Sarah can't get us read for review copies I might see if my local library will stock it. That takes months though. :/


message 42: by Ceri (new)

Ceri | 68 comments @Hannah I would say the Terry Pratchett
book that Louise mentioned is certainly discounted, but the Heyer book is probably not. I think the book is on the pricey side and would put people off taking a chance on it.

But having seen the NZ prices I will not complain about the price of UK books! My condolences, Carol! Unless you all earn huge amounts of dollars books must certainly be a treat :(


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ Ceri wrote: "@Hannah I would say the Terry Pratchett
book that Louise mentioned is certainly discounted, but the Heyer book is probably not. I think the book is on the pricey side and would put people off takin..."


Well it used to be that it was cheaper to buy from offshore outlets like Amazon, but the NZ government has forced Amazon to charge GST since the end of last year. I think that would also apply to the Australian retailers that operated through TradeMe (our version of Ebay) as well.

Anyway I'm lucky that my reading tastes are very 20th century & I volunteer at an op shop. My job there is valuing & shelving the books. I get to bring home books that are in unsaleable condition. & I live a 10 minute walk from our local library.

But I quite often can't take part in group discussions for recent books.


message 44: by Abigail (last edited Aug 22, 2016 08:49AM) (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 503 comments Quick query: would it be worth approaching the publisher to inquire whether it might be willing to offer a few reader's copies to our overseas would-be participants? If I were the publisher, I would definitely go for that!


message 45: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
In my view, just the existence of a book site that includes people from many countries, shows we are a global society. Our discussions here about books, hopefully, increase enjoyment and literacy. So it is not right that access to physical books can not be made wider. I know it is a business and publishers must make profit, but books are also a part of society in so many other layers too. The book store market in my region of the U.S. has made it hard for stores to survive, but, overall, obtaining books is still mostly affordable -- not cheap -- but affordable.


message 46: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Abigail wrote: "Quick query: would it be worth approaching the publisher to inquire whether it might be willing to offer a few reader's copies to our overseas would-be participants? If I were the publisher, I woul..."

Abigail, we talked about that yesterday a few posts above in this thread. I got on that yesterday and waiting for response. Maybe that will be doable.


message 47: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 503 comments I’m so sorry! I was away and dealing with an unfamiliar device—must have overlooked the relevant posts.


message 48: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (last edited Aug 23, 2016 08:29AM) (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
That is fine. I am glad you asked again, because I lose myself in the posts sometimes online. Hopefully I will have something to post soon. What fun!


message 49: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
I have some work today, but will be posting the Jane classics poll as soon as possible today.


message 50: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
I have some good news. Darcie Wilde -- yes, the author herself -- is providing 5 copies of A Useful Woman. If you will post and state your interest in discussing the book here with the group, I will place your name in a hat and draw for the 5 copies. I will cover mailing cost, so please put your name in regardless of your home location. Please just post "Yes I am interested" and only personal info after the drawing, through message to my inbox.

We will keep that offer open for the next four days before I draw the names. It is also quite possible that Darcie will be available to share some thoughts with our group. More details to come!


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