Friday Bookblogging: Long Time No Read Edition


Welcome to Friday Bookblogging! It’s been too long, Gentle Readers! But the Editrix has had a great deal of fun the past couple of weeks culling her book collection down to something not only workable but attractive and organized on her shelves: four of them dedicated to Jane Austen; a shelf of editions of her novels, a shelf of biography and criticism/plays and films, a shelf of history and culture, and one of paraliterature–the section that was culled). We also have a shelf below those dedicated to the men of the Royal Navy (and the U.S. Navy as well), who have more worth than any other set of men. 😉

While busy with our domestic arrangements, we have accumulated a stack of books that need reviewing, and others are out with our crack staff for review. Look for several in the next week or so and even more down the road.

We got positively squeeful when we received a hot-off-the-presses copy of Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler, the follow-up to Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. In the latter, a 21st century woman wakes up in the body of a Regency-era woman; but what happened to Jane Mansfield (yeah we know), the real Regency lady? She’s in the 21st century having adventures of her own. We loved the first book and can’t wait to read this companion piece. Look for a review soon.

Currently we’re reading The Importance of Being Emma by Juliet Archer, a modern take on Emma (which we see has been followed up by a modern take on Persuasion). It’s a fun, fluffy, funny romance and we’ll have a review very soon. The book has been shortlisted for the 2009 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance.

We also received a sweet-looking little book called Prawn and Prejudice by Belinda Roberts, which appears to be a modern P&P set by the sea. We thought it proper to read by the pool in the new, rather more fabulously high-tech and certainly more luxurious AustenBlog World Headquarters, so stay tuned for a review.

ETA: We forgot to include another new book, Miss Bennet and Mr. Bingley by Fenella J. Miller, available from the Amazons and, which follows the story of Pride and Prejudice from the viewpoint of Jane Bennet and Charles Bingley, especially during their separation. It’s also available as an ebook (PDF) for those into immediate gratification.

We just received word about a new book, The Cinematic Jane Austen by David Monaghan, Ariane Hudelet and John Wiltshire, in which the authors explore how we approach the novels differently in light of the many film adaptations. (In our case? We long to throw ourselves over the books to protect them from the depredations of Certain Screenwriters, but then we are admittedly singular in our approach.)

Alert Janeite Lisa sent us an article from a Baltimore Sun blog about the sequel to The Catcher in the Rye, the publication of which J.D. Salinger is, not unnaturally, trying to block. After all, he does own the copyright. But, the writer asks, who owns Elizabeth Bennet? Why is that different? Because the copyright expired long ago. There is probably Catcher in the Rye fanfic around but, like Harry Potter, Star Trek, or Lord of the Rings fanfic, the authors cannot make money from it. Technically, the fanfic itself is illegal. The moral aspect doesn’t really enter into this at all. We think the sequel writer has the same right to write it as the average denizen does to write a story about Mary Sue, the American exchange student who comes to Hogwarts and steals Harry’s/Ron’s/Draco’s/Professor Snape’s/The Giant Squid’s heart. He just can’t sell it. Welcome to fandom, plebe.

For further bookblogging, we refer you to the June book roundup at Austenprose (as well as several book reviews there) and a list of inexpensive Jane-related summer reads at Jane Austen Today.

That’s it for this week’s Bookblogging, Gentle Readers, so until next time, always remember: Books Are Nice!