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Jane Austen Reading Challenge

05 Jun

Jane Austen is someone everyone should read. And they were probably assigned one of her novels in high school. But I didn’t read any of her books until a few years ago- Pride and Prejudice– and I loved it. So, this year, I decided to read her other works.

Below are my reviews of them, from my most favorite to my least liked.

Pride and PrejudicePride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Everyone seemed to be talking about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies when it first came out. A classic novel now with zombies? So, naturally, I wanted to read it. But, first, I decided to check out Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as I figured I’d be able to appreciate the mash-up more. I was hesitant to get into that book in the beginning but it has become one of my favorites. Austen’s original had plenty enough humor to make the zombiefied version of it seem unnecessary.

Sense and SensibilitySense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite novels of all time when I first read it a few years ago. I decided to read Sense and Sensibility since a local theater company was putting on a modern adaptation of it. (Unfortunately, I didn’t end up seeing it.) This was another entertaining foray into Jane Austen’s works which made me decide to read all her books. I would have liked this more but it suffered the same problem as Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women which was it focused too much on the sister that I didn’t particularly like. I can see why Jane Austen is still so beloved after all these years.

EmmaEmma by Jane Austen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I watched the film Clueless way back when it was released and I was curious to read the original source of it. It was so interesting how they had modernized it. The characters and circumstances are so intriguing and the romantic entanglements keeps one entertained.

Northanger AbbeyNorthanger Abbey by Jane Austen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun tongue-in-cheek novel that features one of Jane Austen’s most likable and unlikely heroines. I wish the title was different since the story doesn’t take place there as much as one would assume.

PersuasionPersuasion by Jane Austen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I liked this, I did think it was a bit slow going. And after binge-reading Jane Austen’s novels, it did seem to be a bit predictable. But I would say Anne is one of her better characters.

Mansfield ParkMansfield Park by Jane Austen
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

For some reason, I thought this was the source inspiration for the Barbra Streisand movie Funny Girl but it wasn’t. The main characters have different names. And I made the mistake of looking at the Wikipedia entry for it and I was given a major spoiler for something that happened towards the end of the book.

I didn’t enjoy Mansfield Park at all. Fanny wasn’t a strong and interesting enough character to be the lead.

I’m also sharing some nonfiction picture book biographies I ended up reading.

Jane Austen (Pequeña & GRANDE, #11)Jane Austen by Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Little People, Big Dreams is a biographical series imported from Spain.

“In this new series, discover the lives of outstanding people from designers and artists to scientists. All of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream.”

These are simple biographies to introduce young readers to these people.

The books include a timeline and photos.

Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane AustenOrdinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen by Deborah Hopkinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I admit I’ve only read one of Jane Austen’s novels but Pride and Prejudice is definitely one of my favorite favorites. This is a great look at her childhood and how her life experiences found its way into her books and also how her talent wasn’t appreciated during her time.

Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, RebelBrave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel by Lisa Pliscou
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been reading Jane Austen’s novels recently and this was a nice read to know about her life and what may have inspired her to write her stories.

Have you read any Jane Austen’s novels? Which ones are your favorites? What film (or TV) adaptations did you enjoy? (I did watch Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley and checked out clips of the one starring Colin Firth.)

Should I seek out Jane Austen’s other works? Are there any Jane Austen related things you would recommend I check out?

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