Weekend Bookblogging: Moar Monsters Edition


Welcome to Weekend Bookblogging, in which we share links and discussions and news about Jane Austen’s novels and books related to her and her work.

NPR polled its listeners for their favorite beach books, and Pride and Prejudice came in at #5. Alert Janeite Eileen, who sent in the link, is not sure that P&P is exactly a beach read, and we concur; Sanditon and Persuasion are much more beachy! We know, we’ve read both on the beach.

The Washington Post’s book critic, Jonathan Yardley, takes a very affectionate look at his mother’s favorite book, Pride and Prejudice. (Use Bugmenot if you need a password.)

Different strokes for different folks. Being neither a joiner nor a cultist, I have resisted all temptations to wave the Janeite banner, preferring to enjoy her books — like those of the many other writers whose work I treasure — in private. This seems to me especially appropriate in her case, for despite all the chatting and blogging they inspire

…not to mention articles in the newspaper. Just saying. But…

Some of these Austen adaptations are notable for their period costumes and scenery, and they have provided employment for many fetching young British actresses, but if you want Jane Austen, you’ve got to read Jane Austen.

Yup. 🙂

We have news of two upcoming Austen-related books. The Great Austen Monster Mashup of Aught Nine continues with Mansfield Park and Mummies.

Norilana Books has acquired MANSFIELD PARK AND MUMMIES: Monster Mayhem, Matrimony, Ancient Curses, True Love, and Other Dire Delights, a hilarious and witty mashup parody of Jane Austen’s classic novel in which Fanny Price must hold steadfast not only against the seductive charms of Henry Crawford but also an Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh, while Edmund attempts Exorcisms, Miss Crawford vamps out, Aunt Norris channels her inner werewolf, the Mummy-mesmerized Lady Bertram collects Egyptian artifacts, and Mansfield Park is a battleground for the forces of Ancient Evil and Regency True Love.

Publisher and author Vera Nazarian will herself pen this novel for the Curiosities imprint.

It seems to be pretty much in the same vein as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. There’s an excerpt available on the publisher/author’s Livejournal.

Dancing with Mr. Darcy, an anthology of stories submitted for the Chawton Library writing contest, will be published in October. The winning story sounds pretty interesting:

The winning entry is a really original take on the Austen theme: a story about the author going to Hades to be judged by some of the more unpleasant characters she created in her novels. I thought this was very accomplished and stylish.

We stumbled across a review for a book called The Evil in Pemberley House, which has an Austen connection.

When her parents are presumed dead in a plane crash, 22-year-old Patricia assuages her grief in a spate of short-lived, unfulfilling love affairs. Then surprising news arrives: Patricia is the sole heir to Pemberley House, the estate featured in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and she sets off immediately for England. Eager for the change of scenery, Patricia comes well prepared to meet her bawdy cousins and 103-year-old dowager aunt, still living at Pemberley, but is less prepared for the restless ghost still haunting the estate. Part pulp romance, part erotic thriller, Farmer and Eckert’s yarn is a steamy, intriguing addition to Wold Newton lore.

And if you’re sick of all these sequelly-type things, so is Lakshmi Chaudry at livemint.com.

Unless they are part of a planned series, sequels to our favourite novels tend to disappoint. The problem lies most often with us, dear readers. We’ve already decided how it would all have turned out between Rhett and Scarlett, and don’t want anyone—be it Margaret Mitchell or Alexandra Ripley—telling us any different. . . . A great novel is like a self-contained piece of art, fully realized from the opening line to the pitch-perfect ending. Reopening that narrative inevitably runs the risk of desecration.

But Jane Austen did it herself, and besides, they don’t ALL stink. Just most of them. 🙂 Thanks to Alert Janeite Maria L. for the link.

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